the letter z

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-03-24

I really hate my life, do you understand? It is filled with enough heartache, stress, frustration, and futility as it is already.


Boundaries, lines, boxes, and labels

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-03-17

So something seemed to blow up on QT, namely, that a post regarding appropriation of genderqueer identites. I haven’t looked into the full two-hundred comments, partly because the discussion seemed to devolve into determining who was legitimately genderqueer or not, but partly because I’m unfamiliar with the subject matter as well as I would not necessarily consider myself genderqueer.

But this brings up an interesting side question. Normally, I find that a reasonably prudent way to define membership in a social group (for example, who is gay/lesbian, or who is trans) is by respecting a person’s self-identification. Most of the time, most people who self identify with a given identity are genuine, and everything works. But from an external perspective, someone may claim to identify one way or another for a joke, or for example, in the genderqueer case as described in the above linked post, “when someone decides that they are totally down with smashing the gender binary, and that they’ll show it by taking on a genderqueer identity”. This seems at odds with respecting self-identification, but it seems justified enough.

I am also reminded of the totally bizarre case from The L Word, where a “male lesbian” character was introduced — a man who identified with a “lesbian lifestyle” … er, or something. I imagine, as absurd as this might be, that a certain number of people identify this way. Again, while the notion of a cis man identifying as a lesbian is fairly absurd, this seems at odds with respecting self-identification.

What about intersections of identifications? How would one classify a trans butch lesbian? Is she trans, or genderqueer? What about a cis butch lesbian? What about a cis man who enjoys drag every now and then?

I’m at a loss. I’m sure that the number of these cases where self-identifications seem absurd are miniscule. I’m also sure that having hang-ups on labels is perhaps problematic in itself, but labels are actually important to LGBT people as well, as a rallying point and to distinguish who is part of our communities and who is not, but that leads to the problems described above.

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-03-09

The natural corollary to my previous post necessitates a reexamination of nihilism, I believe; a philosophy of existence that, as Wikipedia puts it, “negates one or more meaningful aspects of life”.

I do reject the notion that life is absent of meaning: we have meaningful relationships, meaningful interests, etc. Let me however introduce a neologism, that an action is pointful, or has a point where performing the action leads to a new state or condition of existence. Reading a textbook or going to a class is meaningful and pointful, because after the action is performed, one is more educated and knowledgeable about the topic.

I submit that life, while comprised of meaningful and pointful enterprises, is itself pointless. I suppose it is open to say whether it makes sense to ascribe pointfulness to existence, but life and existence has no point in and of itself. We do the things we do to prolong our existence, to entertain it, to experience novelty in some form or another, but existence has no real goal, no consequence. We exist because it is, possibly, more interesting to do so rather than to not exist, and existence carries with it associated requirements that necessitate meaningful actions that further it, but we do not exist because we have some outcome in mind, that we exist because we are furthering some goal or purpose.