No, But Some Things Are

I had some unfortunate exchanges with a colleague a few weeks ago. It wasn't pretty. This person has come to me a number of times for advice on trans* issues, and I've happily obliged. Unfortunately, I really have no interest in helping her anymore after what happened. There's a little back-history: At a (different) colleague's Christmas party, we were talking and I admitted that I'm hard of hearing. I have a very hard time making out words, even though I've had my hearing tested and my sensitivity to sounds is above average. I can hear that someone is talking--even from a distance--but I have a very hard time making out what they're saying, even if they're in front of me, and especially when there are ambient noises. [...]

55. It's Been A Rough Day

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Well, A Tough Month, Really

I spent a lot of today either crying or on the perpetual verge of bawling. It doesn't get this bad very often, but it happens. I got triggered pretty bad today. Lately, I've been giving a couple presentations on my thoughts about how fucked up "allies" and ally culture are, and the connection to gaslighting. The first was a keynote address at a conference on diversity in philosophy; the second was a shorter version of the same talk at a conference on gender and sexual diversity (and I'm giving the shorter version again at a conference in May). [...]

But He Didn't See It That Way

The academic job market, particularly in philosophy, is very rough. Typically, there are 300-400 applicants per job, at least 50 of which are equally highly qualified. There are also many biases at work in how people evaluate an application package. For example, there's a highly controversial informal "ranking" of departments, that many people give way too much weight to. If an applicant isn't from one of the top ten or twenty schools on that list, some people will discard the application: they want "pedigree," it's said. This makes finding a job for those of us who didn't go to one of these highly "ranked" schools extra hard. [...]

Reasonable Expectations and Learning Experiences

Gender binarism is the view that there are two, mutually exclusive genders: man and woman. This tends to align with there being only two, mutually exclusive sexes: male and female. (I don't buy into the clear sex/gender distinction, so I use male/female/man/woman interchangeably.) Oppositional sexism is the view that the sexes (and, well, genders) are both mutually exclusive and that they have oppositional properties. Men are strong, whereas women are weak; men are good at sports, whereas women are not; men are rational, whereas women are emotional; men are good at fixing things, whereas women are good at cleaning and cooking; men are the bread-winners, whereas women are caretakers and child rearers; and so on. [...]

52. Being a Trans* Lesbian

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Are You Still Interested In Girls?

I just had a thought and wanted to write a quick blog post. I noted in a recent post that I came out twice, once as a trans* woman, and also as a lesbian. However, I was somewhat robbed of the second experience of coming out as a lesbian for a couple reasons. As I note in the other post, there's really no sexual orientation I can adopt that won't "make sense" to people. If I date men, it's because I was really a gay man (false); if I date women, it's because I was really a straight man (also false). [...]

If You Want to Know if A Department is Friendly to Trans* Students,
Ask Trans* Students

A recent thread on the fantastic blog, Feminist Philosophers, asks for people to weigh in about what a prospective trans* PhD student can do about her situation in applying to grad programs, and there are also questions about general climate for trans* people. Some people suggested, for example, that she write some current grad students or faculty and ask them about the climate for trans* people. In this post, I want to say what I think about asking about climate. [...]

Some Unsurprising Results

If you've been following my blog, you'll have noticed that I post about allies a fair bit. I also post about what constitutes poor ally behaviour (e.g., gaslighting). In fact, I recently wrote about why I'm done with the concept and term "ally." But it's still useful to talk about the term and concept, particularly since it facilitates criticism. This post is about some recently published empirical research on how people (of colour) perceive their allies, and on how allies perceive themselves. [...]

And Whether Cis People Really Get It

I think about privilege a lot. I've written a few posts about it here, including this post on a variety of forms of privilege that I have. You might notice, if you read it, that I don't list "male privilege" as one of them. That's because, well, I don't have any. Now, I know that many of you (many of whom self-identify as feminists) are probably thinking: "Well, [Philosochick], you grew up "as a boy" for 29 years, so you still retain some benefits from those 29 years of male privilege. You weren't oppressed your entire life like (for example) [cis] women are." [...]

Continuing Mispronouning Even After I Leave

I've written in a bunch of posts how bad things got during the year following my transition at my previous department (from which I obtained my PhD). It took the bulk of the faculty (the grad students seemed to do much better) months, well over three months, to start consistently using the right name and pronouns for me. I was very patient--overly so, I think--and polite whenever someone made an error. But after six months, I started losing patience. Fortunately, only one person was continuing to mispronoun me with any regularity, and even then it was no more frequent than once ever week or two. [...]

Hint: If You're Not Queer, It's Not For You

In yesterday's post about (Inter)National Coming Out Day (which I will hereafter just call International Coming Out Day--America, it's not all about you), I briefly mentioned that some "allies" choose to "come out" as allies on ICOD. I said that they shouldn't do that because that makes ICOD about them rather than the queer folks for whom the day is meant. I also noted that my social media feeds blew up about a variety of issues connected to ICOD. Unfortunately, I noticed a lot of "allies" not quite getting the message that ICOD is a difficult day for a lot of queer people, and they chose to pick some arguments with me over various claims. That's also a bad idea. [...]

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Recent Comments

Philosochick: Hi Alison, does the following post answer your questions? http://www.metamorpho-sis.com/blog/2012/09/24-being-a-trans-professor.html ...more...
Alison Reiheld: Hi, Philosochick. I was wondering if you could follow up ...more...
Anon: As a trans* woman, how can you tell if you're ...more...
Alison Reiheld: This is very useful. I find it has an interesting ...more...
Noble Savage: Maybe just to help the "normies" realize it's a bad ...more...
Noble Savage: Alright, having already seen someone go through this in another ...more...
Maura Beecher: I hear, thankful for the directness and openness of the ...more...
Philosochick: Hi. Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, you're right: trans* issues ...more...
Meredith: I'm a Gender and Women's Studies major who's graduating this ...more...
M.C.Miller: This thread has produced some interesting points. Would the moderators ...more...

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