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opposition to the term non-binary

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I find the use of Non-Binary to come off as antagonistic and discriminatory rather than as compromising and universal. 

 

The term is antogonistic because it is directly a response to the concept of "the gender binary", and whether it is intended or not by using the term "non-binary" the resulting implication is nonetheless a political one. Additionally here, conceptualizing a group of people and/or their beliefs as "the gender binary" comes off as paranoid and bigoted. 

 

additionally, "non-binary" it is intended as a catch-all for many people and identities who do not fall under either only male or only female, however it inaccurately describes a large percentage of such people since many trans people are in fact transitioning from one of these "binary" categories to the other, and as such, are not "non-binary". 

 

and lastly, if you consider the preexisting usage of binary when referring to things such as a binary star system, which is composed of both of two stars, or binary compounds such as H2O which are composed of two elements in various arrangements, then you suddenly realize that using the term "non-binary" to mean "not binary" is not applicable for many people who do not identify as Cis but might, for example, consider themselves demi-girl, or dual-gendered, since they are still using only two base "gender elements" to compose their "gender compound" (to speak metaphorically). This both aggravates the feelings of segregation for anyone who wants to use a catch-all term, and also supports the assumption that the "non" part of "non-binary" is meant only as a direct attack against "the gender binary". 

 

because of these factors, I refuse to refer to myself or consider myself non-binary. I find the term to be a political and egotistical term, instead of a personal and private term. 

 

(edited for clarification)

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Since when has non binary been used to refer to anyone who isn't a cis male or cis female?

 

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@simowl

 

 

uh, I guess I mispoke actually, sorry. I will edit that sentence. not every non-cis role, but it is meant as an inclusive term to cover many identities. 

 

wikipedia specifically states it as  "Genderqueer (GQ), also termed non-binary, is a catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine‍—‌identities which are thus outside of the gender binary and cisnormativity."

 

but other sites don't make as broad of a statement, still they do state that it is intended to cover many identities. 

 

also, your statement as a standalone implies to me that you believe that that particular observation would debunk my entire point? that particular thing has nothing to do with why I oppose the term. I find the term to be discriminatory and political. 

 

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I'll admit that I used non-binary to explain the aspects of masculinity in my personality. It was sort of like a personal stepping stone for me. I don't refer to myself as non-binary anymore.

 

What you say does make sense, but I feel like people who refer to themselves as non-binary are using the word "binary" in the stict sense in that a person is either one or the other if they are of a binary gender. Are they using the word incorrectly? Maybe. The way you use the term "gender binary" definitely does still allow for people who don't fully identify as strictly male or female. Although, there is still the issue of neutrois and agender people who are neither male nor female in any sense, which kind of breaks down the gender binary even by your definition.

 

I personally prefer to see gender as something that is inherently not polictical. I understand the need for someone's gender to be political in order to get fundamental human rights. But that's because cis people in power have forced the person to be political about their gender. If trans people were treated like normal people, there would be no need to be political.

 

My gender is not a political statement, and there would be plenty of people who identify as non-binary who would feel the same way about their gender. If you don't like the term non-binary, don't use it for yourself. And if you don't want other people to use it, it'd be a good idea to suggest a replacement term.

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2 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

I find the use of Non-Binary to come off as antagonistic and discriminatory rather than as compromising and universal. 

 

The term is antogonistic because it is directly a response to the concept of "the gender binary", and whether it is intended or not by using the term "non-binary" the resulting implication is nonetheless a political one. Additionally here, conceptualizing a group of people and/or their beliefs as "the gender binary" comes off as paranoid and bigoted.

How does recognizing the existence of the binary male/female gender system that's been in place over the vast majority of Western society for millennia come off as "paranoid and bigoted"? That's not intended to be a rude question, I'm legitimately curious as to your view on this. From my perspective, at least, if one were to apply this sort of logic everywhere, "asexual" and "aromantic" would be loaded political terms as well because they both presuppose (correctly) the existence of people who experience sexual or romantic attraction (respectively) in order to then define the groups of people who don't. It's the same sort of logic--the only connection that nonbinary as an umbrella term has to the gender binary is that it presupposes the existence of the binary in order to give meaning to the fact that those who identify as nonbinary by definition don't identify as a single binary gender.

 

 

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additionally, "non-binary" it is intended as a catch-all for many people and identities who do not fall under either only male or only female, however it inaccurately describes a large percentage of such people since many trans people are in fact transitioning from one of these "binary" categories to the other, and as such, are not "non-binary".

 

Someone who's transitioning from one binary gender to the other falls under the binary gender they identify as and are transitioning to, and as such wouldn't be considered nonbinary in the first place. Nobody is saying that all trans people are in some way inherently nonbinary, because that's just simply not true. 

 

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 and lastly, if you consider the preexisting usage of binary when referring to things such as a binary star system, which is composed of both of two stars, or binary compounds such as H2O which are composed of two elements in various arrangements, then you suddenly realize that using the term "non-binary" to mean "not binary" is not applicable for many people who do not identify as Cis but might, for example, consider themselves demi-girl, or dual-gendered, since they are still using only two base "gender elements" to compose their "gender compound" (to speak metaphorically). This both aggravates the feelings of segregation for anyone who wants to use a catch-all term, and also supports the assumption that the "non" part of "non-binary" is meant only as a direct attack against "the gender binary".

It's not an attack, it's a description. It's not meant in the way of "having nothing to do with the binary whatsoever", unless the person who identifies as such chooses to use it in that way (in which case "genderqueer" or "maverique" would also be appropriate if the person chose to use those terms), it's "not strictly within the binary"--specifically, the societal conception of the binary that expects one to have one and only one gender. A demigirl or bigender person is just as nonbinary as an agender or maverique person--they all have in common that they don't identify entirely with one binary gender.

 

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because of these factors, I refuse to refer to myself or consider myself non-binary. I find the term to be a political and egotistical term, instead of a personal and private term.

Nobody is forcing you to use the term for yourself, but I can assure you from personal experience that there are many, many people for whom it's not only useful, but necessary to describe their relationship with their identity and the broader societal context in which it necessarily operates. Why do you find it "egotistical"? (Again, not trying to be rude here, I'm just legitimately curious as to why you think it is.)

 

(I would like to add, however, that when you're of a group that's so foreign to most people that it's hard for the majority of society to even believe you exist, sometimes you can't afford to keep your identity a personal, private matter--the language of politics is the language that the rest of the world uses, and if you're going to have the basic human rights that other people have to live as the gender they really are and not be discriminated against for it or told that it's legally/physically impossible, sometimes there's no way to avoid having to speak that language in order to make yourself heard and assert that you have a right to exist as you are. This is by no means an agreement that nonbinary is a political term, because I don't see it strictly as such, but even if it does have political overtones to some people, that's because we're forced to put ourselves in terms that others can understand, even if in doing so we're forced to highlight the differences that people refuse to recognize rather than the common ground of just trying to get by in the world that everyone on this planet shares.)

 

 

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I'm not a linguist so I don't dare select a synonym for the Q-word that has the best mixture of shades of meanings. I see that the term 'unconventional gender identity' is often used in papers in psychology (as an umbrella term for all genders that are neither totally male nor totally female), and to me, it sounds neutral enough - neither too condescending nor too polarizing. A vibe of nonconformism is felt in it, but it's rather peaceful independence than rebellion.

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I can only speak about my experiences, and I do not claim to speak for anyone else.


That having said, I find that any non-cishet identity is inherently a political identity, regardless of what we as non-cis people try to do to avoid being politicized. Why? Because our society has historically relied on the gender binary, which actively denies and destroys the existence of non-cis people.

 

Historically, the gender binary has been used to advance political power, namely for straight white men. Prior to colonization by Europeans, many different cultures around the world acknowledged more than two genders. The gender binary was a tool used by colonizers to destroy those cultures in order to maintain political control over their newly-colonized territory. And even beyond colonization, the gender binary functions as a political role by promoting traditional gender norms designed to keep men in a superior position over women. Women have historically been denied access to right to education, right to vote, right to divorce, right to own property, right to work, and right to contraception, because they are viewed as nothing more than vessels to nurture children, because they are viewed as nothing more than potential housewives who serve to please men. And of course, women are not the only ones who have politically suffered because of the gender binary. There are laws forcing intersex people literally have their genitals mutilated at birth because their sex isn't a penis or a vagina. And of course, there are laws that deny non-cishet people every right from access to jobs, to housing, to healthcare, to marriage. In addition to that, many non-cis people don't even have the option of getting their gender accurately represented on legal documents, or the simple right to use the restroom. There are laws that give psychologists the right to practise conversion therapy to make non-cis people cis. When the gender binary has been such a powerful influence on our public policy since the dawn of civilization, how can gender identity not be political?

 

By being openly non-cishet, we automatically make ourselves political target for social conservatives, whether we like it or not. Whether we like it or not, our existence itself is antagonistic. It's not just the non-binary identity that is politically antagonistic towards the gender binary. It's trans, it's drag, it's queer, it's ace, it's aro, it's everything LGBT+, it's everything that doesn't fit neatly into the socially rigid boxes of assumed straight men and women. 

 

And this shouldn't be the case. I wish we could exist without being treated like a political target. But right now, in the world we live in? Tough. So I think the objection that non-binary shouldn't be used because it is politically antagonistic, can be disregarded. 

  

In regards to your second point, that trans men and trans women in-transition are falsely considered non-binary--I personally have never heard non-binary used to describe a transitioning person who is 100% sure that they're a trans man or trans woman. I actually think it's transphobic to even claim that trans men and trans women in-transition are non-binary. Regardless of whatever stage a binary trans person is during transition, a binary trans person's identity as a man or woman is 100% valid--their body does not make them any less of a man or woman, any less deserving of respect and treatment as a man or a woman. Also--correct me if I'm wrong, but you're a trans woman, right? So the term non-binary shouldn't apply to you at all. However, I know there are some binary trans people who insist on being called their assigned gender pronouns "because they're not fully a man/woman until they physically transition," but that is a personal preference that shouldn't be applied to everyone. Most pre-transition/non-transition trans people I know would be devastated if you insisted on treating them as their assigned gender.

 

Finally, in response to your third point of how the non-binary identity "is not applicable for many people who do not identify as Cis but might, for example, consider themselves demi-girl, or dual-gendered, since they are still using only two base 'gender elements' to compose their 'gender compound'"--I believe non-binary, which means neither male nor female as defined by Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER)--perfectly describes demigender and dual-gender people. After all, demigender and dual-gender people are neither wholly male nor female. I personally support TSER's definition of non-binary over Wikipedia's, since Wikipedia can be edited by anybody and is generally geared towards giving people simple, superficial definitions.

 

tl;dr You do you.

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15 minutes ago, omitef said:

By being openly non-cishet, we automatically make ourselves political target for social conservatives, whether we like it or not. Whether we like it or not, our existence itself is antagonistic. It's not just the non-binary identity that is politically antagonistic towards the gender binary. It's trans, it's drag, it's queer, it's ace, it's aro, it's everything LGBT+, it's everything that doesn't fit neatly into the socially rigid boxes of assumed straight men and women. 

 

And this shouldn't be the case. I wish we could exist without being treated like a political target. But right now, in the world we live in? Tough. So I think the objection that non-binary shouldn't be used because it is politically antagonistic, can be disregarded.

 

I have two thoughts about this but I'll make it short since I'm derailing a bit.

 

Firstly, I agree that a lot of LGBT+ identities are politically charged by nature. Being a sexual minority and/or especially a gender minority is still seen as a radical standpoint to a lot of people and I also agree that it is extremely unfair. While some queer people embrace this political nature, others might prefer to keep their identity private and lowkey and it can be extremely frustrating for people who want to come out without it being a big deal (like on YouTube for example).

 

But I also think this varies with different identities. I personally don't think that aspec identities are particularly political in nature but I think this is mostly due to invisibility. Since the nature of aspec identities tends to be a somewhat disregard for sex and/or romance culture this may tie into it too.

 

I think you made some excellent points though and I'll leave it there so as not to derail.

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10 minutes ago, omitef said:

And of course, there are laws that deny non-cishet people every right from access to jobs, to housing, to healthcare, to marriage. In addition to that, many non-cis people don't even have the option of getting their gender accurately represented on legal documents, or the simple right to use the restroom. There are laws that give psychologists the right to practise conversion therapy to make non-cis people cis. When the gender binary has been such a powerful influence on our public policy since the dawn of civilization, how can gender identity not be political?

I think this really depends where you live. In Australia, it's much easier to not make your gender a political statement by being trans. The human rights commision here has done excellent work in the past 5 years to get LGBTI people the rights that they deserve. They still have a lot of work to do, but what they've done so far is great. The anti-discrimination laws protect people from direct and indirect discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (not including asexual though cause we all know that that doesn't exist >.>), gender identity and intersex status (there are laws for discrimination based on other things as well, but they aren't relevant here). And when it says gender identity, it really means gender identity, not just people who identify exclusively as male or female. You still have to get a doctor to say you're the gender you say you are which is not the best. Australia also has three legal genders, the third one (X) for people who do not identify as male or female. It was originally just for intersex people, but that's no longer the case since 2014.

 

21 minutes ago, omitef said:

I wish we could exist without being treated like a political target. But right now, in the world we live in? Tough. So I think the objection that non-binary shouldn't be used because it is politically antagonistic, can be disregarded.

I do to. It is tough. But to say that someone's gender is inherently a political statement is wrong. It's not identifying as non-binary that is the politcal statement, it's fighting for the recognition that gender isn't just male and female that's the political statement.

 

Omg it's so hard to say what I want to because I'm agreeing with you that cishet people have forced us to be political about this aspect of our identities. But I don't want this part of me to be political. I just don't understand why people can't just treat others like human beings. Everyone deserves to be treated as a human being (and I really do mean everyone).

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I'm not really sure what else to call myself... I'm not a woman... But I'm also not a political statement. I don't say this because I want to make a point. I say this because it's most descriptive of me. I'm not attacking men nor women. I'm not attacking the gender binary. The vast majority of people seem to fit within it. That's fine by me. It just doesn't seem to fit me.

 

It is a completely private term for me, I don't believe myself to be egotistical in that way. I'm sorry if I come across as such. I only use it because it's useful for me to describe how I feel. It's more accurate than saying that I'm a man or a woman at the moment. And a person is only ever non-binary if they say they are.

 

Also, it's not as if I go out into the streets with a big 'I'm non-binary!' sign. Zema is literally the only person irl that knows I am. I don't see how I could possibly be using it as a political statement if I never even mention it to anyone. Again, it's solely for my benefit.

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zemaddog said "I feel like people who refer to themselves as non-binary are using the word "binary" in the stict sense in that a person is either one or the other if they are of a binary gender."

 

This is also my assumption. but when I make this assumption, I then realize firstly, that nobody is "binary" in the strict sense. If you make a character in a story as masculine as possible, no one will identify with him, and his role will feel humorous, obviously fictional. If instead, you mix and match their masculinity and femininity, or have them question their masculinity? suddenly a whole ton of people identify and care about the character as if he is a real human. it's because he is realistic - humans typically do question what gender means for themselves, especially on the masculinity verses femininity scale.

then I realize, by the initial assumption, it is necessary that everyone is not strictly binary, and as such, the idea that "nonbinary" means not strictly male or female is actually non-conclusive, that if that is its meaning then everyone is nonbinary. because of this, changing the frame of reference to be, against-binary, makes more sense, that non-binary means against-binary-boxing. a political word. 

 

 

Dodecahedron stated about how trans people are not nonbinary. 

 

someone who is trans is neither a cismale person nor a cisfemale person. Maybe in the extreme understanding of what trans means, it is different from nonbinary, but when you think about what makes up a realitic human being, most trans people are indeed both trans and nonbinary. being neither cismale or cisfemale, is even fundamental to being trans, and it's a very small leap between someone who isn't cis and someone who we categorize as nonbinary.

please note that this is making the assumption that nonbinary is intended as zema suggested, that a transperson can and often does self-identify neither of the male nor female genders at some point during their self-exploration. 

 

 

a few people commented on the "Default" nature of being non-normative being political.

 

"default" is just not true. consider three ways of non-normativity being political.

first, there is, how political the subject itself is, by its nature. This is what it seems most comments are speaking of.

the second is, the political environment for the subject; the political charge of the culture - whether the subject is known throughout the population, whether there exists vocal opposition to the subject, and whether there is history of discourse regarding the subject. none of this is inherent (aka default) to the subject matter itself.

the third way is - and this is what I am opposing - is whether the discourse used, the name/label in this case - how political the words used are. And the word itself, non-binary, is, due to the history of our culture and discourse, very political. It directly speaks on the opposition of gender as a binary set of two boxes. 

 

but when we consider concept of a person who isn't really male or female as an individual - that concept itself, that concept, the idea, how is that political in anyway? being non-normative is not inherently political; liking birds instead of cats or dogs is non-normative but in no way is it political. What makes non-normative gender identities political is the environment we live in, not the default nature of experience. 

 

zemadogg said, " cishet people have forced us"

 

this is also part of the issue I am discussing. I try not to say cishet either. let's please not use slang terms to talk about a group of people as if they are an evil assimilating entity. regardless of how many rude individuals you encounter - taking that experience and slapping it onto an entire group of people, is ignorance, politics, aggression. I find that because of the discourse between gender-as-two-boxes and gender-outside-the-box, nonbinary heavily pays homage to the assumption that there is a group of evil people trying to assimilate. and so I oppose it. 

 


(edited for clarity)

 

 

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I @cute kitty Meow! Mewo! your problem is that it seems like you're assuming that masculinity and femininity equal male and female respectively. That's just wrong. Masculinity and femininity are social constructs. It's basically societies way of saying, "This is how we feel that people who identify as [gender] to act". What is masculine and what is feminine is dependent on the culture that you live in. Gender is part of a person. If you use a person's masculinity and femininity to have a gauge at their gender, you're basically saying that I'm a man. I do a whole bunch of things which society deems masculine, but that doesn't change the fact that I feel like I should have female.

 

Everyone knows that everyone has aspects of masculinity and femininity. To think otherwise is ridiculous. But the difference between someone who identifies as non-binary and someone who doesn't, is that the non-binary person doesn't feel exclusively male or female. For example, an agender person does not feel like any gender. They may feel dysphoric about the body they have. But chances are, if they were to transition to the other sex, it still wouldn't be right. 

 

37 minutes ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

someone who is trans is not either a cismale person or a cisfemale person. Maybe once the trans person has gone through all aspects of transitioning fully, then maybe you could convince me that they aren't nonbinary. but at some point in between their being born to their being fully integrated as they dream to be, at some point, and usually many years' worth of points, they were not really a male person or a female person. some kind of unconventional gender identity. most trans people, at some point in their life, feel frustrated and throw their hands up and say I don't care about gender anymore. in this moment, they could take the concept of the gender nonbinary and say, I feel like I belong here. 

If a person identifies as [gender] then they are that gender regardless of what stage of transition they're at or whether they choose to transition at all. Just because someone looks androgynous in the middle of transition, doesn't mean they identify as androgyne. A person's gender doens't change during transition. It's their body that changes to match their gender. Again, if you go by the logic presented here, you're basically saying I'm a man because I look like one.

 

37 minutes ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

zemadogg said, " cishet people have forced us"

 

this is also part of the issue I am discussing. I try not to say cishet either. let's all use slang terms to talk about a group of people as if they are an evil assimilating entity. regardless of how many rude individuals you encounter - taking that experience and slapping it onto an entire group of people, is ignorance, politics, aggression. 

This I can agree with. I do try to not say that term due to the negative connotation that people have given it. The thing is, it's easier that saying "straight cisgender people". I would like to stress that I don't think that being straight and cisgendered is an evil thing. Most of my IRL friends are straight and cisgendered, and they aren't bad people. The point I was trying to make is that policy makers most likely are straight and cisgendered, and make policies which are in their best interests. Which typically either ignores or outright discriminates against those who aren't straight and cisgendered.

 

I say it fairly often, but gender and sexcuality are only one part of everyone's personality. And that means everyone. Just because I'm lumping people together who share similar traits that I think they're all exactly the same, expecially in a group as large as straight and cisgendered people.

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2 minutes ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

don't project onto me. I'm not making that assumption. 

I'm sorry if it seems like I'm projecting onto you. But from the way you present your argument, that's really what it seems like. Maybe I should have worded that better.

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zemm says, "just because they look androgyne doesn't mean they identify as androgyne" 

 

no, I agree, I feel this is self-evident, those are two different things. I intend to be discussing a person's internal identity, their concept of themselves, the beliefs we hold about ourselves.

 

we are born thinking, "wah" and are at the basic form of self-aware. then someone goes "hello there [boy]" and so then we think "I am a [boy]" 

but at some point a trans person in order to conceive of themselfs as trans, needs to question gender in some way. whether that is asking, "am I really a [boy]" or asking "what is the point of gender at all" or something else, there is necessarily going to be a prolonged period of introspection that falls into the [nonbinary] realm of self-identity. 

 

even if during that period of being [nonbinary] a transperson goes around talking about their identity as a [woman], part of them is still identifiable as [nonbinary]

 

 

 

which brings me to another response to your post. that, labels, are, labels. identities, are, identities. humans, are not identities. humans are not labels. humans are humans. 

 

if one believes that a label is something humans are born with, that an identity is something we can't choose. I just don't know what to say - understanding that our fundamental experience that we identify with labels is not the same thing as the belief of identity, or the words that make up a label - this is a core idea to realize to be able to discuss why non-binary is a political term.

 

It is said that we can't choose who we are and partly this is true; there are aspects of our experience which are not changeable. But, a label is something that we do choose. we look at it and accept it and believe in its power as a word, we accept or reject a label as an appropriate way to describe our direct experiences. 

 

 

(edited this post for clarity)

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

that self-understanding is exactly one of the things considered a part of the grouping of identities we call nonbinary. 

 

even if a transperson goes around talking about their trans identity, identity as a [woman] etc, part of them is still identifiable as [nonbinary]

I agree with you on what you said before this in this post, but you're going to have to clarify these two statements as I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to get at here.

 

34 minutes ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

if you believe that a lable is something humans are born with, that an identity is something we can't choose. then you need to step away from this discussion because understanding what exactly experience is when compared to identity and labels is a critical frame of reference for this discussion. what we experience, the nature of our being and emotions, that is something we cannot choose. that is where being trans, nonbinary, gay, straight, any of that, stems from. but these labels we use to describe the experience. this is not the experience themselves. this is not who we are as an individual. this is not this thing that we must embrace as if it is our skin itself, and protect from predotors who wish to tear it for a meal. 

 

a label is something that we do choose. we look at it and accept it and believe in its power as a word. 

I never said we don't get to choose labels for ourselves. Maybe someone is being political about labelling themselves non-binary. Ok, but that doesn't change the fact that they probably identify as such because their experience is fundamentally different from people who identify as a man or woman. They could just go about their life without ever labelling themselves as such, but that doesn't change the fact that their is experience is different from people who identify with man or woman. You're right that labels simply describe experiences and aren't the experiences themselves. The labels we choose to describe ourselves are shaped by our experiences.

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I spoke about how we choose our labels because, generally speaking people seem to be very defensive (as in angered) when I try to discuss my thoughts regarding the word nonbinary, including so far on this thread. and when I try to imagine why someone is defensive over it and dismissive towards me, it only makes sense that they partly take the identity they've chosen but instead interpret the identity itself as if it's a core fundamental to their nature. I'm not questioning at all the core fundamental of their nature and experience, what I am questioning is specifically the word that is popular in describing that experience. the idea that a person's idintified experience is core and fundamental is a reasonable idea to hold, but to then transfer that "can't change" attitude to include the language used to describe one's experience is self-limiting, believing that a label is foolproof is a harmful belief to hold. 

(heh, I guess, I am projecting, xD)

 

 

 

the thing about why a transperson is at somepoint [nonbinary], is because trying to outcast all transpeople from the label nonbinary is actually quite ignorant of trans experiences. it's looking at the end result, or the core description of a "typical" trans experience, which is the idea of switching from one's birth sex to their self-identified gender. but, this is never a conclusive way to describe what it is like for a person who is trans; along the journey there are typically many points where the trans person is uncomfortable declaring any gender at all, doubtful of their experience, and overall feels a need to not even think of themselves as male or female because they just need to think about who they are as a person before anything else. Maybe some trans people don't get to the point where prolonged period of identifying by a label such as nonbinary, or one of the labels nonbinary covers such as agender or demigendered or androgynous or third-gender in some way. but most transpeople do for some period of time take on such a self-identity, even if they keep this quiet, in the closet. embrasing a label such as non-binary as a universal description would directly benefit the struggles of a transperson, just like it would directly benefit the struggles of a non-trans person who is neither male nor female. 

 

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22 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

everyone is not strictly binary, and as such, the idea that "nonbinary" means not strictly male or female is actually non-conclusive, that if that is its meaning then everyone is nonbinary. because of this, changing the frame of reference to be, against-binary, makes more sense, that non-binary means against-binary-boxing. a political word. 

You can have a gender binary without everyone being 100% masculine or feminine. In a binary system, gender identities would be things like "Male + some amount of feminine traits" or "Female + some amount of masculine traits". Those identities would still be binary due to starting from one of two different templates (Male or Female) and then adding modifiers. In contrast, (as far as I can tell as a cis person) a nonbinary identity would be instead thinking of yourself as "Person + some masculine traits and some feminine traits" rather than starting from a binary template.

Identifying as non-binary would mean being against binary categorization with respect to yourself specifically, but that doesn't mean being against other people having binary identities. Its like how being aromantic means not experiencing romantic attraction without necessarily meaning you don't think anyone else does or should.

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10 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

I spoke about how we choose our labels because, generally speaking people seem to be very defensive (as in angered) when I try to discuss my thoughts regarding the word nonbinary, including so far on this thread. and when I try to imagine why someone is defensive over it and dismissive towards me, it only makes sense that they partly take the identity they've chosen but instead interpret the identity itself as if it's a core fundamental to their nature. I'm not questioning at all the core fundamental of their nature and experience, what I am questioning is specifically the word that is popular in describing that experience. the idea that a person's idintified experience is core and fundamental is a reasonable idea to hold, but to then transfer that "can't change" attitude to include the language used to describe one's experience is self-limiting, believing that a label is foolproof is a harmful belief to hold. 

Ok, now we're getting somewhere. The way you originally worded yourself made it seem like you had issues both with the word and people who do not identify as exclusively male or female. There's nothing wrong with having issue with a word. Hell, I don't like the word neurotypical because it makes it seem like there's a normal way of thinking. It also lumps me in as someone who is normal. In what way am I normal? Anyway, unrelated mini-rant aside, I think I understand what you're getting at, even though I personally have no issue with the word. Although, I do want to make sure that it's just the word that you have issue with, and not the people who use it.

 

10 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

the thing about why a transperson is at somepoint [nonbinary], is because trying to outcast all transpeople from the label nonbinary is actually quite ignorant of trans experiences. it's looking at the end result, or the core description of a "typical" trans experience, which is the idea of switching from one's birth sex to their self-identified gender. but, this is never a conclusive way to describe what it is like for a person who is trans; along the journey there are typically many points where the trans person is uncomfortable declaring any gender at all, doubtful of their experience, and overall feels a need to not even think of themselves as male or female because they just need to think about who they are as a person before anything else. Maybe some trans people don't get to the point where prolonged period of identifying by a label such as nonbinary, or one of the labels nonbinary covers such as agender or demigendered or androgynous or third-gender in some way. but most transpeople do for some period of time take on such a self-identity, even if they keep this quiet, in the closet. embrasing a label such as non-binary as a universal description would directly benefit the struggles of a transperson, just like it would directly benefit the struggles of a non-trans person who is neither male nor female. 

Considering that this was my experience over the past few years, yeah I understand it (I'm not trying to sound rude. Please don't take it that way!). I can sort of see what you're trying to get at now.

 

11 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

generally speaking people seem to be very defensive (as in angered) when I try to discuss my thoughts regarding the word nonbinary

Defensive? Yes. Angered? No. I have an opinion which differs from yours, of course I'm going to be defensive of it in the beginning. That's the whole point of discussion: to defend your viewpoint and try to convince the other person/people that your opinion is better than theirs. That doesn't always happen though.

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that's something about me, that I never fundamentally understand about others, about how they appear to judge so harshly. I never ever ever judge a person as bad (or good) or mean or anything like that. I mean I assume that everyone is "good" tho it doesn't make sense to bother labelling people as good at all heh. I might make a call on what their personality traits are, to better understand and predict their behavior, but that's still something that I hold as an assumption rather than as fact, that I anticipate that people change over time, and my perception of them can always become more accurate to who they are.

Only ever, if I do "reject" something, it's always the actions. What was said or done, but that is so fundamentally not a person's self, actions are only their actions. I never understand why this is different for others, why others get so angry at a person and say "he's such an asshole" or something. I don't get that. If I ever say a person is an asshole, it is insincere, and feels bitter, I feel mean for speaking it, and speak it for the sake of empathetic expression with a person who is hurting. 

 

 

I have a very strong objection to the term nonbinary. if, it did factually mean, that genders that were seperate from masculinity and femininity (and neutrality) was present, then sure use nonbinary, but the thing is that people who only talk about their gender in relation to femininity and masculinity, or the lack or combination there of, call themselves nonbinary, which actually isn't true. Binary has two meanings, which means nonbinary means that neither meaning is present, and if a person is made up of two genders, that is the second meaning of binary.

And as such the word nonbinary as it is used in our culture, necessarily must mean opposition to a named enemy, AKA projection, ignorance, politics. I don't understand how other people don't feel uncomfortable with the word. The way that nonbinary is being popularized, it is synonymous with both genderqueer and also transgender. but people are misusing transgender to mean transsexual, which I understand, as to why it would spurn a need for a new word to replace transgender. but I don't understand why genderqueer wasn't embraced. there's another word that could be used too, but I can't remember it. and also, gender diverse would also work well. and, "gender diverse" wouldn't be a "label-word"; it's just a descriptive phrase that is traditional English. 

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2 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

I might make a call on what their personality traits are, to better understand and predict their behavior, but that's still something that I hold as an assumption rather than as fact, that I anticipate that people change over time, and my perception of them can always become more accurate to who they are.

Isn't it the case for all knowledge? Any fact is something that you could theoretically be mistaken on, and that could change in the future even if it is true. Nothing is completely, certain but some things are much more certain than others; so for the very certain things you treat them like facts until you have reason to believe they are not. In the same way that you can use reflected light to approximate the shape of your surroundings despite imperfect vision, you can use people's actions to approximate their future behavior despite imperfect knowledge of their intentions. As for why you would need to judge people, sometimes you need to decide who can or cannot be trusted with things like personal information, your money or your vote in an election.

 

2 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

people who only talk about their gender in relation to femininity and masculinity, or the lack or combination there of, call themselves nonbinary, which actually isn't true. Binary has two meanings, which means nonbinary means that neither meaning is present, and if a person is made up of two genders, that is the second meaning of binary.

Binary has two meanings, and those two meanings cannot both always be applied to every situation where one is applied. For example, a binary option means an option in which there are two possible choices, and third options consisting of both or neither would be binary in the "binary compound" sense but no longer be binary in the "binary option" sense. Yes it can be ambiguous in some cases which meaning of a word with multiple meanings is being used, but language is just messy like that.

 

2 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

And as such the word nonbinary as it is used in our culture, necessarily must mean opposition to a named enemy, AKA projection, ignorance, politics.

Is it not possible to say "I do not think in terms of this system" without saying "this system is WRONG and I oppose it"?

 

2 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

The way that nonbinary is being popularized, it is synonymous with both genderqueer and also transgender. but people are misusing transgender to mean transsexual, which I understand, as to why it would spurn a need for a new word to replace transgender. but I don't understand why genderqueer wasn't embraced.

I do agree that genderqueer might be a more clear way of describing it, though I am not convinced nonbinary is as bad as you say.

On transgender vs transsexual, from what I hear transgender is about gender identity while transsexual is about changing your physical sex, so a person might be transgender without having the financial/legal ability to become transsexual.

 

2 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

"gender diverse" wouldn't be a "label-word"; it's just a descriptive phrase that is traditional English. 

Any phrase used as a label is a label and gains the flaws and benefits of being a label, including gaining a meaning beyond the literal meaning of the phrase. That's how language works.

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I'm not saying it isn't a label, I'm saying it's not a label-word, IE, a created word that is created solely for the sake of being a name. it is the sort of thing that is an expression, and if it becomes popular as an expression, then it would become a label. it would be a label. but it's a label that is born naturally of how language is naturally. there are advantages to such labels, the main advantage being that people who first hear it hear it as natural language, and only once they start to understand the discussion do they notice that it is actually a label, and this allows for people to learn new concepts more easily. label-words inevitably come with abrassiveness to people new to the topic, where as natural-born labels tend to feel natural to new people. 

 

 

yes, i know language is messy, I am a huge advocate of bringing awareness to that. and, because language is messy, nonbinary has inherent issue in its ability to be accepted by new people. Because of the "SJW" political scene , nonbinary can be associated with activism.

if a person hears non binary and is already familiar with the idea that gender is a spectrum and accepts this, then they love the word nonbinary usually. which is why it is becoming popular, tragially...

because on the other hand, if a person first is introduced to the opposing side, where the actions some "SJW's" are taking is being ridiculed, a person new to gender diversity is first introduced to the concept of gender diversity due to a loaded label, nonbinary, heavily implying for them that gender diversity is an activistic movement, and encourage them to reject it. psychologically speaking, anyone unfortunate enough to enter the discussion from the opposing side, will find themselves encouraged to stay there and resist "wasting time" learning about it. 

 

specifically regarding your comment about the messiness of non when referring to a word with multiple meanings, yes language is messy. but there is a difference between looking at language and being accommodating for its confusing nature, and looking at language and championing it despite its confusing nature. I agree that trying to analyze what "non" is negating is difficult, however that difficulty can only be a defense against it, and not a defense for it. maybe we can try to overlook its messiness, but one should not just give up on language just because it is messy, and that is what it appears you are presenting, that we should just say "Whatever it's language lol" and I just don't agree with that approach on this particular topic. its messiness causes direct issues. 

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12 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

I have a very strong objection to the term nonbinary. if, it did factually mean, that genders that were seperate from masculinity and femininity (and neutrality) was present, then sure use nonbinary, but the thing is that people who only talk about their gender in relation to femininity and masculinity, or the lack or combination there of, call themselves nonbinary, which actually isn't true. Binary has two meanings, which means nonbinary means that neither meaning is present, and if a person is made up of two genders, that is the second meaning of binary. 

Again: gender identities that have nothing to do with masculinity or femininity exist. Maverique is only one example. Agender is another. (Before you argue that agender can't be considered a nonbinary identity because it's defined as the lack of masculinity or femininity--no, it's defined as the lack of any gender whatsoever.) The entire point of nonbinary identities isn't necessarily to completely reject masculinity and femininity as concepts, it's to reject the societal implementation of them that says you can be either exclusively male or female. It's very true that no real male or female person has 100% masculine or feminine traits, but the point is that even though they may have traits associated with both binary genders, they still identify with one and only one binary gender, because they perceive the predominance of that gender within themself to the degree that they incorporate other characteristics into variations on that gender identity rather than feeling the need to identify with other/multiple genders inside or outside of the traditional binary system.  Above all, this is a matter of personal choice--if the person using the term feels that the traditional gender binary system does not fit them in whatever way is significant to them, then they are entitled to have the right to use the term "nonbinary", and any other term they find to be a useful self-descriptor.
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And as such the word nonbinary as it is used in our culture, necessarily must mean opposition to a named enemy, AKA projection, ignorance, politics. I don't understand how other people don't feel uncomfortable with the word. The way that nonbinary is being popularized, it is synonymous with both genderqueer and also transgender. but people are misusing transgender to mean transsexual, which I understand, as to why it would spurn a need for a new word to replace transgender. but I don't understand why genderqueer wasn't embraced. there's another word that could be used too, but I can't remember it. and also, gender diverse would also work well. and, "gender diverse" wouldn't be a "label-word"; it's just a descriptive phrase that is traditional English. 

Again, it's by no means a common view that all transgender people are nonbinary, and as a matter of fact there's a significant proportion of people who identify as nonbinary but not necessarily transgender, for any number of reasons. I've always been under the impression that "genderqueer" is the more political term, because of the "queer" component that some people may not feel comfortable reclaiming--and if they're not comfortable with it, they shouldn't be forced to use it. I definitely don't see nonbinary as being inherently opposed to some sort of "named enemy"--it's just a word that literally, etymologically means "not inside the system of the gender binary". There's no presupposition that the gender binary is evil or something, there's just the simple, neutral statement that someone who uses that terminology does not identify with either binary gender. 

 

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@Dodecahedron314 I am not denying that genders that exist outside of male and female exist. I know that there are people who identify that way, and I am not discussing wether or not they are valid or exist, that has nothing to do with the purpose of this discussion. speaking of those genders might, of course, be relevant, but nothing regarding their validity is part of my discussion. 

 

and no, you are misunderstanding me about agender-spectrum genders. I am not saying that a lack of either maleness or femaleness has to be binary because it is in terms of maleness and femaleness, but rather, that because they lack all genders, this does not exclude it from a spectrum that is binary; if a nomenclature is based on two distict elements, the nomenclature can describe and include the lack of these two elements in its nomenclature, as such stating that lacking gender isn't binary isn't a meaningful statement at all. lacking gender doesn't care about any -nary. it isn't any -nary but any -nary system can include it validly. 

 

"The entire point of nonbinary identities isn't necessarily to completely reject masculinity and femininity as concepts, it's to reject the societal implementation of them that says you can be either exclusively male or female."

 

but, this is exactly what I am discussing, that by including a rejection of societal implementations of gender, the nonbinary label is a political label. and I oppose this because of two things - the first is that it is instigational, and I find that instigating someone who disagrees with you only makes them believe in their opposition stronger, and I wish to act towards mutual acceptance rather than mutual rejection. and the second is - that it becomes a dangerous and inherently controversial term, since people have a strong tendency to cling to labels as if a label is congruent in entirety to their validity as a human. and so for a person to cling to a political term, even unknowingly, they then catch themselves directly in the political twister and are hurting their self-acceptance. 

 

"Above all, this is a matter of personal choice"

yes, this is a personal choice. anyone who chooses to identify as nonbinary is a human acting like a normal human, and I love them. I do not oppose anyone's right to make this choice. As I said, I oppose the decision because I disagree with the championing of the word, and find it dangerous for multiple reasons. I discourage people from using the word "nonbinary" but I cannot force anyone of anything and do not wish to. This is a discussion not a vendetta. 

 

 

I agree that genderqueer has similar issues as nonbinary, however I feel that nonbinary is more inherently political, due to the nature of their grammatical structure. I do not know which of the two terms is, in consideration of their history, more political, however gender queer is a statment of a ideolistic stance - queer, while non binary is a denial (non) of a politically judged projection (binary). I wish there were a better term that was popular instead of genderqueer, nonbinary, or transgender. Currently I am considering using the phrase gender diverse, when discussing the community of people who use nontraditional gender labels. I prefer not to openly discuss people who identify with a gender outside of the male and female nomenclature, such as maveric and etc, because I do not know enough about those genders to discuss them directly, however I feel that the word nonbinary while - it could, truly represent these genders - in reality it is not used to specifically represent these genders, but instead anything that is not a gender that says "well I'm mostly [female] so that means I'm [female]" and this forces the word nonbinary to be both a political word and an inaccurate one.

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also, at this point, thank you for your replies. I do remain unsatisfied with the label "non-binary" as it is used, but I no longer feel angered by the term, yay. I wish there were a good word for me to encourage people to use instead, but as it stands the best action really is to go with the flow... 

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