okay, several questions have been floated at me regarding wot i fink about gender issues, etc. and i figured well i do have the word "genderless" on my sidebar so i ought to at least explain what i mean by that rather than spit a tumblresque EDUCATE YOURSELF SHITLORD at you and be done with it. by the way when i was first learning the ins and outs back in like 2004 that really was the recommended way to deal with strangers, friends and family asking you questions. It's not my problem to educate you about this, it's yours, fuck off and google it!

first up just so we can get the basics out of the way: i'm not talking about biological sex here. i have XX sex chromosomes, normal female secondary sex characteristics, no chest hair here. i'm not denying that this here meatshell is a female-type one rather than any theoretical "neutral" type (i dunno, like a genetically modified construct shell or something.) i'm on about gender, as in, the social roles expected of men and women respectively. this is what people mean when they throw around "gender is a social construct" - they mean there's no brain difference between men and women that makes us behave in "masculine" or "feminine" ways, just differences in our upbringings and culture. (some people are using it wrong because they confuse gender with sex, but w/ev.) i'm of this opinion too, which makes me very unpopular with some people who are invested in the concept of having been born with a "male brain" or a "female brain" for whatever reason. [there's some cool recent neurological research relevant here also.]

having got that out of the way, i have no problem whatsoever with people who are fine with their gender or the concept in general. if you wanna behave in line with the social role you're prescribed and the ways you're expected to behave, you do dah. same if you wanna take on the other role cause you identify deeply with that gender. i don't think doing these things makes you "wrong" or "a bad person" or "oppressive" or whatever. i'm just one of the people that doesn't like either one. for this reason, i'm not a transman, as some people assumed (which is pretty strange honestly because i have tig ol' bitties that i don't try to hide and i wear bungloads of makeup and stuff, i'm not sure where you'd get the idea i was uncomfortable with a female body / considered myself a man unless it was "you do man things like coding and biohacking, you must really be a man" which is... er, a faulty conclusion with flawed premises, let's say.) sometimes expressing this set of opinions and preferences over and over is a bitch so i just go with the associated labels, which would largely be "agender" or "genderless". it's the same reason i refer to myself with "it" pronouns.

speaking of these, i really honestly will not get my arse in a tangle if you don't use them. some people don't like neutral pronouns. some people find "it" to be dehumanising and would rather say "they". some people think the whole thing is stupid and will refer to me with female language cause of my obvious physical sex, and so will strangers who have no idea about what kind of thing i prefer. this is fine! it's just something i do to make myself feel better. i massively appreciate the people who do use the same language i do, but this is pretty much going (very far) out of your way to alter your normal writing methods as a kindness to me, so i'm not asking you all to. you don't have to worry if you see a text that talks about me "misgendering" me (that is, using different language than i prefer). it's not going to upset me or set anything bad going in my head. in fact, i don't google myself and will likely never see it.

hopefully that more or less straightens people's questions/concerns out? hit the comments if not.



Anonymous said...

2004? I was twice that age by the time I realized that I'm agender. Although I am completely neutral if people call me she, he, or it, explaining this is a major pain in the arse, so no one really knows.

Brian McEvoy said...

Glad to hear you're not uptight about it. I've been corrected for using gendered pronouns when referring to you and I've corrected people.
I like the idea especially as it relates to transhumanism and it drives home the point that intelligence is what matters, not the fleshy covering.

Anonymous said...

You are awesome. I like your attitude regarding pronouns and gender. My dad is trans and in the "I have a female brain" camp, which causes some irritation because gender essentialism. I understand why the religious right can't handle how someone presents themself unless it's somehow rooted immutably in their biology. I don't quite understand why it should be necessary for anyone else to need to justify their preferences in such terms, outside of trying to make themselves acceptable to such people.

Maybe we'll see less of it when/if the religious right fades into irrelevance. Fingers crossed on that one.

Brian McEvoy said...

Religion isn't the problem, horrible people are the problem.
I'm catholic, and I have been my whole life, yet I would rather sit next to you and your trans father in church than some of the priests I've met. A couple of my gay friends have sought out good churches and been very happy.
All I'm asking is that you don't draw a hard line when it comes to religion, judge the people as people not the institution. If they don't return the favor, fuck 'em!
I agree with everything else you said and I hope you meet more people who aren't jerks.

anonym said...

Great article.

Anonymous said...

Lepht, you should get in touch with these folks at the University of Michigan and see if they need any guineas.. ;^]


@decalresponds From Twitter..

Unknown said...

Its an odd coincidence. Most of the genderless people I know are in the biohacking community, myself included.

Sroyle said...

It's not really all that odd Unknown. Start thinking of the body as a machine to be hacked and it seems to me that it's really easy to let Gender fall away. Quite frankly, the whole concept smacks of fundamental attribution error to me.

"This human has boy parts, he must have deeply ingrained boyness rather than just having one or two physical differences."

Once you stop thinking of people holistically and start thinking about them in a manner that biohacking requires....

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