dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: career aspirations

No blog posts lately

Sorry for not blogging much lately.

Not much has changed, except my laptop is doing strange things again: When I type a sentence it jus leaves some letters and spaces out. I think it has finally had enough and needs to be replaced. Now that I have easier Internet access, it’s doing these things.

So, at work I am still trying to get people to adopt my name and accept my concept of non-gender. People in the higher echelons at work have certainly done their best to make me feel welcome, but for security reasons I still have to go by my legal name on legal documents. Now for finding out if a name change is possible and under what conditions.

I would like to take full ownership of my name; I have never owned my legal name. It feels like for years I never had a name at all, only now am I starting to exist like other people.

But I realize I am still attempting to sort of steal the identity of others. After my grandfather died and the house had to be emptied, I took so many old things. These things made me feel closer to family history/tradition and by extension to a stable existence with both meaning and continuity.

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Update on work and eating at restaurants

I got a new number name badge at work. Instead of mentioning my biological sex (what some people would refer to as gender), it just states the first letter of my name followed by my last name.

I had told my supervisor about my gender and problems with pronouns and names and everything to do with the accursed female/male thing, and she keeps introducing me as Dominic, though sometimes it sounds more like Dominique. And though people still use gendered pronouns (specifically female ones), they at least refer to me by ‘my’ name, which helps me feel more comfortable in the workplace.

 

I once appeared in front of the manager with the name badge I had made in a shop, proudly displaying my non-legal name, which I have really become accustomed to and feel attached to, but she wasn’t happy, because it wasn’t conform.

 

But now I have another name badge that isn’t like the others, either. I wonder if people will notice the slight difference in content, the fact that a biological sex signifier and gender trigger is missing.

 

I still get wrongly labelled, last time was yesterday at a restaurant. I felt like throwing the menu back at the waiter for saying the words I didn’t want to hear, but luckily controlled myself enough to just get annoyed and a bit unfriendly. I’m not sure if he really noticed my ennui, but he did change his way of adressing us slightly to something more neutral. Or perhaps I just imagine he did to make th event more agreeable.

 

I am still wondering how I can be more exposed as a Neutrois, get more publicity so that people can become more aware of my presence and the possibility of living a bit differently.

Maybe I can stock up on trans-friendly shirtage. I am leaving walking around topless for a fitting occasion, preferably in summer.

 

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).

 

First day at work (temp)

I am now officially a working person who rushes out of the house in the morning to start the arduous trek to work. Instead of exploring the land of my dreams (dreamland) I will now spend my precious mornings to explore the various types of dirt and debris along subwaylines and the gossip and psychological games that are thrown hither and thither in the hallowed rooms of industry and commerce.

It was the first day of work after slowly having come out to family and whatever friends were left. Having done some work on myself and practiced both transitioning and communicating myself, I felt more confident about myself than a couple of months ago. However, that didn’t really prompt me to scream out “Hey, everybody, I’m trans!” and “Do you want to have a look at my chest” (with a wry smile).

I kind of stayed away from the group, who seemed to form a cluster in every 10 minute break. I wasn’t used to taking breaks with everyone at work and did not want to meddle in their affairs. I didn’t know what to talk about and couldn’t really keep up with their logic and choice of words when talking.

So I stood apart from them and just waited to go back in (to work), but the eventually ‘accosted’ me about my ‘shyness’ (lack of socialisisng) and sort of in a round-about way told me off for it (by using HUMOUR).

I got the message and went on the offnse straight away; it was as if a switch had been switched, a script played out. I confronted them straight away about the ‘trans issue’, especially when they talked about my weight and, more especially, my style of clothing. Yes, they talked about it, but at least they talked with me about me, which gave me free reign to respond. I told them straight away that I am so ‘thin’ because recently I lost a bit of weight, because I had top surgery and now there is ‘nothing’ left were before there was something.

I also told them that I practiced abstinence in all things (I hope I haven’t encouraged them to probe me further on this….my aim was for them to be discouraged to think about ‘normal’ things in relation to me)…

They took it quite well, though I could see that with all their positive reinforcement and acceptance, they could still not comprehend fully what I said. Especially one guy, who kept asking me whether I was born female, and seemed to be relieved when I answered that with an affirmative.

I hope this trans thing won’t interfre too much in my work now that I am outed. Or perhaps it is good that I got it out of the way, because now there’s less suspicions floating around (I was pretty vehement and honest about my thoughts)…I detonated the trans-bomb before someone could accidentally step on it and catch me off guard.

There are some female, some (more) male workmates, and I know that ‘boys will be boys, and girls will be girls’ ;

At least my workmates will probably always fit this stereotype.

Group: “Blah”
Individual: “Does not compute!”

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.