A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.
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Pdxfashionpioneer
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A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

Any of you who have closely followed my posts know that before I got my new hair from the Hair Club, I prided myself on not being mistaken for a woman or even a transsexual. Looking back, I have to wonder why I thought so much of myself in that regard; I mean who's going to mistake an older, slightly paunchy, bald guy with a mere ring of grey hair for a woman, no matter what he was wearing!

Nonetheless, that's how I felt, so the first time right after I got my new hair that someone referred to me as a "lady," I felt obliged to correct the person and rather archly at that. It didn't take me very long to regret having done that, because the woman at that shop was trying to be respectful, she just miscategorized me. A few weeks later my revised view of things was confirmed when one of the women at Hair Club pointed out to me that, "There are a lot more varieties of gender diversity out there than most people are aware of." That confirmed my feeling that if someone mistakes me for a woman in transition I shouldn't be offended; that other person is just doing the best they can.

If it's a place I frequent and therefore will want the people who work there to know me for who I am, then I'll politely and gently correct them. If I don't think I'll see the person again, I'll just let it go. Though to be honest, if the person who has misidentified has pissed me off in some other manner, I reserve the right to be snarky when I correct them.

A good friend of mine is a gay woman and it's quite common that wait staff or shop associates will refer to us as "you ladies." It became a topic of running debate as to whether they mistook me for a woman, which I guess I found flattering as a confirmation of how nice I looked, or, as my friend feels that "they're just trying to be PC." As I suggested, I didn't want it to be no more than that so the question remained open for me. One night after I worked late I had dinner alone at a fairly nice, almost empty and overpriced restaurant near my office. From our first words to our last, my waiter called me "Ma'am." The place was kind of dark and I was variously amused, flattered and intrigued.

So after I signed my credit card slip, including a generous tip, I asked my waiter if he had actually taken me to be a woman. He said, "God no! Why? Did I call you 'Ma'am?'"

I said, "All night long!" Which I kind of regretted because the poor guy was mortified and fell over himself apologizing. I told him, "No! No! No! I was kind of flattered." But I just had to know. It didn't matter he apologized a few more times.

So there you have it; the only sense I could make of the whole situation was he saw my dress and just reflexively said, "Ma'am" instead of "Sir." It was habitual. Clearly, there are any number of reasons someone might call any one of us "Ma'am" instead of "Sir" and vanishingly few of them are malicious.

So just as we expect people to cut us slack, let's do likewise for the folks who mistakenly refer to us as females; we don't have to get pissy about it.
David, the PDX Fashion Pioneer

Social norms aren't changed by Congress or Parliament; they're changed by a sufficient number of people ignoring the existing ones and publicly practicing new ones.

STEVIE
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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by STEVIE »

Hi David
Yup, cutting slack is certainly a two way process and goes a long way to happier living too.
That's a great profile shot as well.
Steve.

Shilo
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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by Shilo »

This reminded me of an instant back in my youth. Long hair was very much the thing and as a student I took it as licence to grow my luxuriant licks ( sigh!).
While reversing my car out of a space, I heard a male voice guiding me “keep going love. You’ve got loads of space”. I looked round to be greeted by “Whoops! Sorry mate. “
:roll:

partlyscot
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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by partlyscot »

While I miss my hair, it's more because of function, than looks. I dislike wearing hats, but not as much as I dislike sunburn, or sunblock on my scalp.

Being bald does, as you have found, tend to vastly reduce the incidence of misidentification, so I don't know whether I would take the opportunity to grow hair again. What I would like, is the ability to choose where to grow it. Head and eyebrows yes, anywhere else, no. In particular, I would really like to stop ear and nose hair. :(

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denimini
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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by denimini »

I have facial hair (short beard) and hair on my legs and arms. Once at a charity shop the elderly woman at the checkout said "Thankyou Ma'am". I let it go as I think she meant well, trying to acknowledge me as a crossdresser regardless of my seemilngly abject failure as such.
Anthony, a denim miniskirt wearer in Outback Australia

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by pelmut »

denimini wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:04 am
I have facial hair (short beard) and hair on my legs and arms. Once at a charity shop the elderly woman at the checkout said "Thankyou Ma'am". I let it go as I think she meant well, trying to acknowledge me as a crossdresser regardless of my seemilngly abject failure as such.
The whole Sir/Madam thing is pointless and full of pitfalls, I don't know why people still do it.

I find that if someone first sees me at a distance they tend to refer to me as "Madam", but if their first sight is of my face, they use "Sir".  Once that idea is fixed in their mind, all other clues are ignored.
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by Stu »

I am a bit old fashioned in that I prefer only friends and family to use my first name. Strictly speaking, I have a gender neutral title so it doesn't really affect me, especially at work, although I don't worry if people call me plain old "Mr".

I went through a very brief period of being mis-gendered as a teenager until my dad made me get a haircut.

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by howardfh »

There must be a point where one's "look" crosses from male to female (which is frankly ridiculous but there you go). It's easy to address a transvestite as madam or miss, but darned difficult to address those with alternative styles.

But oddly when I do the full transvestite gear - I still want to be a "sir"...work that one out.... :shock:

It always irritates me on numerous forms you have to tick male/female as if it mattered one jot. If there's "other" option, I tick that. But we do need a gender-neutral way of addressing people. "Comrade"...????

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by Ralph »

I have a very heavy beard, so I don't remember ever being "ma'am"ed - until recently when I was in a restaurant and the server approached me from behind. I had on gender-neutral clothing (t-shirt and jeans) and my shoulder-length hair held back with a black scrunchie. I was already turning to respond before "ma'am" came out of his mouth, and as soon as he saw my face he quickly corrected to "sir". I was amused.

In this era of infinite alternate gender preferences, I wonder if the standard use of any honorific has come to an end.
Ralph!

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by beachlion »

I don't care how they address me as long as it sounds respectful.
All progress takes place outside the comfort zone - M J Bobak

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by moonshadow »

beachlion wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:55 pm
I don't care how they address me as long as it sounds respectful.
That's about how I feel about it too.
-Moon Shadow
"How do you propose to control me when you can't even control yourself?"

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by JohnH »

I get ma'amed often due to my long hair and boom-booms. And then I talk with my masculine bass voice and most of the time they say, "Oh, sorry, Sir."
I really don't care if I am sirred or ma'amed as long as I'm not called Maggot.

John

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by skirted84 »

I know that "misgendering" a transwoman who wants to be addressed as a woman can provoke very unpleasant reactions so maybe this worker was being cautious. Theres a Gamestop video thats done the rounds "scuse me sir.............scuse me its ma-am" angry overgrown kid.

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Re: A Contrarian View of Miss-identification

Post by pelmut »

skirted84 wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:08 pm
I know that "misgendering" a transwoman who wants to be addressed as a woman can provoke very unpleasant reactions ...
The clue there is "...who wants to be addressed as a woman".  I don't know any transwoman who reacts unpleasantly to an occasional accidental misgendering, but there are some people who think it is clever to constantly misgender someone after they have been asked not to -- and I don't think it is unreasonable to react unpleasantly to that.

I quite like being addresssed as a woman, but I am fairly laid-back about it and wouldn't insist on imposing it on someone who wasn't comfortable with it.
There is no such thing as a normal person, only someone you don't know very well yet.

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