The Multiamory crew loves talking about gender, so we' were both excited and intimidated by tackling such a broad topic this week. Gender identity and expression has come into mainstream conversation, and in this episode we're tackling the basics of everything you need to know: language, avoiding bias and stereotypes, and how gender effects your privilege and lived experiences.
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Jase: On this episode of the Multiamory podcast, we're talking about the fundamentals of gender, stereotypes, experiences, and also, language. Basically, first, we want to start off with why are we doing this episode. First of all, we personally have been corrected by our listeners many times and thank you to all of you who have reached out whenever we have misspoken or said something without even realizing it.
We realize that when it comes to other people's experiences whether it's gender or their sexual orientation or their culture or their race or any number of things that all of us are learning all the time. It's not just like the reason why I don't like the term woke is because it implies that you either just get it all or you don't and it's always...
Emily: Is there a spectrum of woke?
Dedeker: Spectrum of woke, I'm sure somebody is drawn up something.
Jase: Possibly, yes.
Jase: Anyway, I don't like that term because it implies there's sort of a binary you either are or aren't this thing. I think when it comes to lots of stuff like this like with gender that we're talking about in this episode, it's something that we're always able to learn about, right. That we're always learning about, always understanding better ways to use our language, better ways to think about and talk about gender. We wanted to cover some of those things from some of the basics also, up through some of the more current things that we've been thinking about or learning about or talking about.
Dedeker: You say that there's like maybe 50 shades of woke? It's just yes or no question.
Jase: I would say there's more than 50.
Dedeker: I said it's a yes or no question, but that's okay we can move on.
Jase: Well, it's hard because as the logician I would say-
Dedeker: You are a logician? [chuckles]
Jase: No, but I want to be sometimes. As a logician, I would say there are 50 shades also more than that but I didn't want to say yes to your answer because that would imply that there were only 50.
Dedeker: Are you also a genderologist?
Dedeker: Okay. Is there such a thing as genderologist?
Emily: We’re budding genderologist. I doubt it, maybe someone needs to make that. The topic of gender or the topic of gender politics men and women and how they interact with each other, it's a really big, hot-button topic right now. Even when this episode comes out, I'm pretty sure that it's still going to be a very big thing in our community--
Dedeker: I don't think so. I don't think it's going to get wrapped up in the next two weeks or so but that would be wonderful wouldn’t it?
Emily: I would be surprised. Get up to speed people this is an important topic and also a person's gender experiences often used to explain why a person acts a certain way and all of this can be because of societal conditioning or nurturing or nature or whatever have you. I definitely have people in my life who say to me, "Well, I just do that because I'm a man and I was taught to do X, Y, and Z." I really wanted to examine this as well just simply because I'm like, "Well, how did we get there, or what does that actually mean and how can we change that dynamic?" Because I think it's important to bust that apart especially now is like feminism and everything is becoming apparent and better and a bigger deal in our lives today.
Jase: Yes, I think that it's especially relevant when people are exploring non-traditional dating or non-traditional relationships in other parts of their lives. I actually find that sometimes it can make people even emphasize gender more rather than less at first because suddenly they're confronted with these expectations of them and now that they're going against some areas of it. It all comes into focus a little bit more.
Emily: Interesting. You think that they like will adhere to those gender norms or those stereotypes even more just simply because--
Jase: More like what you were just saying about using gender as a reason for why they're having the experience that they're having.
Emily: Sort of justification?
Jase: I don't mean that always as a bad thing. Definitely, we've talked about it a lot on this episode and a lot of people share this and I think there's a lot of validity to it but of either surprises or frustrations about whether their experience of dating as a non-monogamous person falls into certain gender stereotypes of that being easier for women or harder for men or if it's the opposite for them than judging themselves for it and be like, "I was told it would be this one way and now, it's a different way." That people being surprised by things or surprised by what they're jealous about, I feel like can often be some extra challenges along the way that are more related to gender than just non-traditional dating. I think it brings up a lot of those things.
Dedeker: Well, to be fair I think we've been so socialized to associate the way we do dating and relationships with the topic of gender in general. With just how rampant says heterosexism is, in general, the way we talk about marriage or coupling or raising children that already we're seeing a lot of people trying to break out of that.
I think just on top of that, it's like when you start to examine the way you're doing relationships, I think like Jase said it does force you to start to examine almost the way that you do gender to a certain extent. The way that you handle gender, the way you people- the way you handle someone's gender identity, things like that. Later on, in this episode we're going to explore a gender bias, cisgender privilege, transmisogyny, all of those things.
Because of the fact that it's not just the conversations that we're seeing right now obviously, are not just intellectual, logical conversations that are about like, "This is so interesting", the way that gender is playing out in this particular situation. It's more that, like our conversations are usually driven around pain points, about stereotypes, about stigma, about biases, about prejudices things like that. As always an important time to be having this conversation.
Jase: Yes, this is a huge topic. This conversation stay is just going to be scratching the surface of it. It's something like I said that we're constantly learning more about ourselves and that because of that, we are in this episode we can only speak from our own experiences. We can't know what somebody else's experiences and so we are going to try to share as much as possible from our own personal experiences in the hopes that that will either resonate for you or maybe help give you some insights into situations in your lives as we as we talk about it.
Also, you all listening out there, our audience tends to be pretty smart, critical thinking people, which we love. Some of this might be stuff that you already know but we hope that either way this provides something to just to think about and to have this conversation together with us.
Emily: Yes, you can share it with friends and family people who maybe haven't thought about this or maybe need a refresher course. With that, let us start with some basics. Okay, from Wikipedia
Dedeker: Can’t get more basic than Wikipedia
Emily: Gender is generally conceived as a set of characteristics or traits that are associated with a certain biological sex; male or female. In non-Western countries, gender is not always conceived as binary or strictly linked to biological sex. As a result, in some cultures, there are third, fourth, fifth or some genders. Interesting. The characteristics that generally define gender are referred to as masculine or feminine.
Dedeker: I do like the phrase like we have some genders. I'm not going to tell you how many we have. We have some, don't worry about it.
Emily: We have some.
Dedeker: Probably a better attitude to take ultimately.
Jase: Right. We don't have to set a number, it's just like there are some.
Dedeker: Yes, there are some.
Emily: Might be more or less than I'm aware of, I know there are some though.
Dedeker: We're discovering new ones every day. It's really exciting actually.
Emily: That is really cool.
Dedeker: Essentially, to boil that down gender as we know it is a social construct. It's an idea that is created by people to help categorize and explain the world around them. Of course, remember that just because something is a social construct, it doesn't mean that it doesn't have impact. There's a lot of things that are a social construct like money, for instance, totally social constructs, totally something that we've created to help categorize and frame the way we think about the world and transactions. It still has an impact on people worldwide, of course.
Jase: I would even say, it's still very real even though it's a social construct. I think sometimes people take that to mean like you're saying whether it's not real. It's like well, it's incredibly real because social is what we do as humans.
Emily: We've made it.
Dedeker: We're going to launch into a list of some basic terms to be familiar with. I love reviewing this list because I do think what I see happening right now. I think especially in the past two or three years as specifically transgender rights started becoming more of a household conversation. More and more people started getting exposed to that conversation. I think people get very easily confused over what language to use in many different arenas, is this your identity? Is this your orientation? Is this your expression? Are you cis? Are you straight? Are you-- I think there's a lot of terminology that gets bandied around that sometimes people are not 100% up to speed on. With that, let's launch into some of these basic terms.
Jase: Yes, first one up is gender expression. Gender expression has to do with how we choose to express our gender in public, this is things like our haircut, or clothing, or the way that we speak, or body characteristics, or our behavior. It's the way that we express whatever gender is to us.
Now, this is a little bit different from gender identity. Gender identity is our own personal sense of what our gender is. That gender identity is something that you determine for yourself. Gender presentation has to do with how everyone else in the world sees you and understands your gender, or at least the side of that they're making decisions about how to call you with pronouns, because in our language you can't really speak about a person without knowing if they fit into male or female, or some other pronoun. Unfortunately, our language is just built that way.
The one piece of information you have to know about someone to speak about them properly, grammatically is their gender.
Emily: Next is cisgender or cis, which is those whose gender and sex assigned at birth align. A lot of people, including us, have sometimes misconstrued cis with straight, and that it is not actually what it means. It's--
Jase: Yes, totally different things.
Emily: Yes, it's just that the people who are gender and sex are what they were assigned at birth is what align with.
Jase: What they identify with.
Dedeker: What they jive with.
Emily: Exactly. That I guess is all of us as well. The three of us. Then transgender or trans is those whose gender and sex assigned to birth do not align.
Dedeker: The important thing to remember with someone who is trans is that that does not necessarily mean that they are going to physically transition from one sex to another. Not every trans person wants to go through surgery or hormone therapy. Just because a person feels a different gender that doesn't mean that they necessarily want to change their body. They may still enjoy their own genitalia, but then there's also a lot of people who feel the opposite, who do want to go on that journey of transitioning either hormone only or through surgery. Obviously, with so many things in life, there's this wide spectrum of ways that people do it.
Jase: Yes, I do want to clarify real quick that trans though, generally still goes along with a gender binary, meaning that it's either male or female. That like this says that their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth don't align, and that's not like quite that inclusive because, for example, someone who later on will talk more about this, but who doesn't identify with either male or female, probably would not use the label trans or transgender for themselves. They might, but probably wouldn't.
Emily: Yes, we'll get to that in a moment. Also, intersex which is those whose genitalia chromosomes, hormones, and/or secondary sex characteristics, don't align with the medical community strict definition of a male and a female. The very archaic term of hermaphrodites used to be thrown around all over the place but that's offensive now. That's not one that people use anymore, and not one that people should use instead intersex is the correct terminology.
Jase: Right. This is interesting because this one's about actual physical traits of the body, and has nothing to do with the gender identity. It's like to distinguish between those.
Dedeker: Right. The intersex person they may-- We have a lot of really tragic examples in the past of someone who is born intersex, but the doctor, whoever it's in charge of-
Dedeker: - overseeing their health at that time, will arbitrarily sometimes choose which sex they think this person should be, and we'll take actions toward that. Often, when someone is very small, when they're a baby or a child, and they're not able to consent or to talk about these things. Someone who's intersex may choose to transition or may choose to embrace one particular gender identity or they may not as well.
That is actually a good lead into a non-binary, or NB, or NBs, is one of my favorites. That refers to a person whose gender isn't exclusively a man or a woman. This is usually used as an umbrella term for someone who may identify as gender neutral, or a gender, or sometimes people use the term bi-gender or gender fluid. Sometimes, it's used synonymously with genderqueer, or I think Jase have used the term like gender fuckery, as well.
Jase: Yes, there were a few people that I lived with for a little while in New York, who one of one of them was a friend of mine from high school who they identified as a gender fucker. That's where I got that one, yes.
Dedeker: I threw this term in there because I noticed that when OkCupid did their big update a few years ago where they opened up a lot more options for people to choose from for describing their gender identity, that they included two-spirit on the list, and two-spirit, I know I've gotten some questions about this some people are like not entirely sure on what it is, or what the origin of it is. The term two-spirit is a term that historical and current first nations people that they use that term to describe individuals whose spirits, they felt were a blend of male and female.
A number of native Americans, who are in the LGBT communities, have reclaimed that term both to honor their heritage, and to provide, again, alternative terms to use alternative than the terms that we normally use of like bisexual, or transgender, or things like that.
Jase: Yes, I do think it is worth clarifying that this is one of those things, like talking about, like your spirit animal, that's actually something that if you are of native American ancestry is something that you could be learning about. embracing as part of your culture and keeping that culture alive, but are actually not good to use if that's not part of your cultural background that is an-
Emily: Cultural appropriation.
Jase: - appropriative. I don't know if appropriative is a word, is it an adjective for something that is-
Dedeker: We can make it one.
Jase: I don't know if it is, but I feel like it should be.
Emily: For our listeners out there, please let us know.
Dedeker: I think something that I really love about going over this list, and of course, this list is not comprehensive by any means. There's like so many terms, so many different expressions of identity, and labels that people choose to attach to, but just the fact that this really shows there's such a wide variety of identity, and such a wide spectrum of gender. I think it gets really frustrating when people don't understand that because we have the discussion around "trans rights", but what person A thinks is covered under the identities of trans rights is different for what person B thinks. Just the fact that it doesn't all necessarily look at the same.
Jase: Something that I think is also really valuable in having this kind of conversation is that because of, as I was saying before the way our language works of needing to use male and female pronouns for people when we talk about them, that I'd say more than most other distinctions between people. We've been taught that these ones are the most, well for one, universal, which as we've just talked about here is not universal for everybody, that there are just these two things in your one or the other. Also, the idea that everybody of one or the other- like that all women are more similar to all of each other than they are to any men and vice versa.
It's funny because if you actually stop and think about it, even if you were to look at it just physically. Take socialization out of it, just physical characteristics, it'd be like, I would say that there are many women out there who are either larger, or taller, or stronger than me as a man even though maybe on average men tend to be larger than women. It's, like, in seeing those averages and in studies that talk about averages, it's like we all just forget the fact that there are so many people who aren't that average. In fact, most people are not exactly average.
I think it's also worth noting there that, just even discussing it as if all men are very similar to each other, or that all women are. Even that in itself, even just physically speaking is not necessarily the case.
Emily: Yes, and that's the challenges with these stereotypes too is that it's like grouping large amounts of people into one thing, instead of looking at each person as an individual.
Dedeker: I think that's why it's so important. I think for me, I found it so important to be like specifically seeking out media, and content that's written by queer writers, or genderqueer writers or transwriters or non-binary content creators is because often people needs communities have been forced to really deconstruct what it means to be a human and what it means to interact with another human. Whereas, many of us and that's part of transgender privilege which we'll get into later, many of us scape by following the similar social rules that we've been taught of how to interact with a man that's older than you or how to interact with a woman that's younger than you and what to expect from this people, what to expect from this person if you're going to have sex with them.
Whether we like those rules or not, that we get to fall back on them whereas if you're in the process of actively questioning and piecing that apart. That also throws every other relationship in your life into some question in deconstructing process as well. I'd really encourage our audience as well to seek out those perspectives because it's not even just a new perspective on the way that you look at other people in relationships but just seeing the world in general.
Emily: Yes, absolutely. Now, we're going to open up the discussion to speaking about stereotypes, expectations, and sexism. A very important thing to remember is that sexism too doesn't necessarily fall on a binary spectrum. There are different things that we wanted to talk about that are non-binary but also a big problem and a big deal. The first one something that is in terms of getting rid of it and combating it is near and dear to my heart which is transphobia. The fear, dislike, or hatred of transgender people and or the idea of transgender in general.
This is a tough one too because I know a lot of feminists, personally, who are very transphobic and who talk about trans people in a very transphobic manner and that to me is a big fucking problem, something that we need to change. At the women's march, there were a lot of very transphobic signs that were placed up and that were marched around and also like feminism helps everyone and it should not be a freaking transphobic thing.
Dedeker: Yes, it's a really disappointing development-
Emily: Yes, it is.
Dedeker: - but I feel like there is-- I'm always surprised that actually looking at how intense and how this is surprisingly many, many voices that are anti-trans but also feminist at the same time. I don't even know what to say about it, it's just it's baffling to me. I hear what people's arguments are but I'm also just like, "But, no" [chuckles]
Emily: "But no, you're wrong"
Jase: Gosh, it's just such a tricky thing. It reminds me a little bit of this idea of, if I feel like every little scrap of everything that I have, I've had to fight for. That's it's like I'm going to be less generous if I treat things that way and so it's like, "No, you can't have any of these. I've worked too hard for it. This is all mine". It feels a little bit to me like that. We've talked about this before with the LGBT community, specifically, with the gay community shortly after certain victories toward gay marriage and things like that, there will be a backlash against bi-sexual people or against polyamorous people or even transpeople who are allies most of the time.
It's like, "I got a thing now. I have to hold onto it and so I have to distance myself from you". Then it calms down, and that's not to say that everyone's doing that, but I think somehow that's part of that knee-jerk reaction of like, "Stay away from my thing that I'm fighting to get for myself and for people who are just like me". There's this temptation to be like we're going to make a new in-group because we're fighting so hard to get recognition. I don't know if that's what's at play here for people or if it's just this fear of-- Elizabeth Sheff talks about the fear of the polyamorous possibility.
That the reason why she hypothesizes that some people get really angry and upset when they learn about polyamory is because there's something in them that goes, "That makes sense. I wish I could have that ", and that idea is too upsetting and too threatening for them. They're going to be extra angry about it. I honestly wonder if transgender or bi-sexuality or homosexuality is that for a lot of people.
Jase: I think there's some evidence to back up that it is in terms of people's having those really visceral reactions to it. It's because there's something in them that resonates just enough with it that it scares them.
Dedeker: At the same time, let it be noted that so far as of yet, the fear of the polyamorous possibility has yet to drive someone to murder a polyamorous person and yet in extreme contrast transphobia has definitely been just one of many driving factors behind a lot of really, really tragic and unnecessary deaths. Not to be a downer but--
Jase: No, that's absolutely true and important to talk about.
Dedeker: Bringing that in there.
Jase: Well, to go along with that, the next term we have here is cisgender privilege or cis privilege for short. This is just the set of advantages that individuals who are cisgender as we said, do you identify as the gender that you were assigned at birth and it's advantages that you experience simply because of that that you're most of the time not aware of. One of those things is stuff like that, of not having that same level of fear of being killed just for being who you are. There are obviously many, many more in all parts of our lives but that's just an example.
Then going along with that is transmisogyny. Transmisogyny is sexist discrimination against trans women which we didn't describe in our definitions before but transwoman means somebody who has identified as male at birth and now identifies as female. Sexist discrimination against trans women, it's a problem because of a lot of things but I think a lot of it comes from patriarchal problems that already exist in terms of contempt for women or femininity. Or the idea that any man would do something feminine is such an affront that that needs to be stopped and shown what a bad thing that is. As well as, of course, the fear of non-conformity like we're talking about with transphobia.
Dedeker: Right, yes. Then just a couple more that are on the list to cover today, one of that being the term cissexism which is an institutional response that assumes that everyone is cisgender so as in everyone matches the biological sex that they were assigned at birth. Therefore, there's a lack of recognition about the needs or the concerns or the lived experiences of people who are not cisgender. The tendency of rewarding power or privilege to people who are cisgender and denying privilege or rights to non-cisgender people.
This is something we can see every single day. Anytime you've had to fill out a form and it's forced you to choose are you male or female. [chuckles]
Emily: Male or female.
Dedeker: Right. Whether that's just going to a website or if that's at the DMV. It's so common, once you are aware of cissexism being a thing, it's just seriously, it's absolutely everywhere.
Jase: Certainly, I think it's something that we often struggle with on this show too because we know that most of our listeners are cisgender. We think it's important to speak about gendered experiences like we're planning to do in this episode while, at the same time, being aware that those aren't the only options. It is a challenging thing sometimes. It isn't just such a simple thing to say, "But just don't do that". It is something that we do try to stay actively aware of and find ways to include more of that including some future episodes that we want to do soon with guests who can talk more about that experience than we can having not lived it ourselves.
Dedeker: Okay, the last one we're going to cover which is going to transition us into, like the last half of our show here, is the term gender essentialism. This term is actually relatively new to me and it's the theory that there are just certain universal and innate features of gender that are at the root of behavior for men and women. The textbook example of this is the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, it's this whole narrative that it's like at the end of the day, men are men, women are women. There's just inalienable--
Emily: Boys will be boys.
Dedeker: Exactly. They're just different, there's no way to rectify that. There's no way to get around that. That's just the way it is. If we're going to wrap it back to logician jokes. It's a logical fallacy, right? Because it is this fallacy of just like, "Well, that's just the way it is", like it begs the question, right?
Dedeker: Yes, yes, yes. With that, we wanted to talk more specifically about the prevalence of gender essentialism, about the ways that manifests in our own personal lives, like the expectations and the pressures that we carry. The ways also that, you, as our audience, can also. you know take actions to actively fight back against this. Hopefully, take steps from, I guess, bringing more people into the spectrum of woke [chuckles]
Jase: [chuckles] The woke spectrum.
Emily: Do we coined that term, the spectrum?
Jase: The woke spectrum?
Jase: Gosh, no.
Emily: Probably, yes.
Dedeker: Okay, I'll be honest here that when we were writing this episode, there was definitely a part of me that was like, "Why are we talking about these particular stereotypes? Everyone knows the old tired out. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus bullshit."
Until actually, quite recently my life, I've encountered a surprising number of people who still buy into a lot of this stuff or who are not really actually aware of the ways that this affect us. Of course, I'm sitting here thinking I'm like, "God, didn't we cover this already 30 years ago," but then I don't know.
Emily: Look at the current political climate now.
Dedeker: Look at the United States, I guess.
Emily: Yes, exactly. Now, it clearly is still a problem and that's why I think it is important to speak about it and to bring it to light again and be like, "Yes, shit, maybe I have done that before."
Dedeker: Right. I guess I wanted to get that out of the way to say to our listeners, I realize a lot of you are going to be like, "Yes, duh, I know". The thing is at the same time, it's like there's a lot of people don't know these things and that's the more upsetting and uncomfortable part of this. Anyway, we wanted to launch in first and talking about the different experiences that people have regarding to gender and the way that it relates to the roles they take in their family. You want to go ahead and launch into this one.
Emily: Yes, okay. I was speaking with my friend, we'll call her Christine. She has three children and she's an actor and a singer as well and she will go on tours from time to time. They're usually relatively short but she was at her pediatrician with her three daughters and was telling the pediatrician about how she had just gotten back from a three-month tour in Tennessee. The pediatrician immediately was like, "Well, who was taking care of the kids?" She looked at her and she's like, "Their father, who is just as able to as I am."
If he goes on a trip, nobody ever asks me-
Jase: Who is taking care of the kids, yes.
Emily: - who is taking care of the kids. The woman said like, "Oh my God, but I didn't. You're right.That was incredibly sexist of me to say."
Dedeker: They're so surprising.
Jase: It's cool that they were able to accept that, though, and take that [crosstalk]
Emily: The pediatrician did realize like, "Wow, okay. That was really sexist of me to say." It is a thing in speaking about family roles that women are still supposed to be these nurturers, they're supposed to have the emotional labor, they are supposed to be the people who do the child-rearing or the caretaking of the family in various ways. That is not as prevalent or parents and maybe the men's roles.
Dedeker: I feel like if you really zoom out, I think it's really the label of caretaker is one that I think when you're raised and socialized to be a woman, that is just in your face all the time. That you were supposed to be taking care of other people. I think it's really sad because it's like taking care of other people is a good thing. It's a nice thing to do. It's what helps the human race keep on going. If we don't take care of each other, we're a little bit fucked.
At the same time, I think it's disproportionately expected that you're going to be a caretaker and not have any needs of your own. I think that is something that I see when I work with clients, especially, my clients who are women that manifests in just not having any boundaries is actually.
Emily: The idea of not being able to say, no, when you're a woman which is something that I know that I've felt at times. It's difficult for me to say, no, to the people around me just simply because I'm like. "Well, but I should be able to do these things and take on the emotional labor or take on just anything." If my friend needs something, "Yes, I'll go do that", or do whatever and not a question like, Well, you know what? Maybe that's a little bit boundaries stepping, overstepping here", and maybe I should be able to say, no, once in a while.
Jase: Sure, yes.
Dedeker: It's so hard though because what comes to mind for me in this moment is I think about the fact that women often bounce back from breakups, for instance, faster than men do because they've built a support network around themselves of people that not only they care for but also care for them. I think that's a little bit of the positive side of being thrust so firmly into the caretaker role, is that you are more likely to have the people there who can take care of you.
Jase: Right. That you've been taught from a young age that being there for people and nurturing and maintaining your social relationships is an important thing that you should be doing. Like you said maybe to a fault, but there is somewhat of a positive side to that. On the flip side of that, for men is that I found that it's very difficult for me to find close male friends that I can share things with, that are more emotional or that are more vulnerable, I guess.
That is something that I still tend to share more with my female friends. Even another thing is that I feel like I'm fortunate that I'm able to have female friends whereas if were, again, looking very traditionally at gender roles--
Emily: Mike Pence don't be in a room with another woman.
Jase: Right, exactly.
Emily: Or you may have sex with her.
Jase: Right. This idea that you can't be friends with someone of "the opposite sex". Even if we're not going to go there though still I've noticed there's this thing that I often find that I'm wanting in my life, but that I don't have which is that type of more emotional vulnerable sharing with other male friends and that is a really difficult thing to find.
It's funny because I say that I want it and when I imagine it, I feel really uncomfortable that there is--
Jase: I've been so socialized as a male to just have a really hard time getting comfortable with that idea. That's not that I've never had it, but it's sometimes hard to imagine at times when I don't. I had this with a really good friend in college but I don't think I've had that type of close male friend, even though I've had close male friends, but not that type of a very emotionally caring friend since then.
Emily: Yes, I saw a post when I was researching this stuff of someone writing men should not have close emotional friends, that's gay. They should just deal with it.
Dedeker: Jeez, what part of the internet were you on?
Emily: I was like, "What the fuck?".
Jase: No, I'm like yes, of course. That's what it is.
Emily: No, people actually think that and that is insane to me.
Jase: Well, but I guess what's not insane about it, that's maybe not even use that term but there's this idea--
Emily: Sure, well that is unfortunate.
Jase: The reality of it is while I'm like, "Yes, that sucks that someone would actually think that to the extreme of that statement." At the same time, what I was just describing is like a get it. It's like that's in my brain somehow not about it being gay but just the fact that that seems difficult or uncomfortable or hard to even imagine having at times.
Dedeker: It's really interesting.
Jase: It's obviously a spectrum. I think I do have men who I can share things with. There's a certain vulnerability that I might have having a conversation with Emily that I wouldn't have with my male friends who I'm also close with
Emily: Would you say that as a man things like financial security or success or just like security, in general, or your work are priorities, or it's hard that they should be.
Jase: It's not just that they're priorities but they are what make you attractive. That sort of--
Emily: Or like worthy at all.
Jase: Right. Or worthy as a person at all. Yes, the narrative we're given with that is that as a man because there's, which we'll get to in a second, but there's this underlying really toxic assumption that men are the ones who want sex and women don't really want it as much and they just go along with it sometimes. Part of that package also comes with this idea that as a man assuming that you want to date women, none of them are going to be attracted to you because you're good looking. It's all about your success or your intelligence or your money or your- maybe your sense of humor, things like this.
I do think that we've all seen it personally with people we've known who maybe have had money and then lost it, that man, their whole sense of self-esteem also goes out with it. Unfortunately, they can--
Emily: They become horrible dicks.
Jase: Yes, well, that too.I think there's a lot to this idea of, as someone who for most of my life, has not made very much money. Struggling with that idea of not feeling like I'm very attractive or, well, that's very nice and charitable of any woman who does take me.
Jase: Yes, Dee.
Dedeker: I know Emily made the comment about a guy being a dick. But the thing is actually now that I think about it and I think back over the course of my life and the relationships that I've had with men, I think about the times where I've seen a male partner, for instance, be the most depressed or the saddest or the most upset and it's almost always been attached to the loss of something material.
Dedeker: I think that at the time, I would be like, "What the hell is his problem? Get over it, it's just a bike." I actually had someone who got really depressed because he lost his bike or stolen. But that's a story for another day.
Dedeker: Or it's just money or whatever, but having this perspective of looking at the way that men are so conditioned to wrap up their worth in that, in money or in material success, it actually makes a lot more sense now. Not to say that it's justified or that it's good.
Jase: Definitely not.
Dedeker: But I think it makes a lot more sense to me now and I wish I could go back to my 19-year-old self and tell me that.
Jase: All right. What's our next one here?
Dedeker: Next one, okay. It’s a doozy. Let's talk about external experience and desirability. This god desire-- Like we could do an entire episode just on desirability and all the different factors that go into who you find desirable based on things we were just saying, like their financial success or the color of their skin or the shape of their body or whatever. I feel like this a topic that I've been thinking of a lot lately because of spending the last couple of years no longer in the entertainment industry so much. I've done a little bit of gigs here and there but I'm not-- For instance, I'm not as like heavily steeped in that as I like Emily you are now." And just trying the thing of like-
Jase: Like going on auditions and stuff.
Dedeker: -how when you're in the entertainment industry that's so in your face all the time. Like what's expected of you to look like and I think not just men-
Jase: Being perfect.
Dedeker: -but also women and people in general. Even if you don't fit conventional standards of beauty, you're still expected to still be attractive. One time someone told me about how in Hollywood, like even if they're casting a 'ugly person', they still want to find the most attractive ugly person they can find. Right?
Jase: Right. I think this one goes-- Is often used in juxtaposition with the idea that men are valued for their success or their money or their material possessions, that on the other hand this idea that women are valued because of their looks.
Emily: Yes, I mean-
Jse: Or often what I hear is more specifically just because of their youth.
Emily: Yes. I dated a male-- I dated a man, sorry, when I was 19 and I dated him on and off for a few years. He was probably, say, maybe six years older than I was. But he had some really fucked up gender stereotypes. It just basically footing around in his brain and he told me that women were most desirable under 30 and that that was the time in which men should be looking for a wife because after 30, they're just not attractive anymore and therefore their value goes way down. Men's value continues to rise, and it doesn't matter how old they are, but women, if they're past 30, sorry.
Dedeker: To think that interesting thing is that it's like I hear something like that and I'm like, "Unfortunately, that's kind of the way that our culture wants to operate, right? In the way that we treat women, the way we treat men. Unfortunately, a lot of people I think like a lot of people on the Red power movement will hold that up as like that's just strict facts. It is just a fact that-- I think with the Red Power movement, it's even lower than that. It's like 25. 25 is like the limit.
Jase: Is it right, gross?
Emily: Good god.
Dedeker: That's 'the wall'.
Emily: We hold-
Dedeker: We are real post-wall.
Emily: Yes, this is something that-- The wall? That's when a person hits the wall?
Dedeker: That I don't-
Emily: I guess that's the idea, I don't know.
Jase: I don't know.
Dedeker: I don't know.
Jase: That's not actually not one of the terms I'm very familiar with. I've recently been learning more about all these stuff.
Dedeker: I'm sorry.
Jase: Anyway, we're not going to get into that right now. Kind of like we're talking about with having men that we've known who've lost their financial situation or something's changed there and it's led to a crisis. Maybe it's not always a depression or something, but some kind of a pretty serious crisis even in the short term and I've definitely experienced this with women that I've known specifically about their age. It's interesting too because to me it's almost never-- Like it's kind of secondarily about looks, but at least when women that I've been close to have talked to me about it, it's almost always about age, like as this number. It's been different numbers, but that they've attached some sort of value and they feel like their value is running out. Unfortunately unlike something like money that can go up and down through your life, age only goes one direction.
Dedeker: Then you die.
Jase: Right, then you die. But I have noticed it's not the same but similar crisis about this external thing as if that is what determines their worth and it's tough because we do really get that enforced to us a lot.
Dedeker: Something I want to bring up here that I think really underlies a lot of this is that women are so socialized to be observed and consumed as opposed-- Men are socialized to be the observers and the consumers. I started thinking about this one a couple of months back. I read an article about-- This is going to sound weird. I read an article about sex robots for ladies and more like a hypothetical, like wondering about the future of sex robots, what's realistic, what's not and I think it was mainly focusing on what about sex robots for women, what would those be like? What would they have to do? What would be appealing to a market? The author made this interesting point that because women are so socialized to be observed, that's going to be something that you have to take into consideration. Like if someone can make a sex robot that is an observer, then maybe would be the thing that would be more successful in getting women to buy it. It sounds really messed up when you think about it, but then also in certain arenas, it makes total sense because it's-
Jase: Like when I say of host clubs in Japan.
Dedeker: Yes, totally.
Jase: Of just having someone who is devotedly going to pay attention and observe you. It does sound like that is already a product at least in Japan that is being sold to women somewhat successfully. Right? With humans not with robots but why not.
Dedeker: Japan will probably be the first.
Jase: Almost certainly.
Emily: Can we talk a little bit about the male experience? The men experience?
Jase: Yes. Like we were saying, it's not the same in terms of age or youth being tied to your self-worth, but I do think there are some things that come up. I think two big ones is about being-- I'm not even going to say being tall, but just not being short. That's definitely a big one that it's something you don't have any say in the matter. You don't get to choose that, but it does have a pretty big impact on how men feel about themselves and this is something that's-- We've had the term Napoleon complex for a long time because I do think this is a pretty universally understood thing. That this again, it's just an arbitrary characteristic of someone or not. That somehow, socially we've decided that this one is a more valuable one. I think a similar one to that is about penis size. If the ads that are fed to me online and I think most males that I know are any indication, penis size is the fucking most important thing in the world. There's so many products like-
Emily: In the world.
Dedeker: I'm going to translate that you mean the ads that are fed to you on porn sites, right?
Jase: No, like on also a lot of tech video game related sites as well.
Dedeker: That makes sense.
Jase: Sites that are mostly targeted toward men, which is technology stuff and porn. Like both of those. I feel like there's another-
Emily: I mean definitely on porn sites, I see penis enlargements, enhancing things.
Dedeker: And like torrent sites.
Emily: Yes, and torrent too.
Jase: Right, anything that turns to be a little more male-dominated. Yes, tons of ads for things about making your penis larger, and it's interesting. I thought Dedeker you put this in the notes or did you do this Emily?
Dedeker: I put this in the notes. Can I talk about it?
Jase: Yes, talk about it.
Dedeker: Yes, I wrote this fascinating article about the ancient Greeks and you'll notice if you look at ancient Greek statues of male figures like-
Dedeker: -of Zeus or Achilles, that usually they have pretty small penises. Like the statue of the David, relatively small. Apparently at that time, having big junk was more associated with being kind of more slovenly and animalistic-
Emily: Yes, it was supposed to be funny. Like, "Look at him and his-"
Dedeker: - or like comic-
Emily: “Big dick.”
Dedeker: -like on poetry like Sartus where usually portraying like having these huge erect penises or masturbating all over the place. This the idea that you had no self-control.
Jase: Right, which was not an attractive thing.
Emily: Gigantic and crazy.
Dedeker: If you had like a small flat subpoena, it's like you were in control. You are a cool guy [laughs] who had his together.
Jase: I knew that about the ancient Greeks being more into small penises, but I hadn't heard that. It makes a lot of sense to me but it has to do with sort of composure and self-control and stuff like that. It makes a lot of sense actually. I think that's an interesting one too because I think a lot of men also think that that is a universal thing. That all men and all women must find bigger penises more attractive. There's even -- I'll read about studies trying to back that up with scientific evidence and things like that.
It's again all we have to do is look to the ancient Greeks to see that isn't always the case in every culture at every time, right? I think the physical appearance when I think we tend to talk more about women as it relates to this one, but there are some things with men that again are out of our control in the same way that aging is that they can be easy to get sort of attached our self-worth to, I guess.
Dedeker: Before we move on from this section, I just wanted to make a note also about the experience of trans people or people who are not gender conforming when it comes to these expectations for outward appearance or desirability. I'm not going to name names, but there was someone else who was relatively influential in the polyamorous community who posted a meme not too long ago with good intentions that the meme was like, oh, I want my women to look like women and men to look like-- Women should be women and men should be men.
That it was disguising itself as an anti-trans meme when the pictures on it were actually of like a really famous trans-man who's really bulky and muscular and has this great six pack. Then this really famous trans-woman who look passes really well. Essentially looks really feminine and beautiful and like the intention behind the meme like I get but a lot of people are really outraged because it's like you're still imposing these really harsh expectations of appearance even on someone who's trans. It's like someone may be trans, someone may identify differently from the sex they were assigned at birth but that doesn't mean that they necessarily want to strictly inherently conform to what that gender is supposed to look like. It may not even mean that they want to pass, I think that's kind of assumption that a lot of people carry, is that all trans people must surely they must want to pass. Not everybody does.
Jase: Yes, and the goal of every trans person is to be able to afford surgery and the only thing holding them back could be a financial concern. That's also-
Emily: Not true.
Jase: -not true at all.
Emily: Yes. Absolutely. Okay. We're going to move on to-- Let's talk about sex, baby.
Dedeker: Oh, Jesus.
Dedeker: It's back to sex.
Emily: Yes. The same gentleman that I spoke of earlier that I was in a relationship with for a number of years, he got on me because he was the third person that I had ever slept with at the time, and he was like, God, you slept with three people? That's a lot. You've slept with a lot of people. I was like, how many fucking people have you slept with?
Emily: He's like you're my ninth. I was like, well. He said that's a lot too. That's kind of promiscuous. I was like, okay, but you think you're talking to me about my promiscuity at three people. Like, okay. Again, it's this idea that women have to be virginal and this like Madonna-whore complex thing of like if you are not virginal, then you are therefore a whore and you are therefore undesirable.
Jase: Gosh. Yes.
Dedeker: This is such a big one. I feel like this is the topic that carries the most pinpoints right now, because of everything that we've been that our entire culture has been talking about right now. Really hard to dig into this when I think thoroughly. I'm sure a lot of other people have experiences as well with the prevalence of the me-too movement and all these conversations that are happening.
I know for me, it's really forced me to even look at my own experience of sex and what actually is good for me, and what are the things that are not good for me that I've put up with or tolerated and also question myself why do I put up with that. Why do I tolerate it? For me personally, a lot of things have gotten shaken up in regards to that. I know with the two of you the same thing has happened as well.
Emily: Something that we spoke about, Dedeker, you, and I is this idea that there's a normalization to pain when women have sex, and that that's okay. That also men should always experience pleasure when they have sex. That's a very normal thing and that pain is also a very normal thing for a woman. There is that kind of idea that women's pain tolerance is so much higher than men since we have to deal with pain on a monthly basis and all of this shit.
Dedeker: Yes, it reminds me-- Okay, so this is just anecdote but like years ago, I bought a particular sex toy that was designed to be used when you're having sex. Goes in your vagina when you're having sex. In the FAQs on a sex toy, one of the FAQ's was is not going to hurt [laughs] that seems like kind of a tight fit. The response of FAQ was just like, oh, the vagina is designed to stretch. It stretches during childbirth so you'll be okay. At the time I was like, oh, yes, that makes sense. Okay, cool. I just decided to use my sex toy. But now, I'm just like Jesus Christ, talk about just normalizing pain for women during sex where it's just like no, no, no, your body is designed to deal with it so you'll be fine.
Emily: I guess it is, but so what? Like you shouldn't be in pain during-
Dedeker: That doesn't mean that I want to have something stretching out my vagina. There's a reason I don't want to go through childbirth. Just because I'm designed for childbirth doesn't mean I want to do it. Sorry, I am not lamenting.
Jase: I think that a lot of this in a while for men, it's a definitely a different experience. There isn't an association with pain. There's generally not a lot of danger associated with sex. It's not at all the same sorts of concerns. In talking about just the ways that our experience of being raised culturally to be a certain gender, can affect things like the decisions we make and the way that we justify our actions.
Something that I found specifically for men is about getting an erection, right? Earlier, we talked about penis size, but this is another one that I find comes up a lot. Is either very much avoided in conversation or is talked about a lot at different times, but the idea of whether or not you are able to get it up and keep it up. The reason I want to talk about this one is because I think it's-- I've noticed actually a lot of guys and women actually will make decisions about whether or not they're going to use condoms when having sex, specifically out of a fear of not choosing not to use them specifically because they're worried it will be harder for them to get it up or harder for them to keep it up.
Women also suggesting this at times of being like, oh, or if we didn't use a condom maybe that would be better. I want to bring this one up because that's a pretty big thing, and it's like, on the one hand, we can say we always talk about. We're like, just fucking doing it. It's not such a big deal. Just use them and you'll have a little more peace of mind and all this stuff. There is a lot more to it that I think, we often don't realize and it's definitely not talked about in sex ed classes which is the only other time besides this podcast when people tell you to use condoms.
Jase: Just kidding.
Dedeker: Use a condom.
Jase: This idea of, again, your self-worth as a man is about being able to-- part of that is tied up in being able to have sex and available. To have sex at any moment. The idea being that a man's goal is to be having sex all of the time and the only thing keeping him from doing that is just that he can't get it all the time. That sort of an extreme version of the stereotype.
Part of that that I think we take for granted is the idea that he's always able to. I've personally seen a lot of men make really irresponsible decisions because they feel like they have to be able to perform so they're going to make more irresponsible decisions or even trying to get black market prescriptions for viagra and things like that, because they feel like they need to be doing that because that's where their value comes from.
Emily: It is interesting to me that the times when I've been pressured into not using a condom are simply because, well, it doesn't feel as good to me. That pleasure thing for me and is there again that it is kind of all about the pleasure as opposed to the safety or another reason to use a condom. Anything in general or you need to go on birth control because I don't want to use a condom because it's not as pleasurable for me.
Put hormones into your body and you can take the pain and you can take the side effects for my pleasure. Finally, the last one that we're going to talk about here is the work experience. I have a quick little story about my mother. She was sexually harassed in the workplace; talked to her supervisors about it and instead of them doing anything about it, they transferred her to a different department with a female head, like a female supervisor essentially. That was back in the '90s, but still, women have the experience of needing to like just take sexual harassment in stride because if they don't, they might get transferred to a different department. They may be skipped over for a bunch of promotions. They may not make as much money, which we don't anyways.
Jase: Unfortunately, there's something that happens on the other side of that if you have someone who-- you have bosses who are very aware of sexual harassment and then that's not acceptable in an effort to avoid it. They will also limit the opportunities that female employees will have for face time with the bosses and forward those like for drinks after work. This is something that-- Just a couple of years ago, I was talking about, with a friend of mine who she's a woman and works in post-production works and editing.
She was talking about specifically that of like, "I don't get invited to go out to drinks like other editors do with the producer and so I don't get face time with them and I don't get the promotions when men who have less experience than me do because they got that time to inculcate themselves and be social and be things like that." It's this like, on one hand, we have the story about your mom.
On the other hand, we have something that, I guess, maybe it's a little better, but it's still really, really bad. It's still not a good situation here, and I think that that's something else to keep in mind with this, especially if you're someone in that position as a boss, like realizing, "Wait a minute. I'm creating an unfair situation even by trying to avoid this other one."
Dedeker: I came up with a whole like Mike fucking Pence situation-
Jase: Yes, which we mentioned earlier.
Dedeker: -going to dinner. We don't need to dig that zombie up from the grave, but it's like that whole thing of like in going to the opposite extreme of trying to prevent any kind of sexual harassment. It's still having really negative effects on someone's career essentially.
Jase: Absolutely. It's this whole idea that, again, if you're operating in this say sexism way of thinking where I feel like there tend to be two assumptions. One that everyone is either male or female and they were always that from birth. Two, they're all straight like these two assumptions are what's behind things like Mike Pence's decision to not ever be in a room alone with a woman or to go out to dinner with them. Like I was saying about bosses not doing that with their female employees out of fear of that.
It all comes down to this idea that someone who is the opposite gender from you isn't a person they're just that gender. I think that we see this sometimes the other way around especially with people who're more religiously monogamous, women being like, "You're a man so I can't trust you. I can't be friends with you or whatever it is because you're a man and that's what I see before I see you as a person." I do think more often we see this the other way around though like we've been talking about especially at the workplace. Even people with good intentions can end up creating a situation like that. What can we do about all these?
Emily: Good question.
Dedeker: Jeez. I just want to just bury my head in the sand and give up sometimes.
Emily: I know. It's so ingrained in our society. It can be really, really difficult to figure out how the hell to change all of this, but I think that it does really need to start with our young people. Start teaching, if you're going to have kids or if you do have kids, the three of us are like not so into that, but if you-
Dedeker: I have access to children. Thank you very much.
Emily: That's true, that's true and I do too.
Emily: I know some-
Dedeker: That sounds really weird. Access to children that are related to me. Sorry. I'll clarify.
Emily: Likewise, and I'm really pleased that the children that I know that are related to me are already ingrained like all of these things that we're about to talk about are ingrained within them and that I think is fantastic. Why don't you start off with something that you can do for a child to get rid of the gender norms?
Dedeker: Yes, definitely. Again, just to drive it home. You don't have to be a parent like this is still something that you can model and that you can do for other children that are in your life or if you've invested in.
Jase: I'm super stoked about this with kids coming up in my life like when my brother finally has kids and some of my friends. I love like raising kids, I loved to having siblings who are much younger than me and being involved in helping shape them-
Emily: The child rearing.
Jase: -into people who I think are pretty freaking cool. I love that.
Dedeker: Always the aim of child rearing is trying to raise cool people as best as we can.
Dedeker: Okay, anyway, to dive into some practical things that you can do. You can ensure that children receive equal praise for the same behavior. As in a boy and a girl, you give them the same praise if they're neat or if they're good in sports or if they're helping you around the house. Just keeping that equal and not reserving praise for housekeeping for little girls or praise for being physically active or strong for boys.
Jase: I think that's also something that I think extends to adults too. It's something I've tried to become more aware of especially in the workplace. Now that I'm in a little bit more of a supervisory position of like, even just like, "Hey, you look great today." of not being like that something I only say to female coworkers. We tend to do that with our children and it's like, "Oh, look you're so pretty." To the girls and, "Oh, whoa, you're so strong or you're so smart." To our boys and instead, being like, "Why don't we even those out a little bit and be more even with the types of compliments that we give or don't give.
Another one is encouraging our children to be friends across genders. I think part of this comes from you not being the one who reacts, by being like,"Oh, is it a girl?" like making that a thing. Like it's just, "Oh, tell me about who are they?" Rather than instantly showing them, "Hey, we're going to group them into this one category that's different from you."
Emily: Something else is two years and anatomically correct terms when referring to body parts. You can say vagina and you can say penis and you can say breasts when those things come up, and that that's okay to do. Not to make them into little baby terms or whatever, but instead actually anatomically use the correct terms with your children.
Dedeker: Another thing that you can do is to point out to children and to discuss gender representations in the media. When I sit down and watch TV shows or movies with my niece and nephew, I feel like I have noticed in their generation that the media that they consume seems to be getting a lot better at representing different people in different genders in different roles, rather than the traditional roles that we see. However, Disney definitely really encourages all the millennial parents to keep buying same old Disney movies for their kids.
Jase: Some of which are pretty bad.
Dedeker: I know a lot of us Millennials have a lot of nostalgic attachment to Disney movies and want to share them with our kids or with kids that we're helping to raise. There's still an excellent example to talk about those things because some of them, they're literally values from the '40s [sarcastically] being shown to kids. Even though media, I think overall is starting to get a little bit better. Kids are so exposed to a lot of stuff that's still a little bit outdated.
Jase: Another one is avoiding gender-specific language when talking about-- saying that's a man's job or that's not ladylike or be a gentleman. There are lots of ways that we can be telling them that certain behaviors are also related to a gender.
Emily: Yes. Also encourage gender-neutral toys and colors, or even if your kid wants to play with something that usually would be associated with the opposite gender, that's okay too. That's not a problem. If your boy likes pink, your girl loves playing with trucks, don't worry about it.
Jase: Something that I remember hearing a while ago that I actually really liked was about if you have a kid who-- like if you have a boy who wants to play with dolls or you have a girl who wants to play firefighter or something. Rather than telling them, "No, boys don't do that." Or, "Girls don't do that." Or, "No, you shouldn't do that." is instead to actually have a conversation with them about just like, "You can do whatever you want and I think that's great and I'm going to love you and encourage you, but you should also know that some people might think that this is weird for a boy to do or a girl to do."
Specifically, so that you are setting themselves up. You don't tell them one thing and then they go to school and get a totally different thing and they're like, "Oh my gosh. My parents were wrong. I should trust my friends. This is the case."
But instead, actually having a conversation to say, "Hey just so you know, some people might be weird about this, but you don't have to worry about that if you don't want." Giving them all the information instead of trying to just like sugar coat it or pretend that that's not a thing. Because unfortunately, as good a job as you might do raising your kids to not fall into gender stereotypes, they still will live in a world that is going to have those. The better equipped they are to handle that, the better.
Dedeker: Yes, that makes sense.
Emily: If we ain't a kid, we don't got kids, we don't ever see kids, what else can we do?
Dedeker: You don't even know what kids are.
Emily: What's a kid?
Dedeker: What is a kid? Yes, so if you don't even know what a kid is, some things that you can do just as an adult to help bust some of these gender stereotypes. This is a real important one, but if a colleague of yours who is a woman is interrupted by a colleague of yours who is a man, it doesn't even have to be a colleague, it could be a friend too, point out that she wasn't finished speaking. Super simple. You don't even have to be confrontational about it. You can even just be like, "Oh, hang on. Sorry. I really wanted to know what she had to say. Can you please continue."
Jase: This was something that when this was first pointed out to me about some of the studies done about showing how much more often women are interrupted in the workplace than men at meetings and things like that. Becoming really aware of it, I've found that that for myself sometimes I will interrupt somebody, male or female, when I'm talking, but I have tried to become much more aware of that. I'm not perfect about it; I still mess it up sometimes. I have tried to still be better about starting to do it realizing it and then going, "I'm so sorry I interrupted you, please continue." It's one of these things it's not just like you're either perfect or you're not, but as long as you're willing to admit like, "Oh, you know what, I'm sorry, that was rude of me. Please continue." At least acknowledge that, and do something about it. That might also, as a man, might be a good role model for other men to see, "Oh, oh, oh I didn't even notice that he had interrupted her, but since he called him himself out on it him himself he's so-- I don't-- it's too late, I can't do grammar anymore." Since he called it out himself I realized, "Oh, hey that's a thing I should be aware of."
Emily: As we said for the children's part of this section ,also point out negative gender stereotypes when they come up in media television and film. I do this with my mother sometimes. It is surprising to her and she's like, "Oh yeah. Oh, oh wow. Oh yeah, that is the thing." Again, not everybody is cognizant of it, but doing that and pointing it out I think it's very important.
Dedeker: Yes, I just had a long conversation about The Name of The Wind, which was recommended to me by several people, and which I finally read and was really horrified because it has some really awful stereotypes of women to the point where it's like when I first read it I was like, "Oh, what a nice book from the 60s," and then I was like, "What? It came out in 2014? What the fuck."
Jase: Yes. It's like a fantasy book.
Dedeker: Really though, if you're listening in like you really like women in the wind like, "Oh, just send me an email explaining why." It's just it's got so many problems, anyway. That's correct, multiamory.com?
Jase: Yes. Another one is also just speaking up if someone is making sexist jokes or comments whether it's online or in person, I think it's especially valuable in person actually is to challenge them on it and to not engage in it yourself, right? I think a lot of times there's a temptation to not rock the boat, and so we might laugh along with a joke that isn't appropriate or that we don't think is okay is to-- Again, to go back to my thing of not understanding we're not perfect all the time even if you find yourself doing that just as a knee jerk reaction of laughing along with it. Even if it's right after that to go actually like, "Can we not," or, "That sucks," like or I've also found if you want to be like in times when you don't want to be as confrontational. When I've been around guys making sexist jokes, sometimes I'll just be like, "Really like I thought better of you than that," to just be like -
Dedeker: Ooh, it is smooth.
Jase: No. Rather than try to get on a soapbox about them and preach to them, which I think will just make them resist more and to just come be like,"Really, you're going to take that like easy shitty joke that we've all heard before? I thought you were better than that."
Emily: Yes. I was in my workplace recently and some guy was talking about two of his other coworkers and being like, "Yes, God, they're so sweet together. They're so gay, like whatever." It's not exactly a sexist comment, but it's a shitty comment and I was like, "Listen man, I'm bisexual. So go fuck yourself."
Jase: You didn't say those words. Actually you didn't say those words.
Emily: Yes, I was like, "Dude, I'm bisexual, don't talk like that around me."
Jase: Okay, see, you didn't say, "Go fuck yourself," though?
Emily: No, I didn't say.
Jase: That's what I was saying.
Emily: I wanted to say ‘go fuck yourself,’ but I did say I'm bisexual like, "Please don't talk like that." He was like, "What? What? Okay. What I'm not like making a thing."
Dedeker: Did you had that version?
Jase: Yes, gosh. For those of you who are watching the video on YouTube, that was a great moment. I definitely recommend making a gift out of that and send that to me.
Dedeker: We're all in rare form to me.
Emily: Okay. This is turning to longest episode ever, but it is important. Let's keep on going. Almost to the end here. Another thing that we can do is just set an example for your friends and family of being a person who has a safe space for other people regardless of their gender identity. I think this one just basically translates to don't be a dick. Listen to this episode, educate yourself and be a safe space for other people regardless of how it is that they express themselves.
Jase: I think also as a man, I found this is something that even if it's not making a sexist joke against someone else, but someone teasing like other male friends teasing you about either being feminine or something like that, that is a common way that guys will joke with each other, is to just to rather than trying to make it a sarcastic like, "Oh, yes totally," or fighting back against a deal like, "No way, don't call me that, I'm so manly." to just feel like calling a gap. I find that in groups of men. It's just takes the wind out of their sails and when they realize those sorts of jokes don't get the reaction they're used to them having. I have actually found a whole life groups of guys that I know or close friends that I've had for a while will slowly gravitate away from those or even often to the point of me being the one that they would come to about something that they don't feel like they can talk to someone else about and like actually being vulnerable just by owning that, and not feeling this need to fight against being called feminine, which I think is also such a hard thing because that's part of this problem of thinking that feminine equals bad. If you're a man especially but even in general that's the way it's treated.
Emily: It's not as good.
Jase: It's good, which brings us lastly here is to compliment people on things that they may not normally be complimented on. For example, telling a man that you admire sensitivity, or complimenting a female friend of yours on her intelligence or her strength.
Emily: Yes. God forbid.
Jase: Yes, right.
Emily: Do it.
Jase: What a novel concept.
Dedeker: Maybe also don't assume that a trans person wants to be complimented on passing. That's another thing to put there in mind. Some people want to hear that, but a lot of people also don't.
Jase: I've also found something that is helpful is just realizing that you can be more specific with compliments. Again, like I was talking about before of that rather than just being like, "Oh, you look good today," or like, "Oh, you look nice today," or something like that, which people do at work just to be friendly. We do fancy Fridays at work, so we all dress up on Friday.
Dedeker: Oh, you're fancy.
Jase: Instead of being-- what I've noticed there and actually a lot of my coworkers do, which I really appreciate, is rather than just being like, "You look great today or you look nice today," they will be more specific like, "Oh my gosh, I really like that tie." Or-
Emily: I really like the soup in your hair there.
Jase: Well, okay. Maybe, I haven't heard that one before, but or being more specific of like, "Wow, I really like the texture of that dress that you're wearing. That's a really cool material." I also work with a lot of very detail oriented people, so maybe they just see the world that way. I think the same can be true with other sorts of compliments rather than just being like, "Oh, you're nice." Or it's like,"Well," like,"I really appreciate how compassionate you are when you listen to other people talking. Right?" Something like that.
Dedeker: Well, we have covered a lot of ground today. If you've listened all this way, thank you for coming along on this journey with us. Even though we've covered so much today, again it's still just barely scratching the surface of all of these problems and all these things to think about. We would love to hear from you also of course the three of us fully is our experience only cover so much. We would love to hear from you. If you would like to have a question or a comment played on the show, then you can call us at 678-MULTI-05. You can leave us a voice mail there. You can also leave us an audio message at Multiamory Facebook page. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send us a message on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.