Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thoughts on "Die Cis Scum"

friendzoning-ninja: Maybe it’s a good thing they’re being exposed to different types of people, but there is one thing that really bothers me: people’s first exposure to the term/prefix “cis*” is going to be having it used as an insult. People are going to associate “cis*” with a negative meaning, not see it as the neutral term it should be. This is a problem, because people have been working a long time to have this recognized as the neutral counterpart to “trans*”. It’s extremely vexing to see people use the term as a joke.

That’s the problem with being a deliberately ignored minority: since we’re being ignored deliberately, we’ll be given attention deliberately as well. It’s no coincidence that everyone is paying attention to “die cis scum” who previously had no intention of spending 2 seconds thinking about trans issues. It’s not just that they passively don’t want to pay attention to us, it’s that they actively want to continue to not care about us. As the gatekeepers for public attention, they give us two options:

  1. We can beg and plead for compassion and mercy till our faces turn blue and still be ignored.
  2. We can become angry and have people focus on that anger to the exclusion of the message behind it.

This is not on us. Trans people are not to blame. Any efforts to pick apart each others’ strategy which ignore the harsh reality of those 2 options above is completely missing the point. We cannot “win” this game by attempting to play by the rules, because it’s rigged. We need to turn the criticism toward where it belongs, on the cis-supremacist agenda.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dear Girl who One Direction thinks is beautiful:

It's okay to behave in a manner you find comfortable.
It's okay to place your sense of self-worth in something other than your appearance.
It's okay to place your sense of self-worth in something other than what a boy thinks about your appearance.
You don't need to change your behavior to match a boy's expectations.
You don't need to be flattered when a boy writes a song all about how you should change your behavior to further please him.
You don't need to please anyone but yourself.
girl acting coy then flipping off man

Christians: It's okay to take credit.

When I talk about the bad things some Christians do, one will invariably say “oh, I’m not like those Christians, they’re doing bad things in the name of Christ and it makes me sad”. But as soon as a Christian does something good it turns into “all glory be to God!”
I’m not saying Christians suck, let’s throw rocks at them.
I’m saying that it’s okay that I notice you, a human, being good. I may even think you’re a swell human person. Keep up the good work. ♥

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Privilege of "Happy Cows"

The Ethicist Contest Winner: Give Thanks for Meat  For me, eating meat is ethical when one does three things. First, you accept the biological reality that death begets life on this planet and that all life (including us!) is really just solar energy temporarily stored in an impermanent form. Second, you combine this realization with that cherished human trait of compassion and choose ethically raised food, vegetable, grain and/or meat. And third, you give thanks.

Good news! You can eat meat as long as you place yourself in a very particularly privileged position above the rest of the planet and ignore how most people won't ever have accesses to the same resources and choices that you do!

What, there's no way that we can find enough land to produce enough of this sort of ethical meat to feed the entire planet, and even less of a way to make it affordable? Oh, well you should have thought of that before you chose to be born as someone less privileged as myself.

Give thanks to me, for I am to be praised for finding a way to wrap my privilege-denial in self-aggrandizement!
McGoats says "Do you realize the privileged position one must be in, in order to be vegan?"
Oh yes, no doubt of that. It wasn't at all what I was responding to, but I agree with you. Getting to eat ethically in any way is a privilege, be it "happy cows" [aka expensive cows] or no cows [aka food considered too "specialty" for regular grocery marts]. Like yesterday, my friend had pizza, and I could either eat what he offered or go hungry. And back to the guy whose privilege-denial I was criticizing, I couldn't just eat only happy cow meat even if I wanted to, since that stuff is damn expensive.

My concern is that if the people who control the food production process were to somehow manage to overhaul the entire system and produce only low-impact sustainable ethical food, we simply won't have enough to feed the entire planet that way if we insist upon a high-animal-protein diet. I can see a future in which some people do eat some meat, but it would be at a greatly reduced rate of consumption than what is typical (at least in the USA where I am). And those of us who are able to sustain ourselves without meat are welcome to continue to do so.

People who insist that a more ethical food supply must come from the bottom-up are speaking from a place of privilege. The people at the bottom of society cannot bear the brunt of the blame for the less ethical choices we make, because more ethical choices do often come at too great a cost, precisely because ethics itself is not built into the system.

Does that mean my decisions are magically more ethical because the most ethical option was not available to me? Nope, I still acted less ethically. All it means is that I'm not to blame for my less-ethical non-choice. The sooner I accept that there are better options being denied me and the more I demand more ethical options (at less cost) available to myself and others like me, the sooner (hopefully) we can overhaul the entire system to make ethical decisions less privileged. But even still, it's not our fault if our demands fall on hardened hearts (those of us who are willing and able to take the time and effort out of our busy lives to make such demands).

But seriously, assholes like that "let's all just eat happy cows, yay!" bro aren't doing anything but helping privileged people like him feel better about themselves.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Genderqueer Appropriation

 What isn’t appropriation:

  • Being a femme-presenting person with a female-designated body
  • Being a butch-presenting person with a male-designated body
  • Pretending to be cisgender (aka being in the closet) around certain people or in certain situations for personal safety

What is appropriation:

  • Adapting a genderqueer identity out of some sense that it will increase your social status
  • Refusing to stick up for the rights of genderqueer people in situations where it would not be unsafe to do so

I’m not the gender police, so I won’t run around issuing appropriation tickets. But I do ask everyone to please be respectful of the fact that sometimes cis privilege can cause us to overlook the ways we are capable of hurting others.