Here's an exercise: try removing the word "identifies" from your vocabulary.

"What gender do you identify as?" is denotatively identical to "What gender are you?"

"Do you identify as disabled?" is denotatively identical to "Are you disabled?"

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Why? Because *by selecting a box on that form*, I am identifying as that thing. That's what identifying means!

So you can make your questions shorter, easier to understand, and harder for right-wing jerks to target with hateful rhetoric :)

I'm saying this, by the way, because I was asked questions with the word "identifies" in them about:

- my gender
- whether I am trans
- whether I am disabled
- whether I am Hispanic
- whether I am a veteran

on a recent job application.

@tindall to be clear, one of those is an identity. The others aren't, figure it out.

@YumKimil not sure what you mean - 'identifies as' is equivalent to 'says is', that is, "I identified as a gamer on that form" means "I filled in the box that says I am a gamer". You could be a gamer and not identify that way on a form - not fill in the box - but that would be lying, however ethically positive.

@tindall kind of like how I'm a woman, I don't identify as one. The same goes with my indigenous heritage and my sexuality. I don't identify that way because that is who I am. You're a transwoman, biological male who identifies as a woman, so you conflate identity with material reality.

@YumKimil oh i get it, you're not engaging with the content of my post at all! Neat.

@tindall "What are your preferred pronouns?" -> "What are your pronouns?"

when people throw in those extra words it always sounds like they don't really respect you lol

@tindall while I agree in general, I appreciate documents, especially government ones, that find some way of specifying whether they actually mean "do I consider myself within the group of disabled people" as opposed to "are you in some legal sense Considered Disabled e.g. being on disability"

I have had to have a few awkward conversations when they want the latter

@nisima @tindall recently had this same thing with some job applications where we weren't sure what they wanted so just went with "prefer not to say"

making "disabled" mean the former and "receive disability benefits" the latter would be nice

@nisima @tindall (we later we found out we qualified for the whole "we want to fill out our diversity info" based on an old depression diagnosis. which is yet a 3rd category of question)

@tindall I’ve kinda felt like “identify” secretly means “dress up on halloween”. Like “I identify as pansexual” means “I dress up as a pansexual for halloween but _really_ I’m whatever fits the box that makes you most comfortable”. Maybe that’s just me though

@sungo @tindall This but my example would be an ally, you can call yourself whatever you want but it doesn't really mean you actually help those people, its a title bestowed on you by the people you are helping.

@sungo @tindall its complicated because sometimes sexual identities are about finding like-minded people, sometimes they are about understanding oneself (or denying something about oneself), and sometimes they are about making oneself easier for outsiders to understand.

I think most worldly people learn to be suspicious of anyone who loudly proclaims they are something, but some people suffer less when they have a label which feels right for them.

mental health discussion 

@bookandswordblog @tindall Agreed. I see and experience this a lot with my fellow travelers on the mental health spectrum. Some folks really need that label of “bipolar” or whatever because it gives them something to look up and read about and a handle on that part of their life. A flag to fly, basically. Some of us don’t. But I think most of us get :flan_eyes_narrowed:​ about folks showing up in the space loudly proclaiming.

@tindall this is particularly annoying / perverse for neurodivergent folk, since it's the fact that society is profoundly neurotypical-biased that disables us and not our "identity" as neurodivergent at all

@tindall So let's try that experiment and consider the counterpoint: "Do you identify with" explicitly grants the subject agency.

"What X are you" may be interpreted as "how are you classified by some external agency?"

E.g. in the cases of both veteran status and disability, these are classifications determined by some other authority --- a military establishment or medical practitioner.

Note that in both those cases, the authority itself is also conveyed rather then self-asserted.

Regardless of whether or not I self-identify as a General in the Australian Army or a medical doctor, unless I've been recognised as such by the corresponding authorities themselves, what I assert or believe has no relevance in the matter.

#identity #relations #assertion #bestowal



By contrast, "do you identify as X" explicitly puts X in the domain of attributes in which your own assertion is sufficient.

I've known people who felt that they could simply assert themselves to be doctors or have the educational titles they coveted. It gets to be a scary place rather quickly.

This is also the reason why, despite my nymsake's honorific of "Dr." I've chosen "Doc" here and elsewhere. Enough people don't get the joke that false authority is often presumed. It's not warranted and I don't wish to deceive.

#bestowal #assertion #relations #identity


@tindall If you want to consider another domain, there are the identities asserted, by say, the "alt-righty", or those who say "I'm not a racist, but, or who insist that ANTIFA are the true fascists, or that some specific religious or ethnic group are inherently of some characteristic (disposed to crime, uneducable, dirty / unclean, ...), etc. Both self-identity and imposed identity can be quite problematic.

Identity ... turns out to be complicated. It relates to everything. Metaphorically and literally.

#identity #relations #assertion #bestowal


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