Also.Also.Also: You Don’t Know How Long I’ve Waited to Talk About Recliners and the Patriarchy

Good morning! The sun made its way into the sky today and here you are, processing words and feelings and drinking plenty of water. DAMN GOOD JOB. I did a full 40 minutes of yoga before breakfast because last week my therapist said, “take whatever amount of yoga you usually do and triple it,” and I came to win.


Queer as in F*ck You

+ The Photography Collective Putting Black Queer Lives First.

+ Soft Jaw by Francesca Ekwuyasi.

This person that I cared for, at the ugliest point of our interactions, reduced me to the stereotype of an angry Black woman by insisting that my expressions of hurt and confusion were expressions of rage. Rage would have been a justified response to their condescending tone. I should have been livid at the femme-phobia that showed itself in their disdain for the softness of my voice and my feminine mannerisms, which they dubbed as childish. If anything, I was merely unnerved. The anger came later.

+ What Happens If You’re Genderqueer But Your Native Language Is Gendered?

+ How My Nonna’s Love and Acceptance Helped Me Find Myself as a Trans Person.

+ Taking Up Space While Queer and Disabled.


Welcome to the Hellmouth

+ How the LGBT Movement Came Together to Fight Trump’s Trans Military Ban.

+ Donald Trump Is the First White President.

+ A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof.


Doll Parts

+ What Happened to the Women of Twin Peaks?

+ For Those With Endometriosis, Lack of Access to Surgical Option Compounds the Pain.

+ Talking to Munroe Bergdorf About Being Fired by L’Oreal and Why She Won’t Stop Fighting White Supremacy.


Keep Up

+ Equifax’s Instructions Are Confusing. Here’s What to Do Now. See also: Identity Theft, Credit Reports, and You.

+ Hurricanes Delay ICE’s Plan to Deport ‘Historic’ Number of Immigrants.

+ Hurricane Irma: Video and Images From Social Media.

+ Mexico Mourns After Quake: ‘We Have No Idea How We Are Going to Rebuild’.

+ Could Outdoor Tourism Keep Millennials in Appalachia?.


Saw This, Thought of You

+ Watch Muppets Sing ‘Rainbow Connection’ at Hollywood Bowl Concert.

+ The Most Interesting Bugs in the World.

+ I Downloaded an App and Suddenly I Was Part of the Cajun Navy.

+ The Rise of the Recliner as a Male Social Space. This is honestly my #1 favorite topic that I never get to talk about.

+ All About Eggs: The Connective Power of Global Food

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here. She's 37, has two kids, two dogs, one cat, one Megan, and some personal essays.

Laneia has written 872 articles for us.

21 Comments

  1. I am right there with you on patriarchal recliners. Also MAN CAVES. I want to visit every man cave on the planet and hang posters of Tori Amos on the walls. I’m not even a Tori Amos fan, but she seems like the right choice. Maybe k.d. lang.

  2. The article about gendered language was interesting – if a bit confusing since it doesn’t distinguish between gender (grammatical gender) and sex (semantic gender). That may seem nitpicky, but there are languages where “cow” for example has male gender and female sex. Which part are genderqueer people most likely to feel uncomfortable with? If it’s sex, then is that a linguistic feature or are they expressing a discomfort with the overall prevalence of the binary (Swedish, which is mentioned in the article, for example has no nouns with male nor female gender, but lots of words have a semantic, implied sex)? Not to in any way minimise anyone’s dysphoria, which is real and justified. It just seems like we’re looking at two different things (language and society) at once, and trying to draw conclusions about the impact of one aspect of one thing.

    Languages where grammatical gender aligns with the male-female gender binary are a pain in the ass. I love several of them, but they’re a pain in the ass. I’m forever looking for a good way to express love interests gender neutrally in French. And then there’s the whole international feminist perspective where, for example, the French feminist language movement is the exact opposite of Swedish feminist language movement, which just gives me a headache trying to decide whether it’s more sexist to erase women by lumping them with the men (hello, binary!) or to point out that someone is a woman.

    • To help separate the thought about Grammatical Gender from um gender gender, (I’m trans so I’m not going to say sex there) I like to point out there’s at least 1 language on earth where the genders are animate and inanimate.

      So beyond telling people gender doesn’t mean the same thing as trans, I have to point out that gender doesn’t mean the same thing as gender.

      • To be clear, when I use the word sex above, I am always using the definition I provided at the very beginning, aka sexus or Semantic gender. In English it unfortunately happens to be spelled like that other problematic gender word.

        I like the animate and inanimate genders. There’s a theory that European languages get their male/female grammatical gender from earlier animate and inanimate. Which makes me wonder which gender is the inanimate one. Then again, grammatical gender is all pretty much a matter of definition, isn’t it? I mean, when I learned Swedish it had four genders and now it has two. The language hasn’t actually changed, just how we talk about it.

      • I know where to find the color-coded maps of pronoun gender systems!!! If you search on the WALS feature of gender in pronouns, you’ll get here: http://wals.info/feature/44A#5/2.608/16.667

        Animate/inanimate are just one of any number of other noun class systems. I write conlangs and one of my interests is how gender is expressed in language, so I’ve spent a bunch of time reading grammars for natlangs to see how they do gender. Some of the noun class systems can get really complicated. http://wals.info/feature/30A#2/25.5/148.4

    • It seemed like they were talking about languages where words other than specific male-female identifiers (like “boy” and “girl”) also grammatically require a gender marker – so for nonbinary people, they have to misgender themselves because there’s no neutral option. Like in French, you can’t say “I’m a student” or “I’m tired/happy/etc.” without gendering words in the sentence.

  3. i’m not going to click on the twin peaks link yet bc i haven’t finished the new season but i did want to share that i started following sherilynn fenn, who i believe has since the show’s original taping been born again, on twitter and it has been quite the experience

  4. The topic of human pronoun-neutral languages is something that I did a lot of research on when building my constructed languages because the world-building system I made has 3+ human genders, depending on the society — so I’ve read a bunch of grammars and linguistics literature on pronoun/gender systems. (I use GNP for all genders in English-language stories about these worlds because the gender environment is different enough for me to want to avoid singling out characters who are neither men nor women.)

    The linguistics article in the roundup has me EXTREMELY EXCITED because until I saw this, the only thing I could find on the topic of genderqueer experiences in non-binary-human-pronoun languages was a Reddit thread with information from a native Turkish speaker (although I might have been looking for linguistic instead of colloquial terminology because I’m too nerdy for my own good sometimes ?). Thank you so much (and kudos to the writer of the piece).

    • I wonder if there’s necessarily any correlation between how gendered a language is and how that culture approaches gender. For example, Malay is not gendered at all (there isn’t even a he/she, just Person and Not Person) but strict gender roles are such a THING in Malaysia that even wearing pants as a woman became controversial at one point.

      • That would be an interesting hypothesis to test. As another example, many Indigenous American languages don’t have pronoun differentiation, either (and often not other gender constructions). I’ve been following a few language activists on Twitter for a while now because language diversity is something that I care about, so I’ve become a bit more familiar with those languages in the vaguest of ways. However, before those cultures came into contact with European missionaries, many also had other genders/other gender expressions. There are probably a few things at play here simultaneously.

        I think it would be a case of needing to go to primary historical sources and modern comments on pre-Contact gender, as missionaries in most Revealed Religions tended to enforce/police strict gender binaries in places they went using the force of the colonialist militaries. Of course, many of those sources are written by the conquerors in an area who don’t always have the clearest understanding of indigenous practices.

        I need to take a shower and go to work now, so apologies if those thoughts seem rushed. ^___^

  5. The gendered language article was fascinating. I’ve always been drawn to languages, and really find it useful to use bits of each to express myself. There are certain ideas that can’t be expressed in my native language (English).

    Language was so critical for me understanding my gender identity. It became my most powerful tool in understanding my emotions, and ultimately myself. Language learning and travel exposed me to people, books, and experiences I would have otherwise never known. The most provocative of these ideas for me was how gender worked in other cultures. It was only after my six years living in Japan and Sanskrit study at university that I sought out transgender related research.

    Language didn’t give me my gender identity – but it did help me have the tools to understand and express it. I still don’t claim to understand the whole gender thing. I’m hesitant to label myself, and don’t know if I ever will. Words like “trans” or “non-binary” are useful for others to understand me, but they still don’t feel quite right.

    I can relate with one respondent who was willing to accept binary pronouns because “they” was too difficult. When speaking about myself, I frequently use third person name, or “they”, but I occasionally use she. So I suppose either one is far better than “he”. It’s unfortunate that strong binary bias makes “they” so difficult for most people.

    Yay! I made a rant – sorry about that! I’m interested in starting Spanish lessons next month for work. I’ll add it to my language list of Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, and Pali/Sanskrit. I’m one of those people who plays many instruments poorly ^__^

    • I started learning Hindi this summer via Rosetta (it was my 30th b-day present from my mom) and it does have some gender features in non-pronoun grammatical components. I think Tamil would be interesting because apparently that language does have gender, but also some GNP that look like they’re used interestingly. (I admit that I learned that while reading a slightly older article about Tamil, so I don’t know if that feature is used in speech or not.)

      Also, as a writer, pronoun gender is really annoying to me because I have always found the transition from an unknown entity into a he or she pronoun really clunky in prose even if the person who becomes known would use he or she. I would really rather we did away with gender in 3rd personal pronouns in English and just inflect based on number and case because prose becomes neater. That could just be my queer bias, though. ^___^

  6. I clicked on the twin peaks link thinking the title leaned negative, like “what happened? why are the women characters so vacuous?” and was then very surprised by then positive reading. I definitely appreciated the inclusion of all the aged actors and characters, including laura palmer, but… I was disappointed with the lack of care with some of those characters, especially Lucy and Audrey, two of my all time faves. They were both hollowed out from their former selves, though in very different ways.

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