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This is bugging more often now...(vent)

VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
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Alright, so anytime I have an emotion anymore, I bring it to you people. That's not whats bugging me, I'm just stating that's why this post is now in existence.

So...I've been out for a long time, almost 15 years now (oh fuck, wow...I feel old now), and I've gotten used to the idea that most people use heterosexual language as their default setting. Bride and groom, girlfriend and boyfriend, what does your husband do, the default is to assume everyone is straight until told otherwise. I don't like it, but it's standard practice.

Well lately, it's been pissing me off more and more! Every single wedding thing I read aimed at women talks about your groom, what he'll do, how you should talk with him, how he'll be your husband, blah, blah, blah, him, him, him. Why can we not use the word partner? Why can we not say spouse? What the fuck, it's 2014, as of yesterday 19 states and DC have legalized same sex marriage. Our federal government recognizes same sex marriage. And our default is still to assume straight until told otherwise?!

I'm not sure why this bugs me now so much. Maybe...I feel kind of like...it's a way to keep separating us. It's a way to say, you, you're over there. Read this special article about your special wedding that will be specially different from the normal weddings. And yeah, my wedding is going to be a bit odd, but not because my partner is also a woman, but because I'm a fucking weirdo. I'd be just as weird if I liked guys. 

And just to be clear, this isn't about ya'll or anything. You people have been awesome and very accepting and just like "Oh, you're marrying a chick, alright, what's she like, what is she wearing and you still can't have a cash bar", ya know, like we're a fucking normal couple just like the heteros. It's more the Wedding Industrial Complex in general. Like, The Knot is all "Oh yeah, we're cool with same sex weddings" but everything is about "your groom" and pushes the hetero-normative idea. Every ad in bridal magazines is happy straight people. Mostly white too, rarely mixed race couples. It's just fucking annoying!

Ok, that's it, that's all I had to say. I think. (also I'm proud I got through this with very few misspellings, I'm a terrible speller)
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Re: This is bugging more often now...(vent)

  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
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    Well, who writes these articles? Straight people. You keep piping up and someone might listen to you, and that's the only way to change things. 
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  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You have a valid point. It's taken a long time for the default to change from all bosses not to be a he, for all doctors not to be a he, for all pastors not to be a he, and so on. Time moves slowly, but it does move eventually.
    flyingfoxesVulgarGirl
  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited May 2014
    I had never given this a thought until QueerFemme said something a couple of months ago. I am absolutely guilty. I have no issue with you and your FI being a couple and getting married, there is just 54 years of "conditioning" (the way I refer to people) at work. I am working at getting better but I have to admit that if I don't know a poster well I might refer to their FI as "him." Sometimes old habits die a bit hard but they definitely need to. In all my years in the military an awful lot of the referencing was "men". Way back in 1986 the Army's NCO Creed's opening line was "No man is more professional than I." I remembering reading that on a poster in a room full of men and said "That's right, no man IS more professional than I." Now that opening line is "No one is more professional than I." Things do change. I remember getting ticked having a guy for an Army spouse because any magazines/articles are geared towards women and using bake sales to fund the Family Readiness Group. There was nothing gender neutral in those magazines about being the spouse that keeps everything running while your Soldier is gone. It was all geared toward the military wife. Things in the military world have changed incredibly since my second enlistment in 1986 (especially gays now being allowed to serve openly!). Now we hear "Servicemen and women" and the term Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine instead of just a "him or he." I guess I just want to encourage you that it will come, and people ARE capable of change and will change, it is just a process that can take some time. After 26 years in uniform I am now back in a federal job, same base. What I see for today's young women Soldiers is lightyears better and different than the sexist, chauvinistic BS I got when I walked in the door. Change came for us and it will for you too. I am just sorry that it is a bit of a time intensive process. If you ever see me making assumptions regarding same-sex couples I would appreciate a gentle reminder. A lot of us really are trying and we want to be respectful. I SWEAR I typed paragraphes.
    VulgarGirlShesSoColdlc07OliveOilsMom
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    kmmssg said:
    I had never given this a thought until QueerFemme said something a couple of months ago. I am absolutely guilty. I have no issue with you and your FI being a couple and getting married, there is just 54 years of "conditioning" (the way I refer to people) at work. I am working at getting better but I have to admit that if I don't know a poster well I might refer to their FI as "him." Sometimes old habits die a bit hard but they definitely need to. In all my years in the military an awful lot of the referencing was "men". Way back in 1986 the Army's NCO Creed's opening line was "No man is more professional than I." I remembering reading that on a poster in a room full of men and said "That's right, no man IS more professional than I." Now that opening line is "No one is more professional than I." Things do change. I remember getting ticked having a guy for an Army spouse because any magazines/articles are geared towards women and using bake sales to fund the Family Readiness Group. There was nothing gender neutral in those magazines about being the spouse that keeps everything running while your Soldier is gone. It was all geared toward the military wife. Things in the military world have changed incredibly since my second enlistment in 1986 (especially gays now being allowed to serve openly!). Now we hear "Servicemen and women" and the term Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine instead of just a "him or he." I guess I just want to encourage you that it will come, and people ARE capable of change and will change, it is just a process that can take some time. After 26 years in uniform I am now back in a federal job, same base. What I see for today's young women Soldiers is lightyears better and different than the sexist, chauvinistic BS I got when I walked in the door. Change came for us and it will for you too. I am just sorry that it is a bit of a time intensive process. If you ever see me making assumptions regarding same-sex couples I would appreciate a gentle reminder. A lot of us really are trying and we want to be respectful. I SWEAR I typed paragraphes.
    I'm just really happy you said all this. Just...seriously...overjoyed. Everything just made me so happy.

    Well except that TK took away your paragraphs. That makes me sad at TK for not being able to figure this shit out.
    RebeccaB88theartistformerlyknownas
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
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    phira said:
    Over on Wedding Wire, one of the forum regulars is a man marrying a man, and he's been really, really irritated with Wedding Wire's planning tools. They're all really heteronormative. I had assumed/hoped when I set up my account that they were set up that way because I had actually signed up saying, "I am a woman marrying a man," but it sounds like most of the site is still geared towards women marrying men.

    Our venue gave us (well, me) a binder called the "Bride Binder," and I absolutely hate it. I have no fucking clue if they have different versions for different couples, but the binder I have has all this information written to the bride, and it mentions lots of stuff like, "Talk to the groom's family about ..." or, "The bride and groom ...." Worse, in the introduction, it said, "We'll let you know what information you need to pass on to the groom." I'm sorry, is he not supposed to read the venue's guide? Because he has a penis? Even if the venue does give a different binder to hetero couples, lesbian couples, and gay couples, it's entirely unacceptable that the hetero binder is all, "Bride, you are planning the wedding! Here are the three things you should pass on to the groom who will of course not be reading this binder."

    This is Massachusetts. We've had marriage equality for a decade. Get with the fucking program.
    Hell yeah!!! 

    And also, WTF? Can straight dudes not read? I'm pretty sure I've seen straight dudes read. My dad reads. He's straight. 
    grumbledoreRebeccaB88
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Because of your frequent presence on the board to remind me, I have consciously on multiple occasions said "couple" or "spouse" instead of "bride and groom" or some such thing. Just keep doin' your thang.

    SITB 

    Word. Me too. I have 3 best friends that are gay and I have remind myself when I post here to say couple or partner. Sometimes I just forget, you know? I really do try not to say bride and groom. 

    VulgarGirl
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Because of your frequent presence on the board to remind me, I have consciously on multiple occasions said "couple" or "spouse" instead of "bride and groom" or some such thing. Just keep doin' your thang.
    Well now I feel special and like I'm making a difference!!

    Also sometimes I spend too long just watching Amy Pohler wink at me from your sig. Just a little extra info about me.
    [Deleted User]
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    MagicInk said:
    phira said:
    Over on Wedding Wire, one of the forum regulars is a man marrying a man, and he's been really, really irritated with Wedding Wire's planning tools. They're all really heteronormative. I had assumed/hoped when I set up my account that they were set up that way because I had actually signed up saying, "I am a woman marrying a man," but it sounds like most of the site is still geared towards women marrying men.

    Our venue gave us (well, me) a binder called the "Bride Binder," and I absolutely hate it. I have no fucking clue if they have different versions for different couples, but the binder I have has all this information written to the bride, and it mentions lots of stuff like, "Talk to the groom's family about ..." or, "The bride and groom ...." Worse, in the introduction, it said, "We'll let you know what information you need to pass on to the groom." I'm sorry, is he not supposed to read the venue's guide? Because he has a penis? Even if the venue does give a different binder to hetero couples, lesbian couples, and gay couples, it's entirely unacceptable that the hetero binder is all, "Bride, you are planning the wedding! Here are the three things you should pass on to the groom who will of course not be reading this binder."

    This is Massachusetts. We've had marriage equality for a decade. Get with the fucking program.
    Hell yeah!!! 

    And also, WTF? Can straight dudes not read? I'm pretty sure I've seen straight dudes read. My dad reads. He's straight. 
    The funniest part about it is that my partner has OCD and part of his job is event planning and coordinating vendors (like wedding planning without the ceremony and enormous mark-ups). So ... I mean, if only one of us was going to read the binder cover to cover, it would have been him!
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  • @phira I would've been like "wtf is this????" with that binder!!! I can't believe that, I guess if you have balls, you need to be read to like a kid or something.

    I get so pissed at my job because we had a seminar a year ago that got us HEI certified and one of the things that we learned was to use "spouse" instead of "husband" or "wife". I've always done this because you never know. Then when I talk to older people that I need to get in touch with, they get all snotty like "Jane, MY WIFE, not SPOUSE".

    It just grinds my gears when people just assume that the majority of couples are man/woman.

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  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
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    @phira I would've been like "wtf is this????" with that binder!!! I can't believe that, I guess if you have balls, you need to be read to like a kid or something.

    I get so pissed at my job because we had a seminar a year ago that got us HEI certified and one of the things that we learned was to use "spouse" instead of "husband" or "wife". I've always done this because you never know. Then when I talk to older people that I need to get in touch with, they get all snotty like "Jane, MY WIFE, not SPOUSE".

    It just grinds my gears when people just assume that the majority of couples are man/woman.

    Do they not know that a wife is a spouse? All wives are spouses, not all spouses are wives. Like all elephants are gray, not all gray things are elephants.
    buddysmom80lc07kaitlynmichelleRebeccaB88
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    The word "spouse" just is too close to "louse", so I don't like it and it makes me feel icky.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I try had to make things neutral when posting. I slip sometimes, mostly when the last 8 were male/female and then you jump into a general question that applies to any couple. Be patient. We do not even have the states allowing same-sex marriages yet, so it will take some time, but it will get there. NOTE -- no paragraphs.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I can understand not liking the word "spouse." What you call the person you are in a relationship with, live with, have sex with, are engaged to, or are married to, etc, etc, is a personal thing. I call J my partner, which annoys a lot of people because I'm a woman and J is a man (and we're both cis). But I just hated calling him my boyfriend. I absolutely hated it. I sometimes call him my fiance, especially when we're in situations where I feel like I need to 1) conform or 2) make it clear that we're getting married. But I go with partner most of the time, and I have no idea if I'll transition to "husband" very easily.

    But I think it's a good idea to go with un-gendered language unless you are certain of someone else's situation and preference. So if I don't know anything about you, except that you're a woman who's engaged, I'm going to refer to your partner (I don't like using the FI abbreviation, and fiance(e) is gendered) until you tell me otherwise.
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  • I just. Wow. @MagicInk I'd never thought that way before, and I'm totally guilty of this. Apologies now for past and in advance because lord knows I'm going to do it again, even though I'll make a conscious effort not to.
    VulgarGirl
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
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    Thanks for this. It must be so disheartening not to see your own experience reflected whenever you open a magazine/go to a site/try to get information from anywhere. Count me in as another person who will make a more conscious effort to keep things gender-neutral until I'm told otherwise.

    As for spouse vs. partner vs. whatever--I have friends who have been a couple forever but don't want to get married. They call each other "LP" for "life partner." They're cis-hetero too. I haven't heard of anyone giving them crap about it (although I'm sure people have, since they're in a conservative area and it's probably considered bad enough that they aren't married). 
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  • sophhabobophasophhabobopha The Midwestern tundra member
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    I use the term 'special forever person', because that's how I refer to FI. (:
    But I agree, even as a straight lady, heteronormativity is gross.

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  • sophhabobophasophhabobopha The Midwestern tundra member
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    MagicInk said:
    I use the term 'special forever person', because that's how I refer to FI. (:
    But I agree, even as a straight lady, heteronormativity is gross.

    Ok, fuck all other terms, special forever person wins in my book.
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  • grumbledoregrumbledore member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited May 2014

    It just grinds my gears when people just assume that the majority of couples are man/woman.




    Um, ok, but the majority of couples are man/woman.  I'm totally on board with everything else - being inclusive etc etc etc, but to say that it is unreasonable for people to assume that the majority of couples are hetero is just ridiculous.

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    kmmssg
  • Nothing more to add other than to say you are absolutely right! Progress has been made but we still have a loooong way to go!
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  • MagicInk said:
    I use the term 'special forever person', because that's how I refer to FI. (:
    But I agree, even as a straight lady, heteronormativity is gross.

    Ok, fuck all other terms, special forever person wins in my book.
    I love that.  "Hi, this is Schmoe, my special forever person."  It works.

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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited May 2014

    It just grinds my gears when people just assume that the majority of couples are man/woman.




    Um, ok, but the majority of couples are man/woman.  I'm totally on board with everything else - being inclusive etc etc etc, but to say that it is unreasonable for people to assume that the majority of couples are hetero is just ridiculous.
    I guess maybe it's correct to assume that the majority of couples are man/woman, but that when you meet a person who is in a relationship, you should not assume they are in a hetero relationship. If that makes any sense.

    ETA: And honestly, even if the majority of couples are man/woman, using inclusive language doesn't actually hurt anyone.
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  • edited May 2014
    phira said:

    It just grinds my gears when people just assume that the majority of couples are man/woman.




    Um, ok, but the majority of couples are man/woman.  I'm totally on board with everything else - being inclusive etc etc etc, but to say that it is unreasonable for people to assume that the majority of couples are hetero is just ridiculous.
    I guess maybe it's correct to assume that the majority of couples are man/woman, but that when you meet a person who is in a relationship, you should not assume they are in a hetero relationship. If that makes any sense.

    ETA: And honestly, even if the majority of couples are man/woman, using inclusive language doesn't actually hurt anyone.
    @phira, couldn't agree with you more.
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  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
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    phira said:

    It just grinds my gears when people just assume that the majority of couples are man/woman.




    Um, ok, but the majority of couples are man/woman.  I'm totally on board with everything else - being inclusive etc etc etc, but to say that it is unreasonable for people to assume that the majority of couples are hetero is just ridiculous.
    I guess maybe it's correct to assume that the majority of couples are man/woman, but that when you meet a person who is in a relationship, you should not assume they are in a hetero relationship. If that makes any sense.

    ETA: And honestly, even if the majority of couples are man/woman, using inclusive language doesn't actually hurt anyone.
    @phira, couldn't agree with you more.
    Yeah, it seems like that's one of those things where the statistical reality doesn't have bearing on individual situations. (Much like the much-discussed "50% of marriages end in divorce" stat, which does NOT mean that an individual's marriage has a 50% shot of lasting forever. That is not how statistics work, but it's also not how people should ideally approach marriage/their friends' marriages).
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  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I try very hard with gender pronouns. I find it easier when I'm speaking than when writing. I grew up being taught to use "he" by default when you don't know the pronoun. It's instinctive to me though incorrect. This is a great reminder that I need to be more careful- thank you for that!

    There are 3 other couples in my life who are planning weddings at the moment. They're all men. And a few of them are far more excited about wedding planning than I am.

    As a side note, I love that this is an environment open, safe environment where people can talk about these issues. It's a pleasure, even when the topics aren't happy.
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  • MagicInk said:
    Because of your frequent presence on the board to remind me, I have consciously on multiple occasions said "couple" or "spouse" instead of "bride and groom" or some such thing. Just keep doin' your thang.
    Well now I feel special and like I'm making a difference!!

    Also sometimes I spend too long just watching Amy Pohler wink at me from your sig. Just a little extra info about me.
    Don't worry, Felicia Day is my biggest celeb crush, sooo I've kinda been staring at your GIF for about 10 minutes straight...
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited June 2014
    I used to have a job taking photos at events. I'd roam around the event and my job was to capture candids but also get shots of couples and groups. You'd be amazed at how many times someone would say "oh now take a picture of so and so together" (two people of the same sex) "They're a couple!" I'd say "Great!" And take the photo and then everyone would crack up and say they were kidding. Like they just pulled a hysterical joke on me. I refused to play into it. How do I know who is a couple and who isn't? Glad you're talking about this, @MagicInk. I'm sure I can use the reminder as well. I feel like this should be an open letter that goes all over the web. Or you should mail it to every offending company. ETA: I swear, I tried paragraphs.
    ashley8918
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