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  • Showing only topics with the tag "gender". Back to normal view
    1. How rigid/fluid is your gender and/or sexuality?

      The following questions are aimed at gender identity, gender expression, romantic orientation, and/or sexual orientation. To cut down on wordiness, all the questions below will just say...

      The following questions are aimed at gender identity, gender expression, romantic orientation, and/or sexual orientation. To cut down on wordiness, all the questions below will just say "identity", but know that I'm asking about any and all of the different parts that make up our gendered, romantic, and sexual selves.

      You don't necessarily need to answer regarding all axes or focuses: choose the ones most salient or meaningful to you and your experiences. Furthermore, these questions are open to all, including people who don't identify as LGBT.

      • How would you describe the rigidity/fluidity of your identity or its different parts?
      • Do you experience short-term changes in your identity?
      • Have you experienced long-term changes in your identity?
      • Does your identity have any elements that are unchanging long-term?
      • How does the fluidity/rigidity of your identity affect you? Are there advantages? Disadvantages?
      • Are you certain in your identity right now, or is it unclear to you at the moment?
      • If you are certain, do you think that certainty will persist, or might things change in the future?
      • If you are uncertain, do you think a more definite identity will coalesce for you at some point?

      As always, the questions are just jumping off points and don't need to be treated like a quiz. Also, just to be clear, I am asking this purely out of curiosity and am in no way trying to assert that a more rigid/fluid identity is better/worse. Likewise, I'm not trying to cast judgment on anyone still questioning or engaging in self-discovery. Your process and your identity are valid wherever you're at and however you feel. I'm simply interested to hear what your experiences are, whoever you are.

      27 votes
    2. I think I have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the concept of being transgendered works. Clarifications would be helpful.

      So I've been wrestling with this idea for a long time. I get that the idea behind being transgendered* is that you don't feel like you were born into a body of the correct sex. You were born male...

      So I've been wrestling with this idea for a long time.

      I get that the idea behind being transgendered* is that you don't feel like you were born into a body of the correct sex. You were born male but feel like a woman, or you were born female but feel like a man, and all that. That part I get. I obviously don't "get it" at the level that someone who has that issue would get it, but I know how wonky the mind can be and it doesn't strike me as too hard to believe that this is a thing that happens.

      Simultaneously, I see that people of a more progressive mindset are enthusiastic about eliminating gender norms and stereotypes. Women aren't constrained to the kitchen, and men are perfectly fine being stay-at-home dads. All of this I vehemently agree with.

      However, I notice a very foundational contradiction when I read or hear about how transgendered people came to realize that they identify as the opposite gender. Pretty much all of the time, I hear them say things like, "I was born a male, but I always enjoyed playing with dolls and wearing dresses," or, "I was born a female, but I always enjoyed rough-housing and trucks," or whatever. Granted, I don't frequently seek these stories out, but whenever I come across them, they follow that general format.

      What I don't understand is how you can believe that gender norms are completely arbitrary while simultaneously using those norms as evidence that you were born into the wrong sex. It seems to me that believing in the superficiality of gender norms should automatically render the concept of being transgendered redundant. After all, if being a man or woman isn't determined by the things society socializes us to believe, how would you possibly have any indication that your body has the wrong sex? What would having the "wrong sex" even mean if gender norms are disregarded? If being a man or woman isn't determined by your actions or preferences in life, what left is there to define the genders except your biological sex?

      Surely there must be a concept or aspect to this whole thing that I'm missing, because it's hard to believe that such a widespread and vocal social movement has been made out of such a paradox. If anyone has some clarifying information, I'd appreciate it.

      *I know "transgendered" isn't the preferred term, but it's clear in meaning and the preferred term is just going to change again soon anyway. So no offense meant by using it.

      EDIT: It has since been made known to me that "transgender" itself suffices as an adjective, so my terminology was off on a grammatical basis. For posterity, though, I'll leave the submission as-is.

      15 votes
    3. On the matter of calling a child "they"

      I thought about posting this as a comment in the other active pronoun conversation but I didn't want to derail it with a tangent. For starters I should make it clear I believe honoring someone's...

      I thought about posting this as a comment in the other active pronoun conversation but I didn't want to derail it with a tangent. For starters I should make it clear I believe honoring someone's pronoun preferences is a matter of basic decency and respect. Conversely, insisting on using a different word when you know someone doesn't like it is, frankly, a jerk move. It's being antagonistic for no good reason.

      That said, an acquaintance recently informed me that her 4-year-old prefers to use the pronoun "they." I have to admit something about this situation doesn't sit right with me. I'm also the parent of a 4-year-old, and it's clear to me that kids that age aren't developmentally equipped to make an informed decision about gender identity.

      I can't help but feel like the parents are putting words in their kid's mouth, projecting a non-binary assumption onto a minor who lacks the cognitive and emotional maturity to manage it in any meaningful way. Saddling a preschooler with that kind of baggage just strikes me as irresponsible parenting.

      I'm not saying there should be some kind of hard-line age of consent, just that four is too young. One ought to be far enough along developmentally to come to one's own conclusions about pronouns and gender presentation.

      Apologies if I'm strawmanning, but I guess the argument could be made that all kids should be referred to as "they" — by default — until they reach an appropriate age to choose their own gender identities. I can sympathize with that as a goal, but it strikes me as unrealistic. I don't think society would ever be able to attain that kind of widespread change.

      I'm curious what my fellow tilders think about this subject. (FWIW, I am referring to this kid as "they" and keeping my objections to myself, apart from this discussion.)

      11 votes