Transgender

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  • MakepeaceMakepeace Shipmate
    If people are going to start comparing "misgendering" a trans woman who looks, talks and acts like a man with racist, slang terms then this is not a well reasoned debate and has become absurd.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    It would be far from the most ridiculous equivalence so far drawn up on this thread.
  • It's certainly reasonable to use names as people are introduced, and to, for example, to respect the decision of a James to be henceforth be called Jamie, or a Rick to be called Richard. And if it's a she who needs to be a he, or a he to she, can't see a problem.

    However when there's a desire to instruct others to use pronouns like "zie" and "per", the possibility for error seems frequent with cooperation doubtful. Perhaps that's not what is being discussed. Notwithstanding neologisms.
  • CallanCallan Shipmate
    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.

    No-one is saying that if a six year old boy announces that he wants to be a princess or a six year old girl wants to be Jordan Pickford that we have to sign up to it forthwith. When my daughter was three she announced: "When I am older I will get married. I may marry a lady or I may marry a man". I just laughed and said, something like "darling, that's very right on!"

    Because, realistically, at that sort of early age children have no sort of idea about sex and gender and the appropriate response is not to take it terribly seriously. Now if she was fourteen and wanted to be referred to as Gerald, I would take it rather more seriously. Not to say that I wouldn't want her to explore what was going on, but I'd be happy to refer to her as he and call him Gerald whilst we were exploring.

    Btw, this - not you NP - is setting off my bigot-dar. I have some sympathy for natal women concerned that this is going to compromise female only spaces. But I do note that, apparently, trans activists are encouraging gender non-conforming types to transition at the drop of a hat and also that people will be arbitrarily announcing their new gender at the drop of hat without making the effort to transition. I am rather reminded of the whole "gays are terribly promiscuous and must never be allowed to have their longstanding relationships acknowledged by the state" thang, or indeed the whole "Jews are extremely exclusive and must not be allowed to integrate themselves into Gentile society" thang. Like Richard Burton, in War Of The Worlds, I realise that I may have seen this terrible thing before.
  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    edited July 2018
    the philosophical question is whether that idea can possibly be wrong, like a map that doesn't accurately represent the territory.

    Well, conversion therapy involves telling someone that they're wrong... ... I would say straight off, that this is unethical conduct, in relation to a professional.
    I agree that for any professional to peddle unfounded "therapies" that don't work is unethical.
    Because I am arrogant enough to say that I know better.

    I agree that in many circumstances "arrogant" is exactly what it would be.

    Because if the reality is that claims to be a different gender can be true or false, then in most cases you're not going to be in a position to know which is the case. And so treating either assumed truth or assumed falsehood as an established fact to be defended with any rusty farm implements to hand is indeed arrogant.

    If you actually believed the philosophy that identity-claims cannot be false, then thinking that one knows better wouldn't be arrogant but stupidly nonsensical, on a par with Canute trying to command the waves.

    (Apparently modern educators teach the children to spell it as Cnut, with consequent inevitable misspellings...)

    Basically, there are more things in heaven and earth, more varieties and variations of lies, delusions and confusions, than you seem willing to acknowledge.

    If Grayface tells me that she's always known she's a woman, and has been much more content since she had treatment to make her body female, I believe her. If she says she wishes the same successful outcome (with an easier journey to get there) for others with the same condition, that seems an entirely unobjectionable wish.

    Where we disagree seems to be the point where it is automatically assumed that anyone of any age who claims to have gender dysphoria does actually have it.
  • GrayfaceGrayface Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    Seems to me there's a lot of misgendering on more than one side

    Evidence please. Trans people get misgendered regularly - daily - hourly. I can remember exactly zero instances of a trans person deliberately misgendering a cis person.

  • GrayfaceGrayface Shipmate
    But as I said above I see my language as part of who I am.
    Would it be legitimate for me to refer to you from now on as Makepeace the Transphobic Bigot? If you don't think it is, please show how my doing this is not legitimate when your deliberately misgendering transfolk is - particularly in the light of the demonstrable harm done to us by your asserting your rights to use whatever language you see fit.

  • RussRuss Deckhand, Styx
    Gwai wrote: »
    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.

    You may go along with the pretence up to a point. You don't let him into the reptile cages at the zoo. You protect him from self-harm as far as you reasonably can, because you care.

    And sometimes you do know better. You're an adult.
  • 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.
    I don't know how much of this is for real, and how much is transphobic trash talk.

    No doubt there is some of both. But given that the number of devious predatory men is sadly all too large (much larger than the number of transgender people), it doesn't seem unreasonable to be concerned that there might be a problem. Is there any evidence from other countries of whether there is (and if so how big it is), or is the UK the first to propose self-declaration?
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Makepeace wrote: »
    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.

    Well, OK - but your language quite clearly comes with a set of words that you use to describe men and a set of words that you use to describe women. I don't believe that your "innate schema" requires you to make personal assignments of sex based on a person's appearance that overrides any other information you have. If a person introduces themself as "Kate", your innate schema is quite capable of calling her "she" however masculine you think she looks.

    Now, if Kate then tells you that they use the pronoun "they", you might tell us that that presents you with a problem because you don't have singular "they" in your schema. And you're quite right - we are asking you to change your use of language in this case. I didn't grow up with singular they either, but it's really not such a big imposition.

  • 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.

    The problem, as I understand it, is that the physical transition is far easier if hormone blockers are begun prior to puberty, to the extent it's virtually indetectable. After puberty begins, the transition is more difficult. Which does make it a much more fraught question

  • Makepeace wrote: »
    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.

    I find that absurd. You dont have an innate sense of language, you have a habit. When you go to a country where they speak a different language you don't insist on using your English ptonouns (or perhaps you do...) when you go to one of those trite Mexican restaurants that labels the restrooms "senor" and "srnorita" you don't stand there baffled. You're able to adapt

    To compare the slight discomfort of having to adapt your language with the far greater discomfort experienced by transgendered persons strikes me, again, as selfish and small-minded



  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    I find that absurd. You dont have an innate sense of language, you have a habit. When you go to a country where they speak a different language you don't insist on using your English ptonouns (or perhaps you do...) when you go to one of those trite Mexican restaurants that labels the restrooms "senor" and "srnorita" you don't stand there baffled. You're able to adapt

    To compare the slight discomfort of having to adapt your language with the far greater discomfort experienced by transgendered persons strikes me, again, as selfish and small-minded
    It is a common tactic of those who do not wish to appear bigoted to re-frame the objection to something ancillary to the issue.

  • What excuse will you come up with next, @Makepeace, to avoid your own selfishness?
  • Callan wrote: »
    I do note that, apparently, trans activists are encouraging gender non-conforming types to transition at the drop of a hat

    Are they? Can you provide evidence of this?
  • EutychusEutychus Shipmate
    hosting/
    Grayface wrote: »
    Would it be legitimate for me to refer to you from now on as Makepeace the Transphobic Bigot?
    No. Whatever your point is, you can't make it in Purgatory by framing it as a personal attack.
    mousethief wrote: »
    What excuse will you come up with next, @Makepeace, to avoid your own selfishness?

    @mousethief, that goes for you too.

    Let's try and keep this civil here. Hell is at your disposal.

    /hosting
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Callan wrote: »
    I do note that, apparently, trans activists are encouraging gender non-conforming types to transition at the drop of a hat

    Are they? Can you provide evidence of this?

    Callan was using sarcasm m'lud, referring back to some claims being made which they found questionable.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    I find that absurd. You dont have an innate sense of language, you have a habit. When you go to a country where they speak a different language you don't insist on using your English ptonouns (or perhaps you do...) when you go to one of those trite Mexican restaurants that labels the restrooms "senor" and "srnorita" you don't stand there baffled. You're able to adapt

    To compare the slight discomfort of having to adapt your language with the far greater discomfort experienced by transgendered persons strikes me, again, as selfish and small-minded
    It is a common tactic of those who do not wish to appear bigoted to re-frame the objection to something ancillary to the issue.

    Yes, how absurd to refer to innate language schema. Cliffdweller nailed it; in the language of a previous era, speech and language are stimulus free. When I see the Mona Lisa, I am by no means compelled to say, "ah, the Mona Lisa".
  • EutychusEutychus Shipmate
    That's true, but it's probably what immediately springs to mind for you. One of the intriguing things (this is probably a tangent) is how famous artefacts like that can sometimes have entirely different names and connotations across languages. To the French who house her, she is immediately if not innately La Joconde, and some other cross-cultural connotations for similar "iconic" objects can be much more alarmingly different.
  • Well, Chomsky is well-known for arguing that language is innate, but this would be at a very abstract level. He also famously excoriated behaviourist views, that language is bound by situations. To apply it to gender doesn't make sense.
  • It used to be said that animal communication is bound by stuations, although I think there has been some revision of that. The classic example is the honey bee, which uses its 'dance' on the wall of the hive, to indicate sources of food, where they are, their quality, etc. But it's a reasonable guess that they can't lie, or change the subject, or tell jokes.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Yes, I am also struggling to see how this relates to the innateness of language. What Chomsky, and later Pinker, have described is about language itself, how we acquire it, and it totally unrelated to having some kind of innate sense of gender.
  • Also, genetic determinism is false with regard to something like language. Well, it may be correct in the sense that we are predisposed to acquire speech and language, but false that we compelled to use certain semantic categories. The old joke was that we are predisposed to have kids, but you don't have to. Innate gender? Pass.
  • Many languages gender objects and things. The struggles to learn German requires 3, French 2, both of which are on male/female lines, and neuter for German. The dominant indigenous language where I live, Cree, has 2 genders: that of living things (animate) and that of non-living (inanimate), without male/female or other distinctions.

    I suppose you could dispute that living/non-living is gender. Language does matter: this sort of distinction underscores the reason that western cultures are so disrespectful and exploitive of nature in some indigenous views.
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    Many languages gender objects and things. The struggles to learn German requires 3, French 2, both of which are on male/female lines, and neuter for German. The dominant indigenous language where I live, Cree, has 2 genders: that of living things (animate) and that of non-living (inanimate), without male/female or other distinctions.

    I suppose you could dispute that living/non-living is gender. Language does matter: this sort of distinction underscores the reason that western cultures are so disrespectful and exploitive of nature in some indigenous views.

    Living/nonliving is a distinction. It is not gender.

    I am glad you brought in the Cree language, because - contrary to bullshit assertions about the "innateness" of two genders - Cree language recognizes more than two genders. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-spirit, there are six words in Cree for people with genders which are not simply "man" or "woman".

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    “Bantu languages, including -
    Ganda: ten classes called simply Class I to Class X and containing all sorts of arbitrary groupings but often characterised as people, long objects, animals, miscellaneous objects, large objects and liquids, small objects, languages, pejoratives, infinitives, mass nouns
    Shona: 20 noun classes (singular and plural are considered separate classes)
    Swahili: 18 noun classes (singular and plural are considered separate classes)”

    That’s a language group of 350 million+ speakers. Anyone still want to argue for language as inherently binary gendered?
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Anyone else find it extremely odd that a linguist was not aware of these gender variations in languages?
  • I think that the idea of the third gender is quite common round the world. However, third gender (or fourth), does not necessarily equate with gay or trans.

    Also of course, Two Spirit people are found in the US, and presumably, Canada. Pride marches often have Two Spirit groups.
  • josephinejosephine Shipmate

    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Anyone else find it extremely odd that a linguist was not aware of these gender variations in languages?

    I opened a Hell thread where this can be discussed in more detail.
  • EliabEliab Shipmate, Purgatory Host
    On the other hand, Turkish (and I believe related languages) has no grammatical gender. "O" means "he/she/it" and "onlar" means "they". Language does not inherently compel us to use different pronouns for men and women.


    In English specifically, it is not grammatically incorrect to use gendered pronouns for inanimate or abstract things. Ships are frequently "she", for example. The concept of Justice could be "he", "she" or "it", depending on context and intention. Arguing that it is grammatically wrong to use a person's preferred pronoun is wrong and ignorant, because good standard English plainly permits variation in gendered pronouns for rhetorical effect. The rhetorical effect conveyed by calling a trans woman "she" is "I have at least a minimal degree of respect for you as a person", and the rhetorical effect of calling her "he" is "I'm a bigot who doesn't give a shit about you - please ignore everything I say from now on", but both are equally correct English grammar.

  • GrayfaceGrayface Shipmate
    josephine wrote: »
    I opened a Hell thread where this can be discussed in more detail.

    I've posted in the Styx regarding Hostly tolerance of the transphobia displayed.

  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Anyone else find it extremely odd that a linguist was not aware of these gender variations in languages?

    I don’t think he is a linguist at all, though I chose not to pursue this in my reply to him, because I felt he was deliberately wording it ‘I identify as a linguist’ as a trap - so if it were challenged, due to evidence to the contrary, he would somehow equate this in a warped way to people identifying as a certain gender, and his supposed right to challenge their self-identity.

    I agree that what he is expressing is transphobic bigotry, and the discussion seems to be pointless because he seems more interested in asserting his own right as a ‘linguist’ to choose what words he labels others with than to listen to and engage rationally with people’s interactions with him. I say that as an analysis of what I have observed, not as a personal attack.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    I don’t think he is a linguist at all, though I chose not to pursue this in my reply to him, because I felt he was deliberately wording it ‘I identify as a linguist’ as a trap - so if it were challenged, due to evidence to the contrary, he would somehow equate this in a warped way to people identifying as a certain gender, and his supposed right to challenge their self-identity.
    I missed that, thank you. Perhaps because I see identifying as to be a statement of what one is, not what one pretends to be.


  • Leaf wrote: »
    Living/nonliving is a distinction. It is not gender.
    Not wanting to split hairs nor argue over irrelevancies, but it kind of /sort of is. Sask Indian Cultural College link. Gender being considered as something integral to the "being-ness" of something. You're right that it isn't a usual way of understanding this. Additional link. I think they're using the word "gender" to help us understand how integral this view of living/non-living is to Cree worldview.
    I am glad you brought in the Cree language, because - contrary to bullshit assertions about the "innateness" of two genders - Cree language recognizes more than two genders. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-spirit, there are six words in Cree for people with genders which are not simply "man" or "woman".
    When we were working through in the local Anglican diocese about sexual orientation issues, we had this discussed. Some of our understanding is used in ways not originally intended. As far as I understand, it's more like Cree recognizes that people live in various ways and inhabit various roles, and it is a norm to not interfere with others' ways. Example from my own experience: a Cree child wanted to climb up on a table in my office, the parent helped the child a bit and told me when I asked that it was okay for the child to even have mild injury from doing so. Not heard this sentiment expressed by non-indigenous.

    Here's a further link, which informs that the wikipedia article probably simplifies:
    Language, culture, and Two-Spirit identity
    . A generic he/she pronoun is wiiyi. Notwithstanding all, family can be very bossy and sexist about what women particularly are allowed to do, at least in current Cree expression of life as told to me.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    So, are we to conclude that if more than two genders were to be recognised that the need for being 'trans' from one category to another would be greatly reduced, given the more inclusive classification?
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    I don’t think he is a linguist at all, though I chose not to pursue this in my reply to him, because I felt he was deliberately wording it ‘I identify as a linguist’ as a trap - so if it were challenged, due to evidence to the contrary, he would somehow equate this in a warped way to people identifying as a certain gender, and his supposed right to challenge their self-identity.
    I missed that, thank you. Perhaps because I see identifying as to be a statement of what one is, not what one pretends to be.

    I took "I identify as a linguist" as a sarcastic swipe at people assigned a female sex/gender at birth identifying as male, and vice versa. A version of "Okay, so if he can identify as a woman, I can identify as a linguist." Sort of like white people who claim to "identify" as black. In a way, it's perhaps just an unfortunate choice of verb in that it seems to invite such abuse. Then again to an abusive person, any word chosen would be twistable.
  • GrayfaceGrayface Shipmate
    Kwesi wrote: »
    So, are we to conclude that if more than two genders were to be recognised that the need for being 'trans' from one category to another would be greatly reduced, given the more inclusive classification?
    No. I'm not non-binary.
  • KwesiKwesi Shipmate
    Why not?
  • GrayfaceGrayface Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Because I'm not. I'm a woman.

    Recognising non-binary genders would of course be an excellent thing to do. But shoving me into another gender that I'm not along with all the other binary trans people in the world is no solution.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    I on the other hand would identify as non-binary, but not trans. I am not a man in a woman’s body - I simply have no sense of gender. An extra ‘non’ gender would be great for me, but would do nothing for Grayface, because she identifies as a woman.
  • Vihart (Vi Hart) did an amazing speech in which they identified as nonbinary and said that for the longest time they didn't believe people who claimed to feel more male than female or vice versa. They (Vi) didn't feel that way, and had never felt any different, and so couldn't imagine anybody could. Vi had no touchstone for anything other than their own feelings. Finally accepting what their friends said at face value, because Vi trusted them, brought Vi to accept that some/many people DO feel like they belong on one side or the other of a binary that Vi just didn't experience.

    And now I can't find it; my google-fu sucks, and Vi has SO MANY videos on YouTube (mostly about math -- their video about Pythagoras is not to be missed if you go for that kind of thing-- informative and hilarious).

    But they convinced me non-binary is a real thing (I had no experience the other way!).
  • I am biologically 100% female (I’ve even seen my ovaries on an ultrasound - damn that pesky ever so slightly enlarged one!) and always have considered myself female (& heterosexual), albeit not especially a “girly-girl.”
    Young children (3-6 yr olds) have occasionally asked me if I’m a boy or a girl. (I do know what this is based on - it’s trivial/social but I’ve yet to find a way to explain it to someone that age & it’s not relevant to the discussion). I say I’m a girl, however, I don’t know how to “evidence” or back my statement up for them (even though I have what are considered relatively feminine mannerisms naturally) because I can hardly & nor would I grab my boobs and refer to them as natural or expose myself! Nor do I feel particularly comfortable referring to how I’m wearing a skirt and curtsying! Although I can see that as an easy way out.
    How can we acknowledge(?) a person’s (our own) gender identity without being potentially sexually explicit/inappropriate, adhering to set gender-stereotypes or walking around wearing a badge declaring our preferred (or otherwise?!) gender-status? I am not offended by them asking but stumped in how to answer in a way that is appropriate or is it enough just to say, “I’m a girl.” & leave it at that. (If being a girl cannot be defined/evidenced does this statement even have meaning?)
    I’m not asking this to be awkward but as a genuine query. Perhaps it is more pertinent in our online spaces.

    What does it mean to be male or female or neither?
    I suppose it goes back to the question: is gender a well-embedded social construct to an extent based around sex? & given how language appears to have evolved around this idea, is it possible to do away with gender as a social construct (not necessarily in the near future) & is this something our current society generally in favour of or against?
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    mousethief wrote: »
    Vihart (Vi Hart) did an amazing speech in which they identified as nonbinary and said that for the longest time they didn't believe people who claimed to feel more male than female or vice versa. They (Vi) didn't feel that way, and had never felt any different, and so couldn't imagine anybody could.

    Sounds like an interesting talk. I simply didn’t realise that gender was anything more than different genitalia until I learnt about gender identity. I also can’t imagine what it feels like - maybe in the way a colourblind person can’t imagine colour - but it’s never occurred to me to disbelieve it. I suppose because, being autistic, I’ve also come to realise that the way I experience the world in general is different from how others experience it, in all sorts of ways, so I’m familiar with the concept that different people have a very different reality.

  • josephinejosephine Shipmate
    I am not offended by them asking but stumped in how to answer in a way that is appropriate or is it enough just to say, “I’m a girl.” & leave it at that.

    It is enough just to say, "I'm a girl" and leave it at that.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    @not entirely me - I wonder how children would respond if you said ‘I’m a person.’ Not suggesting you should - I also don’t know what’s best to say - but perhaps children are more open than adults to being told you are simply a person, and it might make them think more openly about how they classify people.
  • Yes, that seems right to me. Trans kids are saying 'I am a boy' and 'I am a girl', persistently and insistently.

    I think things have shifted though. In the 80s and 90s, gender seemed to be approached with a mixture of biological ideas, and social construction. But trans kids are not using either, are they? They are asserting their own identity.

    This seems to freak some people out, as if you have to fit into their categories, and your identity is not yours, but theirs to define. . Thus transphobic people often say, 'you're a man, cos you have a penis', and the like. I find it a strange kind of external approach - you are X because I observe you as X, and define you as X, and your own experience doesn't matter. Eh?

    This is behaviourism gone mad.
  • fineline wrote: »
    @not entirely me - I wonder how children would respond if you said ‘I’m a person.’ Not suggesting you should - I also don’t know what’s best to say - but perhaps children are more open than adults to being told you are simply a person, and it might make them think more openly about how they classify people.

    That’s a good point. & to some of their other questions I can say “I am as I am” or “I am human” etc. or point out a freckle on my arm and one on their’s and say “in some ways we are just as we are” but in this sort of debate that could be a complicated statement in itself.

    I suppose the added difficulty was that on a couple of occasions I was asked I was in what is traditionally a female only environment. & if we are to argue that trans-women can identify as female then surely a biologically female woman who has always done so is allowed to identify as such?
  • In other words, transphobic people are claiming the right to define your identity! This is fucking mad, but I suppose we are so used to being defined by others, that we don't register it. The same thing happened with gays, I think, and also with women, and different racial groups. Different identities are emerging from a long dark history of submersion and repression.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Something I’m thinking - while there are some people who appear very male and others who appear very female, there are many people who, if they were wearing gender-neutral clothing, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell what genitalia they happen to have. Hormone levels vary hugely, and this has a big influence on someone’s appearance, both their body and their facial structure. Most people arrange their appearance to direct your interpretation - by clothing, hairstyle, etc. I do this myself, even though I don’t have a sense of gender - just because it’s easier if someone instantly assigns a gender to me, because then I blend in more. I’m already considered weird - I don’t want to add to people’s perceptions of my weirdness by having an appearance that makes them wonder what gender I am. I don’t want people staring at me and whispering. Some people, on the other hand, deliberately have a gender-neutral look because they want to unsettle people and challenge their gender stereotypes. I admire this, but it’s not something I’ve felt the desire to do myself, and of course, I am fortunate that I have this choice.

    And yes, @not entirely me, I completely agree that of course we are allowed to identify publicly as women - I always have, because I have always been given only two options. I think for me the issue is not that we might not be allowed to, but more that we are expected to. I wish there were an alternative non-gendered gender I could claim, but there isn’t, so I try to fit in as best I can.
  • This is behaviourism gone mad.

    I never even considered it as such but this is brilliant.



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