Transgender

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  • I remember that some gender theories have been described as Gnostic, as gender seems to float free from the body. Well, in a way, but isn't this partly how gender is separate from sex (identity)?
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    quetzalcoatl But at any rate, gender identity becomes a personal experience, not something externally described.

    quetzalcoatl, please forgive my denseness, but could you explain what you mean by gender as "not something externally described"? (Perhaps you might also clarify what you understand by "gender" in the context of your remark). In anticipation, thanks!
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Or it may just be that, as noted above, for those of us who are cisgender, there's nothing to notice. It's like the old saw re a fish not being aware of the water. If your gender has always felt comfortable, why would you be aware of it?

    I wouldn't say it is comfortable if we're speaking of my ability to fit into social norms for women, where in many ways I am and always have been a remarkably bad fit. But my take on the resulting social pressure and criticism (rather intense) has always been "y'all can just go to hell now," so I can't say I ever internalized it. But no, i can't say gender plays much if any role in how i think of myself to myself. (Neither does species)


    Lamb Chopped, out of curiosity (no obligation to answer if you don’t want to, of course), do you find it weird when people refer to you in a gender specific way, such as calling you a woman or referring to you as ‘she’? Kind of like they are talking about someone else, or assigning to you something outside of your world? (I do - just wondering if someone else might experience this too.)
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    ............or even a "he" and "his" ! Apologies, fineline. And thanks for taking my faux pas so graciously!
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    it appears to attach more evidential value to feelings than to verifiable facts. I can't be alone in finding b) uncomfortable, as it could open the door to all sorts of things that are much less benign than transgender acceptance...

    ...It's undoubtedly true that if someone feels like a woman, that is how they feel, but feeling something doesn't always prove that it's true...

    ..People are more likely to accept something if they understand it...

    ...It seems to me that part of the issue with the recent emergence of transgender-ness into wider public consciousness is that people who have never had much cause to think about it suddenly find themselves expected to accept it without much explanation, and may find themselves accused of bigotry for stating what has always seemed to be obvious.

    That's right, but I think it goes beyond "more likely to accept".

    People either respond to their understanding of what is going on, in each situation they encounter (whether that encounter is first hand or by report). Or they accept the account of some authority.

    Leorning Cnicht isn't wrong, but he's talking about people who are trans. That is, people who have this particular condition (female brain in male body or vice versa). Not about the process of establishing who has it and who doesn't.

    People's responses will be affected by their understanding of the likelihood of the condition, and the comparative likelihood of other explanations for the same data.

    You talk about "recent emergence". It's not at all clear to me how much is a recent increase in awareness of what has always been there and how much is a recent increase in incidence of the condition. (one of my favourite lyrics is Don Maclean's description of modern life - bombers in the air, missiles in the sea, chemicals in everything including me)...

    I know someone with the auto-immune disease known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME, and there are some parallels
    - initial scepticism just because this condition wasn't widely known in the past
    - difficulty in distinguishing it from psychosomatic conditions (which are also real)
    - rise of popular awareness leading to a risk of inaccurate self-diagnosis.

    That the science will get on top of it eventually is small consolation to those suffering now.

    But wanting the best outcome for those who are is not incompatible with a philosophy that asserts the possibility that feelings don't reflect reality.
  • Kwesi wrote: »
    quetzalcoatl But at any rate, gender identity becomes a personal experience, not something externally described.

    quetzalcoatl, please forgive my denseness, but could you explain what you mean by gender as "not something externally described"? (Perhaps you might also clarify what you understand by "gender" in the context of your remark). In anticipation, thanks!

    I said gender identity actually, which is often distinguished from gender expression. I am assuming, probably riskily, that gender expression is often for public display. Gender identity can be personal, even private, or internal.

    Of course, there also further complications, for a lot of this might be unconscious, but then again I might be performing in a way, gender as drag, to be satirical.

    Now all we have to do is separate gender from sex, ha ha.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    quetzalcoatl Of course, there also further complications, for a lot of this might be unconscious, but then again I might be performing in a way, gender as drag, to be satirical.

    Thanks, quetzalcoatl, my immediate reaction is that many a true word is spoken in jest!
  • Well, that came originally from Judith Butler, who got interested in drag acts as a parody of gender, or a masquerade, but then made the interesting point that maybe gender is drag. It doesn't really work, as drag is a conscious act, well, I hope it is. But the idea of performance has been influential, and may not be original to her, see de Beauvoir. But to think that I may be doing my gender, or enacting it, is quite interesting.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Of course, this is part of a much wider sociological context as seminally explored by Goffman's The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.
  • Yes, I used to know a theatre group with the splendid name of Selbstdarstellung, self-presentation, I think. It was trendy, then, a long time ago, alas.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    fineline wrote: »
    Lamb Chopped, out of curiosity (no obligation to answer if you don’t want to, of course), do you find it weird when people refer to you in a gender specific way, such as calling you a woman or referring to you as ‘she’? Kind of like they are talking about someone else, or assigning to you something outside of your world? (I do - just wondering if someone else might experience this too.)
    I am indubitably not Lamb Chopped but one way I realized that my gender expression was not completely cis-normal was that I have been avoiding any activity gendered for women since puberty.

  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Kwesi wrote: »
    ............or even a "he" and "his" ! Apologies, fineline. And thanks for taking my faux pas so graciously!

    It is actually quite refreshing to sometimes be referred to as ‘he’ - evens out the weirdness a bit!

    On other online communities in the past, people have sometimes thought I was a bloke, and I let them go with it, because to me it made no difference. Except something I noticed was that it did make a difference in the way I was treated in general - so I guess that relates to your question about whether a person’s gender is defined by them or by others. Similarly in ‘real life’ there have been times when I was thought to be male - more in childhood than adulthood, as I’m quite petite, but also once in adulthood. And the thing that struck me in these cases was how differently I was treated.

    I was once on an online community where I wouldn’t reveal my sex when asked. I said it was irrelevant. Same with my age. And people got quite hostile about it - saying that I was being secretive, hiding who I was so they couldn’t get to know me. And it got me thinking how interesting it was that people assume they know something signicant about a person by knowing what type of genitalia the person has, or how long the person has happened to inhabit earth.

  • fineline wrote: »
    I crossposted with you, cliffdweller, but yes, you said the thing I was anticipating with my post. Many reasons and examples I could give, though I’m not sure it is necessary or appropriate for me to be convincing you of my lack of gender identity. I mean, I am not sure it adds to the discussion, and it may be a distraction from the topic, and you are not someone in my life for whom it is important for me to be understood by. And in general, should people whose gender identity is different from the norm need to be attempting to prove it to sceptics?

    Thanks for clarifying fineline. I wasn't speaking to your situation and what feels like more definitive sense of "agender" (for lack of a better term). I was really only meaning to speak to my own experience and that of most cisgender folks where gender identity is something we just don't think about-- because we don't need to. Much like race if you are a white American or European

    Your experience seems different. Your story should be validated and trusted as uniquely yours just as those of transgender
  • Was sent this by parents of the young person about whom I began the thread. Basically describes the tangle. The (apparent*) rapid onset and rapid medicalization. Basically at loss with the 2 rings aren't I. Perhaps "rapid onset gender dysphoria" isn't thought of quite the same everywhere.

    *appears actual in our case, apparent perhaps in others?

    I will be interested to hear how to there's who have experienced transgenderism interpret this article. To me it reads very similar to the arguments for reparative therapy, similarly based on little more than a single anecdotal evidence, and fed by parents' desire for "things to go back to what they're 'supposed' to be"
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Thanks cliffdweller. I appreciate that.

    I guess it is tricky if people who are cis are also thinking they have no sense of gender identity, because really all you have to go on when accepting someone’s sense of gender or lack thereof is what they tell you. They are not obliged to try to convince you. Same with all sorts of things in life that people tell you - you generally don’t have proof, but for most things, in general chitchat, the etiquette is to accept it, or pretend to accept it, at least.
  • Fineline, interesting points about people wanting to know your sex. It reminds me of those sarcastic jokes about the policing of toilets, that before you can go in this toilet, you have to show your genitals to a custodian, and have them ratified by the appropriate committee.
  • TimTim Shipmate Posts: 12
    Apologies for lengthy post, but I want to share a few thoughts and I'm incapable of being brief. As a cis-gendered straight man, I know it is hard for me to understand a lot of this. My observation is as follows: anyone who takes the risk to transition will have done enough reading to know that it will be incredibly incredibly difficult. That a few will get it, many will be plenty of people like me who are well-meaning but mostly supportive though struggle to 'get it', and sadly plenty who outright reject the whole concept. And that being the case, their risk of taking the step of transition is hugely risky, and they would not do it if they had any alternative.

    However, as someone who tries hard to listen to feminists and tries to understand the concept of how my white, male privilege affects my life and change my language based on what they say, based on many conversations with feminist friends I know a few of them feel threatened by transwomen. Part of it is, I think that the power of shared experience is huge. And currently in some cases, the experience of a transwoman will be different to a cis-woman. I have two transwomen in my circle of acquaintances/friends, and have had female friends complain that they are being told by one transwoman in particular what being a woman is really all about--what one of them dubbed 'transplaining', and in their opinion, at least one of these transwomen still treats them with the same level of patronising behaviour that they experience from many men, which I suspect to be inculturated. And they feel threatened by that. They are broadly supportive of both of them, but find it hard to include them in group female activities without it feeling awkward, since they feel that the transwomen function still as men rather than women in group events. They know that they are able to make the choice to be, in some cases quite radically, non-standard women in how they dress, act and look having grown up with the security of being cis-women, and that security isn't necessarily there for a transwoman. They are trying hard to include them, but I know it is a struggle, which for me as someone who wasn't close to either of them (and so had to swap names and pronouns, but that's hardly a challenge) it didn't really dramatically affect me.

    Both of them transitioned as adults, and I suspect had they had the freedom to do so as children and grown up in their designated gender, things would both be easier and they would have the 'shared experience'. This is why I am broadly supportive of earlier questioning and transitioning to hopefully allay the serious mental health issues caused from not fitting in, and hopefully allowing them to have a completely consistent experience as an adult. However there are some questions to be asked about the practicalities of it. A teaching friend asked how do I handle changing for swimming if I had an 8 year old transition? And indeed, there are fundamental differences in the swimsuits of boys and girls which might be rather visible for transgirls. Currently, they change in two rooms, one for boys, one for girls, with two teachers one on either door. Does the trans student change in a room on their own (no shared experience of changing--still maintaining the feeling of being 'different'/'outcast'/'abnormal' which is damaging to mental health) or in the room of their designated gender with different genitalia? In an ideal world they change in the 'side' of their designated gender in individual cubicles, but that is not always possible. If I were a parent of a child, would I allow my child to have a sleepover in the same room as a transgender child to the same gender, and let them change together? I don't know, fortunately I don't have to make that decision currently, and I know different familes have radically different opinions on the subject of changing around siblings of the opposite gender.

    I do know that the rate of suicide amongst teens with gender dysphoria who are not supported in their transition is incredibly high. And that if we can manage to change that by our support (even if there are interesting practical waters to navigate) it is worth our personal struggle, but automatic acceptance isn't necessarily a 'given', since there are some things that in society, we learn as our culture, that we don't necessarily realise are part of our gendered language, and my female friends don't want to be be unsupportive to the transwomen by saying things like 'that's not how a woman talks' when they nonetheless feel that way.
  • So there is a way that women talk?
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Wow @Penny S!. If ever there was evidence that belonging to a category of person who is disadvantaged, discriminated against and deserving of sympathy does not disqualify anyone from behaving in ways that nevertheless put them totally outside the range of any claim either to sympathy or even to merit being listened to, the people you've described have amply provided it.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    So there is a way that women talk?

    I studied speech and language therapy, and trans women are one client group, for therapy to acquire a voice that sounds more female. What we learned is that therapy is often less around the voice itself, which is hard to change, but more around intonation and also vocabulary, language and turns of phrase, as well as non-verbal communication. We learnt about gendered language in quite some detail, and from my observations in general, there does seem to be in our society different ways of talking for men and women. What we learnt did reflect my observations in general. It’s societally learnt, according to societal expectations of gender. It won’t apply to everyone, of course.

    My own language is not so gendered, because I’m not so good at picking up on social expectations. Though of course if you naturally have a female body, as I do, no one will be thinking about how female your language sounds. You are freer to deviate from societal norms of femaleness without it occurring to anyone that you’re an unconvincing woman.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    I was once on an online community where I wouldn’t reveal my sex when asked. I said it was irrelevant. Same with my age. And people got quite hostile about it - saying that I was being secretive, hiding who I was so they couldn’t get to know me. And it got me thinking how interesting it was that people assume they know something signicant about a person by knowing what type of genitalia the person has, or how long the person has happened to inhabit earth.
    ISTM, part of it is the very human desire for identification and classification. And part of it is gatekeeping. "You can't say that because your are not X" and "You would say that because your are X"
    Part of the threat that norms feel from those seen as other is the human fear of the unknown. It is perceived as a threat, even if there is no actual, rational threat. It draws on the worst aspects of our tribalism.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    I was once on an online community where I wouldn’t reveal my sex when asked. I said it was irrelevant. Same with my age. And people got quite hostile about it - saying that I was being secretive, hiding who I was so they couldn’t get to know me. And it got me thinking how interesting it was that people assume they know something signicant about a person by knowing what type of genitalia the person has, or how long the person has happened to inhabit earth.
    ISTM, part of it is the very human desire for identification and classification. And part of it is gatekeeping. "You can't say that because your are not X" and "You would say that because your are X"
    Part of the threat that norms feel from those seen as other is the human fear of the unknown. It is perceived as a threat, even if there is no actual, rational threat. It draws on the worst aspects of our tribalism.

    Yes, I find people feel safer, more in control, if they think they’ve got you sussed. I can inadvertently make people uncomfortable because I seem weird and they don’t know how to read me.

    I remember there was once a website (maybe it still exists) where you could insert text and it told you if it was written by a man or a woman, based on the vocabulary and sentence structure. In the online community where people wanted to know my sex, someone did this with my posts and declared I was a man - they thought they had ultimate proof, because the site had interpreted my language that way. So they felt happy they knew my sex for a while, but then several other people started putting their own posts into the site, and realised it was not always correct in identifying their sex!
  • Fineline, that's an interesting point about expectations. I remember being in men's groups, with very strange people in them, but you wouldn't have questioned their status as males. But I think that a trans male would be, as they are already identified as Other.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I wonder if this is one reason for some feminists’ antipathy towards trans women - while cis feminists are challenging stereotypes about women, trans women may be trying to embrace and embody these stereotypes, simply to prevent people questioning their status as a female.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Tim wrote: »
    However, as someone who tries hard to listen to feminists and tries to understand the concept of how my white, male privilege affects my life and change my language based on what they say, based on many conversations with feminist friends I know a few of them feel threatened by transwomen.
    The American Suffrage movement, especially in the South, was significantly anti-black. In part because they felt including black women would hurt their chances. In any rights movement, you will find those who only care about freedom for themselves and those they consider like them. It sucks, but it is very human.
  • fineline wrote: »
    I wonder if this is one reason for some feminists’ antipathy towards trans women - while cis feminists are challenging stereotypes about women, trans women may be trying to embrace and embody these stereotypes, simply to prevent people questioning their status as a female.

    I have heard the critique that trans people exhibit conservative gender traits. I've no idea if it's true, and it would require some serious enquiry to test it. Of course, there are tons of anecdotes. Also, does it matter?
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    part of it is gatekeeping. "You can't say that because your are not X" and "You would say that because your are X"

    You say that as if such "gatekeeping" is a bad thing. As if someone's words should be judged on their merit regardless of who utters them.
    Part of the threat that norms feel from those seen as other is the human fear of the unknown.

    Are you a "norm" speaking from your experience of what you feel ?

    Or are you expressing the view that anyone who disagrees with you must be acting from irrational fear ?
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    It doesn’t matter to me, but maybe matters to them.
  • fineline wrote: »
    It doesn’t matter to me, but maybe matters to them.

    I keep translating it to men, I don't care if trans males want to pump iron and play heavy metal, or if they want to do anything legal. I suppose there is a caricature that trans women wear high heels, push-up bras, and short skirts. Very unlikely. Jan Morris was a kind of respectable middle-aged lady, wasn't she?
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I was thinking more in terms of when a person is transitioning, they may feel very conscious that they don’t yet look like the gender they identify with, and may be subject to people mocking or otherwise undermining them, and so may try to overcompensate by adopting common stereotypes of what it means to be feminine or masculine. I don’t know if this is the case - I am speculating, and also thinking of a few trans women I have encountered - but I could certainly understand it if this did happen. And hopefully over time the person would feel more comfortable, less need to prove themselves, and so the stereotypes might relax.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2018
    I remember a tremendous article by a trans woman that I wish I could find now. I will paraphrase but pardon any small errors I will inevitably make since it's been months, probably years. She talked about how she tended to dress very femme because otherwise people--close to her and strangers--tended to question whether she was really a woman. Generally dressing very femme was her natural style but like anyone else she liked to vary her style sometimes. In addition, the whole process of having had to wear the clothes and live as a woman for a year before she could "officially" transition left her feeling she had to perform femme all the time. She mentioned getting ready to go to the gym. As she got ready she weighed whether she could wear a tank top or a baseball shirt or would that be too gender neutral and get her in trouble. She ended up not going to the gym.
  • PeppermintTeaPeppermintTea Shipmate Posts: 5
    The most important thing I want to say is that there have been statements here that transgender children are at a high risk of suicide if not affirmed in their chosen gender and put through an early medical transition. This is not true. The comments don’t reference the research they refer to but the study which has been widely quoted as the source has been discredited and misinterpreted.

    For a detailed look at this see https://transgendertrend.com/?s=suicide There is also a good deal of other information here which may be helpful to people dealing with young people wishing to transition. For example on the use of puberty blockers.

    So far the evidence shows that the vast majority of children not given puberty blocks de-transition after puberty, becoming either lesbian, gay or heterosexual. This figure reduces considerably for those given puberty blockers.

    There are significant differences between the US and the UK in the law and access to medical solutions for children and adults suffering from gender dysphoria. In the US it is much easier for children to obtain irreversible surgery at an age when they are too young to vote or marry, or leave school.

    Also, the terms gender and sex are often conflated which leads to a lot of confusion. Gender is the cultural, behavioural and societal norms and expectations attributed to males and females. Sex is biology. Physical bodies and chromosones. Gender presentation can be changed. Sex can’t, even with surgery to make the body look more like the other sex.

    This is the problem with the mantra ‘transwomen are women’. They are not. Neither are transmen men. However, in all this the transmen’s voices are not being heard.
    wonder if this is one reason for some feminists’ antipathy towards trans women

    Women do not (in my experience) have an antipathy towards transgender men or women. The concern is that the proposal (which is being implemented by many organisations in the UK in advance of any change in legislation) that anyone should be able to self-identify as the opposite sex without any form of medical counsel or expectation that they should change their appearance, has important ramifications for women in terms of their safety, privacy, dignity and sex based privileges.

    “Transgender organisations, like Stonewall and others, claim that being transgender isn’t about having gender dysphoria, the process doesn’t need to be medicalised and therefore they don’t need doctors as gatekeepers to the process. Instead they want a self-declaration process allowing anyone to change the sex on their birth certificate to match their gender identity. They want it to be possible for anyone to be able to choose for themselves what their legal sex class is. They want it to be possible to change your birth certificate on demand.” From Fair Play for Women

    Most people assume that a transgender person has had hormone treatment and surgery. This is not the case even under the current legislation. The majority of transwomen ( natal males presenting as female) retain their male genitals.

    The outworkings of the proposal for self-id as has happened so far is that any man can access any women’s space without being questioned. Even if they present as a man. This is a huge societal change. The current legislation and practice regarding gender reassignment has worked because women have felt able to challenge male intrusions into their private spaces. This is becoming no longer the case.

    This is a major safeguarding issue as we have learned over the years that abusive predatory men will go to any lengths to get access to their victims. This is not transphobia. This is observed reality over many safeguarding scandals.

    The guidance that is being given out by the organisations that are pro self-id is that if a transgender male of whatever age wants to be a woman then they have the right to access women’s protected spaces. In the case of children, the parents are not to be told that a boy will be changing with the girls, or sleeping in the same dormitory on a trip. It is up to the girls to object and then the girl must be found alternative accommodation.

    It is not being transphobic to wonder if this is a way of proceeding that best preserves the safety, dignity and privacy of women and girls.

    There are other implications. Crimes committed by men are being reported and recorded as being committed by women if the man says he is a woman. There are cases in the UK where men committed of violent crimes against women are applying to transition to being a woman and be transferred to a female prison.

    There are implications too for women’s ability to have single-sex hospital accomodation, or to request a female medical professional for intimate procedures. Again, there has been at least one case where a woman requested a female nurse and was presented with a male who has self-identified as a woman.

    Men and boys are now competing in women’s sports and obviously winning. Their times etc will be recorded as women's time and no woman will be able to compete against these.

    Transwomen are taking up women’s places in other areas, politics for example.

    To see the full details of the current UK law and the concerns that women have see https://fairplayforwomen.com

    In the UK all this was proposed and about to become policy without any debate or consultation with women. There has been a demand for a debate and for a proper impact assessment on the potential consequences for women and girls. This seems reasonable to me.

    This is not transphobia. This is a request for a debate. Sex is a protected characteristic in the UK Equality Act, as is gender reassignment. Both groups have rights but one group’s rights should not be allowed to remove another’s.

    Women in the UK have been meeting to discuss all this. The trans-activists have made threats to the owners of the meeting venues, tried to get the meetings closed down, mobbed women attending trying to prevent them entering the meeting. You can read and hear the talks here [url=https://womansplaceuk.org [/url] Stating these recorded facts is not transphobia.

    There are increasing numbers of transsexual people saying that the proposals are not what they want and they are concerned about a backlash.

    “The rights, benefits and protections given to individuals or groups by a society should be fair and consistent. Taking everyone into account and weighing up the fairest thing to do all round is how equality law works. Our expectations of being given special rights from society is sometimes reasonable. Sometimes however it is not. This applies to everyone in society.” https://fairplayforwomen.com

    Finally, there was a comment early on about lesbians and gays being transphobic. This is not the case. Trans people were welcomed into the LGB Communities. But lesbians do not want to have sex with men, even if the man says he is woman. Gay men do not want to have sex with a woman, even if she says he is a man. There is a lot of pressure by transwomen on lesbians to have sex with them. Refusing to have sex with someone is not transphobia.


  • DoublethinkDoublethink Purgatory Host, Acting Admin
    It is not possible for there to be a biological basis to transgender experience, because gender is not a biological attribute. I think hunting for this is a massive red herring.

    That is not to say that the interaction of someone's mind with societal expectations can not create a real and important conflict. Just that it's causation is different. A shift that seems to be happening is from gender being a form of non-verbal social communication, to it being primarily a form of social expression.

    Most gender expression in society tells you a raft of information about a person, including its subtle variations like camp masculinity, it tells you what kind of partner this person maybe interested in, what kind of social roles they might choose to occupy, what leisure interests they may happen to have and what secondary sexual characteristics they probably have, and the likelihood they are able to be pregnant.

    If a gender presentation tells you absolutely non of these things without have to communicate verbally (as in asking what pronouns to use because you can not tell from personal presentation) then that gender presentation is not doing the same social work as gender has done in most societies to date.

    It maybe that the social function of gender is becoming redundant, it maybe that something will evolve to take its place but it is not the same social construct if it doesn't do the same social work.

    I'd also note, that seems to be a tension between some folks desire to be accepted as a man, woman, or non-binary person with qualification - and the concept of 'erasure', some folks wish to avoid losing the queer identity.
  • GrayfaceGrayface Shipmate
    As I said, I've been following this thread with interest.

    I haven't seen any other trans women pop up so I guess you're still all talking about me and my siblings (Ruth got it early on, and polite nod to fineline) but some of you have trans family members so it's not entirely a talk-about-the-other-fest. I have a couple of thoughts to throw into the mix.

    1. It's fascinating to watch how Shipmates you've known for many years sort themselves into allies, haters and dupes (there are no other categories). There are some surprises.

    2. The dupes, as always, are concerned with abstract concepts. Not with our lives. Trans people attempt suicide at a rate of something like 45% - I tried twice - and the overwhelming testimony of trans people is both that this is down to societal hatred and that it's addressed to an extent by transition. I'm not going to quote the studies, although I could. Do your own research

    3. Greer. Greer has been an absolute bane of trans people. Her definition of woman is biological essentialism but none of that is really relevant - the real question is, do you think cis women are disadvantaged in comparison to trans women? If so, frankly you're insane and I wish you were in our shoes (that should be in the biblical curse generator, for those who remember that)

    4. I am in the centre ring. I might leave the Ship again if it wants to be an outer ring. I've tried to catch up on the thread, following long-established Ship etiquette but I've reached my limit. I apologise if I've missed a key post in which the haters and the dupes see the light and decide they'd rather keep us alive than defend whatever it is you think you're defending.
  • Going back to Shubenakadie's phrase, a biologically male person who is actually female, I thought that gender has been described in non-biological terms for a long time.

    The way I think I've always understood it (which of course may not be the same as the way other people understand it) is that gender is about the social, cultural, etc. aspects of being male or female, with the underlying fact of maleness/femaleness depending on biology (remembering of course that there are some people who are biologically intersex). We don't want to go back to the bad old days of 'you're not a real man if you prefer sewing to football'.

  • IkkyuIkkyu Shipmate Posts: 19
    My son attempted suicide last year. Fortunately it did not cause any permanent damage. I have heard similar stories from other families we know. To me these are real children not statistics. A young man I know who was fully supported before and during transition is doing great in college as we speak. I wish you could all meet him and others like him that had the opportunity to be fully supported during transition. I feel for Grayface, it must be very hard for her to read this thread. I know its been hard for me. I was happy to hear from the allies. For the others, please remember you are talking about real people. When you find yourself writing something that sounds like "I am not a racist but:" many times in one post that should have been a clue.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Purgatory Host, Acting Admin
    edited July 2018
    Current UK problem, I think, is that there are too few services and they are too far away. Waiting list times are ridiculous, though they are easier to access than they were - as in folk can self-refer and you don't need individual ccg approvals to go out of area any more.

    Arguably having less centres to provide for something that is low frequency means a concentration of expertise and better quality care at the service once you get there - but distance is a real problem, especially for folk on benefits. And capacity is just not enough to meet demand at the moment.
  • The person I know was sectioned quite a few times, initially for anorexia as a desperate attempt to avoid puberty and menstruation. This was not seen as following a pattern until quite late on, when a psych looked at the history and said this is typical gender dysphoria and why is what this young person saying being ignored? why haven't they been referred for psych support?
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    We don't want to go back to the bad old days of 'you're not a real man if you prefer sewing to football'.

    Personally, I'm fond of a good quiche....
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    Grayface wrote: »
    I am in the centre ring. I might leave the Ship again if it wants to be an outer ring.

    This is Purg, if you're looking here for uncritical support; you're looking in the wrong place.

    But nobody here has expressed hate towards trans people.
    I apologise if I've missed a key post in which the haters and the dupes see the light and decide they'd rather keep us alive than defend whatever it is you think you're defending.

    If you've no idea what people are defending, maybe you're reading with the aim of classifying people as pro or anti your point of view, rather than reading for understanding of where people are coming from ?

    Seems to me pretty clear that No Prophet, for example, is trying to do the right thing by all his relatives - the parents as well as the children.

    Nobody here is wishing you ill. I'd say that our hopes and prayers for you are that you pass successfully through the crisis. Complete your transition and find life as a woman everything you wanted it to be. But, as you know, there's no general agreement here on the subject of prayers, any more than on any thing else...

    The choice is yours - stay or go as you please. I hope you stay. But nobody here will be manipulated into changing their mind by threats to leave if you don't get the affirmation you're looking for. Although maybe you didn't mean it that way...
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Russ wrote: »

    But nobody here has expressed hate towards trans people.
    Not hate, but a lot less understanding that might be and not as much listening as should be either.

  • fineline wrote: »
    I wonder if this is one reason for some feminists’ antipathy towards trans women - while cis feminists are challenging stereotypes about women, trans women may be trying to embrace and embody these stereotypes, simply too prevent people questioning their status as a female.

    Interesting

    Personally I find the experience of both trans women and trans men quite helpful to the feminist cause. Because most have experience living life in both genders, they are able to validate ciswomen's voices about ways we find ourselves marginalized by society

  • Grayface wrote: »
    As I said, I've been following this thread with interest.

    I haven't seen any other trans women pop up so I guess you're still all talking about me and my siblings...

    4. I am in the centre ring. I might leave the Ship again if it wants to be an outer ring.


    Can you explain more about what you would find intolerable with the Ship being an "outer ring" (place of support)? I can guess, but I'd rather hear from you

  • MelisandeMelisande Shipmate Posts: 13
    My son is transgender. He is 16. He came out to his family two years ago, and had been out to certain friends for a year before that. It does seem strange to trust someone who can't reliably do his own laundry in this, but it is absolutely necessary. He would not choose to experience what he has because it is trendy.
  • There's only allies,
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Russ wrote: »

    But nobody here has expressed hate towards trans people.
    Not hate, but a lot less understanding that might be and not as much listening as should be either.
    Understanding has 2 meanings re this I think. Understanding as to what points are being made, and understanding as agreeing with the point or feelings being expressed.

    I came looking for understanding in the points made definition. I've learned some things. Mainly that this is complicated. But also that any literature and data is complicated by advocacy. Not in any position to involve myself in the advocacy side. Not until, first my relative's family gets things sorted. Second, that there's some decent data.

    In this thread, I've been getting info about what is known and what isn't. I haven't been responding to individual stories and testimonials. I'm not unmoved but can't afford to take on the considerations of others' situations.

    I see there seems needs to be a support thread for transgender and supporters. Someone should start it off if agreeing. I'm none of: hater, dupe, and I am ally of suffering, but not without questions, and unable to ignore that someone's unique story doesn't help me understand other than their phenomenology. Which I am focused on another much closer to me.

    I am working on this, posted by Double Think:
    It is not possible for there to be a biological basis to transgender experience, because gender is not a biological attribute. I think hunting for this is a massive red herring.
  • PeppermintTeaPeppermintTea Shipmate Posts: 5
    @NOprophet_NØprofit
    There is a support forum for parents and others with a gender dysphoric child.

    https://gendercriticalresources.com/Support/showthread.php?tid=217

    “The Gender Critical Support Board is run for parents and families by parents and families who share the experience of coping with a child, teenager or young adult who believes she or he is transgender.

    We are critical of the phenomenon of transgender youth growing at epidemic rates.

    The forum provides support for parents and families who would like a thoughtful and cautious approach to intervention for their gender dysphoric child. ”
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Would I be right in thinking that whereas much heat is generated regarding the status of trans women that is not the case regarding trans men? Whereas ciswomen are deeply divided on the issue regarding trans women, cismen seem hardly bothered either way regarding trans men.
    If so, I wonder why that is the case?
  • Yes, I think about this a lot. Is it partly that the tomboy has been accepted for a long time? Also, the idea of women wearing men's clothes seems less transgressive. But does this point to a taboo on men seeming feminine or even female, or that it is a threat to the system of gender in many cultures? I don't know whether the presence of the 'third sex' in some cultures, e.g. the fa'afafine of Polynesia, changes this. Anthropologists, speak up.
  • I would be careful of some 'support groups', some of them are not.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Purgatory Host, Acting Admin
    Yes, I think about this a lot. Is it partly that the tomboy has been accepted for a long time? Also, the idea of women wearing men's clothes seems less transgressive. But does this point to a taboo on men seeming feminine or even female, or that it is a threat to the system of gender in many cultures? I don't know whether the presence of the 'third sex' in some cultures, e.g. the fa'afafine of Polynesia, changes this. Anthropologists, speak up.

    I am not sure it is true that they are not subject to hostility - I think there are less of them and they are at serious risk of violence if they don't 'pass', or if they are read as effeminate males they may be on the receiving end of homophobic violence.

    (Its just that there isn't really a male equivalent of the feminist movement because the haven't need them -MRA is not about equality.)
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