March 17th, 2003

flying monster 2

questions about terminology--um... monday morning 6?

1) have you ever heard anyone use the term "PC" in a way that wasn't about shutting down dialogue? how was it used, and how did it help foster continued dialogue?

2) are there labels that people should not be allowed to claim for themselves? what labels, and who shouldn't be allowed to claim them, and why?

3) how about applying an identity label to someone else without consulting them? when is that ok?

4) to what extent do you hold yourself responsible for (or expect others to be responsible for) using with others (or when referring to others) the identity labels that they use to refer to themselves?

5) do you have a rationale underlying any of this? for example, a belief that language should accurately reflect an underlying set of facts? or that language reflects and/or influences dynamics of social interactions?

6) how do you feel about people having political ideas/ideals underlying the labels they claim? i.e., someone saying, "i identify as X because i believe in the ideas Y and Z," rather than, "I identify as X because that is who i feel myself to be." how do you think that does or doesn't affect the usage and power of the label claimed? do you ever want to discount someone's identity because they are 'just doing it for political reasons'? do you think that's a valid reason to discount an identity?

now i am going to bed.

Further to a similar conversation....

Today I read something that struck me, and would like some of you wonderful people to discuss this point.

This quote is taken from: "The Phallus Palace: Female to Male Transexuals" by Dean Kotula

from a section in the book about surgeries.

"In a time of political correctness, I believe that we are too quick to defend someone's right to self-define. We all want to take people at face value, but when each person represents a part of a whole, a member of a particular population with whom they claim alliance, I think we need to look at whether their behaviours and motivations support their assertions. A transsexual may considers themselves "transgendered" as well, but a transgendered person cannot rightly claim to be transsexual ( I don't know why one would want to) without the desire for SRS [sex-reassignment-surgery]. FTMs are attempting to normalize their lives and are acting from an internal calling rather than responding to societal dictates. Theoretically, they may agree with feminist principals and object to rigid definitions of gender, but this is an entirely separate issue from their identification as men."

I have some "issues" with this statement, and would just *love* others to discuss this in this forum. :)

Cheers. :)