Friday, August 19, 2022

Gender Mind Bender -- UPDATED

From a school-teacher friend:

Just got my student roster for the fall. 46 high school seniors. The school counselor sent a spreadsheet with preferred pronouns. 10 of them are marked "them/them"; 2 more are marked "still figuring it out." There are also preferred names, with two of them noted "DO NOT use this name in front of parents." What is going on here -- a quarter of kids are conflicted on gender issues? I don't know what to make of it. Gonna be an interesting semester. 

Meanwhile, this guy says he uses they/them even though he also says he is cisgender. (Huh?) 

And, of course, every cute guy on Instagram who's ever painted his nails is now gender fluid. But I'm sure glad this totally isn't a fad!

UPDATE: It's come to my attention that some people who purport to be progressive think anyone dismissive of the nonbinary trend is somehow hung up on pronouns. Wrong. The issue is what does it actually mean to feel like you're nonbinary? To “not feel like a man or a woman”? To feel like both? Or to flow from feeling like one to the other? The answer is a bunch of gender stereotypes that we have been fighting against forever, gender stereotypes that do actual harm to people (ever heard of toxic masculinity?) and are something we really don’t need to be reinforcing. Unless you’re trans, the gender you are was decided when your mom’s egg was fertilized. (If you're going to bring up the 0.018% of the population who is intersex to try to win this non-argument, please stay away from me forever.) How you choose to express being male or female is entirely up to you. (Androgyny has always been a thing. Butch women and fem men have always been a thing. I'm sorry if your need to feel special is so staggering, but it's all been said and done before. Trust me, you'll live.) So instead of trying to bully society -- let alone scientists -- into pretending there’s no such thing as biology, not to mention reality, people claiming to be nonbinary (or genderqueer, or gender fluid) should instead try to get people to accept whatever kind of man or woman they choose to be. Gay people and trans people are doing it, and so can they/them.

That not enough for you? How about how nonbinary people are actually doing serious harm to the trans community.


demc7 said...

what state is this teacher friend from? Recent research shows gender identity issues are higher in liberal/blue states than red.

Matthew said...

Why isn't it just like how there were "no gays" until gay visibility happened? Maybe people aren't getting the idea so much as being allowed to have it, and I don't think gender ID exploration is as damaging or negative as banning it — which so many teachers and kids are having to deal with. Also, if there are more non-binary or questioning kids in blue states, might it not be due to them feeling less likely to get the shit kicked out of them if they speak up? The study the commenter refers to points out that there are 3% in New York vs. .6% in Wyoming. What kid is going to risk saying they're non-binary in WYOMING?

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

@Matthew: The difference is there IS such a thing as a gay person!

Stephen said...

Just use their name and avoid the pronoun issue.

James said...

I always wondered why it's so important to define what your 3rd person pronoun is, since the ones you're most likely to hear are your 1st person pronoun (I/me) and 2nd person pronoun (you/you). When people refer to you in the 3rd person (he/she/him/her/ze/zim/whatever) you are generally not present, aren't you?

JimmyD said...

I don’t care what pronouns you prefer. I will never understand the mix of he/them (or variations of a singular and plural pronoun).
However, if I’m just meeting you, and we’ll probably never meet again, and you full on present as a very solid gender (feminine body, long, styled hair, feminine make up) and I refer to you as she/her… don’t get your fucking panties in a twist and snap at me, “IT’S THEY!!” This happened to me several months ago at Schmackary’s in Hells Kitchen. THEY could have been discreet or, better yet, let it go. I just said, “Gee, as a gay man, I didn’t mean to offend you. I guess I won’t buy 2 dozen cookies here today.”
THEIR manager heard me a gave me my purchase for free. I haven’t seen THEM there since.
I wonder if THEY are still using the same pronouns, or if, like many, THEY change them every so often.
I’ll respect it if you’re not an asshole about it.

Michael Getty said...

Counterpoint: We have failed this generation in so many ways (climate, inequality, not to mention all the guns), who are we to complain if they carve out a little space of their own?

Lee4rdg said...

Perfectly said, Kenneth! If we’re going to insist people respect science with Covid and vaccine issues, then we have to insist people respect science when it comes to biology.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

9Michael Getty: Not a bad counterpoint.

Young moms have been failed for the reasons you started. Maybe we should also carve out some space for those who refuse to vaccinate their children for fear of autism.

Ari R. said...

Also... instant boner killer. Nico Tortorella. He used to make me crazy but now I just can't. It's all just so tedious and needs to stop.