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Background: I'm feeling kinda discouraged right now because I recently moved and checked out the feminist bookstore in town and found a large contingent of "they/them" women. I get that a lot of women identify as NB because they don't identify with the regressive gender norms and roles imposed on them. However, shouldn't these women at the feminist bookstore know better? I don't get it. A big part of the feminist project is to liberate women from these regressive gender roles instead of saying that since I don't like regressive gender roles, I'm not a woman? Is the fact that I don't try to compel other people to call me they/them or dress like Peewee Herman (it's like a fucking uniform for those people), I must like and identify with patriarchal femininity? These are the people supposed to be fighting for women's liberation? This is so reactionary! How do people not see this? Ugh.

Anyway, I've never identified as NB. I'm pretty GNC but I'm older (35) and haven't been super-online. I was also raised by lesbians who were GNC so I grew up thinking it was normal. I grew up seeing people harassing my mother's butch partners by asking if they were men or women. Now, I guess that's supposed to be "inclusive."

If you have identified as NB in the past, why did you and why did you stop? Did you have a political awakening or did something happen?

Background: I'm feeling kinda discouraged right now because I recently moved and checked out the feminist bookstore in town and found a large contingent of "they/them" women. I get that a lot of women identify as NB because they don't identify with the regressive gender norms and roles imposed on them. However, shouldn't these women at the feminist bookstore know better? I don't get it. A big part of the feminist project is to liberate women from these regressive gender roles instead of saying that since I don't like regressive gender roles, I'm not a woman? Is the fact that I don't try to compel other people to call me they/them or dress like Peewee Herman (it's like a fucking uniform for those people), I must like and identify with patriarchal femininity? These are the people supposed to be fighting for women's liberation? This is so reactionary! How do people not see this? Ugh. Anyway, I've never identified as NB. I'm pretty GNC but I'm older (35) and haven't been super-online. I was also raised by lesbians who were GNC so I grew up thinking it was normal. I grew up seeing people harassing my mother's butch partners by asking if they were men or women. Now, I guess that's supposed to be "inclusive." If you have identified as NB in the past, why did you and why did you stop? Did you have a political awakening or did something happen?

39 comments

[–] bellatrixbells BoobatrixRex 36 points

"However, shouldn't these women at the feminist bookstore know better?"

Most younger women do not actually understand what feminism is. Even not so young women don't even know. We are not taught about it. We are not taught about women's history.

And for about 25+ years (at least that I know of), the word feminism has been extensively bastardized to mean all sorts of things that it doesn't.

These young women are most likely getting bombarded with claims that feminism is about doing anal with anything that moves, claiming you are anything but a woman and punching lesbians in the face when they refuse to have sex with a TIM.

I wouldn't be surprised if that feminist bookstore had shelves full of books that entertain this.

You’re totally right. On top of that, young people in general seem simultaneously more sensitive and less intellectually inclined (in the US at least), so they aren’t really capable of considering a deeper political critique of things that are inherently personal (sexual behavior, wants, identity) in a way that goes beyond simply reacting emotionally. There’s an “if you can question it, you must not have experienced it because if you’d experienced it you’d get it like everyone else” sort of vibe that comes up whenever I have any sort of analysis of porn, for example— and this is coming from women who openly say they hate men.

young people in general seem simultaneously more sensitive and less intellectually inclined

It’s funny you should say that, given how much Zoomers, in general, love to teach—I mean, ‘educate’—other people. I can’t stay on TikTok for longer than 15 minute intervals, because there are so many teens answering questions in a long-winded, smug, and strident manner. Meanwhile, they have no idea what they’re talking about. Obviously, the gender cult and the kink community=the worst offenders. The Dunning–Kruger effect is very real.

the rise of idpol makes everyone take everything personally, i've noticed. it's gotten to the point that young girls who don't wear makeup are relentlessly mocked in the name of feminism, because obviously NOT wearing makeup or feminine clothing could only ever be performative and done solely for male attention.

[–] bellatrixbells BoobatrixRex 6 points

I think a lot of us have become lazy from social media. Everything is so fast nowadays, we just expect Google to explain everything in like one sentence.

It drives me insane how often you hear things now like “I’m not a feminist! Feminism is awful! Like why would be angry because a man holds a door for you?!”

Oh sweet child….

I was on the precipice of identifying. Circa 2015 I distinctly remember thinking "I could identify as a gender fluid nonbinary person!" I thought better of it because I figured I'd have to start talking about myself more so people understood my identity (I'm a rather private person), and I imagined envy me getting angry more often (misgendering! microagressions! scary!) and I was like yeah no. The nonbinary version of myself in my mind was an insufferable person, and all of this gender stuff seems like a lot of extra work and brain power for me. I can just carry on being a GNC female and simply not play the gender game, so I went with that. I don't feel the need to tell people how to perceive me.

The nonbinary version of myself in my mind was an insufferable person, and all of this gender stuff seems like a lot of extra work and brain power for me.

That genuinely sounds like an impressively high level of insight and prediction considering you hadn't peaked at the time.

I have the very woke circle I ran with at the time to thank for this insight. The gender people in the group were just starting to grate on my nerves, for sure. Planted the seeds for a peak years later.

Yup. In Wokeville you're led to believe that if you don't like a particular group, it's because you haven't been exposed to them enough. I was totally fine and supportive of trans people until I worked a job that had a ton of them. They were all easily offended narcissists and that was when I learned that I dislike the alphabet soup crew.

[–] PGTips4Lyfe 🐸☕🤏 49 points Edited

I really, really found the pronoun thing to be an imposition on others that made me feel like an ass, so I stopped that within 2 months of declaring my identity. I just stopped. Didn't even bother to put a "she/they" just why? Why add confusion?

After I stopped that, the self-reflection just lead me to realize nothing changes for women if I identify outside of womanhood in a bid to be accepted for my differences. So I pretty much had a mini peak about this while still had a "live and let live" about all the gender identity stuff (before I fully peaked with the aimee chanellor, jessica yaniv shit)

ETA: my total time IDing as a nonbinary lasted no more than 4 months. I'm so thankful my SO was patient with me and never argued (or was overly enthusiastic), I think he knew it was a temporary logical error that I would find my way out of on my own. I got out of it and was like "lol that was dumb sorry."

I really, really found the pronoun thing to be an imposition on others that made me feel like an ass, so I stopped that within 2 months of declaring my identity.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a really long time: it takes a certain kind of person to identify as NB (in the long term), because most people don’t want to burden/inconvenience others. Like most gender nonconforming women in this day and age, I’ve questioned my gender. In fact, I faced so much bullying in uni for being ‘cis’ that it was not lost on me that I was one simple identification away from making my life a lot easier for myself. But I just couldn’t get past the idea of asking people to alter the way they speak about me, knowing that it would take a lot of conscious effort on their part and make them trip over their words and so on. In spite of the instant social currency it would afford me, I just couldn’t do that to other people; it felt mortifying.

That reasoning, I think, is why most gender nonconforming people ultimately decide against identifying as non binary, even if they go through a period of doing so or questioning doing so. That’s why I’m always on my guard when I meet people who request they/them pronouns or neopronouns. If it’s something they’ve been trying out for a few weeks or months, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they’ve simply been brainwashed, but the ones who stick with they/them pronouns years after graduating uni? In most cases, they’re very very self-involved and lacking in empathy.

Agree, nothing to add from me. Just had to say:

dress like Peewee Herman (it's like a fucking uniform for those people)

I died, lol.

I noticed this from a NB TikTok account I saw yesterday. Those clothes! LOL

[–] femmefem 42 points Edited

I started ID'ing as nb as a teenager while I was being groomed by my adult male "friends." I developed early and did modeling work so I was extremely hypersexualized in general. It was a coping mechanism - so that if I told the men who were sexualizing me that I wasn't a woman maybe they'd stop and think about what they were doing for a second. Really I just wanted an inkling of control over who I was and how I was perceived when I felt I had none.

I stopped ID'ing as NB around my sophmore year of college - when my life was a little more stable and people were interested in knowing me beyond being like a hypersexy baby teen. I was comfortable with being a woman and realized the way people treated me I couldn't particularly opt out of. I didn't really peak until I was 22 and I realized how taken advantage of I was.

[–] Eava 12 points Edited

I'm sorry you were put through that. You don't have to answer, but I am curious, did your parents understand the reality of young girls in the modeling industry and male predation and think it was still worth it, or did they genuine believe this was a huge opportunity and never thought you would be unsafe? My tween has started talking about wanting to get into acting and I have offered to enroll her in out local theater arts school as an extracurricular, but would not let her start auditioning for jobs.

My parents didn't really know what was happening. I would have other people who were working on the shoot pick me up and drop me off. They knew I was getting some jobs but not the extent of it. I love them very much and they are kind people - but my parents are not the most intelligent and it was very easy for me to convince them I should be doing exploitative things that I thought would be good for me. They did everything they could to make me happy even if it wasn't actually the best thing to do.

As someone who went to a performing arts high school who now has a full fledged degree (that I don't use) in theater arts, I would highly recommend telling your daughter that it's okay to keep it as a hobby and avoid monetizing it. This includes even the "safe" options like tech (costumes, lighting, sets etc). The industry is very very difficult to break into if you can't afford to take very low paying jobs your first few years of working. Feel free to message me if you have any questions!

Didnt change anything on the misogyny i experienced. Also noticed other women felt exactly like me on “feeling like a woman.” No woman “feels” like a woman. That’s a solely tim experience. But then i peaked around 2013/2014

I identified as nonbinary because I hated my breasts but I didn't want to be a man. I also didn't care when people mistook me for a guy (which obviously meant I wasnt cis, according to all the trans people I knew).

The way I stopped was a bit complex. I was sick of the overtly sexual nature of trans spaces and Google something like "why is everyone so sexual?" I found /r/detrans, then the GC subreddit (which I'd always avoided thanks to the propaganda machine). I read that lots of women hate their breasts, and that that didn't make me trans. It just made me a woman who happened to hate her breasts.

Now, granted, I was never full blown NB. I had spent my teen years on more edgy parts of the internet, and I actually kind of thought being NB was a made up attention seeking thing until I identified as it lol. So I snapped out of it really quickly (after less than a year), no hormones or surgery, etc. I never even really changed pronouns because I truly did not give a shit. I still have some issues with dysphoria though, but I've been working on accepting myself rather than looking at surgery or something.

THIS: It just made me a woman who happened to hate her breasts.

I hate that a "symptom" of being nonbinary that people use a lot is if you hate your breasts.. I got a breast reduction because I hated them and I'm still a woman

I don't think I ever specifically went by they/them, but I did identify as NB for a number of years in my "gender journey" (🤢)

The thing is, if you're actually trying to "just get along" with the trans ideologues, the vast majority of us are NB.

There are two concurring views of the world:

Paradigm A, there is no such thing as gender. We're all either male or female.

Paradigm B, there is such a thing as gender, and the fact that the vast majority of people do not have a gender identity means the vast majority of people are agender/NB.

These are the two possible outcomes. We either end up in the first timeline, were we revert to the traditional definitions of sex where woman = adult human female.
Or we end up in the second timeline, where we reidentify as "agender/NB female-bodied people" and fight for our collective rights as "female-bodied people."

The thing is, right now the TIMs are denying us rights based on either vector. If we can't have rights "as women" where "woman" equals "adult human female," at the very least we should have sex-based rights and protections as females. But they're trying to deny that "female" even exists at this point.

Before anyone tries to accuse me of "capitulating" by suggesting we might want to consider organizing as "agender female-bodied people," it's not an outcome I want either. But if the alternative is a complete lack of sex-based rights and protections, I do think it's a point we should start making.

[–] Valentine 8 points Edited

I've spoken briefly before about being an earlier-in adoptee of NB about a decade ago. I was raised in a very conservative environment with an unstable, abusive household that was in deep poverty. I also had undiagnosed ADHD that would only get treated in my thirties.

Oh! And I'm bisexual. With the classic GNC behavior of the gays.

It's estimated that kids with ADHD recieve 20,000 more negative messages about ourselves than other kids our age by the time we're 12. A lot of mine were about how I was a failure at this whole 'girl' thing. Then the concept of NB came along, and my young internet-addicted bi ass was like yes okay, because by sheer value of not telling me I was going to burn in hell forever the LGBTQIA+ community were Awesome People who Knew What They Were Talking About.

So I had a name for what people had always been saying about me! And that gap between what I was supposed to be and what I was and my feelings of shame and failure and oh the body dysphoria that came with being a CSA survivor! Woo-hoo!

Just, then I learned a lot about women's history through my investigative reporting bent, while researching generational trauma to understand what happened to me. And I came to understand why the women in my life growing up were such terrible people. And the systems that made them.

That more than learning about the trans issues made the concept of woman something I could begin identifying with. Before it was something I saw through the lens the patriarchy gave me. After I could begin putting together my own view of a group of people who had been historically enslaved.

US based info : Things like when women got to have credit cards (the 1970s). The number of states that require standardized testing for all kids who are homeschooled (9) vs the age of marriage with parental consent (usually 16, some with no guideline, one that's /12/). Put it all together and you can get a girl with no education married with no opportunity to say no to a man twice or three times her age. By 21 she can have three kids and if she does try to get out she's shunned by her community. Even ignoring the police and judges being from that community, supporting the children alone can lock her into an abusive situation...

Stuff like that. That changed it for me. People talking in granular detail about the horrible realities of the class oppression of women.

I think undiagnosed autism is another factor.

[–] Valentine 2 points Edited

Undiagnosed and diagnosed. I think there's a general lack of understanding in the gender critical world of the sheer amount of 'something is wrong with you' messaging that these kids have gotten from society (with a fair amount around being GNC) before they clock on gender as the what.

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