Wednesday, August 3, 2011
The time has come for me to come out.
"DAYUM!" you may be thinking. "She has already come out as atheist AND agoraphobic! What else does this person have in her closet?"
Well here it is:
I am a single, never-married, heterosexual woman.
There. I have said it. What a weight off my buxom bosom.
I am in no way mocking the LGBTQ community. I am the biggest champion of human rights and equality for EVERYONE. Hell, I spend so much energy on LGBTQ pride, that I WISH I was truly part of the community, so I could have a bit more credibility with my opinions. I just want to make my starting position known before I share this next bit with you all.
As I stated, I am a huge champion for equality for the LGBTQ community. I always have been. I have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination. I have always had friends of varied sexual and gender orientation. I tend to be popular with gay men in particular (sigh - why not straight men too?). I will always recognize a person as the gender that they identify with, not necessarily the sex indicated by their DNA.
That said, today I came across a small debate on a friend's Facebook wall. It started off as a link to an interesting blog post written by a genderqueer/genderless person who does not want to be identified as a girl. I commented with my support for this opinion. I also commented about my difficulty in using a plural pronoun to stand in place of the common he or she. I find the use of "they/them/their" very awkward when referring to a singular person. It does not "feel" grammatically correct. It is like the royal "we".
One person responded to my comment with what felt like a carefully worded criticism of my opinion. That person (note: not using a pronoun!) said that they (ok, had to use a pronoun) would find the refusal to use "they/them/their" an act of disrespect and hostility.
I certainly do not feel that I am in ANY way hostile. I just feel that, until a reasonable third pronoun is taken into the vernacular, I should use the common pronoun based on the gender identity portrayed by the person.
Another commenter replied, saying that people need to "get over themselves long enough to stop worrying about proper English" because if a speaker wants to refer to them, then that speaker must use "they/them/their" or not refer to them at all.
I think that the "get over yourself" part works both ways. Seriously.
I understand that there has been much oppression of the LGBTQ community, and of the very misunderstood genderqueer community in particular. I also know that it is important to pick your battles. If you shout EVERYTHING, then people hear nothing.
Sometimes you just have to agree to have differences of opinion, especially when it is a hot topic within the community in question itself. There are MANY genderqueer people who would be offended at the use of they/them/their. And, unless a person expresses a desire to be referred to in such a way, then how or why would I assume that I should use such a pronoun?
As I mentioned at the start, I am a heterosexual woman. I am also single.
I prefer the honorific "Ms" when I am being formally addressed. It is the title I use on any professional correspondence. I am often addressed as Miss or Mrs. I do not assume that the person is being hostile or disrespectful by making an assumption about my marital status. IF I bother to correct them (unlikely, unless they are being a douchebag), and they continue to use Miss or Mrs, I would still not infer any hostility, rather, I would guess that it is simply habit and certainly not offensive. If I were to go into a big political rant every time I was misaddressed, then would I ever be taken seriously?
How about with religion? As an atheist, I often encounter people who wish me a "blessed" day. Come winter, I will be wished a Merry Christmas. I am always cordial in my reply. The person is hardly being malicious. If I were to go on an atheist rant about my lack of belief and a diatribe about WHY I do not believe, then the person who intended no harm would be hurt. They would also form a negative opinion of atheists. There is a fine line between standing your ground and being militant. The former will get you respect. The latter will bring ridicule and anger.
I know that not everybody will share my opinion. I do not expect that, nor would I even WANT that. But if I refer to a person who outwardly appears in every way to represent a female as "she", and somebody gets upset and assumes that I am being hostile, who is being the bigger fuckface?
I welcome comments, but I must insist that everyone show respect to BOTH sides of this issue.
Posted by Digital Misfit at 1:39 AM
Monday, August 1, 2011
Sometime after we learned 2+2, but before we finished learning the multiplication tables, we all learned a little calculator fun.
We sent our first digital text messages by typing 01134 into our solar powered calculators and passing it over to our classmate. They would already know to turn the calculator upside down to read your cheerful greeting.
It did not take the boys in class long to figure out that 58008, 5318008, and the unkind 55378008 made far more amusing words.
In honor of the rapidly approaching back-to-school season (you can hear the cheer of parents and groans of children worldwide!), I offer up this bit of retro texting fun in 2 versions. Stitch up the 01134 on your child's backpack, or rock the retro with 5318008 on your college tote bag. You can stitch the designs right side up, or upside down! Either way, you are sure to get some smiles and comments from those who recall these "secret" messages in math class. Who doesn't love nostalgic geekery?
I would love to hear your opinions on this design (my first inanimate object pattern!). If you stitch one up, please leave a comment with a link, or let me know on Flickr, Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook.
As with all of my free patterns, you may stitch it, stamp it, color it, paint it, etc for your personal use only (including gifts). You may not sell the pattern alone or as a part of a collection, or sell items made using this pattern without expressed written permission from me (I am very easygoing when it comes to items made for charity!). You are free to share this pattern on your blog providing you link back to THIS blog post.
Happy August everyone! Now get ready for class!
aka Digital Misfit
update: Thank you for all of the lovely comments! I am thrilled to see so many visitors from outside the embroidery world coming in. These designs do make great digital stamps. Don't forget to check out my other freebie patterns on the right sidebar. I will also have a new Halloween theme design coming out in the next couple of days. Hugs to the lovely CraftGossip mods!
Posted by Digital Misfit at 10:24 AM