|My favorite planet is (still) Pluto!|
Sunday, May 10, 2015
My Favorite Planet is Pluto - A Blog For SuddenlyFem by CiCi Kytten
My favorite planet is Pluto. It always has been and probably always will be. It probably started with everyone’s favorite Disney dog. I always liked Pluto. A friendly loyal lovable dog. Who wouldn’t want a Pluto in their life?
So when I learned about the solar system in grade school, I had no choice but to choose Pluto as my favorite planet. Who else was I going to choose? The God of War (Mars)? The King of the Gods (Jupiter)? I’m a pacifist. I’m a commoner. So I went with the friendly, loyal, lovable planet... Pluto.
I also liked the fact that Pluto -- the planet -- was a bit of an underdog. Pluto was the smallest planet. And the furthest from the Sun. And when we’re children, don’t we all feel like we’re the smallest sometimes? And the furthest from the action?
It even goes further. Later in life when I learned about astrology -- now there’s an exact science -- I learned that Pluto was my lucky planet. And with all that we’ve learned about Pluto in recent years, perhaps that’s why I’ve never been particularly lucky.
Because, as you might have heard, Pluto is no longer a planet. It was once considered a planet, but now it’s considered a dwarf planet -- primarily made of rock and ice -- and a part of the Kuiper Belt.
And yet Pluto is still my favorite planet. Not because I don’t believe in science. Not because I don’t trust modern day astronomers. I do. But Pluto is still my favorite planet because of what it stands for. And, as with most things in my life these days, it has everything to do with being trans.
You see, every time I read a trans-related article on the internet, there’s always some uninformed loudmouth spouting hate and denying the validity of our existence. And every once in a while, the loudmouth will get really blunt and rudely direct trans girls to lift their skirts and look between their legs. “That’s biology,” he’ll say. “That’s what’s real. Not those crazy, confused ideas in your crazy, confused minds. Look between your legs. Check your anatomy. That’s reality. That’s science.”
And that’s when my friendly, loyal, lovable sidekick, Pluto, comes to my rescue.
Pluto reminds us that science -- while based in fact -- is also based in a current observational reality. What we know as science -- or as fact -- at any given time in our history is completely dependent on our available observational methods and devices. If our technology and research methods are good, then the science if sound. But observational methods can change. Or evolve. Or improve due to technological improvements.
Research results can be altered simply due to more dedicated and thorough effort on the part of the researchers.
That’s why Pluto can be observed to be a planet in 1930, but reclassified in 2006. Because observational techniques improved. Because scientists took a closer look. Because astronomers refused to accept what was previously considered to be true as an absolute fact. After all, one of the basic missions of science is to constantly challenge and reconsider generally-accepted facts.
And maybe that’s what we need to do with gender. For years we have all accepted -- without really researching it, without digging deeper -- that biology equals gender. That genitals equal gender. But maybe there’s a lot more to gender than a penis or a vagina or an “M” or an “F” checked off on some government paperwork.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sway or convince the assholes on the internet.There’s something about hate and intolerance that, unfortunately, has staying power. Besides, a healthy interest in science requires a healthy curiosity -- one of many forward-thinking characteristics that those online clowns seem to lack. They’re too caught up in their rigid thinking and outdated belief systems to even be curious about what might be new in the world. What might be evolving in front of their eyes. What might require some reconsideration.
But it helps me sleep at night. I don’t argue with closed-minded internet posters online. It’s not worth it. But I argue with them in my mind. I have to. I can’t let it go. I lie awake at night trying to beat them in an ongoing debate. I try to outthink them. I try to disprove their statements.
And I particularly try to beat them at their own game. So if they use a scientific argument against my community, I try to use a better scientific argument to counter them.
And that’s why Pluto is still my favorite planet.
I’m not much of a scientist. When I was young, I chose Pluto as my favorite planet for emotional reasons. It wasn’t until after Pluto had been removed from the list of planets that I looked into the science behind Pluto’s original discovery and its later reclassification. In a way, I probably learned more about science after Pluto was reclassified than I ever learned before.
Yup. Forty-five years after I first learned about the solar system. And ten years after I learned that Pluto had been reclassified. Pluto is still my favorite planet. And with many apologies to the learned astronomers and researchers who are all much smarter and better educated than I will ever be, Pluto is still my favorite planet. And as long as there are haters and non-believers out there -- Pluto will always be my hero.
Take care out there.
Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy.
Posted by CiCi Kytten at 11:35 PM