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Jack Monroe on being non-gender binary

(210 Posts)
IShouldBeSoLurky Tue 20-Oct-15 23:30:25

www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2015/10/being-non-binary-i-m-not-girl-called-jack-any-more-i-m-not-boy-either

I've got a lot of time for Jack and Jack's brave stance on poverty and honest approach to discussing it. I also think the the taunting Jack came in for when the Daily Mail took agin Jack was appalling (but then the DM treats everyone appallingly if they thing it's going to get them clicks).

But this article... I don't know. It seems to me it would all be SO much simpler if one were able to say, "I was born a girl and given a girl's name which I later changed. I'm a lesbian and a mother and proud of both those things. And I don't feel it's necessary for me to perform gender, because I think the things I enjoy like pushing weights and wearing high heeled shoes sometimes shouldn't be gendered things."

Instead we have this tortuous charade of writing copy that's confusing because individuals want to be referred to by a plural pronoun, and the massive shenanigans about deadnaming (of course it's offensive, but no more so than calling a woman by her husband's surname when she hasn't actually changed her name) - some of it might be bigotry but some might just be confusion. And some of it, like referring to the Olympic medalist as Bruce, not Caitlyn, Jenner, is just factually accurate.

I was talking to DP about it earlier and saying that almost all languages (all, maybe? I don't know) have been structured with gender as pretty fundamental, because when language was developing, a person's biological sex WAS significant in a way it perhaps isn't, or shouldn't be, now. What if language just wasn't gendered at all (eg if the phrase "Ladies and gentlemen..." were never used), and it was only necessary to refer to a person's biological sex when it was fundamental to the subject (eg pregnancy and childbirth)? What if we were all they/zhe/something else?

I'm sure this has all been gone over multiple times on here, but I find it so difficult. Part of me wants to give Jack the respect Jack deserves, and part of me is like, "Look, lots of us aren't comfortable with gender roles. Stop making out that you're some special snowflake who gets misgendered at every turn." And then I think maybe I'm just as out of touch and carmudgeonly as people who insist it's fine to call gay people "queers".

What do others think about all this?

Pixi2 Tue 27-Oct-15 07:58:28

I haven't read the whole thread but I will go back and do so. Just wanted to say on one hand it's very encouraging that we can use the word binary to describe someone that wants to be neither sex, but on the other hand, it's equally depressing. Our genitals may dictate our sex, but people are diverse and different. I'm trying to teach my DC to be PEOPLE and not a girl or a boy. I thought we lived in a world where women can like dresses, heels and rugby, where men can like nail polish, football and ballroom dancing. Where people are just that - people. Not defined by their sex but accepted as who they are as individuals.

ArcheryAnnie Sat 31-Oct-15 13:31:55

Just came back to say that Jack has read this thread - though not apparently very well as she repeats the strawman about cancer masectomies.

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/29/binary-gender-feminism-transgender-womens-award

She also calls us "trolls and naysayers", and describes people who disagree with her as "screeching".

Nice use of gendered insult, there, Jack. Good to see you are proving every stereotype about the misogyny and homophobia of so many (not all) extreme trans activists there.

EmpressKnowsWhereHerTowelIs Sat 31-Oct-15 14:44:34

Jack has also bought into the myth about Tara Hudson's safety being more important than that of any women Tara ends up in prison with. Really disappointed sad

TribbleNamedDave Sat 31-Oct-15 18:04:21

The thing is, being transgender and having cancer are two completely different things. I do think she's doing those who have suffered from cancer or chosen to have preventative mastectomies a disservice. She's doing it to pass as a male, those who have had mastectomies did it to stop cancer.

Thanks for the screechy comments though, thanks for tailoring the insults to the female gender.

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou Sat 31-Oct-15 19:52:46

So if it's possible to be a female and have a penis, is removal of that penis for cosmetic purposes Female Genital Mutilation and should any practitioners that carry this out be prosecuted for such?

And would we then have to prosecute for Male Genital Mutilation for F2M surgery?

I only ask because I'm genuinely uncomfortable with young people being irrevocably mutilated rather than coming to terms with the fact that their body is part of who they are.

I'd rather we dealt with the issues that made them feel they can't live with or without a certain set of genitals, than just remove them and believe that this solves the issue....

FinglesMcStingles Sat 31-Oct-15 20:22:02

* Likewise, I don't think that women's underwear would cover a man's genitals comfortably*

Actually, you might be surprised there. Obviously depends on the cut of the undergarments in question, but if they're sufficiently spacious rather than a couple of strands of dental floss, they not only hold everything in, they also hold everything neatly in place, reducing the need to constantly rearrange and also reducing the possibility of accidentally sitting on parts that should not be sat upon.

Or so DD's father tells me. And he ought to know, having eschewed men's undergarments many years ago.

TribbleNamedDave Sat 31-Oct-15 22:05:50

Iknow I do lean towards your way of thinking. I also wonder what the long term effects are of puberty blockers and then a body being given false hormones to make it do the opposite to what it's designed to do. Especially on a developing body, would their reproductive organs develop? Or would they stay in a prebusent state as there is no other system for the 'given' hormones to act on. What about the endocrine systems of a developing body as well.

welshHairs Sun 01-Nov-15 19:31:36

Aren't some of these gender identities more like sexual preferences?

Yes demisexual is a sexual preference not a gender identity. It seems to me to be part of the same trend of having to stick a really specific label on every aspect of your personality.

BuffytheScaryFeministBOO Mon 02-Nov-15 14:42:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArcheryAnnie Mon 02-Nov-15 15:59:15

That's boodleoops, right? I love boodleoops!

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