Monthly Archives: April 2013

Transgender is not a Gender

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Rather, it is a type of gender. Having ‘male’, ‘female’, and ‘transgendered’ as the gender options in a survey is ridiculous. It’s as bad as having ‘transgender male’, ‘transgender female’, and ‘cisgendered’ as the options. And both are almost as bad as having ‘cisgendered’ and ‘transgendered’ as the only options. The formers tell us only half of the participants’ actual genders. The latter tells us nothing at all. Having ‘transgendered’ as the only extra gender option on top of ‘male’ and ‘female’ is not being inclusive. It’s just a really bad attempt. If someone really wants their survey to be inclusive of all genders, then their options should be ‘male’, ‘female’, ‘bigender’, ‘androgynous’, and ‘agender’ (and there are probably even more floating around out there). Or, if it’s really that important to them that they know the transstate (I just made that word up…) of their participants, then have ‘cis male’, ‘cis female’, ‘transgender male’, ‘transgender female’, ‘transsexual male’, ‘transsexual female’ as the options instead of plain old ‘male’ and ‘female’. Or, better, yet, just have a blank box to type in.

But gender is not the only culprit, oh no. Sexuality is a huge one. Surveys usually ask about sexuality in one of two ways. The first is to ask participants what their sexuality is, out of ‘straight’, ‘gay’, or ‘bi’. The second is to ask participants if they are interested in ‘men’, ‘women’, or ‘both’. Sigh. We’ve already established that there are more than two genders, so clearly that second method needs more options. But that first method is insanely wrong! Sure, there’s ‘heterosexual’, ‘homosexual’, and ‘bisexual’ – but what about ‘androgenosexual’, ‘androsexual’, ‘gynosexual’, ‘pansexual’, ‘polysexual’, ‘asexual’, ‘greysexual’, and ‘demisexual’ (and again, there are probably even more around)? And then there’s all the romantic types…

Seriously, with all these possible labels out there, is it really that hard to just ask people what they identify as? Must we really make little multiple choice answers for them to neatly categorise themselves into? Now I’ve never made a survey before, but surely it can’t be too difficult to have a little typing box instead of a bunch of options to choose from. If anything, it seems like it would be easier!

Foot-Chopping, Onwards!

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In my previous post, I briefly discussed how same-sex marriage would not encourage all sorts of ‘horrifying’ relationships, including polyamory, polygamy, bestiality, and incest. I said that comparing completely different types of relationships is “like saying that by tickling someone, you’re encouraging them to chop someone else’s foot off”. In this post, I will discuss why I put the word ‘horrifying’ in quotation marks.

If multiple people want to be in a relationship, then what is so wrong with that?! They’re consenting adults. If Katie dates Jim (who also dates Claire) and Michael (who also dates Aaron), then how is that anyone else’s business besides Katie, Jim, Claire, Michael, Aaron, and anyone else they happen to be dating? No-one’s cheating on anyone. No-one’s oppressing anyone. So please, enlighten me – how is it wrong?

If you get creeped out easily, then I’d suggest running away as fast as you can. Or, you know, pressing the little X button in the corner of the screen. Because I am about to discuss incest. Objectively. I take pride in my ability to be objective about difficult issues. But anyway. When asked about incest, most people will say that it is morally wrong. When asked why, most of them will say something about the health risks posed to their children. But then they’re told the truth about health risks caused by incest – that they’re actually quite rare. Or that the incestuous couple in question don’t want children, or are infertile, or don’t want to have sex at all. But they’ll still say that incest is wrong. Ask them why again, and they’ll just go ’round in circles – “incest is wrong because… it’s just wrong”. But if an adult couple consents to incest, then there’s really nothing inherently wrong with it. The only argument against it is the squick factor.

My quotation marks didn’t include bestiality, by the way. Non-human animals can’t consent to a relationship with humans. That’s just rape.

Love is Love, Regardless of Gender

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I have basically one political belief. And that is that gay marriage should be legal.

People do not choose who they love. They fall in love. They don’t jump in love. And if two people are in love, then they should have the right to show that love in a legally recognised way like marriage – no matter what gender they are.

Some people say that they already do. That they can already have their relationship legally recognised through a civil union. But that brings up the issue of equality. They’re not equal rights if people in same-sex relationships get an entirely different thing.

Some people say that marriage is a religious thing. That religion defines marriage as the formal union between a man and a woman, and that same-sex marriage defies that. But if marriage is so religious, then why can I get married? I’m not religious. I don’t believe in any higher beings. I’ll start believing this crap about marriage being religious the moment people like me are forbidden from getting married.

Some people say that people who endorse gay marriage are trying to redefine marriage. To them, I quote Cynthia Nixon, who said this beautifully: “Gay people who want to marry have no desire to redefine marriage in any way. When women got the right to vote, they did not redefine voting. When African-Americans got the right to sit at a lunch counter, alongside white people, they did not redefine eating out. They were simply invited to the table.” So why don’t we stop living in the past, and invite people in same-sex relationships to that lovely little table we call marriage?

Some people say that legalising gay marriage will encourage same-sex relationships. But like I said, people don’t choose who they love. Straight men/women aren’t going to marry some random other man/woman just because they can. They’re going to marry someone because they love them (or to get citizenship, but honestly, that happens already, so gay marriage is gonna have no impact on that). So that kind of ‘logic’ is absolutely ridiculous.

Some people take it even further, by claiming that legalising gay marriage will encourage all sorts of ‘horrifying’ relationships, like polyamory, polygamy, bestiality, and incest. Now that is just even more ridiculous. How can one type of relationship encourage another completely different one? That’s like saying that by tickling someone, you’re encouraging them to chop someone else’s foot off. So not related.

When I see people make arguments against gay marriage, I feel angry. It physically angers me. It angers me so much that finding out someone was against gay marriage would significantly lower my opinion of them. I don’t understand how anyone could be so selfish as to want to prevent other people from doing something, when that thing wouldn’t even affect them in the first place. Because same-sex marriage wouldn’t affect the people who are against it. I have never come across a gay person who was against gay marriage, yet all for straight marriage. It’s either all or nothing.

In my opinion, they have three options:

  1. Abolish all marriage.
  2. Give religious people in religious relationships marriage, and everyone else civil unions.
  3. Let couples get married, regardless of gender or religion.

You’d think it would be a simple choice. Religion would be too hard to monitor, so 2’s out. And surely people want to get married, so 1’s out. That leaves 3. See! What a brilliantly simple decision! But apparently some people fail to see that.

I’m straight, and I believe in gay marriage. Good luck meeting me if you don’t.

Top Fives

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I made a list of my five favourite poems, when I realised “why don’t I make a list of my top five everythings?” instead. So here are a bunch of my top fives!

Poems:

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (Dylan Thomas)
  2. A Poem Written By A Bear (Tao Lin)
  3. The Painter (John Ashberry)
  4. The Raven (Edgar Allen Poe)
  5. Sonnet 73 (William Shakespeare)

TV Shows:

  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Doctor Who
  4. Firefly
  5. Supernatural

Actors:

  1. Johnny Depp
  2. Helena Bonham Carter
  3. Enver Gjokaj
  4. Alan Rickman
  5. Amy Acker

Books:

  1. Harry Potter (JK Rowling)
  2. A Song of Ice and Fire (George RR Martin)
  3. Dollanganger Series (Virginia Andrews)
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia (CS Lewis)

Superpowers:

  1. Shape-shifting
  2. Telekinesis
  3. Technopathy
  4. Dimensional manipulation
  5. Regeneration

Fictional Characters:

  1. Arya Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire)
  2. River Tam (Firefly)
  3. Tyrion Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire)
  4. Severus Snape (Harry Potter)
  5. Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)

Mythical Creatures:

  1. Witch
  2. Vampire
  3. Reaper
  4. Dragon
  5. Nymph

Time-Travel:

  1. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
  2. 12 Monkeys
  3. The Terminator
  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
  5. Lost

Short-Stories:

  1. The Egg (Andy Weir)
  2. The Monkey’s Paw (WW Jacobs)
  3. Snow, Glass, Apples (Neil Gaiman)
  4. The Last Question (Isaac Asimov)
  5. The Tell Tale Heart (Edgar Allen Poe)

Celebrity Look-a-Likes Pt. 6

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44. Gillian Jacobs & Jane Levy
Gillian Jacobs & Jane Levy

45. Katie Featherston & Katy Sullivan
Katie Featherston & Katy Sullivan

46. Elizabeth Mitchell & Jessica Capshaw
Elizabeth Mitchell & Jessica Capshaw

47. Elizabeth Mitchell & Sonya Walger
Elizabeth Mitchell & Sonya Walger

48. Anne Heche & Katharine Towne
Anne Heche & Katharine Towne

49. Justin Chatwin & Matt Hoffman
Justin Chatwin & Matt Hoffman

50. Charlize Theron & Scarlett Johansson
Charlize Theron & Scarlett Johansson

51. Alan Tudyk & Arthur Darvill
Alan Tudyk & Arthur Darvill

52. Summer Glau & Thandie Newton
Summer Glau & Thandie Newton

53. Claudia Black & Tania Raymonde
Claudia Black & Tania Raymonde

54. Anna Torv & Mia Wasikowska
Anna Torv & Mia Wasikowska1

55. Hilary Swank & Missy Peregrym
Hilary Swank & Missy Peregrym

56. Penelope Cruz & Paz Vega
Penelope Cruz & Paz Vega

57. Cameron Diaz & Helena Christensen
Cameron Diaz & Helena Christensen

Character Revised

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Tonight I got trapped on TV Tropes (again), and got sucked into a whirlpool of character alignments. While I was there, I found this nice simplification of the difference between Chaotic Neutral and Neutral Evil: “Chaotic Neutral is a selfish bastard with an emphasis on ‘selfish’. Neutral Evil is a selfish bastard with an emphasis on ‘bastard’.” I like it. CN and NE are probably the most difficult alignments for me to distinguish. Some characters are clear-cut, but if there’s going to be trouble, it’ll be between those two.

A bit over a year ago, I did a quiz to find out my supposed D&D character. Then, I got a level 2 true neutral human bard. After my little captivity tonight, I thought I’d see if it had changed at all:

True Neutral Human Wizard (2nd Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength- 8
Dexterity- 11
Constitution- 12
Intelligence- 15
Wisdom- 13
Charisma- 11

Alignment:
True Neutral- A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn’t feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he’s not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Class:
Wizards- Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard’s strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Detailed Results:

Alignment:
Lawful Good —— XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Neutral Good —– XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
Chaotic Good —– XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Lawful Neutral — XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
True Neutral —– XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (20)
Chaotic Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (17)
Lawful Evil ——- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (15)
Neutral Evil —— XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
Chaotic Evil —— XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)

Law & Chaos:
Law —– XXXXXXXX (8)
Neutral – XXXXXXXXX (9)
Chaos — XXXXXX (6)

Good & Evil:
Good —- XXXX (4)
Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Evil —— XXXXXXX (7)

Race:
Human — XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
Dwarf —– XXXX (4)
Elf ——— XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Gnome — XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Halfling — XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Half-Elf — XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
Half-Orc – XXXX (4)

Class:
Barbarian – (-2)
Bard ——- XX (2)
Cleric —– (-2)
Druid —– (-4)
Fighter — (0)
Monk —– (-25)
Paladin — (-25)
Ranger — (0)
Rogue —- (0)
Sorcerer – XXXXXX (6)
Wizard — XXXXXXXX (8)

So apparently I’m less wise and more charismatic now. I don’t know how I became less wise with age, but righty-roo. And seriously, even ten charisma was way too much for me! At least I have a desirable class now though. I wonder what I answered differently that makes me two points more wizardish and six whole points less bardish?

And I don’t know what my past self was going on about with our alignment. I think I’m very much a true neutral type person. Chaotic neutral would be more of an ideal, and no way in hell am I altruistically good. She’s a dreamer, that past Caitlyn.

Analogy Girl

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I have recently come to the realisation that I like analogies too much. Well, not too much. People can never like analogies too much. But I do like them a lot, and it might be weird.

I don’t like tofu. I don’t like the taste, and I don’t like the texture. I once described the texture of tofu as “it wants to be a cloud, but ends up being a pillow”. Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to anyone I tell it to. It makes sense to me, though. What I meant by it, was that tofu tries to be light and fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth-like like a cloud, but ends if being an enclosed softness like a pillow.

And this is what I had to say about people getting teased because of their names – “People don’t tease names alone – the only reason names get teased is because they’re something *to* tease. Think of it as someone shooting something with an arrow – they’re going to shoot it anyway, but there’s a target on the name, so they shoot the name specifically.”. That wasn’t even a full analogy. I really only analogied (is that even a word?) half of it. But I’ll still count it.

I like analogies so much that I even dream of them. I once dreamt that aliens took over the world, and I was part of a resistance (it was a pretty epic dream). And when I killed one of the aliens, I said “You know what happens when you mow a lawn? The grass grows back. And sometimes weeds sprout.”. I was so proud of my dream-self for that. Obviously I had to write it down as soon as I woke up! XD

I think it would be a bad idea for me to ever get famous. I would say all these analogies in interviews, and half of them wouldn’t even make any sense, and then people would start calling me Analogy Girl. That could totally be my superhero name! Analogy Girl. My superpower would be confusing people into insanity with analogies. Heh. Heh.

And I love Britta’s analogy analogy – “It’s like a thought with another thought’s hat on”. Sometimes her analogies are crazy confusing, but that one is just plain awesome!