Friday, 31 October 2008

Friday, end of week, exercise

My body's slowly recovering from persistent flu and I had my first chance of a decent workout today - boy did it feel good!
I found out just a little after recovering from my body probs that I really really like, nay, make that love, exercise. It feels good, it makes my step bounce, it makes my heart sing and my brain fire up in all kinds of wonderful ways.
Which brings up an old point - if you're ill and your body's borked, get it fixed if you can. Pronto. It really is worth it.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Council elections and storm

Election day today - council elections. I'm hoping, as ever, for a more progressive, more leftist council, but I'm also worried (as ever) that people just will not vote. They'll stay at home instead. What this means, of course, is that righties will gain as they sure seem to hold onto their privileges. Results later today - here's hoping it'll turn out ok. I did vote.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Cissexism and erasure and am I trans or what?

Goodness what the world's going to - I hope all this clamoring around Bindel et al is a new beginning for the end of cissexist privilege: I have a hard time fitting my trans past with my cis-passing present. I don't feel like either. I sure am not cisgender, but I dunno if I'm trans in any meaningful way, either. My body and my brain and my mind and my soul match. Now. But I sure don't have the cis privilege of having had it always so, nor do I have the privilege of taking my sex/gender for granted. Or rather, I do: I can do it and actually do it every single day, but to my mind it sends all the wrong messages: it reinscribes the cissexist assumption that one's sex/gender is a solid, immutable whole which cis people assing on each other, no exceptions offered except for poor trannies and intersexed, who are then either normalised forcibly or put to the stocks for trying to live as themselves. Unless, of course, they "pass" (oh fuck what a word) and are nice and don't start yelling any nasty things about cissexism.

Am I trans? As in now? No, not really. Sure, my body's pretty weird biochemically speaking, but there's no mismatch anywhere, and my body is mine, and I'm pretty damn happy with it. There aren't any places in my life that I know of where I would have to pretend I'm someone I'm not. But I'm not cis. I know, for an experienced fact, that sex/gender does NOT in fact work the way it's told to. It's not that difficult to be in the wrong about someone's sex/gender, including youself's. And it's entirely possible to correct those mistakes, and admit they were mistakes, too. But no-one seems to want to admit it. Majority of people want to take sex/gender very seriously, and even if they can see they've made a mistake, they don't want to admit just how deep the mistakes go - thus the provisional nature of trans sexes/genders: the bad old "but she's really a man", of someone who was assigned male.

Where does this leave me? I know other people are wrong in assuming sex/gender is easy to assign more-or-less permanently. When I live my daily life, the way they assume my sex/gender produces correct results - but the method of producing the meanings is all wrong. It's like a broken clock: it's right on time twice a day, and my sex/gender happens to be one of those times. Yet that it happens to be right is not dependent on the mechanism of understanding sex/gender , but a mechanism of me being "normal" in the eyes of the [cis] majority. This feels highly weird.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Protecting heterosexism

Egads - found the time to talk with the teacher, and with my daughter, too - turns out the situation is a lot less worrying (good, that), but also a good deal more complicated (ehh..).

Basically, the heterosexism bit still stands. The teacher was trying to warn my daughter against stupidly getting herself into trouble, which is, I suppose, a good intention. But I'm still uneasy as I really really don't like the implications of a) that my daughter shouldn't provoke the frilly brigade by being herself, and b) that can't we all just get along, but queerish people please give way and be the smarter types. It's all very practical and that, I can see the point, but I'm afraid I'm getting more and more irritated at being accommodating to other people's prejudices.

It's really a double bind: if you accommodate, you're erasing yourself, and if you don't, you're provoking trouble and are labeled with a pejorative label of their choice. Bugger that.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Heterosexism and school

Oh joy. My younger daughter got a chewing at school because her class has supposedly been name-calling some other pupils. Now, I don't like calling people names, except their own, of course. But I resent that the teacher took apart my kid and tried to pressure her into dishing out dirt on the other kids. She didn't, but the whole concept of trying to make kids rat out on each other is just nasty and vindictive - adolescents are highly dependent on each other, and trying to pry them apart is not a wise move - they'll just close ranks even tighter. I'm obviously very happy that my daughter confided in me about this, and will try and help her find her way through this mess.
What I'm not at all happy about is the issue that the supposed name-calling was about. I'm given to understand my daughter's class got into trouble for expressing their unhappiness about the adolescent miniskirt-and-lippy-ooh-i'm-so-sexy -culture. They're 12-year olds. If they're being critical of hyperfeminity being force-fed to them, frankly, more power to them. If, as I'm wont to guess, they're dishing it out to the kids taunting them for being not feminine enough, I'm all for the kids doing the resistance. Adolescents should have the peace to grow into themselves without too much pressure from the outside to grow up as soon as possible, as vapid as possible. Even if it's peer-pressure (and by God if it's the teachers pressurising the kids...). If this is the case, and the school indeed is allowing gender expression -based harassment, the school's gonna get some serious grief. If my daughter has been stupid enough to participate in said harassment, I'll chew her out all right. But I wanna know first, and I'm not gonna make her squeal on her friends. Nor am I gonna start in an incriminatory spiral of blame and counterblame. But heterosexism must not be the only game in town, or school.

Monday, 20 October 2008

I'm at it again

Writing e-mails on lists, that is. Julie Bindel -affair sorta woke me up from slumber and made me realise bigotry is alive and kicking, and not just someplace like Hicksville, but in the liberal circles I frequent. Sometimes I even wonder if it's more common in liberal, educated circles as that kind of people are far more skilled in hiding the nasty repercussions of their attitudes. Hope I'll find out a way to go and bugger the people supporting that kind of crap.