I feel like it’s been so long since our last Alphonso Rant… I also feel like this needs some sort of disclaimer. Moreover, I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain myself to you people when I’m… Explaining myself, to you people. That made sense in my head, anyhoo… I’m not going for political correctness here, I’m going for heartfelt (I went back and forth between “honest” and “heartfelt” here. I think I made the right choice). Take it how you will. So… Who’s ready for excessive ellipses!? I mean… Who’s ready to get offended!?
Before we dive in, I have to warn you this is going to sound contradictory. There’s more than a few “I understand, but…” Lines in here. It’s not my way of remaining neutral. It’s not my way of tiptoeing around a topic. It it what it is. I understand, but I view it differently, and I think we all should. We should be able to have conversations about things that we disagree on.
Ok, so, I’m not going to bore you with the details of the conversation that inspired this post (I did that in my Gun Control rant, I don’t think it helped). Let me just tell you how I feel about it… I don’t understand the need to have control over other people. I mean, I get that being in a position of power, or perceived power, is (for lack of a better word) empowering. I really do. But, that doesn’t make it right. I get that you may disagree. I do. I can COMPLETELY understand you having a problem with someone asking you to view them as something that you don’t agree with. But… I don’t care. If it helps, imagine the identification as a nickname.
Some of my friends call me Whitey McNasty (we’ll discuss later… Focus), and I’m willing to guess that if I introduced myself to you as “Whitey McNasty” you’d feel a little awkward about it. Possibly awkward in a “best nickname I’ve ever heard. You’re damn right I’m calling you Whitey McNasty, Whitey McNasty” kind of way. Possibly awkward in a “oh. My. Gawd. Becky listen to this nickname, he is so dumb” (Baby Got Back just came on as I was typing this, go with it) kind of way. Either way, it’s something that you are not used to and/or fully comfortable with, so it’s understandable that you would be a little off-put.
You being off-put by it doesn’t change it. We might have a conversation about it. Just keep in mind that in order to keep this conversation respectful it has to be about understanding, not converting. I am (for the sake of this argument) Whitey McNasty, I was before this conversation started and will be once it is over… With of without your approval. Now my friends will tell you that I am most certainly NOT a betting man. At most, I will bet “one cold drink of your choosing”, but I refuse to put money on the line for just about anything. So, it may sound insignificant, but it’s not when I say that I will bet you one cold drink that if I were to confide in you the importance of the term “Whitey McNasty” that you wouldn’t try to change my mind. If I were to tell you that I feel like the name is a part of me, and that I for whatever reason can’t see myself identifying as anything else you probably wouldn’t argue with me about it. I bet, if we were talking about this nickname, or the many others that I have, you would become intrigued and want to know more.
The beautiful thing about all of this is that it’s just a nickname. If you’re THAT against calling me by that nickname, you don’t have to. You don’t have to call me anything. If you were that against it, you’d likely just purposely position yourself in my line of sight and give me a “hey” or some nonverbal cue to begin a conversation. At any rate, you would understand that calling me something other than what I requested is disrespectful and doing so purposely is an attack.
Guess what!? Gender works the same way. If you feel so strongly apposed to a word or words that you can’t fix your lips to say it/them, then don’t. What makes this so different? You know what it is? It’s you. You are the one with the issue. And even though this will likely fall on deaf ears, I have to say you are more than just plain old ignorant.
It. Doesn’t. Matter. Someone strongly identifies as something specific. You can play the nickname card and just avoid using it. You can engage in polite conversation to find out more about it. But you cannot ignore it, especially not while claiming that your doing so benefits others. You can not belittle that someone, or at least you can’t do so while still claiming to be a good person.
On the other hand… With all of that being said, I have to say… If someone assumes your gender give them a little slack. It’s an assumption. If, once you’ve (hopefully politely) corrected them, they refuse to acknowledge your preference, they are not worth your time or your breath.
Or… You could always ask them if them if they’ve ever heard about good old Whitey McNasty.
Until next time, don’t be nasty.
P.S. Reading this over, I guess I never gave you the backstory of the nickname “Whitey McNasty”. But, if you’ve made it this far, thinking that this post is simply about on of my nicknames, you read it wrong.