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Author Topic: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot  (Read 2896 times)

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Offline Shadow879

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2013, 05:28:22 PM »
*takes Louise's hand*

Lol now you guys are in music, and I can't follow any of that :P

All right, back at a proper computer. This passage here is awfully revealing, Ack Arg... and it doesn't cast you in a very good light, I'm afraid. You're speaking from a position of massive privilege. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it's invisible to you; perhaps this is the first social justice issue you've ever seriously thought about.

It's not about fun. It's not about celebrating ambiguity. It's not about muddying the English language. It's not about being special. It's about real people, a large percentage of whom experience not just offense, but real psychological distress, at being trapped in the wrong body and perceived as something they're not. This hurts a number of people, and drives a terrifyingly high suicide rate among trans* people. And that's without getting into the outright violence that is enabled and occasionally condoned by a society fixed on binary gender. It's about letting these people have even a chance at going about their lives without constantly being made to feel other, less, unwelcome, and unsafe. And for the record, no, the offended are not a 'minority within a minority'. In my experience, I'm in the minority in that I only occasionally get mildly annoyed by being misgendered.

In fact, I'll go a step further - it's about not being special. It's about being able to feel the same comfort and confidence in one's identity, and in society's acceptance of that, that you so clearly take for granted every day. It's also a bit about raising visibility and understanding, so that maybe someday being trans* won't be a special case worthy of shunning, harassment, legal action, violence, and death. It's about trying to, as you so eloquently put it, just be people in a society that will actually allow that to happen.

Ephiral, you said it better than I ever could :)




I wonder if he'll be back?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2013, 05:52:11 PM »
Ephiral, you said it better than I ever could :)

I wonder if he'll be back?
*blush* Thanks. I wasn't sure I'd struck quite the right note, so it's good to know this landed with someone. And honestly? I hope so. I always kinda hope that people like that can come to actual understanding, and maybe even become allies.

Offline Azrael

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2013, 06:08:26 PM »
At the end of the day it is no great hardship to identify people the way they want to be identified, we have learnt enough words for the world (most of us...) a few more pronouns is a simple enough thing to learn that will make other people feel much better about themselves.  And it does make a big difference, I am transgender and being referred to as 'her' is great.  Sometimes my friends forget, especially the friends I have known all my life, because it is a habit.  that is fine, I don't get offended by that at all.  I know people take a strong visual cue, and I look male, so they assume 'he' which is fair enough.  Interestingly with that visual element taken out, in online conversations 99 times out of a hundred people assume I am female.  What is offensive is when someone deliberately and knowing uses the wrong pronoun.  I have legally changed my name, and a friend's ex, with whom I have never gotten along, insists on using my old name and male pronouns on the rare occasions I have bumped into them.

There is a case for a reduction in terms in certain situations, personally I would like to see all jobs have a single title, we don't need police men and police women, we just need a single term because their job is the point of the title, not their private lives.  On the other hand in social settings for example I think it is good to embrace variety, it is after all the spice of life.  People are fascinating, they do and think amazing things, why restrict that in any way?

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2013, 06:46:32 PM »


Well, once again we're not making good distinctions. If i can't point out that friends ought to be people that have responsibilities beyond reaffirming what you think and esteeming you for what you do without being assumed to be trying to imply... hold on, what was it?

So what you're telling me is that hanging out with people who accept me for who I am and call me "she" as I ask them to instead of saying, "No, you're a boy, because you have a penis" even though I am transitioning to female is unhealthy?  It's not a "free pass," it's acceptance, and decency. I interpreted your statement as implying that my transitioning to female is just a fantasy.

The functional reality here is that because I don't have a liege tag I don't get any benefit of the doubt as to what my views are and I'm definitely not allowed seperate my personal views from a reasonable arguement. Not that I've said them, I've had personal views assigned to me.

I'm a bigot because someone said I'm a bigot. I can't even suggest there is a population of people that do not accept a premise and have reasons for doing so. Not even for the very practical purpose of pointing out the consequences of insisting on radical changes to public language.

I'm the cis guy, the hetero guy, what comes out of mouth is suspect. If I'm not on board with the pronouns... well we know why don't we? I think that's a great demonstration of the use of label.

All right, back at a proper computer. This passage here is awfully revealing, Ack Arg... and it doesn't cast you in a very good light, I'm afraid. You're speaking from a position of massive privilege. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume it's invisible to you; perhaps this is the first social justice issue you've ever seriously thought about...

...In fact, I'll go a step further - it's about not being special. It's about being able to feel the same comfort and confidence in one's identity, and in society's acceptance of that, that you so clearly take for granted every day. It's also a bit about raising visibility and understanding, so that maybe someday being trans* won't be a special case worthy of shunning, harassment, legal action, violence, and death. It's about trying to, as you so eloquently put it, just be people in a society that will actually allow that to happen.

I think this is quite s bit like giving a fraud the benefit of the doubt by saying they're not a liar, they're merely an idiot.

As it happens white heterosexual men as a population are not free of anxiety by default. We can talk about that but I don't get the impression we're having a real conversation here.

I can spell out some of these things in long form but what I suspect I'd be doing defending it my intellect, not enlightening anyone. Even so, I do enjoy hearing myself talk and might just indulge myself there.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2013, 06:54:21 PM »

Well, once again we're not making good distinctions. If i can't point out that friends ought to be people that have responsibilities beyond reaffirming what you think and esteeming you for what you do without being assumed to be trying to imply... hold on, what was it?

The functional reality here is that because I don't have a liege tag I don't get any benefit of the doubt as to what my views are and I'm definitely not allowed seperate my personal views from a reasonable arguement. Not that I've said them, I've had personal views assigned to me.

I'm a bigot because someone said I'm a bigot. I can't even suggest there is a population of people that do not accept a premise and have reasons for doing so. Not even for the very practical purpose of pointing out the consequences of insisting on radical changes to public language.

I'm the cis guy, the hetero guy, what comes out of mouth is suspect. If I'm not on board with the pronouns... well we know why don't we? I think that's a great demonstration of the use of label.

I think this is quite s bit like giving a fraud the benefit of the doubt by saying they're not a liar, they're merely an idiot.

As it happens white heterosexual men as a population are not free of anxiety by default. We can talk about that but I don't get the impression we're having a real conversation here.

I can spell out some of these things in long form but what I suspect I'd be doing defending it my intellect, not enlightening anyone. Even so, I do enjoy hearing myself talk and might just indulge myself there.

I do honestly feel you're doing various people who have posted in this thread a disservice here.  I'm white, "cishet", etc.  Able bodied too.  And free from all but the least crippling mental illnesses.  But I haven't found my views minimised or stereeotype-ised (its a word) at all.  Now, maybe Im just dense and haven't spotted people laughing up their sleeves at me, sure thats possible. 

But I think what is happening is...well, have you heard a phrase "check your privilege?"  What I think people are saying is that its very easy to look around and say "hmmm, the world looks peachy to me, dont see the issue" and forget that what you're saying is "the world looks peachy from where I'm stood" not "the world objectively is peachy."  Does that make any sense?

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2013, 06:59:55 PM »
Ack, I see your argument about the pronouns. You object to the use of the labels because you find them constricting and limiting, whether you're a straight man comfortable in his gender and sexuality or a transman uncomfortable about being bi. You like the more fluid aspect of not defining things directly, leaving room for more variety. At least, that's what I've been seeing in your posts, I think.

But I don't necessarily find labels harmful or constricting. I find that they help for easy identification and understanding. What I find limiting, and this seems to be what you're complaining about, are stereotypes, base and incorrect assumptions about certain labels. You seem to think we're stereotyping cisgendered individuals, but we're not. We're merely talking about a society that is predominantly cisgendered, a fact that can't be avoided, and therefore considering the issue of alternative gender pronouns and viability in such a society. You disagree with the usage and viability of altenative gender pronouns. Understood.

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2013, 07:09:38 PM »
Eph, you might want to take a step or two back and calm down, all right? Re-enter the discussion in a little while.

EDIT: Ack, might be a good idea if you did the same.

Offline Top Cat

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2013, 07:10:30 PM »
I think you may be carrying a bit of a chip on your shoulder there, Ack Arg. I'm hetero, and I'm not getting the antagonism you seem to feel you're receiving.

Quote
The functional reality here is that because I don't have a liege tag I don't get any benefit of the doubt as to what my views are and I'm definitely not allowed seperate my personal views from a reasonable arguement.
This alone is flat-out false.

Quote
Not that I've said them, I've had personal views assigned to me.
At least some of your opinion can be inferred from how you're approaching the subject. If someone is making incorrect assumptions about you, it's on you to correct and clarify, not just stomp around and claim people don't understand you.

Quote
If i can't point out that friends ought to be people that have responsibilities beyond reaffirming what you think and esteeming you for what you do without being assumed to be trying to imply... hold on, what was it?
Well, you either seem to be assuming the worst here, or you're deliberately skewing the discussion. Friends can accept who you are without trying to force you into societal norms. If your friends are constantly trying to change you to fit their preconceptions about the world, they're not very good friends. That goes double for partners. That doesn't mean that your friends can't tell you when you're being an idiot about something, or tell you off when you need to be told off.

But someone's self-perception isn't typically something up for debate. I'm heterosexual. If I had a gay friend who tried to insist that there truly aren't any heterosexual people, that everyone was some shade of bisexual, odds are good he wouldn't remain a friend for very long - particularly if his reason for arguing that was to try to get in my pants.

This goes for any self-perception issue, not just gender/sexual ones. I'm a furry, for example. I had one friend who didn't understand and didn't appreciate furry culture at all. But he accepted that I was a furry, and accepted that perhaps he just couldn't understand it, because he had no interest in it. If, on the other hand, he had started banging a furries-are-perverts drum, instead of trying to understand the appeal, he wouldn't have remained my friend.

I have lesbian friends. I have a genderfluid friend (and note, I'm making a distinction between friends and acquaintances here. I speak to both regularly, and the genderfluid friend is now on E). I'm not threatened by their self-perceptions, and I'm not interested in trying to make them fit into a heterosexual or bisexual "box," because that's not who they are.

Edit:
Ack, I see your argument about the pronouns. You object to the use of the labels because you find them constricting and limiting, whether you're a straight man comfortable in his gender and sexuality or a transman uncomfortable about being bi. You like the more fluid aspect of not defining things directly, leaving room for more variety. At least, that's what I've been seeing in your posts, I think.

But I don't necessarily find labels harmful or constricting. I find that they help for easy identification and understanding. What I find limiting, and this seems to be what you're complaining about, are stereotypes, base and incorrect assumptions about certain labels. You seem to think we're stereotyping cisgendered individuals, but we're not. We're merely talking about a society that is predominantly cisgendered, a fact that can't be avoided, and therefore considering the issue of alternative gender pronouns and viability in such a society. You disagree with the usage and viability of altenative gender pronouns. Understood.
I see no harm in the self-application of alternative gender pronouns, but as I've said before, I think that widespread usage and adoption might lead to some aggressive (violent) tribalism toward alternate-gendered individuals, that they might not have had otherwise. However, the biggest problem that we have here is that we can't do social experiments in a controlled test bed - we can only do it live, and any changes we make would probably suffer from the law of unintended consequences.

English is a finicky bitch of a language, thanks to its centuries of robbing from other languages. Start small; if it's a change worth making, it'll ripple out naturally.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2013, 07:11:22 PM »
Eph, you might want to take a step or two back and calm down, all right? Re-enter the discussion in a little while.

EDIT: Ack, might be a good idea if you did the same.
...thanks. I appreciate this.

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2013, 07:13:55 PM »
Edit: I see no harm in the self-application of alternative gender pronouns, but as I've said before, I think that widespread usage and adoption might lead to some aggressive (violent) tribalism toward alternate-gendered individuals, that they might not have had otherwise. However, the biggest problem that we have here is that we can't do social experiments in a controlled test bed - we can only do it live, and any changes we make would probably suffer from the law of unintended consequences.

English is a finicky bitch of a language, thanks to its centuries of robbing from other languages. Start small; if it's a change worth making, it'll ripple out naturally.

I'll take some time to contemplate this. You bring up a valid issue and point. And yes, legitimate social experiments with this are essentially impossible.

As an English teacher, I agree that English is finicky indeed.

Offline Azrael

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #60 on: March 19, 2013, 07:22:54 PM »
English is a finicky language, but then the world is a finicky place, not everything needs to be or can be simplified.  There certainly is a point about not creating gaps and divisions, but then I also think that some people just pick on others because they want to, or because they can.  They might do it because of a different pronoun but then they might do it because you wear glasses, or support a different sports team.  Everyone is so different already that I wouldn't personally worry about a little bit more.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #61 on: March 19, 2013, 07:40:08 PM »
The functional reality here is that because I don't have a liege tag I don't get any benefit of the doubt as to what my views are and I'm definitely not allowed seperate my personal views from a reasonable arguement. Not that I've said them, I've had personal views assigned to me.

I'm a bigot because someone said I'm a bigot. I can't even suggest there is a population of people that do not accept a premise and have reasons for doing so. Not even for the very practical purpose of pointing out the consequences of insisting on radical changes to public language.

I'm the cis guy, the hetero guy, what comes out of mouth is suspect. If I'm not on board with the pronouns... well we know why don't we? I think that's a great demonstration of the use of label.

I think this is quite s bit like giving a fraud the benefit of the doubt by saying they're not a liar, they're merely an idiot.

As it happens white heterosexual men as a population are not free of anxiety by default. We can talk about that but I don't get the impression we're having a real conversation here

It might do to understand why the liege tag was created.

The final straw was a member joining who was genetically (46 XX/46 XY, phenotypically ('physically' - as in they had, and were born with, both a penis and a vagina), and mentally intersexed.

At that point I just couldn't ignore it any longer. I put it off for a lot longer than I should have, simply because, even among trans and intersexed populations, most do have a preferred gender. Some ten percent of Elliquiy's population is in some way non gender-normative, and this includes people who may not actually be aware of it (Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome and XX Male syndrome, for example). The Liege tag is more of a message to others telling them that they are not alone.

You are entitled to your own opinions, but facts are shared amongst all. The truth of the matter is, no matter how much you might like to have clean divisions, there is no such thing.

The more important truth is - these people are still people, and their problems are still problems. They are real, regardless of whether or not you want to admit that they are real.

Do heterosexual, cisgender white males have problems in society that we shouldn't have? Certainly. But the non-normative groups generally have it worse, and there is no group more discriminated against than those of non-normative gender.

And it's not to say we can't say anything. I've never seen much pushback against my reasoning for keeping with male/female/other for gender selection - I tried making a list of different genders, gave up at thirty. I tend not to use hir/shi/etc. either, instead call them by their preferred gender or, if genderless, them/their/they/etc. a number of truly genderless people generally don't care, as long as you avoid 'it'.

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #62 on: March 19, 2013, 07:45:53 PM »
*cheers for Vekseid's post*

And Top Cat, when I find some decent (or tolerable) sources, I might have thought of something regarding your point. I'll get around to posting it when I have it passably written and organized.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #63 on: March 19, 2013, 07:49:08 PM »
All right, trying this again, and let's see if I can keep it short and sweet:

Ack Arg, nobody here is saying that your concerns are illegitimate (though they are expressed very poorly in some cases). Nobody is saying that your opinion doesn't matter or is automatically suspect because you're a cis white hetero man. What we are saying is that you're concerned about comfort, while trans* people are concerned about justice and safety. I hope you can understand that the two are not equivalent.

(Also, when you claim that other people said things they did not (things that you said!), while complaining that people are assigning statements and positions to you? That makes what you say suspect. This is very disingenuous, and provably false. If you want to be taken at face value and in good faith, this might not be the best road to go down.)

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #64 on: March 19, 2013, 08:31:12 PM »




1) Not against the liege tag. Hope I didn't give that impression.

2) Not speaking from emotion here. Tempted to actually take the bigot position for my own amusement but I think it would give folks too much satisfaction to do so.

3) I don't see how you saying I'm concerned about comfort while transexuals are categorically concerned about justice and safety is supposed to make me take you seriously.


Anything else?

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #65 on: March 19, 2013, 08:46:00 PM »
2) Not speaking from emotion here. Tempted to actually take the bigot position for my own amusement but I think it would give folks too much satisfaction to do so.

It wouldn't satisfy anyone, so don't.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2013, 09:02:54 PM »
3) I don't see how you saying I'm concerned about comfort while transexuals are categorically concerned about justice and safety is supposed to make me take you seriously.
...because your rights aren't being denied; your objection seems to be based solely on your discomfort/percieved inability to communicate with third-gender pronouns. Trans* people, on the other hand, have to worry about real psychological and physical harm, a lot of which is facilitated by their invisibility in mainstream society. Are you really saying that you expect to be beaten or killed because you won't use alt pronouns? Or do you think trans* people are making that part up? I really don't see how you can possibly consider your concerns equivalent if you don't hold one of these positions.

Offline Top Cat

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #67 on: March 19, 2013, 09:13:45 PM »
For the record, Vekseid, I actually adore the Liege tag. Here, at, Elliquiy, it matters. Tribalistic bullshit ("Othering") isn't tolerated, so the tag is purely a positive sense of identity for many (10%? Wow). That's what people need - to feel comfortable, welcome, as themselves. And this site does a terrific job at that. My genderfluid friend was ecstatic at being able to be a Liege.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #68 on: March 19, 2013, 09:16:21 PM »
For the record, Vekseid, I actually adore the Liege tag. Here, at, Elliquiy, it matters. Tribalistic bullshit ("Othering") isn't tolerated, so the tag is purely a positive sense of identity for many (10%? Wow). That's what people need - to feel comfortable, welcome, as themselves. And this site does a terrific job at that. My genderfluid friend was ecstatic at being able to be a Liege.
Your friend isn't the only one. For some of us, this is the first place we've ever felt comfortable just being completely out from day one. And I, for one, am forever appreciative that E's community and staff go to such great lengths to make that true.

And yeah, 10%? That's... wow. I wonder if E's community drives that number up, because my gut says it's way high for the population at large.

Offline Ack Arg

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #69 on: March 19, 2013, 09:18:26 PM »

Ephiral:
This isn't personal. It's not about your interest group versus my interest group. Call it corporatism or tribalism or or whatever you like, it's not interesting to me.


It wouldn't satisfy anyone, so don't.

Yup. If I can't make a joke I'm clearly in the wrong thread.

'Scuse me folks.

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #70 on: March 19, 2013, 09:19:44 PM »
E is the first place I've known to offer that and as I've been more involved in E, I've adored that it's there. Mind you I'm Cis, so the tag is of no use to me, but nevertheless I've always found it to be neat, then growing into being something that was actually pretty awesome. E's always been inclusive for all walks of life, with sole exception of assholes, but that isn't a complaint you'll hear from me. I always thought it fit a great purpose and to be fair, I don't even really pay attention to those tags other than taking a cursory glance at someone and gaining surface information about them.

Ephiral:
This isn't personal. It's not about your interest group versus my interest group. Call it corporatism or tribalism or or whatever you like, it's not interesting to me.

Not to be rude, then why are you in this thread that is going to cover this particular interest group?

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #71 on: March 19, 2013, 09:22:24 PM »
Yup. If I can't make a joke I'm clearly in the wrong thread.

'Scuse me folks.

You can joke. I'm fine with that. You can't joke about taking a bigoted position just to amuse yourself. That's not what this thread is for, and that's suspiciously close to trolling. So no, you can't do that. This is a serious discussion. Please take it seriously or exit the discussion.

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #72 on: March 19, 2013, 09:24:18 PM »
Your friend isn't the only one. For some of us, this is the first place we've ever felt comfortable just being completely out from day one. And I, for one, am forever appreciative that E's community and staff go to such great lengths to make that true.

And yeah, 10%? That's... wow. I wonder if E's community drives that number up, because my gut says it's way high for the population at large.

I'm betting it does a bit. Like you said, people are comfortable being out from day 1...far more so than they're going to be for the census and poll-takers...

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #73 on: March 19, 2013, 09:25:37 PM »
Ephiral:
This isn't personal. It's not about your interest group versus my interest group. Call it corporatism or tribalism or or whatever you like, it's not interesting to me.
When your entire argument is that our concerns aren't worthy of even basic civility because you find it awkward? Yes, yes it is. Claiming otherwise is just baldly false.


Yup. If I can't make a joke I'm clearly in the wrong thread.

'Scuse me folks.
You'll find that people get sensitive when you "joke" about how they're unworthy of basic civility and completely dismiss their civil rights concerns. Funny, that.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Alternative Gender Pronouns: The Reboot
« Reply #74 on: March 19, 2013, 09:32:21 PM »
For the record, Vekseid, I actually adore the Liege tag. Here, at, Elliquiy, it matters. Tribalistic bullshit ("Othering") isn't tolerated, so the tag is purely a positive sense of identity for many (10%? Wow). That's what people need - to feel comfortable, welcome, as themselves. And this site does a terrific job at that. My genderfluid friend was ecstatic at being able to be a Liege.

Most don't use the Liege tag. Most non-normatives don't advertise their status, and some aren't even aware of it. My estimate of Elliquiy's population demographics is, by necessity, pretty rough, but a statistical extrapolation suggests about 10%. I wouldn't expand this to the general population, of course, for obvious reasons, but there are a lot more non-normative people out there than even transgenders seem to realize.