September Online Gender Workshop: Gender Attributions in Practice

After a long hiatus, I am attempting to rejuvenate the online gender workshop just in time for the US/Canadian school year.

In the past, we’ve focused on questions and reports back. Last time, we looked at some definitions. The initial exercises needed to be done in a state of gender naiveté. But more in depth exploration can only be done in the context of a common language and common intent. These are never naively assumed; they must be consciously adopted.

Now that we have these, let’s look at some aspects of gender in particular. Most educational focus is on gender identity and gender identification. But I find it more helpful to start with gender attribution. All of us attribute gender to others very frequently, but the process of attributing gender to ourselves is typically limited to childhood. Long before adulthood, cis* folks’ genders are assumptions living in the background of cis* lives. So let’s start by examining an activity with which we all have more practice and more familiarity: telling other people what there genders are. [Un/]Fortunately for you, I have a piece of creative writing that contains a number of good examples of gender attribution: how it happens, when it happens, and what it looks like. As a bonus which will help us segue into future discussions, it also touches on what it feels like when we are conscious of others’ efforts to attribute gender to us. This piece is called Stares. [Read more...]

Master of bad logic

I once read a book by Jason Lisle — it might have been his “Ultimate Proof of Creation”, or maybe “Logic and Faith”, I can’t really remember, it was such a tedious droning bore — and was unimpressed. If you claim to be using pure logic to determine the nature of the universe, and arrive at the conclusion that your idiosyncratic, culturally determined religious mythology is literally and perfectly true, it’s safe to say that you’re doing something wrong.

[Read more...]

Cat rituals

I’ve been conditioning our cat. From the first day we had her, I did this little thing in which I’d tap on a glass to make it ring a few times before feeding her, with the idea that if ever she escaped outside we’d just ring the dinner bell and she’d come running. Only it’s kind of backfired. She now expects dinner and a show.

[Read more...]