1. stevesh
    Offline

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA

    Beyond T

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by stevesh, Sep 21, 2014.

    I understand and support L and G and B, and I'm working on understanding the whole T thing, but this 'agender' position baffles me (and not just because the language pedant in me insists that 'gender' refers to language and 'sex' to biology). The idea of a continuum rather than a binary male - female scale makes sense, but is this person carrying the whole gender identity thing too far when he/she (aaahh!) demands that no one define him/her at all in terms of sex? If not, we''l need a new pronoun, and we've been schooled in another thread that 'it' is unacceptable.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/when-no-gender-fits-a-quest-to-be-seen-as-just-a-person/2014/09/20/1ab21e6e-2c7b-11e4-994d-202962a9150c_story.html?tid=trending_strip_6
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
    BayView likes this.
  2. elynne
    Offline

    elynne Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    um--hi. it's really not that hard. if you have any questions, I can give a shot at answering them, or pointing you towards resources. (yes, I identify as agender/asexual.)
     
    jazzabel likes this.
  3. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,643
    Likes Received:
    5,120
    As one of the people who you seem to think "schooled" you about "it"...

    I think it's great that you made this thread. I have no idea what's going on with agendered people either. This is honestly the first I've heard of the term.

    I think the negative reaction in the other thread was because transgendered people are more common than agendered people, and because "it", "she-male" and other terms are often used as insults against them. So using a term that is often used as an insult seemed aggressive and demeaning, especially in combination with all the "unnatural" business.

    But I think in general, the best approach to unfamiliar things is to do what you've done here. Ask questions, and hear the answers in a spirit of openness. I'll be listening to them along with you!

    So, elynne, what's your preferred pronoun? And are you comfortable with answering some questions about being agendered?
     
  4. elynne
    Offline

    elynne Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    @BayView I actually don't have any pronoun preference; I'm interested (and frequently amused) to see what people tend to assume I am. :D in my ideal world, everybody would be a default non-gender ("they" probably, though in the story I'm writing I use "zie" as the "unknown/undefined" gender) unless and/or until they self-declare as something else, but we obviously aren't living in my ideal world...

    I didn't see this other earlier thread--I kind of want a link for reference, so I have some context for what's being discussed now and don't have to reinvent the wheel for things that have already been said, but something tells me I might find the thread... upsetting. there's a lot of reasons I'm usually not the first to bring up trans/genderqueer stuff in public places, and, well.

    I'm fine with answering questions, though I reserve the right to say "that's too personal" or "I don't know, it just works for me." which is about the same limitations I'd put on any line of inquiry about my personal life. ;)

    ETA: oh and all of my information/opinions reflect only those of the author, no warranty expressed or implied, this coupon not exchangeable for cash. IOW I only speak for myself here; I don't claim or want to speak for anybody else (unless otherwise specified).
     
    BayView likes this.
  5. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,643
    Likes Received:
    5,120
    Have you guys read Ancillary Justice? It's scifi and I didn't necessarily enjoy the story, but it did something really interesting with pronouns, using the feminine for everyone, even if, I think, they were male... like I said, I wasn't a huge fan of the story, but I thought it was worth reading for the pronouns alone!

    Elynee, I think I understand being asexual, but I'm having a bit of trouble with the idea of being agender because my background as a cisgender feminist makes me thing of gender as being a social construct. So I can understand transsexuality in terms of feeling that a person is in the wrong physical body, but I'm having a harder time with the idea of being in the wrong gender. Can you clarify how you realized you were agender, and what it means to you? Like, is it mostly physical? You don't feel comfortable in your own body but don't think you'd be comfortable in the other sex's body either? Or is it more about social roles? Or...?
     
  6. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    I have a question, and this may come off horribly so I'm sorry if it does, but what's up with people who create their own gender?

    Like, there's Male, Female, and 'Undefined'. Okay, I can live with that. Not everyone feels like they fit into a category, I get it. But then there's this whole group of people who want to make their own gender and have their own pronouns and what not. So what's up with them? Like, why do they want their own gender?

    I can't find a great example of someone like this right now (not even on Tumblr where they are the loudest so I've seen), so here's something similar: Otherkin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otherkin

    They pretty much identify as some other species or anything. I've seen people identify as dogs, which is.... yeah. But so I've seen it's somewhat similar to the creation of other genders, but the other genders are more sane.

    So, like, what's the mindset behind creating your own gender? How do you come to the conclusion that you know you're something but not Male or Female?
     
  7. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    "They" has a long history as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. It was used this way as far back as the 14th century; prescriptivists in the 18th and 19th century tried to stop the practice. So it makes sense to me to just go with history and return to the singular use.

    I realize that we've pretty much never used it for a known individual ("Hey, Casey forgot their iPhone--can you run out and give it to them?") but I don't see any inherent problem with it.
     
  8. elynne
    Offline

    elynne Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    @BayView I heard about--I don't remember the title of the story, or the name of the person in the story, but it's a fairly famous story (which may or may not be true) about a couple who had a baby and decided to raise the baby without any reference to zir gender. zie was given "boy" and "girl" clothes, zir hair was cut around shoulder-length, and zir parents used neutral pronouns. whenever anybody asked what gender the kid was, they'd say "zir own," or something like that. I remember first hearing that story in grade school (in the 70s, lol I'm old), with the "zinger" being "so what gender was the kid actually?" which was supposed to reveal biases on the parts of the readers, and which I felt completely and utterly missed the damn point. even then, in grade school, I had a clear idea that it was possible to be neither male nor female, and I knew I wanted to be that--but I didn't know, didn't have access to what framework might have existed at the time to verbalize that feeling, or understand what it might mean for my life.

    unfortunately, in current society, the "default assumption" of gender is male--so if one declines to state a gender, the assumption is usually male, and "genderless" clothing or whatever is usually patterned on clothes for men. I'm still trying to navigate my own path along that razor's edge, but ever since I was old enough to dress myself, I went for clothing that was as "gender neutral" as possible (as well as comfortable!)--which meant jeans, t-shirts, and overalls. at one point in high school, I tried really really hard to fit in with my "physical gender"--the clothing, the social interactions, the extracurricular activities, the whole presentation thing. it went spectacularly badly, and I felt horrible for trying. by the time I graduated from high school I was back to dressing, behaving, and presenting as gender neutral as possible, and I've continued to do so ever since. it's the only way I feel comfortable.

    I would prefer to be able to present as completely ambiguous. I'm lucky enough to live in Seattle, where being "Pat the androgyne" isn't physically dangerous, and to have a career that allows me to work remotely, so I don't have to worry about "scaring" co-workers or whatever. I would also prefer to have as neutral a physiology as possible, and there are a couple of things specifically that I'm hoping to be able to achieve within the next couple of years, surgically speaking.

    I have no interest in being male or female, physically, psychologically, or socially. I never have, and I've always disliked being forced to choose one or the other. so--that's where I come from. :)

    @Ulramar like I said in the earlier post--I won't speak for other people. I identify as "undefined/not anybody else's goddamn business unless I decide to disclose." I will say that you're coming off as pretty insulting and somewhat hostile here. I'm willing to answer genuine questions; I am not willing to debate my or anyone else's identity, nor am I willing to play the punching bag for somebody's personal vendetta.

    @ChickenFreak *nod* "they" as a gender-neutral single pronoun is very common; it's the one I tend to use as a default, because most people don't recognize or understand Spivak pronouns. but there's a lot of interesting stuff about gendered pronouns in English here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-specific_and_gender-neutral_pronouns :)
     
    BayView and jazzabel like this.
  9. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    Thank you for sharing @elynne :) Asexual/gender neutral people are rare enough that most of us have little experience with that variation of the continuum, but I feel there should be better teaching about the subject so everyone has a better understanding, rather than the way things are now.
     
    elynne likes this.
  10. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    Being offensive is the exactly what I'm trying not to be. I'm obviously failing at that. Sorry about that! I'm part of a community that doesn't exactly believe that there really is a spectrum for genders (that's not the main idea of the community I'm not a horrible person I promise), and I don't really hold that belief. I'm just trying to understand the idea of the gender spectrum. I have no personal vendetta against anyone and I just am curious, and there aren't many places on the internet that these people are taken seriously, aside from their own groups.

    Once again I am truly sorry for any offense taken!
     
  11. stevesh
    Offline

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    So what do we do about the practical stuff like public restrooms and locker rooms? Isn't an agender person's choice there sort of a declaration? Or does one alternate? I guess my original take on the essay was about the impossibility of insisting on being agender in a binary sexual world.

    @ChickenFreak - I'll campaign against the use of the plural pronouns as singular as long as there's breath in my body.
     
  12. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Out of interest, if you're agender, does it affect your being asexual / bi / gay/ straight?

    And by applying such a label, wouldn't you be be default declaring a preference for one gender?

    How would you raise your kids? Would you raise them as "ze" or would you be happy calling your child "he/she" according to their anatomy until and unless they say otherwise?
     
  13. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    It's fascinating how a language can affect people's thinking. It can, can't it?

    My mothertongue is gender neutral. We have only one pronoun for both, hän, or informally, se. There're other languages like that too, I'm sure. It's common not to know if someone's talking about a person whether they're man or woman. It's possible to pick up a book and be kept in the dark about the gender of the characters. I find that interesting, though can't help but also feel baffled. Like you want to place that character somewhere in the continuum, to some spot you can identify, be it as man, woman, or something in between or beyond.

    But isn't this what most of us want anyway:
    Not to be put into a box, but be what we want? I've had girls ask me, does anybody ever wonder about your "boyish" hobbies? To tell you the truth, not quite that often, actually. Maybe the world has moved on, or some parts of it at least? And when it does, it will make things more flexible for Kelsey and others. And I like the idea of flexible. I've gone jogging in the evening dressed as "boyishly" as I can, walked the shoulder-walk to appear more masculine -- to make myself a harder target (this might sound crazy to some of you). I've amped up my feminine traits to get the free-out-of-jail card in certain situations. So there's subtle fluidity between the genders even in every day life, and I just find that liberating more than confusing.
     
    T.Trian and elynne like this.
  14. elynne
    Offline

    elynne Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    @jazzabel there's probably more than folks think--there's always folks who are either afraid to say anything, or who don't yet have the vocabulary/understanding to explain themselves, and they look just like regular people! ;) there's a lot of information on the internet, but like most things, a lot of it is contradictory or confusing, and it can be difficult to figure out what to believe without a guide. I'll try to hunt up some reliable links later today.

    @Ulramar the primary problem was that you dug up a link to "otherkin" and asked about "making up your own gender." the "otherkin" thing hits uncomfortably close to the standard right-wing conservative argument against legalizing same-sex marriage--"if we let two people of the same sex marry, where will it end? people will end up marrying children, or their dogs!" some people believe they're dogs (or whatever), but that doesn't have anything to do with people who aren't cisgender, and making that comparison is offensive to most people.

    also, most genderqueer people are repeatedly (if not constantly) accused of "making up" how they feel--as if any feelings about anything aren't essentially "made up"--as an excuse to deny their feelings, or even target and attack them. again, this is popularized by the attitude that people who aren't heterosexual are "going through a phase," as an excuse to deny them access and rights based on their orientation. if I say I don't like tuna sandwiches, people don't automatically turn on me and tell me "yes you do everybody likes tuna why are you making this up what's wrong with you?"

    @stevesh why do we need gender-differentiated restrooms? because our current society demands increasing binary gender segregation in every possible way. in your house, do you have one bathroom for men to use, and another for women? or do you just have bathrooms, that are used by whoever needs them? at construction sites, where there's just port-a-potties, nobody seems to care. in small businesses where there's only one toilet, when you really need it, nobody seems to care. restrooms have stalls around the toilets, so everybody's got their own private space--no need to see or show anything you don't want to. and sexual assault in mixed-gender toilets has been pretty thoroughly debunked as a myth; the reasons behind its propagation have to do with denying various forms of access to transgender and genderqueer people.

    of course, currently we do mostly have gender-segregated restrooms. I personally just go for the one I'm used to, and I'm never challenged, though I have gotten some strange looks. I prefer women's restrooms though--there's usually more space, and they're almost always cleaner and better-smelling. :p

    wrt: fighting against singular "they"--you've already kinda lost the battle; it's increasingly becoming accepted use among standard works, and has been for over a century. but I'm personally a crusader for the Oxford comma, so maybe I'm not one to talk...

    @Mckk I'm currently asexual, but that's a whole other thing; I've always had a low libido, and currently I'm on medication that has almost completely killed it off. when I did have a sex drive, I was bi/pansexual--attracted to people because of their personality, regardless of their gender or squishy bits. most genderqueer people I know identify as bi/pan or asexual, for pretty much exactly that reason, though some identify as "homosexual" as a way of trying to explain that they're only interested in other genderqueer people.

    no kids for me. if I had raised kids, I probably would have tried for "zie" pronouns. I dunno, I haven't really thought about it much because I never had or wanted progeny.

    @KaTrian yes! yep, I think you've got it. ;) most people seem comfortable and happy with their assumed gender--"cisgender"--but some of us aren't, and we have to carve out little places in the world where we can be comfortable and happy--and safe.
     
    T.Trian, jazzabel, Mckk and 1 other person like this.
  15. stevesh
    Offline

    stevesh Banned Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    Mid-Michigan USA
    You're right, of course. We don't need sexually segregated rest rooms or locker rooms but you and I are probably more enlightened in that regard than most people.

    My issue with the author of the essay I linked to is this: none of us can live his or her (or ?) life in a bubble, without judgement, categorization or labeling by other people. I'm not sure why the author of the piece (see how much more I had to type for the lack of a pronoun?) or you, for that matter, should be immune from that fact of life. The tone of the article seemed whiny, narcissistic and self-indulgent. (Not you - him/her/whatever.)

    I don't think my (lesbian) sister would mind my sharing her reaction when I sent her the link and the content of my OP:

    "OMG I am right there with you on this. I couldn't read the whole article because I got so aggravated with this person. Sorry, but my first thought is Freak! even though that's probably not being very sensitive or 21st century.

    Being an L myself, I feel obligated to be more tolerant about this, and even about Ts (also working on understanding) and Bs (make up your mind!)....but it's tough."

    You'll never convince me that the plural pronoun can properly be used in the singular instance, no matter how long such erroneous usage has been around. Never. Never. Never.:)
     
  16. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    Yeah I'm completely sorry if offense was taken, that was not my intention. I dug up otherkin because, thanks to the deluded community I'm in, sadly, otherkin and noncisgender people have become merged. It's horrible but I'm trying to get out of that.

    And no I would never pull that right wing crap, that's a load of garbage. I don't hold that idea and I'm sorry if that's what you thought I was saying.
     
  17. KaTrian
    Offline

    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    3,563
    Location:
    The Great Swamp
    Sorry, but my first reaction was "poor you, you had to navigate around the personal pronoun. Hopefully those who identify with neither sex will take this inconvenience in consideration when they rally for tolerance and understanding." Maybe English needs a three-letter, gender neutral pronoun, then? ;)

    I'm not sure what it takes away from you if the likes of Kelsey express their anguish about living in a world that is quicker to judge them than a white, heterosexual male. Sure, we all get judged from time to time, and shunned and treated unfairly, but it doesn't have to be that way.

    Not sure what your point is here. Because your sister is a lesbian, her negative reaction is more valid, or...?

    But languages change all the time. You don't have to be part of it, you don't have to use it the way it can be used, of course, and that's fine. I, on the other hand, think progress is a good thing, and oh so often I've too craved for a non-gendered pronoun. And not solely because of the people who identify with neither, but whenever I talk about a person whose gender is non-specified and irrelevant in that context.
     
  18. elynne
    Offline

    elynne Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    @stevesh mostly, I want a world where people can be something other than "obviously heterosexual and cisgender (and, let's be real, white)" and not be targeted for harassment, violence, and systematic oppression for it. some people are more comfortable being at the front of the wedge, but for every person who's willing to be featured in a Washington Post article, there's a score or more who are afraid to speak up--and another score or more who read the article and for the first time in their lives think "wait... that's a thing? that's possible? I've always felt that way... I thought it was just me!"

    in all honesty, I haven't read the article, but I do know that pretty much any time somebody stands up and says "hey--here's my thing, can I have some space to do my thing please?' there's always a barrage of responses ranging from "NO YOU CAN'T YOU'RE A FREAK IF WE LET YOU IN THEN WHERE WILL IT EVER END HURFBLURF" to "why don't you just sit down and shut up about it, like the other nice kids?" I tend to believe that change which increases diversity and tolerance is positive change. YMMV of course.

    as far as language changing, I only have one word for you: internet. (actually two, a word we use all the freakin' time and never question and it bugs the crap out of me: movies. WHY DO WE CALL THEM MOVIES. we don't call paintings and photographs "stillies." we don't call film where we can hear people talk "talkies." it's a bizarre linguistic holdover and I really wish it would die.)

    @Ulramar actually... I know a lot of genderqueer people who also identify as otherkin. the circles don't entirely overlap, but it's damn close. depending on which one you believe is more "valid," a person feeling that they don't belong in the pervasive gender binary, especially when they don't know what alternatives may be available (or even have the language to express what exactly is wrong), might migrate towards another explanation. I'm agnostic about such things; I tend to think of most people's identities as being a series of stories they tell themselves to make sense of what happens in their life. somebody stops on a corner to pick up a penny, and narrowly avoids getting hit by a car. they decide that's their "lucky penny," and hold onto it for decades. it's not just superstition--a lot of psychology is the deconstruction of the stories we tell ourselves to survive, but even when we know they're stories, it's extremely rare for a person to be able to separate the stories from the reality. most people rarely manage it. and we, by dint of writing (especially fiction, but nonfiction is just as much a part of the process), are contributing to that process. if a person isn't harming anyone else, I really don't care what stories they're telling themselves or anybody else to make sense of their lives. if their stories are irritating or bothersome to you, you can usually ignore them.

    @KaTrian I want to "like" your post about five hundred times, thank you. ;)
     
    KaTrian, Ulramar and BayView like this.
  19. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    @elynne - forgive my ignorance, but what's pansexual?!

    Anyway, I've heard of asexual (someone with no sexual attraction for either gender, I think?) but this is actually the first I've heard of agender. (that's the term, right?) I'm not sure I get what agender people struggle with. So you dress in a way that doesn't adhere necessarily to either gender, perhaps you may also be asexual so you wouldn't be into romantic relationships - I don't see anything that immediately strikes me as... noteworthy, for lack of a better word. If you're single, what's it to me? And if you dress in a way where I can't place your gender - I guess in the end I'd make an assumption and accept it if I'm corrected. Sure, it feels unsettling for me initially, but I don't see that it should affect my relationship with such a person.

    I guess what I mean is - a gay person might face discrimination because they're in a relationship, so it's obvious they're gay. A trans person might face discrimination because perhaps they still look, physically, like one gender when they identify with another and they (some) go through surgery etc when they can to surgically align their bodies with the gender they identify with. Either way, it's visible, is what I mean. It's obvious they're trans. It seems usually trans people find the need to announce what they were anatomically-speaking previous to their "switch" (or what's a better term for this?) Either way, point is, it's hard to hide, and thus discrimination is more likely.

    But being agender... what's so obvious about that that it would lead to discrimination? I don't mean the way our world is currently structured with the gender binary - I mean intentional, active, hostile discrimination.

    Is it wrong of me to not see the gender binary world as discriminatory?

    First time I'm approaching this topic so feel free to correct me where I've used inappropriate terms etc.
     
  20. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    Transition.
     
    Mckk and elynne like this.
  21. elynne
    Offline

    elynne Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    @Mckk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pansexuality ;)

    I was so impressed and relieved when this site allowed me to state my gender as "decline to state." that's incredibly rare. most of the world makes you choose one of two boxes, and which box you choose can determine a ridiculous spectrum of things, from where you go to jail to who (or whether) you're allowed to marry to where (or whether) you're allowed to go to school to what ads you see online. honestly, for me, most of the time it's a low-level annoyance. I'm very lucky to have a life in which being agender doesn't have much of an impact, positive or negative. but, for example, if I was a bank teller, I would be expected to "dress according to my gender"--and if I tried to dress differently, I could expect reprimands or termination. again, I could probably get away with most public service jobs in Seattle being agender, but in most other parts of the country (world?) I'd be expected to Choose A Box And Stay In It.

    I don't feel... hmm, oppressed or discriminated against, exactly, because what I am is unknown to the point of being invisible. being bisexual used to be the exact same thing, though! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisexual_erasure but just as bi people can get hate from heterosexual and homosexual people (sometimes the hate from gay folks is worse than from straight folks), once people realize that agender/genderfluid people exist, we can get hate from cisgender and transgender people, both of whom want us to Pick A Damn Box Already.

    I do sometimes get mild harassment in public for not being obviously male or female--but again, I'm very lucky; I'm pretty low-visibility, living in a very liberal area. I know people who have been through real-life versions of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Pat it's frustrating and frightening to experience how crushingly important most people think it is that I choose a box, when my refusal to get in a box doesn't impact them in any way whatsoever. just by existing, I evidently scare some people badly enough that they would happily do violence to me. technically, everybody's in that boat... but it's one thing to know it intellectually, another thing to know somebody personally who has been physically attacked (and raped) because some assholes on the street couldn't easily determine zir gender. never mind how bad it is for agender/genderqueer people of color, or with disabilities, or how difficult it can be to navigate in poverty.

    on the spectrum of gender variance, agender/asexuals have things relatively easy, compared to many others. it's easier for us to hide and be ignored/overlooked. but we have many similar challenges in dealing with body dysphoria, navigating relationships (it's possible to be asexual and have romantic relationships!), and public presentation to those experienced by transfolk. it's relatively safe and comfortable in the closet, even if we are being suffocated by pink or blue clothes.
     
    jazzabel and Mckk like this.
  22. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    I see a difference between rest rooms and locker rooms, though I may see that difference because I'm a women. Every woman's restroom that I've ever seen had separate stalls, so that all you see of anyone is their lower legs and feet, and who really cares if it's a man or a woman seeing your legs and feet?

    I realize that men's rooms often have open urinals, but I would assume that in a unisex-restroom world, those would go away--and men would get the privacy that, IMO, everyone should have. (Of course, they would also lose some of their shorter-restroom-line advantage, because stalls are bigger and there would therefore be fewer of them.)

    Locker rooms, on the other hand, do inherently involve nudity. We could decide that everyone has a right to privacy there, too, and convert locker rooms to be like department store dressing rooms with individual stalls. But that's a bigger leap--half to three-quarters of restrooms are already adequately private (if I count the stall portion of mens-rooms-with-both-stalls-and-urinals toward the privacy total), while almost no locker rooms have any privacy to speak of.
     
  23. Ulramar
    Offline

    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    243
    Location:
    My own fantasy world, living the good life
    Locker rooms are usually meant for larger groups (like sports teams), so sadly there isn't that kind of space to fit 40 stalls in there. I don't know about other places, but in my high school there's a bathroom attached that you can change in if you'd prefer.
     
  24. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    Our society tends to read "masculine" and "feminine" as positive things. Boys who try to pick up dolls can find that they're snatched away from them with expressions of horror. Girls with short hair are criticized (try Googling "Felicia Day" "short hair" for a lot of links on how people feel about women who decline to have traditionally womanly hair). Much of society is highly invested in making you pick a role and fill it according to societal standards. If no one can tell with any certainty whether you're a man or a woman, I'll bet that there are plenty of people who will irrationally take that as an affront and punish you for it.
     
  25. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    @elynne - it is strange that it should be so important for people that you pick a box and stay in it. I admit, I think I've spent a lot of my time on this thread wondering if you're male or female. I mean, heck I sometimes wonder about the gender of the people behind their usernames regardless, but it does seem that *because* you do not identify with one gender, I want to know all the more. I haven't a clue why though. A need to categorise, I suppose, which gives the illusion of understanding and solving "the mystery".

    So... anatomically, how would you go about looking asexual? (This might be a bit personal so maybe you wouldn't want to answer that) I think for me, I just keep wondering what an agender person/body would look like, and if said body is biologically male or female, then it makes it harder to think of said person outside of the gender binary. I believe it could be important to have a visual cue - even if the box I put you in is the box of agender. Hmmm, we really are obsessed with boxes and classifications, aren't we? I was surprised that transgender and bisexual and pansexual all have a flag. It's like they do also want a label (basic human need, perhaps?)

    Btw I'm mostly just thinking out loud, sorry. I think the fact that you can be invisible doesn't necessarily make it that there's no discrimination, come to think of it. Being invisible is perhaps easier to deal with on some levels compared to outright hostility and harrassment, but that's different to saying that it's *not* discrimination.

    I'm reminded of how I never feel like I fit in - over an entirely different issue. For me, it's cultural identity. But when my English friends accept me as one of them, as English, and completely ignores my Chinese side - like it's just not even there - and I feel like to be Chinese at all would be to be different (well, it would be lol) and that would mean I'm not accepted... it's interesting, anyway. But yes, thinking about that - I guess the invisibility of either cultural side of me, and for anyone to ignore either side - feels like... rejection. Like my friends love me but not all of me. And I spent a decade trying to be English, and only now I am becoming comfortable with being both and/or neither. I find I don't *have* to pick a box - even though every time someone asks me "Where are you from?" I feel like they're asking me to choose. And I don't want to choose. And then every time they latch onto either cultural side, like "you're from X!", I smile and go along with it but I wanna say "well, it's not quite like that."

    I know it's not the same issue, but perhaps there are some overlaps in sentiment lol. The forced into a box and not wanting to choose, because neither is quite who you are. And the invisibility of an aspect of yourself. I don't feel rejected or unloved either - but invisibility *is* an issue.

    So I guess perhaps you might feel similar?

    The interesting thing is that despite this, I nonetheless wish to put people in a box. For me, I'm always interested to hear what people choose as their cultural identity if they've been born mixed or emigrated young. I'm never happy with their answers though lol because somehow I never believe them. The moment they choose one, I just don't believe them. Not sure if that's justified lol. And then when they don't choose I'm disappointed. I guess I'm looking for an answer that I'm just never going to get? Anyway, different issue, I know :)

    @ChickenFreak - the hair thing is interesting, cus my husband never finds women with short hair attractive. He's Czech and the Czechs can be quite traditional when it comes to gender roles.

    It's true we see it as a positive thing when we are feminine or masculine in accordance to our biological sex. But I don't really use those terms myself I think. Mostly cus I feel qualities stereotypically classes as one or the other can be actually universal. And by calling it feminine or masculine, I give that gender monopoly over a virtue or quality and that's wrong.

    I remember recently, my mum was watching tv and there was someone in a show who was transgender and was looking to get surgery done for it. My mum expressed her shock by saying, "why can't they be happy with the body they have?" The thing she kept saying was, "they are doing this because they *want* to be a man/woman." And i kept saying, no, it's not about 'wanting' it, even though of course there is want in it. If you feel yourself to be a woman in a man's body, then sure you 'want' to be recognised as a woman etc etc. Mum just didn't get the distinction. And when I tried to explain, she was like, "why are you making it more complicated?" o_O she kept equating it with her preference to have been born a man due to the societal advantages men get and I'm like, seriously they're not the same things!! Hmm :unsure:
     

Share This Page