Among the many things Honeybuns has given me, is a set of new friends and acquaintances that are nothing like the ones I have from before. To begin with, none of them has an engineering degree.
At a recent party I found myself the only heterosexual male in the room. Or, at least that’s what I assumed, but I couldn’t be entirely sure—some of the people in the room, quite consciously, defied my attempts to sort them into definite male/female categories and I was annoyed with myself for even attempting, yet some deep-rooted reflex demanded certain knowledge.
I was reminded of once when I was visiting my parents. The OBCM was taking an advanced course in numerical analysis at the time and had brought along some homework. My father asked what she was doing and got an explanation of how she was computing the (parabolic) velocity profile of the water flow in a pipe. My father was intensely provoked by this. “Clearly the water comes with full force!” he decreed. If I hadn’t been so annoyed at the time it would have been an interesting example of how something that goes against one’s preconceptions can be rejected out of hand, even when a tiny bit of physical reasoning would let one work out one’s misconception.
I’ve often seen the same rejecting-out-of-hand non-reasoning with regards to transgender/intersex people, so my lack of equanimity disturbed me, but then again, as I’ve mentioned before, living correctly with respect to others requires constant awareness.