Transgender

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  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I don’t know how the two compare, as I’ve not known any trans women well enough for them to talk about their experiences with me, but have known a couple of trans men well enough to have such conversations with and learn about their experiences, and they did talk about experiencing quite a bit of hostility and prejudice, at work, for instance. Not violence, but more subtle stuff. It is not easy for them.
  • Some reports of 70% FTM, as opposed to MTF in schools. But how accurate this is, don't know.
  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    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?

    I suspect that probably is the case for 3 reasons:

    1. trans women are far more common than trans men. As such they are going to make a bigger impact;

    2. trans women are more obviously "trans". It is very difficult to hide an Adams Apple, rippling muscles and a deep voice. Trans men can blend in more;

    3. As a consequence of 2 trans women are more intimidating. Very few men are likely to feel intimidated by a trans man whereas many women will feel intimidated by a transwoman.

    I once knew a trans woman who was in every sense the stereotype of the "cockney geezer". He was basically Delboy in a dress. He barely let his "lesbian" female partner get a word in and it was very clear that he/she dominated their partner. He/she would tell me about the thousands of pounds successfully claimed against various organisation who had mistakenly mislabelled his/her gender. I'm sure that this anecdote is not typical and this individual was the exception and not the rule but it is certainly a more masculine trait to take risks and break the rules (read Huckleberry Finn, Don Quixote, Tom Jones- a foundling, the Count of Monte Cristo, Any Greek history, etc) and that can be intimidating when the individual is pretending to not have those traits.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I dunno, in my experience, trans women are not always more obvious. Maybe just the obvious ones stand out to us, and we are likely to be oblivious to the less obvious ones, unless they tell us, which in most cases they’d have no reason to. Depends on all sorts of things, like height, build, body building experience, and age of transition. Younger transitions do tend to be a much smoother transition in general, from what I understand, though older ones can be smooth too.

    Years ago, when I was studying, one of the older lecturers transitioned, male to female - it was much less common back them, and I remember people being curious to see what this lecturer looked like as a woman, and then being surprised that she simply looked like an ordinary older woman. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to tell if I’d met her without knowing. And women’s voices after menopause tend to get deeper anyway.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Makepeace wrote: »

    I once knew a trans woman who was in every sense the stereotype of the "cockney geezer". He was basically Delboy in a dress.

    *She.

    Not he. Not he/she.

    A trans woman is she.
  • The 'he' is a giveaway.
  • Have we had, "a trans woman is not a woman", yet? Transphobia bingo.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Grayface wrote: »
    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.

    Grayface, I want to say something to you, because I know for myself it is uncomfortable and difficult when I am the only person who represents what is being discussed, and when people are discussing something very real and personal to me in an abstract, impersonal way. I don’t really know what to say, and I often find navigating the Ship quite odd and difficult, but I just wanted to acknowledge your post somehow, because it feels no one has acknowledged it directly in a human-to-human way (I don’t think people do this in Purgatory). I wish you weren’t the only trans woman posting here, because it is lonely for you and because we are fumbling trying to understand. I hope you don’t leave.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2018
    Most parents would listen and help plan if their teenager expressed an intense achievable career desire, particularly if it were a practical and reasonable career choice. Well, the metaphor is flawed since being trans isn't a choice, but I find it bizarre that so many people would trust their teen to have some ideas about their career but not about their own damn gender.

    On a different note, when people find transwomen intimidating, I tend to suspect that generally toxic masculinity is at fault. The idea that someone "could have been a man*" and "chose" to be a woman is very upsetting to some people. As with many things, I don't think we are going to acknowledge and face our society's issues with people who are trans until we acknowledge and face our issues with gender in general. If we could handle that some boys/men like pink/makeup/dolls, maybe we would be better at handling the fact that some girls have penises.

    *Not the way it works, I know, but the way I think it is percieved by the intimidated person.
  • Yes, Grayface, thank you for your post, such a relief to get away from the transphobic nonsense. Your point about theory as against people struck me, as I worked as a therapist for a long time, and slowly realized how much more real it is to be with someone, as opposed to being in my head. I think you have a lot of allies, the others can fuck themselves with rusty farm implements, I hope that's accurate.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    I dunno, in my experience, trans women are not always more obvious. Maybe just the obvious ones stand out to us, and we are likely to be oblivious to the less obvious ones, unless they tell us, which in most cases they’d have no reason to.
    Pretty much. How often are we going to know we didn't notice? Things that stand out will have a greater prominence in our perception than they represent in real life. People who do not fit the norms of a society will always stand out. What we need to change is the rigidity of those standards, not judge those who do not meet them.
  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »

    I once knew a trans woman who was in every sense the stereotype of the "cockney geezer". He was basically Delboy in a dress.

    *She.

    Not he. Not he/she.

    A trans woman is she.

    I identify as an objective linguist. Objectively I was confused as to whether or not this person was a woman or a man. On the one hand he/she wore a dress but on the other hand he/she spoke like a man and bullied his/her female partner. Objectively I would lean more towards the 'he' than the 'she' but to say he-2 v she-1 would sound overly formulaic. I appreciate that my somewhat blunt manner may come across machismo but hey I can't pretend I'm someone I'm not. No less than I can accept that I am is someone that he's not.
  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    I dunno, in my experience, trans women are not always more obvious. Maybe just the obvious ones stand out to us, and we are likely to be oblivious to the less obvious ones, unless they tell us, which in most cases they’d have no reason to.
    Pretty much. How often are we going to know we didn't notice? Things that stand out will have a greater prominence in our perception than they represent in real life. People who do not fit the norms of a society will always stand out. What we need to change is the rigidity of those standards, not judge those who do not meet them.

    Well put it this way I can cite numerous examples of trans women that I've met. I'm not aware of having met one trans man. May be I live in an locality that is over populated with trans women but given that trans women outnumber trans men by 3 to 1 statistically my experience is perhaps not unsurprising. I guess its a masculine trait to take as big a risk as attempting to change gender.
  • Yes, Grayface, thank you for your post, such a relief to get away from the transphobic nonsense. Your point about theory as against people struck me, as I worked as a therapist for a long time, and slowly realized how much more real it is to be with someone, as opposed to being in my head. I think you have a lot of allies, the others can fuck themselves with rusty farm implements, I hope that's accurate.

    Would you have said things like this to distraught parents who have been dealing with a troubled child for years, then from no where announced a trans decision? Or would you have explored the personal and social influences that might be present, determining with the young person in the collaborative therapeutic context what is going on. Would you tell the parents something about their trans phobia? I'm asking the general case, perhaps of you were describing to an interested group such as this one.

    To re-raise the parallel, not completely apt, but I think useful, a child of divorce brought to a therapist's office who says they wish to live permanently with that parent may say in the presence of the other parent they also wish to live with them. They call it a loyalty conflict. - what I'm raising is about children and also adult aged people who are not social nor psychological adults (not independent living people still in teens perhaps still at school).
  • Sorry, np, I haven't a clue what you're talking about.
  • Makepeace wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »

    I once knew a trans woman who was in every sense the stereotype of the "cockney geezer". He was basically Delboy in a dress.

    *She.

    Not he. Not he/she.

    A trans woman is she.

    I identify as an objective linguist. Objectively I was confused as to whether or not this person was a woman or a man. On the one hand he/she wore a dress but on the other hand he/she spoke like a man and bullied his/her female partner. Objectively I would lean more towards the 'he' than the 'she' but to say he-2 v she-1 would sound overly formulaic. I appreciate that my somewhat blunt manner may come across machismo but hey I can't pretend I'm someone I'm not. No less than I can accept that I am is someone that he's not.

    That last bit sounded quite a bit snarky and not at all true. More false equivalence.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Makepeace wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »

    I once knew a trans woman who was in every sense the stereotype of the "cockney geezer". He was basically Delboy in a dress.

    *She.

    Not he. Not he/she.

    A trans woman is she.

    I identify as an objective linguist. Objectively I was confused as to whether or not this person was a woman or a man. On the one hand he/she wore a dress but on the other hand he/she spoke like a man and bullied his/her female partner. Objectively I would lean more towards the 'he' than the 'she' but to say he-2 v she-1 would sound overly formulaic. I appreciate that my somewhat blunt manner may come across machismo but hey I can't pretend I'm someone I'm not. No less than I can accept that I am is someone that he's not.

    I’m a linguist too. You had in your post identified this person as a trans woman, which, as has been discussed in great detail in this thread, is a woman in a man’s body. Not so confusing. I’m not sure the relevance of how she talked or the fact that she bullied her partner. As has also been discussed, there is great variety in the way men and women talk, and not all conform to stereotypes. And bullying certainly isn’t confined to men.

  • PeppermintTeaPeppermintTea Shipmate Posts: 5
    Some reports of 70% FTM, as opposed to MTF in schools. But how accurate this is, don't know.

    I don't know the exact figure but there has certainly been a large increase in the numbers of young girls want to transition. They far outnumber boys I think. The reasons for this are not clear.

    There is speculation that there is social contagion. I wonder why, after several decades of apparent 'equal opportunity' so many young girls dislike the thought of womanhood so much. Is it to do with the sexualisation of girls at a very young age, the insistence on perfect makeup, perfect figure and so on.

    When my grandaughter was born I was quite shocked to discover how gendered all the clothing and toys were for boys and girls. What happened to letting children dress and play however they liked? How can wanting to play with the 'wrong gender' toys as a child be a marker for gender dysphoria?

    I don't believe people are born in the wrong body. They are all fine just as they are and should be allowed to grow up and find their own way as adults. A very few will want to make a more permanent transition.

    I am very concerned at the pressure that seems to be put on parents to medically and surgically transition a child. Why can't we just confirm masculine girls and feminine boys as fine just the way they are?

    Around 80% of children and teenagers if left to themselves will grow out of gender dysphoria. Most will become lesbian or gay.


  • But I think that that 80% figure includes different kinds of individuals, including kids who never aimed to reverse gender. It's a confusing stat., as most of the kids had never claimed a trans identity, but were gender non-conforming. This is a very wide spectrum, so it's inaccurate to claim that they were all trans.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    I think this thread is likely to end in frustration all around.

    Trans people and their families are likely to feel not heard - worse, specifically excluded - since their experiences and perspectives will be dismissed as too personal and anecdata. This leaves the field clear for transphobes to promote loony theories and sketchy websites and blogs in support of their point of view.

    no prophet, it sounds like your young relative - the person in the centre ring - is likely to find it most supportive if you honour their perceived gender and name. The people in the second circle, the parents, would likely find it most supportive if you just listen to their story without trying to offer expertise that you don't have, and are unlikely to get from the internet.

    Maybe a better analogy in this instance would be a complicated health care case involving vaccination. The parents of this person are not sure whether or not to vaccinate. The person most involved is an adult who can technically make that choice for themselves, but possibly has some other impairment in their decision-making abilities. Overwhelming medical evidence for the majority of the population indicates that vaccination is probably the right thing to do. BUT - on the off chance that your young relative is that exceptionally rare case where it's contraindicated - you should encourage the family to listen to expert advice and follow it. The more you try to find online support for an anti-vax position, the farther afield into wackadoo territory you're going to get, and that's helpful for no one.

  • Yes, you are right, Leaf. Threads like this don't end well often. It seems hard to find any kind of bridge between polar opposite views. One interesting aspect of this is that sex/gender has often involved polarities, apparently, most obviously male/female and masculinity/femininity. But if these begin to melt or blur, this is found to be very threatening by some, and then battle lines are drawn. I suppose eventually the smoke clears, and normal conversation resumes.
  • Sorry, np, I haven't a clue what you're talking about.

    You have mentioned that you are/were a counsellor/psychotherapist. I had wondered if your approach here and there would differ. You don't have to answer.

    There is therapeutic confrontation I think: where challenges to perceptions, thoughts, feelings and manner of relating to others in the context of history are all grist for the mill. With therapy being an environment where usual every day responses from most people may be replaced with helpful uncertainty. But I don't know what sort of therapy you provide(d). Again you don't have to respond.
  • Yes, there can be confrontation in therapy, but also lots of gentleness, and in fact, passivity by the therapist. But this depends on the relationship between the two people, and the style of therapy. It's a very wide spectrum.
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    Kwesi wrote: »
    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?

    Maybe it relates to the idea that sexual intercourse is something men do to women, that the male of the species is something of a sexual predator.

    (If you think that metaphor an inadequate description of normal human sexual experience, I'd tend to agree. But isn't there a grain of truth in there ?)

    A sheep in wolf's clothing may be a danger to itself; a wolf in sheep's clothing is a threat to others.

  • The current heat about transgender M-F seems to be mostly around some legal changes and the concerns that predatory men will abuse the new law, using self-declaration to access women in traditionally women only spaces. There was a discussion about this on the BBC R4 Today programme this morning and an example given was of a 'woman with a penis' using a women's refuge or changing rooms.

    There are practical considerations too, transgender Guides have to sleep in separate tents, not with Girl Guides, if away on camp. (Adult leaders and young leaders also have to be accommodated separately.)
  • I don't know how much of this is for real, and how much is transphobic trash talk. In the US, the bathroom panics often seem to be spread by the homophobes and transphobes, who cover up their hostility with 'concern' for women.
  • CallanCallan Shipmate
    Yes, Grayface, thank you for your post, such a relief to get away from the transphobic nonsense. Your point about theory as against people struck me, as I worked as a therapist for a long time, and slowly realized how much more real it is to be with someone, as opposed to being in my head. I think you have a lot of allies, the others can fuck themselves with rusty farm implements, I hope that's accurate.

    Would you have said things like this to distraught parents who have been dealing with a troubled child for years, then from no where announced a trans decision? Or would you have explored the personal and social influences that might be present, determining with the young person in the collaborative therapeutic context what is going on. Would you tell the parents something about their trans phobia? I'm asking the general case, perhaps of you were describing to an interested group such as this one.

    To re-raise the parallel, not completely apt, but I think useful, a child of divorce brought to a therapist's office who says they wish to live permanently with that parent may say in the presence of the other parent they also wish to live with them. They call it a loyalty conflict. - what I'm raising is about children and also adult aged people who are not social nor psychological adults (not independent living people still in teens perhaps still at school).

    I think the thing is that whilst it may come "from nowhere" to an outsider, I don't think it does come from nowhere to the person who makes the decision. I've had various friends 'come out' as gay over the years and in a lot of cases I had no clue until they made the announcement. But it doesn't follow that the matter came to them in the manner of St. Paul's experience on the Damascus Road. The same is going to be true of people who self-identify as trans. It might be news to you, or to the parents, or to their friends when the tidings are imparted but the odds are they have given a decision of that moment more than five minutes thought.

    I don't think the analogy with divorcing parents holds. A child in that circumstance is going to perceive a divided duty, assuming one of the parents wasn't a complete pill or otherwise unsuitable as the custodian of the child. But no such dilemma presents itself to someone who begins to self-identify as trans.

  • The new proposals to ban gay conversion, (UK), should be a warning to the trans world, not that they need one. I've some experience of the gay version, and it is toxic, and potentially a killer, and often laden with dubious religious homilies. I don't think there is exactly a trans conversion therapy, but some methods seem to get close.
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    I don't think there is exactly a trans conversion therapy, but some methods seem to get close.

    That seems to me to get close to the heart of the matter.

    Can we all recognise that gender dysphoria exists ? That a small minority of people have an idea of the gender of their mind which doesn't match the visible gender of their body ?

    And the philosophical question is whether that idea can possibly be wrong, like a map that doesn't accurately represent the territory.

    Or whether a deep-enough conviction is necessarily the reality to which everything else should be conformed.
  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »

    I once knew a trans woman who was in every sense the stereotype of the "cockney geezer". He was basically Delboy in a dress.

    *She.

    Not he. Not he/she.

    A trans woman is she.

    I identify as an objective linguist. Objectively I was confused as to whether or not this person was a woman or a man. On the one hand he/she wore a dress but on the other hand he/she spoke like a man and bullied his/her female partner. Objectively I would lean more towards the 'he' than the 'she' but to say he-2 v she-1 would sound overly formulaic. I appreciate that my somewhat blunt manner may come across machismo but hey I can't pretend I'm someone I'm not. No less than I can accept that I am is someone that he's not.

    I’m a linguist too. You had in your post identified this person as a trans woman, which, as has been discussed in great detail in this thread, is a woman in a man’s body. Not so confusing. I’m not sure the relevance of how she talked or the fact that she bullied her partner. As has also been discussed, there is great variety in the way men and women talk, and not all conform to stereotypes. And bullying certainly isn’t confined to men.

    But you see its this use of language issue that is my biggest issue with the whole thing. I have no desire to bully transgender people but I do object to being told how to use or not use my own words. My understanding is that we are pre-disposed to speak before we learn any particular language. As such we are hardwired to develop language but the particular words we use are culturally determined. As every single culture in the world makes a distinction between male and female it is reasonable to suppose that we are hard wired to make this distinction. Indeed every human being in the world has one mother and one father. It thus makes sense that the concept of gender would be 'hard wired'. It seems to me then that when people say the binary view of gender is cultural they are incorrect and thus that it is unreasonable to expect people to change their language to accommodate this view. Whilst I appreciate that there are people who have the misfortune to suffer from gender confusion and that I might be expected to accommodate this in certain circumstances I don't believe that this accommodation should extend to the words that I choose to use in respect of something as fundamental as gender. I guess I see it as equivalent to a child being told off for describing a whale as a fish. The child might technically be incorrect but is so accustomed to relying on schema that it would be unreasonable to admonish them for the mistake. Trying to force them to reject such schema would be equivalent to trying to make them something they are not. If there is one thing that transgender activists seem to emphasise it is authenticity but would it not be inauthentic of me to not utilise the schema that is inherent to my nature?
  • Makepeace wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »

    I once knew a trans woman who was in every sense the stereotype of the "cockney geezer". He was basically Delboy in a dress.

    *She.

    Not he. Not he/she.

    A trans woman is she.

    I identify as an objective linguist. Objectively I was confused as to whether or not this person was a woman or a man. On the one hand he/she wore a dress but on the other hand he/she spoke like a man and bullied his/her female partner. Objectively I would lean more towards the 'he' than the 'she' but to say he-2 v she-1 would sound overly formulaic. I appreciate that my somewhat blunt manner may come across machismo but hey I can't pretend I'm someone I'm not. No less than I can accept that I am is someone that he's not.

    I’m a linguist too. You had in your post identified this person as a trans woman, which, as has been discussed in great detail in this thread, is a woman in a man’s body. Not so confusing. I’m not sure the relevance of how she talked or the fact that she bullied her partner. As has also been discussed, there is great variety in the way men and women talk, and not all conform to stereotypes. And bullying certainly isn’t confined to men.

    But you see its this use of language issue that is my biggest issue with the whole thing. I have no desire to bully transgender people but I do object to being told how to use or not use my own words. My understanding is that we are pre-disposed to speak before we learn any particular language. As such we are hardwired to develop language but the particular words we use are culturally determined. As every single culture in the world makes a distinction between male and female it is reasonable to suppose that we are hard wired to make this distinction. Indeed every human being in the world has one mother and one father. It thus makes sense that the concept of gender would be 'hard wired'. It seems to me then that when people say the binary view of gender is cultural they are incorrect and thus that it is unreasonable to expect people to change their language to accommodate this view. Whilst I appreciate that there are people who have the misfortune to suffer from gender confusion and that I might be expected to accommodate this in certain circumstances I don't believe that this accommodation should extend to the words that I choose to use in respect of something as fundamental as gender. I guess I see it as equivalent to a child being told off for describing a whale as a fish. The child might technically be incorrect but is so accustomed to relying on schema that it would be unreasonable to admonish them for the mistake. Trying to force them to reject such schema would be equivalent to trying to make them something they are not. If there is one thing that transgender activists seem to emphasise it is authenticity but would it not be inauthentic of me to not utilise the schema that is inherent to my nature?

    Your own example seems to prove the point, since we DO correct a child who calls a whale a fish, and explain the reasons why. We would of course not scold a child who made such an innocent error, so we don't need to scold someone who innocently misgenders. BUT if the child stubbornly insisted on calling a whale a fish even after being corrected and the difference explained, we might get frustrated. We'd expect the child to learn. Given that in this case misgendering carries real harm, we have every reason to expect people to learn from their misgendering errors

    This post seems a good example of what I was talking about earlier-- an unwillingness to suffer the relatively slight discomfort of having to retrain your language to benefit someone else who is experiencing far greater discomfort. It appears to me to at root be a simple matter of pure selfishness

  • Russ wrote: »
    I don't think there is exactly a trans conversion therapy, but some methods seem to get close.

    That seems to me to get close to the heart of the matter.

    Can we all recognise that gender dysphoria exists ? That a small minority of people have an idea of the gender of their mind which doesn't match the visible gender of their body ?

    And the philosophical question is whether that idea can possibly be wrong, like a map that doesn't accurately represent the territory.

    Or whether a deep-enough conviction is necessarily the reality to which everything else should be conformed.

    Well, conversion therapy involves telling someone that they're wrong. With kids and teens it can involve saying, for example, to a trans boy, 'you are not a boy', not letting them play with the 'wrong' toys or wear the wrong clothes, and so on. I would say straight off, that this is unethical conduct, in relation to a professional. Secondly, as I said in relation to gay conversion, it strikes me as dangerous, as you are contradicting someone's sense of identity. This can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. I would not do this with a cisgender boy, so why with a trans boy? Because I am arrogant enough to say that I know better.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Makepeace wrote: »
    But you see its this use of language issue that is my biggest issue with the whole thing. I have no desire to bully transgender people but I do object to being told how to use or not use my own words.
    You are a linguist and have not grasped the concept that language is bi-directional. When we speak, the words are not yours or mine, but ours. And you are rejecting half of the conversation because you don't like it?
    My understanding is that we are pre-disposed to speak before we learn any particular language. As such we are hardwired to develop language but the particular words we use are culturally determined.
    A massive amount of what we do to survive in large societies goes against what we are hard-wired to do.
    As every single culture in the world makes a distinction between male and female it is reasonable to suppose that we are hard wired to make this distinction.
    This is not true. There are cultures that have more genders than two and those preceding modern physiological and psychological understandings.
    Indeed every human being in the world has one mother and one father.
    No longer true.
    Whilst I appreciate that there are people who have the misfortune to suffer from gender confusion and that I might be expected to accommodate this in certain circumstances I don't believe that this accommodation should extend to the words that I choose to use in respect of something as fundamental as gender.
    Gender confusion. That is typically the word used by those who would denigrated the concept of transgender. Why must you be accommodated?
    If there is one thing that transgender activists seem to emphasise it is authenticity but would it not be inauthentic of me to not utilise the schema that is inherent to my nature?
    Yeah. :rolleyes: If language were that strictly tied to our inherent nature, then it would neither be as diverse or mutable as it is. And you are again putting your mild discomfort over the very real and not so trivial concerns of others. Just like Jesus did.

  • Re trans, it might be unethical also to confirm instantly the statement of a child that they are the gender not matching their biological sex. At adult ages, and as pertains to psychological maturity, we begin to consider such statements as more seriously representing identity. But one can hardly suggest that comfirming day a 6 year old's wish to be of the opposite gender is worthy of lifetime confirmation unless demonstrated over time and through developmental stages. I'd expect a response along the lines of "you might be and let's see, these things sort themselves out as you grow up, and we'll keep talking about it". The professional who rapidly confirms or imposes their world view strikes me as not "respecting the dignity of persons", which is a guiding principle of Canadian ethics codes for various counselling professions.

    I see in the protocols that expressing the wish to change gender is basically supposed to prove it via a year or so of living (too short for pre-adoldescents). We're dealing with the uncritical confirmation of instead, a facilitating quickly before proper assessment, which is shocking.

    It's also difficult too understand confirmation of any sexual orientations until the end of the latency stage of development and start of adolescence. I fully expect all sorts of experiments re sexuality, and identity in childhood which signify almost nothing. There are no genetics about behaviour and social roles which aren't epigenetic and not influenced by the physical and human environment.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    My question, Russ, is whether definitions of phenomena are what are commonly and rationally agreed, or no more than the function of each individual's subjective feelings.
  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Makepeace wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »

    I once knew a trans woman who was in every sense the stereotype of the "cockney geezer". He was basically Delboy in a dress.

    *She.

    Not he. Not he/she.

    A trans woman is she.

    I identify as an objective linguist. Objectively I was confused as to whether or not this person was a woman or a man. On the one hand he/she wore a dress but on the other hand he/she spoke like a man and bullied his/her female partner. Objectively I would lean more towards the 'he' than the 'she' but to say he-2 v she-1 would sound overly formulaic. I appreciate that my somewhat blunt manner may come across machismo but hey I can't pretend I'm someone I'm not. No less than I can accept that I am is someone that he's not.

    I’m a linguist too. You had in your post identified this person as a trans woman, which, as has been discussed in great detail in this thread, is a woman in a man’s body. Not so confusing. I’m not sure the relevance of how she talked or the fact that she bullied her partner. As has also been discussed, there is great variety in the way men and women talk, and not all conform to stereotypes. And bullying certainly isn’t confined to men.

    But you see its this use of language issue that is my biggest issue with the whole thing. I have no desire to bully transgender people but I do object to being told how to use or not use my own words. My understanding is that we are pre-disposed to speak before we learn any particular language. As such we are hardwired to develop language but the particular words we use are culturally determined. As every single culture in the world makes a distinction between male and female it is reasonable to suppose that we are hard wired to make this distinction. Indeed every human being in the world has one mother and one father. It thus makes sense that the concept of gender would be 'hard wired'. It seems to me then that when people say the binary view of gender is cultural they are incorrect and thus that it is unreasonable to expect people to change their language to accommodate this view. Whilst I appreciate that there are people who have the misfortune to suffer from gender confusion and that I might be expected to accommodate this in certain circumstances I don't believe that this accommodation should extend to the words that I choose to use in respect of something as fundamental as gender. I guess I see it as equivalent to a child being told off for describing a whale as a fish. The child might technically be incorrect but is so accustomed to relying on schema that it would be unreasonable to admonish them for the mistake. Trying to force them to reject such schema would be equivalent to trying to make them something they are not. If there is one thing that transgender activists seem to emphasise it is authenticity but would it not be inauthentic of me to not utilise the schema that is inherent to my nature?

    Your own example seems to prove the point, since we DO correct a child who calls a whale a fish, and explain the reasons why. We would of course not scold a child who made such an innocent error, so we don't need to scold someone who innocently misgenders. BUT if the child stubbornly insisted on calling a whale a fish even after being corrected and the difference explained, we might get frustrated. We'd expect the child to learn. Given that in this case misgendering carries real harm, we have every reason to expect people to learn from their misgendering errors

    This post seems a good example of what I was talking about earlier-- an unwillingness to suffer the relatively slight discomfort of having to retrain your language to benefit someone else who is experiencing far greater discomfort. It appears to me to at root be a simple matter of pure selfishness

    But as I said above I see my language as part of who I am. If it is selfish for me to insist on being permitted to be myself then it must be equally selfish for someone else to insist on other people accommodating them. If it is such a simple thing for me to retrain my language why is not equally simple to expect a trans woman to refrain from using a toilet designated for women? In both cases you are asking the person to refrain from being the person that they perceive themselves to be. May be you are right though; perhaps it is selfish to not confirm to the expectations of others; but that would surely go both ways wouldn't it?
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Makepeace wrote: »
    But as I said above I see my language as part of who I am. If it is selfish for me to insist on being permitted to be myself then it must be equally selfish for someone else to insist on other people accommodating them.
    The other day I met someone called Betty. I mean, I called her Betty. She insisted her name was Liz, but that was really selfish of her to insist on me accommodating her by calling her by her name.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Your equating of your identity as a misgenderer with a trans person's sense of their own identity is only not laughable in the sense that it is objectionably offensive. Get over yourself.
  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »
    But as I said above I see my language as part of who I am. If it is selfish for me to insist on being permitted to be myself then it must be equally selfish for someone else to insist on other people accommodating them.
    The other day I met someone called Betty. I mean, I called her Betty. She insisted her name was Liz, but that was really selfish of her to insist on me accommodating her by calling her by her name.

    That's a little pedantic Dafyd but for the sake of clarity when I say my language is part of who I am I'm referring to my language insofar as it is based on hardwired categories that are innate. I do not have any innate category that "Liz" or "Betty" is based on but I do believe I have a hardwired category of gender. Not that I'm really bothered if someone thinks that I'm selfish for using language that is natural to me. What I'm really concerned about is the prospect of people losing their jobs for having done so.
  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Your equating of your identity as a misgenderer with a trans person's sense of their own identity is only not laughable in the sense that it is objectionably offensive. Get over yourself.

    I haven't said anywhere that I identify as a misgenderer. All I have said is that my language, insofar as it is based on innate schema, is part of my identity. If you think that is laughable please do learn about why freedom of speech is so important and societies that look to suppress speech.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Makepeace wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Your equating of your identity as a misgenderer with a trans person's sense of their own identity is only not laughable in the sense that it is objectionably offensive. Get over yourself.

    I haven't said anywhere that I identify as a misgenderer. All I have said is that my language, insofar as it is based on innate schema, is part of my identity. If you think that is laughable please do learn about why freedom of speech is so important and societies that look to suppress speech.

    What you describe wanting to be allowed to do is misgendering, whether you use the word or not.

    No-one is talking about prosecution so freedom of speech is not tbe issue. You are being informed why your words are potentially harmful. What you do with that information is up to you but nonetheless revealing. As is your haughty superior attitude coupled with evident cluelessness, or is it not caring about the damage you may do?
  • PeppermintTeaPeppermintTea Shipmate Posts: 5
    edited July 2018
    I am a women, an adult human female. I don't need any other language to describe myself.
    I shouldn't be expected to qualify this as a 'natal' woman, or 'assigned female at birth' (I wasn't assigned my sex, it was observed and recorded), or 'cis'. One political party in the UK has started referring to women as 'non-men'.

    Oddly, no-one seems to be referring to men as non-women.

    Another person doing research on something or other has asked on twitter for 'egg producers'. No, I am not a chicken either.

    Accurate knowledge of a persons biological sex and the ability to describe it accurately is vital for many medical services as eg, drugs may react differently or need different dosages depending on whether the person is male or female. In an emergency it could be the difference between life and death.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Makepeace, your example of children is interesting, because children often do mistake gender, and are notorious for asking if someone is a boy or a girl, or a man or a woman. The often do this with cis people who somehow don’t present according to societal norms (a man with long hair, or wearing make-up or a dress, for instance, or a woman with a stocky muscly body, short hair, or wearing clothes that might be associated more with men). Interestingly, their parents usually try to hush these questions and are embarrassed - and similarly adults don’t tend to ask such questions - because it is recognised in society that these questions can be hurtful.

    When I was being interviewed for a job I had in a special school, I was given a tour around the school and one of the kids pointed at me when I came into her classroom, and said ‘Man!’ The staff were embarrassed on my behalf and were correcting her (it does seem to be a social norm to correct children regarding gender), saying firmly, ‘No. Lady.’ But she wasn’t having any of it and insisted on calling me a man. I found it amusing - as I’ve said previously, I have no sense of gender identity, so it makes no difference to me, but I am also aware my female body looks quite unmistakably female, so I was curious what aspect of myself she might have been seeing as masculine. I was wearing trousers, but so were most of the female staff. I’m petite, I had long hair, I have a high voice - maybe it was the lack of make-up. No idea - but clearly there was something she saw as male in me.

    Another time this same kid pointed to the head teacher and said ‘Fat!’ This didn’t go down so well. You could argue that she had the right to use this term, as she perceived the head teacher as fat (and I suspect a BMI measurement could even confirm this perception). But generally we do adapt our language to how we refer to another person, out of politeness and respect.

    Makepeace, someone could decide you seemed female to them, for some reason, and insist on referring to you as ‘she’ and calling you a woman, and then maybe others would agree and join in. You might not mind, of course - and maybe you’d be fine at adapting if you woke up tomorrow and found yourself in a woman’s body - but if you did happen to mind, it would surely be healthy if you could say ‘Actually, I’m a guy’ and they respect that and refer to you as ‘he’ in future.
  • Is transphobia innate? Answers on two sides of A4, please, and no crossing out.
  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Your equating of your identity as a misgenderer with a trans person's sense of their own identity is only not laughable in the sense that it is objectionably offensive. Get over yourself.

    I haven't said anywhere that I identify as a misgenderer. All I have said is that my language, insofar as it is based on innate schema, is part of my identity. If you think that is laughable please do learn about why freedom of speech is so important and societies that look to suppress speech.

    What you describe wanting to be allowed to do is misgendering, whether you use the word or not.

    No-one is talking about prosecution so freedom of speech is not tbe issue. You are being informed why your words are potentially harmful. What you do with that information is up to you but nonetheless revealing. As is your haughty superior attitude coupled with evident cluelessness, or is it not caring about the damage you may do?

    But you are the one who is telling me what to do. Surely that is taking the superior attitude? I'm not telling you what to say and do. I do care about the perception that the words I use may be damaging which is why I'm engaged in this dialogue. I often learn through dialogue and am open to learning. As it happens I am not persuaded that suppressing language results in less damage than a permissive approach to language. It seems to me that well meaning people are liable to be labelled as transphobic because of something they said by accident even though their behaviour towards transgender people is impeccable. That can then create a self fulfilling prophesy which leads to people actually behaving in a more transphobic than they had ever intended in the first place. I would suggest that the focus should be on behaviour rather than language use. If you label people as radical because of the words they use don't be surprised when their behaviour conforms to the label that you have placed on them.
  • GwaiGwai Epiphanies Host
    edited July 2018
    Re trans, it might be unethical also to confirm instantly the statement of a child that they are the gender not matching their biological sex. At adult ages, and as pertains to psychological maturity, we begin to consider such statements as more seriously representing identity. But one can hardly suggest that comfirming day a 6 year old's wish to be of the opposite gender is worthy of lifetime confirmation unless demonstrated over time and through developmental stages. I'd expect a response along the lines of "you might be and let's see, these things sort themselves out as you grow up, and we'll keep talking about it".
    I'd say "Okay!" Same as when my son tells me he's a snake or a tyrannosaurus or whatever. If he said so regularly enough, I might conclude it was a regular feeling instead of a passing one, but I would advocate letting children self-define even when it's just pretend.
    Is transphobia innate? Answers on two sides of A4, please, and no crossing out.
    I'd say all kinds of other fears, confusions, and even rudenesses* are, so it wouldn't concern me if it were. People who are transphobic can generally learn not to be at need.

    *Many transphobic behaviors are not intentionally rude and may be only ignorant, but some are fear-reactions or intentionally rude. This is meant to cover any and all combinations thereof.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Makepeace wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Makepeace wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Your equating of your identity as a misgenderer with a trans person's sense of their own identity is only not laughable in the sense that it is objectionably offensive. Get over yourself.

    I haven't said anywhere that I identify as a misgenderer. All I have said is that my language, insofar as it is based on innate schema, is part of my identity. If you think that is laughable please do learn about why freedom of speech is so important and societies that look to suppress speech.

    What you describe wanting to be allowed to do is misgendering, whether you use the word or not.

    No-one is talking about prosecution so freedom of speech is not tbe issue. You are being informed why your words are potentially harmful. What you do with that information is up to you but nonetheless revealing. As is your haughty superior attitude coupled with evident cluelessness, or is it not caring about the damage you may do?

    But you are the one who is telling me what to do.

    I am pointing out that trans people find misgenderering damaging. That should be enough to make you policr yourself
    Surely that is taking the superior attitude? I'm not telling you what to say and do.

    You are telling me I shouldn't tell you not to misgender and then banging on about freedom of speech as if I'm enough of a simpleton to think that's the issue here and will therefore shut up.
    I do care about the perception that the words I use may be damaging which is why I'm engaged in this dialogue. I often learn through dialogue and am open to learning.

    You've been told it's problematic for the people concerned. Isn't that enough?
    As it happens I am not persuaded that suppressing language results in less damage than a permissive approach to language.

    No-one's suppressing. Rather it's being suggested a person with any empathy will self-regulate.
    It seems to me that well meaning people are liable to be labelled as transphobic because of something they said by accident even though their behaviour towards transgender people is impeccable.

    Well meaning people will stop damaging behaviours and language when they're pointed out
    That can then create a self fulfilling prophesy which leads to people actually behaving in a more transphobic than they had ever intended in the first place. I would suggest that the focus should be on behaviour rather than language use. If you label people as radical because of the words they use don't be surprised when their behaviour conforms to the label that you have placed on them.

    Language is behaviour. Calling people wogs, niggers, kikes and pakis is behaviour. Misgendering is behaviour. You've been called on your damaging behaviour. Deal with it.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Seems to me there's a lot of misgendering on more than one side, and is used more as a term of abuse than a reasoned conclusion.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Makepeace wrote: »
    If you label people as radical because of the words they use don't be surprised when their behaviour conforms to the label that you have placed on them.
    Right.
    "Huh. I used to like all people, but I wasn't aware that paki was offensive. But now that you've told me, I've decided racism is the only way. There is nothing else to do but join the BNP."

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