Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Friday, September 21, 2012

Which of the following best describes your gender?

Once again a blogging buddy has provided me a golden opportunity to post by simply copying my reply to one of their posts.  Thank you Fiftyodd!

Here is her post at her excellent blog:

Fiftyodd, Life in the 21st Century - Political Correctness, September 21, 2012

In her post Fiftyodd observes the rather politically correct wording of the inquiry regarding gender on a survey she was filling out.

Which of the following best describes your gender?     _____ M   _____ F

Seems kind of wordy doesn't it?  Usually if you have forgotten, a quick peek in your pants can confirm accurately through piping analysis the answer to this request.  Usually it goes something like this:

Insy =  F    Outsy = M

Pretty straight forward wouldn't you say?  Perhaps visual aids will help.

Example of Female Pipe Threads
Image Credit:

As you can see in this lovely photo of a standard pipe cap, the threads could only be described as INSY, hence they are female pipe threads.

Example of Male Pipe Threads
Image Credit:

Now compare the threads above to the image directly to left,  the threads are definitively OUTSY, hence they are male pipe threads.  Now a bit of confusion comes to mind because this particular object is known as a pipe nipple, a terminology that I never quite understood, but let's not lose our way.

I am hoping that all the money I spent buying Swagelok® fittings in my years of engineering will spare me the wrath of their corporate lawyers regarding my heist of their images.  Hey remember guys I could have bought Hoke® or Parker®, but not only was I dedicated to Swagelok®, I was something of an expert knowing many of the part numbers in my head.  I sent a lot of bucks your way, granted not my money, but I had control of I don't want to hear any crap about deleting these images.

By the way when it comes to pipe threads there is a polite terminology for fastening them together.  You can mate the fittings,  couple the fittings,  or engage the threads.  Less sophisticated, you can screw them together.  Pipe threads however will never copulate, engage in coitus, or have intercourse.  Yes technically it would seem to be a very proper and accurate description, and terminologies that would be proper in mixed company at tea in the afternoon, but it is just not done.  Nor have I ever seen the F-word used, except perhaps when the completed joint leaked during hydrostatic testing.   But I stray, forgive me.

The question at hand was:

Which of the following best describes your gender?     _____ M   _____ F

So I hope the piping images above will confer the basic understanding of gender assignments based on visual piping analysis.

It seems very straight forward.  What can be simpler?  But upon further thought, I added this comment to Fiftyodd's post:

The simplicity of the answer boxes certainly does not match the implied complexity of the question. They provided a digital answer to a question asked with an analogue implication. Did they have a write-in section?
Alas without a write-in section or the choice of DRIED UP OLD COOT, I would not be able to answer this question honestly. I imagine that my hormone levels are feminine, age reduces testosterone, and I am no doubt flooded with estrogen.

Fiftyodd then replied back that there was no write-in section in the survey.  She also tried to cheer me up by stating that she thought I sounded masculine.  That is very nice of her, but really?  I know better, after all I am the guy that lives within me.  So upon further reflection on how I could honestly answer this question considering the implications of "best describes", I wrote back:

But Fiftyodd,

"Which of the following best describes your gender?"

The question almost demands a further rich and detailed explanation. If they simply wanted to know a plumbing based answer, could not the question been posed:

Gender? _____M _____F

For instance on my driver's license it states: Sex: M. Technically that is a correct answer and it agrees with every document ever generated about me (well except some graffiti on my locker once in junior high). As an aside I have often been tempted to reply:

Sex? Yes!

But when you ask "Which of the following best describes your gender?" now many factors come to mind.

-- A young marine called me an "Air Force Pussy" at Kadena Air Base in 1973.

-- My wife and son laugh at me because I love the movie "Sleeping in Seattle". They have called me a big wussie.

--I have been called a bleeding heart liberal c--t when defending various aspects of feminism to the boys at work.

--I hate sports and NASCAR!!!!

--The boys at work have described my various interests as c--ty, as in "Grow a set and quit reading that c--ty shit."

--I freely admit that I love my wife and prefer being with her than having a night out with the boys.

--I refused to go to the girly joints on business trips. I was subjected to much derision over that but I noticed nobody else went without me, but I deprived them of the opportunity to go.  I didn't have them shackled.  They could do what they pleased. 

--My wife's uncle wanted to stop in Hooters for a burger. I told him I was not allowed in Hooters. He made fun of me later in front of the entire family. (Ha Ha! Little did he realize I got laid that night because of that refusal...ha! Some times nice guys finish first. There is method to my wussiness.)

--I read Fifty Shades of Grey.

--I am currently reading Vagina by Naomi Wolf. (I suppose the boy's from work comments would literally be true in this case...oh dear I hope Wolf doesn't read this, she will lose 3 nights sleep--someone called a vagina a bad name.)

--As I get older I seem to be getting a little puffy about the breasts.  Breasts!  What the hell?  Well pecs seem to be an awfully strong term for what I have...not man boobs per se, but a little puffy...I tell myself that it is just fat.

--While I don't like opera per se, I would rather have to sit through an opera than a boxing match.

--I have a inner goddess--she is 13 years old and just had her first period. She loves romance.

--If my mother could read my inner goddess's thoughts she would repeat the line she made about a flighty female cousin back when we were teens: "A good 6 inches of hard manhood delivered furiously and often would straighten that girl right out." Oh dear the implications of that to me now are most unpleasant.

--I have a inner cool dude--he is 9 years old and likes spaghetti, pizza, and hamburgers, and fantasizes about what girls look like down there--it has to be really cool.
--If my mother could read my inner cool dude's thoughts she would be very concerned about impending self abuse when I reached puberty. 

--My good friend Alicia kicked my ass in the comments on my blog for my lamenting violence and excessive competition in women's sports.

--Estrogen!  I worry about it, both environmental and ingested.

Do you see what I mean? Yes, I identify myself as a man to the world, but when you start digging deeper can a simple male or female answer adequately answer the question...

"Which of the following best describes your gender?"

Oh by the way, I really love women's underwear, black stockings and red high heel shoes...

with my wife properly contained there-in. Oh my!

You can read about how I got my ass kicked by three women one time when I was feeling my oats:


  1. You have taken comment responsibilities to a whole new level.

    1. Olga,

      I enjoy self deprecation and a little poke at delicate sensibilities. If you can't make fun of yourself, who can you make fun of?

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting.

  2. Me thinks you better ease up on the estrogen intake.
    Puffy breasts? Dead give away...

    Your mother makes some good observations about life! Cool.

    Once again Sextant you've risen to the challenge of another well written post.

    1. Busman,

      Ahhh. Those are just flabby pecs!

      Yeah my mother was cool when she wasn't beating my ass or hating my wife. As such, she was far cooler in my youth. Hating my wife got to be a full time occupation with her. But that is all water under the bridge.

      How did you like pipe fitting photos? Spiffy huh? Very manly! I wonder how much green I spent on that stuff. I remember of building a small project that had a shit load of elbows with 1" tubing. I can't remember for sure it was back in 2007, but I think the elbows were $197 bucks a pop. So I went back and rerouted the tubing and tried to use as many bends as possible. Bends on tubing give you better flow than elbows but occupy more space. It worked good and we got the elbow count down. I kind of miss that stuff.

      Will the Shat Man be stopping by to comment as well? Here I am a big wuss, and there you are all rawbone and masculine standing around big manly trucks with a clone! Always a honor to have a visitor with some testosterone still in his blood! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Maybe if I get one of those testosterone patches, I could talk like that dude that does on the Dodge truck commercials, Sam Elliot. Guts, Glory Ram! Oh far too manly for me. The guy must be all larynx and testicles. I wonder with all that testosterone in the vehicle did Chrysler ever start putting in a decent automatic transmission. That piece shit in my van blew out at 105,000 miles. Of course I bought the extended warranty to 100,000 miles.

    2. Ah alter ego...Shat Man.
      I think he may stop by later and offer up a healthy dose of testosterone.

    3. See...the two author thing comes in handy, sorta like speaking out of both sides of your mouth. I like it. Shat Man does too. All of a sudden I feel all girly like.
      Manly , yes, but I like it too.

  3. I think you'd like the man book, by Alon Gratch. If Men Could Talk? I forget the exact title.

    1. Sarah,

      That is the title. You have recommended it to me before, I need to get it.

      Hell I can use all the manliness that I can get my hands on. The ravages of age are not kind to testosterone levels. Although I was just at another blog and a woman was talking about her friend's son suffering from testosterone poisoning. Been there done that. Great term.

    2. He starts the book talking about "integration" of the male/female aspects within us and being the more female identified in three boys. In this way the thread that is his own linking the entire book is an acute awareness of gender. While describing "male" communication what he is doing really is talking about these identifications -so as I read you I was thinking about particular points raised within the book.
      It might be helpful in understanding-it was for me to some extent.

    3. I will have to check this book out. I have read that everyone has aspects of both genders and our personalities are a result of the mix. I think most men
      actively try to repress anything feminine. There seems to be more heterosexual tom boys in the world than hetero tammy girls. I have also read that women can be far more fluid in their lives regarding gender attraction. Men seemed to be more locked a specific orientation. While most of my post was written in jest, I do believe that I am probably more feminine than most men in my thoughts. I do not have any feminine physical manifestations. We had a guy at work that was extremely feminine but heterosexual. He had a high pitched voice. He would sit with his legs crossed and trade recipes with the women at work. He is a body builder and I blamed it on the muscles shutting off the blood supply to his gonads. I told him for every 100 additional pounds that he could bench press his voice was going to go up another octave. Fortunately he was good natured, because he could have mopped up the floor with me. Well he was very feminine, yet he definitely had an eye for the ladies. I think he was something of an outlier on the usual curve of gender identity. Sarah thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  4. Fiftyodd has a funny way to describe the genders...neat

    1. Kim,

      Hmmm, my comment disappeared. Fiftyodd has a great blog, but I suspect sometimes she leaves some bait out for me to make an ass of myself. As you can see, I richly meet her expectations.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  5. Sex? ___M ___F ____O (other)

    Good post, you made me laugh once again.

    1. Phil,

      Ha, Ha! Good one! Although you should add:

      Please Explain:____________________________________
      (Use back of sheet if necessary)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  6. Geez up! :) Nah, just kidding. I think it's great that you are so in touch with your feminine side. And I love the inner Goddess thing! And the way I look at it, whether playing sports or cards or monopoly, when you play, play to win!

    I read Fiftyodd's post and my first thought is that it was bound to happen, that sooner or later we would have to invent a 3rd gender for those that don't fit in the M or F category. Maybe a W for Are you male or female or what?

    1. I just wonder on that survey, was someone actually trying to be politically correct and giving one latitude for what is normally a straight forward inquiry. Or was it just flowery choice of words that reflect more of a genteel politeness? If I remember correctly, the question has arisen more than once at the Olympics. Perhaps the Olympic committee needs to make a copy of my convenient gender identity illustrations above. Although I think the problem is more of what appears to be women maintaining a very male blood chemistry.

    2. I guess we would have to see the whole survey to know if the other questions were equally as flowery, but my guess is political correctness.

      And woman have to start maintaining a very male blood chemistry as there are very few real men left in this world. Women now have to be the mom and the dad, the bread winner and the cook, the mechanic and the seamstress...I think only when it comes to sex do men want to flaunt their maleness! But that's just my opinon...maybe there's just very few real men in my neck of the woods?

    3. Unfortunately I agree with your assessment on men and it is getting worse. From what I have read, a lot of young men today are dropping out of any expectation of family life. Live at home with their parents, have some crappy job for beer money, and play video games and watch on line porn. Some young men prefer porn to real women because real women do not live up to the beauty and performance standards of women in porn. How sad.

      There were two factors in my life that kept me out of the gutter, 1) was the love of a wonderful woman, 2) having a decent job. No we were not rich, but we kept a roof over our heads and a full belly. My wife and I loved each other instead of loving things.

      If as a society we want men to live up to an ideal of a good husband, father, and provider, we better have decent jobs. Not everyone is cut out to be a rocket scientist, brains surgeon, or hedge fund manager. I often hear, well anybody can get a job. True! But everyone can't, there is not enough jobs. And when it takes 4 or 5 of those jobs to make a living people just start to run out of time. It gets a hell of lot easier to live with your parents, have a Bud, and subscribe to Hot Babes For Your Dreams.

    4. Hi Sextant! So glad I read this post - many thanks for the reference to my blog (you are too kind). Who would have thought that little phrase would be so thought-provoking? Yeh,..I guess I do try to bait you sometimes. You are such good fun. I think the questionnaire was from Royal Caribbean after our trip. All the other questions were ordinary - maybe this was a wake-up one as it was on the last page. NB - Not too sure about my own gender since owning my magnificent HONDA scooter. I get a big kick out of revving the engine and roaring up the hill into the teeth of our famous wind.

    5. Fiftyodd,

      Ah ha! So you do admit to baiting me! I knew it! Well are you proud of yourself? You consistently provide fodder for an old man to make an ass of himself, and oh how I enjoy the opportunity!

      Ah the roar of 49 CCs of pure power. Seven horsepower slamming you back as you roar up the hill...indeed the Power of Dreams. Keep that up and you'll be out kicking ass in the Harley bars.

      As always, Fiftyodd it is an honor, thanks for commenting.