Sunday, July 09, 2017

Which Superhero Do You Want To Be?

When I was little, we lived for a time on an airbase in Oklahoma. There were lots of kids in the neighborhood and this being before video games or even low-priced calculators, we all ran around in a pack outside.

One of our favorite games was to pretend to be superheroes. My best friend was Flash and I was, God help me, Aquaman. In Oklahoma. (Great choice, genius. You can talk to fish in a state with no natural lakes, much less any access to the sea.) I loved the ocean even when I was nowhere near it. I never read comic books, so the subtler aspects of the game, such as they were, were lost on me. Oh well.

The selection of superhero identities is what I thought of when I saw a tweet by Christina Hoff Sommers about an upcoming conference whose registration included the questionnaire below.

You might need to click on the image to read it.

It's not too surprising that they would include this questionnaire, given their self-description.
VIDA is a non-profit feminist organization committed to creating transparency around the lack of gender parity in the literary landscape and to amplifying historically-marginalized voices, including people of color; writers with disabilities; and queer, trans and gender nonconforming individuals.
Really, it's right in their wheelhouse. To an outsider like myself, it comes across as utterly juvenile.  To claim you're a "Coercively assigned female at birth" sounds like the sort of thing a mentally disturbed, angry, precocious, little girl would say. It's a collection of words they heard at one time or another and strung together to invent an oppressed group to which they can claim membership. As children, while the other little girls were discussing shoes, making ever-shifting social alliances and gossiping, the future members of VIDA were reading pop psychology tracts and finding all kinds of pathologies to claim as their own.

Instead of choosing superhero identities, they were selecting gender identities.

I think I got the better end of that deal.

Here, Aquaman has knocked over a fire hydrant and stands bathed in the rushing waters. It was the only way he could activate his mighty powers while living in Oklahoma.


Ohioan@Heart said...

Geez, oh Pete. What the [Censored]!?!?! They didn't even include Female and Male. I feel like I'm living through the last days of the decline and fall of civilization...

Jedi Master Ivyan said...

I'm a demi-goddess. That means I'm female and expect to be worshipped.

K T Cat said...

If the glass slipper fits, your worshipfulness ...


K T Cat said...

Ohioan, I think we can take solace in the fact that these poor disturbed creatures are a tiny minority.

Wouldn't it be fascinating to have an evolutionary biology conference merge with VIDA? Just think of the biologists' take on this questionnaire. Those categories aren't exactly designed to overcome the genetic competition, are they?