Words Cannot Describe…

Someone wrote…

I wish we didn’t need so many words to explain to people who we are. Words mean nothing. We’re all just people.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on July 3rd, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 5 comments »

5 Responses to “Words Cannot Describe…”


    There’s a lot more to me than just being a person.
    Words help me let others know who I am.


    Adair replied:

    But sometimes words are used in an often-futile attempt to fill a chasm between people created by prejudices and preconceptions. Imagine if we didn’t feel the need to label people by gender or sexual orientation or relationship practice (e.g. polyamory) and just observed and accepted them as they were and as they related to others. (And this were true acceptance, not the sort of blindness that would just allow us to look away from the effects of discrimination.)

    Why on earth do we need to explain and defend, say, being bisexual or breaking free of our assigned gender? As the world is, sometimes the words we use in these cases *do* bring us closer to people, who are able to understand, accept, and stop questioning us once they’re exposed to what’s for them a new concept. But even then, this use of the words is only necessary in response to a society which has taught the person we’re explaining to that the way *we* are isn’t an option, either explicitly or by implication through presenting and enforcing a finite number of other options.

    I don’t think the OP was objecting to the uses of language to let people know who we are in the sense of talking about who we love, what we like to do on the weekends, our favorite poems, and so on. Just to the requirement that we use words to explain something that we don’t think should have to be explained, where we have to stop talking about what we enjoy and move to some meta-level to justify why we’re a type of person who enjoys that.

    Then again, maybe the OP is objecting to that kind of introductory chatter altogether and encouraging us to use nonverbal methods of observing people–or connecting to people without having to know what categories they fall into. For what it’s worth, I agree with all these sentiments as well as with what SANTARII said. I think most of us have been weary of words or trying to define/explain ourselves through certain words at some point or another, and I’m equally certain that we’ve also all benefited from and sometimes enjoyed doing so (we wouldn’t be here of all places otherwise!).


  2. Jessica MacGilvray



  3. Alex

    Wish that were possible!


  4. Moose

    It weirds me out how much information about a person’s gender changes my impression of them. I’m trying to undo that.

    (Although when I learn someone is queer in some way, they immediately become 10x sexier).


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