Impact Bay Area and IMPACT SoCal are Going Commando on Indiegogo! We hope you will join us and share our campaign. You may have heard about an Indiegogo campaign that just exceeded it’s $50,000 fundraising goal to make — I kid you not — “Anti-rape underwear.”
We can do better, and you can help.I don’t need to tell you what an awful idea this is. As an Impact supporter, you know that safety for women and girls comes from knowing how to set clear, effective boundaries and knowing how to back those boundaries up with physical skills if we need to. You know that women and girls CAN defend ourselves.
- What if it’s an oral assault?
- What if the attacker gets frustrated and hurts the victim even more?
- What if you need to use the bathroom but can’t remember the combination?
- What if you forgot to do the laundry?
- What if the assault is happening to someone else, someone who can’t afford magic panties?
- It costs approximately $4,000 to train a new suited instructor. We need to train 6 new candidates in 2014 to meet demand for our classes. $24,000
- We will offer free and low cost classes to communities that are at particular risk for sexual violence. $10,000
- We will provide financial assistance to girls and women who cannot afford our classes. Personal safety should be a right, not a privilege. Freedom from sexual assault should not depend on whether you can afford a fancy pair of panties, even if that was effective protection. We are committed to making our classes accessible to all girls and women, regardless of income. $16,000
- Anything above our goal will be used to raise awareness that women are powerful, not helpless. The more women and girls who learn the confidence that comes from experiencing their full strength, the less anyone will think women need to depend on something like a modern-day chastity belt for their safety.
I have changed my pronouns before and this is the advice I like to give people when they ask how to handle it. I get that it can be difficult, especially if you’ve known someone for years before they made this change. Here are some things to remember.
1. It ain’t about you. Yes, it’s a little uncomfortable the first few times you try to remember their pronouns (and in some cases, their current name). But YOUR discomfort about remembering something does not trump their dysphoria about being misgendered. Once you realize that it ain’t about you, it gets easier to remember. After all, this is someone you respect. So show it.
2. Ask when it’s appropriate to use their pronouns. Some people don’t use their pronouns everywhere because of safety concerns. Some people aren’t out to everyone. And some folks are fluid in relation to their pronouns. It isn’t your place to judge. If it’s okay with the person, you might consider completely dropping pronoun usage, especially in unsafe environments. Meaning, instead of s/he (or whatever else their pronoun is), just use their name. I find that makes the transition a little smoother.
3. Yes. You will need to think a second longer before you speak until it becomes second nature. In my cellphone, if someone changes their name or pronouns, I place a reminder next to their name. So for about a month is says Current Name/Previous Name (Pronoun). Example: Sally/Andrew (she). That way if I see a new number called Sally in my phone I’m not like, “Who the fuck is this?” After a while, I remember without the reminder and then I delete it. Same with screennames and such. I’ve used rhyming words to help remember things. There are lots of mental tricks to help. Do whatever you gotta do. But when you talk TO them or ABOUT them or in RELATION to them… use the correct words. I’m notoriously HORRIBLE at remembering things so I tell people upfront. “Just so you know, I will do my very best to respect you and call you by your correct name/pronouns. I might fuck up because I am forgetful but PLEASE call me on it and I’ll make sure it doesn’t continue.” Not once has anyone been anything other than appreciative because everyone likes to feel respected.
4. WHEN (not if because if you do this long enough, you WILL) you misgender someone, APOLOGIZE. Don’t make it a huge deal. Simply, “I’m sorry.” I like to use someone’s name when I apologize because it sounds more sincere and it’s a reminder for myself as well. Use the correct pronoun (or name) and move one. Making a big deal of it to look super progressive actually makes you look like an ass. And if you’re really sorry, it shouldn’t keep happening.
That’s pretty much it. And yes, you have to use their pronoun and/or name even when they aren’t around. Saying shit like, “You know Andrew, right?” when you are talking about Sally is fucked up. Something like, “You know Sally, right?” Then describe the person. And if someone else misgenders them (and it’s someone who should know better) correct them. If not, you are co-signing their disrespectful bullshit and that’s not cool.
Over and out.
i just learned this today:
trans women not transwomen
trans men not transmen
Nobody wants to be compared to hot tamales, guys.
Mod note: not perfect, but surprisingly insightful for a Cosmo article. Also this photo of JLo, life given. It’s the face I make when someone calls me “Jenny from the Block” (also being a Jennifer from the Bronx).