Misgendering

Discussions related to nonbinary experiences, identity and expression. 'On topic' discussions that don't fit anywhere else.

Misgendering

Postby fornorm » Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:56 pm

I suppose that any fom of gendering ("Madam", "Sir", "Dear", "Mate"), when applied to a non-gendered person, is technically mis-gendering. However, I generally present as masculine and have usually been 'read' as masculine even though I wear a skirt and have longish hair in a ponytail.

Recently I have had a couple of encounters with people who haven't had time to think about it and have 'read' me as female and called me "love" or "dear". I don't have any problem with this and haven't reacted to the mis-gendering (or 'miss'-gendering), but I am beginning to wonder if something has changed and this is likely to happen more often in future. I have been wearing skirts in public daily for over six months and find I have become completely comfortable with them so that I am no longer conscious of wearing them - so I wonder if a change in body language is the explanation?

By the way, is there any correct way of 'gendering' a non-gendered person, or is it best avoided altogether?
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Re: Misgendering

Postby yoyo » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:00 pm

I suppose that for me, the ways of correctly gendering are either mixtures of things traditionally associated with men and with women, or avoiding both.

FWIW, I think the genderedness of some of the greeting-type terms varies in different parts of the UK. In some parts of Yorkshire, "mate" is gender-neutral and in overlapping but different parts of Yorkshire, "love" is gender-neutral. I get confused by both of those being gendered in London. I thought "dear" was gender-neutral everywhere but clearly it's not!
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Re: Misgendering

Postby Sisyphus » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:26 pm

For me, the correct way is to not gender someone unless you are close enough or in a situation where you can ask what their preferred gendering is. But our current socienty doesn't allow for that. It really pushes us to gender people in the way we use language, interact, potentially offend or upset someone.

What I would want for me in that structure is either to go gender neutral or be willy nilly about the gender structures applied.

Maybe some of the change is your body language and maybe some of the change is in society itself?
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Re: Misgendering

Postby sparrowsion » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:22 pm

yoyo wrote:FWIW, I think the genderedness of some of the greeting-type terms varies in different parts of the UK.


I'm still trying to work out whether "duck" is consistent over it's entire range -- the Staffordshire dialect I grew up with uses it as a gender-neutral diminutive, and I think the now-famous Nottingham duck is the same, but I don't know how far north into Yorkshire it stays like that. And now I'm in Wales, we've got "bach" which serves precisely the same purpose.

It sometimes seems to me that which direction I'm misgendered in depends on the age of the person doing it. My suspicion is that older people still take long hair as a sufficiently feminine trait that it overrides anything else.
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