Ceci n’est pas une femme

I borrow the title from René Magritte, but it’s an interesting concept.

In the world we live in today, everyone is labeled with CIS/DFAB/BINARY/POC/LGBTQ/SWF/GBM/MD/ESQ/FILL IN THE BLANK. That said, what constitutes a person being one thing or another? Is it our personal perception of them or the way that person introduces/presents herself/himself to us that determines the “title”?

As humans, we feel the need to put places, situations, and especially people, into manageable boxes…categories, if you will. That seems to be the only way that our primate brains can comprehend and cope with something outside of the little bubble that we inhabit. And we all do it because that’s how we’re wired, I guess.

So if you say, “My name is (fill in the blank),” then that’s what I’m going to think of you as. Sure, my brain will surely codify you as male/female/brown eyed/blue eyed/brunette/blonde/right handed/left handed/whatever, but I will do my best not to assign any feelings to those boxes or categories. That’s where I think we get into trouble. We put people in these boxes and then we attach some type of emotion to them. Despite being complicit in the categorizing of people, like everyone else, I prefer to just know someone as who s/he is, without the list of letters after her/his name. Unless you’re a doctor or something and you just have to have your MD, FAANS, FACS, BSN, BLAH, BLAH BLAH, ESQ, MFA, attached. But I guess if I spent that much time and money on education, I’d want all the letters after my name, too.

And I do know that those letters and boxes bring comfort to some people. Some people feel they only have an identity if they’re attached to a title, or attached to a group. And that’s fine, too. I’m kind of a live and let live kinda gal, as long as you’re not hurting anyone in the process.

But, yeah, I guess the only boxes I’ll have are people who are cool and those who aren’t worth my time. That sounds productive, at least.

Be good, all.

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