I Don’t Need to Move

And then I read an article on “theibies” in New York magazine and realize that I don’t want to move because innocent discussions about dinosaurs by a bunch of old ladies at the gym are nowhere as aggravating as this cheerful search for sophisticated forms of child abuse. I can find ways productively to engage with the dinosaur folks but not with the theyby bunch.

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19 thoughts on “I Don’t Need to Move”

  1. I read the article:

    Constructing a “non-gendered” identity takes about as much work as constructing a gendered one and these parents are delusional if they think they’re not imposing some kind of (non)identity on their kid.

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    1. They are turning the poor kid into a circus freak in order to feel cool and hip. And that’s inexcusable. Note how they are making zero effort to impose any of these hardships on themselves. It’s easy to intimidate low-paid daycare workers into complying with the preferences of paying customers. But why not do the brave thing and try to force the boss, the clients, the business contacts to treat oneself “genderlessly”? Because it’s hard and would cost money.

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  2. Wanted to ask whether you see the damage as entirely inflicted by the environment seeing the kid as “a circus freak” or also by the parents’ pressure on the kid not to do the natural thing of identifying with / as his or her gender both internally and in society.

    After all the work the parents put into it, I doubt the poor kid will be permitted to reveal his / her gender to the future schoolmates.

    I read the definitions of norm / normal / normative here:

    https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2016/09/23/norms-normality-and-normativity/

    In short, I think gender dysphoria is not and will never be the norm (and I believe it’s not normal), and strongly disagree with attempts to turn GD or similar things into something normative.

    I am not for discriminating against gay people or people with GD, but they are not the norm and I think we can let everybody live in peace w/o pretending they are. There is nothing ‘cool’ or ‘subversive’ or ‘progressive’ in being gay or with GD, and trying to force one’s usual kid (norm + normal + normative) into pretending to be not so is extremely abusive.

    As an aside, I got the impression dinosaurs’ people are the majority in your location, while those parents are rare freaks.

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    1. “Wanted to ask whether you see the damage as entirely inflicted by the environment seeing the kid as “a circus freak” or also by the parents’ pressure on the kid not to do the natural thing of identifying with / as his or her gender both internally and in society.”

      • Of course, the damage comes from the parents. Peers pick up on roles assigned at home. If the child’s identity is constructed as that of an outcast by the parents, the child will be an outcast in the peer group.

      “As an aside, I got the impression dinosaurs’ people are the majority in your location, while those parents are rare freaks.”

      • A majority doesn’t necessarily have the cultural capital to enforce its norms. The ladies at the gym have zero power to make me believe whatever they do about dinosaurs or to fake compliance. They can’t threaten my job for disagreeing. Their power over me is exactly zero. But the folks with cultural capital who applaud the theyby madness can force us all to dance to their crazy tune. And we already do as evidenced by the microaggressions seminars and gender trainings. I don’t mind people having completely different beliefs than I do. Hey, I’m happy that Kevin Williamson was hired by The Atlantic, and his opinions on abortion are, to put it mildly, the polar opposite of mine. What I mind is an environment where people are hounded and forced out of jobs for saying “hey, this theyby thing is ridiculous.”

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      1. \ A majority doesn’t necessarily have the cultural capital to enforce its norms. The ladies at the gym have zero power … But the folks with cultural capital who applaud the theyby madness can force us all to dance to their crazy tune.

        I see conservative-religious forces wielding real power in Israel and, based on what I read about USA, they are much more powerful than theiby people there too.

        A majority in a democratic system votes for Trump-like politicians in America or for forces pushing religion into my life in Israel.

        Btw, regarding religion and spring cleaning, tonight the last day of Passover has started in Israel, the end of week-long holiday during which no bread is sold in the shops and all bread shops are closed. Traditionally, spring cleaning is done before the start of the holiday.

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        1. I can’t speak about Israel, but religious practice is incompatible with neoliberalism. That’s why there is none in developed countries. We are in the Bible Belt, but my students couldn’t identify the phrase “in the beginning there was the word” and didn’t recognize the story of Cain and Abel.

          Theibies own the world because their ideology is based on the idea of neoliberal Choice. Choice is their God. No restrictions on choice are to be tolerated, not even the biological ones. There is no religion here strong enough to withstand the lure of triumphant human all-powerfulness. Theibies have won by default because they worship on this altar. The altar built by capital.

          It makes no sense even to discuss religion because there’s no religion any more.

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          1. We are in the Bible Belt, but my students couldn’t identify the phrase “in the beginning there was the word” and didn’t recognize the story of Cain and Abel.
            Maybe the really religious people self select into bible/fundie colleges?

            How was this never my religion but I know this? I’m not religious; I was never religious. I went to Catholic school but we never read the Bible, chapter-verse-section in religion class.

            Maybe you should ask them about Corinthians I.

            And they go on about the dinosaurs on the ark but can’t identify Genesis and basing their votes off a list from Deuteronomy. Idiots.

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  3. “these are extremely basic”

    Yes, the only one I had to think about for a millisecond was the last. But it was easy to eliminate one name immediately and eliminate a second logically…

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  4. \ Possibly? The people who did the best on
    Pew Research’s religious knowledge quiz are Jewish, or agnostic/atheist or possess post-graduate training.

    I didn’t know “What was Joseph Smith’s religion?”

    You answered “Catholic”

    The correct answer is “Mormon”

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    1. “The correct answer is “Mormon””

      Joseph Smith was the founder of Mormonism with his discovery of the golden plates, the most famous early leader was Brigham Young.

      Mormons have many, very odd beliefs and rituals… my favorite is the Veil Ceremony….

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  5. Erm. These are extremely basic. Obviously, I got them all but I don’t even think I need to say that.

    Some of the doctrinal stuff I might not have gotten if I hadn’t gone to Catholic school. But a lot of the questions I got from my own reading and general knowledge. The last question was my reaching back to middle school history and guessing. How do you think your students would do on such a quiz?

    Remember in the aftermath of the Oak Creek massacre, journalists were writing articles stating that Sikhism is a sect of Hinduism. Ten seconds on Wikipedia tells you otherwise. Lazy idiots.

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    1. “How do you think your students would do on such a quiz?”

      • Extremely poorly. And not just the parts that have to do with other religions. Nobody knows who Job is and what he symbolizes in Christianity, for instance. Which, once again, I have known forever and I grew up in the USSR. But I always read a lot and that’s the entirety of Western literature. Plus, if you read literature, you will know the basic facts about Islam or Hinduism. It’s unavoidable.

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      1. But I always read a lot and that’s the entirety of Western literature. Plus, if you read literature, you will know the basic facts about Islam or Hinduism. It’s unavoidable.
        Of course the Bible is literature. But good luck teaching that at the high school level without the class being hijacked by people who want to turn it into Sunday School or who’ll be offended that it’s “literature.”

        I certainly don’t have the knowledge base to appreciate this parody (the author went to evangelical college and grew up as a pastor’s kid).

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        1. \ I certainly don’t have the knowledge base to appreciate this parody (the author went to evangelical college and grew up as a pastor’s kid).

          I don’t either. Jewish Israeli school system hardly teaches Christianity, but everybody studies Old Testament since the first grade at school and till the last, so I know about Job f.e., but not the most basic things about Christianity.

          That quizz was easy to me since it is based on Old Testament, but ask something about the New one and the score will be around zero.

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