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Skepchick Quickies 7.29

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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  1. Okay. My brain is obviously strange. Not at all normal. I couldn’t help myself, honest! Re: Why are middle-aged women the “most stressed out”? – Meg’s response to an ABC news story.

    I couldn’t help myself! A little jingle popped in as I was finishing the story. (It’s a good blog post and I like what was written.)

    “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

    1. He’s a famous fashion designer known for hosting various shows along that line. He is openly gay and I just double-checked to be sure. Being gay and open about it doesn’t instantly relieve you of a binary view of gender. I bring up his sexuality because surely he has met his share of people in the LGTBBQROFL community that don’t conform to gender stereotypes. That’s kind of I’m confused about it. Or maybe he assumes that if you’re cisgendered, you have to have some kind of binary gender representation so you can attract members of the opposite sex. Beats me. That’s not fair to anyone if you think about it.

      By the way, lest I’m thought a prude, I differentiate between crude humor and actually feeling a certain way. There’s definitely a lot of overlap, obviously, but it doesn’t seem like Gunn was merely joking. That’s the problem I have with it. I’m biologically male and androgynouly-gendered, and given how jealous I get when I look at how fabulous clothes are outside the men’s department, I’ll wear a god damn dress if I choose to.

  2. The smart meters: Is this “we oppose it because it’s taking away someone’s CHOICE” trope new? I see it in anti-GMO, anti-Hybrid, anti-vax, anti-whatever rhetoric on the less-skeptical left. Can the use of that trope be used as a handy indicator of irrationality when it is presented instead of some sort of verifiable or rational evidence?

    Oh, and BTW, don’t the BColumbians have the CHOICE to refuse the meters, or refuse to use them, and merely pay higher utility bills? Or is it that they want to make the CHOICE that their neighbors are not permitted to avail themselves of the technology, despite the energy and cost savings.

    1. Yeah, I think the CHOICE argument is where you go when you don’t have anything else (like facts, data, plausible hypotheses, etc.) but you have potential voters you want to pander to.
      .
      Speaking of choice, how come the driving on the right oligarchy rules the US? Shouldn’t we have a choice to drive on the left if we want to?

  3. One thing that infuriates me about throwing around accusations that someone has some kind of gender issue if they don’t fit the binary is that it frames the discourse such that defending whoever has been accused -in this case Hilary Clinton- requires going along with the subtler undertone that it would be a problem if she DID. You know?

    Like… “Rah rah Mrs. Clinton is gender confused Blarghy blarghy that boy in the J Crew catalog shouldn’t have pink nails askjlkj” and then well-intentioned people come along and say, “Hilary Clinton doesn’t have gender issues just because she wears pantsuits!” and “painting a boys nails pink doesn’t make him transgender!”… and those statements are true, of course, BUT those well-intentioned people have been suckered into defending someone from something that shouldn’t a be negative in the first place. The discourse is still structured such that being transgender is still a flaw and that being called such is a slight against someone’s good reputation.

    Like…as a totally different example… if someone says to me, “Wow! You look great! I would never guess that you weren’t born female!” I know they’re trying to compliment me and mean well, but it still comes across as suggesting that my transness is bad and that the more I can blend into cisgender standards of appearance and beauty, the better. If I’m to be proud of the ways I look like a cis woman, than I must also be ashamed of the ways I don’t.

    I’m rambling a bit… but I just get annoyed at how often the discourse surrounding gender identity contains this underlying assumptions that transgender / gender variant = bad and cisgender / binary = good. And I get annoyed at how easy it is for people like Mr. Gunn to tilt the conversation in such a way that those assumptions are maintained even by those who are trying to take the accepting, tolerant, reasonable position.

      1. So do I. I think early David bowie is a good example of self defined transgender. He was part feminine and part masculane and extremely cool.

        Plese delete the other post this is in reply to Amanda, thanks :)

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