Men do have babies. Ask any transgender man who has had one. July 26, 2008 1:33 AM   Subscribe

How much anti-trangenderism is considered tolerable?

ChickenringNYC seems to be crossing the line. His spiel that men are men and women are women because he doesn't get transgender may be considered questionable, but his "I feel sorry for the kid" stance is pure bigotry-in-compassionate-clothing: That same garbage has been regurgitated hundreds of different ways (ie religion race nationality sexual preference et al).

Toss in meanspiritedness, and suddenly I find myself here in MetaTalk appealing for peer review.
posted by humannaire to Etiquette/Policy at 1:33 AM (91 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Lighten up, Francis.
posted by codswallop at 1:45 AM on July 26, 2008


It's inevitable that a discussion of this issue, which is an evolving, complicated, and controversial one, will include opinions from people who are not comfortable with transgenderism, people who are not well educated about it, and people who have not been taught to be careful when phrasing their comments on it.

I mean, a lot of the medical innovations that allow people to transition as completely as they do are very, very recent and very rare. It's going to take time for attitudes to shift and information to spread.

So what do you hope for from this thead, humannaire? If you would like disparaging comments such as those you point out to be moderated, then I think you're sort of jumping ahead. It seems to me that we can't yet afford to skip the step of engaging these people, acknowledging their existence, and attempting to convince them to listen to alternate views.

If, on the other hand, you're hoping that members of this community will become more aware of how hurtful such comments can be and will take a more active role in engaging such commenters and expressing their disapproval of their tone/etc., then I share that hope with you.
posted by prefpara at 1:47 AM on July 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bigotry against some sexual minorities is permitted. If the target is a woman, boyzonery doesn't get tolerated. If the target is some other minority, it depends on the situation and the sympathies of the parties involved. It's an unfair world, sometimes, and like you, humannaire, I wish it was better.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:57 AM on July 26, 2008


Actually, I rolled my eyes more at this one. The ol' tried-and-true "he, I mean, "she", I mean, uh, "it" ... aaargh I don' know whatta call this thing OMG MAH HEAD ASPLODE".

So tired.
posted by taz at 2:27 AM on July 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


Yes, I was particularly pleased by the "it"; I mean, if I'm not easily classifiable as a man or a woman, I must be an object, right?

It seems to me that we can't yet afford to skip the step of engaging these people, acknowledging their existence, and attempting to convince them to listen to alternate views.

I agree in theory. In practice, there's at least one new person every thread, and they all have the same arguments. I really should keep the old threads bookmarked and just tell them to go read. Although, I suppose, that assumes they're interested in actually engaging and didn't want to just come in and be all common sense-tastic at us.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:42 AM on July 26, 2008


Part of this comment says a lot:

"I'm not a hater, I'm just part of the population who, when they see a photo of this person above a headline saying "Man has baby!", calmly, rationally and "matter-of-factly" tells himself, "No man has a child.""

Also from here: "since I'm a man, that if I wasn't a man and wanted to BE one, I certainly wouldn't want to be having a baby and going through all of that stuff. Because men don't have babies."

From which you learn that he doesn't really feel responsible for the impact of his opinion on others because he thinks he is part of a group of folk that share it, and is having a hard time imagining that the rules in life can change. And his logic is: I don't experience it, therefore it's wrong.

Pretty self-centred, it makes me wonder if he's actually aware of how his behaviour comes across. Not to mention illogical - I notice he uses the "a woman is a woman if she has reproductive organs" argument but doesn't go on to criticise Beatie's partner with the same vigor/disgust for being unable to conceive/carry a child. It would be silly if it weren't so damn unpleasant.
posted by saturnine at 3:51 AM on July 26, 2008


There's a lot that's cringe-inducing about the comments in that thread (and not just those by ChickenringNYC). It seems to be one of those topics that inspires opining and asserting by people who don't know what they are talking about.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 4:09 AM on July 26, 2008


I don't personally find any anti-transgenderism to be tolerable, but deleting his comments isn't going to change his mind.
posted by cmonkey at 5:02 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why did you bring this here? You tipped me over the edge into commenting when I had managed to avoid doing so. Now I've given my ill-informed opinion against my better judgement, damn you!
posted by dg at 5:07 AM on July 26, 2008


MetaFilter is not a peer revewed journal, or blog.
posted by fixedgear at 5:32 AM on July 26, 2008


Much as the plumage of a yellow-throated swallow-tail indicates to potential mates that a bird is potent, healthy, and a good provider, ChickenringNYC's unironic caps and exclamation marks tells the reader "Hey, I'm a tool, no need to take what I'm saying seriously."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:36 AM on July 26, 2008 [19 favorites]


The ignorance and/or bigotry of a few people in that thread is quite clear.

Again, I maintain that allowing people to come forth and identify themselves by shoving their cruddy feet in their mouths is a feature, not a bug. It makes it much easier to determine who I'd even consider inviting over for a beer.
posted by loquacious at 6:13 AM on July 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


I agree with Alvy. His general aura -- careless, rude, and inarticulate -- reminds me of when the camgirls invaded Metafilter and made everyone cry with their sheer vacuousness. But out of that muck rose kindall's beautiful comment. I'm not sure what the moral is, except maybe that there's not much point to wrestling a pig. Or for that matter, engaging one. For one thing, it's impossible to find a diamond ring that will fit over a hoof that size. Trust me -- I've looked.
posted by melissa may at 6:13 AM on July 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


What loquacious said.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:42 AM on July 26, 2008


What are we going to do when there is no other left to hate?
posted by Meatbomb at 6:51 AM on July 26, 2008


*reads ancient camgirls thread*

You know, I've joked about wanting to be able to punch people over the internet before, but I don't think I've ever wanted it so badly as I have now.

There has to be some way to make the CCD in a webcam emit photons. A lot of photons. Perhaps a lot of coherent photons in the form and shape of a very high powered laser. A very high powered laser that would vaporize the head of anyone sitting in front of that webcam.

But I would settle for just being able to make the webcam and/or computer explode and/or catch fire.

Now if you'll excuse me I think I need to try to knock some sense back into my head with a brick, because a lot of it seemed to have leaked out when I read that goddamn thing.
posted by loquacious at 7:19 AM on July 26, 2008


What are we going to do when there is no other left to hate?

Well, there's always self-hate.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:19 AM on July 26, 2008


OH MY GAWD, somebody disagrees with your strongly held opinion!!elevnty111!

Whatever shall we do??

Oh, right, we're all adults here, and people have different opinions. Perhaps we'd be best served with trying to change those opinions by cogently refuting them, rather than complaining that not everybody marches in lock-step with us.
posted by orthogonality at 7:22 AM on July 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


I did delete someone's lame flip one-line comments that were very anti-transgender, but I left the subject of this post's comments in because at least the guy wrote a few sentences trying to explain (and dig himself in further).

Others have responded in the thread, refuting most of what he has said. I don't think it'll change his mind anytime soon, but if he gets meaner or this is some part of troll-streak, we'll talk to the user, but I'd file this under not-everyone-agrees-on-mefi.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:44 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Weird. The first comment in the camgirl thread, from 2001, ends with "kthxbi." I guess I knew that phrase didn't necessarily originate with the LOLcats, but I'm I had no idea it was seven years old.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:21 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm agreeing with the dislike for the guy's comments; I tried very hard (and barely succeeded) at not saying something wildly intemperate in the thread last night. But it does seem like the sort of situation where we've got someone gamely (if pretty obnoxiously) expressing their opinion in a thread, and at least making some sort of attempt to explain himself, and it's a subject that is for better or for worse still genuinely contentious territory for some folks who haven't grappled with it in intelligent company before.

If the guy starts jumping at every thread that touches to topic as an opportunity to reiterate his points, I think we'll have more of a problem then. As it is, it seems like a thread that is as much as anything instructive by being left mostly intact.

Actually, I rolled my eyes more at this one. The ol' tried-and-true "he, I mean, "she", I mean, uh, "it" ... aaargh I don' know whatta call this thing OMG MAH HEAD ASPLODE".

The ironic gossip columnist for the Portland Mercury weekly (our die-stampled clone of cousin publication to Seattle's The Stranger) played the same Ha Ha Transgender Is Confusing thing about this same story several weeks back. The reaction the paper got was overwhelmingly negative; I think it's the first time they've run an earnest apology in the column's (and maybe the whole snarkier-than-thou paper's) history.

SUBTLE HINT TO CHICKENRINGNYC ^^^
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:39 AM on July 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's considered good ettiquette to put a link in the original thread to any resulting MeTa threads, so I'mma gonna go ahead and add one over there.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:46 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh, fun.

Can we just have a Sex != Gender flag?
posted by mrzarquon at 8:53 AM on July 26, 2008


People are people, they occasionally say ugly or offensive shit, and you're not going to change anyone's mind on the internet.

Can we just put that in the wiki?
posted by JaredSeth at 9:03 AM on July 26, 2008


Can we just have a Sex != Gender flag?

The only flag anyone should ever have to use is "noise."
posted by kittyprecious at 9:10 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I say that having been every bit as offended as others by the comments, but to me that contentiousness is part of the community too. This place would be dull as dirt if everyone agreed on everything.

Hell, there are people here who the minute I see their username I just know I'm about to get aggravated or angry, but I wouldn't stop them from posting even if I could. I don't think I've ever even used the offensive/sexism/racism flag. Bring it on, MeFi.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:15 AM on July 26, 2008


If the guy starts jumping at every thread that touches to topic as an opportunity to reiterate his points, I think we'll have more of a problem then.

I'm pretty sure this is the short answer to any "How much X is intolerable on Metafilter" question.
posted by tkolar at 9:17 AM on July 26, 2008


The only flag anyone should ever have to use is "noise."

Well, there are needs and there are wants.

We need a flag for unacceptable noise, and we have it.

However, I really want a flag that will do horrible, painful things to the user. Not evil painful things but productively painful things. In this case, I would like to flag ChickenringNYC so that he/she is forced to live as a transgender for a year. Not in NYC. Perhaps in Russia or Saudi Arabia.

Ideally this would be a contextually aware, multimodal feature. Bigots who hate or idiotarians totally fail to understand a given minority or outlier of humanity get to live as one until they get the point.
posted by loquacious at 9:27 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've never posted in Talk before so I'm probably doin' it wrong on some level, but I have to say I think people did a very good job of responding to ChickenringNYC in the thread. Hat-tip.
posted by wintersweet at 9:30 AM on July 26, 2008


I have a suspicion that the camgirls thread was perpetrated by a bunch of MeFites taking the piss.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 AM on July 26, 2008


I was also a little surprised as the vehemence of the anti-trans sentiment in that thread. I'd gotten used to MeFi being more enlightened than that. Many of the ensuing posts in response reminded me that the majority of posters are still pretty cool.
posted by Hildegarde at 10:31 AM on July 26, 2008


Metafilter is not the real world. In the real world*, more people agree with Chickenring et al that men don't have babies. Out there, you may need to engage such people, and call into question their deeply held beliefs, and perhaps even convince them of your progressive understanding of gender and sex and who it's ok to sleep with and marry.

You don't get a MetaTalk link out there. Honestly, I know that people say really stupid stuff here, and it's great to haul them in here to get pilloried. But isn't it a better solution, in general, to disagree with them in an articulate and convincing way instead of whining for a referee?
posted by norm at 10:42 AM on July 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


In response to tortoise's comment above

Who the hell is tortoise?

I vote that chickenring is just a simple troll*

INGREDIENTS
* 1 cup troll
* 1 cup public website

DIRECTIONS
1. In an electronic medium combine anonymity and an audience. Bring to a controversial topic, stir shit, until someone's annoyed. From henceforth on, ignore.


--

That survivor thread is scary. Please someone hold me?
posted by porpoise at 10:43 AM on July 26, 2008


I'd gotten used to MeFi being more enlightened than that.

It's my opinion that MeFi is decidedly more mainstream and much less adventerous and neophiliac than it used to be. It's become a bit stodgy and predictable. There are a lot more one-line Fark-like responses. There is a lot more "Eww, that's weird! Make it go away!" and less "Oh, that's new and different and cool. How do I find out more?" comments.

Fucking stop that, right now, ok? Because if this place gets any safer or more comfortable I'll have to leave. I get social claustrophobia. One of my coping mechanisms is to make boring, 'normal' people highly uncomfortable by going off the deep, weird end of the pool and really letting it all hang out - and it's not exactly the most reasoned or mature response.
posted by loquacious at 10:45 AM on July 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Perhaps we'd be best served with trying to change those opinions by cogently refuting them, rather than complaining that not everybody marches in lock-step with us.

Yes, please. The whole point of MeFi is a community, and in a community, you get to meet people with different views and discuss (argue, cajole, ignore) them.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:48 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I'd gotten used to MeFi being more enlightened than that."

Well, this is the sort of thing I'm seeing on other sites: "The 'pregnant man' gave birth to a girl. Oh for Chrissakes... I'm sorry, just because you call yourself a man, doesn't make you one. The REALLY butch lesbian just had her baby. That's better."

MeFi is still pretty enlightened compared to that, I would venture.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:53 AM on July 26, 2008


It's threads like those that chase out any trans people, or people who are close to trans identified folks. Which is sad, because it's also threads like those that really need a dose of real life experiences of trans folks/trans friends.
posted by gleea at 10:54 AM on July 26, 2008


But isn't it a better solution, in general, to disagree with them in an articulate and convincing way instead of whining for a referee?

It's an interesting question, really.

Leaving aside the problem of tackling people's irrational fears with logical arguments, is it better to have things devolve into a thousand little arguments or to instead have a united front in the form of moderators intervention?

I go back and forth on that. I think it comes down to whether I think the person is posting honestly or is just trolling.

For honest posters:
  • Lots of feedback from different people will expose them not just to contrary opinions but a large variety of views, some of which may speak to the poster.
  • Moderator intervention will leave them feeling shunned, as if speaking their mind was inappropriate. Not really what Metafilter is about.
For trolls:
  • Lots of feedback from different people is troll food. Lots of angry people is the jackpot.
  • Moderation intervention will leave them feeling shunned and unfed. Unfed trolls wander off in search of greener pastures.
I don't have a solution to this conundrum, but it seems to be at the heart of the problem.
posted by tkolar at 11:00 AM on July 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


That survivor thread is scary. Please someone hold me?

I'm more scared that I remember the thread from the first time round.

It's threads like those that chase out any trans people, or people who are close to trans identified folks.

Heh. I'm trans and I've avoided posting too much in that thread because I always flood trans posts on mefi with comments and I think I've run out of stuff to say...
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:02 AM on July 26, 2008



oh, fun.

Can we just have a Sex != Gender flag?
posted by mrzarquon at 10:53 AM on July 26 [+] [!]
,.,.,,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,

Can we put it right next to the "Transsexual != Transgendered" flag? Apples and oranges, people.

Example:

Male or female bodied people who believe "gender" to be wholly socially constructed and who may or may not use gender-neutral pronouns = transgendered.

People who go through the medical and legal steps outlined in the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care for treatment of Gender Identity Disorder = transsexuals.

Transgendered people generally want to challenge the notion of gender. Transsexual people generally just want to live the gender they perceive themselves to be. Conflating the two does both groups a disservice.
posted by mountain_william at 11:12 AM on July 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


Fucking stop that, right now, ok? Because if this place gets any safer or more comfortable I'll have to leave. I get social claustrophobia. One of my coping mechanisms is to make boring, 'normal' people highly uncomfortable by going off the deep, weird end of the pool and really letting it all hang out - and it's not exactly the most reasoned or mature response.

And we should want you to stay... why now?

More interesting people than you have already left. More interesting people than you will probably sign up if you decided leave. If you honestly think the mere threat of your departure is enough to sway behavior, or if you honestly think the site needs you more than you need it then it is probably time for a little vacation.

Funny thing is? I kinda agree with the gist of the point you were trying to make (except for that bit at the end where you threatened to act like a child,) like what you post in general and don't *want* you to leave. It's just that you just made your point in an egotistical and hyperbolic way that's becoming, well, predictable...

posted by Cyrano at 11:28 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bigots who hate or idiotarians totally fail to understand a given minority or outlier of humanity get to live as one until they get the point.

Can we call it the "insert user into one of those 'Twilight Zone' episodes that kind of hits you over the head with the message and seems really really obvious and preachy now although it was kind of groundbreaking at the time I guess but man i wish it was it the one where the guy finally gets some time to read and then his glasses break that one is awesome!" flag?
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:32 AM on July 26, 2008


It's my opinion that MeFi is decidedly more mainstream and much less adventerous and neophiliac than it used to be. It's become a bit stodgy and predictable. There are a lot more one-line Fark-like responses. There is a lot more "Eww, that's weird! Make it go away!" and less "Oh, that's new and different and cool. How do I find out more?" comments.

Fucking stop that, right now, ok? Because if this place gets any safer or more comfortable I'll have to leave. I get social claustrophobia. One of my coping mechanisms is to make boring, 'normal' people highly uncomfortable by going off the deep, weird end of the pool and really letting it all hang out - and it's not exactly the most reasoned or mature response.


No, but it's fun. In all seriousness, though, I really don't know how to feel about threads like this. On the one hand, I do think that having posts like ChickenringNYC's stay is a good way to get a dialogue going - even if ChickenringNYC isn't going to be enlightened by responses from the transpeople and allies here, others who are watching will be. (I certainly was, on another forum.) On the other hand, I know from my own experiences as The Minority Who Shall Enlighten Us All that it gets really fucking old to explain things again and again. I seem to recall that there was a blog set up a few years ago to act as a convenient Trans101 link for cases like this, but I question how often people actually click on such links when presented as,"you're wrong, here's a link explaining why".
posted by spaceman_spiff at 11:38 AM on July 26, 2008


If, on the other hand, you're hoping that members of this community will become more aware of how hurtful such comments can be and will take a more active role in engaging such commenters and expressing their disapproval of their tone/etc., then I share that hope with you.

Yup.

Just got back. I'm reviewing thread and playing catch-up. Thanks in advance for the consideration.
posted by humannaire at 11:43 AM on July 26, 2008


Man that survivor thread is awesome. I'm going to end every single comment with ROCK MOST ON from now on.


ROCK MOST ON.
posted by juv3nal at 11:46 AM on July 26, 2008


Transgendered people generally want to challenge the notion of gender. Transsexual people generally just want to live the gender they perceive themselves to be.

Huh. This has not been my experience. I know/have known transgender folks who call themselves transgender, have had surgery and hormones, and who don't particularly care about challenging society's view of gender - they just want to be the man/woman they feel themselves to be.

I have also known folks who identify as genderqueer - they may or may not take hormones; they often crossdress; they often decline to accept or choose to be identified as either male or female.
posted by rtha at 11:47 AM on July 26, 2008


But isn't it a better solution, in general, to disagree with them in an articulate and convincing way instead of whining for a referee?

Just to be crystal clear - we don't think it's whining if people come to MetaTalk with a complaint or concern, that's sort of the way people should deal with it instead of crapping in the thread.

I think ChickenringNYC's comments are pretty tone deaf and taken totally out of context, not that cool at all. That said I don't think they're trolling and they appear as part of a discussion that has as one jumping off point the media's "OMG MAN BIRTHS CHILD" which seems like it has as one side discussion "what does that mean anyhow?"

Similar to the "are Asians smarter?" thread, there have been people chiming in with some pretty ignorant-sounding talking points but they're well-refuted in thread and don't seem to require intervention on our part with teh exception of the comment that mathowie removed.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:51 AM on July 26, 2008


Again, I maintain that allowing people to come forth and identify themselves by shoving their cruddy feet in their mouths is a feature, not a bug. It makes it much easier to determine who I'd even consider inviting over for a beer.

No doubt. This is precisely how I feel. Rather than solicit censorship per se, my ideal here is to have a lout identified for what, well, being a lout, and to have loutish behavior clearly denoted as such.

It is merely a single step in the movement towards embracing all of us, but it is a necessary step. Vernacular and didactic are tools used to convey impart and enforce acceptable social mores.

Again, to re-cap, I brought this to MeTa to 1) identify transgression being touted by the transgressor as mere abject insensitivity, and 2) clarify language which is patently unacceptable/demeaning. It is the second part which is most important.

ChickenringNYC's not hurting my feelings, but the idea that CHR's words may be hurting other's feelings hurts mine.
posted by humannaire at 11:53 AM on July 26, 2008


CHR = CRNYC
posted by humannaire at 11:54 AM on July 26, 2008


The only flag anyone should ever have to use is "noise."

That's the one I used.
posted by humannaire at 11:57 AM on July 26, 2008


One of my coping mechanisms is to make boring, 'normal' people highly uncomfortable by going off the deep, weird end of the pool and really letting it all hang out - and it's not exactly the most reasoned or mature response.

Hey, you leave us "squares" alone and don't "lay" your "freak trip" on us, mister! You best not go "blowing our minds" with your "wild happenings" just because we happen to think Paul Harvey is "the most"!

*Waves HOMOGENEITY pennant*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:01 PM on July 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


Similar to the "are Asians smarter?" thread, there have been people chiming in with some pretty ignorant-sounding talking points but they're well-refuted in thread and don't seem to require intervention on our part with teh exception of the comment that mathowie removed.

Yeah, that's pretty much it, really. The point is to bring attention to the fact that as long as people get off scot-free making such inane or thoughtless comments they will continue to do so.

What more? I felt obligated to bring attention to the subject (and thread) before it truly went South. Thanks everyone, again...for listening. And thinking.
posted by humannaire at 12:06 PM on July 26, 2008


"... Again, to re-cap, I brought this to MeTa to 1) identify transgression being touted by the transgressor as mere abject insensitivity, and 2) clarify language which is patently unacceptable/demeaning. ..."
posted by humannaire at 2:53 PM on July 26

Like helping a bar fight be "fair," this is fairly loutish behavior, in its own way.
posted by paulsc at 12:21 PM on July 26, 2008


Metafilter can't be all %100 social progressives, so some of us need to put in a little extra effort.

*threatens her Gorean lifepartner celiac diseased m2f realdoll with a baguette pegging*

Don't judge me!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:45 PM on July 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hell, there are people here who the minute I see their username I just know I'm about to get aggravated or angry, but I wouldn't stop them from posting even if I could.

Well said. And as others have said, the ignorant comments in the MeFi thread are being capably refuted and the thread is going pretty well.
posted by languagehat at 12:55 PM on July 26, 2008


There's -- something on the wing.

Some...

...THING!!!

I always hope it's that episode. Or "The Midnight Sun."

Just sayin'.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:42 PM on July 26, 2008


Like helping a bar fight be "fair," this is fairly loutish behavior, in its own way.

acknowledged
posted by humannaire at 1:56 PM on July 26, 2008


In the thread you said:
> Transgendered people are the best.

Why? I'm genuinely curious.
posted by Listener at 2:18 PM on July 26, 2008


And we should want you to stay... why now?

More interesting people than you have already left. More interesting people than you will probably sign up if you decided leave. If you honestly think the mere threat of your departure is enough to sway behavior, or if you honestly think the site needs you more than you need it then it is probably time for a little vacation.


Uh, no. Thanks, but my motivations for leaving would be purely selfish and merely out of boredom and disinterest, not because I would be foolish enough to think that taking my ball and running home with it would be effective at all, nor any way to behave.

Sorry for any confusion, I could have been clearer about that.
posted by loquacious at 2:48 PM on July 26, 2008


Yes, I was particularly pleased by the "it"; I mean, if I'm not easily classifiable as a man or a woman, I must be an object, right?

There are two pronouns that can stand in for a person before a singular verb ("is"). They are "he" and "she"—there are no others.

Much as the plumage of a yellow-throated swallow-tail indicates to potential mates that a bird is potent, healthy, and a good provider, ChickenringNYC's unironic caps and exclamation marks tells the reader "Hey, I'm a tool, no need to take what I'm saying seriously."

There's also the fact that he's named himself after a side order from White Castle.
posted by oaf at 6:53 PM on July 26, 2008 [2 favorites]




In the thread you said:
> Transgendered people are the best.

Why? I'm genuinely curious.


Why did I say it, Listener, or what did I mean by saying it?

Why I said it because it needs to be said. And a whole lot.

What I meant, however, is that people who are trangender/ed have been historically down-trodden/trodden upon so incessantly and thoughtlessly that the beginning ending that cycle is to realize self-wonderfulization.

Being wonderful is a gracious state of being. It allows for wonderfulness to be apparent, to fill one's outlook—from within outward. Trangendered people often are unaware of abject wonderfulness. All I am doing in making the statement is stating an obvious truth from my own viewpoint.

The idea that physical dictates are no longer natural dictates but, rather, opportunistic conditions rife with possibility, why, that idea alone puts a smile on my face.

It is less so that transgendered people are the best but more so that trangendered are the best we have yet: I am looking forward to a present where Man Plus is idealistically understated because its truth is conceptually manifest.

Wings? Invulnerability to space? Dimensional-shifting? Girl to boy to girl to girl-boy to girl to boy to girl to boy-boy to...?

So, what I am saying by saying transgender people are the best is....count me in!
posted by humannaire at 7:39 PM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, that Survivorcam MeTa thread was fantastic.

So, you guys going to make this a pay site? 30 day no-posting rules? I'd love to see either implimented. :D

kthxbai. :)
posted by theclaw at 8:25 PM on July 26, 2008


Humannaire, you didn’t complain about the original post because you were carrying out the longstanding transgenderist policy of complaining about any coverage of transgenderism that transgenderists don’t control themselves?
posted by joeclark at 9:31 PM on July 26, 2008


What I meant, however, is that people who are trangender/ed have been historically down-trodden/trodden upon so incessantly and thoughtlessly that the beginning ending that cycle is to realize self-wonderfulization.

I am uncomfortable with pretty much any culture or group saying they are "the best". It seems to backhanded slap against anyone who is not part of said culture or group, though I don't think that's how you mean it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:35 PM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing. There were really three components to this situation:
  1. Human with working uterus has baby. This is not news
  2. Biological female identifies personally as male and decides to make this identification legal and binding. This is not news, although certainly "newer" than uteri making babies.
  3. Human self-identifying as male, but carrying all of the aparratus of a female, makes a decision to carry a child.
The last one is really nuanced, and a bit weird, but ultimately threatening to certain more settled ways of thinking about gender because basically it is saying, "All bets are off." The real message is that gender, sexual identity, and the expression thereof can, at least in certain societies, be completely and totally up to the individual without falling into any of the boundaries or rules we are normally accustomed to.

This is why the news media sold it as "Man is pregnant" because the real interpretation really is a bit too much to wrap your head around (plus, "Man is pregnant" is much more likely to sell papers).

People like ChickenringNYC may be a bit mean in what they say, but I think that a lot of people say they are comfortable with transgenderism simply because they are supposed to be, not because they actual are. I'll admit it...I am a bit uncomfortable with transgenderism myself. Let me be clear: I have transgendered friends, I like them, I use the right pronouns (usually; there is this one guy that I knew since he was, uh, a young girl, and so it's hard to remember with him)...but it's still hard for me to wrap my mind around what it means for someone to be transgendered. I myself never put a lot of my thought on my gender, sex, or sexuality, mostly because as someone who was in the plurality/majority (bio and id male, straight) I never had to make any hard decisions. It's not like this is another life component, like clothing or music style, or profession, religion, or even sexual orientation. Gender identity has strong legal, social, and cultural implications that are constant. Although these factors influence my life, when people meet me they generally don't instantly know what I listen to, where I work, which gender I'm willing to have sex with, or which deity I do or don't worship. But they know right away I'm a dude (except over the phone for some reason, damnit). So to be placed in a decision where the choice "made for you" by nature conflicts with how you feel inside, that's got to be tough. But in a society which in general still insists on only two genders/sexes, constrained mostly by biological markers, the new idea of gender flexibility is one that we're still coming to terms with.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:35 PM on July 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


Humannaire, you didn’t complain about the original post because you were carrying out the longstanding transgenderist policy of complaining about any coverage of transgenderism that transgenderists don’t control themselves?

Is this a joke, or would you like your question addressed seriously?

I ask because, well, replace the word "transgenderist" (wha?) with another minority and try the sentence again.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:13 AM on July 27, 2008


the word "transgenderist"

is mighty transgenderistic. almost transgenderistical.
posted by quonsar at 7:33 AM on July 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am uncomfortable with pretty much any culture or group saying they are "the best". It seems to backhanded slap against anyone who is not part of said culture or group, though I don't think that's how you mean it.

It's an interesting thing about being "the best." As long as every other group is also "the best," it is a-okay. Contextually, I loaded it also with the allusion of wonderfulness, as in "Y'all are the best!"
posted by humannaire at 8:14 AM on July 27, 2008


As long as every other group is also "the best," it is a-okay.
So - "the best" means equally rotten as any other group.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:29 AM on July 27, 2008


Contextually, I loaded it also with the allusion of wonderfulness, as in "Y'all are the best!"

Yeah, that's not gonna fly if you're in the general public saying "Transgendered people are the best!" Joe Sixpack is gonna lose his shit and while I certainly don't agree with Joe Sixpack on so many things, including this, that choice of language is extremely off putting. But really, that's your choice.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:41 AM on July 27, 2008


So - "the best" means equally rotten as any other group.

Unequivocally,yes. And when addressing one's one group, even better!
posted by humannaire at 11:59 AM on July 27, 2008


joe sixpack was actually born josie winecooler.
posted by quonsar at 12:08 PM on July 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


is mighty transgenderistic. almost transgenderistical.

I swear to god there's a George W. Bush joke in here somewhere and I will not rest until I find it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:01 PM on July 27, 2008


There are two pronouns that can stand in for a person before a singular verb ("is"). They are "he" and "she"—there are no others.

Well, "they" is gaining acceptance in some contexts, but there's also been a push in genderqueer/trans/ally circles to build support for epicene pronouns (I tend to use the zie/hir complex, and so do most of the people I've seen using one). Of course, it hasn't really caught on, so you basically know whenever someone uses one that they're trans-friendly...
posted by bettafish at 9:48 PM on July 27, 2008


Of course, it hasn't really caught on

Of course it hasn't, because you can't add pronouns to a language. If you throw in a non-English word like "ze" and try to use it as a pronoun, my first thought would be that you've slipped into German ("sie") and back for no apparent reason.

If the person you're talking to doesn't recognize that combination of sounds as a word at all, they'll probably think you have a speech impediment.
posted by oaf at 4:46 AM on July 28, 2008


One of my coping mechanisms is to make boring, 'normal' people highly uncomfortable by going off the deep, weird end of the pool and really letting it all hang out - and it's not exactly the most reasoned or mature response.

Yeah, d00d! Gotta shock the squares!

(I like you, loquacious, but give me a break)
posted by jonmc at 5:59 AM on July 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm kinda sad that I'll be remembering this kerfluffle the next time I'm at White Castle, likely drunk out of my mind and craving grease.

"Okay... I want... that is a good-looking burger and those cheese slices are melty good but I want something with breading... Fish nibblers would be good with a pale ale maybe okay okay let's think here... Oh no CHICKEN RINGS! Yes that is IT! A motherfucking SACK full! And... wait.. why am I thinking about gender-based bigotry? Oh, fuck. Metafilter."
posted by Greg Nog at 9:00 AM on July 28, 2008


Contextually, I loaded it also with the allusion of wonderfulness, as in "Y'all are the best!"

That's easy to miss in text.
posted by tkolar at 9:39 AM on July 28, 2008


Oh. Fuck Metafilter.

FTFYCR, D.

[fixed that for your chicken rings, drunky]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:00 AM on July 28, 2008


Oh. Fuck Metafilter.

Really? You realize it's not Web 2.0, right?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:20 AM on July 28, 2008


I didn't know what a chicken ring was. It's a meat donut!!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:38 AM on July 28, 2008


I've had the White Castle chicken rings. They're fuckin' nasty. and this is me talking here.
posted by jonmc at 10:51 AM on July 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a meat donut!!

Are they available in bacon?
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:52 AM on July 28, 2008


So where off-planet do you live, humannaire?
posted by Grither at 1:04 PM on July 28, 2008


Okay people, for non-gender specific third person singular just use they. It's so well established it hurts. I undertstand the temptation to come up with new pronouns but there really isn't a need. They works perfectly.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:06 AM on July 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Okay people, for non-gender specific third person singular just use they. It's so well established it hurts.

It may surprise no one to learn that this was the subject of my college thesis paper (in 1990) and also the conclusion that I reached then.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:45 AM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


So where off-planet do you live, humannaire?

Key West, hu-ah!
posted by humannaire at 8:41 PM on July 29, 2008


It may surprise no one to learn that this was the subject of my college thesis paper (in 1990) and also the conclusion that I reached then.

He may be surprised, s/he may be relieved, but they won't be surprised at all.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:20 AM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Transgenderism is handled nicely in Thailand.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 PM on July 30, 2008


(do they have special pronouns (?) for the transgendered?)
posted by five fresh fish at 10:30 PM on July 30, 2008


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