What alignment are you?

I think this is very proximate to our discussions about gender, given that gender and sex are both social constructs and the problems we’re seeing with having in-depth discussions about these constructs being spectra rather than binary is that it seems those people who can’t answer “trans women are women” think this means we’re creating and reinforcing a binary rather than demanding a spectrum of genders.

Good and evil, order and chaos, are two axes describing spectra of behaviour related to social standing and pro-social behaviour. Dungeons and Dragons has a mechanic wherein you can assign your character Good, Neutral, or Evil, and Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic, making a 3×3 grid of alignments. It’s certainly more interesting than a binary Good/Evil choice (or, say, Paragon / Renegade, or Light Side / Dark Side), and it means very little outside of the scope of interactions with other human beings. It’s still by necessity an abstraction. Something like the Kinsey Scale for hetero/homosexuality being a 1-9, or Dawkins’ atheist/theist 0-7 scale — neither of those describes the panoply of positions one can stake coherently.

But, still interesting. Take this alignment test to see how you stack up. A number of my friends (including my wife) got Chaotic Good. I got Neutral Good:

A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment because when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Yeah, that does sound a lot like me. Including the sentence fragment in the last sentence! (I assume the “when” is superfluous.)

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What alignment are you?
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63 thoughts on “What alignment are you?

  1. 1

    Chaotic Good

    A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

    Detailed Results:
    -Alignment:
    Lawful Good —– XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (21)
    Neutral Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
    Chaotic Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (22)
    Lawful Neutral — XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
    True Neutral —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (15)
    Chaotic Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
    Lawful Evil —– XXXXXXXXX (9)
    Neutral Evil —- XXXXXX (6)
    Chaotic Evil —- XXXXXXXXXX (10)

    -Law & Chaos:
    Law —– XXXXXXXX (8)
    Neutral – XXXXX (5)
    Chaos — XXXXXXXXX (9)

    -Good & Evil:
    Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
    Neutral – XXXXXXXXXX (10)
    Evil —- X (1)

    —————————————————————–

    So I disliked some of those questions. Like… I only give out my respect to those who earn it, and they can ostensibly lose it (no matter how much it hurts me to take my respect of them away). So do I respect the leaders of my community? Sure, if they’ve earned my respect and are doing good by the community. Do I respect the elders in my family? I take their advice into consideration and decide whether or not it would be good for me to follow that advice.

    I would have liked more answer choices for some of the questions.

    But whatever… that was my outcome answering as close to the “right” (for me) answers as possible…

    (There’s no code for underlining words?)

  2. 2

    I agree that I would have liked more choices, and I especially would have liked to know more about some of the situations. But I ended up with Lawful Good.

  3. 4

    It gave me Chaotic Neutral.
     
    If I interpreted my scores right, I lean just slightly chaotic of True Neutral.
     
    Insignificant levels of evil, moderately good, but neutral bar was longest, so it must’ve dominated.
     
    If I complain about the scoring system’s disregard for balance, can I get my TN badge? Or would that be challenging authority?

  4. 7

    Neutral good.

    Though I remember taking this exact quiz a few years ago and I ended up lawful neutral. Interestingly, that was before I really got interested in the whole social justice thing. Freethought Blogs has made me a better person, and I have this D&D quiz to prove it!

  5. 9

    Interesting how many people are coming back chaotic good, both here and on Facebook. We are a crew that distrusts authority, though, so it makes sense.

    Of course, that means by being neutral good, I am (and Eric O, I guess, is) willing to work with them to common cause, but don’t necessarily side with them unless it aligns with actual good.

  6. NFQ
    11

    I came out Lawful Neutral, which surprised me… but I did come out almost matched in Law/Neutral and Good/Neutral. I was actually more interested to see that my description, and NateHevens’, also included the “x is the best alignment you can be” phrasing. I thought it was funny to see it in your initial post — a bit of editorializing there on the part of the quiz writer! — but I guess it’s just part of their template and each description has pros and cons explained.

    I also agree with your broader point about alignment being an interesting “spectrum” way to look at personality/behavior. I’m really motivated by a sense of duty and “doing the right thing” (though of course choosing the “right thing” in specific situations is the tricky part), and I’ve found it a helpful shortcut to frame this mentally and in conversation as “lawful good”. Have you seen the 5×5 grids? (e.g. this one with Game of Thrones examples)

  7. 12

    I got Lawful Good but, like others I felt like some options were missing on a lot of the questions. For example, there were ones I could easily answer “yes” or “no” to, but the reasons attached were off. There was one where the first 3 options implied that you had no objection to what was being asked of you while the last option implied blind loyalty. There were others where I’d have liked more info such as the one about testifying for/against a friend. I dunno, did the friend do what they were accused of? The context of that situation could reveal the friend to not actually be one. Some of the questions just didn’t seem to allow for assessing the facts of the situation and making the choice that causes the least harm.

  8. 13

    I got Lawful Good, which I objected to at first… it doesn’t really seem fair because the questions are so subjective. I might help assassinate a tyrannical despot but not a wise Philosopher-King, I would testify against a friend if they happened to be in the wrong, I think the marginal utility of my charity dollars is a lot greater when given to just about anyone other than whichever beggar happens to be nearest.

    Then I decided that this much pedantic rules-lawyering probably qualifies me as Lawful. Dammit. I suppose I’ll have to cut back on all my sedition. Such a shame.

  9. 14

    Faaaaaar too many broad questions that could have a different answer depending on the specifics. True Neutral, though it varied when I assumed better circumstances.

  10. 15

    Neutral good, but some of the Qs about the law and courts would be very dependant on the supposed crime. Was it a law I thought was just. So I may be more chaotic than that as I assumed a just one.

  11. 16

    Chaotic good, but the questions were terrible. Part way through I decided they must expect me to project myself into an alternate reality where I had “family elders” and “my King” and such. The elders in my family, when alive, we’re pretty terrible people. I loved them, of course, but they filled no eldership role for me.

    The choice that was consistently missing was, “I would meekly accept their heckling and/or make up with them on their deathbed, and then go my way and do my thing, ignoring their bullshit.” That was the real answer to a lot of the questions, and I suspect that would move me away from chaotic. The choices never allowed for benign hypocrisy.

  12. 17

    Having played characters of all 9 alignments I’m always disappointed by these quizzes. They act as if alignment is destiny. It’s actually pretty piss poor roleplaying to play alignments rigidly. Chaotic Evil characters can be quite heroic under the right circumstances. Lawful Good characters can find themselves faced with impossible to reconcile choices.

  13. 18

    My gaming friends and myself often enjoy talking about the surpiangly nuance that can be extracted from this system. For instance, Lawful Evil behaves selfishly and can be willing to hurt others, but is carefully to never break laws or personal obligations. They can come across as honorable, and if wealthy and successfully could be held up as a paragon of virtue in a sick enough society.

    And chaotic good, which tends to be the most popular alignment, can include the vigillante or crusader laser-focused on doing this Great Good Thing and damn the consequences.

  14. 20

    I’m estranged from my birth family and quite honestly, I detest most of them. They are largely bigoted, small minded people and consequently, unpleasant to be around. When I took the test using my responses toward my family of birth, I received “chaotic neutral” as my answer. When I took the test using my friends as my chosen family, I received “chaotic good” as my answer, which far more resembles my sense of self. It’s interesting how the result changes if you are estranged from your family of birth and use society’s traditional definition of family: those who you share blood ties with.

    This is interesting because it reveals to me (unsurprisingly) that a person who values the traditional definition of family will likely see me as a person who lives in closer proximity to the “influence of evil” than a person who embraces a non-traditional definition of family. I am unbound by the traditional ties of family, and so I am more likely to be dangerous to the established social order. Given that a good chunk of LGBT people, atheists, ex-religious fundamentalists, etc. have poor relations with their families of birth, this pattern is likely to hold true for many people in these groups.

    I can live with that. In fact, I rather like it. I prefer being dangerous to the established social order.

  15. 21

    …it seems those people who can’t answer “trans women are women” think this means we’re creating and reinforcing a binary rather than demanding a spectrum of genders.

    And yet, the irony is that there are tons of enby (NB: Non-Binary) trans people around.

    The physical embodiment one feels most at home with (preferred secondary sex characteristics & primary sex characteristics) is not the same as the gender expression one feels most comfortable with (masculine, feminine, both, neither) and those two qualities are not the same as the whether someone feels most comfortable identifying as man/boy, woman/girl, or a variation of identity falling outside of those two limited options. There’s tons of variation in being at play when you take into consideration all of those possible combinations.

    However, it’s the social forces of cisheteronormativity & gender normativity which coerce people into a hard binary, not the quality of being transgender. Cishet people have the lion’s share of social power in defining and regulating those social forces, not trans people. Shrugging off the responsibility of the cishet majority’s role in reenforcing these things onto trans people’s backs is misguided and hypocritical. It diverts attention away from how social hierarchy actually plays out around these issues.

  16. 22

    True Neutral, and I agree with everyone who found the questions too broad.

    Poison a King? If he were a tyrant, yes. Go against – whomever? Entirely depends on what kind of person/government we are talking about.

    That said, I’m ok with True Neutral. Whatever works.

  17. 23

    Neutral good, in an interesting way: Instead of scoring higher on neutral results than lawful or chaotic ones, I scored EXACTLY EQUAL on the law/chaos spectrum every time. LG/NG/CG was 25/25/25.

    If I ever make music, “More Neutral Than Neutral” will have to be an album title. What’s this, then, ‘balanced’? Balanced Good? I kind of like that.

  18. 24

    Chaotic good, which while the questions weren’t the best, is entirely accurate. What is right and good is important to me, but authoritarian bullshit is all too often an impediment to that and thus I really don’t have any qualms about *how* what is right and good is achieved. Also, while I would never consider doing someone who is keeping me imprisoned serious harm to escape, you can bet your ass that a mild beating into submission or unconsciousness wouldn’t bother me a bit.

    And this actually parallels my gender identity rather well!

  19. 25

    The difference between Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Good seems to be a focus on individual freedom versus collective wellbeing. Personal isolation makes the questions about self-sacrifice for group benefit harder to answer in the affirmative — there’s just nobody there to benefit.

  20. 26

    Chaotic Good- A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

    Pretty accurate, actually. And pretty much what I played way back in the days sitting in a garage on Friday nights playing D&D. I’ve become more etched, but the basic structure was always there 😀

  21. 27

    it seems those people who can’t answer “trans women are women” think this means we’re creating and reinforcing a binary rather than demanding a spectrum of genders.

    Well I can’t speak for others but from my perspective it does seem that those demanding others affirm this statement are indeed excluding possibilities. IMO “trans women are women” is equivalent to “mammals are land animals”. I don’t rule out the possibility that there are persons who, for what ever reasons, identify as trans woman but choose not to identify as woman. And since how one identifies oneself seems to be the primary criterion, if not the only one to decide this, such a person would be a trans woman but not a woman.

    Now this view allows that I recognize as a woman all persons that identify as a woman but makes that I can’t categorically answer yes to the question: “Are all transwoman, woman?” and since that was stated as a condition for not being labeled transantagonistic, transphobic or similar, I guess I am hereby labeled like as such.

  22. 28

    axxyaan:
    First, nice playing victim.
    Second, transwomen just identifying as transwomen and not as women is absurd because transwomen means “transgender person that identifies as a woman”.
    Third, the question was not “are ALL transwomen women”. You imagined the “all” in order to quibble.

  23. 29

    Seems I’m Lawful Good :

    Lawful Good- A lawful good character acts as a good person is expected or required to act. He combines a commitment to oppose evil with the discipline to fight relentlessly. He tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, and speaks out against injustice. A lawful good character hates to see the guilty go unpunished. Lawful good is the best alignment you can be because it combines honor and compassion. However, lawful good can be a dangerous alignment when it restricts freedom and criminalizes self-interest.

    Detailed Results:

    Alignment:
    Lawful Good —– XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (29)
    Neutral Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (25)
    Chaotic Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (24)
    Lawful Neutral — XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (19)
    True Neutral —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (15)
    Chaotic Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
    Lawful Evil —– XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
    Neutral Evil —- XXXXXXXXX (9)
    Chaotic Evil —- XXXXXXXX (8)

    Law & Chaos:
    Law —– XXXXXXXXXXX (11)
    Neutral – XXXXXXX (7)
    Chaos — XXXXXX (6)

    Good & Evil:
    Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
    Neutral – XXXXXXXX (8)
    Evil —- XX (2)

    But a lot of the questions asked would depend on specifics e.g. who the King is.

  24. 30

    IMO “trans women are women” is equivalent to “mammals are land animals”

    I can’t see a version of this that doesn’t say “Not all trans women are women.” Who are these argument-creating cetaceans? Are we talking about the self-hating TERF tokens? They exist, though their existence does not make this argument less bullshit.

    What’s it doing in this thread?

  25. 31

    Yeah. I’d really rather not get into the whole argument of Venn diagrams where a counterexample is definitionally an intersection of Venn diagrams that does not include “land animals”.

    mam·mal
    ˈmaməl/
    noun
    a warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young.

  26. 32

    anteprepro:
    First, I don’t think trying to second guess each other is going to have a positive effect. So I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t.
    Second, people can act in ways that seem absurd. We can come to the logical conclusion that some kind of combination of identifications is contradictory, yet still find people who will use such a combination of identifications to describe themselves. So you describing this combination as absurd, is not compelling for the conclusion such people don’t exist. Suppose someone makes his appearance here and identifies as such, are you going to dismiss them as absurd? Or are you going to allow them, to express themselves as feels comfortable for them?
    Third, suppose you are correct, thinking such people exist is absurd, bullshit, whatever. Does that mean, me still leaving that possibility open and so not able to answer such a question with a categorical yes, it is indicative of me being transphobic?
    Fourth, I think the one quibbling here is you. Questions like “Is a dog a mammal” or “Are all dogs mammals” are essentially the same question. So why are you nit picking over the actual phrasing?

  27. 33

    Part of the problem here is the word “transwoman” which is generally frowned upon, because it indicates that it’s not two adjectives but one — that “transwoman” is definitionally different from “woman”. Pretty much everyone in this fight has been saying “trans woman” except those who misunderstand the question or those who have an investment in saying that trans women are somehow not actual women.

    Are blue candies actual candies? Are blue candies actually blue? What even IS a colour anyway?

  28. 35

    Jason,
    Is a cultural christian, a christian? Is an atheist christian a christian? We are talking here about how people identify themselves. How people identify themselves doesn’t need to follow the rules of logic. That A and B are somehow contradicting each other, doesn’t make it impossible for some people identifying themselves both as A and B. That A entails B, doesn’t make it impossible for some people to identify as A but not as B. So Venn diagrams based on A and B, don’t help much in looking at what is possible for people to identify as.

    Trying to shoe horn how people identify themselves by what is logically possible outside such identification is being blind for actual human experiences.

  29. 37

    Trans women are BY DEFINITION non-AFAB people who declare themselves to be women.

    Therefore all the ‘Well they might not be, if they might not say they are’ is moot, and seems disingenuous to insert.

    Trying to shoe horn how people identify themselves by what is logically possible outside such identification is being blind for actual human experiences.

    Seems to me that anyone who inserts the ‘WHAT EVEN ARE ANYTHING’ argument just to claim (in a totally off-top derailment!) that “trans women might not be women, maybe” has log ago ceded every square inch of the ‘lived experiences’ high ground.

    A trans woman is, by definition, ‘claiming’ to be a woman. There is no wiggle room on that one, and trying to crowbar some in there smacks of bigotry.

  30. 38

    Sometimes, a little rewording helps.

    How people from marginalized groups identify doesn’t need to follow the prejudices of the dominant group. That the prejudices of the dominant group dictate that A and B are somehow contradicting each other, doesn’t make it impossible for members of the marginalized group to identifying themselves both as A and B. That A entails B, doesn’t prevent the dominant group’s prejudices from expecting people to identify as A but not as B. So Venn diagrams based on A and B, don’t help much in looking at what is possible for people to identify as because those who are powerful enough to dictate cultural norms don’t tend to care about Venn diagrams, nor do they care about how their prejudices constantly violate the personal boundaries of groups A, B, or whomever.

    Trying to shoe horn how people identify themselves by what is dictated by the prejudices of a dominant group tends to deny actual human experiences and reenforces those prejudices.

    Trans people violate the cis majority’s social rules, their socially mandated categories, and their notions of self-hood. We don’t follow cis people’s rules around embodiment, gender, and identity… and we’re not about to start.

    That’s what all of this boils down to. The dominant group, cis people, believes that only they have the authority to lay down boundaries of who belongs where. Trans people violate that sense of authority and thus inspire fear, discomfort, and anger by violating the dominant group’s notion of “proper” group boundaries.

    This is about power… plain, pure, social power: who wields it, who defends it, who forges the ideology, semantics, and social structures which maintain it. The rest is window dressing, no matter how many Venn diagrams or philosophical arguments might ensue.

  31. 39

    @timberwraith,

    I don’t have a problem with that. But it is not the whole picture. Marginalized people often enough have there own minorities, that are marginalized within their community. The majority within a marginalized group, often enough believes they have the authority to lay down boundaries and the minorities within violate that sense of authority.

  32. 40

    The whole picture is that cis people don’t get a say in our identities and where those boundaries lie. You can complicate it all you like but I know bullshit when I smell it.

  33. 41

    And that bullshit becomes clearly visible when a large number of cis people come to the defense of a cis woman who allies with well known bigots who clearly think they *do* have a say in our identities. Not only that, she also leaves behind a long trail of bigoted commentary herself and in spite of all of these damning events, people devote pages and pages of internet debate in an effort to obfuscate that reality.

    I don’t believe your devil’s advocacy for anything more than a part of that larger pattern of excuse making and obfuscation.

  34. 42

    I would say the whole picture is that no one gets a say in other peoples identities and where those boundaries lie. So if someone for whatever reason would choose to identify as a trans woman but not as a woman. I will let them. Will you?

  35. 43

    That’s not the point, axxyaan. The point is that Ophelia Benson made prejudicial statements which indicated that trans women do not have a claim to womanhood by derisively comparing us to Rachel Dozale. That was the catalyst for this recent mess. She wasn’t defending trans women’s agency in deciding whether we can define in a non-binary way or simply define ourselves as part of the binary known as “women”. The point isn’t whether I, a trans woman, would support another trans woman’s right to define in a non-binary way. Of course I would. That’s her prerogative to do so. The point is that Benson has made statements indicating that she doesn’t truly respect our agency, regardless of how we identify… except maybe, if we shy away from the option of identifying as women all together.

    Consequently, she was posed a question to determine if she could respect trans woman’s identities as women and her response was to duck answering that question and then spend time obfuscating the issue and making excuses. When she finally did answer, she spoke out of both sides of her mouth by saying “yes” on a political level but with ontological qualifiers. Then, she continued to played the victim as though she were the wronged party rather than trans women. No apologies. No attempt to take responsibility for the mess she brought into being. Just continued defensiveness.

    Your comments are part of long line of “gotcha” responses unwittingly inspired by Benson’s attempt to draw attention away from her own prejudices by talking about non-binary identities instead. Your comments further this distraction and that inadvertently prioritizes defending Benson’s reputation over the lives of actual trans women. Your being here, making these comments doesn’t help trans women. If you really want to help us, then call out cis people when they actually try to deny us agency.

    Read my response at #21, if you actually care about my full perspective. That question delineates the fact that I see and embrace the full diversity of trans identities that exist. My whole point in crafting that comment was to specifically point out that trans identities do not occur on a simple binary, contrary to the claim of TERFs that our lives and our politics only serve to reenforce the gender normativity promoted by patriarchy. We aren’t the source of that oppressive social system and we don’t have the power to enforce the narrow categories of gender contained therein. Cis people are the center and source of that problem.

    Beyond that, I’m done entertaining your session of devil’s advocacy.

  36. 44

    timberwraith,
    I’ll decide for myself what I consider the point. Unfortunately, however just the cause, sometimes in their zeal to fight the good fight, people are willing to throw others under the bus. IMO demanding a categorical yes no answer for this question, is possibly throwing people under the bus. And no matter how justified your grievances with Benson may be, doesn’t change that. Benson’s prejudices are hers to deal with. I see no reason the prejudices from others should stop anyone, from considering their own behavior.

    If you consider reflecting on that as a distraction, or a line of gotcha questions, then I won’t bother you further.

  37. 45

    If you consider reflecting on that as a distraction, or a line of gotcha questions, then I won’t bother you further.</blockquote

    Good. Please stop bothering me.

  38. 46

    Again we labor on and on about the absolute fucking HORROR of “yes or no” questions. As if “yes or no” was, rather than a simple and common rhetorical device, an absolutist command to provide absolutely no explanation for your answer or any caveats or nuance. As if Benson couldn’t have answered the question while ignoring that alleged command anyway!

    For fuck’s sake, Ophelia and her apologists are just fucking absurd. Pseudo-philosophical wankers and hypocrites all the fucking way down.

  39. 47

    anteprepro @46,
    Just by way of example here are some other instances where Ophelia dealt with “yes or no” questions.

    From Ophelia’s post Don’t think you can straddle of February 14, 2014.

    First she quotes someone else (emphasis added):

    The question before us is very simple: do we have the right to depict Mohammed? It’s a simple question and so it deserves a simple answer. The answer is either yes or no. My answer is yes. If your answer is “yes, but”, then sorry that’s just not good enough. If you have to pause for thought before answering the question then you’ve probably already decided the answer is no.

    Ophelia’s response:

    My answer is yes with no buts.

    So no problem dealing with this “yes or no” question. No whining for days on end about how unfair it is and how she refuses to participate in purity tests. Interesting.

    In an August 2, 2015 post called The lawnmower betrothal Ophelia actually closes with the following “yes or no” question of her own if you can believe it.

    Hm. So could you marry a car? Could you marry the Chrysler building? Could you marry Texas? Could you marry a distant planet?

    Yes or no.

    Wot?

  40. 48

    I absolutely loathe “yes or no” questions in any context excepting math. I greatly dislike multiple choice as well. It feels, to me, like as the pool of possible answers are narrowed down, there is a commensurate loss of information. Instead of clarifying, “yes/no” questions, more often than not, are used to try to frame the answerer’s response to the asker’s narrative. Questioners asking “yes/no” questions, by the very construction of the question, are not interested in what comes after the binary response.

    ——————————————
    Neutral Good, for whatever that’s worth.

  41. 49

    Trans women *are women* full stop! The *only* correct answer to “are trans women actually women?” is yes. Are there exceptions? For fucks sake of course there are! I sex women, men, and enbies, but do not identify as bi, because it’s complicated – that makes me an exception that shouldn’t speak to the rule. As a general rule, people who fuck men and women, are bisexual.

    This is important axxyan, because denying that trans women are women, is exclusion – period. Nobody* is suggesting that exceptions should be erased. Nobody is suggesting that there isn’t a discussion to be had about the validity of the socially constructed framework we call gender. Nobody is doing anything but pointing out the bigotry inherent to suggesting that “are trans women actually women?” is too complex an issue for a yes or no response.

    Here’s a good test for whether you actually have a place in a discussion about how trans and non binary persons identify: Are you trans or enby? And to see where you fit into the discussion about how trans women identify: Are you a trans woman (or an enby who has, might in the future, or who has considered whether trans woman would be an accurate description of you)? If the answer to either of those questions is “no,” then shutting the fuck up and listening would be a really grand idea.

    Bottom line: Trans women are women. Suggesting otherwise, or suggesting this isn’t a simple yes/no question harms trans women and trans persons in general – including those who make up the exceptions to this rule. Denying the rule feeds bullshit ideas that cause immense harm to and sometimes kill trans persons – again, including those who make up the exceptions to the rule. It otherises and dehumanizes trans women and other trans persons and enbies. So please do us a favor and fucking stop with that shit.

    * Of course there are people suggesting differently, but they are few and far between and not indicative of the rule. Which is the point.

  42. 50

    YOB @48,

    Questioners asking “yes/no” questions, by the very construction of the question, are not interested in what comes after the binary response.

    In some cases this may be true but it doesn’t seem universally true for all yes/no questions.

    In some cases the goal is merely to request clarification on a particular question or point of contention. In some cases it’s used as a means of trying to get a straight answer to a question that someone appears to have been dodging, evading, dancing around. In those cases the yes/no question is a means of constraining the possibility for such dodging and evasion.

    Also (as we have pointed out multiple times elsewhere) there is nothing whatsoever stopping the answerer from using whatever words they wish to use to answer the question. If the choices yes or no don’t cover it, then use whatever words do cover it. Add whatever nuance you feel needs to be added.

    That would seem to solve the problem, no? Don’t you think that would have been a better outcome than stubbornly refusing to answer at all and then complaining about how unfair or unjust the question is?

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