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An Informal Short Form for Non-Binary


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My fellow non-binary peeps, genderqueer folks, and others who don't feel they fit the conventional "man/woman" or "girl/boy" dichotomy, I have a question.

 

The other day I was with a friend of mine who I have recently come out to as non-binary/genderqueer. We were gossiping about something, and she wanted to use a very exaggerated "GIRLLLL" to refer to me. She self-corrected to "BOYYYY" and then had a funny little confused expression before she blurted out "Fabulous human?! Extraterrestrial???" At the time it was hilarious, but it got the both of us thinking. 

 

Is there a short form equivalent to "boy" or "girl" for non-binary people?

 

I know that "enby" has been suggested in the past, but some people dislike its cutesy undertones. Furthermore, it's two syllables, while "boy" and "girl" are very easy to draw out in an overly dramatic way because they are single-syllable words (like in "Oh my God, GIRLLL" or "Boyyyy, that was amazing!"). "Dude" is something some people use as gender-neutral (myself included), but it carries a slightly different connotation. Also, it is not universally viewed as gender-neutral. Is there anyone working on this someone here could point me to, or even some ideas from the crowd? Sometimes I want to be dramatic, and both I and my friends stumble over simple gendered words. (The same happens with words like "QUEEN" and "Princess," but those are perhaps separate, albeit related, issues.)

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technically the gender-neutral form of "boy" or "girl" is "kid" but I'm not sure that "kid" really fills the lexical gap you're looking at. I guess "Pal", "Buddy" or, "Friendo" could be used in a similar way, but you'll sound like a TV dad from the 1950's so pick your poison I guess.

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  • 1 month later...

I was going to suggest "Dude" because I initially skim read but then I realized you already mentioned it

 

Oh yeah, I recently found a good list of gender neutral terms (while researching stuff for d&d lol): http://genderqueeries.tumblr.com/titles
For boy/girl equivalent, it lists "Neut, Newt, Null, & Gul".  I suppose "Gul" sounds decent? I think it sounds like it would sound right for that use in a sentence.

Personally I don't see why people need to frequently use a form of address like that in conversation......but that's mostly because I'm very annoyed with my straight relatives' regular use of "girl" in various forms (though I'm not out about gender so don't feel I can correct them).

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Thank you for that term list @Magni! That's really helpful.

 

"Gul" sounds a bit too much like "girl" in some pronunciations for me but I like many of the alternatives. I especially like "Neut."

 

Re: "kid," I agree that its usage has changed in the modern day but I do think I've used "friendo" before! It's sufficiently informal, though it's still two syllables as opposed to one.

 

Not gonna lie, I would love to be called "punk" because if that isn't my approach to gender, I don't know what is! 

 

Thanks all for offering some things though. :)

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On 2/2/2019 at 9:07 AM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Punk.

People who culturally appropriated a hairstyle from the Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) also stole the word punk from the Anishinabe (Algonquin).  I'm guessing none of them realize that they are labeling themselves as a tiny, slightly annoying little bug known as a blackfly or gnat.  Remember that when you see one of them try to be intimidating.

Also:  don't some linguistic thieves abuse the word even further by using it to describe someone who was raped in prison?

Either way, I don't want to be called something like "punk."

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10 hours ago, 2 Spirit Cherokee Princess said:

People who culturally appropriated a hairstyle from the Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) also stole the word punk from the Anishinabe (Algonquin).  I'm guessing none of them realize that they are labeling themselves as a tiny, slightly annoying little bug known as a blackfly or gnat.  Remember that when you see one of them try to be intimidating.

Also:  don't some linguistic thieves abuse the word even further by using it to describe someone who was raped in prison?

Either way, I don't want to be called something like "punk."

EDIT: I have thought things over after being awake for more than 5 minutes and realized my response was pretty douchey. I'm sorry. But point is I've never heard about any of that stuff, my understanding was that the word "punk" comes from an old English word for prostitute. If you'd like to explain your concerns further feel free, but please don't be condescending to people who have genuinely never heard of such issues.

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo
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14 hours ago, 2 Spirit Cherokee Princess said:

People who culturally appropriated a hairstyle from the Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) also stole the word punk from the Anishinabe (Algonquin).  I'm guessing none of them realize that they are labeling themselves as a tiny, slightly annoying little bug known as a blackfly or gnat.  Remember that when you see one of them try to be intimidating.

So it comes from an Algonquian language, or from "spunk". Let's pretend we all just know the original meaning: "spunk" is a kind of touchwood. Yeah, that's not realistic...

15 hours ago, 2 Spirit Cherokee Princess said:

Also:  don't some linguistic thieves abuse the word even further by using it to describe someone who was raped in prison?

It's a male sex slave in prison slang.

Interestingly, Shakespeare used "puncke" as a term for a female sex worker. Also "Punke" is a local obsolete word in German for female sex worker.

Don't know what's with this p-u-n-k sound combination that does people make such strange connections....

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@DeltaV  I didn't know about those European words.  It makes more sense that the prison slang term comes from that.

@Jot-Aro Kujo  Sorry.  Was it the video clip that seemed condescending or something else?

British punk band The Ants were aware of the origin & ran with it.  Sometimes drumming in a tribal style, sometimes wearing stage makeup resembling "war paint."  There were also acknowledgements in various songs--most notably The Human Beings in which lead singer Adam Ant gives shout-outs to various tribes.  It seems they've actually educated their fellow Europeans, so it doesn't offend me.  8a53c2e27a72c026f11660eb11711f49.jpg

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33 minutes ago, 2 Spirit Cherokee Princess said:

 

@Jot-Aro Kujo  Sorry.  Was it the video clip that seemed condescending or something else?

 

Mostly the video. I'm the second generation of punk in my family and I make it a matter of principle to know my history and stay true to the philosophy (i.e. social justice), and I also try to stay aware of native issues- One of my close friends is a kanien'keha:ka punk, in fact. So to imply that these two parts of my values are at odds, and that I know nothing of my own history, with a cheeky video telling me I don't even know what the word means... I did not enjoy that.

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39 minutes ago, 2 Spirit Cherokee Princess said:

(Remembers punks being obnoxious, making fun of my ancestors, & trying to pick a fight for no reason.) 🤦‍♀️

There's some douchey punks out there, yeah, and I'm sorry you had to deal with that, but overall that's NOT what punk is about. As a queer, disabled, ethnic minority punk myself, those kinds of people disgust me.

The core tenant of punk is "sticking it to the man", or in more specific terms, standing up against societal oppression. Being punk means supporting the beaten down, standing up for those no one else will stand up for, and fighting for your rights. It's a movement that was started by young, oppressed members of the working class who were tired of being treated like garbage, and that's still what it's about today. People who try to use the punk movement to participate in bigotry ought to die, and we have a name for those people: Posers.

Someone who walks around in leather and chains acting like a douche will never, ever be as punk as people like volunteers at food banks, social justice community organizers, etc. Supporting native rights and the land back movement is punk, colonialism is not. Punk culture is about mutual aid and fighting for the rights of the oppressed. I'm sorry you had a bad run-in with posers, but they do NOT speak for me and my culture. 

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo
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Well, are you calling yourself punk while wearing certain fashions or listening to certain musical styles, without subscribing to a philosophy of social justice and mutual aid? Cause if not... Sounds like those guys don't actually know what poser means. Probably they're the posers. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would stop posting condescending memes while I'm trying to explain to you something important to me.

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo
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No I've succumbed to the temptation to add my own off-topic stuff to this discussion ...

16 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Well, are you calling yourself punk while wearing certain fashions or listening to certain musical styles, without subscribing to a philosophy of social justice and mutual aid?

I don't deny that "subscribing to a philosophy of social justice and mutual aid" is a big part part. But some punks don't care about that and just have an angry, nihilistic, antisocial attitude. They're still mostly accepted by their fellow punks.

Now, let's say some well-meaning celebrity is very into social justice and donates a lot of her income to good causes. Calls herself a punk, wears a $400 Urban Outfitters punk jacket and listens to NOFX. Well yeah, she's going to be widely judged as a poser by punks.

Counter-culture is very important for punk. And DIY. And being anti-corporate. $400 Urban Outfitters punk jacket is the opposite of that.

Punks (over-generalization for conciseness) hold conformism in contempt. The conformist is thought to be part of The System, even if he's oppressed by it. Punks are suspicious of conformists or even think they're enemies..

Punks do not approve small incremental improvements. But like big disruption of The System. And not in the satyagraha way like Hippies, but more confrontational and aggressive. Sure, I regard certain property damage as basically harmless like subversive "vandalism" of billboards and don't care. But then ... is disregarding basic common sense really sticking it to The Man? If you squat in a building not fit for it at all and use a camp stove there, it's dangerous. Not just for you but also neighbors.

On 12/30/2020 at 5:38 AM, 2 Spirit Cherokee Princess said:

British punk band The Ants were aware of the origin & ran with it.  Sometimes drumming in a tribal style, sometimes wearing stage makeup resembling "war paint."  There were also acknowledgements in various songs--most notably The Human Beings in which lead singer Adam Ant gives shout-outs to various tribes.  It seems they've actually educated their fellow Europeans, so it doesn't offend me. 

For cultural appropriation, you need to believe that cultural property is a valid type of property. But cultural property is similar to intellectual property: it's about abstract entities (a word, a type of haircut). Abstract entities are fundamentally not scarce (contrary to movable goods or land). That makes "owning" them controversial. Maybe I'm wrong but I can't imagine some hardcore anarcho punk respecting such a type of property.

Edited by DeltaV
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What the hell punks have you been talking to that don’t like small incremental improvements? I mean yeah, we’d all like to pull out the guillotines and get this shit over and done with, but in the meantime... Anything’s better than nothing, yknow? We have to celebrate the small victories if we’re going to survive with some semblance of mental health remaining. 

That being said, on the other topic, cultural appropriation is absolutely a real issue and it’s absolutely something any halfway decent punk should be against. Yeah, there are still some who do it and that’s fucked up, but I hate those guys and so do all the punks I hang out with. Cultural appropriation is not cool. 

Edited by Jot-Aro Kujo
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