Life through the Lens (7 March 2021)

When my eyesight was still good, I was a bit of an amateur photographer. This is one of mine.

image showing a silhouette of a camera

Brownsea Island, in Poole Harbour, not far from me. I used to love the Famous Five, and this was the basis for Kirrin Island – Enid Blyton used to spend her summers in nearby Swanage and Kirrin Castle was based on Corfe Castle, also not far away..

The island is owned by the National Trust, who open it to the public, although the castle that you see is private property. It is a haven for red squirrels, as they lost most of their habitat to the more aggressive greys.

I’ll have another shot of here next week.

The Lucky Ticket

for the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge of 6 March 2021, purple. A childhood memory.

FPQ #2 (from 3 March 2021)

I woke up with a start early this morning. As I write, it is 5 AM so I suppose I got most of my night’s sleep. I would be up anyway in an hour or ninety minutes.

But something was bugging me. Do you remember Fandango’s Provocative Question yesterday? There’s the link again, in case you missed it. My response is here but I’ll summarise:

It was on the subject of people being able to pick and choose their own gender. I got to the point where I was mostly happy with my answer, but with a few caveats, which I also mentioned. The big one was this:

You have somebody who identifies as a different gender. They commit a crime. Do you send them to a men’s prison or a women’s prison?

and I admitted that I didn’t know. That bugged me, That’s why I’m up, writing, in the middle of the night.

Well, now I do have an answer. Actually, Paula set me off, although this is not her answer. She started off by saying “wouldn’t it be good if we could separate the genitalia we have from the whole gender thing, which I thought was a very good point. Then she brought sport into the argument. I must admit, I didn’t really consider sport specifically, but maybe I should have done?

Because actually, rather than being a waste of time, maybe sport has the answer here?

Do you remember back to 2009? South African athlete Caster Semenya failed a gender test? As in, this person is, to all outward appearences, a woman. She wins a women’s race. They test her. She fails, gets disqualified. Do you remember that? Don’t worry, I had a vague recollection, but I had to look everything else up.

But it struck me – there is a way of separating gender from genitalia! I don’t know what the sporty test is – oestrogen, testosterone, or something more complicated, but there is a value, and if you happen to be below that value, you are classed as one gender. Above that value, another. (I found the terms man and woman unhelpful, here, it’s all far too blurry.)

So, there you go. There is a test. You end up with a sliding scale.

Of course, people can move up and down the scale over time – that is what gender reassignment is all about. But that’s it. Where you are on the scale governs what prison you go to.

You’re not going to be able to apply this to a restroom, where you’d need a snap decision. But, that’s kinda less critical anyway – it doesn’t matter so much is someone pisses into the wrong toilet. You could apply it to somewhere like a prison, though.

There are bound to be winners and losers – unless you have a system where everyone chooses for themselves, there will be losers. And, from what I read of Semenya’s case, this test leaves something to be desired. But we have come on ten years since then.

Just a thought…

On other things, it was a pretty rubbish day yesterday. I discovered a bug in my app which had me stumped – I need to keep looking today. And I created some more “Life Through The Lens” posts on here, and managed to wipe the reusable block I use. There was no way of getting the old block back, I had to go to a site backup from months ago, fish it all out from an old post. I recreated it all, but could have done without that. I took the opportunity to shorten the blurb drastically. But currently, if you asked me to describe the Block Editor, you’d just get a torrent of four-letter words.

Now, do I stay up or try going back to bed for a bit?

Fandango’s Provocative Question (3 March 2021)

Today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

Do you believe that a person’s gender is inextricably tied to his or her sex at birth, or do you believe that a person can legitimately identify as a gender different from his or her birth gender? Why do you believe what you believe?

Easier one today than last week. Let’s illustrate this with a name. You meet somebody called Elizabeth. She goes by the name Lizzy.

You don’t go calling her Betty, because that happens to be your preference, do you? You respect her choice, and you call her Lizzy.

Same with gender, far as I’m concerned. That is also the “why” – we respect their choice. That’s just being tolerant. It’s their choice, not ours.

That’s my gut feel. However, I can think of caveats.

First, people go 90% by what they see. There are all sorts of memes about hidden disabilities for example, and while we might wish people’s perception to be wider, that’s the way it is.

So, if you were born male, say, I don’t think you can get too hung up if somebody refers to you as “he”. I doubt there is any malice behind that, it is just someone making an error. There may be certain areas where you’d expect people to be more aware (for example a specific trans-gender organisation), but I think in general, you can’t blame people.

The second issue, you have somebody who identifies as a different gender. They commit a crime. Do you send them to a men’s prison or a women’s prison?

I don’t know the answer to that one.

Okay, prison is quite extreme, but it illustrates the dilemma. It’s the same as, say, do they use men’s or women’s changing rooms at the swimming pool.

Another Day In Paradise

Been out walking these last few days, because the weather has been beautiful and sunny. Yesterday I walked a mile and a half – doesn’t sound much but remember I can’t walk. Today was not as far, but I did at least shoot off a few snaps along the way. Some of the photos, it was too sunny, really, but I have tried a little to clean them up. My ankle felt sore both days, I think because of how little I’ve walked during the last year.