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Only kinda back - Moving at the Speed of Procrastination. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Only kinda back [Mar. 18th, 2013|07:16 am]
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I slept most of Saturday, yesterday was Meeting and a discussion afterward. I did cycle 30 minutes on the trainer: i am using the disruption of being away as opening a place for a more disciplined exercise practice. I thought a great deal about the spiritual and ecological value of disruption during worship. I was clerking the meeting for worship (to the extent there needs to be a clerk) and, when i do so, i often visualize plowing, thinking about preparing the self for receiving new awareness.

Plowing is a controlled, human chosen disruption. Ecological systems need other disruptions: floods that move silt and nutrients to fertile plains and estuaries, winds that knock down trees open up the forest canopy for younger plants to succeed, beavers dam creeks creating ponds that slowly fill to become meadows, fires convert dead wood to nutrients clearing underbrush and triggering new growths.

Disruption (destruction) opens way for new ways of being.

So framing the disruption of this ten days away as an opportunity for intentional change instead of an interruption that has me all "behind" at home.

I note that the value of disruption comes when one is prepared for it: plowing without sowing brings forth a crop of weeds, and ecosystems have evolved so that there are organisms waiting for the opportunity that disruption brings. I am prepared for a change where i exercise more, thus i was able to just do so yesterday.

What other ways can i prepare for disruption? (Getting back to the career clarity practice is another preparation for disruption.)

My other writing this morning was to a system which labeled me male on a profile page that was automatically set up for me.

Dear Friends:

I'd like to ask you to reexamine your choice of a gender marker that defaults to "male" on the account profile, particularly in light of your values:

1. Treat people as human beings first.
4. Dare to be open and honest.

Apparently, your default is to treat me as a *male* human being first, unless i prompt you to change that. Furthermore, you do not allow those who are trans or queer to identify themselves, preventing them from being "open and honest."

I see no need to promulgate male privilege and cis-privledge on your profile page.

Before you just add an undeclared field, though, could you reflect on why you need a gender field? Obviously, you can't be using it for demographics as presuming all registrants are male undermines that purpose.

Are you using the gender field so you can address me more accurately in automated systems? A far more progressive way to fulfill that software need is to present users with pronoun sets. Note that the pronoun options need to go beyond he and she, and can easily include a few more options that will allow others to be open and complete. (Asking for "Preferred pronouns" is problematic [2].)

If you are presenting this so others can review my profile and discern more detail about me, you can leave gender as a free text field [3]

I honestly don't know why you need the field at all, particularly with your first stated value. I will not be changing it.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-specific_pronoun#Pronouns_and_transgender_persons
[2] http://invisiblyqueer.blogspot.com/2012/01/pronoun-preference.html
[3] http://www.sarahmei.com/blog/2010/11/26/disalienation/


[User Picture]From: mopalia
2013-03-18 03:24 pm (UTC)
Welcome back! Sounded like the trip was not a terrible as it might have been, which is a relief.

That's a great letter. I did something similar when I found that my alum magazine had, in a series of profiles of teachers of the year, described the women as petite, slender, etc, and commented on their clothes. The male profiles of course focused on the academic achievements. I wrote in, probably not as politely as you did, and took them to task for this inappropriate gender discrimination. I got back a really nice letter that showed (indirectly) that they had been surprised by the criticism, acknowledged that I was completely correct, apologized, and promised to correct the practice. And they did - haven't seen anything like it since.

We change the world in little ways to make a big change.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2013-03-18 03:33 pm (UTC)
Seeing my grandmother was much better than i hoped as she was doing beautifully. The work part of the visit was the drain i expected, with the addition of getting a cold and arriving home 13 hours late. I'm glad my framing is working!

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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2013-03-18 03:33 pm (UTC)
Also, yay you for your letter, too!
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2013-03-24 03:33 pm (UTC)
You may have also tipped the scale into doing enough travel that it isn't as disruptive? Congratulations on the beautiful run, by the way!
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