FACEBOOK GENDER TOGGLER

o-FACEBOOK-570Editorial by Barbara Cornell.

Syndicated from Barbara Cornell’s personal blog.

It used to be very important to me that people understand me. I was, like every other youth in America,

Mizundaztood.

The thing that was vitally important for everyone to understand was that I was smart. It didn’t matter whatever else you understood as long as you knew I was smart. It didn’t even matter to me if you understood I was arrogant and condescending about my intelligence, so long as you knew I had a lot of it.

In college, people would see me and say, «There’s the girl who sets all the curves in all the classes!» just trying to be nice. And I would correct them, and make sure they understood that my scores were always eliminated, and the curve was always set on the second highest score. Because you needed to know how smart I was.

I studied engineering but … well, there were a lot of forks in the road and I ended up getting an accounting degree, which I mostly considered beneath me because I was smarter than all the others in those classes. I had a favorite story I liked to tell about how I refused to buy a $300 calculator for a business math class, choosing instead to solve all the annuity problems using actual math and the professor had to take my exams to the math department to have them graded. I had a copy of the most recent IQ test I’d taken, proving my IQ was way off the charts.

I began my career as an accountant only to find out that I would face life being called a secretary, because I was female, and I wasn’t a nurse or a school teacher, so therefor I must be a secretary. This pissed me off beyond measure. I was not a secretary. I was smarter than that. (I’ve since figured out that, if you get out of bed and make a significant contribution to your own survival every day by performing some honest labor, then you deserve some respect. It’s astounding how your 30’s pummel the hubris of your youth out of you.) I gave out my business card to anyone who would stand still long enough to have it foisted on them so that they could see I was a 20-something CFO.

In the years since, I’ve figured out that having the general population understand me is way overrated. If my few, close friends and the people who pay me understand the essentials, then that’s enough. Having the understanding of strangers isn’t really good for much of anything. Can’t eat it, can’t live in it, can’t trade it for new movies at Amazon.

I think we all understand, at some level, everyone else’s need to be understood for who they are, even if we can’t identify with the particulars.

FacebookMisunderstoodTake, for example, the transgender issue. I don’t actually understand it. I’m female. I’ve always been female. I exhibit some decidedly «masculine» characteristics (aggression, alpha-member domination tendencies, analytic approach, many others) but it’s never once occurred to me that I was anything other than female. Gender seems to me a pretty black/white, binary, minor kind of proposition, and knowing my gender has never once suggested to me that I should behave any way other than I do, but I understand there are others who believe differently about it, probably because they have different experiences. I get that. I don’t actually get the issue, but I get that it’s important to some that I understand it’s an issue for them.

What I do understand, though, is Facebook. I can’t recall the number of times I’ve read someone beating a drum loudly, demanding that Facebook recognize more than two genders and provide more options on the gender toggle button. (It’s about self-expression!)

Here’s what I know about Facebook: it’s a for profit sight, owned primarily by its staff and Mark Zuckerburg, whose sole purpose in life is to draw you to it so that the people who pay them for advertising space can sell you stuff.

Seems to me that demanding that Facebook understand your struggle for self expression is like storming into McDonald’s and demanding that they understand you are a corporate officer, not a secretary. They don’t care. They just want to know whether you want fries with that. Seems like if your family, close friends (and the people from whom you derive your living so far as it’s relevant to your rendering of services) understand that you don’t identify as either male or female that the rest of the world can just kiss your ass.

Seems to me that people take Facebook (and the «understanding» of the general public) way too seriously.

[socialpoll id=»6931″]

DON’T CALL ME DADDY

164482283Editorial by Barbara Proctor.

Syndicated from Barbara Proctor’s personal blog.

Many Christians (substitute «liberal», «conservative», «American», «Muslim», or whatever box you are close to and this whole rant will work just as well) are guilted into believing that by failing to toe the party line and check all the boxes on the policy card handed out by the neo-Christian-conservative political policy makers makes you somehow disloyal to God. It’s like those Facebook memes that say if you don’t share a picture of Jesus on a social website whose sole purpose is to figure out what you want so they can sell it to you, then you don’t love God. It’s rank manipulation. Don’t fall for it.

There are many issues on the ticket. Evolution, blind trust in «authority», gay marriage. But Jesus removed the priesthood from the mix. It is now only Him and The Spirit between you and God. You don’t have to call anybody else «Daddy.»

It’s ok to say that lesbians being married doesn’t hurt you, and it doesn’t threaten your Christianity.

Take a minute to look at the two women featured in this article from The Ticket, then explain to yourself (don’t explain to me, it’s not my business) how letting them have a piece of paper from the courthouse just like you have makes your life any less meaningful, your marriage less valuable, your devotion to God any less real or makes this country any less strong. If you still believe it, then vote your heart. (My heart says, «View with horror and disgust any piece of legislation that attempts to control through mob rule the personal details of individual lives.») But I’m skeptical you can honestly say God wants you to be wrapped around a pole about this.

It’s ok to make up your own mind. There will always be people who will build a box for you to live in so that you will be just like them; I assume it’s so they can feel validated in their opinions. Doesn’t mean you have to get in it.

There will always be people who build a box for you so that you will be exactly like all other people they’ve decided you must be indistinguishable from and demand that you conform to it. I assume it’s so they can feel validated in their distrust for people who aren’t like them.

Still doesn’t mean you have to get in it.