I hate people who say “fuck the binary.” At least those who express it in that specific way, or that specific phrase, in general. Let’s translate that hate.
To clarify, I don’t curse after every other word, but I do curse; thus, “fuck” is definitely in my every-other-day lexicon, so that’s not what bothers me. It’s also perfectly fine with me for others to express themselves. The phrase does express the discomfort at not fitting in, the rage of facing rejection everyday, the confusion of being thrown into a maze without a map. But it expresses this frustration with hate, and as I’ve said before, I hate hate.
When someone says “fuck you” they’re not enticing me to talk back. Thus, saying “fuck the binary” fends off any potential dialog one could have – a conversation with others, or even onself, to grow and learn. Moreover, it fulfills the stereotype of the confused, rebel punk teenager who only does things to piss other people off. It’s hard to take someone like that seriously.
I don’t exist outside of the binary to mess with people. I do it because I do, that’s where I exist, period. I don’t exaclty enjoy the conflicts of non-binaryism. Although yes, I’m most often proud for not being inside the bell curve, for having a unique journey to learn from and keep me busy. And yes, sometimes I’m confused too. But telling others to “fuck off” or “fuck their system” is not a solution to anything.
What is the solution? I certainly don’t have all of them, but I do have one proposal. How about, instead of framing those negative feelings in an avoidantly aggresive form, you take a step back and dig deep into how you really feel? What is it that really bothers you? What makes you so frustrated, or uncomfortable, or angry about “the binary”? Let’s translate that hate.
9 thoughts on “Translating Hate: The Binary”
I am angry and frustrated with the gender binary for it’s artificiality. The binary, like any rigidly categorical system, is inflexible, and unwilling to adapt to accommodate anyone who deviates from a pre-set template. Instead, people just assume that anyone who doesn’t fit into the pigeon holes must be some kind of social rebel who is intent on nothing more than upsetting the established order and causing misery for the ‘good people’.
People always seem to forget that words exist to describe, not to define.
And they can’t accept that some people defy description.
Wow, that was very well put. I agree completely, I just had never put much thought into the issue. Thanks for bringing this up!
…and now I’m off to change my “About” page…although I certainly never meant my sentiments about The Binary in a hateful way, more of in a playful sense. But I’d hate for people to read what I wrote about myself and think that’s an okay form of rationalizing themselves, regardless of who they are or where they come from in life.
Agreed with TomboySissie above, the binary is frustrating for being inflexible and unwilling to adapt. I’ll follow up with my own thoughts later.
I was afraid people would take this the wrong way, but apparently I can communicate clearly sometimes. Thanks for your honest responses!
I like how TomboySissie ‘defies’ description 🙂
And I hear ya, in a different way: over here I’m annoyed with the majority of people in the queer movement. I feel part of the movement but I don’t feel part of many of the “anti” strategies the movement uses.
I’d rather see diversity, than telling others what they “shouldn’t” do.
I like this post–thanks for writing it! I agree with a lot of what you’ve said about hate. I think we should be embracing gender expression in all its various forms–including those who express their gender within the parameters we think of as norms.
The gender binary was a useful theory back in the early days of human civilization, when our ancestors (who probably hadn’t even reached Homo status yet) were trying to figure out what the differences between the two dominating sets of gonads meant and how they should be dealing with them. It was useful in these early, simple societies to know that one set of genitals meant babies would come out and the other one wouldn’t, and that a good society took a mixture of both to perpetuate itself, that one kind of ape’s enlarged abdomen was a good sign but the other one probably wasn’t, and that it took a surprisingly lower number of penis-bearing apes in proportion to vagina-bearing apes to have plenty of babies, so it made more sense to risk their lives in the pursuit of food and safety.
But that was then and this is now.
Now, we number close to seven billion, and our population growth shows no sign of slowing. So the pressure’s off. As a vagina owner, I don’t have to worry about whether my failure to bear children could mean the end of my tribe, because there are millions of others who are keeping up the slack. Same goes for penis owners. There is absolutely no reason to police our behavior any more, because there are enough of us voluntarily filling these roles to make us more than sustainable.
Besides, it’s a flawed theory. For one thing, it’s born of the idea that someone’s genitals dictate their life role, and we’ve already shown that to be wrong. For another thing, the majority of what is called “gender” (as opposed to actual gender) in our society is complete fabrication designed specifically to control people. For instance, the binary of “men don’t cry/women don’t work” was established in the Western world in the early 20th century. THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY. Not the Bible, as those in charge would have you believe – no, in that time and place people usually pitched in and did whatever they had to to keep their family going. They had to to keep themselves alive. And the same thing was taking place for much of Europe’s history as well. Sure, in the upper class a fragile woman was considered a hot commodity – she was a way for a man to show off his wealth, by demonstrating that he could take care of her every need. But in the lower class, a “butch” (physically capable, sturdy body, yadda) wife was a blessing, because that family was making so little money that everything she could possibly do was needed to keep them afloat.
In the early-mid 20th century, though, some changes happened. Unlike before, getting married was no longer an obligation for women – they could just get jobs and support themselves. Divorce, too, became less stigmatized and easier to acquire. That was when the gender binary as we know it today was assembled. It was an attempt to convince the masses that they couldn’t live without one another; that a man would flounder and die without a woman to do certain things for him, and vice versa. That’s how we learned that women were nurturing and men were strong. That’s how we created The Brady Bunch, one of the most terrifyingly heteronormative TV shows in the history of ever. (It’s in the theme song.) That’s why so many men today have severe emotional management issues, and why so many woman have difficulty extracting themselves from deadly situations.
I believe in gender. I’m on the masculine end of the spectrum, personally. I identify as a guy, a dude, a male. But everything today that is held up as part of the binary is nothing but guesswork, and it’s damaging. It doesn’t matter what the underlying truth to the system is, it’s not working and it’s got to go.
I wish I were as eloquent as you are on this subject.
You’ve made my day, thank you!
I seriously disagree. How ~dare~ we fulfill stereotypes, or express anger about oppression in any way save resigned sadness. That is so damaging to our cause. It isn’t a ~solution.~ We must all be civil and well-mannered so that we get listened to, because we must always be educating and willing to engage in discourse at every opportunity, how else will people learn?
and many more.
I believe it’s really important that we get to say those words, that we get to say “fuck the binary” when we can’t say anything else. Of course I agree with your basic message of “it’s good to communicate about what you’re really feeling and why.” But to have to do that always lest we put a bad face on the community – that’s internal censorship and that shit sucks. That’s like post-Stonewall kicking out the drag queens because they’re not ~palatable~ enough.
You’re a very good example of why myself and others distance ourselves from the queer movement even though we identify as such. If you think being angry and emotional will get you somewhere rather than rational discussion go ahead but don’t drag the rest of us down with you.