Frequently, when people set up surveys, they ask for gender. This question is often included out of habit, but it still is often a relevant question, even if the only contribution of the question is to show that gender doesn’t have a significant influence on other responses. In modern efforts to be more friendly to gender minorities, the gender question is often updated. And it’s often updated in silly ways.
Here’s the two most common “inclusive” ways I have seen the gender question presented over the last few years:
a) What is your gender?
* Prefer not to say
b) What is your gender?
There are minor language variations, such as sometimes using “transgendered” instead of “transgender”, but this is the gist. So, what’s wrong with these? Continue reading
This is a brief list of resources addressing the question of if trans women have a physical advantage over cis women in sports. (Spoiler: no.) Exclusion of trans women from women’s sports due to supposed physical advantage is often considered scientifically valid and therefore not transphobic. These links demonstrate the lack of scientific evidence that trans women have a physical advantage over cis women, and explore the history of developing policies of both trans exclusion and inclusion in sports. These are intended to meet the needs of people who are potentially open to this type of proof for trans inclusion, or at least who claim to be interested in science, but lack the interest, resources, time, and/or energy to seek out and interpret information which challenges familiar ciscentric standards. Allies, take this stuff to your cis friends!
Third person pronouns are words we use to refer to someone who isn’t you or me (such as “he” or “hers” or “them”). In English, third person pronouns are a remnant of the grammatical gender of Old English. Many modern languages use grammatical gender in ways that impact pronouns, and many other modern languages don’t use gendered pronouns at all. This post is about English pronoun usage only and may or may not apply to other languages.
Generally, third person pronouns are now used to indicate someone’s gender, and it’s common to think that we can tell someone’s gender — and therefore their pronoun — just by looking at them. This is based on assumptions that there are “correct” ways to look like a man or like a woman or even like a non-binary-gendered person. However, many people who use “he” or “she” as pronouns may not fit other people’s expectations of what a man or a woman looks like, many nonbinary people may look binary, and there are almost definitely many pronouns you haven’t heard of. Continue reading
A friend remembered that I had issues with the Gender Gumby (PDF link), a teaching tool that SMYRC‘s Bridge 13 community education program has been using for some 10 years, since well before the Q Center even existed. The Gumby is good for people who have never questioned these things before, but for the rest of us it can be alienating, boring, etc (this video is a great demonstration). This friend asked if I knew anything better, and I realized I still haven’t seen an improvement I liked, so I made this Gender Pokey (PDF link).