the codes of gender

Things that don’t make you less valid (trans/nb edition):
- misgendering yourself
- not answering right away to your choosen name but starting at your birthname
- not wearing a binder, wearing make up, wearing skirt and dresses, long hair, nail polish, shaving or not having body/facial hair (for afab people)
- not wearing make up or skirts or dresses, having short hair, keeping body/facial hair (for amab people)
- not being androgynous when being nonbinary
- not passing
- having certain interests that are gender coded and don’t match your gender
- being gay/lesbian
- being straight
- not taking hormones
- not going under surgeries
- not wanting to take hormones or to do surgeries
- being misgendered/called only by your birthname by your parents
- being misgendered by strangers every. damn. time
- not having dysphoria 24/7
- liking being trans/nb
- hating being trans/nb
- being out
- being closeted
- having a mental illness
- being disabled
- being nonbinary and relating to the gender binary
- being nonbinary and not relating to the gender binary

You are all valid and I love you
(Feel free to add more)

Craft vs. Art

I was thinking about @jenroses’s answer about the arbitrary nature of what constitutes the line between fanfiction and original fiction, and I started thinking about how it relates to the supposed differences between craft and art, and also why doing something that’s considered more of a “craft” can sometimes be more creatively freeing than working on “art.”

Given that I do needle arts, this craft vs. art thing is an issue that comes up a lot. Crafts seem to be things that people classify as something to keep your hands busy. The implication is something small in meaning. “Not something that would go in a museum.” Pleasure, not “real work.” Cross-stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, knitting, crochet, quilting, weaving (basket and cloth), beading, but also woodworking and blacksmithing and pottery. These are all things that are seen to require skill to do well, but the end results are only rarely held up as examples of “art,” and are thus not often seen as truly creative endeavors by people outside that crafting community.

If the work isn’t seen as 100% the maker’s original idea, no working from instructions or patterns at any point, is it really art? they ask.

Does it matter? I counter.

When I started writing fic this past June, I hadn’t written fiction of any kind in 16 years. Nor had I drawn or painted. My artistic creativity, as I had been told to define it, had seemed burned out, gone, dead. All I’d been doing in those years (“all”) was extremely complex cross-stitch, temari (a Japanese form of geometric embroidery), and knitting. It was the temari that really grabbed me, so I worked hard enough at it that I started to get some recognition for making original pieces, which, in the temari world, means combining techniques that are centuries old in possibly novel ways, or at least novel colors. And at this point, people started asking me what it was that kept me coming back to temari. Why did I keep doing it, sometimes variations of the same design again and again? The answer I came up with was this:

I like the way temari sets up rigid constraints that you must work within (the geometric divisions, the stitching techniques), but then challenges you to be as creative as possible within those constraints. Sure, I did that particular pattern five times in a row, but each time I varied the colorway, or I explored how changing just one element would affect the overall final look. And that spurred me to greater and greater creativity.

Fanfiction is very much the same for me. Exploring how to be as creative as possible in a few areas while operating within a set of constraints is oddly freeing. I can experiment with changing just one aspect of canon and explore how that would change the overall dynamic of the established world, or I can push everything into an AU setting and work to keep the character dynamics recognizable even with everything else changed. And if creativity within constraint is what’s inspiring me to actually write/draw/stitch, I’m not going to look down on that.

Nor should anyone.

Blur that line in your mind. It’s all art. It’s the value judgements that are fake.

15 year old girls should not be worried about if the skirt they are wearing is too short for them to wear in front of a man they’ve known their entire life. the outline of my bra should not be a problem around a man that have basically raised me. this man has no reason to be aroused by my legs or bra through my sweater. you sir, are nearing fifty. you sir, were babysitting my brother while my mother was in labor with me. you sir, were probably around for my first steps. you sir, are married to someone. you sir, have a daughter two years older than me. i am practically a daughter to this man, he has known me my whole life. if i can be in a public pool in my tiny bathing suit, i think a grown man that has known me my whole life can handle seeing a little bit more of my thigh than usual and the outline of my bra. you told me i was dressed too inappropriately to eat dinner with this man and his family. you told me my skirt was too short and that if you stare at my chest, you can see the outline of my bra. you told me that sometimes the strap of my bra shows in this sweater, and that there will be a grown man. mother dearest, would you rather me not wear a bra, so this man does not get aroused by the sight of the strap of the very thing made to contain my breasts. mother dearest, would you rather me wear sweatpants to easter dinner, so this man does not get an erection from the sight of my legs? mother dearest, i could instead wear a casual outfit, i have a t-shirt and jeans that hides these areas of arousal you are so concerned about. you see mother dearest, i personally think it would be must more appropriate for him to remember that i am 15 years old, i am still a girl, and that he doesnt have any goddamn business wondering about what the hell is hidden underneath my clothing.
—  “fuck you and the sexualization of your own child” a short thing i, lindsay wallis, wrote.

being lgbt is about both sexuality and gender, specifically about how lgbt people transgress the heterosexualized gender binary. so trans people are lgbt because of the way they disrupt the gender binary, but that is also tied to their sexuality/the way their sexuality is perceived under patriarchy. and lgb+ people are lgbt because they are same-gender attracted, but that is also tied to their gender/how their gender is perceived under patriarchy. 

it’s a mistake to assume that sexuality and gender are discrete and separable categories to begin with but the line between them dissolves even more in the context of lgbt people. erotic/sexual presentations and desires are intertwined with gender roles/gender codes/gender presentations for all lgbt people, and thus the homophobia and transphobia they face are gendered AND based in policing of specific sexual/erotic presentations. 

so it’s not just about who you love or what your gender presentation is - rather, it’s about a complex interaction of the two that work to disrupt and transgress heterosexualized gender, and the reaction to that disruption/transgression is what we know as homophobia or transphobia. 

Why I Was Fired By Google, by James Damore

Special to the Wall Street Journal

I was fired by Google this past Monday for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector. I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s “ideological echo chamber.”My firing neatly confirms that point.

How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?

We all have moral preferences and beliefs about how the world is and should be. Having these views challenged can be painful, so we tend to avoid people with differing values and to associate with those who share our values. This self-segregation has become much more potent in recent decades. We are more mobile and can sort ourselves into different communities; we wait longer to find and choose just the right mate; and we spend much of our time in a digital world personalized to fit our views.

Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work. With free food, internal meme boards and weekly companywide meetings, Google becomes a huge part of its employees’ lives. Some even live on campus. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity,almost like a cult with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of “Don’t be evil.”

Echo chambers maintain themselves by creating a shared spirit and keeping discussion confined within certain limits. As Noam Chomsky once observed, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

But echo chambers also have to guard against dissent and opposition. Whether it’s in our homes, online or in our workplaces, a consensus is maintained by shaming people into conformity or excommunicating them if they persist in violating taboos. Public shaming serves not only to display the virtue of those doing the shaming but also warns others that the same punishment awaits them if they don’t conform.

In my document, I committed heresy against the Google creed by stating that not all disparities between men and women that we see in the world are the result of discriminatory treatment.

When I first circulated the document about a month ago to our diversity groups and individuals at Google, there was no outcry or charge of misogyny. I engaged in reasoned discussion with some of my peers on these issues, but mostly I was ignored.

Everything changed when the document went viral within the company and the wider tech world. Those most zealously committed to the diversity creed—that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and all people are inherently the same—could not let this public offense go unpunished. They sent angry emails to Google’s human-resources department and everyone up my management chain, demanding censorship, retaliation and atonement.

Upper management tried to placate this surge of outrage by shaming me and misrepresenting my document, but they couldn’t really do otherwise: The mob would have set upon anyone who openly agreed with me or even tolerated my views. When the whole episode finally became a giant media controversy, thanks to external leaks, Google had to solve the problem caused by my supposedly sexist, anti-diversity manifesto, and the whole company came under heated and sometimes threatening scrutiny.

It saddens me to leave Google and to see the company silence open and honest discussion. If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future—unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users.

steelmillpoet  asked:

Could some seemingly bi-moments be read as attempts to expand Dean's personality beyond normative masculinity, rather than suggesting sexual orientation? In a society of rigid gender norms, it's always anxiety-inducing for men to stray beyond those norms, whether hetero, gay, or bi. In depicting intimacy with other men, or interests or mannerisms not

Yes, it could. Fiction can always be interpreted more than one way, and much of the textual content referenced in conversations about bi-Dean is interrelated with gender normativity and gender politics. So the simple answer to your question is yes, many of those moments CAN be read that way.

But I don’t think it is unjustified to ask how such moments might also speak to Dean’s textually constructed sexuality, given that the both the textual narrative AND the narrative’s real-world production take place in modern American society where gender non-normativity has strong cultural associations with queerness. 

Furthermore, I would argue many of those moments are actually more instructive for the way they display Dean’s propensity to lie about how he really feels, versus being significant to his sexuality because they are gender non-normative per se

Further still, I feel like Dean’s textual flirtation with gender non-normativity also just exist in a text alongside many instances where the prospect of Dean being queer is just blatantly stated or depicted some other way, as in: 

None of these moments are about gender at all, but they textually put Dean into sexual/romantic dynamics with other men, either visually, verbally, narratively, etc.

One of my biggest THINGS™️ about this argument is actually the issue of holistic examination of evidence in the aggregate

Yes, any one particular piece (or even TYPE) of evidence by itself can always be interpreted SOME other way. That’s just the inherent multiplicitous nature of how textuality works. But when you put all the evidence together, when you think about it holistically, that is what creates the most comprehensive picture of what is going on. 

Dean’s moments of gender non-normativity would be less compelling evidence to me of queer coding if Dean were not in other ways hinted to be queer by the text. But because he is, the gender non-normativity has relevance to understanding the dynamic holistically, because men like Dean (both fictional and real) still tend to associate gender normativity with heterosexuality, and often are afraid of queerness (their own and other people’s) because it bespeaks a lessening of masculinity to them.  

I understand being wary of maintaining an ideological link between gender normativity and sexuality. And I think the subject has to be approached with nuance and care. However, rightly or wrongly, those associations still exist in our culture and they still hold a certain cultural meaning, especially when they arise in fictional texts, which often use cultural short-hands to do the work of storytelling. 

Robots, Gender Roles, and You.

Howdy folks, Myriad of Nocturnes here. I’m thinking of starting a series of posts where I bitch about shit that really grinds my proverbial gears. So, being the bonafide robot lover that I am, I thought I’d start us off with something that really just seems lazy to me. 

Robots, Gender Roles, and You. 

Credential wise, I’m a Transformers fan, Gundam fan, and fan of pretty much every robot focused franchise you could care to name. I love pretty much every sort of robot design, but there is one in particular that really annoys me. 

You’ve all seen the content, i’m sure. A big, hulking inhuman (but masculine coded) robot with all sorts of deadly implements of war, death, and what have you….who shares a setting with a robot with ‘feminine’ coding who looks like a shrink wrapped supermodel. 

It’s cowardly, if you ask me. People feel the need to assign some sort of humanity to their robot, rather than allowing it to be a robot. Why does your robot have to conform to hetero-normative gender roles? Why are all of your lady robots running around looking like human women with fancy helmets? Why does a robot have to act in a manner consistent with the way people act? 

Ya’ll often share posts about making monster girls more monstrous. I just passed one today that called for people to give their orc women fangs, tusks, scars, and muscles. 

I say let your robots of any gender coding have multiple arms, inhuman features, and alien thought processes. Be creative! Let your robot be any gender it desires. If you want your robot to be feminine in some manner, let it, but don’t show us that it’s feminine by giving it big anime titties. 

That’s just lazy.

Inspired by @triruntu‘s gorgeous art, today’s unfinished fic with no future is cyberpunk burlesque, featuring nonbinary cyborg Jack.  I want to try coming back to this setting from a different angle, but I realized I set up this particular attempt with no real opportunity for any movement.  It’d work as the opening to something MUCH longer, but I’m not going to try that because I can’t finish long things.


Gabriel’s never been to a place like this before.  His army buddies brought him as a congratulations for his promotion.  Major Gabriel Reyes.

Nightclub, brothel and burlesque palace all rolled into one; the place is legendary in gossip circles.  They say that if you can afford the admission price then you can find pretty much anything you could wish for: man, woman or enbee; human, cyborg or omnic.  Robofucking hasn’t exactly been on the list of socially acceptable pastimes since the Omnic Crisis, but that only ever seems to increase the appeal when it comes to fetishes.

Keep reading


This inspiring ad is reminding women that we are our own worst critics and should treat the negative voice in our head like we would any other naysayer

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Gifs: Activia US


As someone who has English as second and still struggle with it, my past experiences actually confirm you can accidentally say hurtful things without meaning. Sometimes you use offensive outdated words because you thought they were the correct, sometimes misgender someone because the differences of how gendered words works, a lot of racial coding gets lost in translation and you end up whitewashing characters coded as PoC, and sometimes you try to praise someone and because poor choice of words you end up insulting them. It happens and is important for other people to bear some patience with people learning English, but you still are suppossed to apologize.

And even when ignorance can be unintentionally hurtful and mean no evil, there is stuff is the harmful regardless of langueage, and seriously blaming English being your second language is just an excuse of poor taste to hide your bigotry. There is no way a white european who been interacting with others in English doesn’t know what are antiblack slurs, there is not way someone is an “LGBT ally” but doesn’t realize that transphobic jokes or finding trans women disguisting is transphobic.

Is not like, a Japanese person missing a character being Latino-coded and making them east asian but correcting their art once addressed, or like, a Chilean person using the word “molest” casually because it sounds like Spanish for “to annoy/bother” but once they learn they apologize and stop… You gotta have patience for stuff you can tell was born from ignorance. But stuff that is based on “(LGBT) people are lesser” or “(race) is stupid” is gross regardless of language.

Bisexuals forever have to prove our existence. Attraction to more than one gender isn’t enough. We forever have to prove we aren’t secretly something else. We have to prove we don’t turn into something else. The nature of unconfirmed bisexuals is always up for debate. No one believes we truly exist, and no one feels inclined to see us when we openly do.

Our representation doesn’t belong to ourselves, but rather its open for interpretation however others feel like because of any justification they can think of, while we suffer being the least represented as it is.

People look at us and think about how they can turn us into themselves, claim us as their own, claim our experiences as their own. People want to discredit whole portions of our lives because they don’t view it as one experience, they see two separate ones they don’t believe belong together.

Bisexuals have to suffer being treated as an inferior orientation, treated as though portions of our existences are unfortunate or inconveniences. Our identities are not treated as respectable. There is a PROBLEM with the way society demeans and belittles us. There is a distinct lack and denial of representation of us.

Characters created to be bisexual are not given that label. They refuse to identify us. And while characters coded as gay who date only their own gender never have to be explicitly called gay in order to cement their identity, characters who display attraction to multiple genders are apparently up for interpretation when not directly called bisexual, and this is not ever associated by people who do this with the clear biphobic issue of media refusing to identify us.

They gladly throw this extremely difficult problem faced by us out the window if it gives them an opportunity and a reason to claim our representation as their own.

Experiences that go hand in hand with being gay (such as compulsory heterosexuality/coercive heteronormativity) are often cited as excuses for taking blatant depictions of ourselves, while the fact that we experience those things too is ignored.

People wouldn’t dream of giving gay characters a background of mistakenly dating the wrong gender, because it’s seen as offensive; but characters who participate in perceived “hetero” relationships are called gay and given an excuse to condemn those relationships, and the dismissal of a bisexual option is “because gay people who have dated the wrong gender exist.”

And yet people aren’t willing to take representation for those gay people from existing gay characters, they see it more logical to take only bisexual coded characters to claim for these gay folks (as if depicting an unfortunate side effect of heteronornative culture on gay people has an equal level of need of representation as an entire, whole identity, and also as if bisexuals cannot have a history with comp het either that colors preferences, because who cares about representing THEM? You would find the same people who interpret bi coded characters as gay because of “comp het” objecting violently to the idea of a gay coded, unconfirmed character being interpreted as bisexual with a preference; e.g. see the Yuri on Ice fandom.)

Bisexuality is not respected and it SHOWS in the collective behavior of fandoms today; and until it becomes less of an overbearing problem, until both the community and media treatment of bisexuals is improved on, you bet your fucking ass I’m going to see a damn problem with people thinking that bisexual coded characters are up for anyone else’s interpretation.

Only when you learn to stop reading aesthetic presentation as a rigid series of gender codes can you truly begin to appreciate and explore it as the medium of highly personal artistic expression that it is. Liberate yourself from that way of thinking. A painting is more than its subject, as I am more than a breathing set of prescribed identity markers. I am more complex than that. We are so much more complex than that.