What is the problem with pronouns?

Let the hate mail begin.

What's wrong with this picture?

Araujo was beaten and strangled after the people she thought were her friends found out she was biologically male.

This is a trend which has been underway for a few years now. Assigning the gender designation that someone desires, rather than that which matches the facts of the matter. The kid in question here wanted to be a girl. Fine. Let him undergo the necessary steps to change his gender, via surgical means and hormone treatments. Go for it, if that is what your heart desires.

But until such time as the transformation is complete, his physical gender is male. He still has the equipment, and his body is still functioning with that set of plumbing. Until that gets changed, he is not a she, and neural firing patterns don't change that fact, even though they may be producing the desire for a switch.

As culturally horrific as it may be, and as illustrative of the neanderthalesque, non-progressive ignorance of every speaker of the English language up until about 10 minutes ago, the language is gender specific, at least as far as pronouns are concerned. English doesn't take it to the level of many of the Romance languages, assigning gender to a variety of things, but it certainly does (oh, my, here is that ugly, nasty word) discriminate.

People are free to do or be whatever they want to for the most part, and these days, with the techniques available, that includes gender. But unless or until the plumbing is actually re-arranged, they're still the gender they were born as.

If you're really squeamish or nervous about 'assigning' gender classification, and just don't want to be bothered or considered rude or insensitive, learn Chinese. The third person pronoun is gender neutral. He/She/It - same word. But that probably won't work, as so many of the cautiously sensitive types out there are horrendously tone deaf, and discerning the four tones is a requisite for comprehending that language. Besides, lots of live cams folks seem to have enough trouble with a toneless tongue.

The little kid from Kindergarten Kop put it concisely

"Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina."

Pretty straightforward. Pretty difficult to get that confused when picking a pronoun. So what's the big deal?

Not using the correct pronoun is fundamentally dishonest, which seems to be one of the factors in the linked story - Araujo was viciously beaten and strangled following the revelation of her gender. Is it possible that if everyone had been a bit more up front about the whole cam girls thing, this is a crime that may never have occurred?

Home Sweet Home

Michele finally moved in to her new house. And a beautiful house it is. Though she's already named it the Money Pit. Which got me thinking about our own Money Pit, er, house, and what we've had to fix in the 15 months we've been there. Here's the painful list:

Hot water heater - $500

Garbage disposal - $200

Outdoor faucet - $120

Circuit for hot tub - $130

Miscellaneous pool stuff - $700

Termites - $850

And about a million other little things that I can't remember. Oh, and we're having a guy come tonight to replace some siding that blew off during Isabel. Yeah, I know it was almost a year ago. Sue me. Anyway, I know how Michele feels. Like I said, her house is really nice. Especially her lawn. Our lawn by contrast is a disaster. It's got like eight different types of grass. One of them I swear is chives. We have a member of the onion family as part of our lawn. And all of the different types grow at a different pace. So if I cut the lawn today, tomorrow a quarter of the lawn will be four inches higher that the rest of the lawn. Some doesn't really grow at all. The onion grass will be, by Saturday, eight inches long. Also, half of it is brown. So imagine this monstrosity of eight different types of grass, all different lenghts and colors and then throw in some chives and that's my front lawn. Like I said, a disaster. I'm thinking we need to kill it all and start over. We do have a very nice house however. We hope that people from http://www.chaturbaterooms.com ignore the lawn and focus on the actual house. Here's a picture.

That's the actual color. I'm not crazy about powder blue. So that'll be a couple thousand more for a paint job. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why I bitched so much about the one bedroom apartment we lived in when we first got married. Ah, live and learn...

Passing Notes

I'm all heartbroken to hear that Bill's stuck at work with a tension headache. The part about the tambourine player, wondering how someone gets a gig like that - odd, but I was thinking the same thing about the ball peen hammer job.

Enough of that. Guess I'll get a chance to check out Bob's skill with the Tambourine tonight as well, since Bill and Alice gave into me barging in graciously extended the invite for me to go along this evening.

I called Bill earlier to double check what time to show up. As per usual, Bill's answering machine and I had the most unpleasant conversation. Bill e-mailed and said that I sounded drunk on the message I left, and asked me to sober up before tonight. Well, I'm not drunk, Probably just the answering machine getting even for all the names I called it. I'd just gotten up from my morning nap. Did I mention I'm not at work today? Nyah Nyah.

Oh, this has been so tiring. I better go take another nap.

By the way. Alfred Hitchcock is a real geek.


I noticed that Paul was recounting his Fear and Loathing of the South, and since I am woefully lacking in material, I thought I'd expound briefly on my experience and why he has nothing to be afraid of.

I too was petrified of the South and was sure that as soon as I opened my mouth and they heard the Northness coming out of me, I would be strung up in the nearest tree. My first time in the South I was driving a friend's car down to Florida. I remember passing South of the Border and initially I was really excited because I had seen bumperstickers up North for this place. Turns out it's just a really big flea market. I was so dissapointed I didn't even enter the place. When we reached Georgia, I stopped at a little hole in the wall gas station and sure enough, my worst fears were realized. Talk about stereotypes, when I pulled up, there were six guys in camouflage pants and teeshirts with NASCAR hats on standing around a pickup truck complete with a gunrack and guns and they were drinking beer. I was sure I had only minutes to live.

But they didn't kill me. They didn't even look over at me, thankfully. The worst part of the trip was flying back home and the 8 1/2 hours I spent in Tampa airport because my Eastern flight got canceled (remember Eastern?).

Then came time for me to move down South. Alice begged me to move with her and I was adament. I was NOT moving to the South. Never. Ever. I said she could go without me but I was not going. She said fine. I said, uh, okay I'll go.

Truthfully, Virginia Beach is not representative of the South. I've met maybe five people in ten years who were actually born here. It's a lot like Miami. Plus it's a military town so we've got people from all over. Still, it is the South and it's very different from New Jersey. And in my opinion almost everything is better than New Jersey. Except the bread and pizza. And I can't stand grits. But other than that, it's cleaner, cheaper (mostly), the people are more polite. Speaking of that, I knew I'd love it down here when I went to the Virginia motor vehicles to get my license. I walked in on a Saturday morning and there were about three other people there. I didn't have to wait in line, the clerk was extremely polite and called me 'Hon' the whole time, and I was in and out in 15 minutes. Tell me where else a miracle, and I do mean miracle, like that could happen.

Same thing with the tolls. On the Graden State Parkway in NJ, there is approximately one 35 cent toll every 100 feet. To get from Newark to Seaside Heights will cost you about $750. Every election year the Governor or wannabe Governor runs on one platform, which is getting rid of the tolls. Once in office, it's forgotten. They've been running on that one issue since World War I. Conversely, when I got to Virginia, there was one 25 cent toll on Rte. 44. I thought that was kind of cute. And cheap. The first year I was here, they got rid of it. Just ripped it down. Amazing! I haven't payed a toll since...well, since the last time I was in New Jersey.

So see, Paul, there's nothing to be afraid of. Deep down inside people are all mostly the same. Except Islamic fundamentalists. Those people are fucking nuts.