Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Quick Gripe

I'm sure I'll have some fun horsey news later today, but right now I'm trying to join the USEF as a non-competing member (liability insurance, y'all, and I'm hoping to upgrade to competing member next year). But even this process is gender-laden. You have to pick a title, for one - I picked "other," and I'm really glad I'm getting my PhD, because soon my title can just be "Dr." and I won't have to deal with the icky Mr./Ms./Mrs./Miss situation. I don't like any of those for myself.

Sidenote: A couple years ago when I was applying for a SunPass so I don't have to stop at every tollbooth and add 45 minutes to a 5-hour drive to Miami, I chose the title Rev. I always appreciate an opportunity for irreverence.

Anyway, I selected "other," which is fine, as Dr. wasn't an option and I don't have that damn dissertation finished anyway. But then I found that you have to select male or female.


Is it really that important? And can't they supply an "other" option there, as well? Or even "Prefer Not to Say"? I'll write them an e-mail about it, but for now, I'm just going to have to pick. It's not that I'm caught between them, it's that neither really feels right.

Sidenote 2: You know how you don't have to pick a gender on Facebook? That's because of my AWESOME friend Casey (partner to Wonderful Cori, who took the photos and videos of me riding Lex awhile back). Casey started a campaign to get Facebook to drop the unnecessary gender identification, and it worked. I find this story incredibly empowering.

And while we're on the topic: I noticed that the forms new riders have to fill out at my lesson farm have "mother" and "father" on the entry. Since my boss there is so stinkin' cool, I think I'll ask her about that - maybe "Parent 1" and "Parent 2," since many kids have gay parents, or only one parent, or whatever. I think Boss Lady will be into it when I bring it up, because she is outstanding.

Okay, rant over. I'm gonna go teach lessons now and then see my pretty horse later this evening, so it'll be a good day, gender nonsense aside.


  1. I was raised by one parent and strangely enough I never felt weird when they had us make things for our mother's and father's for their respective days. I made everything for my mother, I actually thought it was weird people had 2 parents instead of just one awesome parent who was super at everything. I remember telling my mom later that I was disappointed when she got remarried because she was doing so well as Mary Tyler Moore (I don't think she took it as a compliment) but she taught me that there is nothing wrong with being alone, and you can have it all.

    1. Sounds like you won the parent lottery. :)

  2. Interesting. I don't know how other sports handle the gender thing, but I see it being more appropriate asked in a setting like this than on Facebook. Interested to hear what they say!

    1. I actually don't think it's appropriate to have as a required question in this case. What difference does it make? I don't think gender should ever be a thing where you check one box or the other, in any context in the whole universe. It should be a text field! It isn't a binary issue - or, to say it another way, the binary is a fiction. If no one gets to tell me how to identify my gender, then no one should get to force me to choose between two that don't fit. Furthermore, we don't compete in a gender-segregated sport, so it really really doesn't matter.

      I haven't gotten around to writing the letter yet. To be honest, being dismissed feels horrible and I'm not looking forward to what I think will probably be a brush-off response from them.