Normal

How can we find delight, in not being “normal”?

“Normal” means something like usual, or common, but it’s related to “norm”, which means rule or value. If you are normal, you fit in. On facebook I saw a “quiz”, purportedly to test gender, personality, lifestyle and politics, and did it, even as I thought, why am I telling the data thieves? I was pleased to come out more female than male, though in the middle, but thought it might be because I said I was interested in makeup but not gadgets.

Why should that be female? It’s descriptive, rather than prescriptive- they asked women and men, and women were more interested in clothes and makeup. It follows the culture. People are moulded like this. How natural it is depends on how malleable people are, and I think people are malleable. And some people do not fit at all.

“Normal” or “Abnormal” in this test refer to personality. Do you have disordered personality traits? According to the page, some “abnormal” means you share traits with people who are “crazy” or have a personality disorder, but are not necessarily one of them. To me, the concept of a personality disorder makes sense. It is a disability, making it harder to function, but again that depends on how rigid society is, and in what ways. Or a personality disorder is a response to trauma, or a sane response to an insane situation. A man told me “I grew up in a plague zone, and caught the plague”. Societies can be disordered, as in Nazis “just obeying orders”, that is, fitting in or being normal.

One said “disorders” should be called “conditions”- as if “disorder” is a moral judgment. That moral judgment could mean that such people are bad, to be condemned, or afflicted, to be pitied.

I did not like the way Male, Normal, Traditional and Right-wing were all on the left side, as if they were the positive qualities. They’re also in the address bar for your result, so that being Left-wing or Progressive is a low score. To me, what they call “Traditional” lifestyle, shown by for example denying the possibility of gender fluidity, is a personality disorder, causing friction with worthwhile and valuable people. I want to stretch the concept of “normal” to include gender fluidity.

One said some trans or autistic people wanted classed as disordered or disabled in order to benefit from medical insurance or disability discrimination law.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph had a scare story. “Lesbians facing ‘extinction’ as transgenderism becomes pervasive”. It had no information, just quoting the rantings of LGB All Liars. They said there were 24 trans kids but no gays or lesbians in one school. If they were all taking hormones, that might be a worry, but in a year 161 children under 16, out of 12 million children in Britain, were referred for puberty blockers. The rest of these trans kids are using different words and ideas to explore their identity. It is extremely hard to get medical treatment.

I don’t know if anywhere there are a couple, both AFAB nonbinary, who refuse the terms lesbian or bi, but if there were it would be a change of language not of reality, or even of acceptance. Same sex attracted women may feel social pressure to act “normal”, and even marry men, or deny their attractions. You build up a self-image of a normal, acceptable person and are terribly conflicted when your unconscious desires lead you to explore. Then your self-image breaks down. I hope it gets easier to find our tribes and accept ourselves, and to accept other people’s difference.

There is delight in finding ourselves and being ourselves. First we are rejected by some, and that hurts and frightens and leads us to anticipate more rejection, but we find acceptance from others. Delight comes in recognising the value of the acceptance, and stopping caring so much about the rejection.

The Telegraph article is behind a paywall, so I got the text from Ovarit, a “feminist” forum set up to hate on trans people.

4 thoughts on “Normal

  1. Apparently I am 56.4% male and 75.9% normal. While I do identify as a cis-hat male the idea that you can quantify to that precision seems a little bit bizarre to me. I am a little surprised that I’m THAT normal. If I understand the markers for normal may involve paranoia, hearing voices and wearing tinfoil in your hat kinds of behaviours — and I rather think there are other markers. I’m also apparently a woke left-winger. Which I think is due to the forced choice nature of the questions. Questions presuppose that being progressive and left wing makes you in favour of big government leading the very little wiggle room for my answers on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is disturbing how many people- including me- have done the thing. It is a data gathering site. You are male if you like gadgets more than cosmetics. You are normal if kindness was a value in your childhood, and when you face difficulties you count your blessings. As for “Big Government”, there is little more BG than starting wars or building up a stock of weapons, but you need government to regulate away vulture capitalism or rent-extraction, which are ways for the rich to extract wealth from the system without producing any value.

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  2. I replied not interested in makeup, and interested in gadgets and still came out 54% female on the gender axis. I also responded that I am analytical and not very emotional. While the result is somewhere near where I believe I am, I’m not sure what criteria they used to determine it. Of the other axes, apparently I’m 79% normal, 66% woke and 73% left wing.

    As with many of similar types tests I often find the questions over simplistic and are too broad in scope to be meaningful in to me, therefore I’m not sure how to answer. For example the question “Most people refer to me as sympathetic” is meaningless. As far as I can recall, no one have referred to me as being sympathetic. As no context is provided, my first inclination is to strongly disagree: most people do not refer to me as sympathetic. But then I think maybe it’s in relation to how many people refer to me as unsympathetic. And as far as I can recall, no one has said I’m unsympathetic either. So I provided a neutral response.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have now taken down the link. I am sorry to have done it, sorrier to have led you to it. One could go through the questions, guessing which axis they apply to, and pick it apart, but I don’t think it’s worth that. I dread to look at its “terms of service”- convoluted gobbledegook which means “Your data is ours for ever, and we will use it to attempt to skew elections”.

      I think you are sympathetic. As with other autistic people you get there by intellect and imagination rather than by immediate sharing of feelings.

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