I wrote this up for my beloved Global Voices contributors (i.e. my job), but it applies equally to anyone authoring content on a WP site with the IA plugin running. If you are the admin for a publisher that cares about having your FB users see up-to-date versions of your content, maybe you should share it with your authors too ? ⁉
I love the expressions “gender disobedience” and “gender disobedient” as alternatives to “gender non-conformity”. They are great for describing queerness and transness from the perspective of people who intentionally subvert gender norms.
This post is me google prospecting on the term “Gender disobedience” because I found no interesting results and thought the concept needed a homepage. I hope my thoughts on the subject are interesting to you, especially if you yourself happen to be gender disobedient. To read more about me and my particular gender check out About Jer and Gender.
In praise of gender non-conformity
If you are careful to do things expected of your gender, or just happen to, you are “gender conforming”. If you do things that aren’t expected of your gender, for any reason, you are “gender non-conforming”.
Gender non-conformity is an essential concept because it’s so unspecific about the reasons or details. It’s needed when you don’t know someone’s gender or gender presentation goals.
Many people identify as “GNC” as an identity or attribute, especially because it can describe both cis and trans people across all genders.
Gender non-conforming is also an important label for those who consider themselves cisgender, yet behave in ways associated with other genders.
The only thing I don’t like about “gender non-conforming”, for myself, is that it can also describe people who do it unintentionally, or naturally without any particular agency. I don’t just happen to be non-conforming, I put effort into my disobedience.
I am gender disobedient
I love “gender disobedient” as a label because it feels like the active form of non-conformity. Disobedience is something I do, not just something I am.
I reject the common gender system as it exists today, and I want to subvert it with my own style and behavior. I accept that the rules exist, but refuse to abidethem.
Disobedience in other parts of life can be dangerous, and obeying is important for everyone’s safety, but when it comes to gender presentation, I think breaking the rules is safe and wholesome.
Not all rules were meant to be broken, but some of them must be.
My gender is non-binary, which means I am neither male nor female, the two states possible in the gender binary. I identify as agender, which means I do not believe in my own gender and/or don’t have one. Both of these mean I am genderqueer, because they are weird.
I was assigned male at birth (AMAB) with the name Jeremy and the pronouns he/him. I feel like I have been failing my male assignment my whole life and have decided to drop the class.
Jer is my real name. Most people call me that and it makes me happy. Jer is also much more gender neutral than Jeremy so it’s important to me that Jer is considered my full name.
Please use they/them as my pronouns to talk about me in the third person rather than he/him. Usually you should just say “Jer” instead of he or him and “Jer’s” instead of his like “I say Jer’s name the first time I mention them in a sentence.”
I will not be mad if you forget and I am happy to answer questions if anyone has them. I’m hoping you will accept me as I am and do your best to respect my identity.
This shouldn’t be a huge shock to my friends
If you know me well, this information is probably both news and ancient history. Here are some things that most of my friends take for granted:
You should call me “Jer”, it’s shorter, it’s more fun and it’s what I prefer.
I don’t fit into masculine stereotypes about most things.
I often come off as a gay man and love it when people mistake me for one.
I also wish I was a lesbian.
I’m a raging feminist and SJW about almost everything.
I wish everyone was gender neutral.
I’ve never felt like I am a real man, or wanted to be one.
Maybe that last one is a bit heavier than most conversations get, but it’s been true since university, when I learned that gender and sex didn’t have to mean the same thing.
At the time no one told me about non-binary, genderqueer or agender as identities I could have for myself, just the option of being binary-female if I wanted. That option didn’t and doesn’t have much appeal to me, it would just be another kind of drag like the male drag I’ve been doing my whole life.
Recently I’ve been reading about gender and the different labels and definitions people use to describe themselves. The more I read about gender non-conforming people, the more I realized I was reading about myself.
What makes me non-binary?
This list isn’t necessary, but I’m including it for anyone curious what, in particular, being genderqueer means in my own life.
When people say “him“, “guy” or even “Jeremy” about me, it reminds me that my internal understanding of myself doesn’t match how people think of me.
When people use male language like “handsome” to describe me, it feels inaccurate.
When people use female or unspecific language like “beautiful” it makes me feel good.
I tried growing my hair so it would look more feminine and I love it.
I tried nail polish for a goth party and loved it so much I wear it most of the time now.
I tried dresses and skirts and it made me feel really happy.
I don’t know how I will present in the future, but you can expect me to do things that “men shouldn’t do” with my fashion, grooming, behavior and everything else. This is okay both because I’m not a man, and because men can do anything they want whether they are trans or not.
Maybe in the long run I’ll seem “normal” and everyone will assume I’m a man, maybe I’ll be perfect neutral androgynous and everyone will be confused. It seems very unlikely, but maybe I’ll get to a point where people think I’m a woman.
Either way I suspect I will always be non-binary inside, and I plan to live that reality in public.
Thank you for your attention if you’ve read through all of this, and for any understanding and patience you can bring to the challenge of honoring my identity and wishes.
I finally started watching Parks and Recreation recently and it’s a wonderful show. The humor is goofy but also really subtle and honest. I love the many details they work into the shot or script that reward you for paying close attention.
24As Moses was on his way to Egypt, he stopped at a resting place for the night. The Lord met him there and tried to kill him. 25But Zipporah took a flint knife and circumcised her son. Taking the skin, she touched Moses’ feet with it and said to him, “You are a bridegroom of blood to me.” 26She said, “You are a bridegroom of blood,” because she had to circumcise her son. So the Lord let Moses alone.
A lot happens in these three verses from Exodus 4. Yahweh has just sent Moses to Egypt with his “walking stick of God“, his 3 new miracles and an existential threat for the Egyptians.
Out of nowhere, while Moses is resting for the night God shows up and tries to kill him. The following verses imply that God was angry at Moses for not circumcising his son, but it’s never mentioned before this. His wife Zipporah seems to know that God is killing Moses because their son is uncircumcised, and does impromptu surgery which seems to satisfy Yahweh who leaves them alone and doesn’t kill anyone in the end.
To me the emotional crux of this passage is Zipporah’s reaction, which implies that she had wanted to avoid circumcision for her son, and she’s mad at Moses for forcing her to do it. She calls him “bridegroom of blood” which was probably a sounded better in the original language.
There are a lot of scenes in Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy where Yahweh suddenly gets really angry and kills one or many of the Hebrews with little to no explanation or warning, but this is a rare one where he tries to kill the main character. It’s interesting how passages like this were maintained in the Bible despite making God look pretty terrible from just about any vantage point.
As an enthusiast photographer I chose Fujifilm as my system about a year ago, buying the already out of date but affordable X-E1 camera ($800 with the 18-55mm kit lens). My plan was to upgrade to whatever came out as an update to the X-E2, which I already knew was missing features from the flagship (i.e. expensive) X-T1 that had been announced. Fuji is releasing a new camera, the X-T10, a cheaper but feature-compatible version of the X-T1 without weather sealing, missing the coveted ISO dial and with a smaller EVF (electronic viewfinder). This article is my analysis of the most interesting features of the X-T1 that are new to me as an X-E1 user and the ways they do or don’t apply to the X-T10.
This Star Wars day consider studying some Jedi philosophy along with the memes. The natural starting point is the Jedi Code, a short mantra that was the foundation of Jedi emotional control and a key element of the Knighthood for thousands of years.
The Jedi Code
There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
(There is no chaos, there is harmony.)(*)
There is no death, there is the Force.
—The Jedi Code (Based on the meditations of Odan-Urr)
For bonus points dig into the Sith code to consider what distinguishes them and which you agree with more.
The Sith Code
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.
—The Sith Code (as written by Sorzus Syn and taught by Darth Bane)
Book recommendations for true Star Wars nerds (both have excellent Audible.com versions):
Darth Bane Trilogy – The story of the founder of the modern “rule of two” Sith tradition who killed all the other Sith lords ~1000 years before Anakin Skywalker was born.
Darth Plagueis– The shocking and fascinating life of Darth Sidious’ own Sith master, a high-powered banker in the Old Republic who used his position in conjunction with Palpatine’s to fund the destabilizing “war” with the separatists that ultimately toppled the Republic.
Both of these books (well all 4 since the Bane books are a trilogy) are centered on Sith Lords rather than Jedi, but they are still probably the best way to understand what motivates the Jedi and their religion. Jedi define themselves in relation to the Sith just as Christians define God in relation to Satan, and it seems that the Sith are more willing to think honestly and frankly about the true nature of the force than the Jedi are.
Read books about Jedi for action, heroism and blind faith. Read books about the Sith for ethical enquiry, contemplation and historical analysis of the Republic and it’s super-powered rulers.