The Overflow, Backwash, Backlog, Logorrhea, Ad Hoc, Anyone-Can-Use, No-Word-Limit SPEAKEASY

April 5, 2007

The Civility Dilemma on Planet Gendera

Filed under: Radio Open Source Conversations — Nick @ 4:03 am

The following comes courtesy of the wonderful writer Allison, who blogs (much too infrequently) at:

On the planet Gendera, it takes an XX and an XY Genderian to reproduce. And the hormonal differences of the XX’s and the XYs are such that they create physical power imbalances and vastly different experiential perspectives. The XYs are endowed with much greater physical prowess and for millenia have wielded that power over the XX’s and treated them like second class citizens.

Imagine that, at one time, though the XXs were charged with all the duties of raising the species and supporting the work of the XYs by keeping the homefires burning, the XXs couldn’t even own property or have a say in how society would best function. Most cultural decisions have been made by the XYs since the beginning of the species’ existence. In recent years, some changes have occurred. XXs are allowed to vote for public servants. They can own property. They can even get jobs in the open market – though their work is likely to be valued at 70% of that of the XYs.

This progress has been seen as so cataclysmic, that the XYs think that the XXs should feel that everything is equitable now and quit talking about it. But the XXs know that so many things are still not equitably represented. Artistic works are appreciated based upon a cultural norm created by the XYs. When XXs speak in public they are subjected to violent speech and subjective criticism that has nothing to do with the content of their speech. Well, if they are not ignored altoghter. XXs have lived in a world dominated by XYs for so long, that they have internalized the value systems of XYs and it would take many, many generations of respect and validation for the authentic XX expression and value system to emerge. But XXs know that this process has not even begun. For if an XX writes under a name that sounds like an XY name, the writing is received and responded to in a very different manner than if the same writing comes with a name that sounds like an XX name.

But the XXs can’t get this point across. Because the XYs are comfortable with the way things are and don’t have any pressing need or motivation to put up with change – especially change that requires self-reflection and accepting another viewpoint as valid even though you will never be able to actually see from that viewpoint yourself. So, when XXs try to make the point that Gendera does not reflect a dual experience, – say, as in stories only being told by XYs – a dual point of view, and that one half of the species is subjected to behavior that nullify their existence, they are simply subjected to exactly that which they are trying to cry out about.

And imagine that an XX is in a forum populated, even hosted by, XYs that present themselves as open-minded individuals committed to increasing the civil in civil society. And even in this forum, the perspective of the XXs is allowed to be dismissed or ignored. Imagine in this forum that it is acceptable for XXs to state what it is like to be an XX and then XYs are allowed to say, “No, it isn’t. We’ll tell you what it is to be an XX.”

How can a society be civil if it is refuses to accept as a truth the perspectives expressed by it’s own members?

Respect. Fundamental to a civil society. What a concept….

Based on the experiences of the XX’s in Gendera, Gendera has never had a civil society.

Thank goodness it’s only fiction….

Allison rocks.


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