• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.

Can We Discuss Sex & Gender / Transgender People?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2001
Messages
33,981
Basic Beliefs
Calvinistic Atheist
First off, welcome aboard. Kittens are available in The Lounge.
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.
First criticism here is that term "want". It sounds nitpicky, but when someone says they "want" to dress or act a certain way that can be implied to mean it is more of a choice, than an identity, as in who they are. I don't want to find Asian women attractive, but I do for whatever biological reason.
*snip*

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
The better question is why does it matter? Human identity is baselined. You have ye olde bell curve regarding identity. You'll have the general identification with a gender and then the standard deviations to the sides. Whether we call things sex, gender, is distracting and not recognizing what actually matters. And that is the appreciation for the fact that some individuals don't match up with the sex organs.

Sometimes we are obsessed with labeling stuff, to the point, it becomes a lot more important than the human aspect of it. We have males that like females, males that like males, males that don't think they are males and like females, males that don't think they are males and like males. And likewise with females. This is what is. Labels have become a distraction.
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
First off, welcome aboard. Kittens are available in The Lounge.
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.
First criticism here is that term "want". It sounds nitpicky, but when someone says they "want" to dress or act a certain way that can be implied to mean it is more of a choice, than an identity, as in who they are. I don't want to find Asian women attractive, but I do for whatever biological reason.
*snip*

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
The better question is why does it matter? Human identity is baselined. You have ye olde bell curve regarding identity. You'll have the general identification with a gender and then the standard deviations to the sides. Whether we call things sex, gender, is distracting and not recognizing what actually matters. And that is the appreciation for the fact that some individuals don't match up with the sex organs.

Sometimes we are obsessed with labeling stuff, to the point, it becomes a lot more important than the human aspect of it. We have males that like females, males that like males, males that don't think they are males and like females, males that don't think they are males and like males. And likewise with females. This is what is. Labels have become a distraction.
I do not feel that you have answered the question. Thank you for replying but I feel this does not address my point. I understand that people will do whatever makes them happy. I don't get mad when I see a trans woman or a trans man. I just have no idea what it's supposed to mean. Remember that even scientific literature now states that sex and gender are different. But, I do not feel that you or them have adequately explained why and how sex and gender are different.

Have you heard of David Reimer? He was born male and had a botched circumcision that severely in jured his penis. The psychologist John Money told his parents, "Since sex and gender are different, just raise him as a girl. It doesn't matter." Turns out he battled severe depression and committed suicide later in life. Tragic story. but since the psychologist felt that sex and gender had nothing to do with each other, he should've been perfectly fine being raised as a girl. It didn't work.

What do you think about this?
 

Politesse

Lux Aeterna
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
7,436
Location
Chochenyo Territory, US
Gender
any
Basic Beliefs
Jedi Wayseeker
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
Perhaps you could elucidate the source of all these quotations? They all sound iffy to me.

It isn't that sex and gender are unrelated, the general consensus of the social sciences is that gender is fundamentally a construction or portrayal of "appropriate" sex-linked behavior, disposition, and social status. Gender is, to put it another way, very much about sex. But as a social construct, it is not synonymous with biological sex. Your Y chromosome determines whether or not testes will develop. It does not determine whether you will like sports, excel at math, beat on women, or be naturally proficient at hunting. Those are cultural protrayals of maleness, not inherent qualities of being biologically male and we know this to a certainty partly because perspectives on gender vary by culture, and differ wildly between different cultures.

99% simply isn't correct. Self-declarations of gender aren't necessarily trustworthy where severe persecution meets those who confess to a non-cis gender identity , but in the US where trans identity is becoming more open, the number of openly trans people is rapidly increasingly, hovering somewhere around 4% at present and expected to continue to increase as oppression and violence decrease.

Transgender people generally consider themselves to have been misassigned a gender at birth, not that they are at odds with their genetic sex. Hence why a trans woman would correctly say "I was assigned male at birth", not "I was a male at birth".
 

Politesse

Lux Aeterna
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
7,436
Location
Chochenyo Territory, US
Gender
any
Basic Beliefs
Jedi Wayseeker
First off, welcome aboard. Kittens are available in The Lounge.
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.
First criticism here is that term "want". It sounds nitpicky, but when someone says they "want" to dress or act a certain way that can be implied to mean it is more of a choice, than an identity, as in who they are. I don't want to find Asian women attractive, but I do for whatever biological reason.
*snip*

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
The better question is why does it matter? Human identity is baselined. You have ye olde bell curve regarding identity. You'll have the general identification with a gender and then the standard deviations to the sides. Whether we call things sex, gender, is distracting and not recognizing what actually matters. And that is the appreciation for the fact that some individuals don't match up with the sex organs.

Sometimes we are obsessed with labeling stuff, to the point, it becomes a lot more important than the human aspect of it. We have males that like females, males that like males, males that don't think they are males and like females, males that don't think they are males and like males. And likewise with females. This is what is. Labels have become a distraction.
I do not feel that you have answered the question. Thank you for replying but I feel this does not address my point. I understand that people will do whatever makes them happy. I don't get mad when I see a trans woman or a trans man. I just have no idea what it's supposed to mean. Remember that even scientific literature now states that sex and gender are different. But, I do not feel that you or them have adequately explained why and how sex and gender are different.
"Are different" does not mean the same thing as "have nothing to to with each other".
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
Perhaps you could elucidate the source of all these quotations? They all sound iffy to me.

It isn't that sex and gender are unrelated, the general consensus of the social sciences is that gender is fundamentally a construction or portrayal of "appropriate" sex-linked behavior, disposition, and social status. Gender is, to put it another way, very much about sex. But as a social construct, it is not synonymous with biological sex. Your Y chromosome determines whether or not testes will develop. It does not determine whether you will like sports, excel at math, beat on women, or be naturally proficient at hunting. Those are cultural protrayals of maleness, not inherent qualities of being biologically male and we know this to a certainty partly because perspectives on gender vary by culture, and differ wildly between different cultures.

99% simply isn't correct. Self-declarations of gender aren't necessarily trustworthy where severe persecution meets those who confess to a non-cis gender identity , but in the US where trans identity is becoming more open, the number of openly trans people is rapidly increasingly, hovering somewhere around 4% at present and expected to continue to increase as oppression and violence decrease.

Transgender people generally consider themselves to have been misassigned a gender at birth, not that they are at odds with their genetic sex. Hence why a trans woman would correctly say "I was assigned male at birth", not "I was a male at birth".

but I thought that sex and gender were different. If someone is assigned male at birth, then they are male, right? If their gender is "woman," then how were they misassigned? If the doctor said, "This is a boy"" then that would be misassigned. But, how can sex be misassigned? This is so confusing to me. I can't understand it and it frustrates me so much.
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
Perhaps you could elucidate the source of all these quotations? They all sound iffy to me.

It isn't that sex and gender are unrelated, the general consensus of the social sciences is that gender is fundamentally a construction or portrayal of "appropriate" sex-linked behavior, disposition, and social status. Gender is, to put it another way, very much about sex. But as a social construct, it is not synonymous with biological sex. Your Y chromosome determines whether or not testes will develop. It does not determine whether you will like sports, excel at math, beat on women, or be naturally proficient at hunting. Those are cultural protrayals of maleness, not inherent qualities of being biologically male and we know this to a certainty partly because perspectives on gender vary by culture, and differ wildly between different cultures.

99% simply isn't correct. Self-declarations of gender aren't necessarily trustworthy where severe persecution meets those who confess to a non-cis gender identity , but in the US where trans identity is becoming more open, the number of openly trans people is rapidly increasingly, hovering somewhere around 4% at present and expected to continue to increase as oppression and violence decrease.

Transgender people generally consider themselves to have been misassigned a gender at birth, not that they are at odds with their genetic sex. Hence why a trans woman would correctly say "I was assigned male at birth", not "I was a male at birth".

I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?

I just feel like if gender was more or less random, then we should have a similar percentage of guys walking around wearing dresses and skirts and make up and girls walking around wearing stereotypical male clothing. But there is a very high correlation that if you are born make, you won't be interested in dresses and make up and if you are born female, you won't be interested in male clothing and behavior. it should be more in the 50/50 range instead of 95/5 range or something like that. In my opinion, there would be nothing wrong if all males wore dresses and make up everywhere, but the question is, why don't more males do this? Why do most males view dresses and make up as a turn off for them to wear? Something just "feels off" to them about wearing that stuff. How can this be if it's there's not anything to this biologically?
 
Last edited:

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2001
Messages
33,981
Basic Beliefs
Calvinistic Atheist
I do not feel that you have answered the question. Thank you for replying but I feel this does not address my point. I understand that people will do whatever makes them happy.
Again, not about "happy", about who they are.
I don't get mad when I see a trans woman or a trans man.
Yet, for some reason you are having this conversation.

Oh, I'm totally cool with transgender... but
I just have no idea what it's supposed to mean. Remember that even scientific literature now states that sex and gender are different. But, I do not feel that you or them have adequately explained why and how sex and gender are different.
I don't feel a need to address it because it isn't important. What is important what an individual is in their mind. And you seem more interested in obfuscating the subject with labels. Labels are words that we provide things for identity. They don't have to have any viable meaning or usefulness in nature.
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
I do not feel that you have answered the question. Thank you for replying but I feel this does not address my point. I understand that people will do whatever makes them happy.
Again, not about "happy", about who they are.
I don't get mad when I see a trans woman or a trans man.
Yet, for some reason you are having this conversation.

Oh, I'm totally cool with transgender... but
I just have no idea what it's supposed to mean. Remember that even scientific literature now states that sex and gender are different. But, I do not feel that you or them have adequately explained why and how sex and gender are different.
I don't feel a need to address it because it isn't important. What is important what an individual is in their mind. And you seem more interested in obfuscating the subject with labels. Labels are words that we provide things for identity. They don't have to have any viable meaning or usefulness in nature.

I am talking about the labels because these are the labels that the scientific literature on the subject says. They are also the labels trans people go by. I don't have a problem with trans people. I just have no idea what it means to be transgender. I can see someone and they can tell me, "I am a trans woman" or "I am a trans man" but I wonder why and how they are trans. There is no adequate meaning of how and why sex and gender are different. When someone says, "I was born male but I identify as a woman so I am transgender," I wonder how they are transgender if sex and gender are different in the first place. Why even have a word for it? Sex and gender are different, so saying you are transgender implies there is a "right way" to be a man or woman, which transgender people would argue against.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
7,634
Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
I'll put it the way I normally do: sex is the thing you need to consider when you wish to make babies. Gender is the thing you show to the world.

Historically,
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
Perhaps you could elucidate the source of all these quotations? They all sound iffy to me.

It isn't that sex and gender are unrelated, the general consensus of the social sciences is that gender is fundamentally a construction or portrayal of "appropriate" sex-linked behavior, disposition, and social status. Gender is, to put it another way, very much about sex. But as a social construct, it is not synonymous with biological sex. Your Y chromosome determines whether or not testes will develop. It does not determine whether you will like sports, excel at math, beat on women, or be naturally proficient at hunting. Those are cultural protrayals of maleness, not inherent qualities of being biologically male and we know this to a certainty partly because perspectives on gender vary by culture, and differ wildly between different cultures.

99% simply isn't correct. Self-declarations of gender aren't necessarily trustworthy where severe persecution meets those who confess to a non-cis gender identity , but in the US where trans identity is becoming more open, the number of openly trans people is rapidly increasingly, hovering somewhere around 4% at present and expected to continue to increase as oppression and violence decrease.

Transgender people generally consider themselves to have been misassigned a gender at birth, not that they are at odds with their genetic sex. Hence why a trans woman would correctly say "I was assigned male at birth", not "I was a male at birth".
About sex, as in "around all of the things that help people be ready for, interested in, and cued to sexuality
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
Perhaps you could elucidate the source of all these quotations? They all sound iffy to me.

It isn't that sex and gender are unrelated, the general consensus of the social sciences is that gender is fundamentally a construction or portrayal of "appropriate" sex-linked behavior, disposition, and social status. Gender is, to put it another way, very much about sex. But as a social construct, it is not synonymous with biological sex. Your Y chromosome determines whether or not testes will develop. It does not determine whether you will like sports, excel at math, beat on women, or be naturally proficient at hunting. Those are cultural protrayals of maleness, not inherent qualities of being biologically male and we know this to a certainty partly because perspectives on gender vary by culture, and differ wildly between different cultures.

99% simply isn't correct. Self-declarations of gender aren't necessarily trustworthy where severe persecution meets those who confess to a non-cis gender identity , but in the US where trans identity is becoming more open, the number of openly trans people is rapidly increasingly, hovering somewhere around 4% at present and expected to continue to increase as oppression and violence decrease.

Transgender people generally consider themselves to have been misassigned a gender at birth, not that they are at odds with their genetic sex. Hence why a trans woman would correctly say "I was assigned male at birth", not "I was a male at birth".

I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?
There are a couple elements to this. One is that in many cases, we appreciate what we are encouraged to appreciate at young ages, and that will stick with us. Few are given choice of self determination in such regards. Many may not even know there is a different way society offers people to be and think and grow, or a choice of any kind available to them.

Even children as young as six have peers they have been grouped with, and a wave of expectation they are expected to ride that resonates on the frequency of the social group they become part of.
 

Trausti

Contributor
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
9,113
Location
Northwest
Basic Beliefs
Atheist Norse
When a girl declares herself a boy (or vice-versa), we now officially believe that the miracle of transubstantiation has taken place. It's even stronger than what happens when a communion wafer transubstantiates, because it changes the past too: that girl was always a boy.
 

prideandfall

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
1,881
Location
a drawer of inappropriate starches
Basic Beliefs
highly anti-religious agnostic
I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?
ever heard the term "nature vs nurture"?
in US culture nearly all boys are taught from infancy what they are and are not allowed to enjoy, with any interest in dolls or 'feminine' things being instantly chastised and disapproved of, in some areas even being punished for it.
likewise, from birth babies are gendered - pink for girls and blue for boys, start shoving 2 year olds into dresses or blue jeans, a playmobile with little footballs and soccer balls vs. one with unicorns and fairies.

so there's your answer to that - it's just taught cultural attitudes. take a 2 month old male and female and raise them in a biodome with no exposure to any sort of differences or expectations in regards to gender and you would not see the behaviors you describe.
that is *learned* behavior, not inherent genetic differences.

as for the broader question you ask in your OP, well... who knows? and who cares?
information is kind of hard to pin down precisely, but the best estimates by research in the last 5 years indicates that maybe upwards of about 1.5 million people in the US identify as trans.
that's less trans people than there are goths still hanging around, and who gives a shit about goths anymore? that's only slightly more trans people than there are midgets.

the trans issue comes down really simply to an absolutely miniscule number of oddballs doing some shit that doesn't make sense to normal people, but hey whatever makes 'em happy i guess what do i care.
but religious whack jobs and the media fucking looooooooooove trannies and to have an absolute shit fit over them, so their cultural presence is ridiculously magnified in relation to how many of them there are and how much of an impact they actually have on anything, anywhere, for anyone.

sure if you read these forums you might think the he/her armageddon is nigh, but it's really just that this forum has 3 really transphobic reactionary dickheads who post about it *constantly* so that it LOOKS like the topic is everywhere.

the fact is that if you don't "get" the trans issue, it doesn't really matter... because statistically speaking there's so few of them you're likely to never meet one in your life, unless you happen to live in one of the large cities where they tend to congregate.
and if you do happen to come across one 'in the wild', just be polite like you'd be to any other bizarre and unexpected thing you came across at a bar or a restaurant... i mean or don't, i guess? people are assholes to all kinds of folks for all kinds of reasons, i don't see how being a shithead to a trans person is any worse than being a shithead to *insert literally any other kind of person that isn't a cis white heteronormative Chad douchebag*.
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?
ever heard the term "nature vs nurture"?
in US culture nearly all boys are taught from infancy what they are and are not allowed to enjoy, with any interest in dolls or 'feminine' things being instantly chastised and disapproved of, in some areas even being punished for it.
likewise, from birth babies are gendered - pink for girls and blue for boys, start shoving 2 year olds into dresses or blue jeans, a playmobile with little footballs and soccer balls vs. one with unicorns and fairies.

so there's your answer to that - it's just taught cultural attitudes. take a 2 month old male and female and raise them in a biodome with no exposure to any sort of differences or expectations in regards to gender and you would not see the behaviors you describe.
that is *learned* behavior, not inherent genetic differences.

as for the broader question you ask in your OP, well... who knows? and who cares?
information is kind of hard to pin down precisely, but the best estimates by research in the last 5 years indicates that maybe upwards of about 1.5 million people in the US identify as trans.
that's less trans people than there are goths still hanging around, and who gives a shit about goths anymore? that's only slightly more trans people than there are midgets.

the trans issue comes down really simply to an absolutely miniscule number of oddballs doing some shit that doesn't make sense to normal people, but hey whatever makes 'em happy i guess what do i care.
but religious whack jobs and the media fucking looooooooooove trannies and to have an absolute shit fit over them, so their cultural presence is ridiculously magnified in relation to how many of them there are and how much of an impact they actually have on anything, anywhere, for anyone.

sure if you read these forums you might think the he/her armageddon is nigh, but it's really just that this forum has 3 really transphobic reactionary dickheads who post about it *constantly* so that it LOOKS like the topic is everywhere.

the fact is that if you don't "get" the trans issue, it doesn't really matter... because statistically speaking there's so few of them you're likely to never meet one in your life, unless you happen to live in one of the large cities where they tend to congregate.
and if you do happen to come across one 'in the wild', just be polite like you'd be to any other bizarre and unexpected thing you came across at a bar or a restaurant... i mean or don't, i guess? people are assholes to all kinds of folks for all kinds of reasons, i don't see how being a shithead to a trans person is any worse than being a shithead to *insert literally any other kind of person that isn't a cis white heteronormative Chad douchebag*.
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place? But trans people argue that there is no right way to be a man or woman. You yourself just said they are "oddballs." This is not a term I would use. You are implying they are weird and strange. I am not implying that. I am asking why they consider themselves trans and what it even means. I have never received an adequate answer on this yet..

For example, if you look up the definition of woman, it says "adult human female." The definition of man is "adult human male." These are fair definitions. But when you look up the defintiion of a trans woman it says, "A trans woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth." So a more technical way to say this would be, "A trans woman is an adult human female who was assigned male at birth." But, how can a trans woman be an adult human female if they were born male? They would still be an adult human male, which is the definition of a man.

I can't understand this. I'm desperately trying to understand and I really want to.
 

Politesse

Lux Aeterna
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
7,436
Location
Chochenyo Territory, US
Gender
any
Basic Beliefs
Jedi Wayseeker

I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?

I just feel like if gender was more or less random, then we should have a similar percentage of guys walking around wearing dresses and skirts and make up and girls walking around wearing stereotypical male clothing. But there is a very high correlation that if you are born make, you won't be interested in dresses and make up and if you are born female, you won't be interested in male clothing and behavior. it should be more in the 50/50 range instead of 95/5 range or something like that. In my opinion, there would be nothing wrong if all males wore dresses and make up everywhere, but the question is, why don't more males do this? Why do most males view dresses and make up as a turn off for them to wear? Something just "feels off" to them about wearing that stuff. How can this be if it's there's not anything to this biologically?
Gender isn't random, it's a culturally constructed category; you would expect most people to largely conform to its expectations, because they were raised within the same culture from which those categories emerged. You don't intuit how to be a man or woman, it's taught to you. This is easily demonstrable, since different cultures apply different characteristics to gender, and indeed disagree on the number of expected genders, but people nonetheless usually fall into the gender categories they and others in their community expect. But no one ultimately finds that every aspect of their culture appeals to them, and questions of identity are especially fraught due to their emotional and psychological weight. We are also taught not to fidget, for instance, but many people fidget regardless, and interestingly, they do so in culturally predictable ways. The connection to biological sex is a further complication, as even if no one ever challenged cultural categorization, all communities would still have to deal with the reality of persons of ambiguous sex periodically, due to normal biological variation in sex expression.
 

prideandfall

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
1,881
Location
a drawer of inappropriate starches
Basic Beliefs
highly anti-religious agnostic
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
well sure, necessarily being trans means to be an aberration of the norm - which from what you could call a moral perspective the question is whether or not that "right way" actually matters (many consider it to be a moral issue, though personally i see it more as purely an intellectual exercise).
also there's the philosophical question of whether that "right way" is some inherent aspect of the physical reality of the universe (it isn't, btw) or if it's the "right way" for the same reason that driving on the right side of the road is the "right way": ie, it's just that way because that happens to be how we do it.

almost everyone is born with one of two possible sets of genitals, and those who are born without clearly defined genitals are literally an accident, and so they don't count because they're an irrelevant aberration to the process - they should be respected and empathized with for being cast adrift in a world that wasn't made for them, but for the most part they are such a rare thing that culturally they can be and should be ignored.

so it's not really about physicality so much as expressions of self.
if you're someone who for your entire life has fallen squarely into the middle-of-the-road mainstream america way of thinking and way of expressing yourself, you've probably literally never flexed the part of your brain that processes self expression.
i've encountered this dozens upon dozens of times in my life... most people off the street have literally never accessed the part of their intellect that even aware that 'self expression' exists, because for them just slapping on a pair of jeans or slacks and whatever shirt they got at Target means they blend into the huge unwieldy jello mold that is the western pop-cultural mainstream and moved on with their day.

i personally have a deviation from the norm: i never liked how i looked growing up, i never felt good about myself, and in my early teens in the early 90s i discovered that goths exist and it clicked for me in ways it would take a college thesis paper for me to explain.
so for 30 years i've worn all black clothes with a particular style to them because it fits my sense of identity and self expression - so i get existing within a culture where the accepted forms of self expression don't meet your needs, and i get being willing to defy the mainstream to feel content with how you're expressing to the world.

is that wrong? is refusing to wear blue jeans and a polo shirt the "wrong way" to be?
i don't think it's any more wrong (or right) than being a male and identifying with feminine traits or cultural expression.
however, one has to fully admit it's not common or usual or *normal* - the question is then simply one of whether or not it being abnormal means it has to be rejected or attacked.
jews are abnormal, so are the amish. for that, stand up comedians are abnormal... are comedians 'wrong' and should they be outlawed?

But trans people argue that there is no right way to be a man or woman. You yourself just said they are "oddballs." This is not a term I would use. You are implying they are weird and strange. I am not implying that. I am asking why they consider themselves trans and what it even means. I have never received an adequate answer on this yet.
well the way you're framing the question sounds like you're having an issue with the mental gymnastics of separating biological sex, gender expression, and the cultural expression of masculinity and femininity, and i think that's the key to understanding the trans issue.
think of it as "man and woman" vs "male and female" - the former is the cultural concept of what it means to be the latter.

trans people aren't monolithic - it's not like all of them feel the same way about their bodies, or about how they should go about expressing whatever disconnect they have between their sense of self and their bodies.
sometimes a trans person is a guy who gets it in his head to cut off his cock and balls and get surgery to pretend he has a vagina.
sometimes a trans person is a guy who doesn't feel any relation to the cultural concept of masculine behavior or self-expression and so acts in a way most people consider effete, as he tries to embody feminine traits he identifies with.
maybe there's a woman who utterly rejects the social expectations put on her for being a woman and idolizes the notion of being a hairy douchebag so gets her tits chopped off and a skin-tube she can piss out of sewed to her labia.
maybe there's a woman who just likes having pockets.

when people say gender is a spectrum they just mean the expression of masculine or feminine traits as recognized within the mainstream culture.
actual biology is not a spectrum - it's strictly binary, full stop. any attempt to argue that is the desperate and pathetic attempts by the delusional to deny reality, because "i'm aberrant because i want to be because it makes me feel better" isn't good enough for them, they need to find some way to hallucinate a path to "i'm normal" despite not being normal.
 
Last edited:

Trausti

Contributor
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
9,113
Location
Northwest
Basic Beliefs
Atheist Norse

I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?

I just feel like if gender was more or less random, then we should have a similar percentage of guys walking around wearing dresses and skirts and make up and girls walking around wearing stereotypical male clothing. But there is a very high correlation that if you are born make, you won't be interested in dresses and make up and if you are born female, you won't be interested in male clothing and behavior. it should be more in the 50/50 range instead of 95/5 range or something like that. In my opinion, there would be nothing wrong if all males wore dresses and make up everywhere, but the question is, why don't more males do this? Why do most males view dresses and make up as a turn off for them to wear? Something just "feels off" to them about wearing that stuff. How can this be if it's there's not anything to this biologically?
Gender isn't random, it's a culturally constructed category; you would expect most people to largely conform to its expectations, because they were raised within the same culture from which those categories emerged. You don't intuit how to be a man or woman, it's taught to you. This is easily demonstrable, since different cultures apply different characteristics to gender, and indeed disagree on the number of expected genders, but people nonetheless usually fall into the gender categories they and others in their community expect. But no one ultimately finds that every aspect of their culture appeals to them, and questions of identity are especially fraught due to their emotional and psychological weight. We are also taught not to fidget, for instance, but many people fidget regardless, and interestingly, they do so in culturally predictable ways. The connection to biological sex is a further complication, as even if no one ever challenged cultural categorization, all communities would still have to deal with the reality of persons of ambiguous sex periodically, due to normal biological variation in sex expression.
This seems off. Baby male monkeys have the same toy preferences as baby male humans. It's hard to imagine that evolution limited sex differences to physical characteristics. Would need an explanation for that.
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic

I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?

I just feel like if gender was more or less random, then we should have a similar percentage of guys walking around wearing dresses and skirts and make up and girls walking around wearing stereotypical male clothing. But there is a very high correlation that if you are born make, you won't be interested in dresses and make up and if you are born female, you won't be interested in male clothing and behavior. it should be more in the 50/50 range instead of 95/5 range or something like that. In my opinion, there would be nothing wrong if all males wore dresses and make up everywhere, but the question is, why don't more males do this? Why do most males view dresses and make up as a turn off for them to wear? Something just "feels off" to them about wearing that stuff. How can this be if it's there's not anything to this biologically?
Gender isn't random, it's a culturally constructed category; you would expect most people to largely conform to its expectations, because they were raised within the same culture from which those categories emerged. You don't intuit how to be a man or woman, it's taught to you. This is easily demonstrable, since different cultures apply different characteristics to gender, and indeed disagree on the number of expected genders, but people nonetheless usually fall into the gender categories they and others in their community expect. But no one ultimately finds that every aspect of their culture appeals to them, and questions of identity are especially fraught due to their emotional and psychological weight. We are also taught not to fidget, for instance, but many people fidget regardless, and interestingly, they do so in culturally predictable ways. The connection to biological sex is a further complication, as even if no one ever challenged cultural categorization, all communities would still have to deal with the reality of persons of ambiguous sex periodically, due to normal biological variation in sex expression.
Yes, I've heard the culturally constructed argument before. I understand it but I don't know if it can explain everything. I heard someone say a while ago, "Money is a social construct as well. But, this doesn't mean you can write on a piece of paper, "100 hundred dollars" and take that piece of paper to a store and use it."

Likewise gender could be a social construct, but this doesn't mean everyone will take your word for it. So when a trans woman says, "I am now an adult human female" or a trans man says, "I am now an adult human male" it makes some people not understand how that is possible. If a trans woman asked me in person, "Do you think I am a woman?" I wouldn't be able to say "yes" to this question, much in the same way if a person asked, "Do you think this piece of paper is real money?" I wouldn't be able to say yes.

I wish more people would respond because I think this is getting very interesting now. I really want to understand this.
 

Trausti

Contributor
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
9,113
Location
Northwest
Basic Beliefs
Atheist Norse

I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?

I just feel like if gender was more or less random, then we should have a similar percentage of guys walking around wearing dresses and skirts and make up and girls walking around wearing stereotypical male clothing. But there is a very high correlation that if you are born make, you won't be interested in dresses and make up and if you are born female, you won't be interested in male clothing and behavior. it should be more in the 50/50 range instead of 95/5 range or something like that. In my opinion, there would be nothing wrong if all males wore dresses and make up everywhere, but the question is, why don't more males do this? Why do most males view dresses and make up as a turn off for them to wear? Something just "feels off" to them about wearing that stuff. How can this be if it's there's not anything to this biologically?
Gender isn't random, it's a culturally constructed category; you would expect most people to largely conform to its expectations, because they were raised within the same culture from which those categories emerged. You don't intuit how to be a man or woman, it's taught to you. This is easily demonstrable, since different cultures apply different characteristics to gender, and indeed disagree on the number of expected genders, but people nonetheless usually fall into the gender categories they and others in their community expect. But no one ultimately finds that every aspect of their culture appeals to them, and questions of identity are especially fraught due to their emotional and psychological weight. We are also taught not to fidget, for instance, but many people fidget regardless, and interestingly, they do so in culturally predictable ways. The connection to biological sex is a further complication, as even if no one ever challenged cultural categorization, all communities would still have to deal with the reality of persons of ambiguous sex periodically, due to normal biological variation in sex expression.
Yes, I've heard the culturally constructed argument before. I understand it but I don't know if it can explain everything. I heard someone say a while ago, "Money is a social construct as well. But, this doesn't mean you can write on a piece of paper, "100 hundred dollars" and take that piece of paper to a store and use it."

Likewise gender could be a social construct, but this doesn't mean everyone will take your word for it. So when a trans woman says, "I am now an adult human female" or a trans man says, "I am now an adult human male" it makes some people not understand how that is possible. If a trans woman asked me in person, "Do you think I am a woman?" I wouldn't be able to say "yes" to this question, much in the same way if a person asked, "Do you think this piece of paper is real money?" I wouldn't be able to say yes.

I wish more people would respond because I think this is getting very interesting now. I really want to understand this.
There are people whose mental self-image differs from their physical body. Folks who hate their hands or legs and get them cutoff to match the mental image. There's a story of lady who poured Drano in her eyes to get blind. Trans is probably like these people. However, these people can actually remove limbs or become blind. A trans person can never change sex.
 

Politesse

Lux Aeterna
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
7,436
Location
Chochenyo Territory, US
Gender
any
Basic Beliefs
Jedi Wayseeker

I'm confused by this as well. I understand that it doesn't determine whether you like sports or math and whatnot. But, why do most men enjoy sports more than women? If gender was something that is more or less random, why don't we see more a higher percentage of men loving dolls and stereotypical women stuff and a higher percentage of women enjoying football and stereotypical guy stuff? Even young boys as young as 6 will say stuff to girls, "I don't play with dolls! That's for girls!" and girls would say, "Yuck football? That's for guys!" Why is this?

I just feel like if gender was more or less random, then we should have a similar percentage of guys walking around wearing dresses and skirts and make up and girls walking around wearing stereotypical male clothing. But there is a very high correlation that if you are born make, you won't be interested in dresses and make up and if you are born female, you won't be interested in male clothing and behavior. it should be more in the 50/50 range instead of 95/5 range or something like that. In my opinion, there would be nothing wrong if all males wore dresses and make up everywhere, but the question is, why don't more males do this? Why do most males view dresses and make up as a turn off for them to wear? Something just "feels off" to them about wearing that stuff. How can this be if it's there's not anything to this biologically?
Gender isn't random, it's a culturally constructed category; you would expect most people to largely conform to its expectations, because they were raised within the same culture from which those categories emerged. You don't intuit how to be a man or woman, it's taught to you. This is easily demonstrable, since different cultures apply different characteristics to gender, and indeed disagree on the number of expected genders, but people nonetheless usually fall into the gender categories they and others in their community expect. But no one ultimately finds that every aspect of their culture appeals to them, and questions of identity are especially fraught due to their emotional and psychological weight. We are also taught not to fidget, for instance, but many people fidget regardless, and interestingly, they do so in culturally predictable ways. The connection to biological sex is a further complication, as even if no one ever challenged cultural categorization, all communities would still have to deal with the reality of persons of ambiguous sex periodically, due to normal biological variation in sex expression.
Yes, I've heard the culturally constructed argument before. I understand it but I don't know if it can explain everything. I heard someone say a while ago, "Money is a social construct as well. But, this doesn't mean you can write on a piece of paper, "100 hundred dollars" and take that piece of paper to a store and use it."

Likewise gender could be a social construct, but this doesn't mean everyone will take your word for it. So when a trans woman says, "I am now an adult human female" or a trans man says, "I am now an adult human male" it makes some people not understand how that is possible. If a trans woman asked me in person, "Do you think I am a woman?" I wouldn't be able to say "yes" to this question, much in the same way if a person asked, "Do you think this piece of paper is real money?" I wouldn't be able to say yes.

I wish more people would respond because I think this is getting very interesting now. I really want to understand this.
Construct as in "something that was constructed". Not as in "fake". Cultural categories are as real as our behavior makes them. That doesn't mean they are intrinsic to us, or that they cannot change.
 

Don2 (Don1 Revised)

Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
11,420
Location
USA
Basic Beliefs
Nonpracticing agnostic
Yes, I've heard the culturally constructed argument before. I understand it but I don't know if it can explain everything. I heard someone say a while ago, "Money is a social construct as well. But, this doesn't mean you can write on a piece of paper, "100 hundred dollars" and take that piece of paper to a store and use it."

You have to rely on some government doing it for you until people decided to start doing it for themselves. And suddenly. BITCOIN!
 

TomC

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
3,078
Location
Midwestern USA
Gender
Faggot
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic deist
I'll put it the way I normally do: sex is the thing you need to consider when you wish to make babies.
That's clearly not true.

I have a clear and unambiguous sex. I am male. Nothing to do with making babies.

I also have a clear and unambiguous gender, man. I am a man, even if you don't like it. No doubt about that and there never was. I'm also gay.

Sex is different from gender. Sex and gender are different from orientation.

You aren't very good at recognizing these distinctions.
Tom
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
21,847
Location
Far Western Mass
Gender
Here.
Basic Beliefs
I'm here...
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
No. At the least, it admits there is a way (typical, popular, traditional, whatever) to determine man/woman, and this individual declines that way.
The fact that they disagree with the (tptw) way means they also disagree that it's the right way. The term acknowledges the disagreeance.
 

Metaphor

Sjajna Zvijezda
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
9,069
Location
Slouching towards Bethlehem
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
Perhaps you could elucidate the source of all these quotations? They all sound iffy to me.

It isn't that sex and gender are unrelated, the general consensus of the social sciences is that gender is fundamentally a construction or portrayal of "appropriate" sex-linked behavior, disposition, and social status. Gender is, to put it another way, very much about sex. But as a social construct, it is not synonymous with biological sex. Your Y chromosome determines whether or not testes will develop. It does not determine whether you will like sports, excel at math, beat on women, or be naturally proficient at hunting. Those are cultural protrayals of maleness, not inherent qualities of being biologically male and we know this to a certainty partly because perspectives on gender vary by culture, and differ wildly between different cultures.

99% simply isn't correct. Self-declarations of gender aren't necessarily trustworthy where severe persecution meets those who confess to a non-cis gender identity , but in the US where trans identity is becoming more open, the number of openly trans people is rapidly increasingly, hovering somewhere around 4% at present and expected to continue to increase as oppression and violence decrease.

Transgender people generally consider themselves to have been misassigned a gender at birth, not that they are at odds with their genetic sex. Hence why a trans woman would correctly say "I was assigned male at birth", not "I was a male at birth".
Nobody is assigned a gender at birth. A baby's sex is observed and recorded.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
7,634
Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
I'll put it the way I normally do: sex is the thing you need to consider when you wish to make babies.
That's clearly not true.

I have a clear and unambiguous sex. I am male. Nothing to do with making babies.

I also have a clear and unambiguous gender, man. I am a man, even if you don't like it. No doubt about that and there never was. I'm also gay.

Sex is different from gender. Sex and gender are different from orientation.

You aren't very good at recognizing these distinctions.
Tom
Let's consider this, then: what difference does your "clear and unambiguous" sex make?

Now, you obviously have some concept of what it is to be a man and you play to that. You feel that you ought.

The geometry of "sex" relates explicitly to making babies.

Note that word "need". You don't "need" to consider it for any other thing, not even for an orgasm, unless you are hopelessly fetish locked. Most people can masturbate without there being an immediately available genital of some specific shape other than their own.

There are certainly wants and hangups people have, but considering it of any person is not a need other than in the consideration of (me+them=kid?).

You don't need to consider it at any other moment of your life.
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
No. At the least, it admits there is a way (typical, popular, traditional, whatever) to determine man/woman, and this individual declines that way.
The fact that they disagree with the (tptw) way means they also disagree that it's the right way. The term acknowledges the disagreeance.
But now we are getting down to definitions. Words mean things. This is why we have definitions:

The definition of man is "adult human male"
The definition of woman is "adult human female."
The definition of trans man is "a man who was assigned female at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human male who was assigned female at birth."
The definition of trans woman is "a woman who was assigned male at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human female who was assigned male at birth."

Do these definitions make sense to you? They don't to me.

There is no way to define "man" or "woman" that includes trans woman or trans men. Many have tried and end up tying themselves in knots and going in circles. It just can't be done. If a trans woman asked, "Do you consider me a woman?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" Likewise, If a trans man asked, "Do you consider me a man?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'man'?"

It is not possible to answer these questions with a definition. Trust me, I've been reading about this for a long time online and also thinking about it in my mind and there is just no way you can do it. However, I am hoping someone can do it for me. There is simply no way to define man or woman other than "adult human male" or "adult human female."

Please try, guys. I am all ears. This is another very hard part about this. You don't understand how much this is driving me nuts.
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
Perhaps you could elucidate the source of all these quotations? They all sound iffy to me.

It isn't that sex and gender are unrelated, the general consensus of the social sciences is that gender is fundamentally a construction or portrayal of "appropriate" sex-linked behavior, disposition, and social status. Gender is, to put it another way, very much about sex. But as a social construct, it is not synonymous with biological sex. Your Y chromosome determines whether or not testes will develop. It does not determine whether you will like sports, excel at math, beat on women, or be naturally proficient at hunting. Those are cultural protrayals of maleness, not inherent qualities of being biologically male and we know this to a certainty partly because perspectives on gender vary by culture, and differ wildly between different cultures.

99% simply isn't correct. Self-declarations of gender aren't necessarily trustworthy where severe persecution meets those who confess to a non-cis gender identity , but in the US where trans identity is becoming more open, the number of openly trans people is rapidly increasingly, hovering somewhere around 4% at present and expected to continue to increase as oppression and violence decrease.

Transgender people generally consider themselves to have been misassigned a gender at birth, not that they are at odds with their genetic sex. Hence why a trans woman would correctly say "I was assigned male at birth", not "I was a male at birth".
Nobody is assigned a gender at birth. A baby's sex is observed and recorded.

Yes, so how can someone say their gender differs from their birth sex? Sex would just be sex. Gender would just be gender. So if someone is born and doctor says, "this is a male" and later on in life they say "I am a trans woman," why do they say they are trans? Sex and gender are supposed to be different. If they are different, how can they be trans? This implies gender and sex are supposed to be the same.
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
21,847
Location
Far Western Mass
Gender
Here.
Basic Beliefs
I'm here...
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
No. At the least, it admits there is a way (typical, popular, traditional, whatever) to determine man/woman, and this individual declines that way.
The fact that they disagree with the (tptw) way means they also disagree that it's the right way. The term acknowledges the disagreeance.
But now we are getting down to definitions. Words mean things. This is why we have definitions:
Now? No, we got to 'definitions' when you tried to impose one on 'trans' that is not part of the definition.
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
7,634
Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
I'll put it the way I normally do: sex is the thing you need to consider when you wish to make babies.
That's clearly not true.

I have a clear and unambiguous sex. I am male. Nothing to do with making babies.

I also have a clear and unambiguous gender, man. I am a man, even if you don't like it. No doubt about that and there never was. I'm also gay.

Sex is different from gender. Sex and gender are different from orientation.

You aren't very good at recognizing these distinctions.
Tom
Let's consider this, then: what difference does your "clear and unambiguous" sex make?

Now, you obviously have some concept of what it is to be a man and you play to that. You feel that you ought.

The geometry of "sex" relates explicitly to making babies.

Note that word "need". You don't "need" to consider it for any other thing, not even for an orgasm, unless you are hopelessly fetish locked. Most people can masturbate without there being an immediately available genital of some specific shape other than their own.

There are certainly wants and hangups people have, but considering it of any person is not a need other than in the consideration of (me+them=kid?).

You don't need to consider it at any other moment of your life.
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
No. At the least, it admits there is a way (typical, popular, traditional, whatever) to determine man/woman, and this individual declines that way.
The fact that they disagree with the (tptw) way means they also disagree that it's the right way. The term acknowledges the disagreeance.
But now we are getting down to definitions. Words mean things. This is why we have definitions:

The definition of man is "adult human male"
The definition of woman is "adult human female."
The definition of trans man is "a man who was assigned female at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human male who was assigned female at birth."
The definition of trans woman is "a woman who was assigned male at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human female who was assigned male at birth."

Do these definitions make sense to you? They don't to me.

There is no way to define "man" or "woman" that includes trans woman or trans men. Many have tried and end up tying themselves in knots and going in circles. It just can't be done. If a trans woman asked, "Do you consider me a woman?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" Likewise, If a trans man asked, "Do you consider me a man?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" and "What do you mean by the word 'man'?"

It is not possible to answer these questions with a definition. Trust me, I've been reading about this for a long time online and also thinking about it in my mind and there is just no way you can do it. However, I am hoping someone can do it for me. There is simply no way to define man or woman other than "adult human male" or "adult human female."

Please try, guys. I am all ears. This is another very hard part about this. You don't understand how much this is driving me nuts.
No, words don't mean things. All meanings of words are explicitly imaginary and arbitrary. Otherwise "god" being defined would mean "god" exists or is real.

Man and Woman are imaginary, and can mean and be formed however they may become useful.

You are here and as expected in the first page of one of your first posts here in which you claim faith in wishing to understand reveal out of the other side of your mouth bad faith in proclaiming certainty. You are not here to discuss, were I to judge by your post, but here to engage in a form of Rhetoric of JAQing Off; this is all you have done this far.

Help me understand otherwise?
 

Trausti

Contributor
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
9,113
Location
Northwest
Basic Beliefs
Atheist Norse
It would be nice if gender scholars could pinpoint the exact stage in the evolution of our species when all our innate predispositions and psychological adaptions shaped by millions of years of sexual selection were magically erased.
 

TomC

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
3,078
Location
Midwestern USA
Gender
Faggot
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic deist
No, words don't mean things.

Got it.

This rather creates a problem for any conversation, much less an internet conversation.

But I have noticed that about your posting on subjects like this one. Words only mean what suits your agenda, nothing more and nothing less.
Tom
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
I'll put it the way I normally do: sex is the thing you need to consider when you wish to make babies.
That's clearly not true.

I have a clear and unambiguous sex. I am male. Nothing to do with making babies.

I also have a clear and unambiguous gender, man. I am a man, even if you don't like it. No doubt about that and there never was. I'm also gay.

Sex is different from gender. Sex and gender are different from orientation.

You aren't very good at recognizing these distinctions.
Tom
Let's consider this, then: what difference does your "clear and unambiguous" sex make?

Now, you obviously have some concept of what it is to be a man and you play to that. You feel that you ought.

The geometry of "sex" relates explicitly to making babies.

Note that word "need". You don't "need" to consider it for any other thing, not even for an orgasm, unless you are hopelessly fetish locked. Most people can masturbate without there being an immediately available genital of some specific shape other than their own.

There are certainly wants and hangups people have, but considering it of any person is not a need other than in the consideration of (me+them=kid?).

You don't need to consider it at any other moment of your life.
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
No. At the least, it admits there is a way (typical, popular, traditional, whatever) to determine man/woman, and this individual declines that way.
The fact that they disagree with the (tptw) way means they also disagree that it's the right way. The term acknowledges the disagreeance.
But now we are getting down to definitions. Words mean things. This is why we have definitions:

The definition of man is "adult human male"
The definition of woman is "adult human female."
The definition of trans man is "a man who was assigned female at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human male who was assigned female at birth."
The definition of trans woman is "a woman who was assigned male at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human female who was assigned male at birth."

Do these definitions make sense to you? They don't to me.

There is no way to define "man" or "woman" that includes trans woman or trans men. Many have tried and end up tying themselves in knots and going in circles. It just can't be done. If a trans woman asked, "Do you consider me a woman?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" Likewise, If a trans man asked, "Do you consider me a man?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" and "What do you mean by the word 'man'?"

It is not possible to answer these questions with a definition. Trust me, I've been reading about this for a long time online and also thinking about it in my mind and there is just no way you can do it. However, I am hoping someone can do it for me. There is simply no way to define man or woman other than "adult human male" or "adult human female."

Please try, guys. I am all ears. This is another very hard part about this. You don't understand how much this is driving me nuts.
No, words don't mean things. All meanings of words are explicitly imaginary and arbitrary. Otherwise "god" being defined would mean "god" exists or is real.

Man and Woman are imaginary, and can mean and be formed however they may become useful.

You are here and as expected in the first page of one of your first posts here in which you claim faith in wishing to understand reveal out of the other side of your mouth bad faith in proclaiming certainty. You are not here to discuss, were I to judge by your post, but here to engage in a form of Rhetoric of JAQing Off; this is all you have done this far.

Help me understand otherwise?
Absolutely not. I already stated I don't have a problem with trans people. However, I am afraid if they ask me, "Do you think I'm a man/woman?" I can't answer "yes" to the question. This means they will get angry at me and say I am being disrespectful and hateful, but this is not my intention. For example, we all know there are drag queens who look like women and dress in extravagant dresses but still say they are male/men. I have no problem with this.

But when you have 2 people dressed as a woman and one says "I'm a woman" and another says, "I'm still a man" it becomes insanely confusing. It would be so much easier if trans woman/trans men viewed themselves like drag queens do. I understand they don't want to view themselves this way and want to be viewed as a man or a woman, but we have no way of understanding what those words mean when it applies to trans women/trans men.

We don't have adequate definitions of these words. I have no idea what a trans woman means when they say, "I am a woman" or when a trans man say, "I am a man." These words have to mean something to them otherwise there's no point to say you are a trans man/trans woman. This is simply a matter of definitions, it's not a matter of disliking them or hating them. Far from it. I want to understand what they mean by these terms so I don't get looked at as a hateful lunatic if I encounter one in person. Can you understand this?
 

Jarhyn

Wizard
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
7,634
Gender
No pls.
Basic Beliefs
Natural Philosophy, Game Theoretic Ethicist
I'll put it the way I normally do: sex is the thing you need to consider when you wish to make babies.
That's clearly not true.

I have a clear and unambiguous sex. I am male. Nothing to do with making babies.

I also have a clear and unambiguous gender, man. I am a man, even if you don't like it. No doubt about that and there never was. I'm also gay.

Sex is different from gender. Sex and gender are different from orientation.

You aren't very good at recognizing these distinctions.
Tom
Let's consider this, then: what difference does your "clear and unambiguous" sex make?

Now, you obviously have some concept of what it is to be a man and you play to that. You feel that you ought.

The geometry of "sex" relates explicitly to making babies.

Note that word "need". You don't "need" to consider it for any other thing, not even for an orgasm, unless you are hopelessly fetish locked. Most people can masturbate without there being an immediately available genital of some specific shape other than their own.

There are certainly wants and hangups people have, but considering it of any person is not a need other than in the consideration of (me+them=kid?).

You don't need to consider it at any other moment of your life.
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
No. At the least, it admits there is a way (typical, popular, traditional, whatever) to determine man/woman, and this individual declines that way.
The fact that they disagree with the (tptw) way means they also disagree that it's the right way. The term acknowledges the disagreeance.
But now we are getting down to definitions. Words mean things. This is why we have definitions:

The definition of man is "adult human male"
The definition of woman is "adult human female."
The definition of trans man is "a man who was assigned female at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human male who was assigned female at birth."
The definition of trans woman is "a woman who was assigned male at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human female who was assigned male at birth."

Do these definitions make sense to you? They don't to me.

There is no way to define "man" or "woman" that includes trans woman or trans men. Many have tried and end up tying themselves in knots and going in circles. It just can't be done. If a trans woman asked, "Do you consider me a woman?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" Likewise, If a trans man asked, "Do you consider me a man?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" and "What do you mean by the word 'man'?"

It is not possible to answer these questions with a definition. Trust me, I've been reading about this for a long time online and also thinking about it in my mind and there is just no way you can do it. However, I am hoping someone can do it for me. There is simply no way to define man or woman other than "adult human male" or "adult human female."

Please try, guys. I am all ears. This is another very hard part about this. You don't understand how much this is driving me nuts.
No, words don't mean things. All meanings of words are explicitly imaginary and arbitrary. Otherwise "god" being defined would mean "god" exists or is real.

Man and Woman are imaginary, and can mean and be formed however they may become useful.

You are here and as expected in the first page of one of your first posts here in which you claim faith in wishing to understand reveal out of the other side of your mouth bad faith in proclaiming certainty. You are not here to discuss, were I to judge by your post, but here to engage in a form of Rhetoric of JAQing Off; this is all you have done this far.

Help me understand otherwise?
Absolutely not. I already stated I don't have a problem with trans people. However, I am afraid if they ask me, "Do you think I'm a man/woman?" I can't answer "yes" to the question. This means they will get angry at me and say I am being disrespectful and hateful, but this is not my intention. For example, we all know there are drag queens who look like women and dress in extravagant dresses but still say they are male/men. I have no problem with this.

But when you have 2 people dressed as a woman and one says "I'm a woman" and another says, "I'm still a man" it becomes insanely confusing. It would be so much easier if trans woman/trans men viewed themselves like drag queens do. I understand they don't want to view themselves this way and want to be viewed as a man or a woman, but we have no way of understanding what those words mean when it applies to trans women/trans men.

We don't have adequate definitions of these words. I have no idea what a trans woman means when they say, "I am a woman" or when a trans man say, "I am a man." These words have to mean something to them otherwise there's no point to say you are a trans man/trans woman. This is simply a matter of definitions, it's not a matter of disliking them or hating them. Far from it. I want to understand what they mean by these terms so I don't get looked at as a hateful lunatic if I encounter one in person. Can you understand this?
What you state plainly in apparent faith is revealed clearly as bad faith. Just because you say it is so does not make it so especially when your communications betray "the quiet part".

You frame a confrontation where someone asks "what am I" and you must decide. Were you curious you would accept that the response may be "that is not for me to tell but your thing to state of yourself!"

Your initial scenario is shaped to become a confrontation and you stand there claiming you cannot hold all these limes! You cannot hold them because you have ignored the fact that your scenario assumes at the get-go someone is trying to do a bad. The bad you assume of them is to put you on the spot for things you cannot and should not assume, especially when posed with an apparent ambiguity.

It is not your right to be unconfused. It is your right to ask the question. It is not your right for the world to be easy or straightforward or fit in the categories you wish of it. Those categories are IMAGINARY!

The definitions we have are adequate: when someone says "I am a man" they say "you, person, treat me as you would any man". Same with "woman".
 

Metaphor

Sjajna Zvijezda
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
9,069
Location
Slouching towards Bethlehem
Hi I am new here but I have been reading for about a month. I hope this is the right forum for this because it has become a political issue. If it's the wrong forum, I apologize.

With that said, I am looking to see if any of you guys can help me understand sex and gender and transgender people because it has been driving me nuts when I think about it. I want to say first off that I have no problem with trans people. If someone wants to dress or act a certain way, that is fine by me. My issue is with the gender/sex subject.

I have been reading the subject and I hear, "Sex and gender are different. They have nothing to do with each other." This confuses me because people say around 99% of people are "cisgender", which means your gender and sex match. But how can gender and sex "match" if they have nothing to do with each other? Saying they match is implying that sex and gender are the same thing and there is a right way and a wrong way, yet people insist on saying they have nothing to do with each other. For example, if someone is a born male and identifies as a man, people say they are cisgender because their sex and gender match. This implies there is a right way to be male and a right way to be female. Otherwise, how can you say they match?

Transgender people are "people whose gender identity differs from their birth sex." But if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other, how can someone state that "my gender differs from my birth sex?" This implies that a person's gender should be the same as their birth sex. But, this is in direct contradiction to the fact that people say, "sex and gender are different and have nothing to do with each other." But for 99% of people, sex and gender are the same. For example, when people find out the sex of their baby, they say, "it's a boy" or "it's a girl." But how can they say this when they only know the baby's sex and not their gender? We are told that only the person themselves can decide what gender they are. So this implies parents should say, "I found out my baby will be born with a penis. But, I have no idea if it will be a boy or girl because they haven't decided their gender yet." Nobody says this. They all say "boy" or "girl" and give the baby "he" and "she" pronouns before they are even born. This implies sex and gender are the same thing. So if 99% of people are comfortable with their gender and sex being the same thing, how can people still claim gender and sex have nothing to do with each other?

So when trans women say, "I was assigned male at birth but I now identify as a woman," this implies that people who are assigned male at birth are supposed to identify as a man. But, how can this be if sex and gender have nothing to do with each other? If someone is assigned male at birth and identifies as a woman, how can this even be considered "transgender" if sex and gender are supposed to have nothing to do with each other? One can just as easily say, "I was born male and I identify as a man and I am transgender becuase sex and gender have nothing to do with each other. Being a man doesn't have anything to do with my penis." The term "transgender" implies that gender and sex should match each other. But if they match this implies gender and sex are the same thing despite the fact people say they are completely different.

Can you guys see the point I am trying to make here? I am trying to explain it as best as I can. Let me summarize: On one hand, people say gender and sex are completely different and have nothing to do with each other. Yet, 99% of people are "cisgender," which means that your gender and sex are the same thing. Can anyone solve this contradiction? I've been trying to for a while and I can't think of a good answer. This is why I'm asking you guys. As I said, I have no problem with trans people. I just feel like there is a big contradiction here with these definitions. I hope you guys can answer these questions for me. I've been driving myself nuts thinking about this.
Perhaps you could elucidate the source of all these quotations? They all sound iffy to me.

It isn't that sex and gender are unrelated, the general consensus of the social sciences is that gender is fundamentally a construction or portrayal of "appropriate" sex-linked behavior, disposition, and social status. Gender is, to put it another way, very much about sex. But as a social construct, it is not synonymous with biological sex. Your Y chromosome determines whether or not testes will develop. It does not determine whether you will like sports, excel at math, beat on women, or be naturally proficient at hunting. Those are cultural protrayals of maleness, not inherent qualities of being biologically male and we know this to a certainty partly because perspectives on gender vary by culture, and differ wildly between different cultures.

99% simply isn't correct. Self-declarations of gender aren't necessarily trustworthy where severe persecution meets those who confess to a non-cis gender identity , but in the US where trans identity is becoming more open, the number of openly trans people is rapidly increasingly, hovering somewhere around 4% at present and expected to continue to increase as oppression and violence decrease.

Transgender people generally consider themselves to have been misassigned a gender at birth, not that they are at odds with their genetic sex. Hence why a trans woman would correctly say "I was assigned male at birth", not "I was a male at birth".
Nobody is assigned a gender at birth. A baby's sex is observed and recorded.

Yes, so how can someone say their gender differs from their birth sex? Sex would just be sex. Gender would just be gender. So if someone is born and doctor says, "this is a male" and later on in life they say "I am a trans woman," why do they say they are trans? Sex and gender are supposed to be different. If they are different, how can they be trans? This implies gender and sex are supposed to be the same.
I'm one of the 'transphobic reactionaries' mentioned earlier on in the thread, so keep that in mind with my answer.

I would say the main thing people mean by 'trans' is that their gender identity does not match their sex. But one of the problems here is that people do not define what they mean by 'gender identity' (except circularly), and that even though mammals have only two sexes, 'gender identity' can be anything, because it is a thought in a person's head.

So, sex must be 'male' or 'female', but gender identity can be 'male', 'female', 'non-binary', 'demi-boi', 'faegender', [insert unlimited gender identities]. So, trans people (the ones who admit that there is biological sex), have a sex that is either male or female, and a gender identity that is not the same descriptor.

Now, that's all well and fine, but it seems simply to me that gender identity is a short-hand description of your likes and interests and perceived personality. But what I don't know is why this is then supposed to replace sex where human societies have chosen to treat people differently depending on sex, or how it's even possible to replace a binary variable (sex) with a nebulous, multichotomous variable (gender identity).
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
21,847
Location
Far Western Mass
Gender
Here.
Basic Beliefs
I'm here...
Absolutely not. I already stated I don't have a problem with trans people.

No one said you have a problem with trans people.
But you are very sure you know the truth of their claims.

And you claim that anyone using 'trans' already agrees with you.
You're not here to discuss, just to dismiss all who take another view.
 

Melange_Thief

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
22
Location
Suburban Cascadia
Gender
animate
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
No. At the least, it admits there is a way (typical, popular, traditional, whatever) to determine man/woman, and this individual declines that way.
The fact that they disagree with the (tptw) way means they also disagree that it's the right way. The term acknowledges the disagreeance.
But now we are getting down to definitions. Words mean things. This is why we have definitions:

The definition of man is "adult human male"
The definition of woman is "adult human female."
The definition of trans man is "a man who was assigned female at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human male who was assigned female at birth."
The definition of trans woman is "a woman who was assigned male at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human female who was assigned male at birth."

Do these definitions make sense to you? They don't to me.

There is no way to define "man" or "woman" that includes trans woman or trans men. Many have tried and end up tying themselves in knots and going in circles. It just can't be done. If a trans woman asked, "Do you consider me a woman?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" Likewise, If a trans man asked, "Do you consider me a man?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'man'?"

It is not possible to answer these questions with a definition. Trust me, I've been reading about this for a long time online and also thinking about it in my mind and there is just no way you can do it. However, I am hoping someone can do it for me. There is simply no way to define man or woman other than "adult human male" or "adult human female."

Please try, guys. I am all ears. This is another very hard part about this. You don't understand how much this is driving me nuts.
Hi Generation55, as someone with overly extensive experience with linguistics, I categorically recommend against founding your argument on the idea that words mean specific things. Language changes constantly to fit the needs of its speakers, and the only reasonable way of determining the meanings of words is to do extensive tests on what native speakers of a language consider comprehensible and incomprehensible uses of words. Additionally, words can easily be rather fuzzy categories.

For instance, "fruits" are often defined as the fleshy parts that plants encase seeds in for various reasons. This is the source of the common claim that tomatoes are a fruit. But if there was a tomato and an apple sitting next to each other, and I asked you to pass me the fruit, you probably wouldn't ask for clarification as to which one to hand me, would you? That's because fruit has multiple, layered definitions! There's a culinary and a botanical definition with a large amount of overlap, such that the full definition of fruit is something like "It's definitely a fruit if it's a seed-bearing fleshy plant part that is sweet or tart in flavor, it's definitely not a fruit if it's not a plant part, and if it's a plant part that only fulfills part of the definition, then what it is depends on if you're cooking with it or doing science to it."

With regards to language change, the word "deer" did not originally refer to a specific animal, but instead referred to any beast. Of course, the beast most commonly discussed is the animal we now call a deer, so the meaning shifted. The reverse of this shift can happen too: "dog" was originally a word for a specific breed of dog, but now of course it is the general word for the animal (while the old general term, "hound" shifted from being general to being specifically dogs used for hunting).

So, you claim "man" means "an adult biologically male human." First, I'd like to note that I, a native English speaker, have knowingly and intentionally used the word "man" in a way that absolutely does not comport with that definition, but which nonetheless was not taken as confusion or deception by other native English speakers: I called one of my late dogs as he got older an "old man". Now, he was adult and biologically male, but he definitely wasn't human, and no one around me ever thought I was claiming him to be a human. I am certain if you had been there, you would not have been surprised or confused by my use of the term either. This is because definitions are not the straightjackets that legal textualists, trans-skeptical folks, and other assorted miscreants would like for them to be.

So, noting that the concept of a hard and fast definition is not really possible, we can instead build a model of the historical usage of the word "man" that has a solid central meaning and fuzzy edges: "Someone who is an adult biologically male human who behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man, and additionally the word man may be used to refer to someone who fulfills most of those criteria." What trans-inclusive folks would argue is that a more useful definition going forward is something like this: "Someone who is an adult human and behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man." Now, notice that no one who is definitely considered a man under the old definition is excluded in this one, so no one loses anything from using this as the definition of "man". The only real difference is that trans men definitely qualify under this formulation of the definition. So then, my question to you is, why can't we just use that as the definition of man in our everyday speech?
 

Metaphor

Sjajna Zvijezda
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
9,069
Location
Slouching towards Bethlehem

So, noting that the concept of a hard and fast definition is not really possible, we can instead build a model of the historical usage of the word "man" that has a solid central meaning and fuzzy edges: "Someone who is an adult biologically male human who behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man, and additionally the word man may be used to refer to someone who fulfills most of those criteria."
What do you mean by 'most' of the criteria? Is being a human adult male enough for 'most'? Is behaving according to the norms in the local culture 'most', so that butch adult females could qualify as 'a man'?

When you called your dog 'old man', nobody balked at it because they recognise figurative use of language. But you are not claiming trans men should be accepted as men under figurative usage, are you? You think the definition of 'man' should change to include them, aren't you?

What trans-inclusive folks would argue is that a more useful definition going forward is something like this: "Someone who is an adult human and behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man."
I very much doubt that's what "trans-inclusive" folk want. I would say that "trans-inclusive" folk would say "it doesn't matter what someone behaves like, what matters is how they identify, and how they identify is best determined by what utterances they make about their identity".

Your definition would also include many people who would not want to be called a man (and who currently nobody considers to be men), as men. According to your new definition, butch females who dress in a style typical of males, work in male-dominated fields, and have female partners who bear the children in their family would be men.

Now, notice that no one who is definitely considered a man under the old definition is excluded in this one, so no one loses anything from using this as the definition of "man". The only real difference is that trans men definitely qualify under this formulation of the definition. So then, my question to you is, why can't we just use that as the definition of man in our everyday speech?
That is not the only difference, as I have pointed out.

But your question is shifting the burden of proof. Why should we change what we mean by the word 'man', to exclude some people who were previously included, and include some people who were previously excluded'? I can certainly detail some reasons why that change would be detrimental.
 

Generation55

Banned
Banned
Joined
Nov 5, 2021
Messages
163
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
But every time you say "trans people" you are admitting that there is a right way to be a man or woman, otherwise why have the label of trans in the first place?
No. At the least, it admits there is a way (typical, popular, traditional, whatever) to determine man/woman, and this individual declines that way.
The fact that they disagree with the (tptw) way means they also disagree that it's the right way. The term acknowledges the disagreeance.
But now we are getting down to definitions. Words mean things. This is why we have definitions:

The definition of man is "adult human male"
The definition of woman is "adult human female."
The definition of trans man is "a man who was assigned female at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human male who was assigned female at birth."
The definition of trans woman is "a woman who was assigned male at birth." This makes the technical definition "an adult human female who was assigned male at birth."

Do these definitions make sense to you? They don't to me.

There is no way to define "man" or "woman" that includes trans woman or trans men. Many have tried and end up tying themselves in knots and going in circles. It just can't be done. If a trans woman asked, "Do you consider me a woman?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'woman'?" Likewise, If a trans man asked, "Do you consider me a man?" you guys would say "yes, of course." But then the question becomes, "What do you mean by the word 'man'?"

It is not possible to answer these questions with a definition. Trust me, I've been reading about this for a long time online and also thinking about it in my mind and there is just no way you can do it. However, I am hoping someone can do it for me. There is simply no way to define man or woman other than "adult human male" or "adult human female."

Please try, guys. I am all ears. This is another very hard part about this. You don't understand how much this is driving me nuts.
Hi Generation55, as someone with overly extensive experience with linguistics, I categorically recommend against founding your argument on the idea that words mean specific things. Language changes constantly to fit the needs of its speakers, and the only reasonable way of determining the meanings of words is to do extensive tests on what native speakers of a language consider comprehensible and incomprehensible uses of words. Additionally, words can easily be rather fuzzy categories.

For instance, "fruits" are often defined as the fleshy parts that plants encase seeds in for various reasons. This is the source of the common claim that tomatoes are a fruit. But if there was a tomato and an apple sitting next to each other, and I asked you to pass me the fruit, you probably wouldn't ask for clarification as to which one to hand me, would you? That's because fruit has multiple, layered definitions! There's a culinary and a botanical definition with a large amount of overlap, such that the full definition of fruit is something like "It's definitely a fruit if it's a seed-bearing fleshy plant part that is sweet or tart in flavor, it's definitely not a fruit if it's not a plant part, and if it's a plant part that only fulfills part of the definition, then what it is depends on if you're cooking with it or doing science to it."

With regards to language change, the word "deer" did not originally refer to a specific animal, but instead referred to any beast. Of course, the beast most commonly discussed is the animal we now call a deer, so the meaning shifted. The reverse of this shift can happen too: "dog" was originally a word for a specific breed of dog, but now of course it is the general word for the animal (while the old general term, "hound" shifted from being general to being specifically dogs used for hunting).

So, you claim "man" means "an adult biologically male human." First, I'd like to note that I, a native English speaker, have knowingly and intentionally used the word "man" in a way that absolutely does not comport with that definition, but which nonetheless was not taken as confusion or deception by other native English speakers: I called one of my late dogs as he got older an "old man". Now, he was adult and biologically male, but he definitely wasn't human, and no one around me ever thought I was claiming him to be a human. I am certain if you had been there, you would not have been surprised or confused by my use of the term either. This is because definitions are not the straightjackets that legal textualists, trans-skeptical folks, and other assorted miscreants would like for them to be.

So, noting that the concept of a hard and fast definition is not really possible, we can instead build a model of the historical usage of the word "man" that has a solid central meaning and fuzzy edges: "Someone who is an adult biologically male human who behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man, and additionally the word man may be used to refer to someone who fulfills most of those criteria." What trans-inclusive folks would argue is that a more useful definition going forward is something like this: "Someone who is an adult human and behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man." Now, notice that no one who is definitely considered a man under the old definition is excluded in this one, so no one loses anything from using this as the definition of "man". The only real difference is that trans men definitely qualify under this formulation of the definition. So then, my question to you is, why can't we just use that as the definition of man in our everyday speech?
Very interesting post. Thank you for that. However, a drag queen does not conform to the norms of biologically male human. Yet, they would still be a man under the "adult human male" category. Under your definition, drag queens would be excluded from being considered men as they dress and conform to the norms of biologically female humans.

You using the term "old man" to refer to your dog matches the definition of "adult male" but not "adult HUMAN male" which is the definition of a man. if you just use the term "adult male" then an adult horse would be a man, an adult sheep would be a man, etc. etc. I don't think this is a good definition. This would get out of control. If I saw an adult horse and said, "Look at that huge man!" people would ask me why I am calling a horse a man.

I appreiciate your effort but as I said, your definition exclues drag queens from being considered men. They wouldn't be happy about this definition of man. You will have to try again. Like I said before, it seems basically impossible to come up with a definition of man and woman that includes trans men and trans women. I do think you made a great effort but it fell just short.
 

Melange_Thief

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
22
Location
Suburban Cascadia
Gender
animate
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
No, words don't mean things.

Got it.

This rather creates a problem for any conversation, much less an internet conversation.

But I have noticed that about your posting on subjects like this one. Words only mean what suits your agenda, nothing more and nothing less.
Tom
Tom, I'm afraid you have more to learn about human language. The fact is, words are an arbitrary sequence of sounds that are arbitrarily assigned to arbitrary categories of meaning - and the assignments are not fixed. They can be analogically extended and they change constantly, and we could never hope to stop them from changing even if we wanted to. (Actually, let me take that a step farther: We humans could not prevent language from changing even if it was somehow the only way to avoid the destruction of all life on Earth, so you best hope our survival never becomes dependent on that!) Words mean what a community of speakers can understand them to mean, and since humans are generally regarded as mildly clever for an animal, we're capable of understanding many ways of using the same words.

Now, this shouldn't make you go all nihilist on the concept of language. People have successfully used it for, estimating conservatively, tens of thousands of years (probably closer to hundreds of thousands of years, possibly even a couple million years - unfortunately words don't fossilize well, so the best we can say is that language evolved sometime after the chimp-human split but before the invention of agriculture), so I think it's safe to say the system works quite well, thank you. And it even works well enough that linguists can use empirical tools to make accurate characterizations about how speech communities use language. But it's simply too flexible of a system to act as though there is some Platonic ideal definition for each word that we channel every time we use it.
 

Emily Lake

Might be a replicant
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
3,803
Location
It's a desert out there
Gender
Agenderist
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
sex is the thing you need to consider when you wish to make babies
Or when you don't want to accidentally bleed through your pants because you forgot your period was coming up, or when you get self-conscious about your fifteen year old breasts because some old man keeps staring at them, or when you worry about getting date raped or having your drink spiked, or when you are a bit concerned about that inappropriate boner that popped up in class, or when you notice that there's a lump on one testicle, or when you have trouble peeing because of an enlarged prostate, or when you get an annual mammogram because breast cancer runs in your family, or when you worry about your salt intake because the males in your family have a history of high blood pressure, or when you suffer debilitating pain during your period because of fibroids or endometriosis, or when your swollen uterus irritates your sciatic nerve, or when you suffer hot flashes and night sweats from approaching menopause, or when you want to pee off the side of the road...
 

Emily Lake

Might be a replicant
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
3,803
Location
It's a desert out there
Gender
Agenderist
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
It would be nice if gender scholars could pinpoint the exact stage in the evolution of our species when all our innate predispositions and psychological adaptions shaped by millions of years of sexual selection were magically erased.
I blame it on Judith Butler, and the idiots who think that if they claim to understand her poppycock word salad that makes them seem smart and erudite.
 

Emily Lake

Might be a replicant
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
3,803
Location
It's a desert out there
Gender
Agenderist
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
No, words don't mean things.

Got it.

This rather creates a problem for any conversation, much less an internet conversation.

But I have noticed that about your posting on subjects like this one. Words only mean what suits your agenda, nothing more and nothing less.
Tom
6-40.jpg
 

Melange_Thief

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
22
Location
Suburban Cascadia
Gender
animate
Basic Beliefs
Atheist

So, noting that the concept of a hard and fast definition is not really possible, we can instead build a model of the historical usage of the word "man" that has a solid central meaning and fuzzy edges: "Someone who is an adult biologically male human who behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man, and additionally the word man may be used to refer to someone who fulfills most of those criteria."
What do you mean by 'most' of the criteria? Is being a human adult male enough for 'most'? Is behaving according to the norms in the local culture 'most', so that butch adult females could qualify as 'a man'?

When you called your dog 'old man', nobody balked at it because they recognise figurative use of language. But you are not claiming trans men should be accepted as men under figurative usage, are you? You think the definition of 'man' should change to include them, aren't you?
I do agree that I used "old man" figuratively to refer to him, and I definitely am not trying to say that trans folks are the gender they are in a figurative sense, so you have noted that accurately.

What I would say is that I actually think trans folks are already covered under the definition for their respective genders anyway, actually, but I didn't want to go on a whole tangent on how one does tests to work out the semantics of words and I didn't feel like that would be the way to maximally edify the person I was replying to on the questions they asked.

But for you, I'll try to summarize my semantic argument. The short version is something like this: I have a good friend who is a trans man, who I met long after he transitioned. Before my friend came out to me, it never occurred to me to describe him using anything other than the word "man" anyway, because I don't go around pulling down people's pants to figure out whether I should call them a man or a woman, and I've never seen anyone else try to do that either. So, at the very least all of the native English speakers who I know who know my friend were already using "man" in a non-figurative way to refer to a trans individual before any of them knew he was trans, and, speaking as a native English speaker who knows him, it feels just as deeply inaccurate to use any other word than "man" now as it did before I knew about him being trans. In semantics, that is empirical evidence that the word "man" covers a trans person in the speech communities I am a member of.

What trans-inclusive folks would argue is that a more useful definition going forward is something like this: "Someone who is an adult human and behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man."
I very much doubt that's what "trans-inclusive" folk want. I would say that "trans-inclusive" folk would say "it doesn't matter what someone behaves like, what matters is how they identify, and how they identify is best determined by what utterances they make about their identity".

Your definition would also include many people who would not want to be called a man (and who currently nobody considers to be men), as men. According to your new definition, butch females who dress in a style typical of males, work in male-dominated fields, and have female partners who bear the children in their family would be men.
The butch women I know and my trans men friends and family still dress and behave differently, so I have to say that I do not find your scenario to be a compelling counterclaim. In any case, proclaiming an identity is a behavior, and proclaiming an identity as a man is an expected norm of adult biologically male humans that a butch woman wouldn't do, so a butch woman still would not fulfill the criteria regardless of their dress or employment. Still, perhaps using "identify as" somewhere in there might have been better, but I did after all specifically say "something like this" as a hedge because I don't want to claim that I am creating the ultimate perfect definition of "man". I'm conveying a general idea rather than calling down the True Meaning of the True Word Man from the Platonic Plane, so kindly allow for some wiggle room in how I word things.

Now, notice that no one who is definitely considered a man under the old definition is excluded in this one, so no one loses anything from using this as the definition of "man". The only real difference is that trans men definitely qualify under this formulation of the definition. So then, my question to you is, why can't we just use that as the definition of man in our everyday speech?
That is not the only difference, as I have pointed out.

But your question is shifting the burden of proof. Why should we change what we mean by the word 'man', to exclude some people who were previously included, and include some people who were previously excluded'? I can certainly detail some reasons why that change would be detrimental.
You haven't demonstrated that people who were previously excluded are now included under my proposed definition. You attempted to demonstrate that some people who don't wish to be included are included, but I have provided a rebuttal of your attempted counterclaim. As for reasons why you think it would be detrimental, I must confess I am deeply uninterested in hearing them. In my time as a lurker I have become aware of your opinion (and, dare I say, overly prolific postings) on the subject, and as such I'm afraid the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you're capable of a good faith discussion of these sorts of matters before we continue.
 

Melange_Thief

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2003
Messages
22
Location
Suburban Cascadia
Gender
animate
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Very interesting post. Thank you for that. However, a drag queen does not conform to the norms of biologically male human. Yet, they would still be a man under the "adult human male" category. Under your definition, drag queens would be excluded from being considered men as they dress and conform to the norms of biologically female humans.
We can add a proviso about performance to my definition, it's no big deal. Regardless, if this is a problem for my definition, it's also a problem for what I suggested as the historical usage. But honestly the key thing to take away is that you can't make rigid mathematical definitions of words, they are inherently flexible and have fuzzy boundaries.

You using the term "old man" to refer to your dog matches the definition of "adult male" but not "adult HUMAN male" which is the definition of a man. if you just use the term "adult male" then an adult horse would be a man, an adult sheep would be a man, etc. etc. I don't think this is a good definition. This would get out of control. If I saw an adult horse and said, "Look at that huge man!" people would ask me why I am calling a horse a man.
I have to be honest: I don't think you read that section of my post very thoroughly. My point is that we absolutely can use words in ways that don't comport with the most literal definitions we use for them, and that whole system of language doesn't collapse when we do that. I was not attempting to suggest that "man" refers to adult males of any species. The utterance you bring up in context you provided would definitely confuse people, but if you were already discussing a male horse, and you said about that horse something like "he's the big man on the pasture", I doubt that any native English speaker would be confused.

I appreiciate your effort but as I said, your definition exclues drag queens from being considered men. They wouldn't be happy about this definition of man. You will have to try again. Like I said before, it seems basically impossible to come up with a definition of man and woman that includes trans men and trans women. I do think you made a great effort but it fell just short.
I mean, I don't see why *I* am the one who needs to fix it. I made a proposal, and you claim it came up just short. If you really wanted a definition of "man" and "woman" that included trans people, you could have easily added verbiage that excluded your drag queen scenario instead of offering that as a refutation of my definition. Regardless, I fully admit that my provided definition probably isn't the perfect definition to cover all possible scenarios. I'll do your job for you and touch things up with your objections (and Metaphor's too, since I'm already here):

"Someone who is an adult human and who, when attempting to act as their authentic self rather than in the context of a performance, behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture, including affirmatively identifying as a man, is definitely a man."

Spoiler alert: This definition is also going to turn out imperfect in some way, and that will prove to be precisely as non-deadly to my overall points about the fuzziness of word definitions as past objections were, and there will still be exactly zero justifications at the end of the day for saying "We shouldn't use the gender words for trans folks that trans folks would like us to use".
 

Metaphor

Sjajna Zvijezda
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
9,069
Location
Slouching towards Bethlehem

But for you, I'll try to summarize my semantic argument. The short version is something like this: I have a good friend who is a trans man, who I met long after he transitioned. Before my friend came out to me, it never occurred to me to describe him using anything other than the word "man" anyway, because I don't go around pulling down people's pants to figure out whether I should call them a man or a woman, and I've never seen anyone else try to do that either.
But whoever has suggested pulling down somebody's pants? This red herring gets brought up repeatedly, but why?

So, at the very least all of the native English speakers who I know who know my friend were already using "man" in a non-figurative way to refer to a trans individual before any of them knew he was trans, and, speaking as a native English speaker who knows him, it feels just as deeply inaccurate to use any other word than "man" now as it did before I knew about him being trans. In semantics, that is empirical evidence that the word "man" covers a trans person in the speech communities I am a member of.
What makes you think they did not know this person was trans? I mean: you claim you didn't know, but are you generalising your experience to other people? Or are you claiming that people already include the conception of 'trans man' in their definition of 'men', so that's how they saw them already?

There are several posters here who appear to think the sex of a person is a mystery without inspecting somebody's genitals. Inspecting genitals is a pretty good way to observe somebody's sex and is generally sufficient, but it's certainly not necessary.

What trans-inclusive folks would argue is that a more useful definition going forward is something like this: "Someone who is an adult human and behaves according to the norms for adult biologically male humans in the local culture is definitely a man."
I very much doubt that's what "trans-inclusive" folk want. I would say that "trans-inclusive" folk would say "it doesn't matter what someone behaves like, what matters is how they identify, and how they identify is best determined by what utterances they make about their identity".

Your definition would also include many people who would not want to be called a man (and who currently nobody considers to be men), as men. According to your new definition, butch females who dress in a style typical of males, work in male-dominated fields, and have female partners who bear the children in their family would be men.
The butch women I know and my trans men friends and family still dress and behave differently, so I have to say that I do not find your scenario to be a compelling counterclaim.
Dress and behave differently how? How 'male typical' does a female have to be to be declared a man under your definition? Describe it in terms of your own culture.

In any case, proclaiming an identity is a behavior, and proclaiming an identity as a man is an expected norm of adult biologically male humans that a butch woman wouldn't do, so a butch woman still would not fulfill the criteria regardless of their dress or employment.

It has not been my experience that proclaiming an identity as a man is an expected norm of adult biologically male humans. What does it mean to do that?

Still, perhaps using "identify as" somewhere in there might have been better, but I did after all specifically say "something like this" as a hedge because I don't want to claim that I am creating the ultimate perfect definition of "man". I'm conveying a general idea rather than calling down the True Meaning of the True Word Man from the Platonic Plane, so kindly allow for some wiggle room in how I word things.

I am happy to do so. I was pointing out what I think is an obvious problem with your attempted definition.

Now, notice that no one who is definitely considered a man under the old definition is excluded in this one, so no one loses anything from using this as the definition of "man". The only real difference is that trans men definitely qualify under this formulation of the definition. So then, my question to you is, why can't we just use that as the definition of man in our everyday speech?
That is not the only difference, as I have pointed out.

But your question is shifting the burden of proof. Why should we change what we mean by the word 'man', to exclude some people who were previously included, and include some people who were previously excluded'? I can certainly detail some reasons why that change would be detrimental.
You haven't demonstrated that people who were previously excluded are now included under my proposed definition. You attempted to demonstrate that some people who don't wish to be included are included, but I have provided a rebuttal of your attempted counterclaim.
I am unconvinced by your rebuttal, because you merely said butch women don't act like 'men'. If you now wish to revise that and say 'butch women don't claim to be men', and have the proclamation be the only criterion for manhood, okay. You agree with my earlier claim that the (sincere?) utterance is sufficient.


As for reasons why you think it would be detrimental, I must confess I am deeply uninterested in hearing them. In my time as a lurker I have become aware of your opinion (and, dare I say, overly prolific postings) on the subject, and as such I'm afraid the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you're capable of a good faith discussion of these sorts of matters before we continue.

If you don't want to hear them then you don't want to hear them. I too am uninterested in engaging with somebody uninterested in engaging with me.
 

Metaphor

Sjajna Zvijezda
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
9,069
Location
Slouching towards Bethlehem

and there will still be exactly zero justifications at the end of the day for saying "We shouldn't use the gender words for trans folks that trans folks would like us to use".
This already begs the question: why are 'man', 'woman', 'she', etc 'gender' words? What makes them gender words and not sex words? I have not seen, in any medium, common usage of the term 'gender' to apply to humans before the 1960s. 'Man' and 'woman' are sex terms that have 'human' and 'maturity' as part of their definition. 'He' and 'she' are gender words for nouns (in languages where gendered nouns are a thing), but they were always words to describe sex for humans and other animals.

But more importantly, your claim (that there is no justification for the polite fictions of using sexed words for people to whom the sexed word does not apply) is unevidenced. I have engaged in polite fictions with trans people by using the pronouns of a sex they are not, but that is not the sole (or even main) demand of trans activists. Though you are also silent on the demands of neopronouns--of which there is a vast array. Are the neopronouns also all legitimate, and we have 'zero' reasons to not use them?

Trans activists demand we supplant sex for gender in nearly every conceivable situation. And the transformation of language is a step in that process: if you are treating trans women as women for language purposes, then they must also be women for all purposes.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom