dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: human rights

Another gender-related article (link) related to media

Here’s the article on gaming culture: ‘Sexual Harassment in Video Game Culture’:

link to article

Some excerpts:
“According to psychologist Scott, “My thought is that we continue to live in a real life culture that continues to be alarmingly misogynistic under the surface, but the hostility that many males feel towards females is suppressed by social forces (like mothers, law enforcement officers, etc.). In secondary virtual worlds, like MMOs, those controlling social forces are largely absent…. In secondary worlds, males can be anonymous, and allow aggressive impulses to have free reign – and some seem to feel very empowered by this. These are likely men who don’t experience a sense of strength or personal power in their primary lives. Perhaps they are threatened by women, and deeply angry at them. They carry those feelings to secondary life and it feels really good to them to act out that hostility – and they are able to do so with impunity.”

“It’s not only women who are concerned with this issue. Men are also disturbed by harassment and sexism. James Bosier, an MMO player who plays to game with his daughter, is also concerned with the bigger picture: “I think [harassment] diminishes the game experience for everyone. It plays into the stereotype that people who play games are nerdy, misogynistic men who live with their parents. It continues to prevent us from being a more respected medium.”

My thoughts:
Aren’t we all misogynistic, deranged, sexually frsutrated, psychotic gamers?! (I know, ’cause I watch TV!!!)

Harassing someone online is not that bad anyway, ’cause it’s not real, it’s online…fictional harassment, so why be bothered by it, it’s just a couple of words and stuff and why should…I mean why….(upps, this comment could not be finished because the person making it was distracted by something on the computer and is now drooling over his keyboard while his eyes are glued to the screen).

We all need to let off steam, it’s our human right. If you don’t like this, get out of my space and go somewhere else (since the computer is situated in someone’s personal space, it is automatically assumed that everything on the Internet [what the computer generates] is also part of their personal space).

&%@(HFVWQOYOO*&@#)!(@*# (only one of the many intelligent arguments anti-bullying campaigners are confronted with)

The brave new world of going beyond Part I: A short introduction to Transhumanism

I have often wondered what is wrong with me, why I keep feeling like the eternal outsider. Perhaps I have now found what I was looking for all along, a synthesis of ideas that match my feelings more closely than any other: Transhumanism.

Transhumanism is not new. Transhumanism is happening right now, in the minds and actions of people all over the world. Transhumanism also happened in the past. Transhumanism is past, present, and future, because it is us.

A bit about me and why I find transhumanism interesting

I grew up travelling the world, because my Mum worked overseas for about 2-3 years at a time, and then the whole family had to move around with her, wherever she went. Me and my brothers repeatedly changed countries, schools, friends, and were constantly bombarded with new sensations, different social settings, and human cultures. every school system presented its own challenges, new peer groups formed constantly around us and dissolved again, we were accustomed to airports and other forms of transport, as we left our home town to move abroad.

This has given us an immense opportunity to get to know different settings, landscapes, foods, scents, cultural impressions, political systems, and ways of life, but also imprinted in me a sense of strangeness, of not belonging anywhere, really. Maybe it is because I was not prepared for the great impressions I received from constantly travelling and never really coming to rest, maybe it was due to my character (which tends to be a bit cynical) that I didn’t fully appreciated being moved around a lot and never having my own, never-changing place to stay. I don’t know this for sure, but I can say that it affected my worldview, and maybe has made me more prone to bouts of anger about the human condition and lack of closeness with others, a strong dissociation. For I often saw and still see my surroundings through a detached lens, I am often the observer of others, but rarely the one who actively interacts. I am often the disinterested third wheel in a relationship and never the one initiating close contact. I am often more intested in old buildings and historical figures than real humans and the lived experience.

I think that is why I am also more into science-fiction-related-material than I was before. I often considered sci-fi to be close to lunacy and not very practical. But this view has changed, and I am increasingly more interested in (a) what it is/means to be human, and (b) how technology and ideas can be applied to ameliorate the human condition.

H+

I started googling transhumanism and came to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism) to get an understanding about what it is (really) about, as it had only ever really existed as a vague idea in my head.

According to wikipedia, transhumanism is seen as “a continuation of humanism and Enlightenment thinking”. Transhumanist concepts tackle “the applications of advanced sciences to human biology” and a major focus of the movement is “the application of science to better the (individual) human condition, the improvement of human bodies…”. Transhumanists generally seek a control of human evolution and the use of new technologies to achieve that.

Another aspect of the movement is the critical stance towards biological determinism, and biology in general, as transhumanists tend to “see the very concept of the specifically ‘natural’ as problematically nebulous at best, and an obstacle to progess at worst”.

Transhumanism is a movement encompassing various thinkers and topics affecting the way humans live and the potential for human life in the future. It is geared towards a goal that is a sort of utopia, a reference point for the future: posthumanism.

Posthumanism is something to strive towards, as this quote exemplifies: ” They [transhumanist thinkers] predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label ‘posthuman’.

the Vitruvian genderqueer

Cognitive liberty, morphological freedom, procreative liberty

I personally cannot conceive of a time where transhumanist ideas were not in vogue or under scrutiny from various political parties and segments of society, and I used to be an Archaeology student. I think in humans there is a great motivation to strive to better things, to affect one’s environment, to change and adapt, to create and experiment, and to initiate ‘progress’.

A lot of humans want to gain knowledge about their environemnt (nature), their selves (human body and mind), and their abilities (boundaries and powers to transform). We wouldn’t have cars and tall buildings and complex social interactions if it weren’t for this desire to strive for progress.

Also, I think there’s still a great need for humans to “become more than human”, to exceed our limited potential and be the creatures that we envisage to be, but whose abilities we do not yet own. We look towards something greater than us to strive for, just like a child watches a sibling and tries to be as good at sports as them. There’s a competitive element there, perhaps a need to show off, to leave one’s mark, to create something new and exciting.

Transhumanism has to do with redefining humans and what life in the future could be like. It involves a lot of theorizing, but also has very practical applications. Eventhough this type of philosphy is called transhuman and even confronts us with menacing words such as ‘posthumanism’, it is not removed from humanity, humanism, and the human, because it is produced by humans, shaped and criticised by humans, and its efforts are to increase the quality of human life. It is no anti-human philosophy. Humans are at its centre, its focus is on making life better for individuals around the world.

I think individual choice is a major concern for transhumanist thinkers, and that’s another reason why this movement has become attractive for me. I don’t agree with every aspect of it, nor do I fully understand what it entails. I’m not really scientifically-minded, and have trouble understanding scientific concepts and mechanisms, but I like creative thinking and the expansion of thought. I wonder where it can lead and what it means for us common folk.

the universal brain

In the next post i would like to highlight some of the concepts of transhumanist thinkers, some more practical applications, and include some more personal commentary.

The GenderQueer Atheist on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/GenderQueerAtheists?feature=watch

 

Ten Things You CAN Say to a Trans Person (Reblogged from TRANIFESTO)

May I make a short introduction to what is to follow here:

I have reblogged the following post from Matt Kailey’s blog TRANIFESTO, which I hope all of you are following, or have at least visited often. I hope that this blog post did not come across as mine, because that is not the case. I realise now that I should have made this more obvious and honoured the person to whom this blo post belongs. I apologise to Matt for the inappropriate re-blogging and hope that I won’t make that mistake again.

I would like to also now add his website (link): http://tranifesto.com/

I get a lot of information from Matt’s blog and visit it regularly and am a bit embarrassed that I have not quoted his post properly. I don’t want any credit for posting this, the reason why I am posting this is because I like his post and want to share it.

Let’s see if I can do better now!

This is the post by Matt Kailey which can be found on his blog (see link, please).

“One of the most popular items on my blog is “Ten Things Not to Say to a Trans Person.” But I’m sure that non-trans people get tired of hearing what they can’t say. So, in the spirit of helpfulness, I present “Ten Things You CAN Say to a Trans Person”:

1. Good morning!

2. How was your weekend?

3. That outfit/shirt/tie looks great on you.

4. I am so tired of this heat/cold. I hope it rains/warms up pretty soon.

5. Have you seen the latest photo of my kid/dog/new house? Check it out!

6. Where are you from originally? Have you lived in this city long?

7. The traffic on the freeway is a nightmare today! Do you have to drive far to get here?

8. We’re all going across the street for lunch. Want to come?

9. I can’t believe summer/winter is almost over. Where does the time go?

10. Did you see that YouTube video about the snake that ate three baby goats?

Of course, you can adjust these to fit your purposes. And if you are close to this person, your conversations will obviously stray into less superficial aspects of life, such as art, politics, current events, their love life, your love life, Kim Kardashian’s love life, and so on. But use these as a guideline and you will never get yourself in hot water.”

[http://tranifesto.com/2012/07/16/ten-things-you-can-say-to-a-trans-person/]

__________________________________________________________________

 

This is what I thought when I read the post:

I’m sure there are many more things one can ask/say to a trans person without intruding on personal space or making that person feel uncomfortable.

And not only Trans people enjoy some private space. We all have personal boundaries. Usually it’s only when our needs are not met or boundaries happen to be crossed (trespassed on) that we realise how important they are. These boundaries often cannot be seen and that is why often they are not respected. For some (other) reason, too, trans peoples’ boundaries seem to be less important than other peoples’, as if every trans person was a celebrity and needed to explain themselves.

Even in the zoo, the animals are kept at a distance from visitors. A trans person does not have a physical structure in place to protect him/her/it/… from prying minds.

We should keep in mind that when talking to a person, we are talking to an individual with …/it’s/her his personal history, likes/dislikes, personality, family structure, friends, hobbies. A trans person has as much substance and real-ness as any other person. One might not understand or support their idetifying as trans or their transition plans (if transition is indeed planned), but one can at least respect shared humanity/human-ness.

We all strive to be safe in our environment, to be individuals and yet to live as part of a social construct (a group of individuals). Some are more individual and freedom-loving than others and might clash with their surroundings due to their foreign-ness.

Should we ostracise some people, who could be valuable to society and contribute positivity to our environment (physical, spiritual, economic, social) because of their personal preferences regarding gender/sexuality/hobbies/ethnicity/ability/…?

What will be the next standard to highlight ‘Otherness’ and create an ‘Us’ and a ‘Them’? Who will be the next victimized group of social conditioning?

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).

 

bought a black ring, eventhough I’m not nearly as asexual as people on AVEN

So, a finally bought a black ring today. I’m wearing it on the middle finger of my right hand like I’m supposed to, to signify my disinterest in sexual activities (to promote asexualism).

I doubt people will understand or even care what it means, so I’ve thought up other methods to let them know how I feel about this topic:

What if I could just use a device that would give a person an electric shock, everytime they would think of a sexual act involving me. Just a thought would be enough to insult and put me at risk, so I would just trigger the device and out the thought would go. This could be repeated as many times as required to make the person understand (to educate them) of my desires, since they are so interested in desire in the first place.

I often have negative thoughts about people, too. I have my share of evil energy, believe you me! But mine differs slightly from a sexual person’s. I don’t want to torture people, I just want to kill them and get it over with. In addition, while I think of a fast and effective way of killing them (their bodies), they are attempting to kill my soul. While I want to get rid of them because they are a threat to my safety and sanity, they relish in my agony and take pleasure in inflicting physical pain. While killing them quickly will mean that they might suffer a little pain before they are dead, their actions will have repercussions and hurt a million more times after the event and haunt me for the rest of my life. Therefore, I believe my thoughts of killing them are far less damaging than their thoughts of sexualizing me.

Maybe I should change my attitude, and reject the idea of killing them (I don’t want to go to prison) to a more traditional idea which is just in line with their own philosophy: don’t necessarily kill, but conquer! I would love to introduce the idea of zapping sexual deviants (most sexual people, in my opinion) until they cannot articulate their needs or desires, just like so many females in the world.

After having read a bit of Andrea Dworkin’s ‘intercourse’ series, and having been part of the AVEN community, I really wonder WHY CAN’T WE JUST ADMIT THAT WE DON’T LIKE SOMETHING?

Why do we always have to be either neutral or activiely like and endorse a product or activity? Children complain about vegetables (and they are even good for them) and nobody harasses them for it. Am I not allowed to say I hate something (something and not someone)? Why am I not allowed to express my ideas? Why can I not say I’m anti-something? All I’m saying to people is “I really hate this, I don’t want this and I really want you to know and accept that”.

I aspire to be a neutral, but that doesn’t mean I have no likes/dislikes or personality or personal rights. I would like to neutralise gender and sex, not my personal freedom of expression!!

I am wearing this ring in case anyone knows what it signifies and if someone asks, I will not hesitate to explain the details, that I’m not asexual (as in neither like nor dislike sex and am neither for or against it) but that I’m highly antagonistic to sexual activity and thought, highly antisexual. There’s a big difference there, and although I know I tend to the extremes (as in highly anti-), I also think that people all over the world should be allowed and even encouraged to express their sexual preferences OR LACK THEROF.

Maybe people are so scared of others expressing their sentiments for fear of starting something that will eventually not be stopped by commercialising people’s bodies and constant brainwashing; an acknowledgment of personal freedom (from hegemony and platitudes). If some individuals start criticising the institution (to which sexuality belongs) then maybe more will follow. And then what? Of course, the world will come to an end (and people with female genitalia or gender all over the world will gain more confidence and more rights). Oh my God, what a horrible thought that is….not. So forgive me for advocating the anti-sexual stance (yet another term, like Neutrois, and non-gender, and freedom) that does not really exist. But it doesn’t mean that it’ll be suppressed forever.

Some day I’ll be able to say “I don’t agree with phallocentric ideas” and I will not be scolded, but applauded.

“noone ever told me I had the right to say something!”

 

Pledge to self-human rights- work it out

(-) I will not do a task for a man someone that he that someone can do for himself that someone’s own self.

(-) I will not boost a man’s someone’s ego just because he that someone feels like it or has broken his that someone’s fingernail or has a cold.

(-) I will respect a man someone only if he that someone is deserving of respect.

(-) I will not feel obliged to explain myself to a man someone for being who I am.

(-) I will not have my thoughts and feelings invalidated by a man someone just because he that someone wants to feel powerful and important.