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The Polite Ask Anything About Gender & Sexuality Thread

 
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:32 pm    Post subject: The Polite Ask Anything About Gender & Sexuality Thread Reply with quote

If you want to ask about gender & sexuality and don't want to worry about tripping over your words or being belittled, feel free to ask here. Just one rule: Be polite at all times.

(No guarantees you will get answers.)
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TERMS

Here are some lists of terms. Some might end up being problematic, but at least this way, you'll recognize them when you see them.

First, the GLAAD media reference guide. Handy to pass on to reporters, newspapers, and students when they use bad terms:
http://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender
That is pretty much as standard a list of gender terms as you're likely to get.

http://genderqueerid.com/gq-terms
http://anagnori.tumblr.com/post/72143410400/glossary-of-transgender-non-binary-and
http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2013/01/a-comprehensive-list-of-lgbtq-term-definitions/
https://internationalspectrum.umich.edu/life/definitions
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALLY STUFF

Resources to be better allies

Ally quiz: http://juliepagano.com/blog/2014/02/26/bad-ally-quiz/

Stuff you shouldn't say: http://thoughtcatalog.com/parker-marie-molloy/2013/10/the-19-things-bad-allies-say/
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i wracked my brain thinking of the most controversial gender related question i have pondered recently and the current best is:

"buried underneath a century of terrible evolutionary psychology and the drowning nonsense of the people who use it to feed their confirmation biases, is there any promising work being done into isolating potential elements of actual gender essentialism, however this could actually be controlled for in a study?"
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting question. I don't recall seeing any studies like this. Will let you know if I find any.
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Pineapple



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why do gendered pronouns, especially when used with relation to myself, make me so uncomfortable
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Draculaura



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that sounds like a sign of dysphoria. do you ID outside of the binary
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience, it's hard to figure that out with some experimentation. Have you using other pronouns?
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that actually brings up something i have noticed in that most cis people like myself are not really equipped to understand why the misgendering/gendering at all thing is such a HUGE DEAL. to the uninitiated, the sturm and drang about someone using the wrong gender seems like a completely hyperinflated concern and your first tendency is to say 'can't you just deal with it?'

but if you talk to enough people about misgendering and how it impacts them, it quickly becomes evident how much of a huge deal it actually is! this part is often hard to transmit to a general audience but it can really hit someone hard, almost psychologically like a slur would.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it wouldn't be as huge a deal if it didn't get used the way it does by so many people. If it was just folks messing up and not also people saying, "I'm just gonna insert my opinion all over the place here by deciding things about what you are called."

Where trouble really comes is in the reaction. Misgendering is bad, and misgendering happens. You can try and avoid misgendering at all costs, but it's still possible you'll do it. So it's best to just accept "That came out of my mouth," and then try and be as graceful as possible when dealing with the results.

If it helps, though, trans people misgender each other as well. And it's very hard not to launch into theories about why it happened then, because it feels much more awkward. But I think it's like any kind of 'Freudian slip' - something brains just do because they are glitchy.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I have a feeling that this might be off, but how do we overcome the crappiness of how the human brain works? I mean our cognitive biases, are inherent tendency towards efficiency (or laziness, depending), etc. I direct your attention to this set of videos (there's also a podcast of this) talking about how and why we stereotype and take mental shortcuts.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no guaranteed fix, but practicing in your off time is a pretty safe bet. For example, if you have a friend who goes by certain pronouns and you are talking to someone else about them when that person isn't there - use the pronouns. It makes mistakes less likely, because then it becomes second nature to use them.

You can also try to shift the laziness so that it's more useful. Try switching from "Default is heterosexual/cisgender. Some alternatives exist" to "Everyone is weird, so I will use general language until someone tells me something specific." For instance, once upon a time, I imagined that literally every person around me was trans. That shifted my perspective entirely.

Another shortcut is to keep it all on you, and to talk openly about the weird things brains do. If you let people know straight off that you have trouble with remembering names, pronouns, etc, and you talk about the shortcuts your brain takes - that'll make things a whole lot smoother. It shows you are trying, and if you are honest about it, you'll pick up good advice on eliminating as much of the source of problems as possible.

Another thing to keep in mind is that trans people also have to work hard to get this stuff right. Someone who has gotten to the point where they are lecturing you on stuff has already gone through the process of upending their world view & getting rid of their internalized transphobia. Shift your anger to the shit you were taught and the people who decided to perpetuate problematic stuff, and you will find a big point of empathy with that person.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
You can also try to shift the laziness so that it's more useful. Try switching from "Default is heterosexual/cisgender. Some alternatives exist" to "Everyone is weird, so I will use general language until someone tells me something specific." For instance, once upon a time, I imagined that literally every person around me was trans. That shifted my perspective entirely.


I actually meant how do we do this as a whole, widespread societal sort of thing.

I've been actually to do a lot of this stuff, but I REALLY like the idea I emboldened.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, that makes sense. I think it's a lot of little things, and people continuing to push for better language to be used. If we can at least all start agreeing that the current language is inadequate, then it's just a question of what language should be used.


In other news, I've been chatting with a friend whose education includes doing scientific surveys. So we have been talking about doing some surveys about the age gap and other stuff we've talked about here. I've got some high hopes for it!

Probably not going to work on it until mid or late April. Will definitely pass them around here if we do get around to doing this.
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