Pixel Scroll 5/24/16 Bark Side Of the Moon

(1) RELEASE THE MONSTER BALLOT. Jo Lindsay Walton is pleased with the flood of Sputnik Award ballots, and is at least not horrified by one of the suggestions.

Btw: I’ve received some really touching enthusiasm, warmth and wise counsels and offers of support, as well as a pretty significant amount of “eh?” “baroo?” “mph?” “wha-?”, which tbh is also kinda gratifying. One thing I’d love to hear more of is unwise counsel. The best I’ve heard so far is the suggestion that we do the Dungeons of Democracy for real.

Just imagine, ripping it from the Excel and into the streets, playing out the entire vote as a vast LARP, cosplaying Daleky Phoenixes and Hedgehoggy Thing Itselves . . .

(2) WINDLING. Remember, Terri Windling lectures on fantasy at Oxford on Thursday, May 26.

I will be delivering the 4th Annual Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford University this Thursday at 6:30 pm. The Pembroke Fantasy lecture series “explores the history and current state of fantasy literature, in honour of JRR Tolkien, who wrote The Hobbit and much of The Lord of the Rings during his twenty years at the college.”

The lecture I’ll be giving is Tolkien’s Long Shadow: Reflections on Fantasy Literature in the Post-Tolkien Era. Admission is free, but you need to register for a ticket and space is limited. Go here for further details.

(3) LUCAS MUSEUM. Mark Guarino’s Washington Post article “George Lucas’s dream of a Chicago lakefront museum faces choppy waters” even-handedly covers the battle to bring the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to Chicago, showing the strengths – the vast art collection, and the architecture — and the minuses, chiefly that it will be partially paid with hotel taxes, which raises a question about whether George Lucas really needs to be subsidized by Illinois and Chicago taxpayers.

The Lucases had two real requirements: One, it would be in a prominent location and, two, that it would be near other museums,” he says. “The Lucases are not going to go to another site.”

A new plan approved by Lucas involves reconfiguring an aging extension of the McCormick Place convention center that sits on the lake and partially replacing it with the museum, 12 new acres of parkland, in addition to new convention space. That multipurpose site is more complicated because it involves borrowing nearly $1.2 billion and extending five taxes on hotels and more. Because it is co-owned by the state, approval from Springfield is required. With Illinois in a budget deadlock that is nearing a full year, and the state ranked at the bottom of those with underfunded pensions, the timing could not be worse. Koch says the selling point is long-term revenue in taxes and tourism dollars, as well as that it would add to Chicago’s “meaningful group of museums and cultural assets” that make it globally competitive.

This is both an enormous opportunity to update and modernize McCormick Place,” he says. “It has this element of Lucas, but they are two separate things that would happen to be tied together financially.”

Talks are on hold until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit rules on a city petition that asks for the lawsuit to be thrown out. Meanwhile, Hobson released a statement calling Friends of the Park “a small special interest group” that has “co-opted and hijacked” the process. “It saddens me that young black and brown children will be denied the chance to benefit from what this museum will offer,” she says.

She added that she and her husband “are now seriously pursuing locations outside of Chicago.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has already said he would welcome the museum in his city.

If the Lucases leave Chicago, it will ultimately discredit the couple’s statements about wanting to help the children there, park advocates say.

“They keep saying how committed they are to the city, but they’re not committed enough to build anywhere but the lakefront,” [Friends of the Park executive director Juanita] Irizarry says.

(4) THIS HAPPENED. N.K. Jemisin started a Patreon campaign less than a week ago and it’s been so successful she can give up her day job.

So, internets. Big changes in Noraland. For the few of you who don’t follow me on Twitter and FB, I Did A Thing. Specifically, last Friday I started a Patreon campaign with the specific goal of breaking free of the 9 to 5 life. I launched it officially at 5:35 pm on Friday afternoon, thinking nobody would much care since Friday News Dump, and thinking that would give me time to fix bugs and work out any kinks in the campaign over the weekend. Instead, to my absolute shock, I hit my baseline goal within 24 hours, and my stretch goal within 48. And it’s still going. People really, really want me to have a retirement plan, apparently.

(5) BEVERLEY OBIT. Jo Beverley passed away on May 23 at the age of 68. Though best known as a romance writer, she also wrote romances with fantasy and magic in them, was a Writers of the Future contest finalist (1988), and published in Songs of Love and Death (2010) edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

(6) HEARTWARMING WOOKIEE. In “Star Wars’ Favourite Wookiee Goes Back to School”, Lee Costello of the BBC’s Northern Ireland service reports on Chewbacca’s visit to a school in County Kerry.

Chewbacca, Star Wars’ world-famous wookiee, has left pupils at a Republic of Ireland primary school star struck after landing for a visit.

The star is filming the newest instalment of the blockbuster series in County Kerry.

He took a break from the set to visit Scoil Fheirtearaigh National School in Ballyferriter on Monday.

The visit was arranged after some pupils sent impressive artwork to director Rian Johnson.

(7) AND HIS MOM. Meanwhile, Hollywood summoned a viral video maker for 15 more minutes of fame — “J.J. Abrams Surprises Chewbacca Mom”.

Candace Payne, also known as the Chewbacca Mom, took over the Internet this weekend with her Chewbacca mask and infectious laugh. In the video, Candace is sitting in her car, super excited about a purchase she just made: a Star Wars Chewbacca mask with sound. The next few minutes are her trying to contain her infectious laughter. The video broke the all-time total for most views on Facebook Live, and everyone has been talking about the joyful mom from Texas.

James Corden brought Candace out to Los Angeles to appear on The Late Late Show and surprised her with a visit from J.J. Abrams. The trio took a ride in a car, where Abrams gives Candace some notes on how to play Chewbacca, but the best part was her reaction outside of the car when J.J. first surprised her.

Video at the link.

(8) START SPREADING THE NEWS. Looks like this will be no problem in Ireland, but for everyone else IFL Science contemplates “How Do We Tell The World That We’ve Found Alien Life?”

…That’s a topic discussed in a paper from astronomers Duncan Forgan and Alexander Scholz from the University of St Andrews in Scotland (hat tip to Cosmos Magazine for picking it up). They have examined the protocols that are already in place, and have suggested ways that those involved in the discovery should prepare for the media onslaught that would accompany a tentative detection.

“A critical concern for scientists pursuing the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is the reaction of the world to the knowledge that humans are not the only technological civilization in the universe,” they write. They suggest that the “culture shock” of such a discovery will put SETI scientists under intense scrutiny, which they must be prepared for…..

“SETI scientists must be prepared to not simply announce a detection via press release, but to be a trusted voice in the global conversation that will begin after the initial announcement,” the authors write. “This will require both pre-search and post-detection protocols to be implemented.”

(9) AWARD JUDGES. In Australia, the 2016 Aurealis Awards judging panels have been selected.

There’s a panel for every category – which means a lot of judges. Scroll down to see the judges’ bios.

(10) TRUER GRIT. Damien Walter believes Dune Deserves A New Film Adaptation”.

Dune’s cinematic qualities have made it a natural target for Hollywood adaptations. But the Lynchian weirdness, followed by a lacklustre mini-series, have left the franchise in a televisual limbo for most of the last two decades. Herbert’s own sequels, while conceptually interesting and widely loved by established fans, lack the storytelling muscle displayed in the first book. A risible series of cash-in prequels have dragged the Dune universe down to the bargain basement of pulp fiction. It’s a sad legacy for such a significant work of fiction.

(11) TROLL HOIST. Death and Taxes did an overview of Chuck Tingle’s Hugo nomination that ends with this paragraph:

Luckily these goons didn’t know who they were dealing with. This is Chuck Tingle, leading author of gay dinosaur erotica, licensed massage therapist, and outspoken enthusiast of hardness and love. Nobody nominates him for a prestigious award and gets away with it.

(12) ANOTHER FINE MESS. There’s reason to be interested in Charlie Jane Anders’ impressions about the field, despite the post ignoring the copious documentation available to answer its strawman question: “One way of looking at the Hugo Awards mess”.

So we’re once again having Hugo Awards drama. It’s confusing, because the people who packed the ballot with their choices have a bunch of vague explanations about why they’re upset. (Ranging from “OMG SJWs” and “affirmative action” to “we just want fun stories.”) They generally keep their grievances vague and nebulous (no pun intended), and it’s hard to pin down what they’re upset about. And this year, they changed tactics slightly, putting more “mainstream” choices on the ballot except for some of the short fiction categories.

So I figure one useful way to look at this issue is to ask: What’s changed? If there’s a group of people who are upset, what recent changes could possibly account for their being upset? Here are a few things that occur to me….

(13) AT WISCON. I see a lot of tweets promoting people’s panel appearances, but rarely one so artistic.

(14) THE SIGN OF THE Z. John Z. Upjohn joined Twitter today. The cause was soon revealed.

Alexandra Erin explained in a GoFundMe appeal update:

And because you all pitched in enough to cover airfare for WorldCon before I head off to my current con, Mr. John Z. Upjohn will be providing live twitter commentary of the event [WisCon]…

Erin also delivered another Sad Puppies Review Books installment once the fundraiser hit $300 (it’s now at $775) – Upjohn’s take on The Cat in the Hat.

The Cat in the HatThe protagonist of the book is a cat who develops games, games that are fun (like all games should be), and who wants nothing but to share them with children who are bored. Not so fast, cat! There is a game critic in the house, a fish who is clearly used to thinking of himself as a big fish in a small pond.

I almost threw this book across the room at one point, because the cat is playing a game and he is clearly having a lot of fun, but the fish says, “NO! THIS ISN’T FUN!” Imagine hating fun so much that you lie about what’s fun in order to ruin a game for everyone else….

(15) PRONOUN STICKERS. WisCon 40 registration will have pronoun stickers available.

Hihi!  I want to take a minute to talk to you about an exciting option we’re offering at Registration this year: pronoun stickers!

We offered them last year and got a lot of reaction, so here’s the explanation:

Pronoun stickers are totally optional to wear. You don’t have to declare anything to anyone. You don’t have to wear the same sticker all weekend. These exist to make it easier for all of us to treat each other respectfully.

If someone IS wearing a pronoun sticker, we expect you will use that pronoun for them. Part of our social contract is kind and respectful treatment of each other, and there are few things that feel as terrible as being misgendered ON PURPOSE. If you make a mistake, just correct yourself and move on…..

 

Options. God bless WisCon. #WisCon

A photo posted by Monica Byrne (@monicabyrne13) on

(16) TOMORROW IS TOWEL DAY. The annual tribute to Douglas Adams, Towel Day, takes place on May 25.

Naturally there are dedicated social media sites– a Facebook page or a Flickr group, and a way to tag videos on YouTube.

There are also hybrid events with in-person and internet components like Lofty Pursuits’ Vogon Poetry Slam. You have only a few hours left to enter online.

If you are in Tallahassee, please come and enter the International Vogon Poetry Slam. It is a contest for the worst possible poem. It happens at 8pm on May 25th as part of our Towel Day celebrations. If you are coming in person DO NOT ENTER ON-LINE. You will get to read your own poem live in front of your victims. The rules are the same….

The Vogon Poetry contest. Rules: The worst original poem will win as judged by us. No appeal is possible.

Sent to vogon@pd.net to be considered for this contest. We must get the poems by midnight on the 24th, Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-5). Late entries will go to the spam folder.

(17) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born May 25, 1686 — Polish inventor Gabriel Fahrenheit

(18) NAMING CALLS. Rachel Swirsky considers short story titles in “What should I have titled this essay? (Thoughts on John Joseph Adams’ ‘Zen in the Art of Short Fiction Titling’”).

Titles That Come From the Text

John starts the article by noting several titles that he suggested to authors that he’s published in his magazines and anthologies. He discovered these titles “right there in the text of the stories themselves. When I’m reading or editing a story, I frequently highlight evocative phrases I come across that I can later suggest to the author as a possible alternate title. Sometimes the phrasing isn’t quite right for the title, but it’s something that can be massaged, or combined together with another phrase from elsewhere in the story, that somehow captures the essence of what the story is about.”

I used to do the large majority of my titling this way until I started my MFA program at Mills, where the teacher told me what John Joseph Adams brings up next: “I should note that some writing professors—including notable literary giants—advise against this practice, largely because, they say, doing this puts too much emphasis and meaning on the eponymous phrase when the reader comes across it in the story.”

(19) DON’T CALL ME ISHMAEL. “Moby goes where Brian Eno, and his ancestor Herman Melville, went before” at the LA Times.

As a famously brainy electronic musician — and a descendant of literary royalty — Moby had plenty of lodestars he might have looked to while writing his first book.

There was, for instance, Brian Eno, the pop experimentalist who reflected on his work with U2 and David Bowie in his 1996 volume “A Year With Swollen Appendices.” And the distant ancestor from whom Moby got his nickname: “Moby-Dick” author Herman Melville.

In reality, the DJ and producer best known for 1999’s multi-platinum “Play” album took inspiration from a more unlikely source: Duff McKagan, the tattooed bassist in Guns N’ Roses.

“Honestly, I’d never given much thought to the guy before I read his memoir,” Moby said on a recent morning at home in Los Feliz, referring to “It’s So Easy (and Other Lies),” in which McKagan writes frankly about the excess and the illusions of show business. “But he wrote a book that’s good enough that it transcends the fact that I wasn’t interested in him.”

(20) BLAME OF THRONES. Juliet McKenna has her own tangle of pop culture references to work through — “Sansa Stark’s joined the X-Men? Thoughts on popcultural cross contamination”

I’ve yet to see the X-Men Apocalypse movie, so I can’t comment on Sophie Turner’s performance. Her work on Game of Thrones – especially at the moment (NO spoilers in comments please!) – gives me every reason to expect she’ll do a thoroughly good job.

The thing is, though, this is becoming A Thing for me. An amusement at the moment, rather than a distraction, but definitely A Thing.

I caught a trailer for A Knight’s Tale on the TV last week, which is one of my favourite movies. Now though? That’s the one where Robert Baratheon makes The Joker’s armour while The Vision bigs him up to the crowd…

(21) DISCO SCI-FI. Thomas A. Foster looks back at the Seventies in “Sci-Fi TV of the Disco Era: The Grounded Astronaut” on Pop Matters.

…Another key to understanding the sci-fi of the era: the shrunken profile of space exploration. In the ‘60s, NASA was perhaps the most popular Federal project, partly because fallen leader John F. Kennedy was associated with the “space race”. Television covered every moment leading up to the first moon walk in 1969, and Hollywood pitched in with movies and TV shows (I Dream of Jeannie, Star Trek, the made-in-England 2001: A Space Odyssey). The Jetsons had a dog named Astro, and Houston chose the same name for its new baseball team, which played, of course, in the Astrodome.

As our radio-alarm-clocks flipped to the ‘70s soundtrack, however, the Apollo Program was curtailed by budget cuts and sharply declining interest. The scientific idealism of the ‘60s was victim to chronic civil unrest, distrust of authority, and general exhaustion, as Americans turned to self-improvement (meditation, back-to-the-land/find-your-roots trends); hedonism (swinging, cocaine, disco); and all things para- (the paranormal, paranoia), including persistent rumors that the moon landings had been faked. In keeping with the zeitgeist, most of our TV astronauts of the decade would be lost, passive, or grounded….

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, and Will R. for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

412 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/24/16 Bark Side Of the Moon

  1. My experience has been that there are people who say, “I’m not ‘cisgendered,’ I’m ‘normal.”

    I suggest that such people try substituting any of the following for “cisgendered” in the phrase above:

    “heterosexual”
    “white”
    “male”

    …and see how well it fits the thought pattern of the users of such phrases.

  2. @Jim Henley notes none of the trans* members of our group participated in this conversation. We might start asking ourselves why when issues on race, trans*, etc. come up why so much of the discussion is being had by mostly cis white filers. What is it about our community which keeps the people the issues are about from participating? On harassment recently a few cis men went at it mostly ignoring or beating on women whom I suspect may have experience (no I don’t know for sure – reading between the lines).

    I can honestly say the way Iphinome was interrogated in this discussion made me extremely uncomfortable. Early on they stated they’d show basic respect and civility to trans* people using their preferred pronouns. They wouldn’t be one of the people walking up and asking the kind of question Kevin Standlee was asked when he wore a male pronoun sticker. So their behavior might be ahead of people who are supportive of trans*. I very much disagree with Iphinome’s opinion on trans* and where lines should be drawn today because reality. Colorblind hasn’t wiped out racism. In my opinion it’s taken us backwards. I believe Genderblind would be as ineffective and hurtful to the parties it’s supposed to help.

    But calling out their thoughts – do we think this helped trans*? I don’t know but given our trans* didn’t participate I’m thinking not. If anyone hears from them it might be good feedback for the group – if they are willing to share what made them uncomfortable.

  3. “Been mostly avoiding this thread, but saw a very relevant article today.”

    I have absolutely no clue of why you thought it was relevant to throw in a wasp nest into the discussion.

  4. @Tasha Turner:

    But calling out their thoughts – do we think this helped trans*? I don’t know but given our trans* didn’t participate I’m thinking not.

    I suppose it’s possible that out trans people who were not participating in this thread decided to continue not participating in this thread because people pushed back on the arguments of the least trans-accepting participant here. Could be something else though.

  5. Darren it is difficult for me to not see that link posting as some sort of passive aggressive dig and I would like to think that was not your intent so I am going to pass on discussing it.

    This conversation on some level has been very surreal as the only person to say anyone was TERF was Iphinome who self-identified as aligning her politics with TERF (and yet still even then no one said anything about her personally, just discussed TERF politics and identity politics), and this was after Harold made a joke about TERF that was pretty much only made because it sounded like “turf war” which I said back back at the start was a bad idea to invoke and yet here we are. Maybe it’s time that we take a break, I am not sure what else could be said about the subject that would be productive at this point.

  6. Longer answers will have to come sometime between the end of Orphan Black tonight and bedtime. Sunhawk and Hampus especially deserve long answers, and questions if Hampus will permit me to go a little Socratic.

    Tasha Turner on June 2, 2016 at 11:14 am said:

    But calling out their thoughts – do we think this helped trans*? I don’t know but given our trans* didn’t participate I’m thinking not.

    You honestly don’t expect them to break stealth over something so petty as my thoughts if they don’t have a complaint about my behavior? If they’ve been trans for more than a week they’ve most likely run into poseurs, fakers, liars, the confused, and the unserious. They might have even worked out their own personal criteria, for deciding who to believe or not.

    They wouldn’t be one of the people walking up and asking the kind of question Kevin Standlee was asked when he wore a male pronoun sticker. So their behavior might be ahead of people who are supportive of trans*.

    Of course not, those people were unspeakably rude. Just because it is acceptable to ask someone where’d you get those shoes, doesn’t make it acceptable to ask who installed your dick, no matter how supportive you are.

    At a guess, some people here place a much higher value on supportive.

    @Darren *snort* sub-par trolling attempt, nowhere near BrianZ levels. No one stopped me from saying whatever, and the most enthusiastic interrogators aren’t all that leftfy.

    @Kevin Standlee I didn’t use any of those words either. Though you made a fair guess about skin color, that’s me in my avatar. I gave some reasons for rejecting the label and none included the word normal *shudder* Gods forbid.

  7. @Sunhawk I know the blog you’re talking about, you know your TERFs apologies for doubting you.

    They take a few kernels of truth and twist them beyond all proportion, they make up some things out of whole cloth and top it off with a lot of angry rhetoric and nasty actions. Typical demagoguery.

    But then anyone with a taste for radical feminism is going to have some views in common with them. They’ll essentially be TERFs in the minds of people. They’ll get painted with all that very evil stuff without ever actually doing or saying it.

    Labels, they’re a package deal. I’m careful about using them, trying to define them narrowly. Leave room to nuance. Not treat people as a uniform set of angels. Know, good little left-leaning generally socially liberal type that I am, not to say things can’t happen, won’t happen, would never happen, that everyone knows themselves and speaks truth.

    I said some people don’t know of what they speak, I receipt them after they get the experience to know. You know TERFs. Respect. What about the other things here. No one’s breaking stealth so we should operate under the assumption that no trans people participated, certainly know one who knows what that’s like has chosen to say they do. We’re left with people who don’t really know what trans people go through telling me what trans people go through–and pretending that the experience is universal–I didn’t even do that, I said people who’ve actually lived their lives in the pink box know what it’s like to live in the pink box, not that all lives in the pink box are the same.

    That’s what it means to me, to say we should let gender become individualized and not have preconceived notions about gender.

    And all the things you said before that. It drags us into a bad place. What about sex as distinct from gender–or do you not think it is? We get that yucky North Carolina law, it tells people where to pee based on sex not gender. That’s wrong though right? I kind of think it is but are we saying sex never matters or if it does when. Would we ever draw lines?

    I didn’t want to get into this part so I hope we don’t go too far down the rabbit hole but it addresses your ideas. In your pick a gender society do we draw any lines between sex and stated gender identity?

    In a genderless society we wouldn’t. I don’t know if all locker rooms would be co-ed or not, that’s impossible to predict, or prisons for that matter. Radchaii care so little they use medical intervention for repudiation, we don’t have their tech so I’m assuming it’d matter to people interested in reproduction and they’d probably still have sexual orientations.

    And would pick-a-gender still not cause issues? If you’re still calling them man and woman aren’t you still suggesting that they’re the natural states for people born with certain parts?

    A little rambly… don’t have my A-game today. Sorry, no worries if you can’t work through all that.

  8. “Sunhawk and Hampus especially deserve long answers, and questions if Hampus will permit me to go a little Socratic.”

    As long as it is not Aristotleish. 😉

    But a fair warning, I’m not a fan of philosophy. If we go into definitions territory, my eyes will glaze over. 😛

  9. Hampus Eckerman on June 1, 2016 at 11:49 pm said:

    I think there shouldn’t be any difference in how you treat people with different genders or what kind of expectations you put on them.

    What if you changed the word genders with sexes and then stripped out the I don’t think part.

    Any difference in how you treat people with different sexes or what kind of expectations you put on them.

    And we pack that idea down into a word: gender. (I would have changed the word you with the word society and put to the word impose but that’s just me.)

    But that is me and not society as a whole.

    So gender–any difference in how you treat people with different sexes or what kind of expectations you put on them–is a social construct.

    You’re in a good place, maybe you won’t come to the same conclusions I have, maybe you will one day but we’re not as far apart as you think.

    And as for me, I can’t remove all the baggage that rests in my subconscious. Most of the way we act isn’t decided by conscious decisions.

    And that’s called socialization, we’ll get back to that.

    Which is why solutions that are purely based on gender abolishment are as stupid and ineffective as seeing chastity as the only way to hinder pregnancy. Not to talk about all the people that are hurt when the ideal does not work.

    Abstinence rests on getting people to change behavior. Am I telling people not to change their bodies or to do so? Dress a specific way? Speak or walk one way? Be aggressive or passive or hold any other personality trait, preference or inclination? Or am I saying stop calling those things masculine or feminine?

    Who does that hurt?

    During the meantime, we have people who do not think that they fit into the gender/gender role that society has pressured on them. And that is why we work on changing the society to lessen this pressure. To lessen the impact of gender roles.

    Sounds like solid steps toward abolition.

    To lessen the expectations to belong to this or that gender.

    Ehh I don’t quite follow. If you said lesson the exceptions that go along with belonging to this or that gender I’d be cheering. How do to lessen the expectation to belong to one as long as they exist? Remember the slight alteration to your words I typed above.

    Gender–any difference in how you treat people with different sexes or what kind of expectations you put on them.

    Expectations are inherent in the deal.

    And that is why we should accept the gender identity people themselves want to belong to and why we shouldn’t set requirements for them to fit into gender roles to choose this identity.

    I packed a slightly altered version of your words into the word gender, now let’s unpack it again.

    And that is why we should accept the any difference in how you treat people with different sexes or what kind of expectations you put on them identity people themselves want to belong to and why we shouldn’t set requirements for them to fit into any difference in how you treat people with different sexes or what kind of expectations you put on them roles to choose this identity.

    Ouch, that hurts. Isn’t choosing one also choosing those expectation? If you take the expectations out is is gender?

    Also, that is why we have the words cis and trans. To differentiate between the experiences of those who live as one gender and the experiences of those who have always lives one gender.

    In your estimation do those differences matter? If yes would you be willing to give an example or two? No pressure, no planned gotyas.

    I’ll also note your choice of the word live. You didn’t say prefer, or identify, or even wish-to. Isn’t that a distinction that got me in trouble?

    And as for me, I can’t remove all the baggage that rests in my subconscious. Most of the way we act isn’t decided by conscious decisions.

    I said we’d get back to this. You’ve mentioned cultural differences a few times and i think I remember you saying Sweden. A thought experiment.

    Suppose I met all the language, employment, education, money requirements and whatever else they tack-on. I’ve decided that despite living my whole life in the US, I want to be a Swede. It feels right–and they’ll even take me.

    You grew up there, celebrated the holidays, ate the local food, watched the sports, went to the schools, absorbed the local attitudes. It brings up images in your head that are more than where the chair you’re sitting in is located.

    At which point in the process would I become a Swede? Or would I? Today? When I submit an application? When it’s approved? When I move? When I’ve been there a week? Will I ever be as Swedish as you?

    Before you answer, remember Swede is a social construct. If you’d grown up here, with the exact same DNA you’d be an American. Swede only exists as a shared set of ideas.

    Will everyone in Sweden give the same answer you give? Is there room to think differently so long as they don’t act badly?

    It is enough to think about it without actually answering. I’m not trying to out you in the hot seat and lecture at you, I’m asking you to consider a perspective.

    Sorry for your poor glazed-over eyes.

  10. Iphinome:

    Too much philosophy for me. I have no idea what you mean with your first question. I state exactly what I think. If you change my wording, it is no longer what I said.

    But yes, I do not think we are that far apart in what we want. The difference is how we talk about people and how we accept their experiences.

    “Ehh I don’t quite follow. If you said lesson the exceptions that go along with belonging to this or that gender I’d be cheering. How do to lessen the expectation to belong to one as long as they exist? Remember the slight alteration to your words I typed above.”

    As I have no idea what the slight alteration was supposed to meant, I can’t really take it into account. And I do not understand your question at all. Why would it be impossible to lessen the impact of group pressure as long as group pressure exists?

    “Ouch, that hurts. Isn’t choosing one also choosing those expectation? If you take the expectations out is is gender?”

    It might be that your choice of gender will change other peoples expectations, yes.

    “In your estimation do those differences matter?”

    Yes and no. Depends on context. Mostly it is about marking privilige for the cis-group in as they aren’t questioned in their identity in the same way as the trans-group.

    “I’ll also note your choice of the word live. You didn’t say prefer, or identify, or even wish-to. Isn’t that a distinction that got me in trouble?”

    If that is only thing you meant, you need to be much more careful with the words you use. “Identify” is a vague word, but yes, you should also accept the gender that a person wants to be identified with.

    “At which point in the process would I become a Swede?”

    You become a swede at the same day you get your citizenship. Then you are as swedish as me.

  11. Hampus Eckerman on June 2, 2016 at 11:37 pm said:
    Iphinome:

    Too much philosophy for me. I have no idea what you mean with your first question. I state exactly what I think. If you change my wording, it is no longer what I said.

    What if I added a simple definition for the sake of this conversation aand only for the sake of this conversation

    Sex is what’s between your legs.

    Gender–any difference in how you treat people with different sexes or what kind of expectations you put on them.

    Does that help?

  12. “Gender–any difference in how you treat people with different sexes or what kind of expectations you put on them.”

    Let me amend my first comment:

    I think there shouldn’t be any difference in how you treat people with different genders or sex and that there also shouldn’t be any differences in what kind of expectations you put on them.

  13. I’m with @Hampus Eckerman on this:

    I don’t think there should be any difference in how you treat people with different genders or sex and that there also shouldn’t be any differences in what kind of expectations you put on them.

    Adding: Unfortunately we don’t live in this utopia yet.

  14. Yeah, ideally it shouldn’t matter.

    But we don’t live in an ideal world.

    Therefore, let us take our trans* friends at their word (and their pronouns), no matter where they are in their journey to a more authentic self.

    That might just get us closer to the ideal for everyone as a side effect.

    ——————————————————————

    I don’t mind if someone calls me “cis-gendered”. Because, you know, I am. They said I was a girl at birth, all my internal and external organs and secondary sexual characteristics are completely averagely feminine, I married an equally cis man and have plain ol’ cishet sex with him. Similarly, everyone calls me and hubby “white”, because we have pale skin, entirely northern European ancestry, and have always thought of ourselves and been treated as white. We’ve both been to college, so also “educated” works for us, as does “nerd”, “driver of inexpensive automobiles”, and “probably spends too much money on the cats”.

    But like the saying goes, my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.
    And my kitties are ADORABLE, dammit.

  15. Hampus and Tasha, both of you made a nonsense statement. If you don’t treat people of different genders different, then you’re not gendering them. If you don’t treat people of different sexes different then the answer to what’s a man, what’s a woman, is boys have a penis girls have a vagina.

    Since none of you answered that then there must be some difference in how you think of each and by extension how you treat each. I was hoping someone would volunteer what they perceive that difference as.

    All the rest of what you think about men and women being different is gender. When you go along with a trans person’s gender identity, you are agreeing to treat them different than the way you treat other people born with that set of reproductive parts.

  16. Iphinome:

    “Hampus and Tasha, both of you made a nonsense statement. If you don’t treat people of different genders different, then you’re not gendering them.”

    No, that is nonsense from your side. Gender is only social sex. It is as if saying that if you treat people with different biological sex the same way, you are not saying that they have different biological sex.

    “If you don’t treat people of different sexes different then the answer to what’s a man, what’s a woman, is boys have a penis girls have a vagina.”

    For biological sex, yes. For social sex, the answer is that a woman identifies as a woman and a man identifies as a man. And that’s all there is to it.

    “When you go along with a trans person’s gender identity, you are agreeing to treat them different than the way you treat other people born with that set of reproductive parts.”

    No. It means that I agree to gender them differently. That’s it.

  17. I don’t think either current science nor trans advocates would automatically grant these days the claim that “sex is what’s between your legs.” There has also recently been a book problematizing the chromosomal definition.

  18. No, that is nonsense from your side. Gender is only social sex. It is as if saying that if you treat people with different biological sex the same way, you are not saying that they have different biological sex.

    Um no, if you’re treating them the same way you’re saying biological sex is not a reason to treat people differently.

    Gender is only social sex

    What the hell is social sex?

    Might it be treating people differently based on what sex you think they are? I’m against that. It hasn’t worked out very well given the whole patriarchy thing.

  19. “Um no, if you’re treating them the same way you’re saying biological sex is not a reason to treat people differently.”

    Neither biological sex or gender is a reason to treat anyone differently.

    “What the hell is social sex?

    Might it be treating people differently based on what sex you think they are?”

    No. And I wrote the total opposite above, so I have absolutely no reason why you should write such a thing, unless it is some kind of Brianification of the the discussion. Gender identity = Social sex.

  20. What is social sex? No a wikipedia link. You own words. I’ll take examples if you prefer.

  21. @Iphinome
    My statement was an ideal not on reality which is why I tacked on the added statement Unfortunately we don’t live in this utopia yet.

    Women generally go by she, men by he, some people go by they, others use different pronouns, trans* use the pronoun which feel right to them at a given moment in time. I don’t see that as treating people of different genders differently. Also since we aren’t in a utopia while I think we shouldn’t treat people differently I acknowledge we do treat people differently for a slew of reasons, gender being just one. Institutional *isms affect all of us in how we are treated and how we treat others. They affect how we think about ourselves and others unconsciously. Reality can’t be ignored.

    I believe in giving equal respect to everyone starting out and individually they either maintain, earn greater, or lose my respect based on their behavior. So when I said I don’t think there should be any difference in how you treat people with different genders or sex I was talking about respect, civility, and equal rights under the law.

    With there also shouldn’t be any differences in what kind of expectations you put on them. I meant how they dress, toys/games/books/movies, kinds of jobs they are allowed/encouraged to do, etc.

    I’ve gone as far as I’m interested to in this conversation. I’m sorry I reengaged.

  22. Tasha Turner I agree with most of what you said.

    We may be hung up on the word respect. Civility and equal rights under the law, yes, of course.

    Other than that there’d been a lot of arguing about what the word gender means and you’ve hit close enough to the mark.

  23. Iphinome, to me you seem to be saying that you will treat people with civility, but you won’t grant them the validity of their own point of view about who they are. That in order to be taken seriously by you on that point, they need to conform to some standard you made up.

    And that’s not respectful of the people affected.

  24. Lis Carey if I were to grant I’m not being respectful, what then?

    Why is civility and equal rights under the law not sufficient? The people who asked Kevin Standee questions were respectful, they weren’t civil. They were much more likely to trigger someone’s dysphoria than the thoughts going on in the back of my head would be.

  25. Iphinome, to me you seem to be saying that you will treat people with civility, but you won’t grant them the validity of their own point of view about who they are. That in order to be taken seriously by you on that point, they need to conform to some standard you made up.

    And that’s not respectful of the people affected.

    Which, to connected with another conversation in (I’m 99% sure) another thread, is one of the things I didn’t like about Mists of Avalon when I read it, way back when. Of the female viewpoint characters, only one is not granted the validity of her own point of view. Funnily enough, it’s Guinevere, the one whom MZB has written as being of a background/identity MZB disagrees with; she’s a Christian.

    The others are portrayed as intelligent people whose viewpoints may be in conflict with each other, but are reasonable viewpoints from where they’re standing. Not Guinevere. She’s a Christian, so she has to be shallow and weak and morally questionable. (I don’t remember details at this late date; just how I was left feeling about the story and the characters.)

    The position you’re arguing seems to me to treat trans people who haven’t crossed your arbitrary benchmark the same way.

  26. And I seem to have accidentally posted the first part of my comment before finishing it and then posting the whole thing. Sorry; I’m not sure how that happened. 🙁

    Iphinome, for me, basic respect for other people is just basic. It’s not something that it’s okay to withhold from people based on their purely personal identity. Which is theirs to define.

  27. “What is social sex? No a wikipedia link. You own words. I’ll take examples if you prefer.”

    I will not play Brian-games with you.

  28. Perhaps we don’t use respect the same way. Assume I hold respect from all humans until and unless they meet some arbitrary standard my brain sets to decide they’re not completely full of shit.

    Also assume I meet society’s standards of civil behavior in my interactions.

    What then?

  29. Hampus Eckerman on June 3, 2016 at 8:21 pm said:

    I will not play Brian-games with you.

    You can’t give an attribute of man or woman outside of biology without saying something sexist. You can’t assign a particular attribute to a gender without saying something sexist. That was the point of the question. Man and woman are sexist concepts. Sexism and gender might as well be interchangeable words.

  30. Sexism and gender might as well be interchangeable words.
    For you, but not necessarily for others.

  31. P J Evan can you differentiate between the genders without saying something sexist or tautological?

    Like Tasha Turner says we don’t live in a utopia, I understand that people need to get by within the system but I sure don’t know a way to describe that system that doesn’t involve sexism.

  32. @Iphinome But then anyone with a taste for radical feminism is going to have some views in common with them. They’ll essentially be TERFs in the minds of people. They’ll get painted with all that very evil stuff without ever actually doing or saying it.

    Look, it’s one thing to say “there are some views I share with TERFS unrelated to their transphobia” but it’s another thing to talk about TERFS as if they are some unfairly mistreated and misrepresented group and to also say things that make it sound like you do share their biological gender essentialism and their desire to gatekeep the identity of women to only those who pass their criteria.

    It’s a bit like Gamergate – if you buy the official party line that it’s about “ethics in journalism” then yeah you might say you share their concerns for responsible journalism and companies basically giving out freebies and early access only to the people who write glowingly positive reviews of their games, and some people have definitely with the best of intentions claimed to support Gamergate for those reasons. But the truth is that the Gamergater identity as it stands now is so thoroughly polluted both by the fact that it has been used as an excuse to terrorize women and other allies of feminism (excuse me, “SJW” as they call it) and by the fact that we all now know that Gamergate WAS in fact invented as a means of revenge by a jilted misogynistic ex-bf of Zoe Quinn and planned to maximize damage to her directly. With both Gamergate and TERF you can’t just say “oh it’s a few bad apples ruining it for everyone” because what the “bad apples” do comes about because the very core of their “movement” is rotten. I think you would be much better off just saying you are a gender abolitionist if you truly don’t have a problem with trans women identifying as women.

    Though it’s hard for me to believe you don’t have a problem. Not a lot of what you posted points towards acceptance, more like tolerance. When you say things like “Why is civility and equal rights under the law not sufficient?” as if that’s your final offer and not the baseline of the beginning of decency, it really sounds like you are saying “Well I won’t say anything to your face and I won’t have you arrested, what more do you want?” that just sounds really begrudging. Like, gee thanks? If you save your eyerolling for private but think that your desire to eyeroll doesn’t affect how you treat others, I think you are kidding yourself. You are being polite yes, but are you being decent to others? There really is a difference between the two and one does not automatically follow the other. I have been oppressed by men who did so in the most polite and well-meaning and gentle of ways, it was still oppression even with all the nice words and offered hugs.

    I said people who’ve actually lived their lives in the pink box know what it’s like to live in the pink box, not that all lives in the pink box are the same.

    Well you basically did say it’s the same in regards to living in a pink box, by refering to it as THE pink box that in your mind either you are living in it or you are living out of it.

    Hampus mentioned “social sex” and I think that’s an important term, because to me what it references is the fact that in a lot of ways, we do make sometimes arbitrary decisions even about biology that something is “male” or “female” even when it comes down to our hormones, and that label doesn’t change how those body parts or chemicals function, it just affects how we interpret their effect on our body as a whole. Like I mentioned earlier, I have PCOS so I have more “male” hormones in my body than other women, and some women will have even more of those hormones than I do and it has more of an effect on their physical appearance, some women grown beards or more body hair all over – again something else that we decided was a “male” trait but most people have regardless of their sex and/or identity. And because we also decided that body parts are more important for determining sex than hormones, even if I tell someone I have those hormones, because my body parts appear more traditionally “feminine” people still see me as female. A “social sex” comes from the actions of our societies to decide what your body parts “mean” regarding your biological sex, and because our sexual biology as a species is more of a spectrum than a binary, this has had a devestating effect on anyone who has what they call (apologizes for the dehumanizing language) “ambiguous” body parts, with doctors performing reconstructive surgery on infants to assign them the “closest” sex, with a number of people later on as adults rejecting that assignation and dealing with body dysphoria and other effects on their mental health and sense of wellbeing.

    That’s where we seem to do the most harm: when we try to decide for other people who they are and what they “should” be. We make assumptions and then use those assumptions to justify hurting others or just not helping them or denying them support.

  33. Look, it’s one thing to say “there are some views I share with TERFS unrelated to their transphobia” but it’s another thing to talk about TERFS as if they are some unfairly mistreated and misrepresented group and to also say things that make it sound like you do share their biological gender essentialism and their desire to gatekeep the identity of women to only those who pass their criteria.

    Three points. One they are not unfairly mistreated. They’re awful. Two when people paint with the TERF brush I assume they mean me too the same way when the puppies scream about Marxists they mean me because I lean left. The person making the claim doesn’t distinguish.

    Three: if there’s one thing I wish people here would get is that your use of the word gender does not make any sense. No TERF believes, nor do I believe, in biological gender essentialism. The thing we have in common is that, they, and I, read that as biological sex role stereotype essentialism. They believe in biological essentalism and that nothing will make someone born with a penis into a woman and a person born with a vagina a man. Since I can unlink biology from social roles I can define man and woman (inside my own damned head) purely by which set of stereotypes someone has applied to them. And, this is something people here seem unable to comprehend, I can, at the same time, wish we lived in a world without sex role stereotypes.

    With both Gamergate and TERF you can’t just say “oh it’s a few bad apples ruining it for everyone” because what the “bad apples” do comes about because the very core of their “movement” is rotten.

    This is me not disagreeing with you at all.

    But then see above, suppose someone does care about ethics in journalism and they can’t even talk about it because suddenly it makes them at gamergate asshat.

    I think you would be much better off just saying you are a gender abolitionist if you truly don’t have a problem with trans women identifying as women.

    I’m a gender abolitionist, that carries some ideas and concepts that don’t match up with ideas expressed by some people here. TERFs are also nominally gender abolitionists. You might say we share some of the same founding documents and they’re the militant nutcase jihadis.

    It very specifically comes with the idea that gender is something external to the individual, imposed by the greater society.

    Not a lot of what you posted points towards acceptance, more like tolerance. When you say things like “Why is civility and equal rights under the law not sufficient?” as if that’s your final offer and not the baseline of the beginning of decency, it really sounds like you are saying “Well I won’t say anything to your face and I won’t have you arrested, what more do you want?”

    Suppose that’s the case. I’m faced with someone who’s words say we have a fundamental difference of opinion of how society works and should work, I don’t go all John C Wright. I behave the way my mother taught me to behave toward other people because we’ve all got to get by in this world together even when we disagree. Then what?

    Well you basically did say it’s the same in regards to living in a pink box, by refering to it as THE pink box that in your mind either you are living in it or you are living out of it.

    Not all lives in my country state or city are the same but we live under the same laws.

    None of us are gender-conforming. Not one. There is some aspect of feminine expectations you reject or just plain can’t live up to, some aspect of masculine that you follow or come close to. At some point society’s disapproval has been made clear be it with a statement, a look, even violence. What it was and how other reacted are different from person to person.

    If you’d been born with a penis then different aspects of you would be disapproved of. Society basically only has two settings on this matter. (In an ideal world it would have zero)

    Hampus mentioned “social sex” and I think that’s an important term

    Long paragraph. I don’t see anything right now to have a major disagreement with, we could always fiddle over terms but there’s one point.

    And because we also decided that body parts are more important for determining sex than hormones

    For the obvious reason that those indicate a persons role in the reproductive process. Patriarchy predates other understandings and radical solutions are rarely implemented, we just keep building onto what’s there. People decided that people who could be pregnant should [fill in the blank] and people who can impregnates should [pretty much the opposite] and we ended up with this mess.

    And trans people ended up with a mess with people dysphoric about their bodies being added to by people dysphoric only about their social role but happy with their bodies, being added to by… all getting treated like a monolith for the sake of conversation. That doesn’t even get into the theories about primary and secondary transsexualism which are starting to get torn apart but might get reformed into new refined ideas after a couple more years of the critical treatment. The HBSers go away, the brain-sex people rise, admitted autogynphiles like Ann Lawrence say it’s real, trans activist say the whole concept is made up by TERFs.

    It’s a lot of contradictory things to hold in your head if you think it’s all equally valid.

    However making that social change. Changing how you relate to all the people in your life and asking them to change how they relate to you. Possibly giving up the name you’ve always had, living under a set of expectations you were not socially trained for? You knew what some of those were, you yearned for them, oh but you didn’t know them all because you can’t observe everything. Those new ones trip you up and they’re unfair. Things that advantaged you before are a drawback, hell they might lead to your outright rejection. And let’s not even get into how expensive it might be just for a social change or the time it takes to learn all those little things people now expect you to just know.

    Wow to go through that and come out the other end. I respect someone who can do that. Even more respect if they can do it can come out sane at the other end.

    If I felt that way about everyone it would cheapen the idea of respect.

    That’s where we seem to do the most harm: when we try to decide for other people who they are and what they “should” be. We make assumptions and then use those assumptions to justify hurting others or just not helping them or denying them support.

    We’ve been over this and I’m too tired. Maybe in the morning.

  34. My head hurts from all this.
    From what I can tell Iphinome has said that they would be polite and use whatever pronoun when dealing with someone and treat them nicely in a public setting. (Paraphrasing of course). Works for me.
    As for granting transfolk the validity of their own point of view about who they are–why would Iphinome have any power over that?
    The whole ‘pregnant man’ thing being lauded to the sky set my teeth on edge but it made not a bit of difference to them if I found it acceptable or not.
    There’s a clash of belief systems concerning genders;sex roles; genitalia; patriarchy; just add to the list. And there are plenty of people involved who act like bullies and assholes and whiners. But I do think the clashes are on the boundaries of society–most people just don’t care until someone makes an issue of it.

    On another note–I enjoyed Allen Steele’s “Arkwright” and highly highly recommend “On The Edge of Gone” by Corinne Duyvis. Tried reading “Joe Steele” by Turtledove but lost interest early. Bounced right off “Welcome to Nightvale” from the start. Am now re-reading “The Draco Tavern” by Larry Niven and “I Blame Dennis Hopper” by Ileana Douglas

  35. Iphinome:

    “You can’t give an attribute of man or woman outside of biology without saying something sexist. You can’t assign a particular attribute to a gender without saying something sexist.”

    I do not agree. Sexism is an act of prejudice and discrimination. Merely accepting a persons gender identity is not sexism.

  36. “The HBSers go away, the brain-sex people rise, admitted autogynphiles like Ann Lawrence say it’s real, trans activist say the whole concept is made up by TERFs.”

    This is incorrect. What trans activists say is that it is insulting to tie transsexuality exclusively to autgynphili like Michael Bailey does. Most acknowledge that this too exists, but that for the majority, it is not only a woman fetish.

  37. This is incorrect. What trans activists say is that it is insulting to tie transsexuality exclusively to autgynphili like Michael Bailey does. Most acknowledge that this too exists, but that for the majority, it is not only a woman fetish.

    Of course it’s insulting to tie transsexualism exclusively to autogynephia. Transsexuals are no more a monolith than trans people as a whole.

    If we’re going to bring Bailey into this, he suggested transsexualism was due to paraphelias but only autogenphelia for the late transitioners, the early ones he suggested were uber-gay or something. If he’d been a contemporary of Harry Benjamin The Man Who Would Be Queen might be an interesting early work from a historic perspective, instead it was a half-assed retread. I understand why Lawrence liked it so much though.

    Hampus Eckerman on June 4, 2016 at 1:39 am said:

    Iphinome:

    “You can’t give an attribute of man or woman outside of biology without saying something sexist. You can’t assign a particular attribute to a gender without saying something sexist.”

    I do not agree. Sexism is an act of prejudice and discrimination. Merely accepting a persons gender identity is not sexism.

    If you can’t name an attribute then continuing on that matter will no longer be productive.

  38. You know, I tried to write out a list of soem of the traits I considered womanly in myself, and I just managed to blank the whole thing unsaved, so frankly, screw trying it again.

    Thing is, Rev. Bob, before he sensibly gave up on this, already noted that there is no one trait that is necessary, and no one trait that is sufficient, but instead gatherings of many traits, which cluster at the ends of the range of humankind. And that is true.

    One of the traits I noted as an aspect of femininity, for instance, is that my visual attributes are more focused on pattern matching, composition, and colour-differentiation than on movement or precision targeting. This is certainly neither necessary nor sufficient, nor is it actually better or worse, but it is present more often in the group of people who identify as female, and thus associated with that group.

    Blue and red are different, and people have made some great efforts to describe the differences, even though each is a wide range and involves some slippery territory and fuzzy edges and traits that, though true of blue as a whole, might be MORE true of one specific shade of red than they are of one specific shade of blue. But it isn’t colourist to say blue and red are different. (The book Red is Best is colourist 😉 . )

    It’s the same with sexism; simply noting that there is a range of gendered traits doesn’t immediately impose sexism. Sexism is imposed when someone starts declaring a trait (Such as say the genitalia one has) MANDATORY to participation in a given group or under a given label, or when a person is punished for lack of it, such as, say, treating someone differently when their genitalia do not match all the ways they present (although until they told you about their genitalia , nobody could tell,..)

  39. One of the traits I noted as an aspect of femininity, for instance, is that my visual attributes are more focused on pattern matching, composition, and colour-differentiation than on movement or precision targeting. This is certainly neither necessary nor sufficient, nor is it actually better or worse, but it is present more often in the group of people who identify as female, and thus associated with that group.

    I’m not sure society actually makes that distinction but we’ll stipulate it for the sake of argument. How is saying women are more focused on pattern matching substantially different from saying Jews are more focused on money? If someone said I’m focused on pattern matching in a list of other things and asked you to guess their identity how much would that figure in? Is a man who’s focused on pattern matching less masculine in your estimation and wouldn’t that be a bad thing to think?

    Is there a good reason to describe pattern matching as feminine rather than neutral? Might society be better off if it were considered neutral?

    Blue and red are different, and people have made some great efforts to describe the differences, even though each is a wide range and involves some slippery territory and fuzzy edges and traits that, though true of blue as a whole, might be MORE true of one specific shade of red than they are of one specific shade of blue.

    You can describe them as wavelengths of light. Size ranges define colors.

    It’s the same with sexism; simply noting that there is a range of gendered traits doesn’t immediately impose sexism.

    Sure it does, you’re denying them to one sex or at the very least saying they’re not typical, not normal. Nonconformity carries stigma.

    Saying, except no stigma if you’re trans isn’t helpful. You’ve replaced conform or face consequences to conform, be trans, or face consequences. If you don’t gender the trait, action, attitude, whatever, you take away the consequences.

  40. And if all marriage had been abolished, than gay people wouldn’t have been discriminated against for not being allowed to get married. Except that gay people WERE discriminated against for not being allowed to get married, and the folks lobbying against marriage, rather than for gay people to be allowed to get married, were complicit in hurting actual people. Because abolishing all marriage was effectively impossible, whereas levelling the playing field by allowing gays to get married was.

  41. No, a man who would be more adept at pattern matching would not be more or less masculine to me, or necessarily to himself; whether he is to others, or for that lovely umbrella “society as a whole”, is not for me to say, though I suspect it would depend on how else he presents as masculine. No aspect either necessary or sufficient in itself, right? It’s one of a list of over 30 traits I mentioned on the spot in the accidentally blanked post, and that was the short list of stuff I could come up with in less than an hour. It’s in actuality, one of hundreds of traits. The list was also intended to be descriptive, not prescriptive. “These features are parts of me I feel are linked to my perception of myself as a woman”, not, and never, “These features are traits a woman should have.”

    To suggest instant stigma assumes a weight of judgement to all possible descriptors, and that is not the case. In fact, that was my point; I was choosing a trait that was among the least likely to carry any aspect of denigration.

    Regardless of your ideal world, you must admit the world you really live in tends to include a majority of people you can immediately and readily identify by gender. When you walk down the street, you WILL, immediately and automatically, note the way a person moves, or the cut of their clothes, or the exact shape of their elbow, and recognize in the majority of cases what gender they are presenting as, and you WILL find yourself especially noting the people where you cannot immediately discern, or where some aspects are outside the norm.

    This is true. Period. This is true whether you approve of male presentation more, approve of female presentation more, approve of genderqueer presentation more, or like/dislike them all. This is true whether you apply a value judgment or whether you simply observe it the way you might observe that those petunias are a shade of fuchsia or that the lilac blooms are already wilting. There is no assumption that a petunia of some other hue is a better, truer, petunia INHERENT in the fact that the petunia you are seeing, right now, is fuchsia. Even if your own tastes run to dark purple, or to lilacs, it doesn’t make you say, “That’s not a real petunia. I must punish it for not conforming to my idea of petunias.”

    I think a certain kind of toned and trim masculine torso build is quite attractive, and appreciate it when I get to see one. I think a certain kind of plusher, softer, taller, masculine build is also attractive. I think a plush feminine build with large breasts is attractive. I also think a certain kind of toned and trim feminine torso build is attractive. I have seen some people who, through having smaller breasts (or a mastectomy, though the majority of those still also present as feminine), larger and less vestigial aureoles, or a particular balance of weight to curves, are gender ambiguous, whose curves and lines I find attractive. I do not at any point fail to notice they are different. At a given moment and depending on any number of other factors, I might temporarily favour a specific one over a specific other, but I do not impose a value judgment of “This male look is better always and for all time, and men must suit this and women must be this, or else.” And all along I am prepared to be surprised by who has which attractive traits in a shape I had previously not thought I would be drawn to (Some of the gender ambiguous ones already did that, but also people of varied weights).

    You seem to think that in the ideal world, I won’t differentiate. I do. I always will. Noticing difference, even gendered difference, doesn’t mean not embracing it all.

    ___________________

    I also keep wondering: I LIKE being a woman. I want to keep that as a part of my identity. In your ideal gender-abolished world, all those punishments you imagine are meted out to those who say they are women but do not conform perfectly to some societal standards, do not go away. Instead, they would be heaped on me simply for saying, “No, I want to be this. I want gender as part of my identity.” You might say they would not, or should not, but everything you say about gender implies that if not you, someone else embracing your ideals would take them in that direction.

    Is that really better? or is it simply piling judgment on a different failure to conform.

  42. @Lis Carey: In point of fact, MZB was very active in her Christian church, on the congregational board of supervisors, or whatever they call it. Which was a great disappointment to many… erm… overly-enthusiastic but not terribly well-rounded twinkly pagan gals when they found out. The readers of this factoid may now appertain any additional meanings they want.

    @Lenora Rose: You say you’re a woman, I believe you. Now, you might have been assigned male at birth and be bottle-feeding the baby you’re wearing in your avatar for all I know or care, but you are a mom. So go on with your baby-snuggling, color-matching, (rest of list omitted) womanly self.

    Wow, it’ll be a dull future world if our current sea-lioner gets their way and we’re ALL devoid of any gender presentation whatsoever, walking around in our futuristic unisex potato sacks. Sounds like a dystopia. I guess some people would like that, but it’s not going to be good for everyone else. Equal does not mean the same. Enforced lack of gender is as bad as enforced physical or social gender. How about just more genders, not fewer? Change your pronoun every day, whatever.

  43. @lurkertype–

    My difficulty in remembering that stems from the fact that I can’t see any of what I see as the positive traits I associate with Christians in her, but, if I steadfastly blot out everything I know about the Breendoggle, and pretend I’ve never learned things that have come out more recently, I can see things that look positive from a twinkly pagan perspective.

    The dismissive portrayal of Guinevere, and only Guinevere among the viewpoint characters, is a contributing factor. It’s so utterly typical of a certain kind of stereotyping of Christians, and doesn’t fit so well with the notion of an author who saw herself as a Christian–particularly as I can’t recall she ever portrayed Christians in a positive light.

    But people are under no obligation to make sense, and my expectations that MZB might are rather lower than the average.

  44. I lost my post. I refreshed the wrong tab and I lost my took two hour to write post.

    I’m going to go cry, the rest of you just… whatever. I’m sure you’ll find some new way to be hurt to the core at the idea of not categorizing something or other as masculine or feminine while at the same time swearing up and down that it has absolutely nothing to do with men or women.

  45. I am very, very happy to not categorize something as masculine or feminine. Will absolutely not be hurt by it.

  46. I do think it is kind of easy. That you accept a persons gender identity does not mean that you have to try to enforce societys gender role on the person.

  47. Iphinome. Since I literally did just that in this same discussion yesterday, I totally understand how that one frustrates and hurts.

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