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The Drama Around Pronouns & Gender Identity
I've been misgendered, why don't I care and why do they care so much?
I have never run into someone wanting me to use different pronouns for them based on their gender identity, rather than their biological sex. It’s quite a difficult situation to even get into, in person, because there are not many reasons to start talking about people using the third person while they’re still around you to hear you. I do understand there may be times when you might, like at a party.
As a work-at-home introvert in rural South Dakota, I don’t know any people who care and I don’t go to parties. I am sure people care a lot more online on social media platforms because the text stays and can be read by the person or people who care(s) at a later time.
But Why Do People Care?
Why does anyone care what another person refers to you as? I have been misgendered online a few times. It took years for me to actually connect that the misgendering that happened to me is sort of equivalent to the misgendering other people cared so deeply about. The reason I didn’t connect them was because it felt so insignificant to me when it happened. But, obviously, some people care deeply. Some 13-year-olds were charged with sexual harassment for misgendering someone. I believe the school dropped the investigation since then.
How could it be that other people could care so much? They cared enough to actually charge someone for sexual harassment, which would never enter my mind. Someone decided they were the “victim” of sexual harassment because they felt they were misgendered by a “persecutor.” And, one man’s savior is another man’s persecutor. The children who were charged may have felt persecuted for their beliefs about gender.
Drama Lovers Find Each Other
Here I am outside of the drama triangle thinking I would never ever send children to a school like that in the first place. People inside the drama triangle find each other. They feel most comfortable in places where there is drama. Most people grew up playing drama triangle games in the family and so this is what is “normal” to them.
If you ever decided you wanted to take personal responsibility for yourself, after being in the drama triangle your whole life, all hell would break loose. Since inside of the drama triangle, drama is “normal,” then drama feels comfortable, and exiting from the co-dependent drama roles feels very uncomfortable. It’s a difficult process, but can be done, and will be done by anyone who wants to feel in control of their life.
Having Your Identity Seen
Though I didn’t feel like I had been victimized, I was confused and annoyed when I got misgendered. I was confused because my name is clearly a woman’s name. I think I was annoyed because it felt like a sign that the person writing to me was projecting their own views of who I am onto me. They weren’t seeing the actual me. And if anyone who has been misgendered (and gotten upset about it) is reading that, it’s probably how they feel too.
Many Don’t Want Your Authenticity
What I’ve learned is that a lot of people don’t want to actually see the real you. A lot of people want to project their own ideas about people onto them. If someone is stuck in the drama triangle, they’re often looking out for their perceived “persecutors.” It’s basically paranoia. They start to look around based on characteristics to see if someone might be a persecutor.
The people who think all white people are racist are projecting racism onto anyone who has white skin. They are pre-judging someone based on skin color. Notice, then, that they are the racist ones projecting their racism outwards in order to not deal with it internally.
People prejudge others because of race, gender, politics, religion, and many more. Because of these sorts of prejudices running rampant today, most people will not see the authentic you in their day-to-day interactions. I’ve also stated that if you are not in the drama triangle playing roles with them, then they’ll label you a persecutor simply because of that. They tend to think if you’re not with us, you’re against us.
We Can’t See Each Other Authentically
It takes time and real conversations to get to see each other clearly. Just think about how many times you have learned something new about a friend that shocked you. With enough time you can feel like you know someone pretty well. Even then, I don’t believe we can ever truly know someone’s authentic self because people lie to themselves also. You can’t share something about yourself with another person if you’re lying to yourself.
Why Don’t I Care, While Others Do?
I know that other people are projecting onto me and I know it’s an impossible task to get people to see the authentic me. Also, I realized along the way that if I am confident in myself, it doesn’t matter what other people think about me. I am confident that I am a woman because I know that a woman is simply an adult female human. I don’t have anything to prove because the facts speak for themselves.
Gender Fluid Confusion
When you take away the extremely easy definition of “woman” or “man” and make the definition an abstract or illogical one (such as the circular reasoning “a woman is someone who feels like a woman”), then whether or not you are one becomes fluid. Imagine a bottle half-filled with water. When you tip it to one side all the water flows down to that side. You can keep it pretty steady, but it’s still somewhat unstable as the water sloshes back and forth a bit.
To compare it to the simple definition I used, I stand on solid ground. I am never confused as to what gender I am. Having gender confusion could also be likened to living where earthquakes happen all the time. If you say you’re a woman “because you like women’s clothes,” but suddenly find a pair of pants that are super comfortable, but labeled "for men” you might experience a tremor. Imagine how fragile the feeling of gender is for people who think like this.
If your definition of what makes you a woman or a man is changing every single day or minute, you can’t sit still. You won’t feel solid. There might be a lot of introspection going on each day or hour. It’s something that some people start to obsess about. Whereas, if you have a solid definition based on sex, you won’t obsess over it because there’s no need to. It is what it is.
That Feeling Inside
I am confident that I am a woman. I know when someone else refers to me with a male pronoun, they’re 100% wrong. I know they’re not seeing me authentically because of their own prejudices. I don’t care.
But if someone is constantly questioning their gender, and someone “misgenders” them, it’s like an earthquake. That obsession can come back. Since they don’t feel stable, they try to project a feeling of stableness outside of them.
Powerless People Try to Project Power
If you feel powerless, like everyone in the drama triangle actually does, you will do things outwardly to make it look like you are actually powerful. An example I’ve given before is how Biden has been known to touch people inappropriately when it’s clearly upsetting them. You can tell he feels powerless to get this affection in his personal life with consent. If he felt like he could get affection with consent, he wouldn’t bother people who don’t want to be bothered.
I made a video a few days after he was sworn in, predicting, based on that knowledge, that he would try to enact authoritarian rules and that they wouldn’t work. We’ve seen him be sued by states regarding vaccine mandates and the Supreme Court said the rent moratorium was unconstitutional.
Gender Instable People Try To Project Stability
If you don’t feel stable inside concerning your gender, you will try to project stability. This is why gender-fluid people may over-exaggerate the way they talk, the clothes they wear, among other actions.
Also, because they’re not stable, they may have a fear in the back of their minds that something will go wrong at any time. When people are afraid, they are more likely to look for things that could go wrong. It’s the paranoia I mentioned. They can get hyper-vigilant about anything that could make them question what gender they identify as at any moment. Also, what you focus on is what you see more often, so because they’re afraid to be misgendered, they will be. I will admit some people enjoy getting misgendered because they get a perverse glee from calling people they don’t like out and labeling them as a “persecutor.” But, of course, they’ll be looking for people to misgender them also.
What Does Misgendering Do To Someone Afraid of It?
First, the person will feel a tremor inside which would cause them to wonder, “What if I’m a fraud?” But it won’t. They don’t want to hear that, so they’ll project the problem outward onto the person who “misgendered” them. The person will be angry because they were caused to question their gender again, and that anger is now directed at the misgenderer because of projection. Because this person didn’t want to take personal responsibility to feel stable in their gender, they are going to blame anyone who doesn’t agree with them.
Anyone outside of the drama triangle would have taken personal responsibility to feel secure in their gender. But, not these people. These people are going to scapegoat the blame onto the misgenderer.
Why Do They Want To Dictate Their Pronouns?
Selfishly, they want to tell you to call them by whatever pronouns they tell you to use. Then they’ll call you selfish if you won’t. It’s because they won’t take personal responsibility to feel stable in their gender. And, anyone who won’t go along with their demands will be labeled a “persecutor.” They are transferring the responsibility for how they feel away from themselves and onto you.
It’s not your job to call someone the pronouns they wish to have used. It’s their responsibility to feel stable and find peace in the fact that some people will never see them authentically. I’ve taken that responsibility for myself and it’s freeing to not be offended by people any longer.
If you’re interested, I wrote an article, The Real Reason You’re Offended, on how to stop being offended. Because it’s in your power to no longer be offended by what other people do or don’t do. And, it’s not your responsibility to make sure you don’t offend people. That is not in your power.