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"did you just assume my gender" jokes

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by astriferous, May 19, 2017.

  1. astriferous

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    Idk about older people but as a high schooler I hear these jokes often, by both friends and people I don't really like, and I was wondering if anyone else was bothered by them? I feel like I'm being ridiculous sometimes because my friends keep making the jokes and don't really care that I don't like them. Like I said in another post on here, these jokes just keep reminding me how the majority of the people around me think nonbinary people, and therefore I, don't exist; don't think my experience is real, etc. (and this is applicable for not believing in binary trans people too). It just seems like a transphobic joke. But a fellow nonbinary person I'm friends with is ok with the joke and I just feel bad cause I can't help being bothered by these jokes?

    Is anyone else bothered by it?
     
  2. Quantumreality

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    Hey astriferous,

    As a much 'older' guy who is more understanding and sympathetic to gender issues, even though I don't have any, I would like to say that you should perhaps take a step back and consider that you might be whining for what you want instead of 'what is' right now.

    Back in the day that I grew up, even those of us who are other-than-heterosexual faced overwhelming discrimination by the majority of our peers.

    I certainly don't disagree with you that general, public acceptance of non-binary people is far overdue. And I believe that it will come with time. Being mad about it and potentially being an activist to push that understanding is for your current generation. Don't be sad about it, but be mad enough about it that you and your peers will continue to push and support simple recognition.
     
  3. Rickystarr

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    The only issue I have with this joke is that I have tried to make somewhat similar arguments and found that I couldn't because it now sounds like a joke. For an example, my boss has told people I work with to call customers sir or ma'am over the drive thru speaker to sound more polite. I tried to argue that is not actually polite because maybe 10% of the time you are going to be getting their genders incorrect and offending a lot of people, and by that I didn't just mean nonbinary or trans people but anyone with a "unique" voice. And he thought I was joking (this was before I was out as trans at work) But I was definitely serious. I had to deal with being misgendered for years because of my voice and it (along with other issues) made me borderline suicidal. And I happen to notice a few customers with voices that clearly don't match their gender/gender identity so I don't think it is necessary or polite to refer to every customer as sir/ma'am over the drive thru speaker because I do indeed think it is kind of rude to "assume gender".
     
    #3 Rickystarr, May 19, 2017
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  4. BostonStranger

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    It does bother me a little. It might not be outright transphobia, but it does make misgendering a joke and transphobia less of a serious issue.

    I actually came out to some of my friends as genderfluid because they were joking about there being only two genders and non-binary people being mentally ill. Not because they actually believed it, but just to be controversial. So then I came out in a bout of anger and they all apologised. They're super accepting and supportive now.
     
  5. LunarLyric

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    I agree. I didn't realize just how much there is that people do everyday w/o thinking might be hurtful to anybody who is trans or on the nonbinary spectrum until i started questioning my own gender. I work part time too, but at work i rarely actually use "ma'am" and "sir" even if i'm a cashier. I wasn't raised with an emphasis on manners and being polite (save the use of please and thank you) so for me it just doesn't come naturally. I literally only say "ma'am" and "sir" if something has me scared of them. Like if they're mad about something i messed up on or if they remind me of my mom. Other than that i get away with it by just making sure to phrase everything as politely and considerately as possible.
     
  6. Lazuri

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    It's just a joke. I don't really care.
     
  7. DoriaN

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    ^

    The joke just stems from people getting too carried away with gender stuff to the point of ridicule, the joke itself is not meant to be malicious but just points out the silliness of the situation.
    I've said it myself on occasion but not with gender as the topic, since that's kind of overdone now. Got to be fresh with the memes my mans.
     
  8. AaronV

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    I'm not necessarily offended by these jokes, I just don't find them funny. They belong into the same category as "triggered" and "i identify as an attack helicopter". They were at best mediocre at the start and have since then become downright boring and seem to be only used by teenagers who try to be edgy.
     
  9. Spot

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    They can be a little funny, to be honest. Most of the time they're just boring like AaronV said but I have laughed here and there...
     
  10. Kira

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    Pretty much.
    Though, If I started with some jokes that might bother a majority rather than a minority it'd often be taken seriously. Like if I started making "Republican Jesus"/Kim Davis jokes down here in the south, they'd want my head.

    It's kind of odd at times, how a majority can feel so much more vulnerablele?
     
  11. Athexant

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    It's just a mediocre joke at best, doesn't really bother me all that much. What really bothers me though is sometimes, my brother uses these jokes to lead into topics such as: "there are only two genders, and the rest are made up by mentally-ill people." He doesn't know I identify as genderqueer, and I'm sure he wouldn't be very supportive if I did.

    Ah, I seem to have gotten a little off-topic. But my opinion has always been that when you give a joke power over you, you give the comedian more ammunition at their disposal.
     
  12. Zoneingout

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    I don't have a problem with it it might not be the nicest thing on Earth but there's a lot worse that a person can say. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure the reason why a lot of people are making this into a joke is because there are a lot of people who take things way too seriously and get offended at the most simplest thing it might not be the greatest way to go about something and is mean is it sometime sounds doesnt make it so. A lot of people are not assuming gender they are actually extremely aware of it. And I don't think people are letting up people just keep getting offended and over-sensitive might be valid reasons for others it might not but either way I can see where this is coming from right or wrong. Don't get me mixed up with being a complete jerk I'm not but I'm going to say what I see and I've always been taught never to take sides because there's always two sides to a story and I think this is one of those situations when it comes to the joke. but I can tell you this don't take it to heart just because there is a joke out there that might not be the greatest framed you can't always stop with someone is going to period so sometimes the best option is for you to learn how to cope with it or walk away.
     
  13. Cailan

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    My view on this is that the absolute majority of people, gender is what they appear to be. It's not worth it to change the entire system of our culture's titles and propriety.

    We use gendered language because, for the vast majority, it FITS. To remove those niceties from the cis population would be to provide them with the same dysphoria. It does no good to discomfort the majority for the comfort of the few.

    It's not different from deaf or blind people. It's not reasonable to ask the whole culture to drop written language in favor of braille, nor to drop spoken language to speak only in sign language. It simply doesn't fit the vast majority and makes no sense. It hurts more people than it helps.

    That doesn't mean it's okay to make fun of someone who doesn't fit the majority or to be intentionally rude or unthinking There should be awareness and kindness and if in doubt, ask.

    Like people in wheelchairs. They are not abused or made fun of they way they once were, because our society decided to be as inclusive as possible, WITHOUT putting everyone in wheelchairs. We added ramps at corners. But didn't eliminate all curbs. We added elevators, but still have stairs.
     
  14. Daydreamer1

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    I wouldn't say I'm offended, just annoyed. Five year old edgelord culture is more grating than the whiny, pissant side of tumblr (the side that will threaten the livelihood of your career just because you didn't know someone had a sketchy past or you said some sort of a slur once six years ago).
     
  15. AbsoluteNerd

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    Honestly, I'm just sick of it. Being in High School, I hear it very frequently. It is just stupid. It's an old, tired joke that was MAYBE funny the first two times. Find another source for your cheap laughs.
     
  16. Random Ross 1

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    Eh. For me it depends on who's saying it. If I know the person and know that they don't actually have anything against trans people, I'm fine with it.
     
  17. KipperTheDeer

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    Here's when I've had a problem with it:

    I've had LGBT friends make that joke from time to time. Mostly just to ridicule extremely volatile / overly defensive people on the internet on the fact that they're being outlandish, not because of their actual gender or sexuality. This is fine, and sometimes, I even say this in a satirical way, almost as a coping mechanism. It's just poking fun at how people take themselves too seriously.

    Now, I've been around other non-LGBT people who will do 1 of two things
    1. They will either make this joke as a means to try to seem buddy-buddy with me and are trying too hard to act like they understand what I'm going through as a means to get closer to me passive aggressively, when in reality it's usually a response to me trying to passively hint at something that bothered me about my gender, and they're using the joke as a cover up for the fact that they just really can't relate to what I'm saying at all, which bothers me because it seems cheap and out of place.
    Or
    2. People who aren't LGBT who legitimately think all LGBT people are way in over their heads and take everything far too seriously, and legitimately think our problems are made up and outlandish by nature, and so they're just making fun of us, which I do not find okay.

    Specifically, I used to know someone personally who was not LGBT and was all fine with binary trans people existing, but thought nonbinary people were delusional and would frequently use this joke whenever they read anything about nonbinary gender as a way to try and passively announce "I don't think nonbinary people exist or deserve respect like real trans people because they're just transtrenders who want attention". Which is not okay.

    And then... I think there's just people who make the joke not out of transphobia, but simply because they're blind to those who actually use it for transphobic reasons and just think it's an internet meme. I just find this annoying, really.
     
    #17 KipperTheDeer, May 21, 2017
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  18. Isaacsolomon

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    It's odd. I've not heard these jokes myself, but I'm a bit older and back then trans issues and folks were mentioned publically even less. But I had a similar attitude to gay jokes. They started bothering me when I came out when I was around 17. And to be honest, the most offended I felt was remembering 'jokes' I'd heard in the past (because sadly for me in this case I have a good memory); ones like 'such-and-such a guy is gay, he'll blatantly rape you in your sleep'. This would pass as 'banter', and newly out me would remember it, cringe and be furious. Astriferous' non-binary friend is probably using the 'just ignore it' coping mechanism.

    ---------- Post added 22nd May 2017 at 01:49 PM ----------

    Oh, but now I say this I remember a guy on Twitter who's an alt-right hateful bastard (I hate-follow him for some reason) once made a meme with a joke like the ones you're all describing. He claims not to be homophobic, but transphobia's apparently fine. What a tool.
     
  19. skittlz

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    I find it distasteful and stupid, but I personally don't get offended. I was raised in a family that constantly gets pronouns wrong with everybody anyway (she, he, they, and it sounds exactly the same in Chinese, so it's really easy to get mixed up when speaking) so being misgendered wasn't that big of a deal. Also, my gender is widely accepted.
     
  20. Sienrar

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    I don't really get offended by any genre of jokes, even ones relevant to me. I myself make tons of gay jokes all the time.

    But it is true that a lot of transphobic folk will tell these jokes and use it to belittle trans people. The real issue with these jokes comes when they are used as a vessel for hate and ulterior motives. A normal person will make a joke, even an offensive one, just to be funny. The racist/homophobic/transphobic/sexist/whatever person will make an offensive joke to belittle others.