using ethnocentric behavioral models to misgender

Damn but that’s a mouthful of a title, ain’t it?

Yes, I still have something to say on all that crap going, but that’s not an area that I can just bang out a response to — it is something that takes time.  It’ll be out today, but I need to seriously think on it, and it’ll be a long post.

However, ancillary to that, last night I was reading up on stuff for the big long post, and I stumbled on one side’s defenders making an outright lie in defense of another.

So I pointed out it was an outright lie.

Then they got defensive (expected), and started literally making stuff up about me.

And ya’ll know I just eat that sort of thing up — it gives me all the fuel I need to dive in and start ripping someone into pieces.

It was not a good thing, mind you.  But I don’t always do good things.  I just do the best thing I’m able to do.

In any case, it was about the third exchange, and suddenly the individual, apparently a trans person as well, suddenly leaped intothe waters of how one acts defines one’s gender.

And that’s what this post is going to be about, because that is something I can bang out fairly quickly.

Have you ever gotteninto a discussion where someone suddenly starts talking about how you are acting “mannish” — how your behavior is suddenly very masculine.  How you use words and how you frame arguments and how you talk suddenly “proves” that you are some sort of man, that you don’t have the appropriate “energy”.

Well, what they are engaging in when they start to do that is racism.  It is also sexism. It is also misgendering, and is done on purpose, as a means of shutting you the hell up, of intimidating you into silence.

It is, in other words, a silencing tactic that is used to derail — to shift the conversation away from the actions of the person making the statement towards something else — most often you, yourself.

The things they describe when they do this are almost always and exclusively based in European ideas of what constitutes the typical behavior of men and women.  These ideas are basedin European cultural standards and mores, and this is called being eurocentric, whichis a form of centering — or makign the norm — a concept around a specific cultural set of rules. This is known as ethnocentrism, the making of a particular and singular cultural model the one that all others are compared to.  This is wrong — it is, in effect, saying that native american cultures are inferior to European ones, and that makes statements that are eurocentric and ethnocentric often racist, especially when they are used to silence, insult, and dismiss.

It relies, basically, on stereotypes– general sets of expectations and such, much like the same ideas that say womenshould be demure and quiet, barefoot and pregnant, and stay at home and not work.  Men are supposedto be loud, brash, aggressive.  Women are notsupposedto be that way.

All of those things are stereotypes.  And because they are defined according to somewhat strict and patriarchal rules, that makes them very much a form of sexism.

And this tells you a great deal about the way the people who do things are thinking.  It says they are trying to make you conform to their personal rules for behavior and conduct.  It tells you that they see their personal rules as being the same as the rest of the world’s (this is called projection). It tells you that have little respect for other people, and that they consider themselves superior to you.

It also tells you they have a pretty wild imagination, since they almost always use these sorts of attacks on people they know next to nothing about. They are easy, they are quick, and they are very effective at making most people shut up — either through not wanting to get into a pissing match or because the words hurt the individual too greatly.

When I encounter such things, it is the surest way of keeping me in the discussion. For one, I don’t play by others people’s rules of how a womanis or is not supposed to act.  I am my mother’s daughter, and she’d have a cow if I suddenly got all meek and stuff.  The same can be said for my various step mothers — Susan would disapprove of the language I use, but I like to think Allison would join in, lol.

(Susan is much bigger on etiquette than I am)

The women in my family don’t take crap from other people.  Especially not sexist, racist drivel of the sort that is involved in this kind of speech.

Now what’s fascinating is that if you challenge these people on that, you become a bully.  Yet you are the one who they just tried to silence, intimidate, and place themselves above, and you are the one they will harrass.

This creates a situation that is not only difficult for a lot of people to deal with, but that causes problems for the website this usually happens on, as well.  Because of the derailing aspect, people will forget why it is that you’ve suddenly become some “brutish” sort, and this can lead to long drawn out threads that often have little to nothing to do with the original subject.

I point all of this out because it is actually not too far away from the sort of thing that needs to be dealt with in the trans community, and it underscores a lot of the friction and other issues which get int eh way of us really truly demonstrating that we give a damn about trans people as a whole.

Trans people who use language such as this don’t really care about other trans people — it is always about their own personal sense of individual safety, and it is a horrible and unacceptable thing to have done.

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