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CAP Talk  |  Cadet Programs  |  Cadet Programs Management & Activities  |  Topic: Addressing officers of 3rd gender
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Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,292
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2019, 02:04:27 AM »

I don't think there is (a consensus), either... on a unisex "Sir", or any of the dozens of tortured words being pushed these days to refer to alleged third (or more) sexes.


"Ser" (originally ancient It. for mister or master, also ME AD 1200 - 1500) has been used as a unisex honorific by David Brin, Jack Vance, GRRM (Game of Thrones), Greg Bear and other SF/Fantasy writers (some of my favorite writers ever). I rather like the idea, and agree with Eclipse it would be a nice place for society to go. David "Honor Harrington" Weber also uses such terms in his rather egalitarian future military SF societies. Yet, Star Trek and speculative fiction aside, CAP just isn't the place for such social experiments. The traditions of the military are, then, "Sir" and "Ma'am", period, and so are CAP.

https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/media/cms/Respect_On_Display__CAPP_151_A1658A31B2A97.pdf
"MANNERS OF ADDRESS
Key Principle
Address superior officers as “Sir” or “Ma’am.”
Finer Points
• Cadets address fellow cadet airmen and NCOs by grade and last
name (ie: Airman Curry, Sergeant Arnold).
• Cadets address cadet officers and senior members by grade or as
“Sir” or “Ma’am.”
• Senior members may address cadets by grade or simply by the
noble title, “Cadet.”"


As CAP members we are not mistreating anyone by enforcing proper wear of the authorized uniforms, or by using the current legally assigned sex of a member ("Sir" or "Ma'am"). A cadet who makes an honest mistake in a form of address isn't a bad cadet, breaking a Core Value by "misgendering" a fellow member. Even if we have a member who refers to another by their legally assigned sex rather than whatever that other members current mental state is telling them, that's not, in my mind, cause for action to "school them" (i.e. I agree with current policies).


Indeed, members suffering from gender identity disorder (or dysphoria) are arguably due a degree of reasonable accommodation under current EEO guidance.  A cadet suffering from feelings of unease, dissatisfaction, and disconnectedness with their bodies and sex needs therapy - it is not proper for fellow members to feed into an ultimately destructive dissociative disorder by trying to learn and spout new invented worlds of fantasy pronouns.


But we're not therapists to fix such problems, just as CAP isn't a social science experiment. So, lets just stick with respective, well meaning forms of address, and press on in good faith, respecting each other's struggles and beliefs.


So:
"Cadet Doe, good evening"
"Excuse me, Lieutenant Doe"
"Cadet Lieutenant Doe, FRONT AND CENTER"!
even, from subordinates as an affectionate form:
"Hey, L-T, great job, that was AWESOME"!
or (between peers) "Doe! How you doin'!" (for those of us who grew up as cadets calling each other by last names).


R/s
Spam


(PS, etodd, Hot Lips really got the angriest when Frank called her by his wife's name, right)?


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etodd
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2019, 02:37:54 AM »

"Gomer says Hey!"   Lets just go casual.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 02:41:40 AM by etodd » Report to moderator   Logged
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xyzzy
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2019, 03:01:41 AM »

legally assigned sex of a member
People tend to assume people have a legal name and a legally assigned sex. But if you try to pin down whether such things exist, it turns out it's not so easy. They appear on birth certificates. But names can be changed in a wide variety of ways, with or without legal formalities. The sex on a birth certificate could be regarded not as being "legally assigned", but rather, the birth certificate is the medical opinion of the doctor that signed it, and could be overturned by better medical information discovered after the certificate is issued.

In a number of states, enhanced, Real ID compliant non-driver ID cards are available from the DMV which allow a third option for the sex, such as "other" or "X". These are available on the say-so of the person named on the ID (together with the signature of the parent(s), if the holder is a minor). Does this override the gender on the birth certificate? Hard to say; typically it's only the motor vehicle laws that have been amended rather than a through-and-through edit of all of a state's laws.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 03:28:45 AM by xyzzy » Report to moderator   Logged
Eclipse
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2019, 03:02:14 AM »

Indeed, members suffering from gender identity disorder (or dysphoria) are arguably due a degree of reasonable accommodation under current EEO guidance.  A cadet suffering from feelings of unease, dissatisfaction, and disconnectedness with their bodies and sex needs therapy - it is not proper for fellow members to feed into an ultimately destructive dissociative disorder by trying to learn and spout new invented worlds of fantasy pronouns.

The above is best left to other forums, but from a CAP perspective in regards to NHQ's current stance on the issue,
at least 11 states now allow non-binary legal gender identification, so the idea of "wear what your birth certificate says"
isn't going to fly much longer, assuming it's even still airborne.

CAP isn't going to be able to preach inclusiveness while at the same time ignoring this issue.

It'll be even worse when members travel from a state that recognizes the above to a state that doesn't.
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2019, 03:17:45 PM »

Indeed, members suffering from gender identity disorder (or dysphoria) are arguably due a degree of reasonable accommodation under current EEO guidance.  A cadet suffering from feelings of unease, dissatisfaction, and disconnectedness with their bodies and sex needs therapy - it is not proper for fellow members to feed into an ultimately destructive dissociative disorder by trying to learn and spout new invented worlds of fantasy pronouns.

The above is best left to other forums, but from a CAP perspective in regards to NHQ's current stance on the issue,
at least 11 states now allow non-binary legal gender identification, so the idea of "wear what your birth certificate says"
isn't going to fly much longer, assuming it's even still airborne.

CAP isn't going to be able to preach inclusiveness while at the same time ignoring this issue.

It'll be even worse when members travel from a state that recognizes the above to a state that doesn't.


Just for fun I looked at some international birth certs, and many don't even list a gender...
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 06:22:47 PM by Майор Хаткевич » Report to moderator   Logged
CFToaster
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2019, 05:17:49 PM »

I think Ned is on the right track with his suggestion that OP ask the cadet how they would prefer to be addressed. I would add that depending on the cadet's environment and experience, they may not know what options they have.

For instance, if the cadet has connections to the LGTBQ+ community (either in person or online) they may have seen examples of how to handle these situations, or have a role model to base their expectations on. On the other hand, if the cadet is insulated from the LGTBQ+ community, or is newly defining their gender identity, they may think their only option is to pick "sir," or "ma'am," and go with whichever one chafes the least, unaware that there are options that actually affirm their gender identity.

I would probably open the conversation with something like this:
"So, Chief Smith; have you given any thought as to whether you would prefer 'Sir,' 'Ma'am,' or something else when being greeted by other cadets once you pin on your 2nd Lt?"
This gives them the opportunity to mention the third option of their choosing if they have one, and further opens up the conversation for the Senior Member (who has done a reasonable amount of research on the topic) to offer suggestions.

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CFToaster
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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2019, 05:45:50 PM »

As CAP members we are not mistreating anyone by enforcing proper wear of the authorized uniforms, or by using the current legally assigned sex of a member ("Sir" or "Ma'am"). A cadet who makes an honest mistake in a form of address isn't a bad cadet, breaking a Core Value by "misgendering" a fellow member. Even if we have a member who refers to another by their legally assigned sex rather than whatever that other members current mental state is telling them, that's not, in my mind, cause for action to "school them" (i.e. I agree with current policies).

As XYZZY points out, "legally assigned" sex/gender is a slippery thing to pin down, and even one's subjective feelings on the subject can vary quite a bit over time (especially during adolescence in in the case of folks who identify as genderfluid).

I don't think accidentally misgendering someone is breaking a Core Value; as in your anecdote above, there are lots of ways it can happen will no ill intent. However, when you wish Lt. Smith "Good Morning, Ma'am" and he says, "'Sir,' if you please" it is MOST disrespectful to intentionally "Ma'am" him going forward.

I do not use my legal first name in any context, personally or professionally. Since it's still on my ID, I have to use it for booking plane flights, buying real estate, and anything involving a background check. When I started my first nursing job, I was listed as Flying Toaster on the orientation roll. When my name was called, I politely corrected the facilitator: "CF Toaster, please." They called me CF the rest of the time, and everything was good.

My PRECEPTOR, however, would only call me Flying Toaster. It didn't matter that I corrected him. It didn't matter that I had "CF Toaster" embroidered on my scrubs. It didn't matter that he heard me introduce myself to other people as CF Toaster. He would only call me by my legal name, and that was a totally disrespectful move on his part.
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2019, 06:05:08 PM »

The bottom line on this topic is that CAP recognizes two genders: male and female.

Males are addressed as "Sir."
Females are addressed as "Ma'am."

When others greet that cadet, they're going to say one of those two options and nothing else. You're looking to establish protocols that don't currently exist in CAP.

Senior members shouldn't be addressing that cadet as anything other than "Cadet (grade) Name" anyway. So I think that part is moot.

But when a new cadet walks in the door, I don't think you should be pulling that cadet aside and saying "Hey, just to let you know, Cadet _____ is (gender), so you'll address them as (pronoun)."

If there is a greater issue here that needs to be taken to the National level for official guidance/direction, then perhaps that's the route to go.

This isn't a cadet issue either. A cadet saying "I am (gender)" is no different than a senior member saying "I am (gender)." This goes beyond the scope of CAP Cadet Programs management.

Don't establish local traditions on how to greet or address those higher in grade. This already exists.
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Jim Lahaie
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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2019, 06:27:37 PM »

Although I have very strong and definite right-wing opinions about this, I will attempt to keep the politics out of my answer, if possible...

In whatever world you live in outside of CAP, the US grants you the legal right to be called by whatever pronoun you prefer, but in CAP, THERE ARE ONLY TWO GENDERS. You can give whatever opinion you would like about this, but this is the way the US Military has kept it for years and this is the way (I hope) it will stay.

I'm not going to waste valuable meeting time dealing with a trivial quarrel with a cadet that didn't call LT Snuffy by a title not even issued or approved in CAP doctrine. Instead, I'm gonna go give my class on the next community service event, or go give a cadet a drill test to promote, not waste time with LT Snuffy feeling 'attacked' or 'degraded' because she didn't hear her cadets sound off with 'Yes, non-binary!' or 'Yes, gender queer!'.

And if I ever hear it in my time, It'll be shut down faster than a Cadet wearing OCPs.
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Jim Lahaie
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baronet68
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« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2019, 08:18:35 PM »

noun
...
(in Britain) used as a title before the given name of a knight or baronet.
;D
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Michael Moore, Maj, CAP
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« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2019, 10:49:09 PM »

There already exists gender neutral terms of address, the individual's grade. There is neither anything improper nor disrespectful when referring to someone by their grade. "Yes, Lieutenant/Captain/Major/Colonel," is acceptable in those circumstances, no further thought need be given beyond that.

As usual the thinly veiled contempt for change and inclusion on this message board is astonishing. 
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Fester
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« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2019, 04:37:00 AM »

As usual the thinly veiled contempt for change and inclusion on this message board is astonishing.

Agreed.  And acceptance.  And respect.  And empathy.
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1stLt, CAP
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Fester
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« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2019, 04:41:24 AM »

If a cadet is struggling with these issues, how do you imagine they would feel if you refused to budge a bit about what YOU believe is "the way it is"?  If, as a SM with some authority over them, how do you think you'd feel if you so blatantly, with no empathy or tact told them "Well, CAP only recognizes two genders.  Whatever is on your birth certificate is what you ARE."?  Do you think they'd feel respected?  Do you think they'd feel you empathize with their struggles?  Do you think they'd feel that you care about them and support them and want them to succeed?  More importantly, how quickly do you think they'd quit showing up and give up on CAP?

Have some [darn] empathy.
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1stLt, CAP
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2019, 01:18:50 PM »

If a cadet is struggling with these issues, how do you imagine they would feel if you refused to budge a bit about what YOU believe is "the way it is"?  If, as a SM with some authority over them, how do you think you'd feel if you so blatantly, with no empathy or tact told them "Well, CAP only recognizes two genders.  Whatever is on your birth certificate is what you ARE."?  Do you think they'd feel respected?  Do you think they'd feel you empathize with their struggles?  Do you think they'd feel that you care about them and support them and want them to succeed?  More importantly, how quickly do you think they'd quit showing up and give up on CAP?

Have some [darn] empathy.

I don't think that's being implied at all here.

The fact of the matter is that this cadet is going to go to an Encampment, or Wing Conference, or NCSA, or orientation flights, and they're going to be called either "Sir" or "Ma'am" by people who don't know them. Those are the two gender-specific greetings that are rendered on a regular basis.

At the unit, it's an easy fix. Call them by their grade.

Out in the rest of the world, nobody else knows what the cadet's preference is, or even how that cadet identifies.

Do we send an email to all CAP members saying "From now on, before you greet any individual, please ask them what their preferred pronoun is?"

If the C/2d Lt holds a door open for another cadet they've never met, and that cadet replies "Thank you, Ma'am," there's zero misconduct or offense intended in that. What else are they supposed to call that person? How do they know otherwise? They don't.
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« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2019, 01:28:22 PM »


Fester, I happen to agree with you there.

I think some of our comments may be seen as lacking empathy, and require some context. Since the thread is centered on forms of address, ensuring that we adhere to Respect on Display is a must. Remaining empathetic to members with disabilities is a key concept to that. Deviating from these principles (by endorsing mental disorders on one hand, or demonizing them on the other hand) is unacceptable.


There is a difference between empathy with someone struggling, and exhibiting codependent behavior (words or acts) which reinforces deviant thought patterns and aberrant behavior, however. Feeding the problem and normalizing it through invention of non standard address (forcing the entire organization to conform to the pathology of an individual) is unacceptable, unmanageable, and harmful to the member in that it may motivate them to avoid getting therapy.


I think we have discussed and have listed some humane, empathetic ways to make members feel part of the team, through approved, standard forms of address, without compromising USAF style or CAP standards. We've also discussed the principle of a reasonable assumption of courtesy without attribution of evil intent when someone misidentifies a members sex. I think this is progress, really.


R/s
Spam



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NIN
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« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2019, 06:42:00 PM »

and with that thoughtful, reasoned response, we'll end this thread on a good note.

Nice work guys. This thread could have gone far afield, and looked like it might have been a couple times, but you all did a great job staying the course.

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Darin Ninness, Lt Col, CAP
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