sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
Copying this from a comment I made on Facebook in order to have it easily accessible for future noodling. This is of course only how I experience dysphoria, not how anyone else does. The original discussion was, in part, about the extent to which dysphoria would still exist in the absence of gender stereotyping. I have made some minor edits for clarity.

I'm not "in the wrong body"; this body is very much part of me, and there are things I really like about it. But there are parts that feel stunted, like they never fully developed like they were "meant" to, and at times they ache as if they were still desperately trying to. Descriptions of phantom limbs from amputees often resonate with me. I assume this would not go away in a perfect society. It has got worse with perimenopause and seems to show some cyclical variation, so I imagine there's a hormonal factor involved.

Also, some of the parts I really like are the very ones that cause people to guess my gender wrong, and that causes a real psychological tension. I have to choose every day whether I want the cognitive dissonance of hiding those parts as if I were ashamed of them, or the cognitive dissonance of leaving them visible and being misgendered. This part would clearly improve if societal etiquette changed so that it was understood to be rude to guess someone's gender without being told, or at least rude to voice the guess.

Then there's a gender role/performative component, which expresses itself as a feeling that I'm constantly failing at "being a girl" by looking wrong, acting wrong, thinking wrong and just generally Being Wrong. This part has improved considerably since I gave myself permission to stop trying to be one, but there's a residue that would probably require societal permission to get rid of. For me, full societal recognition of nonbinary gender(s) would probably do it, but total abolition of the gender binary would also work for me (and for agender people? but maybe not for strongly binary-identified people?) Even then, there may be a biochemical component that would not disappear, because I feel the looking wrong part is linked to my bulimia, and that gets worse with certain nutritional deficiencies and could presumably still happen without sexism. Society not being so damn fat-shaming would surely help, though.

Summary: In a perfect society I'd probably still have body dysphoria and maybe a small amount of psychological discomfort. I might still define as trans because although we wouldn't be assigning gender at birth any more, I might still have self-assigned as a girl before the hormones kicked in enough for the body dysphoria to become noticeable. But I'd have much less cognitive dissonance and everyday life would be much more comfortable, so none of these issues would be the grave threats to mental health that they are now.
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
I am not really using LJ or DW any more - I don't have that much time for social media at the moment and find that Twitter is currently the platform that best fits into the rest of my life. If you'd like to stay in touch and have a Twitter account that I am not yet following, please drop me a comment with your Twitter handle or follow me at @sashajwolf. I am planning to start using that account for my (relativey few) Pagan tweets as well as general stuff and will be setting up a Pagan reading list there, so if I'm currently following you from @druidsass, you will probably shortly get a follow request or notification from @sashajwolf as well.
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
My mother's tumour was not malignant. It was caused by a gallstone getting lodged somewhere it shouldn't and the body trying to protect itself by growing tissue around it. She's healing well from the operation and will be fine just as soon as her digestive system gets used to its new arrangements ;-)
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
If I seem a bit distracted at the moment or don't reply to things I normally would, this is why:

We learned last week that my mother has a pancreatic tumour, suspected to be malignant, that is also pressing on her gallbladder and colon and causing a variety of problems as a result. She is having a fairly major operation today to try to remove it, following which the lab will confirm whether it really is malignant or not. Even if it is, the doctors are hopeful that she may have caught it early enough not to need chemo, and she really could not be in better hands than in the German health system, but this is obviously a scary time for her and for the family. She will be in hospital for 2-3 weeks and then in a rehab clinic for an undetermined period. She has asked that, rather than visiting now when all I can do is sit by her bedside, I go to stay with her for a while when she comes out of rehab and will need support with shopping, cleaning etc while she finishes convalescing. So I will be doing that. But meanwhile, this is taking up pretty much all my emotional processing spoons. I still want to be supportive of my friends who are also going through hard stuff at the moment, but getting the words out is much more difficult and takes longer than usual - so if I don't reply to things, please know that it's not because I don't care.
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
I’ve been keeping a running list throughout the year of things that struck me as Hugo-worthy, and since nomination time will be coming round soon, I thought I’d share it for anyone who wants to check out things they might have missed. It is not a suggested slate, which is why it doesn’t contain a neat five items per category, and skips categories I didn’t follow closely enough for anything to have struck me. My standard for “Hugo-worthy” is largely “this delighted me;” quite probably you are delighted by different things, and/or apply a different standard entirely, and that is fine. Feel free to add your suggestions in comments or to point me towards your nomination posts.

Best Novel. A science fiction or fantasy story of forty thousand (40,000) words or more.

Kirsty Logan, The Gracekeepers
N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season Read more... )
sashajwolf: books with text "warning: overeducated and not afraid to use it" (overeducated)
I know some of you used to like the short book summaries I used to post here; some of those people may want to check out my book reviews tag over on my Pagan journal. I'll be posting there in a similar style about the books I read for my Priestess training; obviously most of those will be on Pagan topics, but there will also be some feminism, economics, politics and other religions.
sashajwolf: Tiffany Aching looking up at the sky, with the words "Tiffany Aching is thinking Third Thoughts" (third thoughts)
I'm beginning to have doubts about the voting strategy I outlined in my previous post on the Hugos (LJ/DW), where I said I would place No Award ahead of any slate nominees that had not distanced themselves from the slate, even if they were not themselves actively involved in the disgusting hate speech that some of the ringleaders have spewed over our fandom. Essentially there are two things giving me pause:

Firstly, Vox Day has said that he will treat No Award as a victory for the Rabid Puppies. Not that he necessarily gets to declare unilaterally what the victory conditions are, but it does suggest that my previous approach of ranking No Award ahead of almost all slate candidates would not send the message I wanted it to. Arguably nothing would, because Vox Day will try to spin just about anything into a victory, but if there's no way of achieving your goal, it makes all the more sense to redefine what you're trying to do. Tl;dr: Maybe GRRM is right and the answer is just to vote on merit. )
sashajwolf: text: Racism makes fandom not fun (racism not fun)
I've seen a number of people discussing the best way to vote in this year's Hugos, given the fiasco of the year's nominations. I will be voting this year for the first time, and the methodology I intend to use is slightly different from anything I've seen discussed elsewhere - possibly because I haven't known where to look, but still, it seemed like it might be worth writing up. Read more... )

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