[CONTENT WARNING: cissexism, rape, violence]
i found this graphic on tumblr and i want to talk about it. i get that the op was probably trying to be positive, but i have a few issues with this pic. i shall now present them to you in no particular order because ranking shit is too hard for my brain.
1. the word “love” – we’re talking about (sexual/romantic) attraction here, not just love. in this case, i think “love” comes off as a euphemism for “some combination of attraction, sex, love, and/or affection.” personally, i think euphemisms are half-assed and useless unless you’re trying to avoid triggers (avoiding triggers = awesome).
(i don’t think “attraction” is generally a triggering word, but please lemme know if i’m just eating my foot, here. cuz i’m good at changing my ways.)
2. the word “shouldn’t” – seriously, i know this is just a little graphic and it’s probably supposed to be cute and/or inspirational, but don’t tell me what my “love” should or should not be based on. unless i’m fetishizing a group of people and/or behaving in a problematic way, you don’t get to do that.
like, is it ok if i’m only attracted to people who think consent is sexy? “should” i “love” anti-consent people cuz the “love” police say so? didn’t think so. i think “shouldn’t” is kinda a shitty word to use in a graphic like this.
3. “…something as trivial as gender” – gender isn’t trivial. people are marginalized based on gender. people are killed based on gender. people are raped based on gender. people are basically shat on based on gender. that shit isn’t trivial. you can’t say gender is trivial unless you’re ignoring the dynamics of gender-based privilege and oppression.
i’d also like to point out that as a trans* person, my gender is pretty fucking important to me in ways cis people often take for granted. here’s an excerpt from a post i wrote about genderblindness recently:
i fight every day to take up space as a person of my gender. i come out to strangers on the fly CONSTANTLY (cuz it’s in my self-respect policy). i end up holding in my piss for hours cuz i can’t find a non-gendered bathroom. i have to avoid restaurants without non-gendered bathrooms. i have to avoid clothing stores without non-gendered change rooms. strangers feel entitled to tell me i’m gross when i come out as trans*. i have to lie to the government on official forms, and my partner and i are estranged from his side of the family– so i reallyreally hope you aren’t telling me you think my gender is unimportant. read more.
and that’s just me. other trans* folks, especially dmab trans* poc, live in fear of serious violence and murder. this is serious shit.
4. the notion that pansexuals don’t experience attraction based on gender – maybe YOU don’t experience attraction based on gender, but i do and so do some other pan people. sometimes gender is a factor in pansexuality and sometimes it isn’t. there are a shit-ton of ways to experience pansexuality. start respecting the diversity, please. thanks.
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i guess i wanted to write about this graphic because it’s more than just a silly picture on tumblr. to me, it represents attitudes common among internet pansexuals. these are serious problems and i think we need to talk about them.