dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Category: A TALE OF TWO GENDERS

The dudes are in the House – it’s the shit! – No, really, it’s pretty shit!!

I just came across this article: Vaginagate: Michigan Lawmaker Silenced For Saying Vagina

My thoughts:

Though everyone’s body is personal, one can’t avoid having bodies become political. In order to practice legislation on our bodies, this is a relevant and necessary experience. It can be helpful when it comes to deciding if we want to become an organ donor or who decides to shut off life support if we are not able to make that decision for ourselves. Legislation is supposed to help us facilitate life and make difficult choices, and codify behaviour into law so that it can be applied to all of us.

Usually when we sign a form, we decide that we agree with what’s written on it, it’s our decision to have an operation or to take medication. Medical staff are able to talk to us about our situation in a professional way using medical terms and without being embarassed about our bodies.

But medical staff do not decide on legislation, it’s politicians. They don’t have the know-how that a doctor has, they don’t have the experience that a patient has. Yet they will decide on the patient’s fate by legislating their political ideas, by putting their theories into practice. How do they decide what’s to be done?

The problems with the debate about what can be done to our bodies is most outrageously exemplified in regard to the debate about abortion and contraception. It’s so ridiculous, because these ‘specialists’ spit out ideas about women’s bodies when they themselves do not possess one. They can’t even name parts of our anatomy that is relevant in this debate, because these are ‘ugly words’. Because it’s not pretty and they are shamed by saying these terms, though why they are so embarassed about a word is an enigma, when they are not embarassed by other ugly things.

Yet they know exactly that abortion is wrong, and believe they have the right to impregnate women and then force them to keep the baby. Impreganting a human being and possibly creating new life that will then suffer the same fate of existing in a hostile world is easy and apparently THE thing to do, while talking about sexual organs using proper medical terms is not allowed. Having sex (reproducing) is exceptionally normal but saying a word to do with reproductive organs is dirty?

Which mental asylum have these politicians escaped from? How can they make judgments about a body that is not their own and not even has the same anatomical make-up as theirs, without being able to talk about it, without recognising its existence as a proper body? By infantilising/patronising the word vagina, they have facilitated its mental colonisation, they have encouraged thinking that supports the idea that women can’t make decisions abuot these organs because they are juvenile, the organs themselves are juvenile and because the ones posessing them are just vessels, they have no right to make informed and autonomous decisions.

Every one of these law-makers have been born from a woman’s body. They have or have had mothers. What do they call their mothers? Will it be the next swearword? Do any of them have the guts to hold their mother down and force her to have unprotected sex and then watching her giving birth?

No, but they support just that. They sit in a well-lit, airated room full of the scent of righteousness and pride, while women all over the world only smell the foul stink of bodily emissions and hospital beds.

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Tell me what gender you are, and I tell you how fuckable you are

 

 

“…But you’re still female, you were born as female?”

“(???) I am female-assigned-at-birth…”

“Ahh, I see…”

 

(script colour: burnt orange)

 

poor little darling

man knows pain

the love of man

man finds out what attraction is

 

man knows what love is

 

back to work, I mean, Kindergarten part II

Needless to say I was stunned and disappointed at my male (and some female) colleagues. I was also somewhat disappointed at myself, for playing the role of the Neutral (which is a useful protecive strategy of sorts). I didn’t get mixed up in the debate and justified my not speaking up for my colleague’s rights by mentioning that I did not know the circumstances, didn’t realise what behaviour was going on and was too new at the workplace to be legitimately able to speak up.

It’s true, I was really new at the workplace and hadn’t even seen the supervisor that often and he never even came close to me. But I feel like a coward for not supporting K. more and standing by her side and communicating my disgust with fellow co-workers.

Indeed, I am also treading a slim line between being mistreated or being part of the group. Everyday I struggle to assert my identity using only the words and phrases at my disposal. If I cater to the females in the group, I will be considered a female (like them), and thus ‘the enemy’, if I cater to the males I run the risk of (a) being considered one of them, albeit a faulty one, since my body speaks volumes about my ‘alien-ness’, even with having my breasts removed, or (b) just another female who uses male tactics to try and belong and therefore I might evoke hostility if not utter disgust for trying to be part of the club.

I am disappointed at people at work and at myself for being so cowardly and selfish and full of shit.

While I try as hard as I possibly can to not get involved in anything and stay on the sidelines, I am being just as irresponsible as my co-workers, who are oh so accepting of my gender, because they call me Dominic. When it comes to real life, important matters, and gender equality, however, they fail miserably to live up to their words. Their actions are, in fact, almost the exact opposite to their stated ideals.

I still don’t want to belong to either gender, although I do sympathise very strongly with K, my struggling-for-manifesting-humanity co-worker. I’m getting too tired to speak up, for I feel like if I do (and have tried many times before) I will just be speaking against a brick wall. If the people at work see the negative effects they have produced on a usually happy and carefree individual, who is immensely sensitive and trusting, then they are not showing it. Perhaps they cannot admit to themselves that they do not in the least resemble white knights who fight for justice and equality and are chivalrous and brave. Perhaps they cannot look in the mirror, do not want to see the truth. For everytime one doubts oneself, one’s self-esteem takes a hit and one’s arrogance gets chipped away. Without this barrier, how will one protect oneself from the mental assaults by others?

I don’t like going to work, not so much because I have to get up at 4.30 am or the people are all creeps and hypocrites, but because I feel like I’m torn between two warring sides and am constantly made to choose which one I am on and to reveal myself as either male or female. I feel like I’m trying to be bought off by either side, through positive reinforcement, through well-meant advice, through compliments. If I agree with one, then I shouldn’t agree with the other. If I talk with women about ‘womanly’ things, how can I possible then talk to the men about ‘men things’?

My desk at work is currently very much in the male section, full of male energy and I also get to hear a lot of male talk. I sometimes wish I could sit closer to my female co-workers, not because they are better, but they don’t make me sad or angry, they don’t keep asking inapporpriate questions when I have stated my side of the story in an argument, they don’t keep opening up new stale arguments or discussions that have been put to rest, they don’t question my identity every five minutes and watch me in case I act male or female. They are easier to get along with.

But what torrent of abuse will I encounter if I dare to decide to sit with people born of the female sex? It will be said I am a traitor, I am female after all, eventhough I was so well-treated and accepted for who I was by my male colleagues. It will be said there is a conspiracy going on and we used to all get along so well together and could all make fun and have a good time before ‘the incident’ occured, but now the females destroyed the mood. ‘Females’ will be seen as agressors and the workplace will be segregated and vile energy will be floating around.

I feel like I am trying to act as barrier, as diplomat in a role I despise. I am the least likely candidate to perform such a task, and it shouldn’t even be necessary to have an intermediary between the two sexes, especially not one who identifies with neither.

I hope these people can get their act together and set aside their differences, because when one thinks about it, there really aren’t that many. It’s quite funny how the gender-queer is sort of included in both groups as part of making fun of the other, while those people, who actually have a lot in common (because of, instead of in spite of, their gender difference) gang up against each other.

Hell, I really don’t want to be the scapegoat or the one everyone hates and wants to get rid of, but I would be really happy if there wasn’t any conflict at work. Why alienate someone who has worked with you for a long time and agrees with a lot of the things you agree with, why not alienate the one who secretly loathes you and everything you stand for and wishes humans would cease to exist?

What will these people do when they start realising that gender doesn’t really exist? How will they structure their personalities and their lives? How will they communicate with people around them?

I never thought there would be such drama in such a common, boring workplace, that such heightened emotions would emerge out of the most menial tasks, that such feats of rhetorik and political debate would be enacted in such an ugly and barren setting.

 

 

 

back to work, I mean, Kindergarten part I

The work saga continues….

Last week somethting interesting and quite disturbing happened. A female work colleague was harassed and touched inappropriatley by her superior, who acts as a sort of manager, but has no real say in how business is conducted. Unless, of course, we are talking about gender business.

The employee finally complained and all her hurt and frustration burst out in a moment of extreme and warranted sadness and shame. She had carried these feelings for a while, as she feared that speaking out would endanger her job and future proespects of getting a job. Because the manager’s or rather supervisor’s conduct reflects on the whole business and everyone would be somehow involved in this if she spoke out, she denied her feelings until she could not cope any longer, her sense of justice luckily got the better of her and she did eventually complain and open herself up to immense scrutiny from every other eomployee. She did this to highlight the injustice that occured.

Noone who saw the supervisor misbehaving said anything. The male employees frequently stated (after the event was brought up) that they were not aware that there was an issue, that they thought it was all a joke.

Furthermore, they ended up complaining about the whole situation, because people would not see it from their point of view, people did not know, how vulnerable these men were, as they were being limited in their rights to make jokes and could not be safe from, yes, here it comes, female harassment.

From the moment that my co-worker complained about being abominably treated at a place which should be safe for her, she was an outcast. The women were too afraid to stand by her side and the men used all their powers of rhetorik to play everything down and turn every single argument around to make the women look bad and look like the aggressor.

The supervisor, in the meantime, wasn’t to be seen for a whole week, due to illness or feigned illness, I don’t know. It is reported that he will be back at work on Wednesday to ‘justify’ himself and speak up, which he has the right to. Noone denies him the right to speak, I just don’t think that he has the right to grope.

The workers will then perhaps have another consultation on how to dissolve (not solve, dis-solve) this issue. I only hope that this will set some rules and make the workers aware of boundaries at the workplace and highlight their destructive behaviour (made even more destructive by having been allegedly done ‘by accident’ and with the best of intentions).

 

1 week of work over and I think I need a holiday

It’s been a week since I started my new job in a factory-like environment, where everyday one does the same repetitive task for hours. I thought this would give me an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts (and earn money at the same time) and not have to comunicate with people (too much), but it appears to be the case that people will communicate with me, even if I don’t communicate with them.

I just want to do my job and then go home to some more me-time (as arrogant as that might sound). I can’t wait to step out of  that infested cage that my co-workers inhabit. They are nice enough (meaning they call me Dominic and don’t beat me up for existing, at least not physically). But they just can’t help ‘being funny’. The only thing I find is funny is that they are talking to a wall, to someone who is so utterly removed from them as to not even live in the same universe (at least not the same head-space universe).

Their grand conduct is starting to piss me off, and it’s been only a week at work; how will I be able to shut myself off from them for a whole month? How can one be so immature as to laugh and make a ‘joke’ (something about genitalia) everytime someone asks for a ‘Gummi’ (a german word for elastic band that is also often used as a word for condom)….after the 100th time, it sort of gets a bit un-funny.

Here are some more comments I had to listen to:

Context: I had been talking about me trying to remove myself from gender, as I didn’t think it existed and that it was damaging to myself and others, so I told them about the double mastectomy and other life choices and being a Neutrois

“Well, that’s not very womanly and grown up to be running away from yourself, you seem to be more of a girl than a woman”

(Response (real or imagined): Well, that’s exactly my point: I am NOT a woman, deal with it!)

“Hey Dominic, don’t dream at work!” “She’s a bit of a dreamer”…

(First you call me Dominic, then you use the female pronoun; seems you haven’t learnt yor lesson…are you trying to turn me into a transwoman now, or what?)

Context: The supervisor came walking by (back and forth) smelling strongly of some (I am guessing ‘male’ perfume, though perfume has no gender) and then ended up talking to his intimates (the people who work for him but who he also relates to on a deeper level because they all have dicks) and goes and says:

“She MUST be a lesbian”

(I said before that I am anti-sexual, I am celibate. That does NOT make me a lesbian, because a lesbian would have a sexual orientation, whereas I have none. I like neither men nor women, nor indeed am I attracted to Neutrois or other people. I am NOT sexually attracted to anyone, I am repulsed by them! Just because I don’t drop down to the floor and start undressing and behaving all submissive to you and your colleagues, eventhough you are wearing perfume and smell so ‘manly’, that does not make me a lesbian. Get over it, man!)

“Well, I don’t understand you, it’s a lot to stomach”, one of his colleagues: “I don’t get it, either!”

(Yes, of course you had to say that to pledge allegiance to your superiour and make sure that everyone knows that you, too, are not into my ideas and can never understand how a woman (since I told them, after they just wouldn’t let go of the question, that I was born female) cannot want children and a man (someone apparently with ugly stinking parts hanging between their legs). UNFATHOMABLE)

Context: The men (people with dicks, in case anyone forgot how important they are) talked about female health issues after a female colleague mentioned why she wasn’t confident in getting her motorbike license. She said she often had pain in her pelvic area due to some issue with her bone health and structure. This prompted the men (de menz) to discuss in length female propensity to suffer from these issues and how it would affect their child-bearing capacities. Undoubtedly they will also have thought that, in fact, this might be the reason why I have not yet pressed a screaming little shit-head human out of my precious body.

(In fact, I don’t like pain and having to care for some ugly fucking human for the rest of my life; I am not into children (screaming little dirty fucking shits) and am rather fond of the no-child, no-copulation (ever) policy.

Context: I talked more in detail about why I wanted and eventually got a mastectomy. My fresh scars are still hurting, even while I am typing this now, and it’s a particularly sensitive and important issue for me. And what does one of those old-fashioned men say to me:

“Oh well, I know that some women get that done, because there’s cancer running in the family, and they are scared of getting cancer”

(So, mastectomy is allowed for any other reason than not liking your God-given breasts?)

________________________________

These men at work are an interesting study of how the human brain can work to deny any and all evidence to an argument one does not agree with. The brain (and yes, even men are endowed with it, though they tend to focus on the fat down there) is an amazing organ and protects us as best it can from mental shock and things we don’t want to see. It seems even men are not immune to this.

So while they will continue (for how long, I wonder?) to study me and look or signs or lesbianism, mental illness, sexual deviance, or impotence (even a blink of an eye while talking about these things will be enough evidence for them to deem me such and such, because a blink of an eye will be considered a response and if I respond that means ‘YES” to whatever it is that men currently think about, eventhough a might’ve just blinked because that’s what humans tend to do when they sit for hours in front of a computer screen), I will continue to study them and all their short-comings as human beings and as beings who define themselves and almost everything around them/everything that affects them through the gender lens.

Funnily enough, I did not get any thoughts from the women co-workers on my ideals, other than something along the lines of “Well, each to their own” and “if you are happy with your choices”…..Apparently these women had no need to defend themselves from me and my ideas…

reblogged from http://www.gamespot.com/features/from-samus-to-lara-an-interview-with-anita-sarkeesian-of-feminist-frequency-6382189/

From an interview with a media critic who looks at female gaming characters and how they are being portrayed. I find this section from the interview to be most interesting, as it highlights thimportance of story-telling in shaping culture.

Also, in looking at the media (especially science fiction characters, or, in other words, ones that are not real) one needs to consider this: Who created these characters and why? These characters don’t just come to life by some miraculous event, they are meticulously sculpted and framed in their digital environment for a particular set of purposes. We shouldn’t forget that there is agency involved in creating fictional characters and that however fictional they might be, people will start to see them as autonomous beings and will eventually compare them to actual real humans. Fiction and reality are thus mixed up together, the boundaries between these two very different spheres blurred. And often this ends up creating problems for people living in the real world. . .

That was my grand input on this and I have already said enough, because this issues is certainly not knew and I believe anyone with half a brain will understand the underlying causes and effects of creating unrealistic and generally hyper-…everything gaming tools. So, below is the section that I find really is the essence of why thinking more rationally about gaming is important. I urge anyone reading this to check out the interviewees site for more in-depth insight.

“You’re a pop culture critic who looks at all sorts of mass media–movies, television, games, and so on. When people respond to your videos with questions like, “Why does this stuff matter? Aren’t TV, movies, and games just entertainment?” how do you respond?

Ah yes, the classic “but it’s just entertainment” line is one of the most common defensive reactions to my Web show. My short answer is to quote the poet Muriel Rukeyser, who wrote, “The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” I love that line because it offers a succinct way of saying that culture matters, that stories matter. Narratives have always been a core way human beings learn about, make sense of, and understand the world we live in. Stories have embedded myths and messages and can be carriers of positive, heroic, or subversive values, but they can also propagate or reinforce negative stereotypes and oppressive social norms. Historically, the telling of stories has been an important and revered part of any society, and that is no different today. Popular media culture–for better or worse–is currently where the learning is happening, and that means that movies, TV, music, books, and video games are helping to shape our collective cultural universe.

I think part of the misunderstanding comes from a misperception about how culture works. It’s not a direct cause-and-effect situation where everybody just mindlessly copies the behaviors they see in the media. That said, media stories do have a profound effect on us, especially when messages, myths, and images are repeated over and over again. This is the reason why I choose to step back and look at the overarching patterns of how women are represented in video games over time. Because it’s this collective repetition that can seep into our minds and shape, perpetuate, and amplify harmful or regressive perceptions of women.

To put it another way, popular culture is like the air we all breathe. It’s in everyone’s interests to make sure that air is not polluted with poisonous sexism so that we don’t all end up with hideous misogynist mutations growing out of the back of our collective heads”.

More abuot this and related topics at feministfrequency.com

 

How Gender Stereotypes Influence Emerging Career Aspirations

This is a long youtube educational video about how gender stereotypes influence emerging career aspirations. It’s quite entertaining if one has the time and desire  to listen, so I’ll recommend it.

Although it highlights the disparities between performance outcomes of males and females and negative influences on females, it can be applied to both genders, as well, as someone in the comments section mentioned: “And I’ve been stereotyped by female employees before… because I’m a male, suddenly I have to take the physically demanding jobs at the summer camp. Because I’m a male I can’t help out with the art camps, even tho I play many musical instruments and paint and draw…”

Gender stereotypes are a no-win situation for those affected by them.

This video is just a reference guide and introduction to what following posts are going to be about, so that those of you who don’t want to read about or listen to this stuff anymore are forewarned.

P.S.: I love listening to people talk…. (one of my secret special powers)

P.P.S: I have nothing to do with Stanford University so this is not an endorsement (but I love the Intro 🙂 )

P.P.P.S: I feel intelligent now.