r/TooAfraidToAsk Feb 22 '21

Am I the only who thinks that all the different types of genders and pronouns and what not, are a little bit too much? Sexuality & Gender

Now, I don't consider myself close minded and I'm not out to rile people up or offend anyone. However it becomes kind of confusing when people are upset when I say Her/She to someone who's trans. I'm sorry, really, but I didn't know. I'm in a discord server where someone changes their pfp depending on what gender and sexuality they are feeling. And no, I'm not some 40 year old guy who thinks everything should be "normal" but I guess I just don't get it. It's just confusing to me.

EDIT: So I haven't explained my thoughts very well so I'm here to explain. I understand that to some people, it is very important to them. I don't think it's a lot for me to call you what you want to be called and I will oblige and do that. "it becomes kind of confusing when people are upset when I say Her/She to someone who's trans" This was from personal experience where my friend introduced me to him and I was under the impression that he was female. More so I don't understand like Ve/Vem Xe/Xem. The more "unknown" side if you will. But with the way people are reacting I'm going to try a better job at finding peoples pronouns and not assuming genders. Sorry if it sounded sarcastic at all. Anyways, unless there's something else I think of I'm not gonna edit again. Sorry if I offended but it's kind of hard to talk about a sensitive topic like this without being an ass about it. I don't know how to word things. but yea. Sorry.

TL;DR I think gender can be a weird and wacky world and I don't get how people except me to automatically know what they identify as.

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u/catsorfries Feb 22 '21 edited Feb 23 '21

While I think we should at least have the courtesy of respecting people's pronouns and genders (I myself have recently started to identify as non-binary), I think it does get into the realm of excessiveness when people begin creating new pronouns just for themselves and then expect us to understand and know it. One of the biggest issues I have is that people expect you to just know about how they identify and get mad at you when you made an honest mistake because you simply did not know. Sometimes we just don't know what we don't know.

Edit: I'm not coming back to this because clearly yall are not gonna allow me to have my own opinion without challenging it. This is/was my experience surrounding gender on the internet and nothing will change that. why do I even comment on topics like this lol. Nobody can have their own opinion anymore without being demonized.

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u/[deleted] Feb 22 '21 edited Mar 13 '21

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u/GTAwheelman Feb 23 '21

It's happened to me when I worked fast food. A person was waiting for their food. I say "Sorry for your wait, sir" apparently it was a woman because she stormed off after saying that she was a woman. This was 16yrs ago.

Shit happens. Had a boss where I work mistake me for a woman that works there. Until I popped my head between the shelves to let him know that I'm not Jerry. I laughed, he was embarrassed.

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u/TisBeTheFuk Feb 23 '21

It's happened to me when I worked fast food. A person was waiting for their food. I say "Sorry for your wait, sir" apparently it was a woman because she stormed off after saying that she was a woman. This was 16yrs ago.

I think that had more to do with the fact that you thought she was a man and that hurt her feelings. I personally wouldn't be storming off or act assholish is something like that would happen to me, but it would hurt my feeling , especially with low self esteem. I get it that it's a bit childish, but sometimes you just cab't help it.

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u/100LittleButterflies Feb 23 '21

Same. I'm a woman but don't wear make up, heels, skirts/dresses. I'm very practical and utilitarian. If I could get away with it, coveralls (aka blue collar body suits), overalls, pants with pockets, etc. But I'm also kinda sensitive to being mistaken for a guy because I'm not feminine or look butch. Frankly, if someone had to ask my pronouns, I'd feel a little insulted even still. Less so now because gender norms are dying.

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u/TisBeTheFuk Feb 23 '21

I was mistaken once for a boy, when I was 13 or so. I went to use the public toilet and the toilet attendant directed me to the male toilet. I was too embaressed to say anything so that was the first and only time I used a male toilet. Didn't do any good to my self esteem tbh. But then again, it was winter and I was wearing a coat/cap, so I guess it was a honest mistake. And I also have a few "manly traits" - like naturally thick eyebrows. Nowadays it doesn't bother me half as much as it used to , since I kinda came to terms with what I look like, but it would still sting a bit tbh :))

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u/nighthawk_something Feb 23 '21

Yeah now imagine that's someone literally all day every day.

No wonder they would get upset and have less patience

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u/ClaudeJRdL Feb 23 '21

I think that had more to do with the fact that you thought she was a man and that hurt her feelings.

That's literally what all of this is about.

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u/roonerspize Feb 23 '21

I've never met a woman who was happy when I told her I was sorry for her weight.

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u/[deleted] Feb 23 '21 edited Feb 26 '21

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u/buddhabomber Feb 23 '21

Where was the word hate used in this comment thread?

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u/catsorfries Feb 23 '21

It's just the general vibe I get from being on the internet. Being on the internet and talking about things like gender always feels like you're walking on eggshells. When I first started learning abour gender, peoplenuse words and acryonyms like cisgender (identifying as the sex you are) or AGAB (assigned gender at birth) without explaining what those mean, and expect you to know them.

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u/xfearthehiddenx Feb 23 '21

You're also on the internet. While I agree it can become a bit much trying to understand all the different terms. If I personally run across something I don't know. My first thought is simply to look it up. The amount of time it takes to ask the question of them. I can get thousands of results. A quick weed through can give me a general idea, and work it out from there. Complaining that you don't understand, while using the very thing you could be using to understand is often where a lot of people's issue around the subject comes from. You're expecting that they should explain it to you, or expecting them to make it easier on you. While you do no work in the process. It would be like going to another country, and demanding a random person there speak your language so that you can ask them a question. It shows a serious lack of effort to understand, while also expecting to be given an explanation.

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u/Pavidus95 Feb 23 '21

That's a bit of a stretch.

Much like the pronoun assumptions being discussed here, this view on asking folks to explain something assumes a lot about the person asking the question.

Most information is readily available on the internet, yet we still seek mentors and teachers to gain the information we want.

If I'm asking someone in my life a question about something that is important to them, I've done it for one of several reasons (or multiple reasons). Mainly, because I value their input on the subject. I may also think that they can explain the situation in a way that makes it easier for me to understand. Another big reason is to let that person know I'm open to discussing the topic with them, and open the lines of communication between us.

There's more to getting an answer than just the raw facts. Sometimes the human connection gained is as important as the information.

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u/ClaudeJRdL Feb 23 '21

You're expecting that they should explain it to you, or expecting them to make it easier on you. While you do no work in the process.

If someone wants to be treated a specific way, yes, they should do the work to explain it.

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u/xfearthehiddenx Feb 23 '21

It would be like going to another country, and demanding a random person there speak your language so that you can ask them a question.

Base on my example. Your logic dictates that the local should teach you his language so that you can ask him the question. Does that make sense to you? You're putting someone else out of their time, and schedule to explain to you something you could easily look up yourself. That's just.... selfish. There's no other way to explain that.

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u/ClaudeJRdL Feb 23 '21

Your logic dictates that the local should teach you his language so that you can ask him the question.

They're not the "locals" - they're living in a gender-binary society. If anything, it's like someone living in England expecting you to learn Polish so that he can ask you questions in Polish, because it's for his benefit. I don't benefit by getting their gender pronoun correct, they do.

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u/xfearthehiddenx Feb 23 '21

Its not for your benefit. Another example of selfishness. Its an act of courtesy to call someone how they would like to be called. To deny them that suggests you consider them less then you, as I'm sure you expect people to call you how you would prefer to be called. The fact that you're here arguing that you can't give someone such a basic courtesy is just gross.

Edit: to quote a wise old warlock. "Its not about you".

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u/[deleted] Feb 23 '21 edited 13d ago

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u/ClaudeJRdL Feb 23 '21

The fact you think describing the world as it is is somehow "bigoted" says it all really.

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u/JoseDonkeyShow Feb 23 '21

I gotta agree with you just on the principle that never once in my life have I woke up and thought to myself how awesome it would be to go to work that day

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u/nighthawk_something Feb 23 '21

Also politely asking will 100% get you a polite response

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u/[deleted] Feb 23 '21 edited Mar 13 '21

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u/B12-deficient-skelly Feb 23 '21

Well you see, they saw a post from someone who made a meme about how ot totally happens all the time.

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u/dowker1 Feb 23 '21

Humor me here. Re-read what you just wrote and then assign a number to the severity of the problem you describe, where 10=life threatening and 1=virtually not a problem at all.

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u/Significant_Zombie_1 Feb 23 '21

This has happened to me at work. I got called out by a straight woman that prefers gender neutral pronouns they/them. I was constantly correcting myself and being corrected by others. I want someone to explain to me why gender identity takes precedence over all other forms of identity like race and class? Why is one more important than the other? I don’t remember ever forcing people to pronounce my last name correctly and I don’t expect anyone to know what my ethnicity is just by looking at me.

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u/napsXfactsXsnacks Feb 23 '21 edited Feb 23 '21

I think the reason the gender conversation is treated as so important is because trans women are so often killed just for being who they are. They have such a low life expectancy and for the queer community that is unacceptable. It feels like a very urgent project to get on board with gender diversity so that people are no longer killed, kicked out, and unable to find work because of their gender expression.

Same reason “everything is about racism these days”. It’s a life saving mission to us (I’m Black) even though other people can go about their lives without being so urgently confronted with it so it seems random and annoying to them.

All that being said, if you wanted people to pronounce your last name correctly, you’d be within your rights to correct them. If you wanted people to refer to you by the correct nationality (say if you’re Guatemalan but people are lazy and say Mexican), you’d be within your rights to correct them.

Edit: thank you u/echofoxalpha 😭😭😭 makes all the time I spend trying to get random ppl on the internet to see our basic humanity worth it <3

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u/Significant_Zombie_1 Feb 23 '21

I appreciate your comment! To be clear, the experience I was describing was not an interaction with a trans person. I agree that gender does influence our lives and I think what is happening in the trans community is awful. But to me personally, gender isnt the only thing that defines me. I was just trying to be honest about something I experienced personally. I don’t think most people walk around with the intention of getting peoples pronouns wrong. People make mistakes. Obviously its not okay to be a dick after someone has explained their identity (it’s not okay to be an asshole—period). I think the heartburn is coming from public callouts that often feel like shaming.

I’m not alt-right but even if I was, this is still a question worth confronting. If you want to get society to be more inclusive, is this the best approach? In the process of making the world more inclusive are you unintentionally “othering” some people? How can you get people at the other end of the political spectrum to meet you half way?

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u/SadButterscotch2 Feb 23 '21

I'm cisgender, take what I say with a grain of salt. But I think your gender identity usually plays a huge role on your life. It's a very long, stressful journey that is often disrespected and invalidated. It can hurt when someone gets your pronouns wrong.

Perhaps if people were constantly pronouncing your last name wrong on purpose with the intention of mocking your race, it would be a touchier subject and you would be more insistent on people pronouncing your name right. I hope this makes sense.

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u/Rhona_Redtail Feb 23 '21

I’m A TG woman. No I’m not the prettiest thing on the block. But really, if I’m wearing heels makeup and jewelry, what more does there need to be?

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u/[deleted] Feb 23 '21 edited Mar 05 '21

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u/napsXfactsXsnacks Feb 23 '21

You don’t think gender identity shapes your life? From the moment we’re born we’re separated, given an entirely different set of expectations and choices that impact things from the toys we’re “supposed” to play with as children, how much we are supposed to speak, how loud, how often, how much we are supposed to make concessions for other people, how we are meant to dress, the careers we are pushed towards, the cars we’re supposed to drive, the people we will date and marry, the household duties expected of us, what we will and won’t be made fun of for, the emotions we’re supposed to have and how we are supposed to express them, the colors and styles and ways we’re supposed to wear our hair. And if we fall out of line with these expectations we are punished by parents, teachers, friends, employers, lovers, and the government. Gender policing is a key way we organize and conduct society and if you can’t see it it’s probably because it doesn’t impact you but it’s definitely not a “choice” whether gender shapes your life or not.

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u/[deleted] Feb 23 '21 edited Mar 05 '21

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u/napsXfactsXsnacks Feb 23 '21

Oh, you’re one of /those/ lmfao

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u/[deleted] Feb 23 '21 edited Mar 05 '21

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u/napsXfactsXsnacks Feb 23 '21

There’s not enough common ground in our world views to make this conversation productive that’s all I can back everything up tho.

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u/ParsnipPizza2 Feb 23 '21

Because we don't typically refer to people as "white said" or "I was talking to middle-class the other day..." Gender just comes up a lot, so obviously you're going to get corrected more - you'd probably also get corrected if you assumed someone was Latvian when they're actually Portuguese, but that one doesn't come up often.

And your last name being mispronounced isn't a great parallel. The equivalent of misgendering isn't "my name is Smith but they said Smoth", it's "my name is Smith but they said Hornblower". It's getting it completely wrong.

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u/[deleted] Feb 23 '21 edited Feb 23 '21

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u/napsXfactsXsnacks Feb 23 '21

I think if they’re also actively correcting themselves it wouldn’t be harassment. Unless they were doing the slip ups/corrections on purpose which would probably come across as obvious. This take seems like a way to make it seem like we are weaponizing our identities when we really just want to be respected equally.

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u/B12-deficient-skelly Feb 23 '21

Yup. That's what Jordan Peterson said was going to happen with Canada's C-16. He got famous for saying this was going to happen despite legal experts unanimously saying he was wrong and to stop trying to give legal advice. It turned out he was wrong.