Glossary: Latinx

I have no standing to define “Latinx”. I am, however, interested in speaking respectfully of people and referring to them as they feel is appropriate. However, with such a large, wide-spread, and diverse set of populations it is all but impossible to choose one word that will make every stakeholder happy. Going forward I will use “Latinx” keeping in mind the information in this article, “The X In Latinx Is A Wound, Not A Trend” on

What’s the Difference Between Non-Binary, Genderqueer, and Gender-Nonconforming? | VICE

This is a good introductory article with several interpretations of these terms.

“These are all terms that have come out of personal experience,” said Lou Himes, a non-binary Psy-D and Liscenced Clinical psychologist based in New York City. That means there are no concrete definitions to go by. Plus, these terms are relatively new to academia, medicine, and mainstream discourse. The beauty of that: Each person can interpret their differences for themselves and identify with the one that resonates most with them.

This means that the will be multiple interpretations and varying definitions and we can expect that they will evolve – both culturally and personally.

Glossary: Mansplaining

From “6 Subtle Forms Of Mansplaining That Women Encounter Each Day” in Bustle by Lara Rutherford-Morrison:

When a man “mansplains” something to a woman, he interrupts or speaks over her to explain something that she already knows — indeed, something in which she may already be an expert — on the assumption that he must know more than she does. In many cases, the explanation has to do specifically with things that are unique to women — their bodies, their experiences, their lives. When men interrupt or presume to correct a woman who is speaking of her own experience or expertise, they are implying that she is ignorant, that she is incapable of having authoritative knowledge. They are saying, essentially, “Shh. I know best.”

Note: this is not me explaining this.

See also: Manasking

Glossary: Manasking

From “Mansplaining and manasking: two sides of the same coin” by Alex Johnson-Fry in Bell Magazine:

Manasking is when a man will ask a feminist to explain feminism to them, with no intention of actually listening or learning anything and when that information is readily available and accessible. It also involves asking questions that are only tangentially related to the current discussion to derail coherent and productive dialogue.

See also: Mansplaining

Gender Sensationalism

I find it odd that this NBC News article indicates the extraordinary claim in the title of the Smithsonian Channel documentary about Revolutionary War general Casimir Pulaski, “The General was Female?”, is based on DNA analysis but doesn’t mention that the analysis, itself, indicates any justification for calling him a woman. I haven’t seen the documentary since it hasn’t been released yet so I don’t know whether it does or not. The trailer on the NBC site doesn’t play up that aspect much, concentrating on his training in cavalry combat and promotion to general by Washington.

In the standards of the day, he must have, at the very least, appeared to have the physical traits that had him assigned male at birth as noted in the article. It seems clear that he identified as a man during his lifetime. It seems possible that he was intersex. Why, then, sensationalize it by insinuating that he was female as the documentary does in its title?

You can look up some of the possible variations that humans can have with combinations of X and Y chromosomes (Wikipedia has one option) but none of them seem to justify “re-gendering” a man who died over 200 years ago.

It will be interesting to see if the documentary breaks Betteridge’s Law of Headlines and actually presents evidence that he consciously chose to live as a man as opposed to having grown up assigned male at birth.

There are quite a few people who did break the gender norms of their times and their stories are worth telling. We could also use more information and history of intersex people and this may be one of those stories. I don’t know that sensationalism — aimed to titillate instead of educate — serves to enlighten us, though.

Nota bene: I am not an expert in the lives of people who are women, trans, people of color, or, really, anyone who is not me. This is my informed opinion rooted in my current understanding of several of these not-me identities. Because none of these identities are universal, my opinion is limited to my (potentially flawed) understanding of the information I have received from the lived truth of these experts-in-self. I am always learning more, though, and I expect that my understanding will grow, shift, and change.