Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Simple Pleasure ~ Simple Confusion

Yesterday, I wrote about how Facebook is allowing new gender choices.  The Washington Post had an article giving one definition of each of the Facebook terms.  I don't think there's agreement on these; it's more like Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - - that's all.

In any event, you can see the full list of terms here and some idea of their meaning.  My problem is, you use a label for yourself and if your audience doesn't understand that label it's meaningless.  Bernie Sanders says he's a socialist, and that gives his voters certain expectations.  But the average citizen (not you guys ~ you're all way above average Lake Wobegon citizens) thinks President Obama is a socialist ~ if one said "based on what I know, I expect you to..." they'd be very wrong, either in their understanding of socialism or Obama.

So is "transwoman" or "transman" a ciswoman who transitioned to male?  What is "trans*?"  How do I address a gender fluid individual, especially an androgynous gender fluid person?  Does that even make sense?  How about "gender sloshing" instead of fluid?

Anyway, read the article "Confused by Facebook’s new gender options? Here’s what they mean", and hand out copies to your friends when they say "you're a what?"

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