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On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

I mean, that isn't true at all. Everything you said here is plainly false. Look it up. Concepts of sexuality and gender identity have been around since the beginning of written history, and probably existed before then. The terms we currently use are unique to our modern world, but thye still exist. In Thailand, the Philipinnes, and Malaysia (along with other parts of southeast Asia), trans women have a long history as part of those cultures, particuraly Thailand. They use, and have used, different terms for those trans women than modern Western cultures have, but they still existed.

I'm not aware of all the concepts of gender and/or sexuality that are currently in existence or have existed throughout human history. My point was that regardless how similar modern gender/sexuality concepts might be to traditional ones still in existence or concepts we have long forgotten ... it is still wrong to say there were 'trans people' or non binary people or gay people if they didn't or don't identify as such (historically).

You can't brand some historical figure as gay or trans even if you know or think you know they had homosexual sex or they were doing some cross dressing.

What does exist through time and cultures are the real world phenomena behind those concepts. But it is cultural or social phenomenon if there are gay people or just people who do have sex with people of their own gender/sex.

On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

Listen people : I am actually nonbinary. You aren't. Sit the fuck down. you don't know what hte fuck you are talking about. Like, honestly, you are bunch of non-experts, with absolutely no experience with these issues acting like you are experts. Stop. Listen, I don't know if Brienne is actually nonbinary. GRRM might, but even he might. If he is not an active part of the LGBT, it would be likely he doesn't even no what the term "nonbinary" actually means. I get it. Before I learned what nonbinary is, I didn't get it, too. I didn't call myself nonbinary, because I didn't relate to what I thought nonbinary was. Then I actually was involved in LGBT activist groups, my partner (who is pansexual) introduced me to lots of queer people, and the more I met, and the more I understood what it actually meant, I realized that I fell under the term. I called myself gender non-conforming, and I don't think most here can even argue Brienne is not gender non-conforming (she clearly is), and so is say, Mulan, from the non-live-action Mulan disney version. In both cases they go outside expected gender norms as a normal expression of themselves. And in many ways, there is no need to define it other than that. But in other ways, it can make people feel heard. Like it made me feel heard. The reason I read Brienne as nonbinary is because I relate to her story 100%. She feels about gender how I feel about gender. She expresses her gender like I express my gender. And the reason I call myself nonbinary..is that I don't fit into the rigid definition of male.

It is nice that you can relate to Brienne on an emotional level. But that doesn't give you any special insight into the character nor does it help you with an interpretation.

I'm not sure how you finding out that some concept seems to describe how you feel makes you a great expert on those concepts. We would also not say that being old, white, female, etc. makes you expert on the concepts of age, race, and gender. You actually do have to research those concepts to gain some expertise.

In my opinion, non binary is a pretty open and ill-defined term since pretty much every person would agree that they are non binary in some sense as nobody is (or wants to be) a stereotypical woman or a stereotypical man. (For obvious reasons that is more true for women than men.) If we had a gender discussion I'd be the first person to say that the non binary label also describes me.

[Which, I think, should have been evident to the subtle observer, as I went by the name of a fictional eunuch online as early as 2005/2006.]

On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

You know what, I'll even explain this here. I was born in the USA. IN the USA, I am nonbinary. If I had been born in Thailand or the Philippines, I'd most likely be a "ladyboy", i.e. a transgender woman. If I'd been born in Japan, I'd most likely still consider myself a straight male. Do you know why I would in Japan? Because in Japan, men act feminine naturally. Being feminine does not make a man not a man. The truth is, all of this is very very complicated.

I'm not sure to what degree gender identity concepts are culturally relative. Not denying there are differences to a point, but we pretty much only have patriarchal cultures, so especially the role and means of expression for women are limited. 

Also I'd say that the claim that men in Japan 'act feminine naturally' is inherently problematic as I expect that many Japanese men wouldn't view themselves 'as acting feminine naturally'. It rather seems that you think the way Japanese men act is naturally feminine from your cultural point of view. But from their own point of view their behavior would be completely normal and quite masculine behavior in that culture.

On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

You think Lord Varys that you are sure that Brienne is not nonbinary, even though you have no clue what you are talking about....well, you don't. You can't. I use the term nonbinary because it is a catch all term. It is a huge umbrella that basically includes everyone that is not feeling strongly male or strongly female in our modern society (in fact, I would argue gender non-conforming is under the umbrella of nonbinary). See I didn't call myself nonbinary from the age of 5 to the age of 33. But guess what, I was still nonbinary. I just didn't understand what the term meant, and neither do you, Lord Varys.

Obviously, I do. But as an identifier it only works if you actually know the term and use it as a label. A lot of baggage goes with the trans label these days, so it would be very hard to pretend that a woman dressing like a man in, say, Victorian England is expressing even remotely the same thing as a woman wearing pants these days - because back then wearing trousers were taboo for women. Whereas those days it is not only normal for women to wear pants in the UK but it can also be very feminine and sexy for them to do so.

Sarella Sand has more in common with a Victorian woman disguising herself as a guy to enter a university and gain knowledge than with a modern days trans man who is solely driven by an inner feeling and/or the wish for self-expression.

On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

GRRM did such a fabulous job showing how gender roles can trap people/make people unhappy, and you've simplified it down to a job title? Lol. Yeah, right. Happy life as a highborn lady? - I doubt it, very much. I think there is a lot of evidence Brienne liked/wanted to be, a knight.

She wanted it, we know it from the way she talks about letting down her father because she is freak. That is how she sees herself, not as non binary. Brienne thinks she sucks as a woman because of her size and looks, and as a man because she is not actually a man. A proper son would have been born with a penis. And a proper daughter would be slender and girlish and not of this monstrous size.

She would have no problems with herself, though, if the society in which she lives would accept her as she is.

On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

I could easily take on the roles of men, nothing is actually stopping me I guess. I just don't want it. I am small, short, and skinny; but here in Korea (and the rest of East Asia), I'm actually average sized. Women view me as masculine, and I could have easily chose to marry a woman who would have seen me as normal "man's man". I was miserable when I dated women who made me feel that way.

I'd suggest you broaden your view of masculinity and femininity to transcend physical size. Yes, being small as a man isn't so great, but it doesn't take away from your manliness, just as being a tall woman doesn't make you less feminine. Also, from my own experiences in China, I can confirm that Asian people come in all shapes and sizes. The notion that men and women there are predominantly small compared to other people is a cliché.

On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

Your last point is just wrong. People are innately attracted to certain genders.

That would actually be sex there, not gender. We are attracted to sexual characteristics if we cut down to what makes us hot - at least from the male perspective.

Historically, though, people weren't identified or beat up for their attractions and 'sexual identity'. In Roman times, for instance, fucking men was pretty okay - what you shouldn't do was being fucked by a man because that 'made you a woman'.

In medieval and even modern days the Catholic Church doesn't condemn gay men as such, merely homosexual men. It is (or rather: was) not about who you are but what you did.

That is quite different from the modern take on things.

On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

And they innately express their genders in different ways.

Since more than two gender would be all cultural practice it is hard to say they express such genders 'innately'.

On 10/24/2023 at 7:56 AM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

Society than attaches labels to those expressions or those sexualities. In some societies, they ignore the existence of these people, but...they still exist. In some, they are defined very different from now, but again, that doesn't mean they don't exist. If you are suggesting we are not allowed to talk about people who are queer because we don't...know the proper terminology, then...actually, Lord Varys, we aren't fucking allowed to talk about literally anything.

You should properly look at things. In Martinworld we clearly do have gay and bisexual people, we also have cross dressers and gender non-conforming people - we even have societies where gender roles are distinctly different from the way they are in Westeros (most notably in the fortress cities east of the Bones as well as the Jogos Nhai).

But we don't have the modern concept of trans people going with a concept of sex/gender that allows you to change you sex/gender. The Jogos Nhai get very close to that, but it is more about you wanting a certain job/role in life going with you being treated as the other gender, not so much this whole thing being part of your own self-identification. It is more about what you want to do and less about who you want to be.

In that sense I don't think we can say that the fact that are queer people in Martinworld means there is also confirmation that there trans people there.

If we had Lysono Maar or Sarella Sand talk about themselves as 'a woman' or 'a man' then we would get close(r) to modern concepts of trans people. But so far we have seen none of that and I doubt that this is the case.

In Martinworld the focus is more about sex than on on gender (roles), anyway, most notably expressed by Mushroom in FaB when the deciding factor (in his opinion) that Princess Rhaenys couldn't be queen was her lacking a cock. It boils down to biological characteristics, not so much how things are expressed.

Which is also we see in the primogeniture succession thing where the author has often great fun of making the eldest sons ill-suited to fulfill the roles they are destined for - and society just doesn't give a damn. It doesn't matter how you feel, it matters what you are (in the eyes of the society).

If you want to talk only about cannons in your head (pun intended) then I guess you should do that in your head, by the way. You offer opinions here, on a discussion board, and I tell you why I don't agree with you. I guess that is why you offered your opinion in a public forum in the first place, no?

And me or anyone not agreeing with you doesn't mean you have to change your mind.

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10 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

You can't brand some historical figure as gay or trans even if you know or think you know they had homosexual sex or they were doing some cross dressing.

Also I'd say that the claim that men in Japan 'act feminine naturally' is inherently problematic as I expect that many Japanese men wouldn't view themselves 'as acting feminine naturally'. It rather seems that you think the way Japanese men act is naturally feminine from your cultural point of view. But from their own point of view their behavior would be completely normal and quite masculine behavior in that culture.

Also, from my own experiences in China, I can confirm that Asian people come in all shapes and sizes. The notion that men and women there are predominantly small compared to other people is a cliché.

I chose these three points you made I wanted to respond to, so here goes : 

A. Yes I can. You brand them as straight or cis. People are constantly making historical figures make sense to their modern sensibilities or culture. That's my point. Labeling someone as gay or trans isn't...a bad thing. Just like labeling them as straight or cis isn't. They are dead. We have to guess. If I was writing a reserach paper, I'd probably use "it's possible that" or something like that, rather than being absolute, but I'm not. And the people I'm labeling here are fictional characters. 

B. First, of course I mean feminine from my cultural point of view. Must I say everytime I use my cultural point of view? The point is how I act now would be seen as okay for/normal for a man in Japan (while it is seen as feminine or gay in Western culture). However, second, actually in Japan those actions are deemed feminine, they just don't have the negative connotation they do in the West. I had an ex girlfriend who was Japanese. She very much bluntly called me feminine...she was just happy with that. She saw that as a normal and okay way for men to act (and for her to be attracted to). We don't speak anymore, but I assume if I called myself nonbinary now, she'd make some argument that I was just a feminine man. From her point of view, there would be no point in labelling myself as nonbinary because I am fine as I am. This is all very complicated, but TLDR - It is considered feminine, and of course I am looking at things through a Western point of view (duh). 

C. They do. My point is not to say that isn't true. I am of average Korean height, and according to google, also average Chinese height. I am quite short by American standards (and well below the average for both the States and Europe). And yes, that makes a big difference in how one is perceived. My weight is also TINY in the States, but there are many Korean men who are thin and weigh a similar amount to me. I am below average, but I'm not...weird. When I go shopping for clothes in Korea, my size is always there (and usually in bunches). In the States, I have to wear children's sizes most of the time. Again, ...you can say these things don't matter. But they do. They change how people perceive you and treat you. In the States, I was treated as a gay man usually, and if not, I was considered less masculine before I ever opened my mouth. When I was younger, I often had to use violence to stop myself from being bullied (something that has caused countless hours of therapy) because other boys saw me as an easy target. In Korea, however, I am treated differently. As a normal man, or even a masculine man, by many people (particurely by women who are interested in me romantically). Honestly, the stark contrast in how I am perceived in each country is ....crazed. When I talk to my friends back home, the way they perceive me as like some cute/nonthreatening feminine nothing, vs. my Korean friends who still call me a "play-boy" (think "player" I guess in Western lingo) even though I've been with my partner for 10 years. Now, I am taken, but when I was single, if I asked dating advice....Americans would often recommend a series of changes to be more masculine, Koreans never said anything about that (as I was already viewed as masculine). I get what you are saying, but cultural definitions of gender DO effect how I experience the world. Perhaps for you, they are of no matter, but I am extremely extroverted, I get a lot of my sense of self from how I am perceived by others. That is why my gender would absolutely change depending on what culture I was raised in. Because I want how I am perceived to be close to accurate to how I feel. I will say I prefer the Korean perception to the American one. It is closer to the real me, although still far from perfect. 

Sorry this got off topic, and I'm sorry I got a bit heated in my first response @Lord Varys

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This is pretty random, but this was actually suppossed to just be my random thoughts before it became whatever it is now. But random things I wish would happen : 

Tommen, Myrcella, and Shireen DON'T die. I wish that there wasn't a lot of set up to 3 essentially nice/innocent children probably dying. The one of the three I think most likely could live is Shireen, and her savior would be the same savior as Edric Storm : Lord Davos Seaworth. I could see Davos doing pretty much anything to save Shireen, so it gives her shot. Although I could see...say Jaime trying to protect Tommen, and...maybe ...Trystane Martell protecting Myrcella, the prophecy that Cersei receives...just seems likely to come true. Probably because of things Cersei does. It makes me sad though. Children dying makes me sad I guess, lol. 

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On 10/24/2023 at 11:58 PM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

And I would argue that is because they don't know what the term means.

You never suggested a definition.  You merely said, in effect, "I am non-binary and non-binary means me."  Which tells us nothing.  You are only an anonymous person on the internet, and we don't know you, just as you don't know us.  I have no idea why you think you are objectively more non-binary than me or than Lord Varys.  Nor do I care.

On 10/24/2023 at 11:58 PM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

They think it means "androgynous" when it does not.

The only person who suggested it meant androgynous was you.

I disagreed, but I was happy to agree with you that Brienne is somewhat androgynous.  But you were not happy with that agreement, for some reason.

I was also happy to agree with you that Brienne is at least somewhat gender non-conforming.  But I don't think that means the same as non-binary either.

On 10/24/2023 at 11:58 PM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

Also, telling me not to have my own head-cannon....is problematic.

Nobody told you you could not have your own head canon.  The only person telling people to shut up and sit down was you.

On 10/24/2023 at 11:58 PM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

Notice how no one argued with any of my other head cannon stuff. Yet I got long arguments basically dismissing what I had said, even though there was no reason to do so.

What are you insinuating?  If people did not disagree with your other stuff, maybe they agreed.

On 10/24/2023 at 11:58 PM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

If you cannot accept how someone could read Brienne as nonbinary, that is on you.

I never told you to shut up and sit down.  What are you talking about?

On 10/24/2023 at 11:58 PM, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

And it's okay for you to not read her as nonbinary, but it is also okay for me to read her as nonbinary. It hurts no one, and there is no need to spend a long time telling someone that characters like them cannot exist in media they like. 

Basically, you are saying it is okay for others to have different takes from yours, as long as they don't express or defend them.  Once again, the only person telling people to shut up and sit down is you.

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7 hours ago, Lord of Raventree Hall said:

@Gilbert Green : Hi Gilbert. It is not my job to educate you on terms. Research if you want to understand them. I never told you either to sit down or shut up. I said that in a response to Lord Varys, which I have sense apologized for. However, I do think that when you don't know about something, it's okay...to just not have a comment. Of course you have freedom to say whatever you want, but I'm also free to be irritated with you saying untrue things. That's the way of the world. Yes, you, and others here, have told me directly I was "wrong" about how I read Brienne and then given long explanations of how I am not allowed to think she is nonbinary (Lord Varys in particular did that, ...that is why I reacted the way I did to his comments. It annoyed me to be told I wasn't allowed to do something...which is obviously something you can understand). You Gilbert, can have a different take than mine, but....you aren't allowed to tell me I'm not allowed to have my take. That is what Lord Varys did, and what I was reacting to.

Listen, Gilbert, you are trying to rope me into a conversation I don't want to have. Stop. I don't want to discuss this with you. I already attempted to change the topic away from this, as I'm not comfortable discussing it, and apologized to Lord Varys for my defensive reaction (to him, not you. I read my actual message to you, and it seemed fine). I don't think you are properly educated on the topic, and it's a waste of my time. If you come back actually understanding what nonbinary is, I would love to have the conversation then. Until that time though, I'm not interested. Please stop engaging me on this topic. 

People are actually allowed to disagree with you.  They can even say "you are wrong".  I don't recall those precise words, but so what?  And no, that is NOT the same thing as telling you you are not allowed to disagree with them.  You are projecting.

You just spent two entire paragraphs talking down to me and telling me (in effect) to shut up (while claiming you never did).    Yeah, I'm not particularly interested in that kind of conversation either.  Feel free to stop at any time.  Or (better yet) return to talking about the books.  Provided (of course) that you can handle disagreement.

As for me saying "untrue things", I don't know what things I have said that you claim are untrue.  You are just (in effect) telling me (yet again) to shut up.

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My second attempt to save this flailing attempt at actually having random thoughts : 

Daenerys's decision to stay in Meereen as I reread it is....sensible. Compassionate. Just...not disregarding the situation she created. Marrying Hizdahr even made sense. There is some part of men that wishes Daenerys would stay in Meereen and actually try to have empathy for all parties involved, and try to create a truly great city there. I doubt that will happen, but....I think Daenerys's impulses are ...good. Her desire to not abandon the people she freed...is good. I notice that...basically everyone around Daenerys has 0 empathy for the Freedmen...like at all. Skahaz....might? I don't know, difficult to say, but he could actually care about the Freedmen. Reznek doubtfully does. The Green Grace almost certainly doesn't (and is probably the Harpy). Barristan...cares like about a few of them (his squires and he seems to respect the leaders of the Free Companies to at least some extent, but he certainly doesn't care about the refugee freedmen). Others, who are less connected to Daenerys care about them even less (like Qyntyn Martell, Jon Connington, etc). Like everyone just sees them as useless, pretty much other than Daenerys.

I guess I can see a world where Daenerys actually tries to understand her people and set up a new community, but I'm not saying that is an interesting book to read. It might be kind of boring, lol. However, as a Brandon Sanderson fan, I would argue it can be pretty good (He does this in several books, but most notably was Kaladin in The Way of Kings, which is second only to Theon in ADwD for my favorite PoVs in any book.)

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