orm: marius contemplates lettuces intently (HMM: lettuce idleness)
Boss Tiger ([personal profile] orm) wrote2010-11-21 01:13 am
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My family has a pet tortoise. She's somewhere in the region of sixty years old, and when we acquired her when I was about three or four her name was Dougal. A perusal of reference books on tortoise keeping led us to the assumption that this tortoise was in fact female, so her name was changed to Tabitha (I was big on alliteration when I was small) and we referred to her with female pronouns.

BUT! In the last couple of years my dad apparently discovered that Tabby the Tortoise's physical characteristics suggested, in fact, a male tortoise. He refers to the tortoise as "he" now and has decided that her name instead should be "Tabsly". None of the rest of us can really be bothered.

I was uneasy with myself for a moment there. I mean, I don't like being referred to as female when I am in fact male. But here is the thing: Tabby might be biologically male, but she does not have a gender identity because she is a tortoise. She is not sapient. She doesn't give a shit what pronouns we use to refer to her any more than, for example, a boat does. Our decision to refer to her as a she is kind of the equivalent of a kid assigning gender and personality to a stuffed toy animal. It's for our benefit and not hers.

My dad's decision that the tortoise ought to be a "he" is based entirely on discomfort with the idea of using female pronouns to refer to something that is biologically male.

... Hmm.

So now I am kind of wondering, is assigning pets pronouns based on their physical sex really okay? Obviously the pet cannot be bothered by it because, as mentioned previously, it does not have a gender identity, but surely perpetuating the idea that genitals = gender is a bad thing


all my future pets are going to be "it", I think

or possibly various different pronouns depending on my mood

Also, I drew some Les Trollserables because of stupid

None of these make a terrific amount of sense characterisationwise but let's face it this is exclusively for the sake of lulz. I mean, a production of Les Mis where Valjean was played like Terezi would be basically horrifying in the best possible way, imo
I think one can get away with Karkat as Enjolras if it is musical Enjolras, anyway – providing that after Sollux Pontmercy interrupts his tirade about revolution with crap about his love life, instead of shutting him down he just shouts relationship advice at him.
(also I like Sollux a lot more if I imagine him as being more like Marius, for all the no sense at all that it makes.)

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