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.

Fandango’s Provocative Question (24 February 2021)

Today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

How’s your sex life?

Oh, wow, a nice simple one today. The question at any rate. But I see he’s added the constraint that we can’t say things like “fine” or “non-existent”, either of which I might have been tempted to use.

So, let’s put some thought in.

Three things happened to me, in the space of a couple of years. First, my diabetes started to have noticeable effects. I’m particularly referring to serious stuff like my eyes, but it also affected sex.

Second, we had all the grief with my daughter – many readers will never have heard of my daughter, I minimise her in the blog, but I have posted about her in the past. Funnily enough my “Who Won The Week” planned for Sunday mentions her, too. Yes, I’m just *that* organised, to have a winner planned several days in advance!

Third, there was the stroke.

Now, I wasn’t keeping notes about what happened when, but these three events combined left me (i) unable and (ii) uninterested.

I’d describe myself as asexual. I’m cool with that, and Mrs Bump says she is cool with that too. I think she is secretly relieved that all the groping has stopped. (Most of it, anyway. But she’s quicker than me now, so I have to be stealthy!)

It’s good just to chat pleasantly to people these days. And if you’re nice to people, most of them tend to be nice back. That’s enough now.

Fandango’s Provocative Question (17 February 2021)

Today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

How many hours, on average, do you spend per day (or per week) on blogging-related activities? And, what do you think you might do with your time if you didn’t spend it on those blogging-related activities?

I reckon about 2-3 hours per day reading/listening to posts, probably an hour first thing, an hour in the evening, and bits in between. After that, it depends how many times I post. A lot of my regular posts, I have templates for, so I just need to worry about the actual content. A one-off post will normally take longer, deciding on categories, graphics etc. Even a minimal post generally takes at least half an hour, by the time I’ve edited it and proof-read it. I’m not into any of these “stream of consciousness” prompts, it might not seem like it, but I like to polish the post a bit before it goes live.

And I’m posting a couple of times a day at the moment.

One of the most time-consuming posts, actually, is my Who Won The Week post. Particularly at the moment, I’m finding decent quirky stories are quite thin on the ground, and I’m having to read through a lot of news sites to find something to write about.

As for how else I spend my time, I’m glad you asked. Here is what I am doing at the moment. As you can see, it is “work in progress”. My plan is to finish it this afternoon. It is lunchtime now.

This is the app I’m working on at the moment. Just a little database app where people can record what meds they are on. What you see is a document that they could give to someone if they wanted to share that information.

The thing about this document is that I wrote the code for it, mostly from scratch, so the document can be generated whenever the user needs it, with whatever meds they happen to have listed. They don’t need to fart around with word processors or the like.

Incidentally, I’m probably only a month or two from putting this project live so I’ll post again when it’s ready. It’ll be free but I’m sorry to all you SmartPhone users, it’ll be for Windows (because that’s what I know).

Fandango’s Provocative Question (10 February 2021)

Today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Do you consider it to be a special day, one where you express your deep love and appreciation for your significant other? Or is it just a commercialized “Hallmark Holiday” where you feel pressured to spend money on cards, flowers, candy, jewelry, and/or expensive dinners in order to stay on the good side of the one you love? Either way, what, if anything, are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?

Wow, a mouthful of a question! But not to worry, I shall make up for it with my answer.

It is pure marketing drivel. Like all other festive periods, it is designed to make us part with our cash. Simple as that.

With that in mind, what am I going to do? Hint – think Saturday and double it! We probably won’t even eat together, since she doesn’t eat carbs, and I usually don’t eat meat. She likes nothing better than a big, juicy steak, where I’m happier with something like risotto.

Seriously, you show somebody you care every day, not one day.