Tag Archives: YouTube

The Gender Tag Project

28 Feb

I found this originally through on of my favorite YouTubers, Hannah Hart, and knew immediately I was going to do my own. Working with the age group I do, it has become one of my life missions to talk about issues of gender and equality. Start ’em young!!

The project is pretty cool and I recommend checking it out, but without further ado, The Gender Tag.

1. How do you self-identify your gender, and what does that definition mean to you?

I identify as female. I am fortunate to identify with my biological gender. That doesn’t mean, however, following the expectations and norms of that gender is always straightforward or freeing, sometimes it is suffocating.

2. What pronouns honor you?

I am a “she”/”her” kind of gal.

3. Describe the style of clothing that you most often wear.

It depends on the day, the mood, the energy level, etc. Mostly these days I would describe my style as lazy hipster co-ed. Lots on legging, lots of yoga pants, recently joggers, all paired with t-shirts, tank tops, and sweaters. My job affords me the privilege of comfort and I usually take full advantage.

4. Talk about your choices with body hair. How do you style your hair? Do you have facial hair? What do you choose to shave, or choose not to shave?

Currently my head hair is long and two-toned. I dye it because I don’t enjoy my natural shade of dirty blonde and for the last several years I have been growing it out. Recently ┬áthe urge to chop it all off has taken a strong hold.
As for the rest of my bodily tresses, I tend to tend to them once a week-ish unless a good reason arises. It used to be an upcoming hot date most often, but solidly in relationship mode, the absolute necessity of wearing shorts seems to be the only thing with enough motivation (and sometimes not even then).

5. Talk about cosmetics. Do you choose to wear makeup? Do you paint your nails? What types of soaps and perfumes do you use if any?

Makeup on occasion, really when I want to/need to/already feel “pretty.”
Nail painting rotates between often and rarely, I am currently in a rarely phase.
Soap and perfumes both I tend to go for “clean” or “floral” or “musky.” I don’t use perfume often, every once in a while a splash of body spray (usually some bottle that has been gifted to me), I rely on my deodorant for any extra enticing scent (my latest addiction is Old Spice Figi).

6. Have you experienced being misgendered? If so, how often?

Misgendered, no, at least that is no how I would describe it. Felt pressured or expected to act a certain way because of my gender, a big big yes. This seems to happen less as I have gotten older, certainly as I have become more open in being entirely who I am, but when I was younger the struggle was very real.

7. Do you experience dysphoria? How does that affect you?

Again, less as I have grown older. When I was a teenager, it was a constant struggle to stay positive about my life and where my path would lead me. These days, I am generally satisfied and although there are goals I would still like to accomplish and things I struggle to change, I have more faith in my own process. Of course, no one is perfect and I have dark days that seem to swallow every ounce of sunlight, but even in the middle of the tunnel, I know there is another side I am going to come out on.

8. Talk about children. Are you interested in having children? Would you want to carry a child if that were an option for you? Do you want to be the primary caretaker for any children you may have?

NO. Sorry that was blunt. I do not desire at this point in my life to have a child. The thought terrifies me on several levels, and in all honesty, although I believe that if I was committed to the process, I would be an excellent parent, I don’t ever see myself being committed enough. I am going to be honest, I am selfish. I don’t want to struggle financially just when I feel like I almost have my head wrapped around what stability would look like, I want to travel, I want to go out on weekends and not worry about a babysitter for little Susie (not what I would name it btw). I just want to be able to live my life and I can’t even keep a plant alive while doing that.

9. Talk about money. Is it important to you to provide for a family financially if you choose to have one? Is it important to you that you earn more than any partner you may have? Do you prefer to pay for things like dates? Are you uncomfortable when others pay for you or offer to pay for you?

My relationship with money is interesting (at least to me). I don’t have a lot of it, and really I view it more as a necessity than an objective or a means to happiness. However, because I don’t have a lot of it I am often stingy with it. On the other hand, I am also very prideful and glean a lot of self worth from being able to support myself and not only pay my own way, but sprinkle my friends with generosity too. On more than one occasion I have had enough in the bank to only cover myself, but because of some weird social obligation I sometimes feel, have paid for an entire bill. I hate being in debt, but struggle to get out of it once I am in it because I have a hard time turning down social outings through which I may gain in iota of acceptance.
Long story short, I don’t relate to money via my gender or obligation I feel because of it in a grand sense, but in a more communal way which I may or may not have learned because of my gender assignment.

10. Anything else you want to share about your experience with gender?

On the whole I think the story of me and gender is this: the older I get the easier it is to come to terms with expectations that may be placed on me due to my femininity. Despite some of the obstacles that have come with identifying as female, I am appreciative that I was born already comfortable in the skin I have (in a sense). That doesn’t mean I stop striving to understand the battles that others face or lend my voice when I can.

The Masses

7 Oct

I was going to post something else today, something more personally relevant about recent events in my life. However, this thought process seemed more communally relevant.

If any of you are huge internet nerds like myself you may be aware of the sexual abuse cacophony happening on YouTube. That community is up in arms around the actions of a handful of it’s members, and rightly so. There are some wonderful discussions around consent and a person’s right to not be put in a situation where their voice is not taken into account. It is a much needed discussion and I hope that it remains uplifting and useful.

What haunts my brain space today is the power of the communal mentality and how easy it is to be pulled into that righteous anger and act out without taking the time to make sure the people you are acting out against have truly committed the crimes we are hanging them for. Especially around such a not black-and-white issue, despite what many of us want to believe.

I am not saying consent is not every person’s right. What I am saying is that it is not always easily communicated. In a perfect world a discussion would be had by both parties, soberly, before engaging in any physical acts. How many of us have ever been in a situation that has not happened? I would venture all of us (who have engaged in those behaviors). I have probably been on both sides of the consent coin. The drunk girl at the party who sincerely regretted having slept with that person I only sort of wanted to touch me in the ways I let them, and that sexually audacious person who tried talking someone into bed with me (disclaimer: no I am not a predator).

While I could go on forever about that, again not what I want to address here. My focus is more around how we as a community react to injustice, or the perception of injustice. An event happens, it is legitimated, we get angry on the behalf of the victims and rise up to overthrow the perpetrator and stand against their actions. As the situation progresses, it is discovered the injustice was not committed by one individual, but several. Stories come of the woodwork, some true, some not, and the community’s rage grows and they begin lashing out at every name that is brought before them. It is called the mob mentality where we become part of something and continue to perpetuate the actions of the group without really analyzing if what we are supporting is truth or propaganda. It is in our nature, it is who we are as humans for many reasons.

My challenge is that if we are going to condemn someone, we do it with thoughtful intent and substantiation.

I only recently started to really look into where this YouTube uprising was coming from. I am not in a position to support or condemn any individual, but I will say there are some cases that are pretty clear and evidence based, where there are others that are less obvious. Specifically, and again I am not putting my feet on one side of the line or the other, I was watching this morning the most recent videos from Alex Day who I had for a long time been an avid admirer. He made a video in an effort to explain himself and formally say he, despite his many mistakes, did not see himself as the monster the community has made him into. I browsed the comments briefly and saw a lot of people saying he should never make videos again, remove himself from this medium that he had been such a participant in and basically disappear.

They want to take away his voice. To me, this seems, regardless of whether he is guilty or not, a harsh and unjust reaction. In my mind, everyone has a right to speak, to defend themselves, to be heard. Perhaps others may not want to listen, and that is their right as well, but they can shut their ears. It is not an individual’s right to take the voice of someone else simply because they don’t like what that person is saying.

I don’t know where my allegiances will fall when is all is said and done, but regardless of who I support and who I don’t, I will always look to my personal belief in basic human rights. I will look at others with the compassion and patience that I strive to have at the core of my own humanity. I will listen and observe and move forward based on my own understanding, not the passionate outrage of the masses.

I can only hope others can find it in themselves to do the same.