everything wrong with free software
"obedience breeds foolishness"
*originally posted:* jul 2022
this isnt a new thing with me, though its something i dont talk about much. and i dont consider it very important-- for me-- i know its very important for some, and im not trying to say it shouldnt be.
i consider myself more or less supportive of trans individuals. once you make it about the "trans community" its way too complicated for me to even guess if i qualify as supportive, but ive had close trans friends and most likely i will have more of those. socially speaking, the past couple years have been more about a closer knit social circle, though everyone in that circle at this point is lgbt and/or feminist and/or trans-inclusive. im pretty sure everyone in it at this point is trans-inclusive, but i havent asked everyone.
for what its worth, i dont like terfs at all. i think theyre petty as fuck, its incredibly disappointing to me to find out someone is a terf, theyre the worst sort of feminist that truly hates men so much that they cant even have an honest exploration of what trans-inclusive means. im not talking about agreement, im not talking about conformity-- im talking about honesty that isnt heavily and obviously tainted with actual hate. this article isnt about terfs, but im perfectly happy to mention this as an aside. theyre just. fucking. awful.
as another aside, technically i still like jk rowling as an author-- i think there are even some trans individuals who can see it as a franchise and separate that (the story, the work of all the talented people involved) from the author as a person, but i wouldnt blame someone for not wanting or being willing to do so. i try to separate innocent idiots from awful people, and i wasnt sure which one rowling was for a while. im pretty sure shes a fucked up person, shes supported some really terrible shit and i dont think she will change.
i think a number of people will think i gave her too many chances. maybe, either way if youre trans and still like the story (im thinking of one person in particular actually) but dont know exactly what to do with that, i think that is the position on her work i can relate to the most.
this really isnt about her either. its about what "he/him" means to me in terms of an identity: not a fuck of a lot.
sure, politically, there are truly loads of things to... how would the sometimes-leftist bloggers put it? "unpack" there. thats not the point of this either. im talking about my gender identity.
the best term for it would be he/him/whatever. or he/him by default, de facto he/him... no, i still like he/him/whatever best.
im not telling you what to call me here-- thats the whatever part. i honestly just dont give a shit at this point what people think my gender is, i only care if theyre being condescending or malicious about it. in other words, there are situations where someone could call me "she" and it wouldnt even phase me.
i do identify with he/him in some ways, so thats fine too-- if someone is going to "assume" they probably should assume that, i guess. but in the future, who knows? ive always had some (debatably) androgynous features in my appearance. i still think most people would assume "cis male" and most people do-- which is honestly fine. some people have very strong feelings about this because their identity isnt like this at all, and i do try to understand and respect those feelings in general. i think its better to do that.
if this sounds confusing, thats part of the point. i wouldnt say ive "struggled" with this for most of my life, anymore than ive "struggled" with checkers or paper airplanes. if i was still on reddit, this aspect of my life would be under /r/mildlyinteresting. thats how i truly feel.
but it is interesting that its mildlyinteresting, or lately it seems to be. years ago i thought the term "non-binary" was more than mildly interesting, and many times ive wondered if im that. im not here to come out as that, i dont even claim it for myself-- my feelings arent strong enough to claim "non-binary" but if anyone else claims "whatever", then ill be happy to claim that. and if ultimately these are the same thing, then thats definitely okay with me. maybe someday ill feel strongly enough about "whatever" to call it something else. im not committing to it at this time.
hopefully its obvious, but theres nothing im saying about me that im trying to impose on someone else. if you feel exactly the same about one thing im saying here, theres no rule in my rulebook that says you cant feel exactly the opposite about some other part of what im saying. thats you, no problem-- im talking about me.
one of the things i feel most strongly about is people trying to pin aggression (as a trait) on males. i dont know how many people officially have this as a position-- i dont think its just a misunderstanding either, there are definitely people who treat aggression (and condescension) as "male" traits and thats just bullshit.
even outside of the human species, aggression of all types (including dominant sexual behavior aimed at non-consenting parties, at least if leg-humping dogs count) exists in some females of the species. i dont consider all of these forms of aggression negative: a mothers instinct to protect her children is something i generally consider a positive, though if im ever unaware of nearby bear cubs i hope the mother is the type that prefers to work things out amicably.
i dont think that is the only positive example of aggression either-- but i certainly believe some are negative. there are many reasons people will become aggressive, and i think some are justified and understandable. it really depends on the situation.
but the idea that aggression is a "male" trait is ridiculous. if we are going to pull out the stats and bell curves, we can be equally ridiculous and suggest that high intelligence is a male trait. i have no fondness of such opportunistic generalisations-- i consider them oversimplified and one-sided (more than i consider them "entirely bogus"-- but at least closer to bogus than "incredibly useful in practice", people make too much of them and tend to draw ridiculous conclusions or assumptions based on them).
if gender is truly a spectrum, then how...
the things that make me feel the most male are my height (though i do find tall women very attractive-- regardless of whether theyre taller or not) and my strength (though some of the women ive dated are almost certainly stronger) and i guess, some of those "angles" that ive seen people do incredible things to smooth out. ive been watching (make of it what you will, i was trying to understand something) a particular trans woman talk about various means of smoothing those angles without surgery (makeup, even silicone prosthetics) and these things can help someone explore their gender before possibly committing to (or being able to afford) surgery.
i believe gender dysphoria is a thing-- scientifically, i dont doubt it more than i doubt dyslexia being a thing. i feel if this is something i have, i have the most manageable gender dysphoria in the world. people who dont believe its real would probably love to trot me out as an example of it not being real, but ive seen the way some people truly suffer with it. again, ive had friends whose lives were simply never okay until they did something about this. thats not me. and with respect and sympathy, im grateful for that.
but really, i barely feel any biological imperative to be female. or male. but people REALLY WANT TO KNOW (its kind of a built-in thing with society to ask you to check this one or that one-- and i can appreciate how there are situations where it might matter; i think most trans people do too, but either way i think "too much" is obviously made of male/female binary as a general assumption) so i check male, because its doesnt really bother me to do so. though if there was a "why is this so important?" id probably check that more often. because a lot of the time i just dont think it is. but if it is sometimes-- like i said, whatever.
if youre waiting for a conclusion to be drawn here, i dont know what to tell you. i dont feel strongly "male" or strongly anything else. i dont feel strongly "other". but it does seem more reasonable if "other" is an option. many cultures have included an "other" (sometimes its a more specific other, but regardless one in addition to male/female) and its probably past time to consider doing the same, if only for cultural accuracy-- that is, a culture that actually reflects the people in it, rather than one that so forcefully imposes itself on the psyche in situations where it really has no business doing so.
so if people are wondering what to call me, for simplicitys sake, he/him is fine. the truth though, is i dont much give a shit. if i was in a room full of female friends (ive had mostly female friends, but not exclusively) and one of them called me "she" that wouldnt matter. if someone calls me something else for the deliberate purpose of being a dick-- its still offensive that you want to be a dick about this, but i consider it a ridiculous high school type of thing. some people really never leave high school, and some take longer than others. maturity is really a spectrum too (it might even be a myth-- who is actually mature, and how many more are just going through the motions?)
a room full of guys can treat me like a brother, if they feel that way. a room full of girls can treat me like a sister, if they feel that way (and i do know more than a couple of women who HAVE felt that way). when you look at it that way, maybe its really not too fucking complicated. or maybe your guess is as good as mine.