Transgender

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  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    It's how I want society to work.

    Sure, fair enough. But your single proviso indicates that you've acknowledged the possibility of competing rights, while trying to deny that same possibility. Hence, that's not how society works. We have to be realistic in what we want, especially here, on this subject of great sensitivity - I've no problem with self-ID, or self-reported-ID, but there are those who do because it feels to them that it infringes their own rights. So I have to acknowledge what I think should happen is of secondary importance to the discussions between parties who are directly affected.

    Yes, rights compete. But the specific phrase I used was that the exercise of any single person's rights must not negatively and materially affect any other individual's right to live their life as they wish.

    Too often it seems as though society wants to restrict individual rights simply because it disproves of or is offended by certain choices. Being offended by 'X' is not the same as being negatively and materially affected by 'X'.
  • Too often it seems as though society wants to restrict individual rights simply because it disproves of or is offended by certain choices. Being offended by 'X' is not the same as being negatively and materially affected by 'X'.

    This may be true, but this is not about being offended. This is about conflicting rights, and neither of us have any real skin in this game. I can opine as much as I like, but since it's not my rights being infringed in any material way, I don't see why my opinion should carry anything but token weight.
  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus

    My lack of understanding may well be linked to the odd way my mind works when it comes to emotions. I’ve very rarely experienced any of those emotions without being able to identify the reason behind it, and when I have it has really bothered me to the extent that I spend ages trying to identify the cause.

    I simply can’t comprehend feeling something so strongly or consistently without having a reason for feeling it. I can accept that others do feel emotions that way, but it’s so unsatisfying an answer because there’s no way to independently corroborate it.

    That might explain why at times I've felt as though I'm debating with someone who has a limited idea of how other people feel things.

    Not quite how I'd describe it - I'd say I have no idea of how other people feel things.
    It's like you're analysing why person A has fallen in love with person B and not person C when B and C seem equally desirable.

    Sounds like a valid analysis to me. I mean, feelings don't just randomly occur for no reason - they're all caused by something, be it the particular way a person smiles, a subtly different compatibility between personalities, or even how well your lunch is sitting.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    It's a complex system with so many variables and components though. It may ultimately be deterministic but it's like asking why the four of clubs came up on a random draw from a shuffled pack. Or why that delivery found the edge of your bat when you avoided the four preceding almost identical ones.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    It's a complex system with so many variables and components though. It may ultimately be deterministic but it's like asking why the four of clubs came up on a random draw from a shuffled pack. Or why that delivery found the edge of your bat when you avoided the four preceding almost identical ones.

    Exactly. And that's why, "I don't know why," is a perfectly reasonable response and in no way invalidates or diminishes a person's strength of feeling.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    edited July 2019
    (sorry, posted in wrong thread)
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Though now I will post in this thread too, because I'm fascinated by the discussion.

    I am not sure that awareness of gender is a feeling as such, from all I've read about it (I have to go by what I've read, from other people's descriptions of what it is like, as I have no sense of gender myself). From what I understand, and am happy to be corrected, the feelings come when one is upset/troubled/whatever negative emotion is felt because one is being interpreted as the wrong gender. That is a feeling with a reason - a person knows they are male and are being treated as female, and their body is different from what they are. A person therefore feels they are not, cannot, be themselves, and are not being recognised as themselves. But the awareness itself, that is surely something more than a feeling. Maybe there is not a word for what it is.
  • Society should not be making any distinction between people based on sex or gender.


    To put it another way, when men and women live exactly the same lives the phrase "I want to live as a man/woman" will be meaningless, and therefore will fewer people feel the need to change which one they are?

    If being trans had to do only with the social expectations of each gender, then hormone blockers and surgery wouldn´t be necessary. If it means being unconfortable with your masculine/feminine body, then whatever society expects from men and women doesn´t make any difference.
  • One problem is that "feeling" seems to be ambiguous in English. There is feeling as emotion (I feel happy), and feeling as experience, (I feel dizzy). Well, I think so. So a feeling of gender identity doesn't mean an emotion.
  • But in terms of people's chosen roles in life, what responsibilities they choose to take, and how they choose to express themselves, society should not be making any distinction between people based on sex or gender.

    As for " if we ever do achieve the ideal society where men and women can wear, say, or do whatever they choose" I'd say that society is far more immediately achievable than you think but part of achieving it will require legislation to force social conservatives to accept it.

    It doesn´t work that way, simply because not all differences between men and women are to blame on evil "society". You seem to ignore the detail that women are the only ones in human species that can give birth. Any woman that has ever given birth to a child (or any person that ever lived with one) knows that it´s impossible to go trough this without affecting the person´s career for at least a few months. Even if all the house work and child education tasks are divided 50/50 between the woman and her partner, the fact that she phisycally bears the child would still give her a disadvantage at the working place. So at the end of the day, there is never going to be 100% equality of outcome between men and women at the workplace, unless our species develops a way of reproduction that doesn´t depend on women phisycally bearing the child, or if we give up the reproduction of our species entirely.

    But that is no problem, since for most people I know, their achievements at work aren´t the most important things in their lives. In western countries, women have guaranteed the same rights as men, and the fact that women as a collective have not achieved the same stats as men in the working place doesn´t mean that each woman, individually, is facing discrimination at the workplace. It´s simply that there are less women then men putting the entire focus of their lives on work. And that is not a problem, since men and women should be entitled to do what they want.

    Give men and women 100% freedom to choose about ther own lives, and you´ll end up with very different results. Want equality of outcome in every aspect of social and work life between men and women? Constrain their individuality and make them give up what makes them happy, and constrain them to pursue whatever a silly ideology thinks is the goal of human life.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    One problem is that "feeling" seems to be ambiguous in English. There is feeling as emotion (I feel happy), and feeling as experience, (I feel dizzy). Well, I think so. So a feeling of gender identity doesn't mean an emotion.

    True. Though even feeling dizzy is a transient thing, which one can identify from the fact that one has also experienced non-dizziness. Or at least, if a person were permanently dizzy and had never experienced anything else, they wouldn't be able to define or describe feeling dizzy. It would be their norm. They would rather be aware that they were not like other people, and that things they were being expected to do weren't coming easily or naturally at all. It would surely to begin with be a sense of being different, which is not the same as the actual feeling of dizziness.

  • It's notorious in therapy, if you ask "what do you feel about X", people often tell you what they think.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Yes, I know it's used loosely. I'm trying to get more clarity about the specific awareness/sense/feeling that is called gender or gender identity. Because it seems like it would be quite different from transient experiences which you can define/explain by their difference from when you weren't having that experience.
  • It doesn´t work that way, simply because not all differences between men and women are to blame on evil "society". You seem to ignore the detail that women are the only ones in human species that can give birth. Any woman that has ever given birth to a child (or any person that ever lived with one) knows that it´s impossible to go trough this without affecting the person´s career for at least a few months. Even if all the house work and child education tasks are divided 50/50 between the woman and her partner, the fact that she phisycally bears the child would still give her a disadvantage at the working place. So at the end of the day, there is never going to be 100% equality of outcome between men and women at the workplace, unless our species develops a way of reproduction that doesn´t depend on women phisycally bearing the child, or if we give up the reproduction of our species entirely.

    But that is no problem, since for most people I know, their achievements at work aren´t the most important things in their lives. In western countries, women have guaranteed the same rights as men, and the fact that women as a collective have not achieved the same stats as men in the working place doesn´t mean that each woman, individually, is facing discrimination at the workplace. It´s simply that there are less women then men putting the entire focus of their lives on work. And that is not a problem, since men and women should be entitled to do what they want.

    Give men and women 100% freedom to choose about ther own lives, and you´ll end up with very different results. Want equality of outcome in every aspect of social and work life between men and women? Constrain their individuality and make them give up what makes them happy, and constrain them to pursue whatever a silly ideology thinks is the goal of human life.

    So you have measures in place to address the fact that some people get pregnant. That's different from treating all men and women differently on the basis that some women get pregnant.

    And I'm not arguing for equality of outcome. I'm arguing that being born one sex/gender rather than another should not come with family or social expectations of roles and behaviour.
  • fineline wrote: »
    Yes, I know it's used loosely. I'm trying to get more clarity about the specific awareness/sense/feeling that is called gender or gender identity. Because it seems like it would be quite different from transient experiences which you can define/explain by their difference from when you weren't having that experience.

    Yes, an on going state of mind, rather than an acute experience. It's very hard to capture, so when people say, how does a trans woman know what a woman feels like, the obvious reply is, how does anybody?
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    fineline wrote: »
    Yes, I know it's used loosely. I'm trying to get more clarity about the specific awareness/sense/feeling that is called gender or gender identity. Because it seems like it would be quite different from transient experiences which you can define/explain by their difference from when you weren't having that experience.

    Yes, an on going state of mind, rather than an acute experience. It's very hard to capture, so when people say, how does a trans woman know what a woman feels like, the obvious reply is, how does anybody?

    Yes, exactly. If someone has an intrinsic sense of gender, then it must be surely more than 'Well, I know I have a penis, therefore I am male.' Because clearly not everyone with penises are experiencing being male. But it must surely be hard to define in a non-tangible way.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    Yes, I know it's used loosely. I'm trying to get more clarity about the specific awareness/sense/feeling that is called gender or gender identity. Because it seems like it would be quite different from transient experiences which you can define/explain by their difference from when you weren't having that experience.

    Yes, an on going state of mind, rather than an acute experience. It's very hard to capture, so when people say, how does a trans woman know what a woman feels like, the obvious reply is, how does anybody?
    But doesn't it miss the point? A transwoman needn't know what a cis woman feels, she knows she does not feel "right" in her body.
    I cannot describe what it feels like to be lilBuddha but no one questions that.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    I'm way behind in my understanding of the neuroscience of recognition. Nobody believes Kant any more. I judge that recognition fits into both assessment of ourselves and other selves outside ourselves. But how our ability to recognise builds up from our early experiences, or how our innate abilities to recognise are developed by sensory data, that's a research field about which I know very little.

    However, as a matter of personal morality, it seems just to take seriously what others tell us about their own self-ID perceptions. Even if it seems strange to us. I think lilBuddha is right to remind us that we all have a sense of identity, but may not be able to explain how we got that.

    I suspect there may be some interesting discoveries still to be made about recognition, self recognition, and how we arrive at them. Meanwhile, it seems wise to recognise our limitations and behave decently towards others who seem to be different. Not to think we know all about recognition. I'm sure we don't.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    edited July 2019
    I'm thinking, to what extent is it possible to intrinsically feel wrong, or at least feel consciously aware of this, if it's all you've known and if you have no concept of other people being different from you?

    I have no face recognition, and I remember as a kid going to meet my dad at the train station, and realising I wouldn't be able to recognise him, and feeling quite lost. Fortunately he recognised me, as he doesn't have this problem, and I wondered how he did it, and then forgot about it. This was my norm and something that it didn't occur to me was wrong, but just part of being. It was when I grew older and observed consistently that other people recognised each other that I became aware, over time, of being different. For the longest time I thought I was simply doing something wrong, rather than having something 'wrong' as it were, inside me.

    My sensory processing is not the same as most people - it can cause me to easily be overwhelmed or dizzy. I have also had this all my life, so for most of my life I had no way to put this into words, and as a kid I just thought this was life. When I realised I was getting scolded as naughty and others weren't, because they weren't experiencing these problems, I thought they must have worked out how to deal with them and I was doing something wrong. Then as I grew older I realised other people didn't experience life like this. Other people simply didn't black out in supermarkets, or have any difficulty with escalators or feel noise as pain. I had to learn over time what others were experiencing to know that there was something wrong here, that my brain wasn't doing what other people's brains do - and of course people don't think to explain and talk about the fact that they don't feel overwhelmed or dizzy, because why would they? So before I knew others didn't experience this, even though it always felt miserable, it didn't feel wrong.

    I know these are very different sorts of things from gender, and the analogy will break down in many ways, but they have in common that they are something within me, not a social construct. Of course it's impossible to have a sort of control situation, where a person simply doesn't encounter other people, and therefore has nothing to compare themselves with - and even if it were possible, there would of course be multiple confounding variables. But I think there must be an element of needing to compare with others, knowing that what one is experiencing is not the norm, to fully be able to process and express that something is wrong. And that is not at all the same as saying gender identity is all about a societally defined gender, and how you are treated.

    And it seems to be the case with the stories of trans people - they are aware something is wrong from observing and comparing with other kids, but they can't put it into words until they become aware of the vocabulary around transgender and gender dysphoria. Not dissimilar to how I grew up gradually becoming aware something was 'wrong' with how I experienced the world by comparing with others, and then when given a vocabulary around autism, it all made sense and I could begin to express it. Not that the discomfort isn't there when you haven't yet compared with others, but it's all you know.

    And when people know about my sensory experiences, they can't really explain what it's like for them having 'normal' sensory experiences. All they can say, really, is they don't feel the discomfort I feel.

    ETA: Crossposted with Barnabas. This was a reply to lilbuddha, and also general musing about things expressed in previous posts. I wasn't even thinking of gender identity in terms of recognition. That sounds interesting, though I'm not quite sure how to apply it.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Now I am thinking more about self-recognition, as Barnabas's post is interesting to me. I am thinking of when people have a stroke and they can have a symptom where they don't recognise their own limb, and try to throw it out of their bed. I have realised from learning about this (from an Oliver Sacks book, I think) that I recognise my limbs as my own, that I know they are part of me, but I would never have even thought of myself and my limbs in these terms otherwise, and I have no idea how to describe the recognition of my own limbs.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2019
    fineline, I happen to know someone who works in this field of neuroscience research but I have a very limited understanding of what she actually does!

    My point really was an ethical one and given my ignorance it comes straight from Kant's best known saying. "I think therefore I am". The moral point is to take seriously the self-identifying thinking of all the other 'I's even if neither we or they know how they got there!

    Maybe neuroscience will enlarge our understandings of these processes? And I can well understand why they are significant to you personally.

    My earliest memory of being me was when I was about 2 and met my dad, who was home on leave and wearing uniform. If the child is father to the man, then my current self awareness has been building since then. So I'm sure they is some kind of dynamic in play, surrounding this continuity and development of self awareness. But that's about all I'm sure of.

    And I think this may be a tangent!
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Barnabas62 : My point really was an ethical one and given my ignorance it comes straight from Kant's best known saying. "I think therefore I am".

    Barnabas62, I think you will find that the coiner of "cogito ergo sum" was Descartes. The question then arises as to whether one ceases to be when one ceases to think. Does an individual with severe dementia cease to be? The answer, in part, is 'no' because others recognise one's existence. It might be argued that "Sumus ergo sum", we are therefore I am, is another way of looking at the question. What comes through to me in this voluminous discussion is the importance trans etc. place on the recognition of their self-defined 'gender' by the rest of society. Indeed, the culture of trans or the trans experience is only intelligible in the context of a society which is so overwhelmingly cis-gendered that the prefix appears unnecessary. That seems to be a critical part of the trans problem. For my part, I take seriously all sorts of self-assigned identity claims made by others on all sorts of issues, but I also think it right that such claims, including my own, can be legitimately tested by others. Indeed, that is the only way knowledge, including self-knowledge, can grow and tolerance negotiated. Radical individualism to the point of subjectivity, that truth is merely a matter of opinion, and there is no way of discovering which opinions are better than others does not seem to be a satisfactory way forward. I note, however, that Descartes saw his existence as a function of 'thinking' rather than 'feeling'.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    For my part, I take seriously all sorts of self-assigned identity claims made by others on all sorts of issues, but I also think it right that such claims, including my own, can be legitimately tested by others.
    You can say this because you know your claims will not be challenged.

  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    lilbuddha You can say this because you know your claims will not be challenged.

    Except by your good self, lilbuddha.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2019
    Whoops! Yes it was Descartes.

    I'd been thinking of Kant earlier because of his understanding of how recognition worked - and got my wires and my philosophers crossed. Sorry.

    Kwesi.

    How do you think self ID can be tested? I think that any discomfort and distress of the kind characteristic of some trans people can be assessed by suitable qualified and trained psychologists and counsellors - and in fact is during the current processes in the UK prior to the issue of a GRC. But that is a different matter.

    Trans people can be perfectly happy in themselves because of their self ID, a point established earlier on this thread. Their upsets may be caused by the unkindness of others.

    It is wrong to presume that the self-ID demonstrates a mental disorder. Indeed, the NHS guidelines state this unambiguously. They state that while gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition sometimes requiring treatment it is not a mental illness. Again, a point established earlier, more than once.

    Physicians distinguish, correctly, between gender dysphoria and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), which is indeed a mental disorder. Those who suffer from the latter may be in the grip of a delusion or an obsessive compulsive exaggeration about their bodies or parts of their bodies. And to avoid further confusion, physicians also distinguish BDD from anorexia nervosa. While some anorexics do indeed suffer from a delusion or an obsessive compulsive exaggeration over their appearance that is not always the case.

    As lay people, we have to be very careful to avoid jumping to conclusions about how other people see and feel about their bodies.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Barnabas62: How do you think self ID can be tested? I think that any discomfort and distress of the kind characteristic of some trans people can be assessed by suitable qualified and trained psychologists and counsellors - and in fact is during the current processes in the UK prior to the issue of a GRC. But that is a different matter.............

    As lay people, we have to be very careful to avoid jumping to conclusions about how other people see and feel about their bodies.

    I am a lay person in no position to answer your question with any confidence, and would not attempt to do so. As you point out, however, there are qualified and trained persons in a position to undertake the task, and I've no problem in accepting their guidance, though it's not an easy task conceptually and practically given the limits of our knowledge and understanding. My general position, for what it's worth, is that the claim to be trans is genuine and can be rationally demonstrated to others. The capacity to make that demonstration is the best way of reducing "the unkindness of others."
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    That seems fair to me. Things change when we know people, of course.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    I'd been thinking of Kant earlier because of his understanding of how recognition worked
    Isn't recognition one of Hegel's ideas? It doesn't play any part in the main body of Kant's work that I remember.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    Philosophy Tangent

    I was thinking about his theories of perception (Critique of Pure Reason), Dafyd.

    But on matters of philosophy I normally defer to you, perceiving that when it comes to such things you can buy me at one end of the street and sell me at the other!

    End Philosophy Tangent
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    For my part, I take seriously all sorts of self-assigned identity claims made by others on all sorts of issues, but I also think it right that such claims, including my own, can be legitimately tested by others.
    You can say this because you know your claims will not be challenged.

    I'm not sure that gender non-conformity is challenged. Of course, if you want medical treatment, there will be enquiries. But trans people or non-binary people seem to move around without being challenged. I haven't heard of birth certificates being demanded outside loos or changing rooms, and I think it's illegal to ask for a gender certificate. My wife just said, so what's the point of them?
  • Oh well, wrong again, trans people can be asked for certificates for purposes of tax, insurance, and benefits. Also marriage, I think. But this is different from going to the loo.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Kwesi wrote: »
    For my part, I take seriously all sorts of self-assigned identity claims made by others on all sorts of issues, but I also think it right that such claims, including my own, can be legitimately tested by others.
    You can say this because you know your claims will not be challenged.

    I'm not sure that gender non-conformity is challenged. Of course, if you want medical treatment, there will be enquiries. But trans people or non-binary people seem to move around without being challenged. I haven't heard of birth certificates being demanded outside loos or changing rooms, and I think it's illegal to ask for a gender certificate. My wife just said, so what's the point of them?
    Of course it is challenged. It is being challenged on this thread. What people challenge about others goes far beyond law.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Barnabas62: How do you think self ID can be tested? I think that any discomfort and distress of the kind characteristic of some trans people can be assessed by suitable qualified and trained psychologists and counsellors - and in fact is during the current processes in the UK prior to the issue of a GRC. But that is a different matter.............

    As lay people, we have to be very careful to avoid jumping to conclusions about how other people see and feel about their bodies.

    I am a lay person in no position to answer your question with any confidence, and would not attempt to do so. As you point out, however, there are qualified and trained persons in a position to undertake the task, and I've no problem in accepting their guidance, though it's not an easy task conceptually and practically given the limits of our knowledge and understanding. My general position, for what it's worth, is that the claim to be trans is genuine and can be rationally demonstrated to others.
    The fuck why?
    Dude, you cannot rational demonstrate what it means to be Kwesi, much less your own gender. Why should trans need to demonstrate shit to anyone?
    Kwesi wrote: »
    The capacity to make that demonstration is the best way of reducing "the unkindness of others."
    Really? "Hey black people, demonstrate you are not generally worse people. That is the best way to stop us treating you like you are."
    Fucking hell.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Host hat on
    In this very high temperature discussion, @lilbuddha, I think you may be misunderstanding what @Kwesi is saying. ISTM that Kwesi is saying that he/she accepts the reality of being trans, and the fact that it can be demonstrated to be a real thing ought to reduce other people’s unkindness.

    I’ll let him/her come back to you in that, but from a hosting point of view the very fierce response you have made to Kwesi will make it more difficult to have a discussion about it.
    Host hat off
    BroJames Purgatory Host
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    BroJames: ISTM that Kwesi is saying that he/she accepts the reality of being trans, and the fact that it can be demonstrated to be a real thing ought to reduce other people’s unkindness.

    Thanks for that, Brojames, I think (feel?!) you get my drift. My intention is less to deny the reality of trans than to promote its social acceptance.

    Regarding my difficulty in rationally demonstrating "what it means to be Kwesi," I would suggest, along with the Scottish Bard, that others might be able to give a better answer than myself:

    “O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as others see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
    An' foolish notion.”
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    That either of you think a benign intention takes the curse off the idea that the victim must prove themselves is a major part of the problem.

    This. Is. Not. Acceptance.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Gender dysphoria is not something that can be proved as such, just as, say, autism can't be proved, and depression can't be proved. Maybe in future, technology and brain science will be advanced enough to prove it, but as it is, a bit of trust is involved as well as observation, professional judgement, etc. Observation of behaviour and the person's own account of what's going on inside them.

    But normally if a person wants to access some support, particularly when financial cost is involved, there needs to be some mind of official agreement/diagnosis. Let's look at autism as an example, as it's what I know (and obviously I'm very aware there are big differences between autism and gender dysphoria, but both are experienced internally, both involve being different from the norm, both can involve distress with being misunderstood/misinterpreted/disbelieved by society, both can be officially diagnosed, and both can be a major and intrinsic part of a person's identity). A person can't apply for PIP on the basis of 'I self identify as autistic,' for instance. Though there are more informal support groups where an official diagnosis is not required, especially as there is awareness that it can be very hard to get a diagnosis, especially for females and adults (that's specifically with autism).

    I guess I'm a little confused what you are arguing, lilbuddha. Are you suggesting that anyone who self-identifies as anything should be able to use this identity without ever having to give evidence? Or do you mean specifically for gender dysphoria? And would you apply that to anyone going to the doctor and saying they want to transition to the opposite sex? Would you not see a role for the doctor to ask questions before agreeing to this?
  • Well, people do live as an identity without proving it. But this means not wanting treatment or the old fashioned gender certificates. They required various hoops to be traversed, a diagnosis of dysphoria, living for 2 years as that sex, and other stuff. But my memory is that not many people acquired such certificates, maybe 5000. And there are supposed to be 600 000 trans people in UK.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    This statement is not about medical treatment nor transitioning.
    Kwesi wrote: »
    My general position, for what it's worth, is that the claim to be trans is genuine and can be rationally demonstrated to others. The capacity to make that demonstration is the best way of reducing "the unkindness of others."
  • I think lilbuddha is right, in that there has been a kind of "I'll believe it when I see it" approach sometimes on this thread. This seems inappropriate for various gender identities.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I think @lilbuddha, is mistaken in interpreting @Kwesi as saying that trans people must prove themselves.

    Kwesi’s statement says three things (AFAICT) (1) the trans claim is genuine (2) the trans claim can be shown to be genuine (3) the fact that it can be shown to be genuine ought to reduce the unkindness of others.

    It is a statement about the general state of affairs, not that individual trans people should in general have to prove their trans status.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    edited July 2019
    Ah, I guess I would need further clarification what sort of thing Kwesi meant. I wasn't sure when he posted, but then Barnabas posted similar questions to what I was wondering, and then I thought from Kwesi's reply that he was talking more about accessing treatment.

    Perhaps the unkindness thing is different though - more about how if you have a diagnosis, people in general are less likely to scoff and disbelieve? This certainly happens with autism, and I agree it shouldn't be necessary to prove to people on a general basis. What I observe among autistic people, though, is that many say 'I am self-diagnosed' or 'I think I'm autistic,' which can make people raise an eyebrow and disagree. Before my diagnosis, I would sometimes tell people I thought I was on the autism spectrum, and I would often be met with disagreement and all sorts of stereotypical reasons why I couldn't possibly be. Though interestingly when I said it to people who knew quite a bit about it, they would agree. Once I got a diagnosis, I would simply say 'I'm on the autism spectrum,' and people would accept it. They didn't ask for proof - only when applying for support, such as when I was a student, did I need to show my diagnosis. In everyday interaction, people just took my word for it once I said 'I'm on the autism spectrum' rather than 'I think I'm on the autism spectrum.'

    I don't know how that would apply to being trans, or what sort of thing Kwesi had in mind when talking about reducing the unkindness of others. I'd be interested to hear more of what he means, because it seems to me it could mean a variety of different things.

    ETA: cross-posted with BroJames.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    lilBuddha and quetzcoatl

    The right place to dispute a Host post is in the Styx.

    Barnabas62
    Purgatory Host

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    BroJames wrote: »
    I think @lilbuddha, is mistaken in interpreting @Kwesi as saying that trans people must prove themselves.

    Kwesi’s statement says three things (AFAICT) (1) the trans claim is genuine (2) the trans claim can be shown to be genuine (3) the fact that it can be shown to be genuine ought to reduce the unkindness of others.

    It is a statement about the general state of affairs, not that individual trans people should in general have to prove their trans status.

    That is not what he said. He said
    The capacity to make that demonstration is the best way of reducing "the unkindness of others
    The most direct and reasonable interpretation is "Demonstrate that you are trans and people will leave you alone.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Not enough time to add everything. The Science behind homosexuality being both normal and a feature of human evolution is pretty strong, so that is why we have complete acceptance already. Oh, wait...
    Cisgendered folk cannot "rationally demonstrate" they are cis, so why should trans be under that burden?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    edited July 2019
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    I think @lilbuddha, is mistaken in interpreting @Kwesi as saying that trans people must prove themselves.

    Kwesi’s statement says three things (AFAICT) (1) the trans claim is genuine (2) the trans claim can be shown to be genuine (3) the fact that it can be shown to be genuine ought to reduce the unkindness of others.

    It is a statement about the general state of affairs, not that individual trans people should in general have to prove their trans status.

    That is not what he said. He said
    The capacity to make that demonstration is the best way of reducing "the unkindness of others
    The most direct and reasonable interpretation is "Demonstrate that you are trans and people will leave you alone.

    It is not word for word what Kwesi said. It is my attempt to expand and clarify it. Certainly if you strip Kwesi’s sentence from the context of what Kwesi said then that is not unreasonable possibility. If, however, you take the wider context, and Kwesi’s response to my post then I think the interpretation you have suggested is not the most direct and reasonable explanation, nor is it one which appears to begin with a working assumption of Kwesi’s good faith.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Disagree. That "promoting social acceptance" is done how? And you ignore my comparison with the acceptance of homosexuality.
    Kwesi's response post does not refute my interpretation, but merely puts the best intentions on it. I'm not arguing intentions here, but consequences.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Personally, I'd rather hear Kwesi's clarification, because I know for myself how annoying and belittling it can be when people assume they know what I mean rather than asking for clarification. And surely this is the issue with trans people (and autistic people, and all sorts of other people who may be trying to put forward who they are, what they are feeling) - a need to be heard, and invited to clarify, rather than interpreted according to the listener's particular worldview and prejudices.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    BroJames: I think @lilbuddha, is mistaken in interpreting @Kwesi as saying that trans people must prove themselves.

    Kwesi’s statement says three things (AFAICT) (1) the trans claim is genuine (2) the trans claim can be shown to be genuine (3) the fact that it can be shown to be genuine ought to reduce the unkindness of others.

    It is a statement about the general state of affairs, not that individual trans people should in general have to prove their trans status.

    I couldn't have put it better myself. I would add, however, that while I was making a "statement about the general state of affairs" it would be unlikely to apply to every particular (claim). I am, I confess, an inveterate defender of scepticism and systematic doubt.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    edited July 2019
    OK. I’m going to have one more go at this because I feel you are not understanding me. The way I read @Kwesi’s post is this:
    1. He accepts the fact that some people are transsexual/transgendered*
    2. The existence of transgenderism/transsexualism is something that can be objectively demonstrated.
    3. The fact that the existence of transgenderism/transsexualism can be objectively demonstrated ought to reduce the “unkindness of others”.

    (*I’m aware that there are complexities and disputes about this terminology.)

    What I think he is not saying is that transgendered/transsexual persons are/should be obliged in general to prove their transsexual/transgender identity.

    My use of ‘in general’ is intended to allow space for @fineline’s comment that
    normally if a person wants to access some support, particularly when financial cost is involved, there needs to be some mind of official agreement/diagnosis.
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