Today in daft nonsense: feminine woman is not a woman

From Esquire, I’m Not Male. I’m Not Female. Please Don’t Ask Me About My Junk.

This article starts off really well.

“You’d be surprised how many people ask me about my crotch.”

Special snowflakes always believe that other people are obsessing over their genitals. We’re really not. Don’t flatter yourself.

“It’s a lot. I have had people ask me which “parts” I have, how they look, what I plan to do with them. I don’t run around with a sign that says “ask me about my crotch,” but as soon as I bring up my gender identity to certain people, all of a sudden it appears on the discussion table like a highly inappropriate Seamless order. Yes, even in New York. Yes, even among seemingly “progressive” people. And it stems from the fact that most people you meet simply do not know much about non-binary gender identities. It usually goes like this:

“So you don’t feel like a boy or girl?”

“Exactly.”

“But you wear makeup.”

“Yeah.”

“But you’re not a woman.”

“Nah.”

“…Huh.”

I don’t know…if someone told me they didn’t identify as male or female, I wouldn’t ask questions about what they plan on doing with their genitals. This doesn’t even sound real. If anyone has actually done this, I’d say they’re deliberately being an idiot.

“I have had this exact conversation at least once a week, every week since coming out publicly in November. It’s not one I mind; it just gets repetitive, and occasionally a little insulting if the conversation leads to questions like, “So you’re just trying to be different?” With trans visibility increasing more quickly than ever, non-binary gender identity is coming into focus, too.

And it’s often misunderstood.

On Tuesday, The New York Times Magazine published a brief etymology of the words “they” and “them” as pronouns for people who identify as genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, gender-noncomforming, and other genders. The piece is another stride in acknowledging those who do not feel they fit on the current male/female binary—and another piece in the growing conversation surrounding gender in society.

As someone who identifies with gender-neutral pronouns, I was amped to see the Times bring the discussion onto the radar of readers who may not know there are even people out there who don’t identify as male or female. I’ve been out for four months, but I’ve known I’m not cisgender for the last five or so years (probably longer, if I’m honest, depending on how you interpret some odd childhood habits).”

Maybe the reason nonbinary genders aren’t well understood is because they don’t make any sense. Everyone can tell she’s female. This is what she looks like:

Sam

She’s a regular, gender-conforming feminine woman. She attempts to explain what she means by non-binary, but her explanation really falls short.

“Aren’t you just born with your gender?

While gender and sex are frequently used interchangeably, the two do not mean the same thing. Your sex relates to your biology, both physiological and anatomical, which often influences how you’re treated in society (example: the enforcing of gender roles), but it is not the same as gender.

According to the World Health Organization, gender is “the socially constructed characteristics of women and men.” It goes on to emphasize the importance of sensitivity to “different identities that do not necessarily fit into binary male and female sex categories.”

So, she actually knows what sex and gender are! She has female biology, and she understands what “sex” means, so surely she understands that her sex is female? She also understands that gender is a social construct regarding the characteristics of men and women. She admits to being feminine, which is the gender role given to females, and yet somehow she is still non-binary?

“What’s the difference between a non-binary and a binary identity?

The gender binary separates those who identify as male or female, simple as that. Non-binary genders, however, don’t fit neatly within these two—they can be a combination of male and female, a fluid back-and-forth, or totally outside of the binary. Cisgender people, on the other hand, are folks whose identities align with the gender they were assigned at birth.

Note: “Non-binary” is an imperfect catchall for any gender outside of female and male, but it’s what I’ll primarily use in this rundown for simplicity’s sake.

Does this mean you don’t look female or male?

A common misconception is that all non-binary people are androgynous, but that isn’t the case. The way you present yourself (gender expression) and the way you identify can be connected, but they are not necessarily dependent on one another.”

She says people can be a “combination of male and female,” but male and female are biological categories, not genders, so the only way you can be a combination of male or female is if you are intersex. She’s not talking about intersex though, she’s talking about people who “identify” as not being their actual sex. Of course, as she explains, non-binary isn’t about your gender presentation, either. You can be a female who is totally feminine and still be non-binary! How? I don’t know, just by saying so, I guess? There is no actual reason given.

“I do not identify as a woman, but the above photos show you that I present fairly feminine, meaning most people assume I am a cisgender woman until I inform them otherwise. I keep my hair long because I prefer a lob cut. I don’t shave my legs. I wear dresses once in a while, and I play with makeup every day because it’s literally my job (I’m the Beauty Editor of GoodHousekeeping.com).

At the same time, I know people who identify as genderqueer, agender, genderfluid, and non-binary who have beards and wax their legs. I know others who sculpt their faces with makeup and prefer suits. I know some who wear no makeup at all and prefer short hair—all sorts of expressions that depend wholly on the individual.”

Cisgender means a person whose gender aligns with their sex, right? So, as a feminine woman, she actually IS cisgender. But no, because you can be a female who conforms to the female gender role and still not be cisgender, just by claiming that you aren’t. What is this elusive part of her that is not female?

“But how do you use “they,” “their,” and “they” in reference to a single person?

Using these words can feel a little odd at first. When I came out to my team at work, I gave them examples to clarify how my preferred pronouns are used to make the transition easier.

Example 1: Catherine is a great musician, they should start a band.

Example 2: I can’t get a hold of Jesse—can somebody call them for me?

Example 3: Peter loves their dog so much.”

Teaching other people to talk in weird ways just to confirm your nonsensical identity. Narcissistic much?

“So…which bathroom do you use?

Well, I would prefer to safely use whichever one is most readily available, as would most people, though certain lawmakers and general assholes would love to see that outlawed. When forced to choose between a men’s room and a women’s room, I typically use the women’s restroom because it’s the one that will garner the least amount of attention, negative or otherwise.

Everyone is different, of course, but the general consensus is that trans and non-binary people would just like to use the bathroom, period, with no bullying, threats of violence, or laws imposing our ability to do so.”

Gee, you use the women’s washroom? I WONDER WHY.

“Is it ever okay to ask non-binary people about “which parts” they have?

Just gonna go with a hard “no” on this one, though it’s shocking how many people think it’s okay to ask someone about what’s going on in their pants. It would be weird if someone at a party spontaneously asked you about your junk, right? So maybe don’t ask your trans and non-binary friends and acquaintances what’s up with theirs. Thanks in advance.”

I don’t even know why anyone would ask her about her genitals, since it’s perfectly obvious to everyone that she’s female, but if people are asking her questions about her genitals, they’re probably mocking her.

Non-binary genders are one of the reasons I reached peak trans. You can be a female who conforms perfectly to the gender role assigned to females, and still identify as non-female. Why? Who knows.

I’m more fucking non-binary than she is. I have short hair on my head, my leg hair is full grown, I wear a mix of feminine and masculine clothes, and once in a while I show up somewhere and realize I’m wearing the same outfit as one of the guys. I don’t make people call me “they” because I don’t have any delusions that I’m super special and need special attention. I use female pronouns because I’m female. No matter what outfit I have on or how I feel about myself, I remain female.

So does this lady.

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39 thoughts on “Today in daft nonsense: feminine woman is not a woman

  1. i am starting to think this is more of an effect of late industrial capitalism than anything else, especially this recent surge in “non-binary” gender identities. since “gender identity” is so codified in “presentation”, and presentation is everything from clothes, to shoes, to glasses, to makeup, to hair cut/color, why would a capitalist give a shit which genitalia was buying which facade? especially since women are expected to portray their gender the most heavily through use of cosmetics and other consumer goods, far and away more than men, it’s all the better for sales that you have men parading themselves around as women. someone like this woman may make no sense, but she’s definitely not hurting sales–sounds like she works directly for the people selling this crap.

    what bothers me most in pieces like this though is the claim to understanding the sex/gender distinction, then fully conflating male with man and female with woman. it’s one thing if you deny being a woman (even though, as you pointed out, she conforms in nearly every single respect to the binary), but to go a step further and deny your femaleness, that is the ridiculous part.

    i’m sure if she’s this stupid about pronouns at parties, everyone asking about her junk is just fucking with her.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I don’t even know why anyone would ask her about her genitals”

    I think I’ve sort of figured that one out it is this: “but as soon as I bring up my gender identity to certain people…”

    The problem wouldn’t be there if this person didn’t bring it up themselves. They’ve given themselves an obscure label, with a confusing mishmash of an explanation that mixes up several different ideas and collapses them into one thing. So I think they’d do what I’d do, which is be utterly confused about what they are talking about and what the waffle is about not being male or female or not identifying as such.

    I suspect what they may really be saying is something like “but you are clearly female, you’ve got female anatomy, right?” but they are hearing “let’s see what’s in your pants” because in that paradigm, everybody else simply just should know automatically what it’s all about. It’s an excellent trap, because then any confusion coming from anyone else can be cast as bigotry and bullying from an unkind world.

    Liked by 6 people

    • She’s lying. No one ever asks her that. She has Transexual Envy. If she was actually a sex change getting person then her genitals would be an issue. She wants them to be an issue. Because then she’d be like way more trans. 😣

      Can you imagine having to work with someone like that? Or worse work for them? She’s obviously either a massively self-absorbed flake. Or actively delusional. Are those wholly individual negative features of her now going to be protected in the workplace? 😮

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Yea but, but, but… isn’t she just saying what practically any woman (and possibly some men) would say — that she doesn’t f*****ng want to conform to feminine gender conditioning, so she’s rejecting the label? I’ve tried to decode the babble-speak, and all I hear is “hey, I’m not conforming to gender rules, okay?” I gather she doesn’t want to be treated like a woman, so if she wasn’t babble-speaking, she’d probably just say “treat me like a human”, rather than treat me like a gender-fluid non-binary. sheesh. What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Can i chastise you for basing a judgement purely on appearance? There are countless ways she could be non-conforming that no one would be able to see from the outside. No?

        Like

        • It’s possible that some part of her personality is masculine. But c’mon, she specifically calls herself feminine. Even if she has a secret, like, race car hobby or something, I still think this nonbinary thing is bullshit.

          Liked by 3 people

        • Well yes 🙂 I’m kind of fascinated, though, with what might be behind this kind of totally incomprehensible piece of “communication”.

          Liked by 1 person

        • She provides a very feminine photo for the article and then talks about how she chooses to appear feminine even though she is ‘non-binary’

          I am half-suspecting a poe here. It’s too easy these days.

          And a ‘masculine personality’. Why can’t she just be a woman who likes non-traditional things? Things that we might not associate with our ideas of what ‘traditional’ femininity is all about. It doesn’t make her non-binary, it just makes her, as I believe you have said, a person with a personality!

          She is only non-binary in that she might not be conforming to strict traditional gender roles in some sense. But then she conflates it with *sex* and that is where the problems start.

          Doesn’t subscribe to traditional roles = non-binary = must be the opposite sex!

          It’s the conflation of sex with gender that is the problem with the entire trans bag of bullshit. Back in the early 1900s it was not ‘traditional’ for women to vote, or to wear pants. When women earned the vote did they become men, because they were doing something traditionally associated with the masculine gender? When Coco Chanel popularized pants and thousands of women followed suit and all started wearing pants, were they women in pants, or did they become genderfluid ‘men’?

          So to try to summarise:

          What is traditionally feminine or masculine changes over time.
          These traditional gender roles are socially constructed and imposed on men and women.
          Idiot POMO trans activists look at the modern incarnation of what is ‘traditional’. conflate sex and gender, and then declare that women who do modern ‘manly’ activities must be men!

          Was there not a time when high heels were for men only? So, are modern men all a buncha women because they don’t wear heels? Are trans women actually men because they do wear heels?

          I have given myself a headache. I hope that that ramble made sense on some level. It really really hurts to think about this stuff:(

          P.S. And all of the above is why I am wedded to my fave question: “Please define woman without resorting to gender stereotypes or circular logic”

          Liked by 5 people

        • Yea, not to mention times and places when beauty, grace and elegance were the prerogatives of men at least as much as for women. Are contemporary men in jeans and plaid shirts less masculine? How about a new slogan? Jeans and plaid shirts are for wusses. ??

          Liked by 3 people

        • A:
          Ok, so the argument is that trans men, for example, have manly brains.
          The brain causes them to like manly stuff – such as flannel shirts and jeans.

          B:
          In the court of Louis XIV, a trans man with a manly brain would be wanting to wear satin, big hair, heels and frilly clothes. His ‘manly brain’ would have compelled him to seek such clothing out.

          So, please, trans activists, do explain how your manly brain in Example A means that you are a man because you like flannel, and in Example B means that you are a man because you like satin and frills.

          I really want to fucken know how this works, since apparently, according to trans logic, the sex of your brain is immutable, and leads you to like certain things that are associated with one or the other biological sex.

          If you like frills in 2010s you are a woman even if born male.
          If you like frills in the 1600s you are a man even if born female.

          Liked by 4 people

        • @purplesagefem

          And many trans allies will say that it’s possible for men to like feminine things and women to like masculine things. They also state that there is no such thing as brain sex (transactivists are divided on this it seems)

          So since dressing and behaving like a woman = being a woman, is no longer viable, what’s left?

          FEELING like a woman. What does it mean to FEEL like a woman? And the newest thing is that one can be trans without any GID. Your penis is female. Your vagina is male. So if you are completely happy with your body, and happy with dressing in a contemporary gender stereotypical manner that matches your biological sex (frills for girls) then WTF DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WOMAN?????????

          Liked by 2 people

      • This is in reply to Jessica, her come out with the “satin and frills” in it.

        THIS! This is perfect.😃 I’ve been trying to make my brain come up with an illustration like this. I can see the 18th-century dandies in their clothes and see how different they are from “masculine” things today. Anyway excellent excellent! Thank you.

        With regards to asking what does it mean to say “I feel like a woman” and to ask for their definition of woman, I don’t even bother. These people are transvestites. Autogynephiles are just a more extreme version of a transvestite.The whole sex change horror was invented for them. And all the non-autogynephile supposedly transgender people are part of the autogynephile’s cover story. The “gender dysphoric” gay teens, the non-binary/genderfluid — can we call them non-fluid instead? — have all been pulled in or cobbled together to defend their bullshit concept of ‘gender identity’. Which is their nifty gimmick for trying to give transgender the same status as a thing in the world as gay.

        purplesage, is it OK if I put a link here to my animation Lizzie And Jessica Talk About Tumblr?
        https://petuniacat.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/lizzie-and-jessica-talk-about-tumblr/

        Liked by 2 people

    • That was what I was thinking, too.

      I am a very feminine-looking woman, but I reject being treated like what patriarchy understands a “woman” to be. I’d be rather treated like a human.

      Granted, I don’t use makeup, but apart from that, the only difference between her and me is that I can’t be bothered to “come out” and all that.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The “woman” in this photo identifies as a woman and has been making the argument on Twitter that “she” needs the safety of the woman’s bathroom and is advising women not to freak out if they see her in their toilet. She says that she doesn’t pass and therefore requires women to accommodate “her”

    She came out as a woman a year ago and still has a beard:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/11/17/today-im-saying-goodbye-to-my-old-self/

    A feminist said that Danielle is entitled to use any bathroom that makes her feel comfortable, and stated that women who oppose are bigots.

    And people talk about trans genitals all the time because they and their allies make a big deal out of it.

    Oh. PSF, are you in Europe? I have a question for you.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, and I was banned on another blog arguing about that persons right to use women only facilities

        Apparently I and anyone who sees “male” there is a transphobe because she is not a “hottie”

        And, it was explained that it is possible to discern that Danielle Is a real woman vs a cisman who is wrongly using women’s facilities.

        ??????????

        I asked about your location because it was also explained that in “civilized” nations *everything* is unisex. Everything. No one cares about genitals. Girl children shower naked alongside grown men at the pool.

        Was banned before I could get a citation.

        Liked by 3 people

    • When I was a girl, showers were sex segregated in Germany. I haven’t been to a public pool in years, but from what I heard, it is still that way. There are a few places where there’s mixed saunas and stuff, but you are informed about that, and for all I know it is not common.

      Public toilets in Germany are still sex segregated. All of them. Never encountered it being any other way.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. If someone came at me with this line of conversation I’d walk off.

    I am an adult with real responsibilities. When I am not satisfying those I have recreational activities that interest and restore me. This conversation does neither one, and I do not have time to discuss the genitalia of total strangers. I realize that these terminally self-centered people are very interested in their own genitalia (and, maybe, the genitalia of other people), but this is a fascination I do not share. I couldn’t even get through the entire prose explanation.

    Bye-bye.

    Liked by 4 people

    • “I have had people ask me which “parts” I have, how they look, what I plan to do with them.” Right. For sure. Everyone ahead or right behind you in the line at the supermarket, I imagine. (This is actually a conversation I cannot envision myself having with anyone under any circumstances whatever. Yuck.)

      The worst thing imaginable would be to sit next to this person on an airplane, where you could not get away. Like, a nine hour flight to Europe. (I’m thinking of this because I just bought a plane ticket.) Nightmarish!! This person obviously spends all if his/her time thinking about his/her genitalia, and of course must tell EVERYONE ALL ABOUT IT!! I’d be lucky if they didn’t strip down halfway though the flight. (Shudder.) New frontiers in being self-involved!

      I am comforted, however, when I remember that flying is not free. I cannot imagine that this person has the time/inclination to get a job. (Might cut into the Thinking About Genitalia Time!!) Probably lives in Mom’s basement. While I have nothing but sympathy for Mom (just imagine what THAT must be like!!) I am hoping against hope that she has not sprung for a ticket for Our Thinking Person (perhaps just to get the whole business out of the house for a while).

      Liked by 1 person

      • She is actually, wait for it, the make up editor at some stupid fashion magazine. I learned that in a different post about this loony.

        The only important thing about that is, I get to do stickers: 💄💋👠💅🏼 Unisex ~> 🕶
        😊

        Liked by 1 person

  6. You know, according to some people’s definition of non-binary, she might be. She’s just following the rules they invented.

    Do any of you happen to know the webcomic Order of the Stick? One of the characters is an androgynous elf named Vaarsuvius, who I am pretty sure was intended to be male, but wears robes and has long hair. The readers weren’t sure or hir sex, and asked the author. Who then said he wouldn’t ever reveal Vaarsuvius’ sex.

    So, V’s unknown sex is a running gag. V hirself considers it to be of no importance (in the comic that reveals how V came to join the group, it is revealed that on V’s application form there’s an inkstain on the box for “gender”, and V says it is fortunate that the stain is on something so wholly irrelevant.)

    Recently, someone started a thread suggesting that Vaarsuvius is genderfluid, and in this thread there was a link to a statement by the author that V is genderqueer.

    According to the author, V has a sex, although we don’t know it, and we can reasonably assume that this sex is either female or male, as the author didn’t even know there could be any confusion about it before readers started to ask questions.

    I have always read Vaarsuvius as a completely normal elf, who just happens to be from a culture where gender roles are not a thing. V would therefore not identify as any gender, but just acknowledge hir sex and be done with it.

    People on that thread are of the opinion that V’s lack of interest in gender means they are genderqueer.

    Which would mean that I am genderqueer, too. I don’t identify as woman, after all, I just happen to be one.

    Maybe Sam was, once upon a time, a completely normal woman, who just had the misfortune to meet a group of gender lobbyists, who managed to convince her that she’s non-binary.

    Frankly, I would not be surprised.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Reading through the comment thread on the NY Times article that she references was interesting. Feminists, for a long time, have talked about pronoun use in the context of nonsexist language. An English nongendered pronoun would be very useful in my opinion. (“They” is not it, however.) Where the gender worshippers fall short though is in not realizing that said pronoun would have to be used by and for EVERYONE to really undermine sex roles/sexism and start the long journey to seeing/treating people as humans first. Their special snowflake glasses and obsession with being different and unique prevent them from achieving this realization, to the detriment of everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve never had someone ask me about my genitals but when I cam out to my cousins they were super confused. I just told them that I’m not a man or a woman. You may say that I’m transitioning into a stereotypical man but in reality I’m transitioning to be the real me. Inside and out. Plus, it’s gonna be awesome to wear dresses after I get on testosterone and no breasts left.

    Love your perspective!

    Like

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