Cate Mcgregor lashes out at LGBT community and why I’m sympathetic to gender non – binary people

Former Group Captain and Order of Australia, Catherine Mcgregor has lashed out publication Sydney Star Observer and the LGBT community, labelling them “capricious”, “discriminatory”, “narrow – minded” and “totalitarian”.She also opposes calling non – binary people “they” without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria:

I do not support bullying of trans or gay kids more than I support bullying of Muslims or Christians or fat kids or rangas. But you don’t just wear a nose ring and demand to be called “they” in the absence of a diagnosis.

Mcgregor isn’t the only trans person to criticise pronouns such as “they” when describing gender and the idea that gender is non – binary. American YouTuber, Blaire White, also a transwoman, totally rejects the idea that there are more than two genders:

Content Warning: coarse language

When I read Mcgregor’s article, I was conflicted. I still am. As a cis – gender female, I will be the first to say that I have no idea what Mcgregor or White have gone through. Mcgregor has said publicly that for her, the struggle was becoming too much. She says that she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria – an acute distress over a person’s gender identity and sex not matching up. The latest Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), has used the term “gender dysphoria” instead of Gender Identity Disorder (GID), which has has been applauded as being a step to destigmatise trans people.

However, I’m not willing to say for certain that gender non – binary people are making their identity up as a political statement, like White suggests, or whether they (collectively), vary in political persuasions just as people in any other group.

I’m not willing to say that gender non – binary people are making it up, because, until very recently, that’s how many people viewed asexuality. In my teen years, two health professionals told me two myths about asexuality – one was that it doesn’t exist and another said it was a phase that people grow out of. The first isn’t true and the second isn’t true for most asexual people. Asexuality was classed as a part of hypo sexual desire disorder (HSDD), until the DSM V was modified. The idea that asexuality is a phase, doesn’t exist or is a mental disorder has left many asexual people feel confused, broken and isolated.

However, science is slowly proving that asexuality may be a legitimate orientation. According to Lorri Brotto and Morag Yule, research indicates that, like homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality, epigenetics seem to play a part in determining whether someone becomes asexual. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I think this is huge! Now, in terms of gender, I understand that there has been some research on cross – sex (MtF/ FtM) transgender people’s brain structures and differences have been noticed. Genetics may also play a part. An identical twin is more likely to identify as trans if his/ her identical twin identifies as trans. This research has only been very recent. In the past, I’ve looked up research on non – binary gender identities and there’s basically none. That’s not to say that non – binary/ agender people don’t exist and anyone who identifies that way is making it up. What I’m saying is, let the science catch up. Until then, I still don’t understand why people are still getting their knickers in a knot over the pronoun “they”. What’s so hard to call someone that if “they” prefer it?

What do you think? Am I wrong? I’d like to especially like to hear from trans/ gender non – binary people about this. Feel free to comment!

Advertisements

Is it necessary to get rid of heteronormative language?

I know it’s nearly Christmas and I wasn’t planning on writing something this heavy, but I think it’s something that needs to be said – again.

Is this really necessary? According to Andrew Bolt, Victorian government workers are being told not to use cis – hetero – normative language, particularly around LGBTQ+ clients. OK, I’m cis – gender. I have never questioned or struggled with my gender identity, so I’d like to hear some views from trans and gender – diverse people about this. Is it really necessary for people to avoid cis – hetero – normative language around you? I mean, sure, it’d probably help if they don’t assume, but is it possible for you just to say “actually I prefer the pronoun X”. Also, when dealing with LGBTQ+ couples, just use a gender – neutral noun like “partner” or another term the couple themselves prefer. Is that so hard?

In regard to relationships, in Australia, marriage is still legally defined as between one man and one woman. I have heard of some parents, other family and friends of LGBTQ+ people blocking their ears at marriage ceremonies in protest of the current definition of marriage in Australia as celebrants are mandated by law to state the current legal definition. I sort of understand that. The issue of same – sex marriage is very real and personal for many people in the LGBTQ+ community and allies. I get that. But I don’t see how adjusting language completely will help combat homophobia and trans – phobia or fight for change in marriage laws. In fact, as I’ve said many times before, I think it’ll end up backfiring on the LGBTQ+ community – even if (when?) –  same – sex marriage is legal.

 

But I wonder whether it goes deeper than that. Is it still treating LGBTQ+ people like “the other”, so to speak? Does it help or hinder the LGBTQ+ community to have bureaucrats to impose an acceptable standard on the rest of society when it comes to simply interacting with the LGBTQ+ community. Shouldn’t we be able to speak up for ourselves? Can’t we say, “this is my partner” or “I prefer the pronoun ze, hir, or they?”. Or even for some asexual/ aromantic people, “this is my queer – platonic partner”?

In the aftermath of the Trump victory in the US, Brexit and the rise of One Nation here, one thing is made abundantly clear – people are tired of being ignored, being lectured at and having bureaucrats dictate what is acceptable. People are tired of feeling guilty and walking on egg shells. Stand up for your rights and the rights of others, by all means. But what is happening now isn’t working. Or, it may seem like it’s working now, but don’t be surprised when people continue to rise in revolt – possibly leaving the people that are meant to be protected even more vulnerable.

Why Is There So Much Pressure On Women To Be “Sexual”?

I just read a Huffington Post article called “5 Reasons Why You Should Have Sex With Your Husband Every Night”. Thank God I’m single! Articles like this and other media like it drive me crazy!

by the look if the article, the writer was relatively young. It wasn’t based on scientific research. Any way, here are some gripes I had with it:

Stereotypes and generalisations: Early in in the article, if was basically suggested that women’s ultimate reason for existence was motherhood. Now, I’m not knocking women who are mothers. If you are, then great. If you want to be, then good luck to you. But to suggest that the whole purpose for women to exist is to hear children is, frankly absurd and dangerous. What about women, who for medical reasons can’t bear their own children? Are they suppose to feel worse? Every woman is different. 

Too much pressure: So a woman has to have children (essentially according to this article), then, I’m guessing lose 20 kg the second you have he baby, and every day, regardless of how you feel. Apparently, it doesn’t matter how you feel. I get that most people feel like they need sex to feel connected to their spouses/ partners, but I still don’t like the pressure that it puts on people

Very immature overall: The article had a arrogant and immature tone. 

What about adversity? To me, the article was too utopian. What do you do if a spouse gets sick? Leave them for someone else? This is what I meant by “dangerous” earlier on in the post. There are some things that come into people’s lives that may affect people’s sex lives. What then?

I’m not an expert. I’m really not. I just hate the damned if you do/ damned if you don’t attitude about women’s sexuality. We don’t need to add to it, surely. 

Has anyone else read the article? What did you think?

Gender Expression

Throughout the time I’ve studied (currently doing Early Childhood Education and Care), one of my favourite topics has been about diversity and, in particular, gender. It got me thinking about how I experience my own gender.

i’m a cisgender female. Never once in my life have I ever questioned the fact that I’m female. However, I have thought more about my own gender expression. When I was a kid, I was a girly – girl. I loved dresses, loved make – up and loved barbies. However, from my late teen years throughout my the first half of my 20’s, I realise that, unless I really have to, I don’t really go out of my way to be particularly ‘feminine’. The last time I wore make up was at my Year 12 formal and that was over five years ago. I do wear feminine colours, like pink, but I wouldn’t say that’s particularly because I want to appear more ‘feminine’. It just is.bi’m quite easy when it comes to colour/s.

I did read in a magazine that a study showed that women subconsciously dress ‘sexy’ or more attractive around certain times of the months in order to attract a mate. It got me thinking, does my own gender expression also reflect my asexuality, even on a subconscious level? Something tells me it’s not that much of a stretch to say it is.

Please note, I am NOT trying to suggest that young children express their gender in a way that indicates sexuality. I was just expressing my own thought on how I experience my own gender and why. I’m fully aware that gender and sexuality are separate, however, I wonder for some people, whether gender expression and sexuality do overlap.

What do you think about this? To asexual people in particular, how do you view your gender expression? Do you you think your sexuality plays a role in this? To people of other orientations, what do you think?

Pain of Beauty

It’s no surprise, really, that people, both men and women, think that stilettos are sexy. They’ve been in fashion for as long as I can remenber, from catwalks and magazines, to high school formals and deb balls and  other special events. I had mild fascination with high – heels when playing dressups at pre school )when basically my whole foot would’ve fitted in the toe part). By primary school and early high school, it was more the heels that covered the hole heel and about 3 cm roughly. As a progressed into high school, and certainly in my adulthood, my fascination with high heels has well – and – truly waned all together.

Stilettos have been worrying health professionals for years. Podiatrists have warned about crows feet and other defomities potentially caused by consistently wearing high heels, back problems, neck and head pain, and the list goes on. Even “Sex and the City” star Sarah – Jessica Parker has admitted that she struggles with pain bought on by ongoing stietto wear over the years of playing Carrie Bradshaw.

Why do so many women put themselves through so much agony? Not surprisingly, a recent study confirmed that both men and women  think htat women look attractive and confident. But why do women have to endure pain and long – term damage to be confident and to potentially attract a member of the opposite sex? I’ll be upfront, I don’t get the whole attracting a mate thing full stop. But do straight men really expect women to sacrifice their own health and well – being for beauty? Can a woman just be happy and confident the way she is? like seriously!

Look, I’m not trying to judge either men or women. You either find someone or something attractive or you don’t. I get that. However, I will say, it bothers me that women (and men) come to the conclusion that to be OK, you have to put yourself in harms way and potentially risk your life in order to be deemed “attractive” or, even more importantly, to be OK with yourself. In my opinion, it’s just gone to far.