Don’t Call Me a Man

I rather dislike the term ‘man’, I am male, and I identify as the masculine gender, but please don’t call me a man.

If you mean it as a compliment, that I am very successful in being a member of my gender, then one of two things is happening…

  1. You don’t understand what parts of my gender matter to me, and so what you are saying is either offensively sexist, or offensive in that you are telling me that I follow values that I don’t want to follow, and that I should care.
  2. You do understand what parts of my gender matter to me; that would be… what gender I feel like I belong to, and my ability to be a sensitive and worth knowing person. (yes, that is part of my gender.) If you are trying to communicate this message in this way then you could probably survive using the wording “the right kind of man”.

On the subject of the former though, I very much don’t like the idea of fitting ‘masculine’ ideas such as strength, bravery, emotional insensitivity or poor evaluation of risk and/or pain, almost as much as I don’t like the idea of any of these things being associated with the male race exclusively. (what a disgusting idea.)

These ideas are not my priority, they are not my goals, and they are not a part of what matters to me in terms of my gender.

  • If I demonstrate physical strength and you call me manly, I shall be offended.
  • If I demonstrate willpower in some way and you commend me on having “manned through it”, I shall be offended.

On the subject specified in the title above, don’t call me a man, as I don’t want people with strange ideas of masculinity to be confused about who I am and what matters to me.

My Thoughts on “#IfIWereABoy”

I just read this; The title sums up what it is about.

I enjoyed it, there were some definite things I will try to keep in mind when I live life as a boy.

I reccomend giving it a read, and starting a scrap-book of ideas about how you are going to raise your sons (and daughters) in the future. (If you aren’t in any position to have children in the future then you are exempt from my life advice)

The issue of asking women to smile has been a personally interesting one… Don’t ask people to smile, it communicates that you don’t care about how this person feels, you are just saying that you don’t want to know about their problems.

Grammar Corrections

I have a lot to say about this, but for now I shall start by saying that it is possible for a grammatical error to cause an ambiguity; this has happened to me, and arguing that “you can still understand what I’m saying so it doesn’t matter” is therefore not always valid, UNLESS you are sending a private message to a specific person and they do understand.

Looking at the bigger picture though, when you are corrected on your grammar, it is a societal function that encourages general linguistic health that stops these ambiguities from coming up as much, because, you cannot deny that grammar corrections haven’t taught you something about grammar.

Although it might be impolite the way that people deal with delivering these corrections, and the radical way that some people go about things contradicts this function, the function of grammatical corrections in society is enough for humble acceptance to be the right thing to do.

I’ll talk more about why being humble when corrected on grammar is so important later. Thanks for reading!

Interpretive Art Is Meaningless Art

If you are trying to communicate a message with your art, and you have a message in mind, and you make some deliberate act to further that communication or broadcast the message more consistently, then you can claim that it is what you were trying to represent in the art.

If, however, you notice your artwork’s success in communicating an otherwise unintended message, then unless you do something as mentioned above to further that message it really doesn’t count as a message you are trying to represent in the art.

Perhaps there it is a meaning that you are taking from your artwork, but that doesn’t count as a meaning which the painting expresses at all, not unless you do one of the above things to further that meaning.:

When you interpret an artwork, your interpretation is in itself its own artwork, and there is a meaning which is important to you, which you are communicating through this interpretation, to yourself. That’s right, your interpretation is an artwork, in which you are the artist, and you are the audience.

This means that if a person creates an artwork and you interpret it “in your own way”, their artwork isn’t conveying a meaning, and therefore is meaningless.

You could create an artwork that reflects on your interpretation of the artwork you observed, and it would be conveying a meaning, and that would be spectacular; in fact, every time someone does something like that, the arts communities and the world become slightly more amazing places to live in, so do it for humanity.

To conclude, I would like to say that meaningless artwork is absolutely fine, it indicates emotion and inspires the audience, it ignites imagination and it holds value as an object of beauty, and most importantly, it reflects on the person who created it. Meaning is just another thing that arts can be used for, like how a tennis ball can be used to smash windows: so please, please stop calling art “interpretive” and call it “interpretable”, because if the meaning isn’t something that has been included in the artwork, then it isn’t… something that has been included in the artwork.

(This post has assumed a general definition of artwork that encompasses media such as painting, graphic design, books and novels, songs, poetry, videogames, pulp fiction, furniture, architecture and street layout, just to name a few.)

Literally (Not Literally)

People often use the word “literally” to mean “totally”, and other people tend to literally wish the deaths of this certain kind of person. (the internet is a cruel place)

The English language is full of metaphor and idiom, and the word ‘literally’ serves an immensely powerful tool for clarifying that what you said, or are about to say, is an exception to this world of metaphor.

Correct use of the word also creates irony and coincidence all at the same time. Snobby people no doubt get a huge endorphin kick when their associates use the word correctly. (it is like the English language is some kind of witty paradox in secret or something)
It is easy to see why correct usage of the word is celebrated, and the incorrect usage can be a burden, almost an infection among the users of language, however the meaning ‘totally’ is often very useful, yet due to the colloquialisation of that word, sometimes not achievable.

I am therefore introducing for myself the use of the phrase “literally (not literally)” to represent the colloquial meaning of ‘literally’, while including a statement that explains what exactly I mean (because otherwise it would often be legitimately vague.)

Everyone should join in and we can make the English language a slightly nicer place to live.

Taken for Granted

It is easy to say what you don’t like about a person, (or stereotyped subcultural entity) but it is often hard to appreciate when those complaints aren’t available.

If a person harasses you for attention in an everyday situation it is easy to think that they are annoying and aren’t aware of a person’s personal space or interests, but if a person doesn’t harass you for attention, you aren’t likely to think well of it.

It is unfortunate, but unless you spend a lot of time thinking about a particular thing you want to see happen, it is very hard to appreciate when it actually does happen.

In order for everyone to feel a little more happy as a society, I think that when a person is complaining to you, you should listen to what they say. Think about the flaws they are seeing in other people. Think about those flaws, think about whether you know many people like that. If there is a person that is good at avoiding a certain flaw, (especially if this makes them an exception to an assumption about a stereotype.) then take note.

Once you have a list of things that a person is good at, that they are capable of doing well and with consideration, tell them.

Tell them that you appreciate what they do and who they are.
Praise and respect are both immensely powerful tools that can make people feel appreciated, and motivated. Not only will it encourage more positive and thoughtful actions of the kind in the future, it will also teach the world more about what you respect in a person.

Let’s all start making regular donations to the bank of positive motives.

He, She, and Me.

You might not have noticed, but every time you talk about anyone, (and when on Earth does that even happen, really.) you are making a statement about what genitalia they have in their pants. That doesn’t make much sense. Usually when we make an indicative statement about a particular person eating a sandwich, the fact that that person is also capable of giving birth doesn’t really come into it.

What I Think

When I use the word “he” I am referring to a human being. To me he is the subjective pronoun.
I define she to literally mean “he who can give birth”, and society expects me to explicitly use that term whenever possible.
(The reason for me constructing my definitions this way is both biblical, and in consequence of the fact that as a child I enjoyed thinking about how the word “woman” can be broken up into “womb” and “man”)

It is for this reason that I have chosen the example used above.

The rest of my thoughts are as follows:

The Positive Ends

Being able to acknowledge someone’s sexuality is useful and helpful when trying to respect that person.
That’s all that I can think of…

The Bad signs

It would seem that we are in a society in which even the way you talk about a person as she makes a sandwich seems to be geared towards sex.

Are we as a species so sexually driven that we must take every single available opportunity to hint at who should and shouldn’t be flirted with?

What does that even have to do with eating a sandwich?

Would this person even want to have anything to do with you sexually even if they did identify as your compatible gender?

What if this person were 6 years old? You are still obliged to indicate their sexuality in speech.
Is that for the same reasons of flirtation? Or does it have something to do with preparing them for a life of being offended at any declensional slip of the tongue… so as to continue this trend of needless irrelevance.

All roads lead to sex.

The Negative Ends

For some reason people need to identify the sex of any person they wish to talk about, and a failure to do so results in stuttering, loss of friendship, and gaslighting.

For some reason if I ask a person (even if they are transgender or something else that makes circumstances specific and exceptional) what their identified gender is, they are expected to feel offended; I expect them to feel offended.
Just because someone isn’t hetero-normative doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to talk to them without some form of awkward communication gap being forced upon me.

For some reason if I use gender neutral words, like “they”, (the singular form of the pronoun) the lack of sexuality in the sentence becomes alienating.
Why is it that if I don’t specify that I don’t want to have sex with a person, I am alienating them?

Society, you have failed me.