What is it like to feel gender?

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3 years 4 months ago #355366 by
Replied by on topic What is it like to feel gender?
Yes? I'm not sure how it could not be, at least in part. As I mentioned in a earlier post on this thread, sometimes cultures have opposing ideas of masculinity.

If you're asking if I understand the masculinity of another through the parts that appeal to me, no. Your presentation of your gender and your relation to it are something I can understand best by understanding who you are as a whole. What you choose to show me and how are up to you, and I do my best to understand it as it was meant. Like conversation itself.

Many people have likened gender to a conversation. Many also liken it to a performance, with the world as the audience. And yet it is also a deep internal sense. So gender is simulteneously felt and expressed.

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3 years 4 months ago #355370 by rugadd
Is it accurate for one to say that trends can be witnessed concerning gender, but specifics must have the freedom to define themselves? Meaning, one should not judge a persons gender based only on societal norms compared to their outward appearance and instead, allow that information to be vacant until defined by the individual?

rugadd

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3 years 4 months ago #355371 by rugadd
Would it be reasonable to assume unless otherwise notified based on outward appearance?

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3 years 4 months ago #355381 by
Replied by on topic What is it like to feel gender?
If one's goal is to be as kind and open as possible to the individuals you meet on a daily basis, it is wise to retrain oneself to avoid gendered identifiers in conversation until you know someone and have had a chance to ask their pronouns.

That said, it is also not an expectation at this time. Even gender nonconforming individuals in our culture have to learn how others experience gender. You see how easily this conversation of self-discovery branched out in a group that previously assumed everyone to be cisgender men and women. (Cisgender folks are those whose gender identity assigned gender at birth are one and the same.) So too, most people who have just discovered that they are not cisgender have little former knowledge of other people's relationship to gender or how to navigate the pronoun issue with a stranger. So if you are trying to be inclusive and understanding, most gender nonconforming people will pick up on the effort you are making, and they will try to be gentle in their corrections in return.

The above feels slightly clumsy, so a personal example. I work with the public, in huge crowd sizes. I used to often say, "ladies and gentlemen." To include other genders, I can make an extra effort. Saying, "ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else," I will immediately cause strife with those who dislike the idea of any more than the two genders they are accustomed to. If I say, "welcome everyone" "hello folks" or may I have your attention please," I evade notice of those who are disinclined to be open to the idea, but create a space that feels welcoming and inviting to all genders. The consistency with which I manage it shows how strongly I am dedicated to understanding and accepting my LGBT friends. The more I practice it, the more natural it becomes, and the fewer mistakes I make.

The same is true of my personal interactions with strangers in these crowds. When I describe someone, I tend to take a more clothing-based approach. After all, it's one of the identifiers an individual has usually chosen for themselves. I listen for how people describe themselves and others in their group. And I try to keep myself using gender neutral terms when I can. I do still make mistakes, after all I've got a few decades of programming to deal with, like the rest of us here. But the effort is always noticed by the people who really need it, and I have had many people open up to me as the first person they felt comfortable trusting if I was able to use only gender neutral terms consistently while speaking to them.

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3 years 4 months ago #355383 by Rex
Replied by Rex on topic What is it like to feel gender?
Dumb semi-tangential question, but how is folx different from folks?
I get that it's apparently more lgbt... friendly, but how?

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3 years 4 months ago - 3 years 4 months ago #355385 by
Replied by on topic What is it like to feel gender?
If anything using folx instead of folks is more of a personal choice and identifier. Like how Jewish folks might write G-d instead of god, but they don't expect others to do it. Anyone that sees it from within the culture knows instantly the cultural associations and that the writer is connected to a specific community. It is never expected of an ally. So it's less of a "I'm LGBT friendly" flag and more of a "I'm queer, and I am comfortable with you knowing that" flag.

Edit: Keep in mind, queer people have historically needed to find each other under the noses of those who would hurt them. So recognizing a cultural identifier that is used in the community is not an indication that it is wise to out someone to everyone else. You never know when you might discover someone else has transphobic attitudes, so until you know for certain that a person is comfortable being outed, any conversation one has had with another should be considered private for safety's sake.
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3 years 4 months ago - 3 years 4 months ago #355399 by Adder

rugadd wrote: Neat ideas, but basically, you don't know either?


What else do we have to discuss beyond personal experiences? And how does one tell where the line is drawn between ideas and personal experiences to assert worth to the idea. Better to challenge the idea if you can than appeal to the likelihood of false authority IMO.

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3 years 4 months ago #355406 by
Replied by on topic What is it like to feel gender?
So you would rather we each discuss only our own personal experience, rather than the variety of personal experiences that exist? What would that achieve other than the drowning out of minority experiences?

If we were to speak of what it is like to know which is your dominant hand, and the entire thread was full of people sharing what it is like to be right handed, should not someone share what their left-handed and ambidextrous friends have told them about what it feels like to have those experiences? It wasn't too long ago, right handedness was considered natural and correct, but in a conversation about dominant hands we still have a duty to include the minorities. If I am the only person speaking up for the minorities in a conversation on gender, consider that there may be others here who fear rejection too much to speak for themselves. It's a statistical improbability for them not to be here and notice the acceptance or lack thereof on this thread.

You speak of false authority, yet you wish to challenge ideas while you offer no knowledge of the experiences of others outside the experience of yourself and speculation with your experience as that basis. If you think you have never met a trans person, consider how statistically unlikely that is and the possible reasons that they may have had for not opening up to you about such things.

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3 years 4 months ago #355419 by Rosalyn J
For this week I have been looking for inexpensive (free) means to educate myself on aspects of gender. I have found some for those of us (in a general sense) who ask "well if you don't tell us, how will we learn?"

As I said, these are free:
Gender and Sexuality: Applications in Society: https://www.classcentral.com/course/edx-gender-and-sexuality-applications-in-society-12333
Gender and Intersectionality: https://www.classcentral.com/course/edx-gender-and-intersectionality-19311
Doing Gender and Why it Matters: https://www.classcentral.com/course/edx-doing-gender-and-why-it-matters-13325
Gender Equality and Sexual Diversity: https://www.classcentral.com/course/udemy-gender-equality-and-sexual-diversity-7323

I have not taken any of these courses but I plan to. Knowing that, I don't know if they are any good. I'm just exploring I encourage all who want to, to join me on this adventure.

Further, if you have studied gender and you want to, if you want to drop some resources here for continued education, please do

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3 years 4 months ago #355422 by Edan
I'd like to add this website as a good place to find resources:

Stonewall https://www.stonewall.org.uk/get-involved/stonewall-research

It won't let me have a blank signature ...
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