Social Justice and Activism
thought we could use a catch-all thread for discussion on feminism, sexuality, gender, and other hot controversial topics of today, because it's definitely something i'm interested in talking about. but because this subject can be volatile, i'm just gonna start off with this:

(08-23-2012, 12:39 AM)Feyrah Wrote: 1. Please try to keep a nice tone, or at least a subjective [sic] one towards things and other members. Don't be rude to each other.

(08-23-2012, 12:39 AM)Feyrah Wrote: 2. Do not discriminate anyone because of their race, gender, sexuality, religion or culture or for any other reason.

yeah so uh
basic issues i guess, y'all know this stuff. you're on the internet, after all. you've all seen tumblr.

to be honest the only reason i am opening this thread right now is because i just read this blog post and enjoyed it a lot. if you have the time, i think it makes a lot of good points about transgenderism, coming out, and feminism, and is worth at least a skim.

my biggest questions at the moment are:
where is the line drawn between being reasonable and being bigoted/[identity]phobic?
what is the best, most productive way to communicate with extremists?
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not a ship
I'm quite open when it comes to transgenderism, coming out, LGBT movement, what have you, but a lot of it is often misinterpreted or blown out of proportion. That sounds vague, but it's pretty much the only thing I can really say because crossing the line is different for different people.

And I'm not sure there's a good way to communicate a message to extremists. They're fueled on this "us vs. them" mindset. From the outside looking in, they seem insane, but from the inside looking in, it's us that are insane. I don't think you can communicate much unless you become an extremist or at the very least understand their ideas.

"do not burn the candle at both ends, as it leads to the life of a hairdresser."
for the most part i am supportive of people who are trans*, queer, whatever terms you'd like to use. i do my best to use the correct pronouns and names, but i think there is a point where an identity becomes so obscure and meaningless that it is not worth trying to follow or go along with.

i'm not too worried about offending anyone here, i think as long as you're civil you should be fine posting whatever questions or opinions you have. sometimes offending people is necessary in order for sides to understand each other better.

personally i think needing to define characters by their gender/sex/etc identities is pretty shallow. if you are able to better relate to a character because of your headcanon about their gender, that's fine, that's perfectly okay. but thinking that a character is better because they don't fit on the normal gender/sexuality spectrum isn't right. it's a petty label and says little to nothing about the character itself. so, generally, i look down on blogs like that, that focus on LGBT headcanons. on principle, they aren't bad, but they often attract the sort of people who are willing to warp a character in order to suit their agenda, which i do not agree with.

my confusion/questions are most specifically about gender. i don't really understand how people identify as one gender or another, or what it feels like to take pride in being male, female, or non-binary. i don't understand why it matters to people.
but beyond that, and to be even more specific, especially when it comes to crossing the line between being bigoted and reasonable, what about genders like these?
many of the genders in that list are, by definition, not genders. many are ways of behavior or personality. and some are self-centered ("Egogender: a gender that is so personal to your experience that it can only be described as 'you'"), hypocritical ("Adamasgender: a gender which refuses to be categorized"), or just flat-out nonsensical ("Ambonec: identifying as both man and woman, yet neither at the same time")

and what makes something masculine or feminine? what does it mean to identify as "a nonbinary gender which is feminine in nature"? what is the difference between that and being female?
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not a ship
I believe that masculinity and femininity are defined by how we were taught what is male and what is female. I mean, at baby showers, the color pink is usually used in decoration to signal that the baby is a girl. Blue, a boy. We teach children that darker colors are more masculine, like blue and green and red. More feminine colors are considered pink and purple.

There are such things as feminine faces, which are faces that seem less on edge, softer, if you will. There is clothing to divide men and women. Dresses are typically a feminine thing, and pants masculine. When looking at a person, one can typically tell if that person is male or female by reading facial cues, looking at their clothing, etc.

To answer your other question: I'm not sure. I think it's kind of like saying you're bisexual with a preference to males. I think they mean to say that they're not completely non-binary, because they still have a hint of femininity in them? That's the best way I'm able to interpret it.

And about the LGBT headcanons: I don't know if it's people seeing a character as they are or telling themselves (and the rest of Tumblr) that a character has seen improvement because they think they are this way. So basically what you said. I think it's just people who can't accept that a lot of these characters aren't this way. I mean, Stanford Pines probably isn't bisexual, demiromantic, polyamorous and identifies as agender (or a demiguy, meaning you only identify partially as male). I feel like that's too much to assign to one character.
"do not burn the candle at both ends, as it leads to the life of a hairdresser."
okay--i suppose my questions are geared more towards those who are trying to erode the idea of masculinity/femininity while still supporting identities that contribute to gender stereotypes. if, in an ideal world, people can act however they want without being judged by how well they fit as fe/male, is there even a need for the ideas of gender?
i guess here the questions would trail into dysphoria and whether or not it is a necessary part of identifying with gender. i think it is. even if you get rid of all associations of dolls/pink/slim=female and guns/green/bulky=male, there would still be people who were dysphoric in their own bodies. but i'm speaking as someone who isn't fond of thinking that certain activities/traits are inherently masculine or feminine.

personally, i would be okay with getting rid of associations of certain interests/traits as being masculine or feminine. if gender was reduced to mean simply what you had between your legs, i would be okay with that. but i have never really understood what others meant about "feeling" male or female (especially on a deeper level, i.e. actually a defining trait of one's identity), so i'm probably biased here.

the comparison of partial agender-ness to bisexuality is good, thank ya
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not a ship
I don't like SJW's most of the time. Like...I had one literally tell me I should be offended when someone calls me a faggot. Who gives them the right to tell me I HAVE to be offended? lol It doesn't bother me.
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yeah i generally am not fond of attitudes like that: no one is obligated to be offended by anyone, and it's really presumptuous to assume that you're so morally sound that you know where the line is drawn when it comes to what is and isn't universally offensive. not to mention people who try to censor "offensive" content from everywhere when there are audiences who would benefit from hearing it. i really don't think anyone's sense of humor/sexuality/interests should define whether or not someone is a bad person, and it bothers me a lot when i see anyone calling someone "disgusting" or a terrible person because of something that shallow.
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not a ship
discussion on sexism in the synch (Click to View)
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^I agree with the points in that. I'll likely forget it in the morning, but I'll stay up late with it turning over over in my head, me just eventually deciding to treat people like people, and not give a shit about race/gender/orientation/whatever, like I always try to do.
My favorite scene Remember- EVERYTHING is a conspiracy! I'm keeping: the infinity sided die, the gyphon from DD&mD, Dippy Fresh's Corpse, and *Mabel's Gummy Worm Video*
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The idea that gender is a spectrum is a new gender prison.
it's an okay article. i didn't read the whole thing, but i agreed with this part (i italicized the parts i liked best):

Quote:To call oneself non-binary is in fact to create a new false binary

If gender is a spectrum, that means it’s a continuum between two extremes, and everyone is located somewhere along that continuum. I assume the two ends of the spectrum are masculinity and femininity. Is there anything else that they could possibly be? Once we realise this, it becomes clear that everybody is non-binary, because absolutely nobody is pure masculinity or pure femininity. Of course, some people will be closer to one end of the spectrum, while others will be more ambiguous and float around the centre. But even the most conventionally feminine person will demonstrate some characteristics that we associate with masculinity, and vice versa.

I would be happy with this implication, because despite possessing female biology and calling myself a woman, I do not consider myself a two-dimensional gender stereotype. I am not an ideal manifestation of the essence of womanhood, and so I am non-binary. Just like everybody else. However, those who describe themselves as non-binary are unlikely to be satisfied with this conclusion, as their identity as ‘non-binary person’ depends upon the existence of a much larger group of so-called binary ‘cisgender’ people, people who are incapable of being outside the arbitrary masculine/feminine genders dictated by society.

overall i think the article is missing the point of some things, and really oversimplifies gender, but i don't understand it well enough myself to be able to articulate why i get this vibe from it. i don't take issue with a lot of the specific points being brought up, but as a whole piece, it doesn't really work for me in a way i can't explain.

the paragraph about agender was interesting, and i had a lot of questions about it.
Quote:A handful of individuals are apparently permitted to opt out of the spectrum altogether by declaring themselves ‘agender’, saying that they feel neither masculine nor feminine, and don’t have any internal experience of gender. We are not given any explanation as to why some people are able to refuse to define their personality in gendered terms while others are not, but one thing that is clear about the self-designation as ‘agender’: we cannot all do it, for the same reasons we cannot all call ourselves non-binary. If we were all to deny that we have an innate, essential gender identity, then the label ‘agender’ would become redundant, as lacking in gender would be a universal trait. Agender can be defined only against gender. Those who define themselves and their identity by their lack of gender must therefore be committed to the view that most people do have an innate, essential gender but that, for some reason, they do not.

so, i have never experienced any pride, or really any strong feelings, for anything gender-related. i don't have a preference about which pronouns people use for me, and i don't know what it's like to feel masculine or feminine, or to identify as any gender. it's just not something i have ever experienced. i don't consider myself agender because i have no issue with being associated with my biological sex, and classifying myself as anything unusual just seems like way too much hassle for something i don't have any feelings about besides confusion and curiosity.

the only hesitance or reluctance i've felt gender-wise was fear of contributing to or being associated with stereotypes, which is part of why i am much more in favor of breaking down gender standards than adding new genders. because creating more genders only reinforces that the existing ones are closed, defined roles for people to take part in--that the standard genders are not enough, that they're too limited for the scope of a real human personality.
i think this is accurate, but i don't think the solution is adding more genders. all that does is build new rules for people to define themselves by. i think a large issue at the moment is how people are trying to use gender as part of their identity, as an indicator of their personality, when really the goal should be to remove or minimize stereotypes in gender. gender should not be a determining factor in what a person is perceived as personality-wise. there are way too many people with unique personalities, all demanding unique genders, for this to be at all in control. instead let gender define who you are externally, the same way you would describe your race or hair color. eliminate the confusion about whether or not you, as a member of whatever specific gender you are, fit into that definition. remove the standards of being male/female/nb, break them down entirely, so that you can leave defining your personality to how you act, think, and feel--not to what your gender is.

Quote:The solution to an oppressive system that puts people into pink and blue boxes is not to create more and more boxes that are any colour but blue or pink. The solution is to tear down the boxes altogether.

personality and identity cannot be summed up as the single trait of gender, and it's silly to place such emphasis on a single trait like this.

this is all just my opinion though and i do want to talk about this so please let me know what you think, i am sure i missed a lot of viewpoints and details.
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