To name a star

Best beloved pointed out the question about whether AGAB language is useful or not and I had to stop and really think about it.
Some might notice I’ve changed phrasing elsewhere, in addition to the correction, to the clunkier “as a person seen and considered to be a little girl”.
Clunky, and some might think, unnecessary.
After all, I go about life as a cis woman.
Why the linguistic and mental contortions?

Because I keep returning to how artificial a social construct gender is.
Most social constructs are, yes, but this one just feels extra laughable.
What is a man?
What is a woman?
Isn’t it all just various rules and exploitations and expectations stuck into a hole, presented as Truth and the god we must all bow down to?
When we don’t expect different things from people based on what we think they might be…
What even is difference then?

I think about how stars are named.
Billions of light years away.
So distant that the star itself could be gone by the time its light reaches us.
Unknowable, really, as a being itself.
Yet they are named.
Mostly after the men who notice them.

And I think about how we love to take the easy way out.
With words.
With categories.
With ideas.
With principles, at times.

When I say “assigned female at birth”, what do I mean?
Because surely it means different things based on location, based on family of origin, based on the people met, based on the experiences and judgments offered.
But is it useful?
Did I convey to you, what it was like to have your uncle insist that you sit straight at all times, back not touching the seat of the car, so you learned to sleep standing up?
Did it explain how, in my family and in the media I was exposed to, it led to the expectation of forever giving, of eternal willing sweetness, of being told to turn the other cheek if my younger brother bit me?
(He didn’t, by the way. That was the story told of my cousin, of how she was the superior girl because she didn’t fight back when her younger brother bit her.)
Did it tell you how it meant everything of me was expected to be for other people, mostly men? Being pretty, was for them. Being sweet, was for them. Being intelligent and well-read and articulate, that was for them.
My face, my voice, my skills, my body, my womb, my mind…
All that was in service to a faceless male somewhere in the future.
To multiple faceless men, and also to the faceless women who were granted status by those men.

I keep thinking about how we cannot know the truth of a celestial body.
And I keep thinking of how men keep insisting on naming them anyway.
We must have something to refer to.
We must put things into categories, or the world doesn’t make sense.
We must.

But must we?
I look up at the night sky, encroached upon by the light of humanity, and wonder if they would be any less beautiful if we left them unnamed.
If we allowed every being their own connection.
If we, perhaps, tried truly seeing the star we live upon first.

(pedantic people masquerading as white knights of science, don’t @ me. I know why names are useful.)

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