An Animal Comparison

The courier man delivered an exciting package from Mighty Ape yesterday 🙂

The first book is Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity by Bruce Bagemihi, PhD.

I first became aware of this book during my Gender Studies paper at the beginning of last year. I wanted it back then, but time went by and I forgot all about it. My Sociology paper this semester reminded me about it, and I wasn’t going to let myself forget this time!!

It’s full of great tid bits of information, like how male giraffes prefer the company of other male giraffes, and how male ostriches will put on a much more elaborate mating dance for other male ostriches compared to those they put on for female ostriches.

There’s also an examination of the different types of family groups and coupling that goes on within the animal kingdom. Coupling doesn’t always mean the grouping of two in this instance, there are occurrences of pairs, triads, quads and more throughout the kingdom. There are also many instances of homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, transgender, omnisexuality, non-monosexuality etc.

This is the quote that first piqued my interest:

The scientist gasps and drops the binoculars. A notebook falls from astonished hands. Graduate students mutter in alarm. Nobody wants to be the one to tell the granting agency what they’re seeing.

A female ape wraps her legs around another female, “rubbing her own clitoris against her partner’s while emitting screams of enjoyment.” The researcher explains: It’s a form of greeting behavior. Or reconciliation. Possibly food-exchange behavior. It’s certainly not sex. Not lesbian sex. Not hot lesbian sex.

Six bighorn rams cluster, rubbing, nuzzling and mounting each other. “Aggressosexual behavior,” the biologist explains. A way of establishing dominance.

A zoo penguin approaches another, bowing winsomely. The birds look identical and a zoogoer asks how to tell males and females apart. “We can tell by their behavior,” a researcher explains. “Eric is courting Dora.” A keeper arrives with news: Eric has laid an egg.

Susan McCarthy

The second part of the exciting delivery was my very own copy of Animal Farm by George Orwell. After Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series, this is my favourite book.

It’s a fantastic satirical look at Communist Russia, with Stalin and Trotsky being characterized as Napoleon and Snowball the pigs. They lead a revolution against the drunken Mr Jones of Manor Farm. The civilians of Russia are shown as the other farm animals.

If you haven’t read this yet, I strongly advise that you do. You won’t regret it.


All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

More Hate/Phobia In The Bisexual Community

NOTE: I have placed emphasis on the responses to the original post.  Seriously though, where do people get off, telling others who they can identify as and who they can be attracted to *rage*  I should also note that the responses (the rant) is from pronounnotfound (I think) and is not my own writing.  I just placed emphasis to make it easier to read.

Snagged from Pansexual Pride Flag:

Can I just say, I HATE it when people refer to themselves as pansexual?

Yes, you can say. Freedom of speech, blah blah blah. But just because you have the right doesn’t make it right to say.

It’s like they’re putting themselves up on this nonexistent pedestal. The definition of pansexual is ‘being attracted to ALL genders’.

Good job, you can read a dictionary and/or know basic prefixes.


NEWSFLASH: You’re wrong. Not only are you wrong, but you are not the ultimate arbiter of what is and isn’t.

As in bi-. So if you don’t care which of the two your mate is, you are bi-sexual.

Again, there are more than two! It’s not a fucking “which” sort of choice!

Other definitions say its the attraction to who a person really is, the attraction to their mind and not their sex.

Attraction, a word which here means, you want that person. In whatever way. If we were all intangible minds floating around, it’d be different, but we’re not. We’re flesh and blood, male and female. You can be attracted to one of the two, both of the two, or none of the two. There’s no fourth option.

Attraction, a word which means here… attraction. I’m just going to throw out romantic attractions here. There is a fourth option. And a fifth and a sixth and a seventh, etc. I really think, here, what is happening is that you are conflating sexual attraction and romantic attraction. You seem aware of the fact that asexual people exist (still no cookies for you), but you seem to be unaware of the fact that many asexual people still have happy, healthy relationships even though they don’t experience sexual attraction to people. Why? Because they are romantically attracted to people. I won’t keep going on on this point, as I am not asexual. If any of my asexy followers want to take this part up, go for it. And, having said that, I am going to point out that people who aren’t asexual also have romantic attractions. Most people do. I know a few people here and there who are bisexual, but only heteroromantic. Just. Yeah.

Also on this point, sex ≠ gender. A vagina doesn’t make you a woman. It makes you the owner of a vagina. I know some pretty fucking awesome men who are also the owners of vaginae. And and and. Sex itself isn’t even binary, let alone gender. This statement that “we’re all…male and female” is false. You’re erasing intersex people right there. If you don’t know what intersex is, Google it. And, even in the male and female sexes, there is room for much variation.

It’s a pet peeve of mine.

Ignorance is a pet peeve of mine.

Like, you’re pansexual. Okay, what does that mean? You like pans? When I hear the prefix pan- I think pandorama, pandemic. Everything everywhere. Pair it with -sexual and the visual I get is anything that breathes. Animals included.

Right, because pansexual people don’t get this load of bullshit all the time. You aren’t witty or edgy by saying this. Seriously. All right. I’ll be frank. I always have a hard time refuting this for two reasons: 1) I get really pissed off when people make this statement and 2) I end up stumbling all over my words. But run with me for a minute. Following this logic, that pan means all, period, rocks and trees and steel girders and everything, then what does bi- mean in the same context? Two of what? Like… are bisexual people attracted to men and… hooded sweatshirts? That’s two things. That would be bisexual by your logic, right? That little -sexual bit is the key part, here. So, please, fuck off with all the funni jokesies abt teh silleh pansexual ppls. We deal with that shit all the time. It’s tiresome and repetitive.

I feel like it’s just another silly label people have made up to make themselves feel special in some way.

No. Just… no. People, in general, don’t “make up labels” for giggles. They make labels because they fit them better than labels that existed previously. They make labels because they have the right to define themselves. You know who doesn’t have the right to define other people? You and other ignorant asses like you with opinions.

In this one post, you have managed to erase people with non-binary genders and intersex people and you’ve insulted anyone with a multi-sexual orientation that isn’t bi. And probably a lot of people who are bi, too, to be frank. And people with multi-romantic orientations. And people with romantic orientation, which is a lot of people. This is all a lot of people. Please, educate yourself before you go around bashing people by using antiquated ideas of sex and gender and sexual orientation.

I can’t anymore. I am tired of being erased and demeaned and being unable to articulately defend myself. So here it is. A pissed off response. And you know what? I know some pansexual people who take on the label without really understanding it and then run around being all high and mighty about it. Maybe I even come off that way sometimes, I don’t know. But that is not every pansexual person. Stop lumping everyone together. You don’t do it with straight people, do you? You don’t have one bad experience with a straight person where they are rude to you and then run around saying every straight person is rude and the straight orientation makes people rude and only rude people identify as straight, do you? No? I didn’t think so. So don’t do it to people with other orientations, either.

This fails, I know. If someone wants to pick it up and do a better job than I did, go for it. Seriously.

Guide to Trans Allyship

Snagged from Pansexual Pride:

Allyship: first steps

Bare mimimums

  • Call people by their preferred name, pronouns, and label. Always. Even if you’re angry with them, even if they’re total jerks, even if they’re using gender-neutral pronouns that “sound weird” or “are hard to remember.” Yes, even when they’re not around to hear. It’s a respect thing.
  • If you’ve met the person after transition: don’t ask to see pictures from “before,” or ask about their previous name, or otherwise quiz them on topics that are likely offensive/painful.
  • Don’t try to compliment people by telling them that they look like a “real [gender],” or that you “never would have known.”
  • Don’t make comments about the person’s gender presentation that you wouldn’t make to someone who was assigned that same gender at birth. Critiquing a trans woman’s makeup in detail, or offering a trans man suggestions on how to walk “like a guy,” is as rude as it would be if you were talking to a cis person.
  • Do not inform any third party that your sibling/parent/partner/whomever is trans without the trans person’s express permission, gotten in advance.
  • Don’t describe past situations by saying “When [person] was a [gender]…”
  • Don’t ever describe someone as a member of the wrong gender, even in a way that’s superficially nice. “But you’re so handsome as a man!” is unacceptable, as is “You were a lovely little girl.”
  • Words that you shouldn’t ever use: “tranny,” “shemale,” “he-she,” “shim.” Seriously. Even if your other trans friend told you it was okay. Just don’t say it.
  • Don’t make comments that fetishize trans people. “I love trans guys — they’re so hot!” is pretty belittling; so is “People like you are so exotic.” These kinds of statements reduce trans people to sex objects, as though we exist just to be that “exotic” kink or turn-on.
  • Don’t ever ever inquire about the state of someone’s genitals, about whether they’re having surgery, or about how they have sex. Ruuuuude.
  • Don’t make assumptions about someone’s sexual orientation. Some trans men are gay or bi, or asexual; likewise with some trans women. Genderqueer folks have sexual attractions that come in all stripes.
  • If someone’s gender is ambiguous, resist asking “What are you?” flat-out; though some people don’t mind or even relish it, for many it’s simply intrusive. Instead, try to pick up on the person’s identification through context. If you really don’t know, and really need to talk about the person in a gendered way, ask “What pronouns do you prefer?” or “How should I refer to you, gender-wise?” (Do this very politely, and in private if you can.) You don’t need to know every detail about the person’s identity — you only need the information that will allow you to speak to and about them respectfully.

More complex accommodations

  • Yes, it is certainly difficult to adapt to thinking of a person in a new way, particularly if you’ve known that person all your life. A period of discomfort, or even mourning, is not uncommon. But I challenge you to try to work through that — to understand that trans experiences are usually much harder for the trans people themselves — and to work earnestly on understanding, rather than becoming bogged down in regret.
  • Many aspects of these concepts can be confusing or difficult at first. (Maybe your trans son is still in a relationship with a lesbian … why? Maybe your trans sister chooses not to have surgery, though she could afford it … why?) However, most trans people do not wish to serve as constant educators; being asked to justify your choices, some of which are so instinctive that they’re beyond words, is tiring and draining for everyone. Be sure to think over your questions carefully, seeing if you can answer them with your own common sense, before you ask the trans individuals themselves.
  • If you’re in charge of a public bathroom of some sort — in a store, perhaps, or a university building or a workplace — you may wish to label it as unisex or “family.” Some, though not all, trans people are not comfortable or safe in either exclusively-men’s or exclusively-women’s facilities (maybe they’re pre-transition, maybe they present as androgynous and don’t want to be hassled). It’s not a big deal to put up a new sign, and it makes sense for reasons beyond trans issues; young children, for instance, are more easily able to enter unisex bathrooms with their other-gender parents.
  • Keep in mind that a gender-neutral bathroom should not be used to segregate trans from cis, but rather exist as a voluntary option. It’d be inappropriate to say “Trans women in the genderless lavatory, cis women in the women’s lavatory”; that sort of phrasing implies that trans women are different or unreal.
  • Refer to “all genders” or “any gender” (plural) rather than “both genders” or “either gender” (dual). Gender is not a salt-and-pepper set, with only two condiments on the table, if you want to think of it that way. It’s a much larger sort of system, including the possibilities of “male” and “female,” but not excluding anyone else either.
  • Occasionally — when you’re on the subway, maybe, or driving past a pedestrian — you’ll see someone whose gender you can’t decipher at first glance. A total stranger, not someone whose identity you actually might need to know. Your instinct is likely to take a closer look at the person, closer than you normally would, and try to figure out what gender they are. Avoid this, if you can, or at least stop yourself consciously in the midst of doing it. The person may not know the wiser, unless you’re outright staring, but this is an example of an invasive and transphobic behavior. It’s not the King of Indiscretions, but it needs to be treated seriously: you’d feel insulted if you were scrutinized in such a way (“is she or isn’t she?”) and so will most other people.
  • Trans people are not freaks. The label of “freakishness” can go either way: people may see it as something repugnant, creepy, or against nature — or they may consider it exotic, or especially erotic, or radical.
  • But transness is none of these things. It can’t be so easily characterized by that kind of shallow stereotype. It isn’t something super-special to be considered “cool” and “fascinating,” and it isn’t something super-gross or weird or barbaric. It’s just a Thing, a fact of some people’s existence, and when you assign it a moral meaning the actual facts can get lost in the theory.
  • Try to level out your thinking on trans issues, realizing that it’s more complex than either an “awful curse” or a “special gift,” but just is. … Some people, individually, will choose to embrace a freak identity. But that has to do with their individual journeys, rather than encompassing all of what trans means to everyone else.

h/t: TransGriot for the image

The Bizarre World of the Bisexual

I certainly am a fan of parody and satire. As a follow on from yesterday’s post, my friend Lucy pointed me towards the following video:

Satire FTW!!

You can see more of MisterSharp’s fantastic videos here, well worth a look 🙂