Missing words

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

Missing words

Postby moonmoth » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:25 am

Something I've found that I'm really missing as I share my (genderqueer, nonbinary) gender identity with more and more people is a convenient category noun -- something that indicates my identity the same way "man" and "woman" indicate cisgender masculine and feminine gender identities. Is anyone discussing things like that anywhere? Have alternatives (for many variant genders. not just mine) been proposed? I'm finding myself uncomfortable to the point of bristling at the thought of being described by a cisnormative term for lack of anything better.
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Re: Missing words

Postby fornorm » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:00 am

moonmoth wrote:Something I've found that I'm really missing as I share my (genderqueer, nonbinary) gender identity with more and more people is a convenient category noun -- something that indicates my identity the same way "man" and "woman" indicate cisgender masculine and feminine gender identities. Is anyone discussing things like that anywhere? Have alternatives (for many variant genders. not just mine) been proposed? I'm finding myself uncomfortable to the point of bristling at the thought of being described by a cisnormative term for lack of anything better.

There seems to have been a great deal of discussion and dozens of tentative suggestions over a long period of time, but nothing has yet come out as a clear-cut winner and made its way into everyday usage. I think solving the language problem is the biggest hurdle we face.
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Re: Missing words

Postby moonmoth » Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:09 pm

fornorm wrote:
moonmoth wrote:Something I've found that I'm really missing as I share my (genderqueer, nonbinary) gender identity with more and more people is a convenient category noun -- something that indicates my identity the same way "man" and "woman" indicate cisgender masculine and feminine gender identities.

There seems to have been a great deal of discussion and dozens of tentative suggestions over a long period of time, but nothing has yet come out as a clear-cut winner and made its way into everyday usage.


Could be the reason for that is that no single word works well enough for everyone.

I asked this question in another place and got a suggestion for a template for creating category nouns: "<subject pronoun>man". So, for popular pronoun choices, you get neman, zeman, eyman, veman, xeman. I decided I liked how that works because it functions just like "man" or "woman" in that it indicates gender (nonbinary) and pronoun in a compacl word. How does that sound?

fornorm wrote: I think solving the language problem is the biggest hurdle we face.


I don't know about that. I feel more like it's a symptom of one of the biggest hurdles we face: visibility. Having "normal" ways of talking about and recognizing nonbinary people as nonbinary is a tool we can use to improve visibility and reduce "othering" and erasure.
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Re: Missing words

Postby sparrowsion » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:11 pm

moonmoth wrote:Could be the reason for that is that no single word works well enough for everyone.


Could well be: we've got so many ways of not being "a man" or "a woman" between us that a single word that covers us all is going to be working vary hard. And if we divide ourselves up even more, there's no chance of getting the critical mass needed for anyone else to understand.
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Re: Missing words

Postby yoyo » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:04 pm

sparrowsion wrote:Could well be: we've got so many ways of not being "a man" or "a woman" between us that a single word that covers us all is going to be working vary hard. And if we divide ourselves up even more, there's no chance of getting the critical mass needed for anyone else to understand.


*nods*

Some of my thinking around pronouns seems to be heading towards 'they' because then at least I'd be joining in with a thing that might reach critical mass sometime.
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