Why Consumers Should Treat Clothing as Unisex More Often

Clothes are strictly gendered. In stores, some are marketed as only for men while others are marketed as exclusively for women. Clothes that are marketed as “unisex” are a rare sight in shops. Thus many consumers tend to imagine that men’s clothes always differ from women’s clothes. On top of that, there’s also a social stigma against wearing clothes that were designed for the other sex. This is why, when they go shopping, majority of consumers only browse the isles that are marked as intended for their gender, and they don’t even glance at the stuff that can be found at the other side of the store.

The reality is different. A lot of clothes are essentially unisex, because there simply is no real difference between men’s and women’s version, the only thing that varies being tags, placement in a store, and marketing. Sometimes male and female products also do not cost the same, which is how we get gender-based price discrimination aka the pink tax. That’s one more reason why shoppers would benefit from comparing things that can be found in men’s and women’s isle. [Read more…]

Making Decisions

Why should a person who isn’t a sadist even want to make decisions about what will happen with other people?

Sometimes people find themselves in situations where they are forced to make decisions about somebody else. For example, a parent of a 3 years old child must make decisions about their kid, because a person who is only 3 years old cannot decide for themselves. Alternatively, when a doctor who works at the ambulance gets an unconscious patient who is on the verge of dying, the doctor is forced to make decisions about how to treat this patient without being able to ask what the patient wants.

Contrast these examples with an entirely different situation. An adult person makes a statement: “I want to do X with my body or my life.” Then another person steps in and says: “No, I won’t allow you to do X.” Why would a person who isn’t sadistic even want to have such a responsibility? Why would they even want the legal right to be able to decide for somebody else? [Read more…]

Healthcare versus Mutilation

When a doctor performs some procedure that the patient has consented to, then that is “healthcare.” When a doctor performs a medically unnecessary procedure without the patient’s consent, then that’s “mutilation.” This ought to be obvious, I should be able to stop the blog post at this point without any need for further elaboration. Unfortunately, some people still fail to understand the importance of bodily autonomy and informed consent when it comes to people’s bodies. [Read more…]

A Debilitating Fear

Does the average woman who doesn’t want children at the moment lives in constant and ever present fear that one day her luck might run out and she might get killed by a parasite that has infested her body? Probably no. As for me, I might not be a woman, but the patriarchal society has forced me to live with such a fear.

I have spent the last two years trying to obtain a hysterectomy. A transphobic surgeon kicks me out of their office, and I proceed to schedule another appointment with yet another doctor. Rinse and repeat. For the last two years I had been asking for “hysterectomy” to doctors in state owned hospitals. Here I wrote about how that didn’t work. In theory, European Union citizens have a right to gender reassignment surgery. In practice, it can be impossible for a patient to actually obtain it. And Latvian bureaucrats managed to successfully find a loophole how to get away with denying me the surgery I wanted. [Read more…]

Symbolic Photography

This is a self-portrait I made two months ago, back then I published it with the title “Bold and Proud.”

Avester

For some people merely staying alive requires being bold. When you don’t fit into any of the boxes that the society has been trying to enforce for centuries, when your mere existence is an eyesore for conservative people who believe in traditional gender roles, you have to be bold just to survive. When all the “rules” the society tries to enforce clash with your personal lifestyle choices, all that’s left to be is to stay bold and proud. [Read more…]

Defining Violence

Whenever people start to passionately argue about proper word definitions, it’s probably because somebody wants to get away with verbally hurting other people. Either that, or they are super excited about linguistics, and let’s be realistic—majority of people have no interest in philology. I say this as a person who has a master’s degree in German philology—whenever I try to tell people about how languages are really exciting, they instead find excuses how to change the conversation topic.

But what does “getting away with verbal abuse” even mean? If I dislike some person and I call them an “asshole,” I might get called out for it. Somebody can say, “This was rude and offensive, moreover, you hurt this person’s feelings.” If I wanted to emulate the typical behavior of a bigoted person, at this point I could argue that “asshole” isn’t a rude word, instead it’s a perfectly neutral description of who this person is; after all, I cannot be rude if I merely state things as they are. This is how some people try to insist that calling trans women “men in dresses” cannot be an insult, because it merely describes the reality as it is. On top of that, the person who said this transphobic phrase will argue that they aren’t even a TERF or a transphobe, instead they are “gender critical.” Just like people with racial prejudices are not racists but “race realists.” And mass murders of entire populations aren’t “genocides,” but some other euphemism du jour. [Read more…]

Various Shades of Sexism and Transphobia

We live in a cisnormative and sexist society, which tries to force traditional gender roles upon everybody, including people who don’t like said roles and don’t want to follow them. There are countless ways how a bigot can try to force traditional gender roles upon another person. Some of these “strategies” are very blatant and hostile, others are subtle and barely noticeable. In this article I will share my observations of various tactics that bigots use in their attempts to maintain the status quo, namely, a sexist and transphobic society with prescriptive gender roles. I will also talk about how male bigots differ from female bigots. [Read more…]

Why Gender-Specific Christmas Gifts Are Terrible

Giving other people Christmas gifts that are bound to land directly in the landfill without being used, appreciated, and cherished is a waste of money, and it also causes unnecessary harm for the environment. If we, as a society, have collectively decided that Christmas gifts are obligatory, then we should at least strive to give other people something they will like or at least find useful. Therefore: Don’t just give gifts to other people based on their gender. It can terribly backfire. [Read more…]

Female Only Spaces

Female only spaces, the oh so precious thing that TERFs want to protect at all costs from a certain subset of women. Yet for me female only spaces are the bane of my existence. I routinely get shoveled into these places against my will because of how my body looks like. The end result always is a miserable experience for everybody. It’s not just that I hate it—all the women don’t want my company in these places either. [Read more…]