Only People Who Subscribe to Gender Ideology Can Misgender

August 14, 2016 at 8:41 AM (Uncategorized)

Since the vast majority of people are referring to the male sex when they use the terms he, him, and his and the female sex when they use the terms she, her, and hers, they do not misgender anyone with pronouns. Some of these people have called me he and him, but that’s because they thought I was male, not because they thought I had any particular gender identity. They sex and mis-sex people with pronouns, but they do not gender or misgender anyone with pronouns. Most people don’t even know what gender identity means, so they certainly aren’t ascribing any gender identity to anyone.

Only people who subscribe to the concepts of gender identity and gender-based pronouns (rather than sex-based pronouns) can misgender, and they can only really misgender people who share those ideas. They can’t exactly misgender people who don’t identify with gender, but they can misidentify and misunderstand them,and, as far as I know, only people who subscribe to the concept of gender identity have perpetrated this misidentification on me.

They say I have special womanly feelings that I don’t have. They seem to think I’m content to be treated like a woman, but I’m not. I have never heard or read a one of them describe the female gender identity in any terms other than femininity and sex-based stereotypes, so I’m sure that I don’t have a female gender identity. “Female gender identity” isn’t even a sensible term because sex and gender are mixed in the same phrase. How can anyone have a gender identity that is a sex?

Some told me that I “identify as a woman,” but when they “identify,” they just call themselves whatever they want, sometimes insistingor desperately desiring that other people go along with it. I don’t do that, so I must not identifyin the way they “identify.” I don’t even bother to correct people when they call me “he.” I don’t care anywhere near as much about pronouns as the people who subscribe to gender identityseem to care. My self-perception, my concept of womonhood, and my concept of genderare radically different from theirs, so their notions of “identify” do not apply to me.

I do, however, identify as a target of female oppression. Not just a victim, but a target: subject to intentional victimization and disadvantage, which differs from the misogyny some males experience when they are mistaken for female. But identifying as a target of female oppression can’t be a part of the concept of identifying as a woman as long as identifying as a woman is considered to apply to males, because males are not the targets of female oppression. So the concept of woman as a gender identity excludes an important part of my experience of being a womonand, again,doesn’t apply to me.

One person suggested that I might be agender. But considering myself agender wouldn’t make any sense unless I subscribed to the idea that some other people are the opposite of agender. Just as there can be no atheists without theists and no asexuals without sexuals, there can be no agender people without gendered people. Agender (and nonbinary, and genderqueer) is just another gender identity in the sense that both terms derive their meaning from a core belief in gendered human beings. A belief that I don’t hold.

I can certainly see that some people seem very interested and invested in gender, but I don’t have any reason to see gender as fundamental to who they are. I don’t have any reason to think of anyone as gendered or having a gender identity.Some may want me to do so, but I’m not obliged to adopt their ideology.I owe them nothing more than acknowledgment of their ideology. Gender is just another construct; gender identity is just another narrative. If they were useful to me as construct and narrative, I might use them and observe themfor others’ sake. But they aren’t useful, so I don’t use them.

Not only is the concept of gender identity not personally useful, it is based on patriarchal sex roles and used to dismiss and cover up the violent, coercive, and the misogynistic meaning, use, and origin of said sex roles aka gender roles. Subscribing to the concept would make me complicit in that dismissal and cover-up. Identifying with the ideology of female oppressors would be a form of self-harm. Even if I thought that identifying that way would benefit me, it would be egocentric to the point of misogyny to do so despite the implications for other females.

Since I don’t view people as having gender identities and never ascribe any sort of gender to anyone, I can’t possibly misgender anyone. To accuse me of misgendering is to project onto me an ideology that is misogynistic, ahistorical, and apolitical.

Regardless of how other people try to fit me into their gender ideology, I know that I do not identify with gender; therefore, I cannot have a gender identity. To misgender someone is to ascribe to that person a gender that differs from the person’s self-proclaimed gender. The misgenderer believes that people are gendered and the misgendered identifies with gender: they share a gender-based ideology. Since I have no gender, to ascribe a gender to me at all is to project a gender-based ideology onto me and misidentify me far more fundamentally than misgendering misidentifies anyone.

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