Thursday, 16 April 2009

I'm alive!

So I haven't written owt lately, for this reason:

I've been having a great deal of social FAIL and speech FAIL, so have had to avoid social occasions. This makes me gloomy. I LIKE social occasions and my friends, I just don't know how understanding the average person is with someone sitting next to them and "refusing" to speak - I guess it looks like refusal, because I'm normally Master of the Big Long Words.

So I decided to make a conscious decision not to communicate, because at least then the decision is mine, not that of a random bit of neurological circuitry.

But I'm up for a rant. This might not be the most important thing ever, but it made me rage incoherently (silently, obviously!).

OK. Sometimes I hate my body and face. They make me fucking miserable. I'm convinced that being a freaky trans person means that everyone goes "EWW OH GOD NO MY DEAR SWEET BRAIN" at the thought of having sexual relations with me (this is called internalised transphobia... though I just generally don't like my facial features).

And the media bar for representations of trans people is set so low that it'd make sense to be pleased by anything without the message "trans people are hideous, badwrong, fakes, "really" their assigned gender, really totally badwrong...".

So, a comic that's all about trans men being hot? Because of the above two issues, we should surely shout Hoorah! Or, some of us, Good gods, give me the artist's phone number!

But this one? (Found it here, where nixwilliams already says everything that needs to be said).

I was assigned female. This, combined with our sexist society, means I've been subjected to more objectification by straight men than... than... than something else I've had lots and lots of (yes, perhaps it's a good idea that I don't attempt to use language at the moment).

So, I know what good, consensual objectification feels like, and I know what creepy, unpleasant objectification feels like. This cartoon falls squarely in the second category.

In the last panel, is the author negating the rest of it with humourous self-deprecation? "Look at the ridiculous way my mind works"? That was my last hope. However, if you find her LiveJournal entry concerning the comic... nope.

There's more stuff to rage about the more you look. "They transform their female bodies to pass as male"?

... yes. Yes, that is our ultimate goal. To put on a big performance for everyone else's benefit. Not to feel congruent with our own bodies, or anything - to "pass".

If your irony detector isn't working... that's a giant pile of poo.

Finally, I've come across the comics before. I've liked them. One of my friends has an adorably lovely one up on her wall. I'm disappointed in the author.

Let's put it simply. If I hadn't had sex in fifty years, because Hagrid had fallen under a bus and every single person I'd approached in the meantime had done some version of the "OH GOD NO" thing... if I was desperate for affirmation that I'm not some hideous monstrosity (OK, yes, make that more desperate, be quiet)... if the Government had paid a skywriter to follow me around producing the cloudy sentence "All trans men are hideous and Oliver particularly so" for all to see...

I still wouldn't date/sleep with a tranny-chaser. Because I was assigned female, and have thus had enough of "you're a sex object because of your parts, I am not interested in any objections" (obviously trans women get that a hundred times over - "tranny chaser" originally meant a creepy individual who chases trans women).

In the post by nixwilliams, he's worried that he's merely projecting his Issues on to the comic - heterophobic Issues. It's pretty obvious that he's not, but I need to do the same kind of check - am I simply bitter because everyone around me, apart from Hagrid, thinks trans men are EW GROSS?

In vaguely related news, Hagrid and I are now like all the other queers (queer in the modern British identity sense, though we just don't eat/knit enough lentils for this to be entirely true). We've decided we'd officially be polyamorous if appropriately lovely people wanted to do so. We have plenty of issues (like my not being able to talk, can you tell I'm getting tired of that one?) but relationship-related jealousy is decidedly not one of them. Insert stereotype of male homosexual here.

In other news, I have now seen both Repo! The Genetic Opera and Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (yes. Yes, I am late to the geek party) and have decided that no other genre... hell, no other medium... need exist. From now on, everything needs to be done in melodramatic modern quasi-opera.

For example, the news and weather. Wouldn't life be better then?

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Have you ever heard "McJob" used in a derogatory fashion, to indicate a job that requires no qualifications and no skills? How about "stacking shelves" referring to those in a supermarket, intended to put across the same meaning?

Because I couldn't do either of those jobs. I'd be fired within a week - or, if the McDonalds or Tescos or wherever was very desperate, shouted at and complained at and certainly not, like most of my uni friends who have worked in customer service for a while, promoted.

I'd have to consistently understand what strangers said, over a great deal of background noise. I'd have to have reasonable personal organisation. I'd have to be able to remember several simple instructions at once. I'd have to consistently be able to speak, in an appropriate tone of voice, wearing the appropriate facial expressions, or my management would get complaints.

Customer service is one of the few sectors in which one can reliably get temporary jobs. I've sometimes considered doctoring my CV - to remove all my qualifications, so I could begin a "simple" customer service job on the understanding that I have mild mental retardation. Then, perhaps, my behaviour would be accepted. But... I'd still be a student, and they'd have to know that to organise my hours.

Now, all those As and 100%s tell people that, if I act like I'm retarded, I must be doing it on purpose - being annoying, being lazy, being rude, being purposefully dense. Especially as, sometimes, I'll "snap out of it" and give someone five thousand rapid words on philosophy, human evolution, queer theory, Victorian novels... or even tell a relevant joke or anecdote (a joke or anecdote I'm desperately hoping is relevant).

Anyway, this is procrastination before a trawl through the university's jobs website. There might only be one non-customer-service temporary job in the whole city... but it's got to exist, hasn't it?


Sunday, 1 February 2009


Is the best thing that's ever been on TV, ever. I'd forgotten quite how awesome it is till today.

Go and watch it now.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Feminist hat, engage.

Now, I look a heck of a lot like my dad. This pleases me, because he was my role model when I was younger (he can't be now, as it's plainer every day that I have inherited none of his skills and talents!).

But the point is, I don't have delicate, feminine features. I have an androgynous body shape. I wear, surprisingly, men's clothing. There is nothing, nothing whatsoever about me that suggests, to someone raised on stereotypes, that I'm into men in any way - unless, of course, they're thinking of me as a man, in which case I might as well have HOMO tattooed on my forehead.

But I still, still, get unpleasant attention from straight cis men. I don't mean attention from unpleasant men, either violence/aggression or suggestive remarks calculated to make me uncomfortable (though, obviously, I've always been different and have always got that). I mean completely inappropriate remarks from men who might be OK as people, or men who I even know are quite nice. Men who are neurotypical and should know better, who have still completely swallowed the dominant meme of THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT YOU IS WHAT YOUR VAGINA AND MY PENIS CAN DO TOGETHER KTHX.

I can't fucking win, as I'm certain that a few of those men have thought, aha, a "woman" who is really weird - "she" must be kinky/a slut/not mind me being rude by some reasoning process that I have not yet perfected or, actually, begun.

(Of course there's nothing wrong with being kinky, a slut or both. Both are often fabulous. I'm merely replicating the "reasoning" process).

So... I absolutely can't imagine what female-assigned individuals who are conventionally pretty, or even beautiful, or simply have large breasts etc. go through every day. In fact, I've seen them deal with it, not committing multiple murder on an hourly basis through acts of sheer willpower and/or resignation.

During my brief femme phase as a teenager (I felt uncomfortable during every second of it, but I felt the social pressure. I thought for a while I'd have to keep it up to keep Hagrid, ha, ludicrous notion in the light of his homosexualist tendencies eh?) some adult male acquaintances were particularly bad. I'd WALK INTO A ROOM that contained them and, say, my parents - I wouldn't have a chance to say or do anything - and there would be a remark about my looks. They really, seriously thought it was "complimentary".

And even lately, some (straight and cis) men have managed to instantly lose all my respect, going from my default of 100% respect to about minus 10%, by a similar immediate "compliment" - even interrupting what I am saying to ensure the "compliment" is immediate.

It's really not so bad for me, as I can say I'M A GUY HAHAHA YOU MUST BE A GAY LOL! and mysteriously watch the "complimentary" tally drop... but for beautiful femmes (of all orientations, obviously) what the hell must it be like?

I guess it's a feminist point, really - even if the sense of entitlement of the men around a woman isn't completely and totally obvious to anyone, in a "yes, rape, fine," way... It can still be very, very destructive to her sense of self-worth.

Hooray, Oliver states the obvious!

Now, my particular problem... because I have the stereotypical autistic grasp of social skills, my current thought often leaves my mouth without my brain interfering. If I think that a woman is attractive, I really DON'T care to act in that creepy fashion, because, logically, she has to deal with more creepy than she'd like, all the time.

I'm sure I often don't get it right, and I'm very, very sorry.

But if I remember to go through that logical process, I decide that the advisable option is that of complete silence until an unrelated thought enters my head.

Y'know, normal men should try that option sometimes.*

*I realise that the rule means I can't make any attempt at flirtation, but I'm REALLY REALLY sure the women of the world can live without me, my poor interpersonal skills and my uninspiring looks (they suit my dad better).

Monday, 12 January 2009

How to make an autistic obsessive-compulsive cry...

We organised skeletons today, which is a pleasing thing to do. If respectful treatment of human skeletal material is organised from the outset, one rarely has to consider its previous use inside humans (disrespectful treatment means one would have to consider it, to rectify the problem). I just like arranging things correctly, bones included.

I was wrestling with the worst preserved skeleton of the lot. Many of the bones were unrecognisable at first glance, appearing just as bony lumps. And a mean trick was played upon me.

"This is a ball and socket joint. It plainly doesn't belong to a pelvis, but the scapulae are both there."

While someone else was muttering... "This foot has six and a half toes..." I wasn't really paying attention. I was stuck, stuck and unhappy with my outlying chunk of scapula.

It was, finally, the three lower legs that clinched it (and I mean finally, we'd been so desperate to sort the damn thing that the third bone disappeared from our vision entirely for about half an hour).

When I'm in Hell, they'll make me sort things that cannot be sorted.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to make a brief, unrelated public service announcement:

If someone has a female-assigned vagina, and intact "female" reproductive organs, and you have a male-assigned penis and intact "male" reproductive organs, and you place the latter genital into the former with no heed to safer sex...

Small humans can be made.

The gender identity of the vaginaed partner is not important. Neither is their exposure to testosterone. Small humans can still be made.

I'M NOT PREGNANT BTW, this is for a man I spoke to recently, and those like him... I quote.

"I fucked him up the fanny! What? He could WHAT?"

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

The New Doctor!

On the day the new Doctor was announced, I asked the nearest person - a ten-year-old girl - "Well, who is it then?"

"A man." said she, then after a pause, "Who is ugly."

After learning that Steven Moffat would be running the show, I didn't much care who played the lead - it could be a turnip. We'd still watch religiously.

But my curiosity was piqued, so I got the name out of her - well, several names - "Mark Smith or Matt Brown or something" - and consulted Google.

It is Matt Smith, a man... who is no, not at all ugly. In any way.

He's got that slightly chiselled/poncey/geek look that, in men, makes me want to introduce them to Mortimer Wheeler (if you don'k know, don't ask, no, really. That's the most delicate euphemism I got).

If we'd known they were considering actors with extensive stage careers but little previous TV stardom, I'm sure a lot of the actors I know would have gone for the job (and their jealous rivals wouldn't have stuck pins in a Doctor Who doll conveniently placed on the agency desk for the purpose, oh no...).

And all the people going OH NOES, how will we believe that a 26-year-old is a 900-year-old Time Lord???!1...



...oh, never mind.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Either I do more laundry than before...

Or I own more clothes. I haven't run out of clean stuff and thus had to go to uni in an ancient miniskirt and a pink strappy top labelled "age 11-12" for months now (NOT FUNNY NOT FUNNY AT ALL HONESTLY) ... nor a pyjama top and swimming trunks... nor in regular clothes apart from boxer shorts belonging to Hagrid that have to be held up with several safety pins (he's called Hagrid for a reason) nor with no underwear or socks at all.

However, I did butter my bread with a ladle this morning, having run out of knives... then forks... then spoons... yes.

Now I've systematically dashed all hope in our ability to feed, wash and dress ourselves - because the process can take years and years and years, and we fully expect to come across opposition that is NOT based on our ability or inability to take care of a child, we're probably going to get ourselves on the adoption register by the end of 2011.

Exciting eh, this future planning lark?