-An opinion piece based on anecdotal experiences. CarsOnTheStreet’s beliefs on the following topics.
-TW:Race, Gender, Sexuality, Swearing, Assault Mention
So, I recently read this article, and I wanted to respond so that readers can get another perspective on the topics discussed. I don’t believe I need to delve super deep into it, as it is an opinion piece- akin to this. Keep in mind, these are not end all-be all responses; just another perspective.
1: Race: I’ve spoken to many people of color over which term they prefer. I am very aware that I am not allowed to speak for everyone when I say this, but this is what I’ve seen. Is it “Black,” or is it “African-American?” From my personal experience, it depends on the person. The title “Black” appears to be used as more of a culture thing. In much the same way the Deaf Community is just that, a community, and has certain expectations and connotations associated with it, so does the Black Community with ITS own expectations and connotations. Point is: most of the time, “Black” is not an insult. It’s just treated as one, because of inherent racism in the Western and American Society. HOWEVER, there is a caveat. If you refer to someone as “Black” or “Brown,” and they tell you that they would rather you refer to them as something other than that, the best course of action is to respectfully and succinctly apologize (a simple “I’m sorry” or “my bad” will suffice), correct yourself, and not just maintain this correction while talking to them, but also while talking about them. It’s a respect and courtesy thing.
I want you to notice how it says “Black” and not “African-American.” Nor does it say “White lives don’t matter.”
2: Gender: The first thing that needs to be understood is that gender and sex are two different things. Sex is the parts that you have, while gender is how you see yourself, based on how you behave and societally influenced criteria. Gender is NOT how someone else views you. For example: If there is a AMAB (A male at birth, specifically referring to their physical sex), and they like things like traditionally “masculine” activities, like playing video games, fixing cars, and working out at the gym, but they also like traditionally “feminine” activities like wearing make up, or shaving their legs, or painting their nails, they may view the “feminine” activities as a more vital part of their identity, and, as a result, identify more as a woman than as a man. This person’s gender identity has nothing to do with their biological sex. Additionally, if they where to ask you to call them a certain name that they prefer or use specific pronouns when referring to them, they would probably really appreciate it. Again, this is an issue with courtesy and politeness. I do agree with you though, if you refer to someone as something that they don’t like, and they don’t correct you on it, it’s not your responsibility to just magically know how they want you to refer to them. That being said, you CAN always ask.
This is a pretty common symbol used in the LGBTQA+ community to denote “Transgender,” or “gender identity that doesn’t match the biologically assigned gender at birth.”
The second thing that needs to be understood is that both sex AND gender are non-binary, or occur on a spectrum. We have “traditional” men and “traditional” women. But we also have Intersex people whose sexual anatomy, both primary and secondary, does not seem to fit what is “traditional.” This creates room for a non-binary spectrum. In a similar way, gender is a spectrum. You have “masculine,” “feminine,” Androgynous (a mixture of both “masculine” and “feminine” traits), Agender (having neither “masculine” or “feminine” traits). The most simplistic way to phrase it: if blue is for boys, as is encouraged, and pink is for girls, again, as encouraged, is every colour in the rainbow a shade of purple? Of course not! There are Oranges and Greens. The problem comes when someone who has a set mentality of how sex, gender, and gender presentation/expression are related attempts to enforce those views on others. This is where we see most of the conflict associated with this topic today.
It’s like the rainbow, OH WAIT A SECOND?! IS THAT WHERE IT COMES FROM?
3. Sexuality: In all honesty, I agree with almost all of what you said. If it doesn’t involve you, you shouldn’t concern yourself with it. If, however, someone takes a liking to you and you have no intention of pursuing sexually, the best course of action is to respectfully and politely decline. You may offer an apology, but you do not need to do so. However, you may want to, for it’s considered more polite. That way, it can be communicated through quickly, and both of you can move on with minimal “damage.” Communication is ALWAYS VITAL.
Why hate love?
4. Religion: The biggest issue that I have with organized religion is its inherent hypocrisies. Specifically, Western religions, like Christianity. Why is it that your God says to be all loving for everyone EXCEPT gay people and trans (short for “transgender”) people? Why is it okay for people to kill gay and trans people simply for existing? It appears to me that the simple answer, and this is from a Christian person I talked to about it, is that those people who kill for God “…are not real Christians.” To me, that is the BIGGEST and LAZIEST cop-out answer I have ever heard. It feels like, the only thing that that kind of answer does is perpetuate a lack of responsibility when it comes from actions. I’m not saying to not believe in an organized religion, although it may seem that way up to this point. You are perfectly welcome to practice and observe your religion, but I, personally, draw the line when you: lie about it, use it as a means to do physical, emotional, or mental harm, or you attempt to impose it on someone else. Remember: Being Gay, just like being black, is not a choice. Hating someone is.
I know this isn’t all religions, but it IS one of the least offensive GIFs when you GIPHY search “Religion.”
5. Courtesy: Here’s what I’ve noticed about Courtesy. People are courteous when they have no reason NOT to be. Humans are generally good beings. The issue is that they tend to become what they behold. With the mounting xenophobia and violence perpetuated by public information and news outlets, it’s only natural for humans to become a little “on edge.” This shouldn’t necessarily reflect the true nature of their character. Additionally, it’s in humans’ better interests, evolutionarily speaking, to perceive an unfamiliar environment and/or stimuli as a threat. Based on these two things, and a few others, a little hostility is to be expected when you encounter someone new, especially on the sidewalk.
A soft smile, a wave, a salutation maybe, and carry on your merry way
6. People Anxiety: Again, this probably primarily stems from human evolutionary perception of an unfamiliar stimuli, or person in this case, as a threat and to act accordingly. Also, it’s come to my attention that humans are notorious for theft and assault. So again, perception of an unfamiliar person as a possible threat is in their best interest.
Science is one hell of a drug, kids.
Those are my thoughts on the subjects. They are not necessarily objective fact, but it is possible that they may be based on fact. They aren’t necessarily right or wrong. All I did was respond to another opinion article with opinions of my own. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, etc. feel free to leave a comment or two down below.
CarsOnTheStreet have left.
-CarsOnTheStreet’s beliefs and understanding of these topics do not reflect the views of all of us here at Street Psychiatry.