I wrote about two half articles, one with Ariel Pink chords (turns out I'd gotten Artifact wrong, though, so no harm no foul, I guess, whatever that means) and one as a reaction to something Tricia (some girl who likes dinosaurs, art, and dinosaur art whose blog I read when I can) saying that, even though dinosaurs have feathers, they don't have TOO MANY feathers, which is a damn lie and you know it. Peacock. End of story.
But as I was driving back from not finding the location of the shoot for Preacher's Daughter, I was starting to feel really uncomfortable. We're shooting out in Alvin, which is a little podunk hick suburb where they still fly confedrate flags. Now, I'm omnigendered (as in, all of them), and to the Nth degree at that, and while that may not seem like a very big deal in a time when most people are well-adjusted, multi-faceted, complicated individuals with copmlex feelings and personalities that can not be represented by a shallow, superficial system such as gender roles that haven't been updated since the 1950's, it does make me a tomgirl. Hillbillies, you may have heard, are among the last remaining people who give a shit about these things, and they don't like it. So, driving 10 miles under the speed limit because of a spare an hour away from home in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere is disturbing to me. Of course, with all those extra genders, I can hide the feminine crap without pretending to be something I'm not... but having friends who can't hide things from the crazies (such as the black people, yeah, you forgot there were still racists didn't you? Yep, they're still around, just not in public anymore) doesn't make me sleep any easier.
And then I started thinking about the word "tomgirl." No one uses it. Why? It's like, one of my favorite words. You know tomboy, right? You probably had a best friend in elementary school who was a tomboy, right? Weren't they kick ass? Everybody loves tomboys. Tomgirl is like that to me, as it makes more sense than "trap," but still has a really positive connotation. I just... like it. But why isn't it ever used?
Then I was poking around on google and found this neat little blog called accepting dad, and a year old post with comments as recent as two months ago. It's called Tomgirls vs. Thing Without a Name, and it explains why tomgirl never really caught on... something I'm glad I didn't notice as a kid. But it also got me thinking about this same sentiment I keep HEARING (note: I'm hearing the sentiment only, keep this on file for later) but never seeing in... anywhere.
There is this idea among all us normal, non-crazy people that the crazies have infiltrated every aspect of society, that they control everything, and we all must bend to their unflinching hateful will. Turns out, this is dead wrong. Let me explain what I think happened to make everybody believe this with an analogy:
Let's say we have a group of 10 normal, sane people with different personalities, viewpoints, and whatever, but who all respect each other's right to be who they are. They are all holed up in this bar, and outside are like, 50 guys who hate all of our 10 bar guys for various reasons. 10 of the people outside manage to get into the bar. They start spouting all this hate, and things get tense. One of our 10 guys politely explains that, even though the 10 people in the bar are different, they get along with each other just fine, and they have no ill will towards the people on the outside either, but rather the conflict between them was entirely conceived by the people outside the bar. Moved to tears, 8 of the intruders decide to stay inside the bar, while the other 2, unable to tolerate any human being different from them in any way, storm outside to gather more of their hate-mongering army.
Drinking and having a good time and sharing ideas in an accepting atmosphere
Stubborn assholes who want to lynch anyone different from them
Now this goes on for a while. Gradually, it gets to the point where most of the people inside the bar can actually go outside and talk to the assholes, because they have been accepted for so long, or perhaps, were once part of the crowd of crazies, that the line between who is and isn't acceptable begins to blur. Now we have 42 people in the bar, and 18 people outside. Of the 42, 30 of them are free to wander without prejudice between the two groups. The jerks outside can no longer tell the difference, and for many of them, if they could, they wouldn't care. This leaves 12 people in the bar who are still paranoid about going outside, because a slightly larger group of people outside will be immediately able to tell that our 12 are part of the "unacceptable" group.
People inside the bar who will be immediately persecuted by the jerks outside
People who have an easy truce with the crazies, and/or can slip by them unnoticed
People still clinging to guns and religion
The parallels should be obvious, but this isn't the end. It turns out that about a third of the crazy people outside the bar are secretly just like the 12 who refuse to leave. Under the ruse of going into to get the infidels, these 6 go into the bar with no resistance whatsoever, admit everything, have a good cry, are immediately accepted for who they are by 42 other people, and of that group, 3 still decide to go back outside and continue to live a lie.
People who are staying in the bar to avoid prejudice, including the ones you just came in
People who are completely removed from the conflict at this point
People outside who really are fucking psychos
People who are pretending to be psychos because they are afraid of how their psycho buddies would react if they knew the truth
Now things get interesting. Our 15 people who would not leave the bar suddenly grow a pair, and with the protection of 30 (secretly 33) other guys, leave the bar, catch some flak from crazies, but go on and do other things with their lives. The 12 true psychos enter the bar, and the 3 pretenders say they'll catch up later. Now what happens? Well, those intolerant assholes are still out there. So, the 48 sane people (3 in cognito) get together in a park with a live band and have a big festival celebrating acceptance. It's kind of a gay party, but the band is good, so people enjoy it. One of the prominent leaders of the "sane-ies" gives a speech. He says he's proud of all these people who embrace who they are and refuse to comprimise, and that even though they all get alot of crap from the people around them, and it's hard to even go outside anymore, remember to stand tall and never back down from who you are, and all this other shit. Everyone agrees. People are jerks, but stick with it, and together we'll give our children a better future, or some nonsense.
Do you see what I'm getting at? These people all had to deal with being around the crazies for a good portion of their life, and, to them, jerks were always the majority. But the problem is we have have 48 of this sample group of 60 all in the same room talking about how they are not excepted by... 12 drunks in a bar who nobody likes.
And I'm not trivializing this, if you are one of those 12-15 people the other 12 simply can not tolerate, they will not be nice to you. But, remember, all you have to do is avoid one bar that, and I can not stress this enough, NOBODY goes to. Nobody.
I'm fully aware that in the bustling metropolis of Pieceofshitville, South Carolina, population 4, all kissin' cousins, there will be hell to pay if you are one of those 100 things that crazy people don't like. Thing is, I live in Houston, a pretty big city that's in south Texas. Yeah, Texas. So where the fuck is the discrimination? The looking askance? The unfair judgement of character based on any number of superficial criteria? It simply isn't here.
Because what's happened now is that we are all a huge population of completely sane people who don't bash each other for unimportant nonsense, but rather we are ALL so concerned about the rednecks under the bed that it actually unifies us. We hate those boogeymen, all of us, in the entire city. You know, wherever they are.
And I've given the jerks plenty of chances to make themselves known. Plus, I don't have the ability to associate with people of any type of crazy. Religious people, 9/11 conspiract theorists, racists, sexists, whatever-ists, Tea Partiers, drama professors, whatever, I can't deal with those people, so I walk away. I've met them, I know they are out there, but even then these people keep these feelings to themselves, so that you really need to befriend someone for a period of time before it comes out that they are actually unbalanced, because THEY are the ones who are discriminated against.
But what happens to me when I'm wearing a tomgirl outfit? Do I get called a fag by everybody and their dog? No, of course not. Most boys at school have a crush on me, true story. But I'm not saying this to brag, I'm getting to another point here, and it's about why the word "tomgirl" isn't used in the first place.
Now let's say you come across a tomgirl, and you assume that their life is an endless nightmare of persecution and you want to make sure you treat them with the respect any human being deserves (except, of course, drama professors). How do you address them? Who knows? Don't ask me, I certainly have no clue. Actually, no one does. What is considered polite? Further, with so many uneeded distinctions about why any given individual fills any given gender role or identity, how do you know the polite way to refer to that person?
We know that if it's a transexual, you use the pronouns that apply to the sex that person feels that they are. But then we already have subtle sexism at work, because why does a feminine gender role become the only diagnostic factor in identifying someone as a MtF transexual? That's fucking sexist right there, just because they feel as though they are a certain sex, doesn't mean they have to fill an outdated gender role based off of it.
But what if they do? Are they trying to hide their sex? Are they wearing a choker to conceal an adam's apple, or just because they thought it was pretty? Is it just an ugly woman? Or a hot woman with an unfortunate shoulder width and a sharper looking face? How can you tell? Can you ask them? Is that impolite? Should you assume they want to be female, or is that sexist too? Can you complement them on their outfit, or is that sexual harasment? Wow, if they're hot, were you gay for dudes this whole time?
And it's neat because you can actually see the wheels turning in people's heads as they struggle with how they are supposed to treat you, what's considered "right" and "wrong." The truth is there is no right or wrong yet, and the revelation that genders are fucking stupid in the first place has only started working into the mainstream public for the past 20 years or so. People aren't being rude on purpose, they just truly don't know what to say.
Because of this, "tomgirl" never gets used, or even thought of. It's funny, though, because there are no terms for primarily neutral or androgynous people. What would that even be? Tomperson for neutral and... tombowie? I don't even know. Plus, except for maybe connecting andros with hermaphrodites, N & A were not based on a sex, so EVERYONE who has a N/A gender identity or role is a tom-whatever.
And what about me? Sure, I've got an outfit for each one, but that just ignores the fact that I'm all of them depending on what mood I'm in. What do you call that? Tom-everything? The answer: you would ONLY come up with different nomenclature when I'm wearing a skirt + heels, because for some reason, being neutral, masculine, and androgynous doesn't really seem to warrant a special name, and THAT'S sexist.
But that's where we are right now. We are just now feeling our way around in a pretty murky area, and no one really knows the right way to handle it. Fine with me, because I don't really care about pronouns or whatever, but it creates an illusion of a cold an unfeeling world that refuses to accept who you are when the reality couldn't be further from that.
And really, that's the best kind of sexism. The I'm-so-nervous-I-don't-know-which-pronoun-to-use kind.
And one last thing: I don't want to make it seem like I'm ignoring the fact that some transgendered people (which, again, is EVERYONE, you neutral bastards) do live in the vicinity of genuinely crazy jackasses. They are out there, and they are Complete Monsters, but those people are in an unlucky situation, rather than me being in a lucky one. That's got to be a terrible situation, and believe me when I say that everyone (again, I do mean everyone) is on your side, and you need to get the hell out of there before you get hurt. But those people are the ones we need to be careful with our rhetoric with and do everything in our power to protect. Not me, I'm fine. It's the other guys who get put in a bad situation that you need to be helping.
And this is the last fucking time I'm doing this. I mean, really, it's over. The well meaning people are the only ones you can run into in your daily life who make shit look harder than it needs to be. Thanks for making a huge deal about nothing, but please, leave me the fuck alone. You're smothering me with your "well-meaningness." I ain't gay for dudes either, so no means no, you pig.
...I'm exaggerating in that last paragraph, but you can see what I'm getting at, right? You're making a mountain out of a molehill, and I'm not the one who wants to hear how "brave" you think I am.
Next time: Who the fuck am I kidding? Like I can keep track of junk.