after being locked in a room with 20 books and being given thousands of dollars of grant money from institutions of high standing, i have discovered that old guys from centuries ago may have had some not very nice ideas about women

@Manurweibling
I loved how you used the phrase 'habits of perception', really cuts to the heart of how we assign gender to our experience.

when you look at it this way, you can step your foot into the shallow end of questioning the gendering of biology.

why is it hyperandrogenism when cis women develop a beard during puberty, but when I did that's "maleness"?

trick question! I propose an alternate view: either it's hyperandrogenism both times, or there is no intrinsic "correct" amount of testosterone for a woman to be exposed to during puberty, depending on how you *choose* to look at it.

and it IS a choice I make between those things, just as much as cissexist society *chooses* to interpret my excess testosterone, and associated secondary sex characteristics, as somehow a totally different matter from a cis women's display of the exact same traits. these distinctions are imposed on the facts we observe; they aren't facts in themselves.

the first trans man I ever knew developed PCOS in puberty; his endogenous testosterone levels, without HRT, were within cis men's "normal."

does that make him more, or less, "normal"?

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this exercise is also the kind of thing that can help you with intuitively understanding that there *is not a single factor that separates trans women and men from cis women and men,* aside from sex assignment at birth.

returning to height, for example:

trans women are not "taller than" cis women; there are, in fact, very tall cis women in this world. certainly I have met many cis women taller than me. and when you take this into account, what becomes strikingly clear is that *some women* are very tall; some of them are cis, some of them trans.

trans men are not "shorter than" cis men; there are, in fact, very short cis men in this world. I know enough trans men to rattle off trans men who are taller than cis men I know. *some men* are very short; some of them are cis, some of them trans.

*people* are short and tall, all on the same dimension. women and men are not clean, clearly-distinct populations, but overlapping across the spectrum.

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just try to notice people's characteristics differently, then notice *how you perceive people differently* as a result.

if you are having difficulty with taking the gender binary out of your perception — struggling with perceiving your nonbinary friends as women or men, on a level below your conscience, for instance — this is an exercise that can help.

you have the power and the right to reinterpret your world. this is a simple way to do it: observably, there is height. observably, there is length.

that much is indisputable, even obvious. that means it is a kind of leverage, stable footing from which you can shift your unexamined biases and habits of perception.

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I think it is a good idea to attempt not thinking this way.

try to measure women and men, both, against the backdrop of *all* human variation. adult humans can be very short and very tall, but more commonly in the middle. humans can be bald, or their hair can touch the floor. humans can be quite narrow or quite broad at different points of the body.

put some effort into this goal: mentally comparing women not only to other women, nor men only to other men, but instead compare individuals to people broadly. how tall are they, really? how long is their hair, really, in terms that don't rely on gender? what shape are they, really?

let's go further, even, into the dimensions most sacred to the gender distinction: what size are their breasts, not compared to other people of "the same gender," but in comparison to people broadly? because barring mastectomy, most everyone has breasts. it is our birthright as mammals.

but don't tell people what you observe about them. that's not the point.

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women's sizes and men's sizes for the same garment conspire to create the idea that women and men are incomparable in size, as if the differences in size between women were some totally different kind of thing from differences in size between men.

likewise, we talk as if what is "short hair" for women is "long hair" for men... as if we don't all have hair that can be measured the same way with the same tools. and a woman and a man can be the exact same height, yet the woman is "tall" while the man is "short."

what all this nonsense serves to shore up is *the idea that it is obvious to divide people into women and men;* that men and women are clearly and starkly different; that there can be no ambiguity, no grounds for direct comparison between women's and men's objective characteristics.

but there is a single metric, height, which can be used to measure people; there is a single metric, length, by which hair may be measured. everyone's circumferences submit to the measuring tape.

if you've ever had a thought, I oppose you. I am your enemy.

if the streams of praise don't start flowing like tears from Aino's mother I swear to god i will break my editor's ankles

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camellia back at it again with another brilliant personal essay

i fucking love how people spell my name as 'tea' sometimes, actually

@velexiraptor see, I got one of those but it's not 'on' in the sense that it can't be taken off

every samurai wielded a blade which was only to be drawn while he was sucking dick

*black and white photo of a white dude with glasses gazing upwards with a look of contemplation on his face*

is a woman not entitled to the sweat of her own simps?

Forming a council to address the most pressing issues affecting non binary people, cis and otherwise

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