dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: meaning of words

“The philosophy of becoming supercedes the philosophy of being…”

quoted in ‘The Aesthetics of Transhumanism’ by Natashe Vita-More, 22.04.2011, http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/04/22/the-aesthetics-of-transhumanism/

 

The philosophy of becoming is the philosophy of evolving.

We should ask ourselves: have we already reached a stage in human evolution we are comfortable with?

What am I that makes me human, what am I that makes me humane?

 

Being human is simple, becoming human is almost beyond human capabilities. Being human is what we are now, becoming more human is what we should aspire to.

I’m not only talking about human form and design, the shape which represents us…but ideals, impressions, expressions.

We are the post-modern human, living in a world filled with technological advance. And yet, are we so different from our ancestors? We might be able to stave off disease more easily, to travel the world more quickly, to communicate more easily, but what about philosophy and social change, what about our language and behaviour?

Why is humanity still called ‘man-kind’? Why, with all our potential to help eachother and use technology for our benefit do people in third-world countries still starve? Why is there a third world? Why is there still poverty, greed, fundamentalism, murder, rape?

 

We have not evolved, at least not beyond ourselves.

We can’t say we live in a better future, when half of us are dying because they lack food, water and shelter. How can we say we are modern, when half of us are killed because of a lack of human rights. When the most vulnerable people in society are targeted BECAUSE they are most vulnerable.

We should measure our humanity through looking at the status of our most destitue members, by looking at the weakest, most vulnerable. By looking at our social systems (the law, healthcare, environmental legislation) and our entrenched beliefs (about ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality).

We are far from a wondrous golden age. We are repressed, we are lied to and controlled, mostly by our very own governments, we are harassed by people of the same country, the same faith, the same family. Dictatorships don’t just exist in the middle east or some communist country, they exist in materialistic minds and capitalist hearts.

As long as people are a commodity and tossed around by the forces of capitalism and gratification of the senses, no amount of scientific progress will be able to help us.

I’m not saying we need religion, there’s enough of that already, but we need to start believing in progress, not materialistic progress, but humane progress.

Or are we all too human to do that?

 

 

from mystudentstruggles’: Socialisation: Part Two

Socialisation: Part Two.

 

My thoughts:

An objective and informative article about socialisation theories.
Made me shudder to think how much of this (socialisation) is going on in all levels of society, every single day of our lives. If we don’t stop, take in a deep breath and think for a minute about all the symbols and words that interfere in our identities, wherever we go in this Western world, we will easily lose our immunity to it. For what is our ‘culture’, what is our ‘modernisation’, what is ‘personal speech’ and ‘democracy’ when it comes down to lived experience? RHETORIC!

This is subtle oppression at its best and most viral.

Petition on change.org (change.org vs. Fox News)

People who refuse to be in a ‘platonic’ (sexual speak: ‘non-sexual’) relationship and are ‘single’ (sexual speak: ‘alone’), who refuse to ‘have sex’ (sexual speak: ‘be intimate and loving’) and who call themselves ‘asexual’ (sexual speak: ‘freaks’) are in need of some support. They face just as much opposition as other groups and are often punished for their sexual orientation ‘because they are wrong, faulty, sick’ (sexual speak: ‘because we care for them so much’).

If it’s in your interest, you can now sign a petition on change.org:

Instead of talking about asexual people, talk to us!

The you

In Germany we have this great establishment, where words are used to convey respect.

‘Sie’ (you, formal) is such  a term. It is used when adressing adults that one does not know. Only when one is familiar with eachother can one derail and say ‘Du’ (you, informal). Or when one is talking to a child.

Familiarity breeds contempt, when it is faked.

I mean, do I know you? Am I your buddy?

The propensity for unfamiliar people, cissies (cis-people) and others, calling one “du” is inappropriate, but it happens just as often as misgendering does.

When one has come out as non-sexual and non-gendered, when one looks young or acts with respect and humility towards others, one seems to lose respect from people. It is assumed one’s mind has stopped growing, that one needs to be instructed and lead.

It makes me feel disgusted, especially when I don’t want to know the person who shows no sign of acknowledging my adult-ness, my selfness, my self-determination. Why would I want to know someone who apparently thinks I am worthy of being dealt with at the level of a child?

Familiarity breeds contempt!

It’s like people who say ‘du’ not because they know you or have any real importance in your life, but because they live in the same universe as you or have struck up a conversation and talked for 5 minutes while sitting next to you and now they feel entitled. Or because they are taller and stronger and smarter and richer than you, and feel like that’s why they can treat you the way they want.

And you should be grateful, too.

For it’s YOU who has to expand your mind.

(Of course)

You have to realise that if they address you in a familar way that that is a cue, it means they WANT you to be familiar,  they WANT contact, but they WANT it on their terms. But they won’t put that in a sentence, because it wouldn’t sound as nice, so they say “du”, hoping that this might actually lead to familiarity.

It’s such a subtle invasion of privacy it’s nearly not felt at all, because one is tempted to just shrug it off or treat it as a manifestation of a hallucinating mind. I often ask myself “Have I really heard that?”, “Did they really just say that?”, and “What on earth have I done that they now think I should be less respected?”

Of course the first thing I do is to look for a fault in myself, to check my system and replay the whole encounter in my head. I think of ways to solve this problem, without creating a disruption in the conversation, …

…without seeming haughty and arrogant.

 

 

The language we have is a small attempt at least to maintain a structure in our lives and determine relations between eachother, to reinforce these. Whatever is in our heads, our worldview, our deepest most intimate thoughts are communicated through gestures and language.

LANGUAGE–TALKING–WORDS  =  MEANING

When people call me ‘du’ after having talked to me for a little while or not even THAT-just a look has sufficed for them to determine my status in their lives-they have either done so willingly and at the full posession of their faculties, or they have betrayed their ignorance and contempt of me unconsciously through not thinking at all about the words they use.

Either way they have made a big mistake.

Inter-personal communication is not just about themselves.

SHOW    SOME    R.E.S.P.E.C.T !!

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 GenderQueer Atheist on YouTube

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

 

A lazy Saturday post

sex: none (asexual)

gender: none (agender)

gender expression: Neutrois

sexual orientation: none (asexual)

romantic orientation: ‘straight’

 

If you saw this without the context of it being written on this blog, what kind of individual would you picture? Or would you just think that someone who wrote this was making a stupid joke and wasn’t really real?

Also, can one who has no sex or sexual orientation and no gender (or close to none, considering Neutrois is rather agendered than gendered) be called ‘straight’ when it comes to romantic orientation?

And why is there not more emphasis placed on romantic orientation or at least a distinction made between sexuality and romance, between sexuality and sensuality?

I bet many people will still doubt my existence and the existence of countless others, who cannot or are unwilling to display themselves and open themselves up to others because gender and sexuality labels are not written on all our foreheads; they have to be created, edited, established, and communicated, and that is part of the problem of gender. It is difficult to establish, difficult to interpret, difficult to handle, to place boundaries on it, because it is inherently complex and made up of so many personal feelings and experiences, wishes and hopes, fears and doubts…and general life (without the thinking and theorising) often comes into play as well and destroys or reshapes theory, it can interfere in our perception of ourselves and others and destroy our dreams of perfection and throw our ideals into unreachable realms.

I want people to know who I am, to know that I am real!

My mom is coming to visit today for the first time since I had surgery. Will she see me as real or stick to the old perception of me, because being real as a Neutrois does not satisfy her? Will she place the invisible cloak of gender on me in order to hide the new contours of my chest and my ‘gender worth’? I’m not ‘in’ anymore, I am on the fringe of society. How will she handle my decline into oblivion and did she realise that I was being erased and manipulated ‘when I was a ‘girl”, too? Will the fact that I will change my body and expression of ‘gender’ be used as an excuse to bully me and make it more justifiable to do so? Will the bullying become more open and aggressive now that I am openly Neutrois rather than pretend-feminine?

All these questions are running through my mind, but i don’t have the answers and don’t really want to think about them at present, because I know where I stand and whatever comes my way I will have to deal with it as a Neutrois and as best I can. There will surely be times when I will be immensely frightened and act less radical, more subdued, than I want to. There will be times when I will try to compromise to survive, because I don’t want to lose what I still have…..

_________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

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!”