dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: unconscious

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.

Haven’t found ‘the help’, yet.

So I’ve called yet another psycho(logist) to make an appointment for me and my various personality traits and feelings. Unfortuntely this was another miss, as he’s busy and doesn’t want to put me on a waiting list.

I wonder how long these feeings will follow me for. I feel like I have two heads and a tail with all this baggage I’m carrying. Why can’t I just drop it and leave it?

If life is imaginary, then why is it so difficult to re-imagine it?

 

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.

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 !!

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…

Gender follows me everywhere!

Yesterday I attended a lecture of the (in)famous artist Jeff Koons. I only went because my cousin gave me the ticket as she herself could not attend, and I thought it was a good idea to spend an evening not watching crap TV for once.

I didn’t dress up or even think about my attire, because it wasn’t an official sort of thing and I really didn’t care whether I loked pretty or not, acceptable yes, but definitely not pretty.

We had to wait for ages, standing in the white-washed hall in front of tiny video screens that were supposed to communicate Koon’s words to the audience (who hadn’t paid as much as the others). Luckily it wasn’t too crowded, and the crowd seemed quite diverse and well-behaved.

I found my little space at a table near one of the screens. Unfortunately I didn’t have my flag with me to tag it as completely mine, so in the end, people ended up sharing the space with me. Normally I would have been extremely annoyed at having to come into less than 1 metre contact with a stranger, but these days my shyness is slowly dissipating more and more.

What really annoyed me, though, and I still don’t know whether I should be angry at myself or the person who said the words, was the fact that, this person who started to talk to me realised that I was ‘female’ (that I had female anatomy)…He just so nonchalantly said those words that made me realise, I’m not stealth in my gender yet. Eventhuogh I recently had my breasts removed, he apparently knew I had other female anatomy, for he used female titles with me…WHY?????

Then, on the way home, there was a couple of people in the tram (a coupl?). The guy let the woman go in first, and I was standing right behind them, waiting for them to get going so I could find a seat. The guy turned and looked at me and said: ladies first and urged me to go ahead. I was startled, because, on the one hand, I found it nice that wanted to let me go first, but on the other, I was annoyed that he assumed that I was a ‘lady’ (and thus female). Once again, I couldn’t fathom how these people could tell, since even my own family and I myself sometimes don’t know for sure what I am…

I actually responded to that guy that I wasn’t a lady and urged him to go in front, instead. He did, and I don’t know what he thought of me. I hope he realises that his behaviour was not necessarily patronising and wrong as such, but with the wrong kind of person, his behaviour did not have the result he probably intended his action to have. I was a bit torn at how to respond because I wasn’t prepared for this and did not want to give the wrong impression, In the end, I decided to try to communicate my feelings by denying this man the right to be ‘a gentleman’, as I believe I have the right to do so. For he explicitly said “ladies first”, thus his niceness and gentlemanly behaviour was only directed towars a female gender (lady), thus conditional. It gave me the option either to accept and thus accept the gender he was adressing, as well, or decline, and thereby not receive special (nice) treatment.

I think this might be a dilamme that I will continue to encounter in future. I hope my responses will help communicate to people that my gender is not normative or at least make them think before they use those gendered words so carelessly and thus put the person who is adressed in a gendered and restricted box full of unspoken gender norms. I am using all my limited social skills and temper control to avoid that box, and if I am put there by mistake, I will find a way to crawl out, again!

The above stories also make me wonder, if gender is really so much about organs and biology, and not other things: body language (how one carries oneself), and energy (what types of ‘vibe’ one sends out). I think there’s a lot more work to be done to live ‘stealth’ (fully and constantly) in my own gender role. Considering that my gender is non- it is especially hard to escape being polarised into the one or the other gender, but I’ll try to continue, because it’s a need of mine. I want to increase my quality of life, and just like others, I want to be validated and accepted as my gender.

I am only afraid that if I try to communicate my gender, I will start acting again according to what I believe a non-gender would act like (according to other people). I would probably do things that I think other people whould associate with being non-gender, instead of just being me (even if that sometimes means I will be mis-gendered).

What are your thoughts on this?

Series I: Part I: The black Sheep

This is the first slide of the series ‘Ignomas Nobel’s educational travels into the unconscious’

THE BLACK SHEEP

Ignomas Nobel is quite the character. Though he prefers a quiet and easy life he is often thrown into the most vexing and tumultous situations. Often unbeknown to himself, he often comes close to discovering the hidden truths of existence. Through his propensity for doing nothing for a long time, he transmits a special kind of energy that is then reflected back to him by his surroundings and ultimately puts him into a meditative state where he learns more about things he never really thinks about. These revelations seem to come from a hidden source.

In this world of wonders, objects have colours they don’t usually have. In this world, one needs not think about everyday existence, only the essential exists here. Oftentimes, Ignomas only obtains glimpses of this world, for it has the power to transform itself and is extremely fluid and cannot be fully grasped.

Ignomas ventures into this space, not with a conventional method of transportation such as a yellow submarine, but with a black sheep. This sheep conducts him to places he has never been before. It is difficult to see where he is going, as he is seated in a position that only really allows him to look behind. Ignomas’s ability to be apathetic and yet curious has brought him into contact with his travel companion and he is happy with going on this journey as long as it doesn’t provide him with physical discomfort.