We Played The Pipe For You, And You Did Not Dance – A Blast From The Past From February 2014

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*I no longer remember this clash. I gather a young ‘un tried to lecture us on how to write non-binary gender. (Rolls eyes.) Under the impression no one had ever done that, ever, ever until the 2000s.  It’s still relevant, as is the rest of the post. Perhaps more relevant. – SAH*

We Played The Pipe For You, And You Did Not Dance – A Blast From The Past From February 2014

So, apparently the non-binary gender chick (no, it’s not sexist.  I’m very non-binary in that.  Any wimpy, over-educated hot house flower with tender feelings and its head up its own yaya is a chickie.  The ones who happen to have a penis are the worst) wimped out of her crusade and entertained herself with reviewing an eighties book that is about a character with non-standard gender presentation.

As someone who despite DD cups and a face not even her own father would call chiseled or rugged routinely gets addressed as “sir” and was more than once addressed as “sir” and/or treated as a guy even when she was 17 and in a red dress and pumps (no, I don’t get it either.  I’ve encountered people like that, though, when I was working retail.  When I looked away from them to do something I remembered them as the opposite gender. Perhaps I camouflage well) I wish that character should cry me a river.

No, for the record, I don’t want to become a guy. (Nor do I think I’m “really” a guy.) I’m happily, not to say enthusiastically, heterosexual so becoming a guy to go after guys would be stupid.  Also, frankly, some of us have seen the binary categories for what they are.  I.e. some of us have caught on to the fact that “the contents don’t always correspond to label.  Some settling might have occurred during shipping.”  Or in adult terms, there’s the binary polar opposites, and then there is the real world presentation where on average most women have mostly stereotypical girly characteristics (you bastages can have my collection of snazzy shoes when you pry them out of my cold dead hands.  Also, the house must be clean to GIRL standards.  Also, seriously, I throw like a girl.  And my collection of lipstick is second only to my collection of shoes.  Yes, people still call me “sir” while I’m in red high heels and lipstick. [And other clothes, before you ask.  Have some carp!] No, I don’t want to probe that.  Yes, it pisses me off.) and most men still have mostly stereotypical manly characteristics, but in any real world individual distribution is “human and imperfect” not “human stamped pink or human stamped blue.”  This does not mean the classifications are invalid.  The classifications are opposite poles of the statistic distribution of gender characteristics.

IOW only someone who has done most of her growing up in books would mistake “archetype” for “the only ones allowed to exist,” and think that in the real world or in any good books gender is ever “binary” which I assume she thinks means two categories and nothing outside them, in between them or blended from them.  (There are only ten types of people in the world.  The ones who understand binary, and the ones who don’t.)  When in fact, in the real world and in good books the opposite is almost the exact truth.  (Everyone is an individual and some people are more feminine/masculine than others, but no one is “pure” anything — least of all pure stereotype.)

And I don’t know what books she did her growing up in, but it wasn’t the chronicles of our sci-fictional kind.  No, seriously.  For instance, in this particularly book that she’s so impressed with, apparently the final conclusion is that the character is neither male or nor female.  (Rolls eyes so hard they roll on the floor.  Would someone find them please?  I’ll touch type in the meantime.) I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know how it’s done.  There was a book – Waiting for the Mahdi, the name of the author evades me – where it was done very well and the character was truly between the genders.  However, the startled wonder and amazement of the Non Binary Gender Chickie who is convinced this is the first time this was done in SF – Darling, really, Google The World Well Lost by Theodore Sturgeon.  Sheesh, you kids are so cute —  makes me think that she’s not read much sf/f, really. (And hasn’t lived much either.)

Now, I’m not going to say that this is a triumph of education over real life, or that this poor chickie must have led a very sheltered existence, because I don’t know her.  After all, the Aspergers spectrum is rife in our field, and even people who are not technically Aspergers have acquired some of the modes of the spectrum through contact – and one of the characteristics of my Aspergers friends is believing what they’ve been told or read (even the fiction!) over what they see with their lying eyes.  This is part of the whole needing to put things in categories and classify them, something that the real world is notoriously averse to.

It’s entirely possible, if she’s of the kind who’d rather believe classifications and classes than their eyes, that she simply took a degree in one of the various Marxist disciplines that are so good at the classifications and stratification.  Women’s Studies, for instance.  Or Post Modern Involute Reasoning of some description.  In that case, she might have been a perfectly normal human being who has become a “no obvious gender definitions” chickie, hopefully temporarily.

This is, of course, neither here nor there – though if she’s in any way redeemable, we wish her a speedy cure, because going through life confused about the meanings of BOTH “gender” and “binary” is a sad way to exist and also because I suspect she’s very uncomfortable over not EXACTLY fitting what she views as “female” and thinks is mandatory (Darling, it’s like your mother’s shoes.  Even when you grow to the right size, they won’t fit right, because it’s not you.  It’s her.  In the end, growing up is about becoming YOURSELF.  And none of us are archetypes or stereotypes.  This is why we’re individual human beings.  Familiarize yourself with this idea.  Did you know that our Constitution is supposed to maximize INDIVIDUAL liberty?  You don’t have to fit any dead communist’s idea of classes, either) – because what I find amusing about all this incident, including the attempt to Correiarize Correia by a gentleman who brought a knife to an intellectual machine gun fight, is not that she’s limited herself now to writing book reviews, instead of trying to shame people who write… you know… men who are mostly men and women who are mostly women, like what happens in what we mostly call the real world.

No, what I find interesting and amusing is that it has confirmed something I’ve long suspected( as well as my impression that reports of our cultural demise are greatly exaggerated).  I’ve long suspected that the maintenance of the ever-more-divorced-from-reality-victim-classifying- and-rewarding-culture (that is … post-communist, or at least what communism became after it was proven nonviable as an economic system) depends on a monolithic information/entertainment system.  But the monolithic information/entertainment system seeds its own demise.

They fully conquered the system at least two/three decades ago and had it pretty much staffed it with fellow-travelers fifty years ago.  They disseminated truth from above. People who disagreed with them were culturally isolated and shunned.  Meanwhile, the opinion makers lived in the original echo chamber as they spun further and further away from reality.

This is how we come by the spectacle of a very young writer lecturing the rest of us on the need to write non-standard sexual personae and CLEARLY imagining that SF exists circa, oh, the thirties or forties (even in the fifties there were, if you knew how to read, very many non-standard sexual personae in SF/F.)

You see, SF/F is a literature of the weird, the strange and the far fetched.  Even those of us who, should we be more heterosexual would have to be tied down (those who’ve had the first book of Star Cat Chronicles inflicted on them at workshops KNOW what I mean),  are fascinated with non standard identities, which, by definition, extend to sexual personae and feminine/masculine non-standard distribution.  (And which doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what the person or character is attracted to.  … In my case, for instance, I’m attracted to mathematicians.  Okay, Mathematician.  I’m deathly monogamous.)

Again, the strangeness is not that she presumes to lecture us to “write fewer standard males and females, ya’ll” which would, at best, cause us to smile and pat her on the head.  No, the true bizarreness which has caused us to do a double take, swallow our tongue and not even know how to answer, is that she seems to think she just discovered this.

(Frankly it is as funny and sad as when my boys – and both hit this at around 14 or 15 would make jokes about some sex act they’d just heard of, all you know, implication and nudge nudge, and get shocked half out of their socks when Dan and I caught it, picked it up and took it to the next level.  The priceless look on each of their faces as they realized that their generation did not IN FACT invent sex, not even particularly dirty sex, will warm the cockles of my heart forever. We only had to do this ONCE, too.  After that the untrained puppies realized there were bigger dogs in the pack.)

That strangeness – I am a science fiction writer – has caused me to wonder if she is an alien.  An alien would, of course, believe what it says on the label about “what males are” and “what females are” and then — realizing the discrepancy with real world people — would agitate for us to have other labels.

It would never occur to the alien that the other labels are there all along, not as prescriptive absolutes, but in the form of realistic characters in novels and movies (and yes, yes, plays — Has this sheltered flower of Academia ever watched Twelfth Night, one wonders?  Never mind. “My father had a daughter loved a man, As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman, I should your lordship.”…… “I am all the daughters of my father’s house, And all the brothers too: and yet I know not.”)

The thing is that she IS an alien, you know?

The system in which she’s been raised, the authorities she respects, the people who have informed her precarious culture all have told her that we live in a world of binary choices, that capitalism is essentially about making you fit in a mold (Darling, they sold you a bill of goods.  It’s the top down systems that do this.  Think about China, or for that matter Russia.  Out here, in businessman’s land, we don’t care what you think you are.  If you think you’re a fish, we’ll sell you the gills to cosplay.) And that she needs to speak truth to power (Darling, child, oh, sweet innocent one, to find out if you really are speaking (unpleasant) truth to power observe what gets rewarded.  Note that no one has ever gone broke praising Marxism, and think carefully about who “the man” in power really is) against this oppressive system, that exists ONLY in her mentor’s mind.

She’s a good girl.  She’s trying hard to obey the precepts she was taught and the voices in her TV from all the “opinion makers.”  She’s trying to be the voice of the voiceless.  She’s trying to carry aloft the banner against capitalist repression (Darling, we’ll sell you a better banner.  At half price.) She’s trying to give back to the community that exists only in her own mind.

She has no idea why all these evil Haters McHateys came out to yell at her, because she’s only doing what she was taught to make the world a better place.

The world is full of these injustices.  And since the information/entertainment complex is no longer a unified top down voice, we’re going to see a lot more of these moments, these bizarre public confrontations.

You see, until about five years ago, we who laughed behind our hands at this exquisite divorce from reality, would have stayed quiet.  Had to.  Our only hope of publication once we were out politically was Baen and nothing outside it, and we had meals to buy and baby needed shoes.  Now?

Ah!  Outside Baen I wouldn’t CONSENT to work with one of the publishing houses.  I don’t trust them.  They’re aliens.  And not friendly aliens.  And I never hankered for awards beyond the one I won (Prometheus) and I couldn’t be bothered with the accolades of the alien system.

All I ever hoped for out of writing was to make a living, and that’s happening more and more with a lot of work (but I never expected not to work, either.)

They have nothing I want.  They certainly have nothing I need.  And I’m not alone.

To make things worse, for all these years, they’ve been able to go off more and more on their insanity, drinking their own ink (Darling, that’s unhealthy!) and spinning more and more out of contact with reality till to be a “real radical” you had to say completely insane things and demand that everyone follow them. (“PIV is unnatural, because first time hurts!  “PIV” is totally a thing, because I can’t say heterosexual sex, because that would be like hatey mchatey and stuff! Women have mental communication with plants! My head is made of cabbage and I mainlined an entire DVD of Avatar!”)  And we didn’t say anything, because we wanted to eat.

Then suddenly… suddenly it’s all changed, and when they say what is – I want you to understand this – in their circles completely unexceptionable and sensible, the world explodes around them.

They have no explanation for it.  They try to mau-mau those double-plus-ungood thinkers (it works in colleges still!) and call us names, and we laugh in their faces.

We’re seeing that happen more and more.  And it will only accelerate as the preference cascade unrolls.  You can only keep a completely unrealistic system of beliefs in place if you can make sure no one publicly laughs at it.  Not just that most people don’t laugh at it, but that no one laughs at it.  Because once someone shows up laughing at it in public, other would-be-mockers know they’re not alone.  More coherent systems than this and older and more dignified too, have fallen to the pointing finger and the horse laugh.

The Media is hitting the same wall – their attempts to talk up the Summer of Recovery 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and… what is it now? Six? – fall on their faces.  The only power they retain is the power to demonize and I’m going to go out on a limb and say even that will fail them before the end of this year. Because once you see it’s only a painted devil, you’re not afraid anymore.

And then?  And then they run around in circles, confused about why it’s not working.  They pressed the button.  Why didn’t the lever fall?  The racist/sexist capitalists aren’t crying in shame?  Why not?  Dang it.  Is this thing broken?

Hello, hello?  Who is out there?

If any writer had ever written about non standard gender/sexual personae before the mid-eighties, which OF COURSE never happened, we could even quote him to echo their disconsolate and confused cries.  They know who they are, with their little clique, out there in the dark – but who are all you zombies? 😉

90 responses to “We Played The Pipe For You, And You Did Not Dance – A Blast From The Past From February 2014

  1. We identify as Henry VIII and expect to be addressed as such.


    We are not amused to note that at one time the Differently Rational were subjected to mockery on American radio.

  2. Huh, I wonder what book that was? I thought maybe Bone Dance by Emma Bull, but that was published in ’91. But even then, the neuter main character wasn’t the “this is different” thing, it was the incorporation of tarot and voodoo deities into psychics and near-future post-apoc SF. And even that wasn’t new, it was just very well done for a light, fun one-off story where normally those are put in things with more horror tones.

  3. An alien would, of course, believe what it says on the label about “what males are” and “what females are” and then — realizing the discrepancy with real world people — would agitate for us to have other labels.

    What they fail to grasp is that the Map is not the Territory. Nor do they understand that there can be many maps for the same territory. In consequence of this lack of comprehension they attempt to alter the territory so that it more closely conforms to their maps.

    That is NOT the sort of occupation that keeps a body sane.

  4. I suppose one could postulate an alien species of trinary sexuality, but their mating/nesting practices would also be severely different from ours, and …

    Hmmm.

    • IIRC, William Tenn went that one … err, four, better in Venus and the Seven Sexes (1949). Piers Anthony wrote a short (for him) series* involving a character whose soul or essence was transmitted throughout the galaxy, experiencing (among other things) various forms of alien sexual interactions.

      *It may have been the one known as Cluster, but it’s been a very long time and, frankly, I don’t give a f*ck.

      • Search engine also provided this reminder from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five(1969):

        “There were five sexes on Tralfamadore, each of them performing a step necessary in the creation of a new individual. They looked identical to Billy–because their sex differences were all in the fourth dimension.

        “One of the biggest moral bombshells handed to Billy by the Tralfamadorians, incidentally had to do with sex on Earth. They said their flying-saucer crews had identified no fewer than seven sexes on Earth, each essential to reproduction. Again: Billy couldn’t possibly imagine what five of those seven sexes had to do with the making of a baby, since they were sexually active only in the fourth dimension.

        “The Tralfamadorians tried to give Billy clues that would help him imagine sex in the invisible dimension. They told him that there could be no Earthing babies without male homosexuals. There could be babies without female homosexuals. There couldn’t be babies without women over sixty-five years old. There could be babies without men over sixty-five. There couldn’t be babies without other babies who had lived an hour or less after birth. And so on. It was gibberish to Billy.”

        Slaughterhouse-Five: Or The Children’s Crusade, A Duty Dance With Death pp. 145-146

        “By the time I read the book again in the 90s, I was fully aware of my own attractions. And the idea of sexes beyond the binary and a role for homosexual men to play in procreation was exhilarating! No, I couldn’t seriously consider something outside the facts I’d learned from my parents during “the talk” and the reinforcements received in school. But through the Tralfamadorians’ observations, I felt myself seen for the first time in a piece of literature. No longer just an anomaly in the medical encyclopedia, homosexuals in Billy Pilgrim’s world were validated in the fourth dimension for their role in making babies… 🙂”
        http://www.brycerich.net/myblog/seven-sexes.html

    • But that would be legitimate science fiction. Hell, the Moties from “The Mote In God’s Eye” would play hob with romance…maybe. Or maybe not. It certainly would make for an interesting plot.

      • Joe in PNG

        Wonder about that myself. I suspect that the Masters are too territorial to really feel love for equals, and too posh too feel anything other than a sort of fondness for anyone other than their daughters- kind of what one feels for pets.
        The Mediator’s identification with their Fyunch(click) would probably prevent them from really feeling love for others.
        The lower caste would probably not be smart enough to be capable of romance.

        • Probably. But I could see an equivalent to marriage as an alternative solution.

          Niven and Pournelle were deliberately writing the Moties with a population bomb that could only be dealt with by genocide. I suspect they would both tell you that any actual alien race with that sort of biology would probably not be able to get out of the Industrial Revolution.

    • Azimov’s “The Gods Themselves.” Not the book the chick had in mind. But is has three sexes.

    • If I remember the arguments about it correctly, requiring three for reproduction makes it massively more difficult to reproduce– similar to how some snakes can reproduce asexually, but the offspring tend to die because of the limitations off asexual reproduction. Two parents gives the strengths of both options, without increasing difficulty THAT much.

      • I envision that it would require all three parents deploying their gametes into the common nest almost simultaneously. Once the nest is sealed, eggs develop from completed triads.

        • Oooh, random think-sideways argument….isn’t the mDNA in a cell supposed to be basically an absorbed organism? (I think I’m using the wrong words.)
          So that would mean that there is a way for it to be effective, by having one of the triad be a physical part of another. Maybe joining at puberty or something?

          • I’ve heard that: OTOH it completely defeats the purpose of having an alien race with so fundamentally different a sex-system that humans can’t (easily) tell which is what, and to whom the “GLT Pride” nonsense we’re belaboured with each June et c. is intrinsically and fundamentally incomprehensible. (For more on “Pride” see the SciFiWright.com entry “Pride Month.”)

            • Hell, “sane human” covers the incomprehensible (when thought about hard enough) angle juuuuuust fine, and I don’t see sticking it to someone as a reasonable basis for anything.

              • Not the Stick-It-To-Em, really, but I conceived (yes, I know) of such personae more as an ET Gulliver to human weirdness-taken-as-normal. Or maybe as a sort of Houwwynnym (spelling uncertain), more precisely.
                But for SF, I think the concept stands on its own merits.
                😀

  5. I will add that it pays to study the French Revolution. Which started off as a sane, sensible reform, then went off the rails into cycles of denunciations and executions. The politically correct fanatics had got unhindered control of the levers of power. I think we’re at an analog of that part right now.

    The solution, of course, was a coup d’etat and the shipment of the fanatics to the guillotine. I think we’re getting close to this. Whether the reform is bloodless or not remains to be seen.

    My…”fear” may be too strong…concern is that in France, the interim reform government, the Directory, was weak. And ultimately replaced by one General N. Bonaparte.

  6. There are plants and pollinators, so a three-party sexual system is in existence in/on this world already. But having a conversation about it with any of the participants is apt to be slow going.

  7. Dorothy Dimock

    What instantly came to me was, “The Left Hand of Darkness,” which made a goodly splash in its time.

  8. Ah, I remember this dust-up. Back then, a little idiot saying that all stories needed to include “non-binary genders” managed to make a splash. It all seems so innocent in these days when XY individuals are winning the women’s national championships.

    • Was that the “all new authors attempting to write for the first time must be certain to have non-binary characters” and Larry was all “bullship! all new authors attempting to write for the first time must tell an entertaining story.” And then the heaving and pearl clutchedness of “omg, Corriea said to never ever under any circumstances ever write a non-binary character!”

      That one?

  9. My 14yo daughter has that same problem. Quite often, she will get called “Sir”. It gets even funnier when it’s a cute guy. She’s got a good attitude about it though. I think it’s her short haircut that does it. People see that and they don’t look much further. She doesn’t have a manly face or anything.

    As for non-binary, My 12yo is HILARIOUS about this. She tries to “inform” us about the terminology, but ends up getting it all wrong. She seems to thing there are only a few defining terms, and everyone fits into those. She doesn’t realize that there isn’t a governing authority (and even if there was, it wouldn’t be HER) and people make up new terminology/definitions off-the-cuff (usually as a means to call someone out for not being “woke” enough, as if someone could be “woke” enough to be psychic).

    • TheOtherSean

      If somebody was in charge, I suspect your 12 year old daughter would still be a better choice than the cabal of academic/MSM types that unofficially fill that role today.

    • My ten-year-old son gets called Miss far too often. He has shoulder length hair.

      A lot of adults have been badly embarrassed by this. He seems to be taking it in good humor, but he now has it in cornrows which should help.

    • I sympathize. Far too often I am addressed through the wrong honorific. Imagine people not knowing the proper term with which to address a wallaby is “Your Grace.”

    • Honestly? I think it’s my shoulders. I loved the eighties because Ididn’t need to wear shoulder pads AND NO ONE KNEW.
      Then I married a man with shoulders proportionally wider than mine.
      a) the boys almost killed me at birth despite my very good child-bearing hips. b)yeah, passengers on the same row in airplanes HATE my kids.

  10. Geoff Withnell

    I am seriously thinking of adding to my sig file “Preferred pronoun: None. If you want to talk or write about me use my name. I don’t want to make public declarations of my private practices, desires and feelings.”

    • I’ve been known to snidely reply, “When I speak TO someone, I use ‘you’.”

      Tho I’m sometimes tempted to use ‘tu’ in the speaking-down-to sense.

    • Which leads me to my primary complaint to the Politically Gay;

      “You say what you do in the privacy of your bedroom is none of my business. And I agree with you. But please KEEP it none of my business by not dressing on the public street in a manner that makes it impossible to NOT imagine it.”

  11. Cheryl A Mason

    Has Ursula K Le Guin been mentioned? Her Left Hand of Darkness shows gender fluidity as a biological imperative for one race. There is also a series, the name and author escapes me, where people are captured, cloned, and sent back to human/quasi human worlds to learn the world as a recording device for the cloners. These clones can be male or female and the gender of the mine does not matter.

    • Yep. LHOD didn’t age well for me, but at one time it was one of my favorite books. And the reason it dind’t age well for me has more to do with STYLE (the piece-quilt style of storytelling) which for some reason SCREAMS “70s” now.

    • Jack Chalker did some of that in Four Lords of the Diamond, IIRC

  12. “Yes, people still call me “sir” while I’m in red high heels and lipstick.”

    While everyone in the world is not an idiot as Leftists believe, it is true that idiots do exist. We have compassion for the poor souls, and hope that they don’t stick a fork in the toaster some day when their minder is in the loo.

    The non-binary business, I recall little Alex McFarlane well. She’s the idiot that convinced me to spend money on the Sad Puppies campaign. Probably not the result she was looking for, but unintended consequences are a thing.

    Unless it was some -other- idiot, in which case Alex is still an idiot.

    Non-binary, I actually did one, just to be annoying. An AI. They don’t have biology, y’know, so they don’t necessarily decide innie or outie at all, unless its for a docking procedure. They’re ARTIFICIAL. You have to go all the way down to asexual reproduction to find non-binary in nature. Budding, sporing, cell division, that sort of thing.

    I’m particularly enjoying the trans-wars in sport. Second-Wave Feminazis having a CONNIPTION as the transies clean up and the girlies sit on the bench.
    https://www.breitbart.com/sports/2019/06/04/ncaa-champion-hurdler-says-i-have-no-benefit-being-trans/

    Ms. Telfer was rated 369th last year as a male, #1 this year as a “female.” And Martina Navratilova is getting beat up for calling cheating. Bwaha!

    Understand (for all the reading/thinking impaired) that none of this is about Ms. Telfer personally, or any of the other individuals competing as women. They’ve got things going on, its none of my business. This is all 100% aimed at the SJW mutants making political points off the backs of troubled individuals, and the feminazi harpies fighting with them. And the gutless sport associations who lack the courage to tell the lot of them to shove it. Fuck. Y’all.

    • As long at the folks with the mental / sexual hang ups stuck to making choices for themselves as adults, I was willing to live and let live. We all go to hell in our own hand-baskets.

      But once they started targeting the kids, all bets are off.

      • This pisses me off beyond belief, too.

      • tregonsee314

        The thought of 4-8 year olds being asked what their “gender” is is ludicrous. The thought of idiot parents going along with this bovine excrement is enraging. Those parents have abdicated their place and purpose which is to instruct and provide control to those who do not yet have that capacity. And the thought of medical professionals participating in actions that would have given Dr. Mengele pause just boggles the mind.

    • Related to me recently: Apparently a transgender male to female has more right to speak up about women’s rights because s/he/it took more ‘effort’ to become a woman, than the women who were ‘simply born as women.’ Said a mtf transgender.

  13. The Beautiful and Important People seem to think that unless you embrace and wallow in the squick, it makes you some kind of hater. Since I’ve been called worse for better reason by people whose opinion matters more to me, I have the luxury of ignoring them.

  14. Mike Houst

    Sorry, but if I want 72 different flavors, I’ll go into the nearest Baskin Robbins.

    I can say that if you want to make people angry, do as much as you can to screw with their expectations multiple times a day. There’s a reason for social norms and stereotypes; they reduce tensions and increase survivability by reducing the amount of headwork we need to do. Humans “may” be the smartest animals on the planet, but the degree of difference isn’t as great as a lot of people would like to believe.

    • A little forgiveness, some good humor, helps as well.

      I am still getting asked if I work at places. I laugh, smile, and more than once with someone who didn’t even ask if I worked there but just assumed I did, rolled with it.

      • “I am still getting asked if I work at places. I laugh, smile, and more than once with someone who didn’t even ask if I worked there but just assumed I did, rolled with it.”

        Especially when I shop at the location, a lot. Then when the person asks for help checking out, I just laugh and say “don’t work here …” What gets me is one of the locations they should know that employees are very well marked … I have no ID tag or vest … Don’t mind being helpful.

  15. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Larry Niven’s Puppeteers have two sexs but they implant the fetus into an animal from their home world and the fetus grows in the animal.

    IIRC the animal doesn’t survive the birth of the baby Puppeteer.

    • Of course, they’re Aliens.

    • tregonsee314

      Drak I don’t think it was clear precisely happened to the carrier Puppeteer, but given Niven had Nessus mention wasps as one of the models you may not be too far from the truth. My knowledge of Puppeteers only goes up to Ringworld Thrones. The later fleet of world stuff I consider at best non canonical (even more so than Down in Flames).

  16. George Crichton

    Multiple books by Jack L. Chalker had none standard sexes and changes to different species.

  17. These days I find myself thinking of Joachim Stuben whenever people start wandering off into rants about wanting good LBTQ characters, and wonder if they have any idea what it really means to be a good character.

    • A good character, in their minds, is a woke equivalent of Pilgrim’s Progress‘s Christian, except less multi-dimensional.

  18. If you can’t agree on anything, you can’t do anything.

    And, if you can’t agree on the fundamentals of something like human sexuality and human gender…a lot of things fall apart.

  19. I identify as MYOB. Not that I can recall the story at present

  20. > call me ‘sir’

    Haven’t you heard? “Ma’am” is sexissss badthink. Woke Womyn must adopt “sir” for liberte, egalite, and fraternite. (they’ll be coming after the ‘fraternite’ part soon enough….)

    • This was back in the 90s, 80s and some in the early oughts. I am now practically an hermit.
      But I GET what you’re saying.

    • Unless you are a large man wearing heels and makeup and demanding to be called ma’am in a very aggressive manner, and then it is phobic to NOT use ma’am.

      • “Heads we win, tails you lose.”

        That’s why George Carlin’s “Hey you! ***hole!” starts looking better and better…

  21. “Oh, the humanity!”

  22. I identify as a Sith. My preferred pronouns are “My Lord” when being addressed and “The Dark Lord” when being referred to in the third person. Call me “Darth” and I shall cook you from the inside out with Force Lightning.

  23. star cat chronicles?