kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (swiss army gender)
[personal profile] kaberett
[Disclaimer: as ever, I don't speak for everybody, and I most certainly don't speak for all trans* people. This one, though? This one is for me.]

I'm not female.

Nor is my body.

Describing me as "female-bodied" forces dissonance and incongruity: it forces me to dissociate, if only briefly, and there's no real way for it to do anything else.

"Microaggression" doesn't really do that sensation justice.

Of course, we can go more in-depth: we can talk about privileging "biology" over subconscious sex; we can talk about the wide range of characteristics lumped together under "biological sex", not all of which "agree"; we can argue over the primacy of chromosomes (and how very few people know theirs), or over genitalia (and how, unless you live on a nudist colony, you are likely to have first-hand experience of the genitalia of only a very small proportion of the people you regularly interact with), or over hormones (and how easy it is to alter an individual's endocrine system), or over reproductive tracts (and what this means for people who've had surgery); we can talk about the insinuation of the question "but what are you really?"

There is one rule, and it's very simple: use accurate language. If you need to talk about the fact that I have endometriosis, say "person with endometriosis". If you need to talk about the fact that I (currently) have a uterus and ovaries, you can describe me as "a person with ovaries", or a "uterus-owner".

Because that's what I am really.

I'm not female, and neither is my body.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 12:35 am (UTC)
pipisafoat: a Windows error box that says 'canon error' in the title bar with 'apply fanfic' above the "OK" button (canon error (apply fanfic!))
From: [personal profile] pipisafoat
a "uterus-owner"
I wish that meant I could sell mine! because I know some people would like one, but I would like not to have it. seems the best possible solution. (other physical things i would auction off: part of the thickness of my hair, chest size, hip size, the odd-shaped parts of my thumbs (maybe they would average out with someone else's nicely?), part of my metabolism.)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 12:45 am (UTC)
pipisafoat: a typewriter with a sheet of paper sticking out of it with a large heart on it (Default)
From: [personal profile] pipisafoat
My sister has been saying for years that she would like to share my unwanted chest and take some of that pesky metabolism off my hands. From there, it's an easy jump for me to auction off everything. (I should stop complaining about the metabolism. It's starting to slow down finally! I can sleep for eight hours without waking up in the middle of it because of hunger! It's going to be annoying (and really difficult) to adjust eating habits to compensate when it starts to hit a normal range.)

but I can't imagine anyone would want mine either. somewhat less of a problem than yours, but still not pleasant to the owner.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mfb
I'm told there are people who will pay well (and legitimately) for uteruses/ovaries, but i've never been able to figure out exactly how to go about this.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sorrillia
I told you about the Libertarian running for Congress in my district who responded to a question with abortion rights that seemed to amount to "In a Libertarian America, if you don't want to carry your foetus to term, you would be able to sell it to someone who wants it.", right?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mfb
My turn to thank you.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 10:44 pm (UTC)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] tim
*wild applause*

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] footpad.livejournal.com

I'm not sure I agree with this.

I find myself thinking of consensus definitions of gender, and of approximation, and of how most of the categories in our lives are to some extent fuzzy, and of how to some extent it's still constructive to wallop a rubber stamp on something and label it FEMALE. Or MALE.

But does FEMALE apply to you, in any sense which will ever be realistic or useful to me? Probably not. Almost certainly not. If I were a surgeon, maybe; but of course for everyone's sake it's fortunate that I ain't.

Even so, I have to think about it. That may not be the answer you'd ideally prefer but, if nothing else, you compel me to address the question.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-06 11:57 pm (UTC)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] tim
Constructive for whom? Certainly, it serves some people's interests to label others' bodies against their will, but it doesn't serve my interests, or [personal profile] kaberett's, so why should [personal profile] kaberett or I go along with it?

And why would a surgeon need to label somebody's body with a sex or gender (sex is just gender that cis people pretend it's okay to use for misgendering people)?

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-07 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] footpad.livejournal.com
That reads a lot like a comment that was written while annoyed. I'm going to assume that's the case. So:

I am sorry for causing you annoyance. It is not my goal to get up anyone's nose. I know that this stuff is obvious to you, and it must be bloody irritating to have to listen to someone like me not getting it. I accept your annoyance as my due.

The reason why I exposed my prejudice, knowing that it probably was prejudice, is that I guessed I was wrong but I wasn't sure what was right, and I was hoping for critique (and got it). In these circumstances I trust to put up with my goofiness in the interests of helping me educate myself, and I'm very grateful for that because I find it much more effective than just trying to figure it all out in silence. But of course to third parties I'm liable to appear as just an obtuse bigot (even on the off-chance that I'm not). I'll bear that in mind, and make sure my position is clear in future comments. I hope you find that an acceptable compromise.

But by the way:

sex is just gender that cis people pretend it's okay to use for misgendering people

To me, as a more or less representative cis-orthodox-male (in terms of gender identity if not gender preference), that comes across as dangerously close to insulting. I plead guilty to many past counts of misgendering people out of ignorance or innocence, but I invite you to clarify whether you wish to accuse me of wilful prejudice and misclassification.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-07 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] footpad.livejournal.com
(Crud. I borked the markup and now can't fix it. There are supposed to be a few instances of "[personal profile] kaberett" in there, generally around the worst solecisms. Sorry.)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-07 10:52 pm (UTC)
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
From: [personal profile] tim
You appear to be an obtuse bigot, yes, and I'm not nearly as interested in discussing my emotional state as you appear to be. So kindly fuck off.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-07 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] footpad.livejournal.com
That hurt. (No hyperbole or irony.)

But no. In this one thing, in this one command of yours: no, I won't fuck off. Not now, not ever. No matter how much people like you try to repulse me with exactly the insults, the hatred, the dismissal and the abnegation that you so vehemently decry from "people like me", I will remain at war with my own failings and broken social conditioning and my savannah-ape tribalist instincts, and I will keep teaching myself to accept all humans as equally entitled to recognition, without fear or favour, for what they naturally and inherently are.

Including you.

And your reproof also is grist for that mill. I'll be reading and re-reading this exchange tomorrow, mulling it over, doing my best to figure out which bits of it are my fault, and why, and how I can fix them. You don't have to give a fuck for my opinions. But it just so happens that I give a fuck for yours.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-08 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] spirit_level
"I want you to teach me why I'm wrong" is *really* not a good reason to do what you did. For you, this post's comments are a casual learning experience that you can think about or not at your leisure; for me, it's going to mean an extra dose of anxiety medication tonight and weeks or months of staying away from this journal (which is one of a very few online space where I normally feel safe from this sort of thing).

I can only hope the education you got here was worth what I'm paying for it.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-08 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] footpad.livejournal.com
I owe you and several others a profound apology. I am only just now beginning to realise how much offence I have caused.

After this comment (which I post this with [personal profile] kaberett's review and approval), I will refrain from involvement in this and all similar posts until I have K's assurance that I'm competent not to cause damage.

Before I go, I ask only to offer these heartfelt assurances:

* I take this most seriously and with considerable distress, even if that distress does not compare to yours;
* I am especially pained by the damage I have done to your safe space, and I fervently hope that damage will not be lasting;
* For what good intentions are ever worth, my intentions were to be humble and inquisitive; and
* I am deeply sorry.

I leave now.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-07 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] footpad.livejournal.com
Yowch. I guess I got myself into a flamewar. Still jittering.


To the extent (be it infinitesimal or colossal) that I am in fact an o.b., your tolerance is a gift to me. You have been immensely educational to me. My o.b.itude is through you diminished; you help me work on diminishing the world's quotient of it. Thank you and I will try to be worth it.

After much rumination on the topic, I did eeeventually realise I was asking completely the wrong question. So instead of saying "MALE AND FEMALE ARE INDISPENSABLE CATEGORIES ALL MUST COMPLY", I have decided to switch my category-fetishism to the relatively socially-neutral topic of blood groups.

I'm O-positive. I insist on knowing your blood type before we interact further. (Unless you're one of those filthily promiscuous AB-positives... it's common knowledge that they'll take it from anyone. Shameful, I tell you, shameful.)


kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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