Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 06:09 am
50 Ways People Expect Constant Emotional Labor from Women and Femmes

Right down to a link about how "women and femmes" have a pay gap... that leads to an article about women vs men. I am not expecting anyone to have access to data that includes non binary people but they could say that rather than erasing our existence.

If they'd not done the search and replace I'd just have had a moment of "sigh, non binary people exist" but otherwise be ok with it.

Discussions of gender which erase non binary people are annoying but they are not as actively gross to me as ones which "remember" us by just assuming some portion of us are "basically women" (whether it be femmes or "women aligned" non binary people or some other arbitrary subset) and implicitely treat the rest like "basically men".

If I fit into their "basically woman" box I feel like my gender is being erased as much as when people take one look at my appearance and go "woman". And if I fit into the implied "basically man" box I feel like my gender is being erased along with the non-negligible amount of sexism I experience, and I start wondering if I am Really The Bad Guy. Both of these feel really gross!

And all of this could be avoided with a single sentence like "This article only discusses the dynamic between men and women, the dynamics involving non binary people are more complex." But that would mean stepping down off the smug all knowing pedestal Everyday Feminism articles like to pontificate from, so.

Then there's the fact that "femme" (or "femme and not a woman") isn't a neat subset of non-binary anyway. Because my own gender presentation doesn't fit into a neat box like that I find it hard to fully understand what the word means. But I have seen femme people talk about specific crap they experience, there's definitely something going on there, it's just not as simple as "the more feminine your presentation the more sexism you experience". I would actually be interested to see an analysis of it, but I have never seen anyone try beyond this kind of useless search and replace on analysis of men vs women.
Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 12:33 am (UTC)
Hm. There's Julia Serano's work, which I think gets at some of the intersectional experiences of oppression of trans women. I'm not sure about what would most clearly address the specific experiences of self-identified femmes, or of genderqueer people who are *read* as femme or as feminine (those latter two not being the same).

I'm genderqueer. I (think I am) mostly presenting somewhere in the range of more-or-less-neutral-to-slightly-feminine as far as clothing and social 'presence' goes, but people read me much more female than I *feel* or *try* to be. I don't identify as butch or femme. I self-describe as cis female because that is less wrong in terms of what it implies about my life experience than any other terms I have. But because I do have a feminine-coded occupation, plus clothing tastes that, out of the realm of what fits me, overlap with clothing read as feminine, I will only very rarely and among other queerfolk be clocked as anything other than, gah, how to say, assumed-feminine-assumed-female.

Getting back to what you said about boxes...I'm *picking* clothes out of a different set of boxes, having to do with tolerable fabric material and drape, and texture and loose-at-key-points fit, and unsaturated solid colors or simple geometric patterns, and unfashionable things like that...so I end up with a lot of pinstriped collared shirts *and* a lot of long loose skirts, but people are mentally *filing* the clothes I wear according to prevalent social categories, and therefore doing it Wrong. Also, part of existence as an Aspie for me is that I can't tell very well how people read me from moment to moment, although I do get a sort of general impression over time; but if two people read the same clothing on me differently in a casual but not super-relaxed social situation, I probably wouldn't know it unless I had a conversation with them about it.

(PS: I just used so many related non-identical terms that I've sure I've implied something dreadful I didn't mean to say; if you notice what it is, please let me know so I can clarify.)

Thank you for this post; I found it thought-provoking.
Sunday, February 26th, 2017 05:52 pm (UTC)
You're welcome.