Closets

I saw the first couple minutes of this TED talk just before. It’s very good. For the first couple of minutes, she talks about closets and how everyone, at some point, has one. Interesting point. I’ve never really thought about it that way.

Her conversation with a little girl about her gender was pretty endearing. I’ll let you hear the talk for yourself.

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Minorities

I get tired of hearing the sentiment that the “minorities” are getting “special rights and are essentially “taking over the joint” if you like. Look, I don’t agree with militancy which essentially ends up in reverse discriminatino in my view. Yes, we need one set of expectations for all.

However, we have to be real here. People DO face discrimination. People DO get mistreated because they’re “different”(I’ve wrote that in the past Asexuailty and Discrimination. What If…. etc). I feel so passionately about this. People are discriminated against, bullied, harrassed, sometimes physically or emotionally/ verbally abused because of who they are. That includes gender, gender identity, sexuality (or perceived sexuailty), ethnic background, etc. Children are being bullied on these grounds, as well as disability.

Minorities need to feel as safe as anyone else. And, as I have argued in the past, here that identity, including the parts that makes a person a “minority” can’t immediately be eliminated, if at all. I think I’m not the only one to think that if it was that easy, we would’ve clicked our fingers and became a part of the majority a long time ago (I know there were times where I’ve thought that).

 

 

 

If I’m going to be perfectly honest, I’m tired of people saying that they are oppressed when there are people who are a heck of a lot worse off than what they are (at least socially). There are people who are more “privileged” than others. There are people who don’t face the full brunt of discrimination that others do. Pardon me for being stereotypical here, but that includes (in Australia anyway), Anglo – Saxon (largely), able – bodied, cisgender, heterosexual and Christian/ atheist or agnostic (from what i can tell). People who don’t fit those boxes are at risk of discrimination or worse. I just wish people would really get that. Here are a few links tht document discrimination both statistics and stories:

http://http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/bondi-racist-bus-attack-jewish-schools-on-alert-after-eight-males-threaten-to-cut-schoolchildrens-throats-five-teenagers-arrested/story-fni0cx4q-1227015860427

News that close to 30 Muslim women have been attacked in Australia in recent times makes me ashamed and sad. It does not matter what a minority extremist Muslim group is doing overseas, nothing justifies this behaviour against innocent Muslims.

(Excerpt from Letter from Jade McKay, Brunswick West HS Your Say, p. 24, Herald Sun, Wednesday 15 October 2014)

http://http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/lesbian-gay-bi-trans-and-intersex-lgbti-people/factors-affecting-lgbti-people

 

 

Take note, I don’t, I repeat I DON’T condone any bullying, even those who fit the majority. Some abuse faced by journalists and bloggers and others who don’t fit the above categories have faced some pretty harsh treatment which I hate and condemn just as much. We need to be equal about this. Nobody deserves to be mistreated, bullied, etc for who they are period. My argument is that I believe that we can’t completely ignore the fact that there are some people who are at least, more at risk, if you like, of not gaining all that is to offer and people are discriminated against on the basis of certain aspects of their identity. However, it’s also important to point out that there are people willing to speak out against discrimination as well.

I don’t want this to start a pity part for anybody, to be honest. Reverse discriminatio, false accusations, etc are not going to help anybody. We have to be willing to work with others, educate others and respect others like the way we want to be respected. I just get tired of what I consider to be the watering down of what other people realy go through.

Empathy Should Go Both Ways

Fact: Most people take sexual feelings/ identity for granted. And they can’t help it, just as we, members of the asexual community can’t help not being able to experience sexual attraction no matter how hard we try or wish it wasn’t so.

Many of us try to gain empathy from non – aces, sometimes with success, sometimes not. But do we understand their viewpoint? if you grow up, for example in an environment where you’re family (brothers/ sisters, parents, family friends, etc), are all straight, then you grow up yourself, starting from purberty, feeling sexual attraction to the opposite sex, you didn’t have to question it, you just were, by nature, you probably lack a level of genuine understanding of what someone who isn’t cisgender and straight go through.

The asexual community has been trying to gain acceptance and understanding from allosexuals, sometimes for a long time. It can be frustrating, I get it. It can be scary, I definitely get that. But like they can’t expect us to know what it’s like to experience sexual attraction (or lack it, at least now), we can’t expect others to immediately empathise with us about our asexuality. Society takes sexuality for granted, largely because people naturally, through no fault of their own, take their sexuality for granted. I’m not saying that we should expect and accept teasing or abuse of any sort, but we should be open – minded and maybe view it from their viewpoint as well.

Think of it this way to; asexual advocacy and visibility has only been very recent. Most of society, education included, hasn’t grappled with it for very long (if it’s started to at all). Yes, some of the ignorance and at times misinformation that the media, for example spouts can be annoying, and even hurtful, frankly. But I want to believe that most people really do have good intentions. Hope that’s not being too naive.

So, I think we should be open to questions, maybe willing to offer sources of information, (e.g. AVEN and other websites), for us bloggers, to keep writing about our experiences and our thoughts, feelings and discoveries, and hopefully, one day, we’ll get to a point where it won’t be necessary any more and we can all just be happy and accept each other and have a huge cuddle party!

Identity – Challenging Bromberg On His Argument

TW: suicide, but only a brief mention.

 

Is identity predestined or chosen? I’d say bit of both, but more of the former. Let me explain what I”m talking about.

I read this article on Andrew Bolt’s blog I’m just reporting what some other guy argues. It would probably be unlawful for me to agree. Predominately, it’s talking about cultural heritage, however, there are mentions of sexual orientation and gender identity that I feel compelled to comment on.

In terms of racial identity, I can see where Bolt is coming from. His parents migrated from Holland just before he was born in the last 1950’s. In his adult life, he made the deliberate choice to identify as “Australian”, leaving his Dutch heritage behind. However, I wonder if it’d be the same, for example, if the suburb in Adelaide (where he grew up), had a bigger Dutch population? What if he had a non – Caucasian heritage, like Chinese, Arabic or Vietnamese? Would his decision be the same? I also know of a family who’s kids I grew up with who’s parents spoke Cantonese at home. Isn’t it possible that could’ve had some influence on how they identify?

I know someone who’s mother came from Germany after the war. The mother slammed German relatives who spoke their native tongue in fron of the children because of the pain it caused. Maybe if this person was more exposed to the German culture or language, would things have turned out differently in the way she identified?

First thing; cultural heritage. In this article, the associate professor Mike Keane, among other things, quoted from Justice Mordecai Bromberg:

In my view, identity like any other form of consent, is completely contemporary phenomenon. At each and every juncture you make an autonomous choice about how you identify…

(Couple of paragraphs down):

Justice Bromberg’s standard would then create some bizarre and wholly unacceptable ethical precedents. Imagine what this principle, if logically extended to other forms of identity and ethics, would mean. Your upbringing would forever cast you into a certain  identity. You were born a Catholic? Well, then society will hold you to it all through your adult life. And if you want to identify as transgender? No, sorry you’re not allowed.

OK, on this little bit. I think I can safely say that the majority of transgender don’t “want to identify as transgender”. It’s how they authentically feel themselves. From what I’ve heard/ read about gender it’s pretty instinctual. Actually, on Sunrise one day (last year?), columnist Shelley Horton paraphrased respected Melbourne – based childhood and adolescence psychologist Dr. Michael Carr – Gregg when she said that if a transgender child isn’t able to express their gender identity, their risk of suicide skyrockets. (NOTE: not all children who go through this in early childhood end up as transgender adults).

By the way, this decade, century, whatever, is not the first time that there have been people who have identified as transgender. There have been historical accounts from the early 1900’s of certain biological women who have dressed up as men and have even married other women in that disguise. In such cases, historians have genuinely questioned whether the women were in actual fact transgender.

Secondly:

At a time when we are talking on the intolerance of Islamic State, Justice Bromberg’s decision would have us forever cast people to racial, religious and sexual identity from birth without the possibility of opt out.

How does exactly someone “opt out” of being straight? Or gay? Or asexual? I have said in the past that, yes sexual identity/ orientation isn’t black – and – white for some people. I have also argued that for others, sexual orientation is never likely to be fluid. And I still stand by that. I think it’s fair to say after the collapse of the “ex – gay” industry both here and the US, for a lot of people, gay, straight, asexual, etc, that there are people who can’t just “opt out” of their sexual identity (some of them can’t anyway). It’s how they’re wired. According to the American Psychological Association (although there are differing views, I might add), most people’s sexual orientation is identified and pretty much determined by the age of fifteen. Of course, there are exceptions.

It’s my view that identity is complex. I don’t think it’s simple to say, “it’s choice” or even that it’s all natural. It’s a mixture of both and probably more. Should we discriminate on any of these grounds? Good heavens no! But, like I said before, completely ignoring people’s differences isn’t the answer either, whether they “choose” these differences or not.

 

 

Naked Dating

So, tonight, I saw the start of a new reality show ‘Naked Dating’. Basic premise, people on an island (I think) or something. They have a bunch of people to choose from to date… naked. Like really? May I ask why?