There’s only 3 things. Gender is a 1. I mean, of course it is. I don’t get it though. I become aware that I don’t get it when I read things like this on The Nib. Go read it. Gender is a 3 for this person. That means it’s not someplace they are, it’s something that happens to them. I don’t get it, but that’s interesting. Like, here’s a person who thinks about gender on a level that’s far and away more involved than most people. That sort of makes me sad that I don’t think about it more.
I mean, if I say, “thank you, sir” to somebody it’s done without a thought. No malice, quite the opposite, it’s intended to be distancing and respectful. Sir is gendered, but it’s a sign of deference. If I think about it, it’s saying thanks, but it’s personal in that it identifies a specific person, while stepping back from that intimacy by establishing subordination through the use of an appalation like sir. Appreciation to unique entity separate from and unfamiliar but in elevated standing relative to myself.
For someone who has gender as an event, that’s off-putting, insulting. I’m inflicting my perception of a personal event on their own chronology. I am telling them where they are in relation to me, I get that as such that act is probably going to have negative effects on them.
I wonder though if this is more indicative not of any difference in our oppionions or desire to behave well to each other, but rather a product of the differing importance of gender to each of us. Gender doesn’t mater much to me, so if I missgender or am missgendered, it occupies no psychic real-estate. If it’s important to someone who is missgendered it would of course occupy more. How much onflict is the product of differing levels of assigned importance rather than conflicting oppinions or possitions? Probably more than we would care to know.
It’s personanlly elevating to have an oppion that is in opposition to another. It’s ego boosting to have adversaries. It’s insulting to find that your position is simply not important to another.