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MercyA
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Edited to remove personal details. 

 

 

 

I have told all the kids that I am close enough to for them to discuss it with me that I will use their preferred names and pronouns, but I do not support physical transitioning until they're done with college and have made it through puberty, and that I am not going to listen to them demonizing their parents for not supporting doing so now. And I'm kind of hoping that by the time they get through college, they'll have decided that gender isn't quite as big of a problem as they think it is now. 

 

I tell my students that I will call them what they wish to be called, and that includes the kids who come in wearing their superhero shirt and want to be called "Batman", but be aware that once I get used to calling you X, I'm probably not going to remember to call you Y at the recital. So, if you go by Batman in lessons regularly, I am likely to introduce you as Batman. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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re lessons from the chicken coop, a True Story

4 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

I believe humans function a lot like a hen house. They have to figure out who is on the bottom so they can peck them to death which makes them feel better about their life in the coop apparently. We seem to have an internal need to have people who serve as kicking posts.

Sadly, I have seen enough in this past year to convince me I am a better person if I just embrace being a feral chicken.

So, COVID transformed my husband -- I truly cannot convey just how implausible this really is -- into chicken farming.

 

He decided (this is more than a year ago now) that he wouldn't start with chicks, but rather with "pullets."  Pullets, you probably know (we did not) are ~puberty-age~ chickens, not old enough to lay but old enough to reliably sex-sort.  He went this route partly because our town zoning allows chickens but not roosters, and partly because he wanted to fast-forward the timeline to getting to eggs; but mostly because we have a sensitive animal-loving vegetarian peacenik daughter who could not tolerate the, er, disposition of chicks that turned out to be roosters.

So. We have absolutely no idea what we're doing (I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough) but we get the pullets, six of them, and manage to ensconce them into the three-story deluxe Chicken Condo Complex/Fort Knox Yard that he spent the first two months of lockdown designing and ordering materials to be delivered and constructing and revising.  And it takes them a couple days before they work out how to come down the gangplank, and another couple days before they stopped freaking out every time a hawk circled overhead and trusted the Fort Knox roof over their yard... and started -- as you say -- working out their "pecking order."

Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik, who like all of us had oodles of unexpected time on her hands, ensconced herself in an Adirondack chair in front of Fort Knox and watched them for hours on end, and came up with what ultimately became their names (Henriegga, Eggsmerelda, Stregga Nona, Eggwina, Gregg.... And Peggy) after roundly rejecting my husband's proposal (I can't remember exactly, but along the lines of Cacciatore, Korma, General Tso, etc).

Gregg?  we asked.  Non-binary, she replied.

After about a week of pullet observation, it became clear that Gregg was at the top of the "pecking order," and And Peggy was at the bottom.

And then, after a few more weeks... all of us except my husband began to suspect, at first secretly/ individually/ separately, and then we began discussing it, that Gregg was maybe a rooster. Now. The pullets had been professionally sex-sorted, by actual chicken-raising professionals, in an actual chicken-raising farm.  And not a one of us had *any* kind of husbandry experience, nor *any* kind of visual cue to point to.  The sole data we each had noted, independently, was behavioral: Gregg acted -- there really is no other way to put this -- like.a.d!ck. 

But my husband, upon consulting the Interwebs, reported that female chickens at the top of the "pecking order" sometimes do act like d!cks; and dismissed the idea entirely. And the rest of us doubted our judgment, because -- I really cannot emphasize this enough -- we had absolutely no idea what we were doing, even less than my husband, who at least was consulting the Interwebs for hours on end on every possible aspect of husbandry.  Who were we, to second-guess the discernment of professionals?  And none of them were laying yet, so we had no real method of experimentation.

Weeks crawled by, for us, for our unseen loved ones, for the locked down nation, for the Fort Knox in our backyard. The "pecking order" calcified. Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik grew increasingly distressed about the plight of And Peggy, whom she became convinced was malnourished and not growing properly, and for whom she began to contrive ways of supplemental feeding such that Gregg the Non-Binary Acts Like a D!ck could not prevent.

 

I have foreshadowed this so beautifully, you may suspect where we're headed here.

One early morning, as I sat outside musing in my Gratitude Journal (another COVID-driven new practice), I heard, behind me, unmistakable crowing.

Now. Six chickens, behind me: there was no way for me to know which one it came from. Except: I knew.

Husband consulted the Interwebs and reported that sometimes, female chickens make squawking sounds that kinda-sorta sound like crowing, to amateurs (like me, was the obvious implication) who can't tell the difference.

I waited.  Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik continued to sneak And Peggy supplemental feedings.  A week or two later, as she sat in her Adirondack chair fretting over And Peggy's still-small frame, Gregg crowed again, just after bullying Eggsmerelda off a slug she'd found in the Fort Knox yard. 

My husband repeated his Interwebs insight that hens sometimes squawk in ways that kinda sound like crowing... but somewhat less emphatically, this time. 

The third time Gregg crowed, just after pouncing on Stregga Nona who was calmly rifling through the dirt wholly minding her own business, husband was *right there* and could no longer remain in denial.

 

[Town zoning laws re roosters are clear, so now we had a new problem.  There were a variety of logistically easier alternatives, but given concerns of animal-loving vegetarian peacenik we ended up boxing Gregg up and driving him some distance, back to the pullet farm from which we'd obtained him, where they run a Rooster Retirement Home where he'll definitely live out a long life in contented peace.]

 

And you'll never guess what happened next.

Just as soon as Gregg was gone -- literally, within hours -- the other five chickens began behaving differently.  It took a while before we (ALVP as the lead observer here, from her Adirondack chair) could articulate the difference.  ALVP said the nervous energy dropped precipitously: the remaining five chickens were markedly less stressed.

Over the next few weeks... the "pecking order" disappeared. Truly. Some mornings, after the solar-operated automatic door opens, Eggsmerelda is the first one out; other days, Eggwina; others Stregga Nona. We scatter vegetable scraps around Fort Knox, they each calmly head to different corners. When one of them finds a slug, the others might cluster around with interest, but no one swoops in to steal it.

And Peggy, I'm happy to report, and to ALVP's great satisfaction, has put on weight and has now achieved the same size as the others.

A full year later, there really isn't a "pecking order" any more.  ALVP attributes this to the absence of a rooster... and based on the vast experience of one coop with one d!ck-y rooster, I'm inclined to agree.

Five chickens, 4 or 5 eggs a day. ALVP attributes their productivity to their small-brained mental health.  (Husband OTOH attributes it to his newfound husbandry skills, and also the spaciousness of Fort Knox.)

 

And they all lived happily ever after, The End.

 

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

FTR my kid was talking about God our creator, not the writers of the Bible.  I don't hold or teach the position that every word of the Bible (as translated into English) is exactly what God intended as a timeless message.

That said, the vast majority of writings throughout history have either ignored women or cast them in a lesser role.  I don't believe in canceling the vast majority of world literature because of how times were in the past.  Humans are complex enough to read these things through a rational filter.  And trying to cancel actual history seems like a really bad idea.

I never said cancel it or not discuss it. Not at all. that is putting words in my mouth. Using it as framework to teach truth in this time is not good. We see the damage, and certainly in matters related sex and gender, orientation, etc. We read and discussed the Epic of Gilgamesh and other ancient texts. It has a lot of value, but not as a source of modern morality, or for our understanding of science, biology, and the like.

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@Pam in CT thank you thank you thank you for the delightful recounting of your chicken husbandry experiences! Made my morning.

 

I got to observe something this morning that I had heard of but not seen before: Rocky the Barred Rock hen acting like a rooster and mounting another hen. Maybe I now have a trans chicken? Rocky is most definitely a female, has been regularly laying eggs for three years and brooded a nice clutch of chicks last year.

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14 hours ago, lewelma said:

I think I missed the definition you are referring to. Gender has so many meanings today, the basic/original being gender is behaviours and sex is xx/xy. But then this whole thread we have been discussing how these meanings are changing. What is it that you are saying is the same? Honest question, not being snarky.

I am saying gender (of any kind) is the same as sex. There’s male and female and that’s it.

fashion is fashion. It’s not male or female and does not change the sexes.

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2 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

I believe humans function a lot like a hen house. They have to figure out who is on the bottom so they can peck them to death which makes them feel better about their life in the coop apparently. We seem to have an internal need to have people who serve as kicking posts.

Sadly, I have seen enough in this past year to convince me I am a better person if I just embrace being a feral chicken.

Nobody in this conversation is using others as a kicking post. 

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1 hour ago, Pam in CT said:

re lessons from the chicken coop, a True Story

So, COVID transformed my husband -- I truly cannot convey just how implausible this really is -- into chicken farming.

 

He decided (this is more than a year ago now) that he wouldn't start with chicks, but rather with "pullets."  Pullets, you probably know (we did not) are ~puberty-age~ chickens, not old enough to lay but old enough to reliably sex-sort.  He went this route partly because our town zoning allows chickens but not roosters, and partly because he wanted to fast-forward the timeline to getting to eggs; but mostly because we have a sensitive animal-loving vegetarian peacenik daughter who could not tolerate the, er, disposition of chicks that turned out to be roosters.

So. We have absolutely no idea what we're doing (I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough) but we get the pullets, six of them, and manage to ensconce them into the three-story deluxe Chicken Condo Complex/Fort Knox Yard that he spent the first two months of lockdown designing and ordering materials to be delivered and constructing and revising.  And it takes them a couple days before they work out how to come down the gangplank, and another couple days before they stopped freaking out every time a hawk circled overhead and trusted the Fort Knox roof over their yard... and started -- as you say -- working out their "pecking order."

Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik, who like all of us had oodles of unexpected time on her hands, ensconced herself in an Adirondack chair in front of Fort Knox and watched them for hours on end, and came up with what ultimately became their names (Henriegga, Eggsmerelda, Stregga Nona, Eggwina, Gregg.... And Peggy) after roundly rejecting my husband's proposal (I can't remember exactly, but along the lines of Cacciatore, Korma, General Tso, etc).

Gregg?  we asked.  Non-binary, she replied.

After about a week of pullet observation, it became clear that Gregg was at the top of the "pecking order," and And Peggy was at the bottom.

And then, after a few more weeks... all of us except my husband began to suspect, at first secretly/ individually/ separately, and then we began discussing it, that Gregg was maybe a rooster. Now. The pullets had been professionally sex-sorted, by actual chicken-raising professionals, in an actual chicken-raising farm.  And not a one of us had *any* kind of husbandry experience, nor *any* kind of visual cue to point to.  The sole data we each had noted, independently, was behavioral: Gregg acted -- there really is no other way to put this -- like.a.d!ck. 

But my husband, upon consulting the Interwebs, reported that female chickens at the top of the "pecking order" sometimes do act like d!cks; and dismissed the idea entirely. And the rest of us doubted our judgment, because -- I really cannot emphasize this enough -- we had absolutely no idea what we were doing, even less than my husband, who at least was consulting the Interwebs for hours on end on every possible aspect of husbandry.  Who were we, to second-guess the discernment of professionals?  And none of them were laying yet, so we had no real method of experimentation.

Weeks crawled by, for us, for our unseen loved ones, for the locked down nation, for the Fort Knox in our backyard. The "pecking order" calcified. Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik grew increasingly distressed about the plight of And Peggy, whom she became convinced was malnourished and not growing properly, and for whom she began to contrive ways of supplemental feeding such that Gregg the Non-Binary Acts Like a D!ck could not prevent.

 

I have foreshadowed this so beautifully, you may suspect where we're headed here.

One early morning, as I sat outside musing in my Gratitude Journal (another COVID-driven new practice), I heard, behind me, unmistakable crowing.

Now. Six chickens, behind me: there was no way for me to know which one it came from. Except: I knew.

Husband consulted the Interwebs and reported that sometimes, female chickens make squawking sounds that kinda-sorta sound like crowing, to amateurs (like me, was the obvious implication) who can't tell the difference.

I waited.  Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik continued to sneak And Peggy supplemental feedings.  A week or two later, as she sat in her Adirondack chair fretting over And Peggy's still-small frame, Gregg crowed again, just after bullying Eggsmerelda off a slug she'd found in the Fort Knox yard. 

My husband repeated his Interwebs insight that hens sometimes squawk in ways that kinda sound like crowing... but somewhat less emphatically, this time. 

The third time Gregg crowed, just after pouncing on Stregga Nona who was calmly rifling through the dirt wholly minding her own business, husband was *right there* and could no longer remain in denial.

 

[Town zoning laws re roosters are clear, so now we had a new problem.  There were a variety of logistically easier alternatives, but given concerns of animal-loving vegetarian peacenik we ended up boxing Gregg up and driving him some distance, back to the pullet farm from which we'd obtained him, where they run a Rooster Retirement Home where he'll definitely live out a long life in contented peace.]

 

And you'll never guess what happened next.

Just as soon as Gregg was gone -- literally, within hours -- the other five chickens began behaving differently.  It took a while before we (ALVP as the lead observer here, from her Adirondack chair) could articulate the difference.  ALVP said the nervous energy dropped precipitously: the remaining five chickens were markedly less stressed.

Over the next few weeks... the "pecking order" disappeared. Truly. Some mornings, after the solar-operated automatic door opens, Eggsmerelda is the first one out; other days, Eggwina; others Stregga Nona. We scatter vegetable scraps around Fort Knox, they each calmly head to different corners. When one of them finds a slug, the others might cluster around with interest, but no one swoops in to steal it.

And Peggy, I'm happy to report, and to ALVP's great satisfaction, has put on weight and has now achieved the same size as the others.

A full year later, there really isn't a "pecking order" any more.  ALVP attributes this to the absence of a rooster... and based on the vast experience of one coop with one d!ck-y rooster, I'm inclined to agree.

Five chickens, 4 or 5 eggs a day. ALVP attributes their productivity to their small-brained mental health.  (Husband OTOH attributes it to his newfound husbandry skills, and also the spaciousness of Fort Knox.)

 

And they all lived happily ever after, The End.

 

This deserves to be published. Loved every word.

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Pam! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Oh my gosh this is publishing story worthy!

Someday I will have to tell you what happens when a family of total all things science nerd except Ag Science, Vet Science, Biology people decide to have decorative yard ducklings, know not what the heck they are doing, and end up with five drakes and one Female. One. Just one.

D!dk doesn't even describe the behavior, and we found out just how disturbed male duck mind really is!

ETA: if I ever find the jackwang that created autocorrect for Kindle, I will potentially perpetrate the first act of genuine violence of my life! (Neck/heck, frames/drakes)

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6 hours ago, Dmmetler said:

What she doesn't want is to be pre-judged as a female before people know her and see her work. Once people know her and see her as competent, and don't treat her as a "little girl", she can relax.  

 

Hope this is ok to quote this little piece. This happened to my university roommate who is 4'11" 95lbs. She is about the smartest person I know, and graduated top of her class at Duke Med School. But when she started her rotations through all the specialities, all the professors kept trying to get her into pediatrics. They told her that she could 'relate' better to the kids.  They seemed to be clueless that she was not a kid-lover, it seems to be based on both her size and gender. She ended up going into infectious disease. But she was constantly talked down too when people first met her because she was a small woman, and she got really sick of people treating her like a cutsie doll. It did eventually stop when she began to look older, and is certainly gone now at 52. 

I have another 4'11" friend who has told me that she was only taken seriously when she gained 40+ pounds.  Like somehow she needed to just take up more space physically for people to see her as not a child. Once she gained weight she started to get promotions. 

Unfortunately, short men are also treated in an insulting way. My dh is 5'6" and has spent his life dealing with the comments of 'short pint', 'why don't you stand up?' 'do you need a stool?' etc. So transitioning to male when you are short is certainly not going to improve a lot IRL I don't think. But my dh would agree, that people focus on his competence way more when they have only known him online as they can't see his stature. 

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22 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Hope this is ok to quote this little piece. This happened to my university roommate who is 4'11" 95lbs. She is about the smartest person I know, and graduated top of her class at Duke Med School. But when she started her rotations through all the specialities, all the professors kept trying to get her into pediatrics. They told her that she could 'relate' better to the kids.  They seemed to be clueless that she was not a kid-lover, it seems to be based on both her size and gender. She ended up going into infectious disease. But she was constantly talked down too when people first met her because she was a small woman, and she got really sick of people treating her like a cutsie doll. It did eventually stop when she began to look older, and is certainly gone now at 52. 

I have another 4'11" friend who has told me that she was only taken seriously when she gained 40+ pounds.  Like somehow she needed to just take up more space physically for people to see her as not a child. Once she gained weight she started to get promotions. 

Unfortunately, short men are also treated in an insulting way. My dh is 5'6" and has spent his life dealing with the comments of 'short pint', 'why don't you stand up?' 'do you need a stool?' etc. So transitioning to male when you are short is certainly not going to improve a lot IRL I don't think. But my dh would agree, that people focus on his competence way more when they have only known him online as they can't see his stature. 

Realistically, a petite woman would be a tiny man, and unless you're in a mid range for height, that's likely to be something people cue in on physically. But, I can definitely see where not using gendered titles and using a less gendered name might be something that would change the perception on, say, an application or resume, or in an online discussion (I've seen enough female professionals completely mansplained about their OWN WORK on social media, and in some cases, even having their own work quoted back to them, to understand why many chose NOT to use photos, etc that demonstrate their femininity. )

 

I am a petite woman as well, and I can say that one of the major reasons why I switched from grad school in musicology to education was that I was just plain tired of being overlooked, talked over, and not taken seriously. In education, I was normal. And, honestly, I like teaching, so it was a reasonable fit. But it was also very much a change born out of not wanting to fight anymore, and the recognition that even if I clawed my way through the PhD, I would STILL be fighting that battle with every job application.  Ironically, at the same time, if I'd wanted to switch to math, they would have welcomed me with open arms, and I'd gotten more support for my dissertation project that I WANTED to do (which was specifically on mathematical patterns in particular composer's works) in the math department, where several of the faculty and many of the grad students were willing to work with me to help me figure out HOW to do the number crunching I wanted to do, than in the music department. Sometimes I wonder if I should have switched to math just so I could do that research, although I suspect the coursework would have been very very difficult given my lack of undergrad math courses! (Although apparently a strong high school background was enough to do decently on the GRE....). 

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1 minute ago, Dmmetler said:

 Ironically, at the same time, if I'd wanted to switch to math, they would have welcomed me with open arms, 

At the time of my PhD in the mid 1990s, I was the only woman in the field of Population Dynamics. Not just in America either. I never read a single article written by a woman in my field. Like NONE. But it was just not a problem for me, and I'm not sure why. 

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30 minutes ago, lewelma said:

At the time of my PhD in the mid 1990s, I was the only woman in the field of Population Dynamics. Not just in America either. I never read a single article written by a woman in my field. Like NONE. But it was just not a problem for me, and I'm not sure why. 

I think a lot of it has to do with how competitive jobs are. Musicology is one of these fields where there aren't many graduates, but there are fewer jobs than there are graduates, because even a really, really big state U music school probably has ONE musicology professor who mostly teaches and supervises grad students, who teach music appreciation and music history to undergrads. You're basically waiting for someone to die. The good old boy network means a lot. And that means that students in the department will try their best to convince other students to drop out. Add a misogynist advisor, and it becomes really hostile, really fast. I suspect it would have been hard even at a school without said advisor.  

 

Math and education both had much better placement rates for graduates, so there was less reason to be competitive. 

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If, for the sake of argument, all females transitioned out of 'woman' and into 'NB', is sexism gone? Or does it begin to target female NB people, maybe on the basis of their sex?

If some NB people find that transitioning away from 'woman' ameliorates sexism on an individual level, what do we then say to other females who can't/won't?

"Sorry, sexism is just part of womanhood, you chose it..."

 

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7 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

If some NB people find that transitioning away from 'woman' ameliorates sexism on an individual level, what do we then say to other females who can't/won't?

"Sorry, sexism is just part of womanhood, you chose it..."

Good question. I'm sure most would still think we continue the fight, but I understand the question and have wondered sometimes if there's a thought that those of us who continue to identify as women must be fine with the stereotypes.

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43 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I think a lot of it has to do with how competitive jobs are. Musicology is one of these fields where there aren't many graduates, but there are fewer jobs than there are graduates, because even a really, really big state U music school probably has ONE musicology professor who mostly teaches and supervises grad students, who teach music appreciation and music history to undergrads. You're basically waiting for someone to die. The good old boy network means a lot. And that means that students in the department will try their best to convince other students to drop out. Add a misogynist advisor, and it becomes really hostile, really fast. I suspect it would have been hard even at a school without said advisor.  

 

Math and education both had much better placement rates for graduates, so there was less reason to be competitive. 

I agree. 

And as to your other post, I experienced the same behavior. Had I been willing to major in elementary music education or vocal education, everything would have been fine. That was considered appropriate for a woman. I knew I was in for a very tough time when every single scholarship competition and department audition was a sea of male pianists, and then little ole me. 

There is a reason, even today, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra holds all auditions behind a shield. The candidate had no identifying information, a genderless resume', and interviews are by email. It often only at the very first day on the job that the conductor learns the gender of the new instrumentalist X. For me, it might not have been quite so bad if I had gone against my parents and attended a more forward thinking music school on the east or west coast. In my day, the good music schools between the coasts, and universities with excellent music programs were just gross, misogynistic, prick departments.

I briefly considered leaving home (my parents would have thrown me out) and living life as a man...a short man to be sure but a man. I was flat chested and not curvy, and looked good with really short hair. My first name is a diminutive of a name I like and would have been to bee called by...those thoughts were there.

I didn't do it, and then went on to suffer terrible sexual harassment and assault from male students and many male professors. 

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8 hours ago, Pam in CT said:

re lessons from the chicken coop, a True Story

So, COVID transformed my husband -- I truly cannot convey just how implausible this really is -- into chicken farming.

 

He decided (this is more than a year ago now) that he wouldn't start with chicks, but rather with "pullets."  Pullets, you probably know (we did not) are ~puberty-age~ chickens, not old enough to lay but old enough to reliably sex-sort.  He went this route partly because our town zoning allows chickens but not roosters, and partly because he wanted to fast-forward the timeline to getting to eggs; but mostly because we have a sensitive animal-loving vegetarian peacenik daughter who could not tolerate the, er, disposition of chicks that turned out to be roosters.

So. We have absolutely no idea what we're doing (I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough) but we get the pullets, six of them, and manage to ensconce them into the three-story deluxe Chicken Condo Complex/Fort Knox Yard that he spent the first two months of lockdown designing and ordering materials to be delivered and constructing and revising.  And it takes them a couple days before they work out how to come down the gangplank, and another couple days before they stopped freaking out every time a hawk circled overhead and trusted the Fort Knox roof over their yard... and started -- as you say -- working out their "pecking order."

Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik, who like all of us had oodles of unexpected time on her hands, ensconced herself in an Adirondack chair in front of Fort Knox and watched them for hours on end, and came up with what ultimately became their names (Henriegga, Eggsmerelda, Stregga Nona, Eggwina, Gregg.... And Peggy) after roundly rejecting my husband's proposal (I can't remember exactly, but along the lines of Cacciatore, Korma, General Tso, etc).

Gregg?  we asked.  Non-binary, she replied.

After about a week of pullet observation, it became clear that Gregg was at the top of the "pecking order," and And Peggy was at the bottom.

And then, after a few more weeks... all of us except my husband began to suspect, at first secretly/ individually/ separately, and then we began discussing it, that Gregg was maybe a rooster. Now. The pullets had been professionally sex-sorted, by actual chicken-raising professionals, in an actual chicken-raising farm.  And not a one of us had *any* kind of husbandry experience, nor *any* kind of visual cue to point to.  The sole data we each had noted, independently, was behavioral: Gregg acted -- there really is no other way to put this -- like.a.d!ck. 

But my husband, upon consulting the Interwebs, reported that female chickens at the top of the "pecking order" sometimes do act like d!cks; and dismissed the idea entirely. And the rest of us doubted our judgment, because -- I really cannot emphasize this enough -- we had absolutely no idea what we were doing, even less than my husband, who at least was consulting the Interwebs for hours on end on every possible aspect of husbandry.  Who were we, to second-guess the discernment of professionals?  And none of them were laying yet, so we had no real method of experimentation.

Weeks crawled by, for us, for our unseen loved ones, for the locked down nation, for the Fort Knox in our backyard. The "pecking order" calcified. Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik grew increasingly distressed about the plight of And Peggy, whom she became convinced was malnourished and not growing properly, and for whom she began to contrive ways of supplemental feeding such that Gregg the Non-Binary Acts Like a D!ck could not prevent.

 

I have foreshadowed this so beautifully, you may suspect where we're headed here.

One early morning, as I sat outside musing in my Gratitude Journal (another COVID-driven new practice), I heard, behind me, unmistakable crowing.

Now. Six chickens, behind me: there was no way for me to know which one it came from. Except: I knew.

Husband consulted the Interwebs and reported that sometimes, female chickens make squawking sounds that kinda-sorta sound like crowing, to amateurs (like me, was the obvious implication) who can't tell the difference.

I waited.  Animal-loving vegetarian peacenik continued to sneak And Peggy supplemental feedings.  A week or two later, as she sat in her Adirondack chair fretting over And Peggy's still-small frame, Gregg crowed again, just after bullying Eggsmerelda off a slug she'd found in the Fort Knox yard. 

My husband repeated his Interwebs insight that hens sometimes squawk in ways that kinda sound like crowing... but somewhat less emphatically, this time. 

The third time Gregg crowed, just after pouncing on Stregga Nona who was calmly rifling through the dirt wholly minding her own business, husband was *right there* and could no longer remain in denial.

 

[Town zoning laws re roosters are clear, so now we had a new problem.  There were a variety of logistically easier alternatives, but given concerns of animal-loving vegetarian peacenik we ended up boxing Gregg up and driving him some distance, back to the pullet farm from which we'd obtained him, where they run a Rooster Retirement Home where he'll definitely live out a long life in contented peace.]

 

And you'll never guess what happened next.

Just as soon as Gregg was gone -- literally, within hours -- the other five chickens began behaving differently.  It took a while before we (ALVP as the lead observer here, from her Adirondack chair) could articulate the difference.  ALVP said the nervous energy dropped precipitously: the remaining five chickens were markedly less stressed.

Over the next few weeks... the "pecking order" disappeared. Truly. Some mornings, after the solar-operated automatic door opens, Eggsmerelda is the first one out; other days, Eggwina; others Stregga Nona. We scatter vegetable scraps around Fort Knox, they each calmly head to different corners. When one of them finds a slug, the others might cluster around with interest, but no one swoops in to steal it.

And Peggy, I'm happy to report, and to ALVP's great satisfaction, has put on weight and has now achieved the same size as the others.

A full year later, there really isn't a "pecking order" any more.  ALVP attributes this to the absence of a rooster... and based on the vast experience of one coop with one d!ck-y rooster, I'm inclined to agree.

Five chickens, 4 or 5 eggs a day. ALVP attributes their productivity to their small-brained mental health.  (Husband OTOH attributes it to his newfound husbandry skills, and also the spaciousness of Fort Knox.)

 

And they all lived happily ever after, The End.

 

Oh I am so happy my dh decided to add foundry work to his hobbies instead of chickens.  

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34 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

If, for the sake of argument, all females transitioned out of 'woman' and into 'NB', is sexism gone? Or does it begin to target female NB people, maybe on the basis of their sex?

If some NB people find that transitioning away from 'woman' ameliorates sexism on an individual level, what do we then say to other females who can't/won't?

"Sorry, sexism is just part of womanhood, you chose it..."

 

Let's put it this way-  if I changed to Human, would anyone treat me differently? I think the a-holes who treat women worse don't care if you are NB or call yourself Human or anything like that.

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23 minutes ago, KSera said:

Good question. I'm sure most would still think we continue the fight, but I understand the question and have wondered sometimes if there's a thought that those of us who continue to identify as women must be fine with the stereotypes.

Isn't that the common understanding of cis? Cis means you're just fine and dandy with the gender imposed on your sex? No discomfort/mismatch. 

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@Dmmetler, thank you for sharing that fascinating story. I never thought about it before - well, never as something I could remove from the equation - but that is quite fascinating to consider. There is an aspect that makes a lot of sense there; like, “If our genitalia is never going to be relevant to this interaction, why does it matter if I’m male or female?” 

I do remember feeling, when I turned 30, relieved that maybe *now* others would see me as a grown-up. I did not like being 18, 19, 20, etc. in a law office. I always felt like the expectations of what I could do or be capable of were low. But maybe it also had a lot to do with my very feminine presentation. 

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54 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

If, for the sake of argument, all females transitioned out of 'woman' and into 'NB', is sexism gone? Or does it begin to target female NB people, maybe on the basis of their sex?

If some NB people find that transitioning away from 'woman' ameliorates sexism on an individual level, what do we then say to other females who can't/won't?

"Sorry, sexism is just part of womanhood, you chose it..."

 

I think that targeting is exactly what will happen. Small, slightly built, more effeminately featured people will still get treated badly. It might even get worse, where tall women who are more butch are assumed to be trans men and small men are assumed to be trans women.  And, realistically, if a vast majority of those using they/them pronouns are women trying not to be identified as such, it quickly becomes an identifier of it's own.

 

One thing I wonder is whether it's just a phase of life thing-that is, I faced a lot of sexism during grad school (and the fact that I got away without it as an undergrad, I suspect, was solely due to having an advisor who WASN'T a misogynistic pain in the butt, combined with being the ONE undergrad at the time at that school who actually wanted to major in musicology/music history as opposed to enduring the courses to get the degree-my undergrad professor was colloquially known as Dr. Death in the department because so many students dropped out of music after facing his classes, but his classes were heaven for a kid who LOVED researching and found writing easy, and who had the same enthusiasm for the subject he did. I suspect he wouldn't have cared if I'd been an alien with tentacles!) But I suspect that had I endured through grad school, maybe by transferring to a school that WASN'T in Texas, I probably would have found my niche somewhere, and sexism would have been much less of a problem. 

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Just now, Dmmetler said:

I think that targeting is exactly what will happen. Small, slightly built, more effeminately featured people will still get treated badly. It might even get worse, where tall women who are more butch are assumed to be trans men and small men are assumed to be trans women.  And, realistically, if a vast majority of those using they/them pronouns are women trying not to be identified as such, it quickly becomes an identifier of it's own.

 

One thing I wonder is whether it's just a phase of life thing-that is, I faced a lot of sexism during grad school (and the fact that I got away without it as an undergrad, I suspect, was solely due to having an advisor who WASN'T a misogynistic pain in the butt, combined with being the ONE undergrad at the time at that school who actually wanted to major in musicology/music history as opposed to enduring the courses to get the degree-my undergrad professor was colloquially known as Dr. Death in the department because so many students dropped out of music after facing his classes, but his classes were heaven for a kid who LOVED researching and found writing easy, and who had the same enthusiasm for the subject he did. I suspect he wouldn't have cared if I'd been an alien with tentacles!) But I suspect that had I endured through grad school, maybe by transferring to a school that WASN'T in Texas, I probably would have found my niche somewhere, and sexism would have been much less of a problem. 

Then I wonder, longer term, what the point is? It seems like a band-aid solution. 

Sexism actually seems to hit for a lot of women later than University, when factors to do with child-bearing and raising become salient, but of course, can be encountered at any part of the life cycle. 

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10 minutes ago, Quill said:

@Dmmetler, thank you for sharing that fascinating story. I never thought about it before - well, never as something I could remove from the equation - but that is quite fascinating to consider. There is an aspect that makes a lot of sense there; like, “If our genitalia is never going to be relevant to this interaction, why does it matter if I’m male or female?” 

I do remember feeling, when I turned 30, relieved that maybe *now* others would see me as a grown-up. I did not like being 18, 19, 20, etc. in a law office. I always felt like the expectations of what I could do or be capable of were low. But maybe it also had a lot to do with my very feminine presentation. 

I  know for me, as a pretty petite woman who didn't look my age, I was relieved when I finally started being treated as a grownup. Which, frankly, had a lot to do with pregnancy hormones causing permanent physiological changes, but age also had a lot to do with it. It's easier for people to overlook you when you are one of the youngest looking people in the building, regardless of gender, and if you're a more feminine woman (or, I suspect, man) it probably doesn't help any. 

 

I remember in high school the bio teacher looking at my lab partner and I and commenting that Alex could put together the Bunsen burner.  Except that (skirt, long hair, and floral book covers aside), I had spent likely hundreds of hours in a lab at that point, and definitely knew my way around a Bunsen burner-a side effect of being raised by a chemistry professor and a med tech. 

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3 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Then I wonder, longer term, what the point is? It seems like a band-aid solution. 

Sexism actually seems to hit for a lot of women later than University, when factors to do with child-bearing and raising become salient, but of course, can be encountered at any part of the life cycle. 

I don't think there really is a point to it long-term. I think it's a reaction, just like I chose to flee to the college of education, where women were the majority and change my career goals. 

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37 minutes ago, Quill said:

. I never thought about it before - well, never as something I could remove from the equation - but that is quite fascinating to consider. There is an aspect that makes a lot of sense there; like, “If our genitalia is never going to be relevant to this interaction, why does it matter if I’m male or female?” 

And as other previous posters mentioned, the early sorting by sex, girls vs boys, throughout school and in so many situations where this is in no way relevant, sets the stage.
Imagine we had a culture where it was absolutely taboo to reveal what sex your child is and where all kids were just raised gender blind... maybe then we would be a step closer towards eliminating this one aspect from all the interactions where it is completely unnecessary - pretty much anything that isn't related to medical circumstances or sexual relationships.

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35 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Sexism actually seems to hit for a lot of women later than University, when factors to do with child-bearing and raising become salient, but of course, can be encountered at any part of the life cycle. 

Issues surrounding motherhood create an actual difference. We as a society have a lot of room for improvement as how these issues are addressed, but at least these are real issues.
Aside from motherhood, there really shouldn't be any differentiation in almost all situations (except, as I said before, medical circumstances or sexual relationships).

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35 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I  know for me, as a pretty petite woman who didn't look my age, I was relieved when I finally started being treated as a grownup.

I am not petite and never had trouble being accepted while in college, grad school, or postdoc in a very male dominated field , but definitely had issues as a young professor at an engineering school. My (80% male) students did not take me seriously and thought I was the TA. I had to dress up and wear suits and heels to get them to accept that I am actually the professor and not some student helper (while my male colleagues get away with jeans). I am so relieved that I am now in my fifties and no longer have to go to great efforts to play the adult academic.
I am, however, still the only faculty who gets emails addressed by first name or Mrs Lastname; my male colleagues are almost always addressed as Dr. Lastname.

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4 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Our reproductive sex - the fact that half the humans have the potential to bear children, and the vast % of them do - is at the core of sexism.

But for most of life interactions that is entirely irrelevant.

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7 minutes ago, regentrude said:

But for most of life interactions that is entirely irrelevant.

It's irrelevant in the sense that it ought not be used to circumscribe our choices.

For most women globally, it casts a very long shadow over the actuality of their lives.

Gender identity offers nothing for most women. Worse than that, it leaches away progressive energy from a shared commitment to better the lives of females around the globe. 

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52 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Then I wonder, longer term, what the point is? It seems like a band-aid solution. 

Sexism actually seems to hit for a lot of women later than University, when factors to do with child-bearing and raising become salient, but of course, can be encountered at any part of the life cycle. 

Like dmmetler, I don't think there is any intention for it to solve any societal problem. On an individual level, it will work to solve the sexism problem for some people, especially those who "pass" well. (Are there studies yet on whether women or trans men earn more or advance more quickly in their careers? That would be interesting to know. To soon for much data from this current crop.) The child-bearing aspects of sexism will be side-stepped for an awful lot of the young people who are medically transitioning. While one can take testosterone for awhile and still have a chance to go off of it and be able to get pregnant still, after several years on testosterone, a hysterectomy usually becomes advised or necessary, so many of the kids and young adults starting testosterone therapy now will never have the opportunity to bear children. Which I know is an appealing side effect to many of them right now, when they're young and certain they would never want to have children, or that they can "just adopt."

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10 minutes ago, KSera said:

Like dmmetler, I don't think there is any intention for it to solve any societal problem. On an individual level, it will work to solve the sexism problem for some people, especially those who "pass" well. (Are there studies yet on whether women or trans men earn more or advance more quickly in their careers? That would be interesting to know. To soon for much data from this current crop.) The child-bearing aspects of sexism will be side-stepped for an awful lot of the young people who are medically transitioning. While one can take testosterone for awhile and still have a chance to go off of it and be able to get pregnant still, after several years on testosterone, a hysterectomy usually becomes advised or necessary, so many of the kids and young adults starting testosterone therapy now will never have the opportunity to bear children. Which I know is an appealing side effect to many of them right now, when they're young and certain they would never want to have children, or that they can "just adopt."

Right. 

And kids are entitled to solve their own personal problems in a way that best works for them. 

I'm just not obliged to see it as a form of social progress. Direct a class of disadvantaged people away from their shared political interests? Regressive. IMO. 

What personally does my head in is being gaslit that this particular movement is a liberation. On an individual level, maybe. Just like if I make a wad of cash, I've liberated myself from poverty. The poor still exist. 

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18 minutes ago, KSera said:

Like dmmetler, I don't think there is any intention for it to solve any societal problem. On an individual level, it will work to solve the sexism problem for some people, especially those who "pass" well. (Are there studies yet on whether women or trans men earn more or advance more quickly in their careers? That would be interesting to know. To soon for much data from this current crop.) The child-bearing aspects of sexism will be side-stepped for an awful lot of the young people who are medically transitioning. While one can take testosterone for awhile and still have a chance to go off of it and be able to get pregnant still, after several years on testosterone, a hysterectomy usually becomes advised or necessary, so many of the kids and young adults starting testosterone therapy now will never have the opportunity to bear children. Which I know is an appealing side effect to many of them right now, when they're young and certain they would never want to have children, or that they can "just adopt."

 

 

I'm not sure the child bearing aspects will really be sidestepped. It's as much the POTENTIAL of having children that triggers  sexist responses, and it seems likely that they'll just be transferred-to those trans women who pass well,  and those trans men who do not. It doesn't matter that neither is likely to be able to have children, or to choose to do so.  A woman who is infertile (but who is still of perceived reproductive age) still faces a penalty in many workplaces due to potential pregnancy, after all. 

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

And as other previous posters mentioned, the early sorting by sex, girls vs boys, throughout school and in so many situations where this is in no way relevant, sets the stage.
Imagine we had a culture where it was absolutely taboo to reveal what sex your child is and where all kids were just raised gender blind... maybe then we would be a step closer towards eliminating this one aspect from all the interactions where it is completely unnecessary - pretty much anything that isn't related to medical circumstances or sexual relationships.

In many ways, this sounds ideal to me - except one. Even now, IRL, I think meeting someone special/pairing up is somewhat fraught (for young folks) because this cute guy you like might not be in complete anatomical compliance with that presentation. I just think there’s a minefield of issues when one actually is pairing up with someone; I think everyone deserves to know if this person they are interested in has the parts expected. 

And what about social groups? I do think there’s something really sensible about forming little gender-specific groups. I remember once, long ago, I had a playgroup of homeschoolers. For a while, a homeschool dad was part of the group. He did bring many interesting aspects to the group (for one thing, he had very extensive knowledge of, and artifacts from, Native American groups in our area.) However, it also changed the interactions between the moms, having him there. Stuff we were comfortable talking about with no guy there, like breastfeeding babies who bite, or hormonal issues or whateve, we didn’t talk about in the mixed company. It really wasn’t the same while the guy was in the group. 

And I just got together with my bunco moms last night, after over a year hiatus due to COVID. I really love that camaraderie from other females who are in roughly the same stage of life. The core group of us have been friends since our kids, now in their twenties, were 2-5 years old. I can’t imagine a group like this that wasn’t gender-specific. (Maybe I just lack imagination...) 

 

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2 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

Isn't that the common understanding of cis? Cis means you're just fine and dandy with the gender imposed on your sex? No discomfort/mismatch. 

Wow. Never thought of it that way at all. I am comfortable as a woman, but I am definitely not feminine in a societal way -- not in behaviour, personality, or clothing. I often wear purple because that is what is at the shops, not because I like it. And I just don't care enough to go track down something more 'me.'  I am not happy with societal expectations of women doing more housework, or being more subservient etc. So, I'm not sure that I agree with your cis definition, but I don't know how I would define it otherwise. 

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4 minutes ago, lewelma said:

Wow. Never thought of it that way at all. I am comfortable as a woman, but I am definitely not feminine in a societal way -- not in behaviour, personality, or clothing. I often wear purple because that is what is at the shops, not because I like it. And I just don't care enough to go track down something more 'me.'  I am not happy with societal expectations of women doing more housework, or being more subservient etc. So, I'm not sure that I agree with your cis definition, but I don't know how I would define it otherwise. 

Oh, I don't agree with it. I loathe that term as utterly unnecessary. It's how is been explained to me. 

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4 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

 

haha can't get rid of box. And can't find a good quote to launch from.....

I've been thinking about the music departments you guys have described and comparing it to the Wildlife Ecology Department that I was in. It is almost like I had the opposite situation, the expectation that I would be exactly the same as the males. For example, we ran trap lines 3 days a week to trap and study desert rodents. There was the expectation that I would carry the same number of traps. Four boxes for each of us, each box weighing 30 pounds... to be carried 1/4 mile... in the sand... in one go. Let me be clear -- that was 120 pounds that I was carrying for a quarter mile on 2 straps hanging off my shoulders, and at the time I weighted 117 pounds.

The first time we did this, my advisor asked in a very condescending way "Do you want me to carry some of YOUR weight." He was a big man and could have, and he never once let me save face by simply suggesting we split it proportionally by our size.

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33 minutes ago, lewelma said:

haha can't get rid of box. And can't find a good quote to launch from.....

I've been thinking about the music departments you guys have described and comparing it to the Wildlife Ecology Department that I was in. It is almost like I had the opposite situation, the expectation that I would be exactly the same as the males. For example, we ran trap lines 3 days a week to trap and study desert rodents. There was the expectation that I would carry the same number of traps. Four boxes each, each box weighing 30 pounds. 1/4 mile in the sand in one go. Let me be clear -- that was 120 pounds that I was carrying on 2 straps hanging off my shoulders, and at the time I weighted 117 pounds. The first time we did this, my advisor asked in a very condescending way "Do you want me to carry some of YOUR weight." He was a big man and could have, and he never once let me save face by simply suggesting we split it proportionally by our size.

In herpetology, I've heard reports that go both ways-a lack of understanding of physiological differences and needs (in particular, that women have a more difficult time with bathroom situations in the field, especially while menstruating) and that some projects and PIs are very reluctant to take female students in the field at all, or tend to try to push them into second tier status, often claiming the SAME physiological differences necessitate it. And there are definitely career paths (and schools that have a larger percentage of people heading to those career paths) which tend to be male dominated-one major one is game and non-game wardens and field agents. And one reason why most of the Ag schools dropped off our list is that schools where wildlife bio was in Ag tended to have worse reputations than those where it was in EECB. 

 

I do wonder if that will change, since social media now makes it very easy to find out which PI's are good to work for, and which aren't, and since bio is becoming increasingly female dominated, so, as the old guard retire, more and more women are getting into the PI role. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

 And one reason why most of the Ag schools dropped off our list is that schools where wildlife bio was in Ag tended to have worse reputations than those where it was in EECB.

Interesting! My advisor was an adjunct professor at this EECB program, but he was actually at USDA. I'm sad to hear that things haven't changed that much in 30 years. 😞

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4 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

If, for the sake of argument, all females transitioned out of 'woman' and into 'NB', is sexism gone? Or does it begin to target female NB people, maybe on the basis of their sex?

If some NB people find that transitioning away from 'woman' ameliorates sexism on an individual level, what do we then say to other females who can't/won't?

"Sorry, sexism is just part of womanhood, you chose it..."

 

Reminds me of that case where the NB (female) person won an exemption from her workplace's sexist uniform policy - but only for themself. On the basis that they weren't a woman. And this is... progressive?

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3 hours ago, regentrude said:

I am not petite and never had trouble being accepted while in college, grad school, or postdoc in a very male dominated field , but definitely had issues as a young professor at an engineering school. My (80% male) students did not take me seriously and thought I was the TA. I had to dress up and wear suits and heels to get them to accept that I am actually the professor and not some student helper (while my male colleagues get away with jeans). I am so relieved that I am now in my fifties and no longer have to go to great efforts to play the adult academic.
I am, however, still the only faculty who gets emails addressed by first name or Mrs Lastname; my male colleagues are almost always addressed as Dr. Lastname.

Boy does the grind my cheese! I have gone to using Ms. professionally and no longer respond to anyone who uses Mrs. What the hell does my marital status have to do with my ability to play the piano or teach music? Exactly nothing. Last I knew, my uterus was not busy memorizing a Chopin Fantasie.

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8 hours ago, Faith-manor said:

Boy does the grind my cheese! I have gone to using Ms. professionally and no longer respond to anyone who uses Mrs. What the hell does my marital status have to do with my ability to play the piano or teach music? Exactly nothing. Last I knew, my uterus was not busy memorizing a Chopin Fantasie.

I have always used Ms,  because I do not have the same last name as my husband.  We will have been married 36 years in september

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On 6/20/2021 at 4:58 PM, MercyA said:

I've found it incredibly valuable to learn about so many different perspectives here. I do live in a rural bubble and can't have discussions like these with my "in person" friends. (I was going to say "IRL" friends, but you all are just as real to me and just as loved as the friends who live nearby.)

I have always used the words "gender" and "sex" interchangeably, but these are words which are changing meaning in our culture. So, how do you define gender?

Totally open-ended question. 

Anthropologically.

Gender means cultural structures that are attached to sex in  society. It could be customs around clothing that are fairly arbitrary but are related to people's interest in differentiating sex. It could be laws round maternity provisions which clearly related to significant biologically based differences between the lives of men and women. It could be an artistic or literary tradition that tells us something about the different experiences of men and women in society and also how they are viewed in society.

So not the same as sex, and not all societies have the same approach to gender, but inherently tied to sex, and it's inevitable that human societies have gender.

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24 minutes ago, TravelingChris said:

I have always used Ms,  because I do not have the same last name as my husband.  We will have been married 36 years in september

I kind of think that the time has come to either universally adopt a non-gendered prefix, or just drop them entirely.  I'm of the right age to remember when Ms was a big deal, and now it's become the default, to the point that if you choose to use Miss or Mrs, you're sending other associations (Miss-young, inexperienced, will probably leave when you get married, Mrs.-Probably has kids and will make family a priority over work).  Not everyone is going to want to get a doctorate or join the military to earn a different title. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, regentrude said:

And as other previous posters mentioned, the early sorting by sex, girls vs boys, throughout school and in so many situations where this is in no way relevant, sets the stage.
Imagine we had a culture where it was absolutely taboo to reveal what sex your child is and where all kids were just raised gender blind... maybe then we would be a step closer towards eliminating this one aspect from all the interactions where it is completely unnecessary - pretty much anything that isn't related to medical circumstances or sexual relationships.

That sounds horrible.

It sounds like a nightmare world.

I am actually struggling to articulate how bad and twisted that is to me

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38 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I kind of think that the time has come to either universally adopt a non-gendered prefix, or just drop them entirely.  I'm of the right age to remember when Ms was a big deal, and now it's become the default, to the point that if you choose to use Miss or Mrs, you're sending other associations (Miss-young, inexperienced, will probably leave when you get married, Mrs.-Probably has kids and will make family a priority over work).  Not everyone is going to want to get a doctorate or join the military to earn a different title. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear, hear! 👏👏👏👏👏

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14 hours ago, regentrude said:

I am not petite and never had trouble being accepted while in college, grad school, or postdoc in a very male dominated field , but definitely had issues as a young professor at an engineering school. My (80% male) students did not take me seriously and thought I was the TA. I had to dress up and wear suits and heels to get them to accept that I am actually the professor and not some student helper (while my male colleagues get away with jeans). I am so relieved that I am now in my fifties and no longer have to go to great efforts to play the adult academic.
I am, however, still the only faculty who gets emails addressed by first name or Mrs Lastname; my male colleagues are almost always addressed as Dr. Lastname.

Much the same experience here, in a male dominated medical specialty.  Same issue with email   and having to work to be taken seriously.  And having to work to establish that I am the doctor, not the nurse.  And  I'm  dealing with the public, so I also get darling'd and dearie'd and sweetheart'd too, on a daily basis.  It's infuriating.

I put up with all kinds of gendered social crap at work, and because of it, I earn less than my male colleagues:  We are fee for service.  Gender bias means that women see fewer patients per shift than men, and therefore earn less. (we have more interruptions, spend time establishing credibility, our time is not respected in the same way as them men, by patients and staff, we are expected to take on a nurturing role that our male colleagues are not, we get requests to see certain types of patients that are almost always more time consuming "requests female physician", and on and on.  All of this has been well-studied and well-documented.)

ETA:  The worst part is that the men (many of them anyway) can't seem to see It, and don't really believe it.  They just think that we don't work as hard as they do.  It's enraging.

Sorry @Mercy, that turned into a slightly off-topic rant!

Edited to correct;  kinds not kids.  I  really like kids! I don't just "put up" with them 🙂

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31 minutes ago, pinball said:

That sounds horrible.

It sounds like a nightmare world.

I am actually struggling to articulate how bad and twisted that is to me

Most preschools operate under similar structures now, where everyone has access to all play areas, usually there is one bathroom off the room, and materials are picked to demonstrate a wide range of family structures. While children's clothes are usually gendered, the baby/toddler section is much less divided into girls/boys (probably because you don't usually try clothes on your wiggly 2 yr old in the store), and the same is true with toys, where there is a "baby" section for under 3's separate from girls and boys. T-ball and very early sports are often not divided by gender, or, if they are, it's not because of rules but because of parents not signing their four yr old boy up for a tiny cheer team or their four yr old girl up for football fundamentals. 

 

But, at the same time, I don't think that it's possible to sustain this after puberty. Because anyone who has ever spent time with middle school kids in groups knows that at middle school, it's all about who has what physical body parts, and they're basically just one walking mass of hormones wrapped in exaggerated behavior of what they think the gender is supposed to be. 

 

At best, what I can see being possible after puberty, is changing norms so that gender isn't one of the first pieces of information you get about a person and isn't the most salient detail that explains everything. That it doesn't need to be on every single form. That we stop using different titles for men and women. That clothes are shelved by size/color/style, not in "Women's, Men's, Juniors (why is it that women who are below about a size 8 are automatically considered "juniors" regardless of age?)" That toys are not sorted into pink and blue aisles for kids between the ages of 3-12. That youth sports are divided by skill level and physical size, not by gender. 

 

My gut feeling is that if we could manage to make those changes stick, maybe we'd see fewer teens confused about gender, and seeming to believe that if you like sparkles and pink you must not be a man, or if you don't like makeup and hair and don't want to have kids, you must not be a woman. 

 

And MAYBE, just maybe, we'd see women finally getting equal pay for equal work, and equal respect for equal work, and it being more acceptable for a man to stay home with a child or to go into a nurturing profession. 

 

And, having spent a good part of this week clothes shopping with a teen, I can say that stores that cater primarily to teens are starting to become less gender linked. Hot topic and H&M, for example, both classify clothes by type/style, not by gender, and will have a range of sizes. So, there will be different cuts of jeans on the same rack (and some will fit bodies that have hips better than others), but there isn't a division by gender labeled as such. Many stores don't label dressing rooms, but simply have all of them be single person and open directly into the store, not into a separate area. A lot more stores have family or gender neutral single stall bathrooms. Teen "toys" (think stores like GameStop or the gifts side of Hot Topic, or the fandom stuff in Target) aren't gender divided, either. I'm in the South, in a pretty conservative suburb, so if I'm seeing it here, it's probably everywhere-or at least everywhere that has malls and shopping centers. 

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On 6/24/2021 at 1:33 PM, SKL said:

Yeah, why are girls so horrified by the thought of becoming women?  Really a good question.  Maybe I'll ask my kids if that is going on at school and what they think about it.

I do recall my kid saying she thinks God is sexist because he put all the natural burdens on women.  I disagreed.  I think there are lots of benefits to being a woman.  Though, to be fair, I didn't have that wisdom when I was my kids' age.

There was and is a lot of rhetoric that amounts to victim mentality.  I mean yes, obviously discrimination is a thing and stereotypes are bad etc., but none of that stops women from having happy, productive lives in general today.

And it's not like being trans would make a person more likely to face discrimination, wrong stereotypes, etc.  Do kids not realize that?  If not, why not?  I would have understood that at their age, even though we didn't have internet etc.

This sounds a lot like my daughter at the moment, who is early teens. She cannot see any good things about being a girl, and feels that if she were not a girl, all her problems in this area would be gone. A lot of the difficulty is focused on her breasts though she has quite a boyish figure really, but she also hates getting her period, and the girl drama at school, and the way the boys treat the girls in gym etc. But she's hyper-focused on the breast thing, which is typical for her.

The thing that really strikes me is that I was not dissimilar at that age. I found the physical changes in my body made me feel like I was in a sort of out of body experience. I struggled with menstruation because I had painful heavy periods and couldn't wear a tampon. I found the girls difficult to get along with and most of my friends were boys (as is still the case really.)

But the idea that I could rename myself and opt out wasn't there, and frankly I think that made things easier. I learned to deal with some of the problems, to accept others, to see my body as mine again, and mainly it took time and brain maturity. 

Not only that, but had I had the option of trying to disassociate from my body to cope, or hide the changes in my body, that would not only not have helped the problem resolve, I think it would have made things much, much worse. And that's what I am seeing in a lot of these kids. They can't work through to the formation of an adult woman's identity because they try and opt out and society reinforces that rather than allowing them to find their places as women. Or indeed helping them do so - I've been really startled by the extent the kids seem to see body modification as a healthy response, or think psychological or emotional discomfort is permanent and means something is wrong. When I was in school it was constantly ehasised that it was normal and k to feel distressed at times, almost to be expected due to the nature of the teen brain, and there was a lot of body positivity that now seems wholly absent.

 

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14 hours ago, regentrude said:

And as other previous posters mentioned, the early sorting by sex, girls vs boys, throughout school and in so many situations where this is in no way relevant, sets the stage.
Imagine we had a culture where it was absolutely taboo to reveal what sex your child is and where all kids were just raised gender blind... maybe then we would be a step closer towards eliminating this one aspect from all the interactions where it is completely unnecessary - pretty much anything that isn't related to medical circumstances or sexual relationships.

I still don't see what's wrong with acknowledging / appreciating two different sexes/genders.

My kids (especially my eldest) always have the best time when in a mixed group (boys and girls).  I never asked them to articulate exactly why, but it seems natural and positive.

I think the pendulum has swung way too far against "sexism," however that is defined these days.

Comparing it to the racism pendulum, which has started to swing back away from "colorblindness" (a correction most of us would agree with), I wonder when the sexism pendulum is going to swing back.

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13 hours ago, lewelma said:

Wow. Never thought of it that way at all. I am comfortable as a woman, but I am definitely not feminine in a societal way -- not in behaviour, personality, or clothing. I often wear purple because that is what is at the shops, not because I like it. And I just don't care enough to go track down something more 'me.'  I am not happy with societal expectations of women doing more housework, or being more subservient etc. So, I'm not sure that I agree with your cis definition, but I don't know how I would define it otherwise. 

I agree that it's disturbing if other people decide that if I'm cis that means I don't give a dang about real problems of sexism.  Do they think black people who are comfortable in their skin deny racism exists?  If that is what's going on in people's minds, then they are even more immature and foolish than I thought.

On the other hand, I'm way past caring about most of those little things like who washes the dishes.  There are so many bigger problems in life.  Maybe I'm cynical because if my kids had a dad, my responsibility for my kids and house would go from 100% to something less than 100%.  So people fussing over whether it's 40% or 60% feels silly to me.

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