talktooloose: (mmmmmwtf?)
[personal profile] talktooloose
I don't believe in thought policing. I expect people (including myself) to have racist, sexist, homophobic thoughts and I'm okay with that. I'm only interested in actions. If I call my partner "husband," I am okay with some people feeling uncomfortable. I am mostly okay with people expressing that discomfort, as long as it is in the spirit of "hmm, isn't it interesting that I feel uncomfortable," not, "would you stop saying that which makes me uncomfortable."

For example, I sometimes still feel weird around transsexuals (mostly mtf transsexuals, interestingly) but I recognize this as my problem, not theirs. My discomfort has diminished greatly over time and has been illuminating in that it uncovers gender conversations I am still having with myself.

So, no thought policing, please. What's inside of us is a work in progress and does not benefit from opprobrium, but rather knowledge.

Date: 2011-05-16 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bitterlawngnome.livejournal.com
that's very interesting and speaks directly to some issues I'm troubling with right now

so ... there's this part of yourself you're totally not pleased with - transphobia in this case - and yet you're putting it out there in public; how do you anticipate / react to / think about / feel about doing that?

Date: 2011-05-16 04:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talktooloose.livejournal.com
You're making my point for me. There is a grotesque tendency for people to deny feelings that run counter to their ideals or the trends of the society around them. Further, we are encouraged to deny the feelings inside ourselves. "I'm not a racist!" Well, why wouldn't you be? You were raised with examples of racism. Decide not to act on it, get to know a wider range of people, learn their histories and the racism will slowly recede.

But instead people pretend to be people they are not and that is actually a worse place to grow from. My mtf transphobia is probably akin to gay men who are skeeved by queenie gay men because they think they make "normal" gay men look bad. The greatest transgression (and greatest gift) of queer culture is the dismantling of gender roles. However, we were raised with harsh punishment for these transgressions, so we are more likely to be threatened by gender non-conformity.

I've changed from having to smile through my discomfort to actually finding gender change really cool. But it still looks "weird" to me. The fact that ftm's seem less "weird" is probably related to the way our culture values men and hates women. Becoming more "manly" is something EVERYONE should want, but giving up male power to become a woman is questionable.

Since I'm making people hate me, I'll go further. Feminism in North America has mostly focussed on giving women room to operate in traditional male roles. This is patently misogynist IMO. True feminism would value equally all roles and would lead to more men being stay at home parents, etc.

Date: 2011-05-16 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talktooloose.livejournal.com
I guess I didn't really answer your question directly. I feel that if anyone judges me harshly for stating that I have prejudices, they can fuck off. I am clearly not defending my prejudice, but saying that I am working for its eventual disappearance. I doubt such processes can ever be complete, btw.

I'm not really scared of myself or others being imperfect. Someone can even be a total jerk to me if they later take responsibility for it and apologize. I can't stand people without compassion and forgiveness. It's people like that that make others afraid to confront their own shit.

Date: 2011-05-16 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danthered.livejournal.com
This post rings really loudly for me, by which I mean it closely matches my own thoughts, experience, and feelings on these sorts of matters. Thanks for sharing this.

Date: 2011-05-17 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lady-drace.livejournal.com
I agree. We can't help what we feel, but we can help what we do. I don't consider people bad for thinking bad thoughts. I don't mind that people look at me (I'm very much overweight) and think that I must be be unhappy with my looks or that I lack willpower or whatever. As long as they treat me decently, I still consider them good people.

We can't completely control what we think and honestly, I don't think we should restrict our thinking too much. It can't be healthy.

Date: 2011-05-17 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talktooloose.livejournal.com
"We can't completely control what we think and honestly"

And yet that seems to be some people's expectation. Not only not healthy, but unlikely to lead to positive change.

Date: 2011-05-19 05:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] briseur.livejournal.com
To play Devil's Advocate, I think a person can, over time, change their thinking. And I don't think that unhealthy, if the thinking in question makes one happier. That said, one can't change what one is actively denying.

Date: 2011-05-24 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talktooloose.livejournal.com
You might be misunderstanding me. I do believe in changes in thinking. It's like progress in yoga: measured over years, and the process itself is healthy and healing.

In fact, denying that you have things to change is the biggest impediment to change.

Actually, one of my favourite things is getting a new piece of information that makes me say, "Holy shit, I've been thinking about this wrong!" Tim Maly is very useful at providing such thought-shifting factoids because he refuses to accept other people's categories.

Date: 2011-05-17 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quirkstreet.livejournal.com
I guess I don't know what to say other than DITTO or BRAVO or something else ending with O. (But not DRANO. ;-)

I am still having all of these conversations with myself. I have some of the same feelings as you ... discomfort with twink men, queenie men, and MTF women, for example. And it's totally MY stuff to keep working on.

Date: 2011-05-17 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talktooloose.livejournal.com
Probably the best therapy is to have one of each as a lover for six months. Time consuming, but there you go.

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