Category Archives: Personal Stories

How the Rhino got such wrinkly skin



There’s a ‘Just So Story’ about how the rhino got such folded, wrinkly skin.

Rhino is a grumpy creature with tight grey skin who steals a man’s cake and eats it all. One day, rhino goes for a swim in the sea. Rhino’s skin is left folded on the shore. The man, in revenge for the cake theft, rubs crumbs into rhino’s skin: all over.

Rhino gets out, slips the skin back on, and feels an itch. It’s unbearable. Rhino runs to a nearby tree. The bark rubs up and down on rhino’s skin making it rumple and fold up.

This is how rhinos got folded, wrinkly skin (and why they are always in a bad mood).

Why am I telling you this story? Because this is what pronouns feel like to me. Society keeps rubbing them in: all over.

But why should I get my gender all rucked up round my shoulders? Maybe it could give me thicker skin eventually, but really I’d rather just stay out in the sea.


Interview Tips

Interview tipsTo be fair, with the job I finally got (which is pretty great, thanks for asking), the interview wasn’t much like this, which might be why I finally got myself a position.

In any case, the following still stands:

Interviews are total bullshit. Having had seven before I landed myself a job (if I look so good on paper, and in the knowledge of my high levels of capability, what exactly changes when I turn up and have an actual conversation with real people?), I feel like I can attest to this from recent experience.

If you’ve actually managed to claw yourself to an interview in this brutal economic context, congratulations. It’s worth noting that your success thus far probably has something to do with privilege. Your success from here *definitely* has to do with privilege.

Your success in an interview relies on your ability to take up space in a confident way and to frame your experiences in ways which commodify them and you so as to make your labour more marketable than everyone else’s.

To put it bluntly, in general, interview processes privilege straight, white middle class cis men.

You can *learn* how to perform in an interview, but the privileged have access to this training throughout their whole lives.

Moreover, interviews test how good you are at answering questions under pressure. Which would be a great gauge of whether you’ll be good at a job if your job is answering questions under pressure. If your job will not primarily involve answering questions under pressure, in the best light it’s not a great measure, and in a less generous light it’s another of the multitude of ways of funnelling the privilieged into spaces they already believe they should occupy.

Fuck interviews.

Gendered public toilets can kiss my arse.

Gendered public toilets can kiss my arse

Really. I understand the need for people to feel safe in public toilets. I do. But they are a place where I am made to feel like my body and my presentation are inadequate. I know that pretty much all women are made to feel like that by society pretty much all the time, but it’s not, for the most part, in terms of whether or not you’re actually a woman at all. And as a cis woman I know I have a whole bunch of privileges in spite of being misgendered all the time. But I wanted to express that it makes me angrysad.