The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Re: Worse Than Nothing: A Critique of Gender in Japanese FFV

by PartridgeSenpai Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:51 am

pierrot wrote:I fundamentally disagree with this determination of gender, though. It insinuates to me that people don't have any sort of agency when it comes to their own gender, or that because people view one as a particular gender, that is his gender. It insinuates to me that I would have been female as a kid because I was told by girls that I seemed like one of them. It seems to suggest that other people get to decide someone's gender based on interpretations of how that person acts. Am I misinterpreting what you're saying at all?

I'm also not trying to suggest that it's not a good topic for discussion, or trying to shut down conversation. My contention is really that I think it would most matter what Faris feels his gender is.

Thank you for bringing this up, because it's definitely something I've spoken about too vaguely here and should clarify my stance on.

I believe in gender as taking two forms in the world we live in right now: conceptually (via the self) and functionally (via society). They aren't two completely mutually exclusive things, but for the most part they are. Conceptual gender is the form that I personally subscribe to as the idealized version. It's what you say in the 2nd paragraph here, that someone's own determination of their gender is the final and only word on their gender, and it's what should be respected. In an ideal world, this is the only form that exists (which also kinda abolishes gender as a concept, ironically enough, as it would mean that there is no societal element to binary gender expression at all and therefore nothing to actually base one's own expression on, but that's another conversation).

The functional aspect is what I meant earlier when I said gender is all presentation. It's how your outward presentation allows other people to read you, and how they therefore will interpret your gender. It's something trans people struggle with every day and is the source of constant misgendering. It's why so many trans people focus so hard on "passing" for their desired gender. Finding that gender euphoria and the total acceptance of yourself from entirely within yourself, damned what society thinks, is very very difficult and something very few people can do. Given that we don't live in a world where asking for someone's pronouns just like you'd ask for their name is a normalized thing, people virtually don't have any agency over their gender outside of how they present to the outside world. If everyone is telling you you're a girl; commenting on your hips/boobs, using she/her/hers pronouns, assuming all you do is traditionally feminine hobbies; it makes it really fucking hard to feel like a man. It makes gender dysphoria rampage like crazy and makes it really hard to keep going out there every day to just be told that no, you and the way you see yourself don't matter. While the functional/societal form of gender really sucks 99% of the time, it's unfortunately a fact of life for just about every trans person at some point in their lives, and it's a struggle I saw mirrored really clearly in how Faris has to put up with people through their journey.
I identify everyone via avatar, so if you change your avatar, I genuinely might completely forget who you are. -- Me
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