Monthly Archives: February 2013

Answers

I’m on the internet.

Right now I could go on google and type in whatever stupid, frivolous question I could think of, and I’d almost definitely get an answer. Anything, from how to fix virtually every computer problem I’ve ever had to what to have for breakfast. I can look up how to draw a dog’s nose or find fifty thousand pictures of cat skeletons. I can look for rainbow cat socks or reviews of chest binders or movesets for baby electric spider pokemon. Really, just, endless trivial shit.

But right now, it’s that time of night where all of my energy is gone, and all of my composure and my willpower, where I’m exhausted enough to just go to sleep, and then depression steps up. Like it’s a routine. Go through the day and feel okay and then at night everything falls apart and crumbles. And depression takes over. And I’m exhausted, and I can’t sleep, because my mind is spinning circles around itself, tearing itself down, tearing down the world around it, and there’s so little I can do to quiet it down, to make it let me sleep. 

And eventually after my brain has gone and devastated its surroundings it lets me sleep, once it’s gotten what it wants and terrorized me enough for the night. And I sleep, and in the morning everything is all built back up.

But every next night, everything is torn down a little more, and every next morning, everything is built back up a little less. Every day I’m going through my life with the world just a little bit shabbier than it was the day before, and then that night my brain takes that day that was just a little worse than usual and makes that night that much more hell, so that my next day has a little bit more hell too. And logically I know that if things keep getting just a little worse, if things just keep getting a little more broken down, eventually there will be a day when everything is gone and there’s nothing left to break down and nothing being built back up by the morning.

And I won’t know what to do then. I don’t know what to do now.

 

I could look up the answers to so many things, I could find the answer to any trivial question I have in mind. but there’s one thing that there isn’t an answer for. It’s what I’m supposed to do, how I’m supposed to keep going on, how I do keep going on, how every night can feel like too much to bear, and yet it keeps ending up as The Night Before, because then I’m on to Tonight and that’s the worst, that’s the worst it’s ever been, and I don’t know how I keep going. And then Tonight becomes Last Night and somehow it just keeps going. I just don’t understand. Why, I understand why. I understand why the worst night of my life happens every night and yet still turns into an average morning and a normal day, because no matter how much it hurts the clock keeps ticking and the hours eventually ascend into the morning and I finally catch a moment of enough quiet to sleep. I understand the Why. But the How. I don’t understand the How. I don’t understand how the clock keeps ticking, and how the world keeps turning, and how I keep going- not how emotionally or logically I decide to keep going, but how I do physically. How there’s so much hurting and endless unbearability, and I don’t just overload, and shut down completely. I just don’t understand, and I just don’t know. I don’t know how.

And I don’t know what to do. And there’s nobody who can tell me.

Gender Neutral Pronouns, part two.

(warning: transphobic language)

They still suck.

I’ve been thinking more about why, though, besides completely failing at neutrality.

The thing is, one of the go-to ways to insult trans people (particularly women) is to refer to them with a bizarre slurring of gender nouns and pronouns. There’s “shim”, she and him combined. Shemale, she and male. 30 rock likes to remind me why I never watch the show with “Shman” (she and man). Then there’s he-she which doesn’t even bother slurring two words together.

 

So we’ve pretty much got a precedent of “slurring two gendered words together = transphobic slur.”

Can anyone explain to me how, while combining she and him together to form “shim” is a bigoted way to refer to trans people, combining her and him to for “hir” is a totally legit way to refer to nonbinary trans people?

Seriously? Anyone? While taking into consideration that the whole pronoun slurring thing was meant to be insulting by telling binary trans people that they’re neither male nor female, but some weird unnatural middle ground?

Really. I’m just, not keen on the fact that “the” nonbinary pronouns follow the exact same format of a type of transphobic insult that derives its insulting aspect from first saying that nonbinary people are unnatural middleground freaks, and then comparing binary trans people to us, the unnatural middleground freaks.**

We basically saw the transphobes create a word structure saying “YOU ARE AN UNNATURAL SLURRING TOGETHER OF THE REAL GENDERS IN THIS WORLD” to binary trans people, and nonbinary trans people stood up and said “HEY WAIT, YOU’VE GOT THE WRONG TRANS PEOPLE, WE’RE THE UNNATURAL SLURRING TOGETHER OF THE REAL GENDERS!”

And then I’m wondering how reclamation factored into this. Assuming that hir and shim are pretty much identical save for the specific pronouns used and the ease of pronunciation (I’m pretty sure transphobes would have used hir if it wasn’t so clunky), then they’re both anti-trans slurs. Therefor they shouldn’t be used… except in reclamation. But you have to be the affected group to reclaim a slur, and not just a similar group (which is why trans women can reclaim “tranny”, but trans men would edge towards appropriative to do so since it mostly isn’t used against them).

So either binary trans people reclaimed “hir”, and then… handed it off to nonbinary trans people? Or nonbinary trans people appropriated the act of slurring together two genders to make a word.

Or perhaps, on the day that whoever it was who first invented ze and hir got down to inventing hir, they totally forgot that the way they formed their progressive new trans-friendly pronouns was transphobic as fuck.

(Or the person who invented hir was just a feminist and wasn’t even thinking of trans people and just wanted a shorter way to say his/her and maybe didn’t even give a shit about actual trans people)

So possibly appropriative, possibly naive, possibly left-over table scraps.

Either way, hir: Making me damned uncomfortable at its existence and level of acceptance since forever.

 

Now spivak again.

I’ve been thinking some more on this, on why it isn’t used as much as it should be. It probably mostly is a bunch of people going “Well gee, I like spivak and think hir is shit, so I’m going to not use it.”

So I’m going to start using spivak. Not for myself, because I still like “he” best. But everyone else, you all  get to be em and emself and eir and all that from now on.

On gender neutral pronouns

They suck.

 

Now, I don’t mean that as any disrespect for those who use them, either for gender neutrality towards those with genders they don’t know, or as personal pronouns for themselves. I actually have a ton of respect for those people because they are seriously necessary for any acceptance of nonbinarism to happen, and I also envy those nonbinary people  who feel comfortable using the typically accepted gender neutral pronouns because… they have typically accepted pronouns (and I do not).

But the words themselves. The words suck. And that is why I alternate she/he pronouns, because I like that better, even if it leads to confusion. 

And, now, part of that is just me. I hate a lot of words and think that they suck for no reason. For example, the word chair is fucking awful. So my opinion is… not the best.

But besides my random hate of random words, gender neutral pronouns (or at least the common ones) are terrible. Because they’re terrible at their job.

The most common pronouns are Ze/Hir, and they are my least favorite save for Humanist, and nobody uses Humanist because everyone agrees that it is awful.

Anyways.

The thing about Hir? Pronounce it. Either you’re winding up with “her”, or you’re forcing your mouth into making a heeer sound on a part of speech that is usually pronounced effortlessly… which leads into people just saying “her”, whether intentionally, or because they don’t know the pronunciation, or because their words are slurring into that because keeping yourself from doing so is hard.

But aside from that, Hir also just makes me sad because it looks like you took him and her and threw them in a blender and called it neutral. And I don’t like my gender being equated with a haphazard slurring together of the binary genders. Which makes it feel like they’re considered the “real”  genders. And that’s insulting to someone who at least considers himself to kind of be a slurring together of binary genders, whether as being bigender or androgynous or… whatever. But if I identified as third gender, I’d probably be pretty annoyed to still just be considered a slurring together of the two I wanted to be considered separate from. Honestly, the only difference I feel between hir and he/she as pronouns are that usually, people using the former are acknowledging that nonbinary people exist. Usually.

Now, I do like Ze, because instead of a random combination of the letters from the “real” pronouns, it just follows the form of the pre-existing pronouns, making it feel less like a rough combination and more of a continuation of a series, as a nonbinary pronoun should be.

Ve/Ver/Vis has a similar set of problems with being actually neutral, but it comes combined with the fact that I can’t for the life of me keep straight in my head when to use Ver and when to use Vis… and on top of that, they’re even more clearly just binary pronouns that have been slightly changed.

And then there’s Spivak- E/Ey/Em/Eir/Emself/Emselves

It’s just Them without the Th-.

It’s actually neutral and not impossible to pronounce, but sadly nobody uses it. I don’t understand why. I would use it, except nobody uses it so I won’t.

 

Which is actually why gender neutral pronouns suck. Because for some reason we’ve already decided on a group of gender neutral pronouns and somehow we picked the worst ones, and now switching is hard.

 

The moral of this story is that I’m lazy and implacable and please just let me use he and sometimes she without asking if that means I’m really male or really female or whatever.

 

 

This post was better in my mind, I should go to sleep.

How to do surveys right

So I’m going to write about homestuck and social justice again.

MSPA just released a user survey, and I went to take it because I needed a homestuck fix and 12 new pages is not enough.

And then I got greeted by the best possible thing ever and I am just so happy and giddy and wonderful feeling right now.

And that thing was this;

“What Gender Do You Identify With *

Examples: Female, Male, Genderqueer, or Whatever you feel comfortable identifying with.”
 
here’s the thing.
 
90% of the time when I have to put down my gender, I have to choose Female because that’s my only option besides Male.
9% of the other times, I can choose other or “prefer not to say”. I can be an Other, which is better than having to just go with Female, which is… really invalidating. Like being Genderqueer is a frivolous hobby or something but when it comes time to be a real serious person, I need to pick my clearly Real Gender. At least picking Other doesn’t do that… but it’s pretty much the most straightforward example of othering you can get.
 
(and then I have to deal with the idea that there’s a good chance that the people making the survey don’t actually know that Genderqueer people exist, and they only include Other because they think that’s where binary trans people go, or to include the intersex people that didn’t get mutilated into a binary gender, or… they don’t actually know and think it’s some “PC gone MAD!” thing.)
 
But then there’s the 1% of times (Read; Only this time, ever.) That my actual gender is actually up there. I mean, yes, it’s an open ended box- but an open ended box could have easily been a copout. “I don’t know how to list genders correctly so I won’t list any at all”. But then the survey maker proved that no, it wasn’t that copout, by explicitly expressing that they understood that genderqueer people existed, and went so far as to let us know that we were an option
 
 
And it’s really, really nice.
 
Because honestly. Identifying as genderqueer kind of sucks (not that I regret it, or expected it to not suck, but it does). Because you’re not just asserting that you’re a different gender than you’ve always been perceived as, but that you’re a gender that the other person probably doesn’t even know exists, much less acknowledges as real. And even in the most social justicey circles… people aren’t perfect, because they’re trying to still reconcile your identity with their still possibly very limited understanding of it, and you get the “sooo you’re a trans man/trans woman/trans man lite/trans woman lite/still female/still male” or “You use x pronoun so you’re x gender?”  or just the treatment of genderqueerness as something new and exotic. And it all screams “THIS IS TOO DIFFERENT AND NOT AS REAL” even by people explicitly telling you the opposite.
 
But when your gender is just included, alongside Male and Female, not as an other or an afterthought… it doesn’t have any of that othering subtext. And it is refreshing. So remarkably refreshing.