dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: stereotypes

Why I keep calling my workmate by his last name

I recently realised that I make the same mistake by using wrong names sometimes, just as people mistakenly use wrong pronouns for me.

I keep, for example, referring to one of my colleagues as ‘last name’ instead of adressing him using his first name. I keep thinking his last name is his first name and suits him much better.

There are several reasons for this, as I have discovered after I thought about it and did some 101 psychology on myself:

One reason is that I have heard his last name more times than his first name and therefore it has become easier to say it and repeat it and not think about what his first name was again.
Another reason is that I think his last name makes for a cool first name and sounds like the name of an adventurer and somehow that idea got stuck in my head.

 

Another reason I can think of is that on one of the social networking sites I often use there is somone with his last name as first name and I often read what they write, so this last name is again associated with a first name in my head.

 

I haven’t started misgendering him yet (or perhaps he does not know I am misgendering when I call him a ‘he’, because gender is, in essence, just an illusion), but I can understand how easy it is to use wrong words when referring to a person. Sometimes it’s easier to be wrong because it has been ingrained into our psyche, sometimes it’s more fun to be wrong (it can be really amusing calling someone by a different name so long as it isn’t an insult…but how would you know?).

It’s easy to make mistakes when calling people by complicated names, names that don’t suit them, and it gets more difficult when approaching the topic of pronouns.

The aim is not to get words right 100 per cent, all the time, but to keep trying and make an effort. That is often more comforting to a person than someone who gets it right but cares nothing for their wellbeing.

And to fully accept a name (whether it’s a new one or just one that one does not like or is not used to) one has to accept the idea behind it and what that name means, that it is attached to a person and that that person is worthy of me getting their name right.

 

All it takes is a little bit of awareness.

casual conversation about where to shop and another comment about short hair

Yesterday I had late shift and I am always a bit strange when I work late. Strange in a good way that is, as I become more tired as the evening progresses, I become less reserved and even silly at times, as if I was in a drunk state. (Funnily enough when I drink alcohol I get propelled into a reverse mood and get very pissed off and hermit-like).

Luckily it was a quiet working day and I had time to chat to customers. One woman from the United States (she told me she was from there) asked about good places to go shopping. She could not have known that I was not the right person to ask such a question, but it turned out that she was looking for exactly what I was thinking of: cheap and easy places to shop for clothes, such as the Walmart that they had in the U.S. . Of course I could refer her to several of these.

She was glad to receive so much information, and then she commented on my hair, said how cute this short hair was and that we were almost like sisters (because she had short hair, too). There were other customers in the store and and this woman explained to them how she had asked ‘her’ (meaning me) about places that were good for shopping, and they were eager to help her and provided her with information, too, just as I had done. It almost felt like we were all familiar to each other and having a normal conversation, just a couple of women gossiping, talking about shopping, never mind that none of us knew eachother and that I was still at work, working.

I was happy to hear that the woman approved of my hair(style), for I always enjoy hearing positive comments. The fact that she mentioned we were like sisters was kind of neat, too, because I had never had a sister and didn’t know what it would be like to  have a sister, and it kinda meant that she approved of me, for otherwise she would clearly not have said such a thing. So I concluded that her intentions were good.

However, I would have liked it if she had not so easily dropped me into a gendered category and said ‘she’ and ‘sister’ without thinking about these words. I know it’s not clear to people that I am a neutral, that I indeed see myself as genderless, but still I find gendered words so misleading and so obsolete in conversation. They tend to remove me emotionally from the one who adresses me as a ‘she’ that I cannot claim to be able to fully relate to them anymore, and eventhough they are not unfriendly to me, in my eyes the time I spend with them loses value, all the fun I could have had talking to them has suddenly been dampened by a bitter taste.

I was not going to correct her there and then, time was too short and I was still working, and not there to educate people. I wonder when my patience will run out and I will blurt my thoughts out to complete strangers who just want to buy a book or a CD and get on with their lives.

It has not happenend yet, and perhaps the tiredness that puts me in a slow and uncantankerous mood has helped avoid such a situation. For now, I am just happy that people even talk to me and say things like “I like your hair”. I don’t expect much insight into gender from them, and not a lot of intelligent comment 🙂

My name, my name, myself?!?.

I know it’s the same boring stuff: gender, names….

Recently I’ve had another little gender bender win, and I’d like to share it. I think it’s a win for all who hate to be put into oppressive roles by others, for all who are sensitive enough about their personal space (both the physical and the mental).

I’ve called myself Dominic for a while now and I’m STILL not deluded enough to think I have reached the stage of <Android> or that the name Dominic really represents me. I don’t think a name ever will.

But I’m using the name as a defence against being labelled without thought; I would like to create some form of juxtaposition, the female-ish body, the male-ish name, the changing personifcations that sometimes emerge within me, and the often stereotypical expressions or body language that is represented by my body (my limited expression-tool of self).

I think this idea might be catching on. I think many self-confessed men and women don’t even like being called casually ‘he’ or ‘she’, not because it’s SO WRONG, but because it does not take into account what else they are/can be apart from a ‘he/she’

At work (again), my supervisor is doing such a great job holding everything together and making sure we all function as a team. Recently, she has showed me the new work schedule and,voila, it had an invigorating energy to it, evethough nothing much but a few letters had changed. Mr and Miss (Frau/Herr) had been replaced by the first letter of our respective names, followed by our last names. It looked so much better than the restrictive rubbish that was there before, it looked so much better than normality. My name (my I.D. so to speak) has now been logged into the system, so everytime a new work schedule prints, it prints a part of myself that is very real and intense and alive. And I see myself projected in this writing, this whole document. It has no legal bearing, but fulfills me with a renewed sense of belonging, of not being fully alien.

We all have our uniqueness, we all have names. We are persons, not mere genders.

 

 

link to an article from www.feminspire.com re: the ever-cheerful female

link to article: DO WOMEN OWE THE WORLD A SMILE?

From the article:

“A ‘brooding’ man cuts a strong, masculine figure–there’s a seductive draw to a mysterious stranger, after all. He doesn’t reveal his secrets; he holds the promise of affection above your head. That, it seems, is the default for sexy in a man: brooding and aloof, to match the chipper availability of his female counterpart.

The problem at hand isn’t that there are some unrealistic expectations for a woman’s public demeanor. It is that certain gender roles continue to creep into polite society and limit us in many aspects from mating rituals to self-expression. This idea functions on the assumptions that “sex” and “gender” are the same thing; from there it assumes there are two fundamentally opposite sexes that complement each other”.

 

My thoughts:

I have often encountered problems with my melancholy nature. Being melancholy can become frustrating, as it’s not  a fun way to be, but it’s not bad, either. I sometimes really enjoy being a bit moody and brooding over things that bother me or interest me but that are difficult to think about and for which there often is no answer. And I don’t think that this makes a person less attractive.

But often when I am thoughtful people ask me why I am so quiet, whether something is wrong, and then they try to cheer me up, they try to get me to smile, and they are happy when I do, it puts eevrything right again…the/their world is cheerful again. But  they are not interested in the underlying causes of my broodiness or what I am really thinking of. A smile makes them happy, no matter the reason for it, it banishes the shadows of melancholy.

Especially in men the desire to see a smiling, cheerful, elfish little creature of the opposite biological structure is very appealing. It’s their little escape route from the world of worries and the mundane. But once the smile vanishes from a young girls face, the girl vanishes as well and what’s left is akin to a diseased relic of what once was a symbol of glee and inspiration. What’s left is only the cautious approach of peers who ask: “Are you OK?”

 

link to article ‘Lies about transgender people (and how to spot a rubbish journalist)’

I would like to write so much stuff and focus on words rather than go out and do stuff. I wish I was better with words and could express myself more openly and without always doubting my word choices, my sentence structure or the way I put phrases together.

I am starting a new job on Saturday (what a great day to start work). It’ll be within reach of lots of people, at a major airport, and I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity but am also very nervous. I hope I won’t get too many things wrong, I hope I’ll make a decent impression.

That’s why right now I can’t write, I can’t even form proper sentences in my head. This often happens when I have a lot of ideas in my head, they whirl around in there for a while until I feel more settled and comfortable and then I can talk. Luckily I can still read.

So here’s a link to a post @ The Independent Blogs by author Paris Lees:

Lies about transgender people (and how to spot a rubbish journalist)

poor little darling

man knows pain

Ramblings about a remark my Dad made two days ago

Recently I told my Dad that I had had a breast removal operation.

He had noticed that I had lost weight and looked healthier than usual, so he thought I had done lots of sports or something. Anyway, I saw this talk as a good opportunity to reveal my little not-so-secret secret. He wasn’t that surprised, because I had told him of my desire to change my body nearly 2 years ago.

He was pretty supportive, and didn’t slam the ‘that’s immoral!’, or ‘that’s ugly!’, or ‘you’ll destroy your future!’ and ‘nobody will ever want you!’ against my head. My Mum is much more negative towards my decision, though she supports me, too.

I am happy that they aren’t rejecting me or criticising me everyday for my actions and my continued desire to struggle against being gendered. They never needed to fight to get their gender accepted, neither did my brothers, so they don’t understand what it feels like and how immensely important it is.

One day whilst talking about my ‘transition’ my Dad said “Well, you can still have children without breasts. Even mothers who are normal don’t breastfeed, so that’s not a problem”.  When he saw my evil stare, he then quickly added: “If you wanted to”.

I didn’t explode then and there, though if he was observant enough, he would have seen in my eyes that I was very offended at his off-hand remark. He basically said I could still be a woman and perform like  a woman eventhough I had repeatedly told him that I am NOT A WOMAN.

I tried to turn my anger into constructive criticism, and told him straight away that the problem with his theory that I could still have children and be a woman was that I am NOT a woman but a Neutrois and I NEVER want children. I then proceeded to remind him that if he’s at all interested in my health and well-being, he should never bring up the words ‘woman’, ‘children’, ‘breasts’ again in that context in relation to me. I have nothing to do with these aspects of other peoples’ lives or desires.

I think for all his wisdom, experience, and good intentions, my Mum and my Dad are still entangled in traditional gender roles. They are overwhlemed by new ideas and cannot even fathom that there are three genders, let alone that there are even more. They also still think that every female-assigned-at-birth and every male-assigned-at-birth are sexual, mostly heterosexual. They place too much emphasis on biology. They are a-romantic realists. They accept the status quo without question. The funny thing is that they are highly intelligent. When it comes to politics, human psychology, and economics, they are fully aware of the lies the mass media presents and the connections with colonialism and white supremacy. But when it comes to gender politics, they are all of a sudden blind and deaf. They can’t seem to apply the same thinking to gender as to colonialism. Gender to them is something outside of politics, economics, sociology. They both have Phd’s.

My Dad has told me that his sisters, who were all born and grew up in Syria, cannot have children and they long to have a family and feel worthless because they aren’t mothers. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why he automatically associates being female with wanting to bear children.

But then he also once compared having stomach ache due to indigestion to having birthing cramps, so I’m not sure how sensitive he really is. He’s a comedian (at heart). He often makes fun of things like every comedian does, sometimes his sensitivity is suppressed just to make a ‘good’ joke. Ridiculing something is his way to make something funny or even bearable.

My Dad shrugs things off, my Mum dramatises them. I guess it’s up to me to find a middle ground.

the love of man

man finds out what attraction is

 

man knows what love is

 

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!

Another reblog: Living Alone

I need to reblog this on here. It’s a real big issue, the fear of being alone, and it has assailed me often, but I’m still fighting.

The post that I am linking to is by redbeardace and called Living Alone

It’s a post that highlights the importance of keeping things in perspective. Are we really in such a bad position to be living alone? Re-think!