Storify: Genitals Isn't Gender

Storify is shutting down in May and has informed users that we have to migrate our content elsewhere if we wish to save it. This is one of my old threads.

A Thread on Sexual Boundaries

I wish to note certain things first:

1. I am a transgender nonbinary demigirl.

2. I am bisexual.

3. I am a rape survivor.

4. This thread is in response to weeks of multiple incidents wherein OTHER bisexual transgender rape survivors were harassed online for disclosing that past trauma made various genital configurations triggering for them. These facts are pertinent to the tone and angle of discussion.

Now that things have calmed down a little in my mentions, I'm going to talk about the And Operator. The logical And (&&) operator allows you to place two unrelated premises together in combination. The logical operation returns TRUE if both statements (operands) are true and false otherwise.

So for example:
- The sun is out && it will be a warm day is only TRUE if both operands are true.

That statement may be false:
- The sun isn't out, and it's cold.
- The sun is out, but it's cold.
- The sun isn't out, though it's warm.

The important thing to understand is that in a logical And situation, the two operands are NOT related. One doesn't flow from the other. If the existence of Operand 1 implied the existence of Operand 2, you wouldn't need to check for both.

Now. We are going to start with the fact--I will not debate this fact--that Gender is not Genitals. My gender isn't my genitals. Fact. "My sexuality is [gender], therefore I'm not attracted to [genitals]" is a logical fallacy because the two are unrelated.

But "my sexuality is [gender]" && "I'm not attracted to [genitals]" are two separate unrelated statements joined by a logical And Operator. A problem is so many people have been hurt with the fallacious wrong false harmful "Therefore" that now the And Operator is suspect.

So if someone says "I'm bisexual" && "I'm not attracted to vaginas because of sexual assault trauma", they're accused of broad misgendering. Misgendering is denying the gender of a person or people. A stated avoidance of a genital configuration isn't misgendering as long as everyone involved understands that genitals aren't gender.

"You're transphobic because you don't like penises" isn't a gotcha when you're talking to a trans person who knows gender isn't genitals. Triggers are based around memory sensations. No one says I have to date men who wear my abusers' cologne or have his haircut. Saying someone can turn down a new lover based on hairstyle but not a resemblance of genitals is very hostile to this rape survivor.

If I misgender anyone, please tell me and I will correct it. But genitals aren't gender, and not liking [genitals] isn't misgendering. Also, ftr, you are allowed to disagree with me! I may not be safe for you to follow, and I'm sorry if that's the case. But if you come at me with full-aggression klaxons and dog-pile me with your pals, I'm going to have to block you. I'm sorry. The internet loves an excuse to harass a trans person and I have to protect myself by setting boundaries. I wish I didn't have to.

None of this would be controversial if our society weren't so hostile to boundaries when it comes to sexual consent. I can set any boundary I want to sexual access to me and people will argue. No Trump voters. No-one who listens to Mozart. No-one who eats garlic. No-one who has been to Alaska. I can set ridiculous boundaries if I want. My body. There is no boundary I can set for ACCESS TO MY BODY that someone won't argue with. This isn't happening in a vacuum.

If someone said "I can't date blonds because my abuser was a blond" and a million people popped up to make it about them:

"What about platinum blonds?"
"What about frosted tips?"
"What about strawberry blond?"

Demanding they define every nuance of their trigger?

- Would we understand that was hostile? To rape survivors and people with PTSD? This demand that they exhaustively document a trigger?

- Would we understand that people were taking a painful I-statement about an unwanted mental illness and making it about them?

- Would we understand that people were being hostile to the very concept of sexual boundaries by trying to negotiate them down?

- Would we understand the difference between a rando demanding vs. a flirty friend saying "oh hey if we're going further I need to know more?"

- Would we understand the difference between strangers on the internet being hostile to boundaries vs. close friends discussing them privately?

Because the people harassing me and other trans friends for saying boundaries are allowed to exist are hostile strangers. And that context is important.

I think it's important to understand in these discussions that the boundary is already there. All the person has done is state it. So the argument is either "you can't HAVE that boundary" which is not okay at all, or it's "you can't STATE that boundary".

Boundaries being stated are a good thing. You get to learn WITHOUT RISK whether that person is a good romantic partner for you. "I can't sleep with people who eat tomatoes" is a good thing to learn before you date them for six months. "Wait, but how does xie feel about garlic" is a thing you might want to ask me before dating. Otherwise, why do you need to ask for more?

There's a difference between a choice to share information with the public versus a demand for more. If I post a piece of myself online, you can consume or not as you choose, but demanding more than I want to give isn't cool.


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