The cross-dresser reading stories to children was “not ok with you”. me “pretending to be a women[sic]” is “not ok with you”. You have (apparently) objections of some form to trans-groups. You highlighted the distinction between transgender/transsexual. I wanted to know if your objections hinged on the distinction.
Where and how do you see that people are “forced to”?
What would be your opinion where for example I decided to treat you as a “woman”? Or if a group you were part of decided to treat you or another person as a thing (non-gendered at least, potentially non human)?
The post modern concept(s)(or construct in postmodernist lingo) of identity rests on this shaky foundation.
Here’s an example of this nonsense ideology…coming to a school near you. (If it’s not there already.) shiftingthinking.org/?page_id=61
You’re making all sorts of unwarranted inferences there. It’s really quite simple:
People who think they are a gender other than their natal gender are deluded.
Sometimes this causes them serious distress, and it would be humane for treatment to be available.
Some of these deluded people and their supporters are activists who think their ideas should be “normalised” in society. (It would take too long to go into all the ideas here, but the core idea is that a person can – in actuality – be whatever gender they choose to be).
The aims of the activists include indoctrination of young people into their mindset, mandatory use of traditionally gender-segregated locations like bathrooms and locker rooms, criminalisation of certain forms of speech (e.g. use of “wrong pronouns”).
I’m “not ok” with number 4). People can believe whatever they like until it starts to impinge on the freedoms of others.
See 4) above.
Depending on context (and on what you mean by putting “woman” in scare quotes) my opinion would be that you were deluded or deliberately rude.
I do very much appreciate the next piece (all the rest of your post) as it’s very clear. I’ll respond piece by piece, not to nit-pick but to try to get into the thinking…
I guess it depends on what we mean by gender. If you take a medical test and use that to identify gender, you can have a binary split. So say X-X chromosomes means female and anything else means male. X-X vs X-Y doesn’t give pure binary split as there are a bunch of syndromes that leave people somewhere else, or even chimera/mosaic outcomes. But I guess we could force people into the label Male, Female, Neuter (actually it seems Intersex is more the term, although maybe that focuses more on observable characteristics rather than a chromosmal test).
You’re right that if we say gender is the sex-determination by that test at birth, then that’s just what it is. But I don’t think that gets to what trans people are expressing.
Separate to the biological categorisation, there are a bunch of gender norms we’d associate with male/female/other in a given society. These have common threads, but lots of variation too from place/time to place/time. I really have no problem believing that a person could be born with uncomplicated gender (say pass any typical biological categorisation as male or as female) but yet be equally happy or happier to live their life within the social construct of the other gender (dressing, acting, working, etc.,). I’m not saying everyone would be such.
If someone wanted to dress and act as a woman or a man, then I’m ok with calling them a woman or man if that’s what they like. It’s what we do all the time anyway. I’m not checking DNA or genitals when I meet new people. I know women who could definitely pass as easily as a man if they just dressed differently, fewer men who’d pass the other way but my imagination is also probably lacking. But I/we generally just take people as the gender they present.
Where I differ with you here is I don’t see indoctrination, and I probably have different perceptions of when freedom is impinged upon.
I don’t see how allowing someone to act a gender different to the one a given biological measure would identify as their birth gender impinges on others’ freedom. I don’t really see the issue with bathrooms or locker-rooms. I’ve seen it presented that you’d have men dress as women (fake trans) so they could get access to locker rooms to look at women whom they find arousing. The same argument would argue that gay/bi men/women shouldn’t go into their own-sex locker room.
Regarding the pronouns, I’m probably inclined not to want it criminalised either. Similar to your comment at the end of your post, it just seems boorish not to use a pronoun that someone wants.
Putting “woman” in quotes was to signify that I’m just using that word without specifying any particular associations (e.g. biological, cultural, legal, whatever). i.e. Not saying “you have X-X chromosomes” which if you’re a straightforward biological man, is verifiably untrue. Another variation would be to simply deny a gender, which is what I meant as thing, so e.g. to use “it” as a pronoun or simply deny the claimed gender “you’re not a man”.
Denying the gender isn’t so unusual depending on culture. Like if you haven’t had children you’re not a woman. If you can’t get an erection, you’re not a man. The person denied gender can argue “I’ve got X-Y chromosomes”, but be knocked back with “but you’re not a man” or whatever.
This is doubtless true, but beside the point. Grayson Perry springs to mind – a man who likes to dress as a woman, in an obvious role-playing way. Perry does not believe he is a woman. My problem is with people who believe they are a different gender and insist that I believe it too. They are welcome to their own delusion as long as they don’t try to involve me.
We’ll agree to disagree then.
But if you re-read what I wrote you’ll see a number of specific issues of concern, none of which are merely “allowing someone to act a gender”.
If you think that the majority of women are suddenly going to be comfortable with obviously natal males hanging around their bathrooms and locker rooms I think you’re nuts.
Mostly it’s about actions rather than beliefs. Nobody knows what you believe, only how you act. So I know that there’s a pronoun issue and people who want to be addressed with she/her even though they have a birth cert that says male. If people address them as she/her, that’s what’s asked, not belief.
I’ll have to re-read posts then, but I’ll apologise that I don’t have the spare time to do it right now. All I can honestly think of are bathroom issues, awkwardness around trying to use unconventional pronouns, and maybe a visceral squick impact.
If you believe that there’s an indoctrination effort, really a type of brainwashing, then that’s likely to trigger a reaction too. I don’t see much of that honestly (as I’ve said) and see many others that are more powerful, for example:
Establishment of traditional gender norms (boys pirates, girls princesses) and limiting roles
Free market economics and capitalism
These kinds of things have huge infrastructure around them, to maintain a collective consensus and close out the possibility of questioning / challenge.
I think with a toilet it will be relatively a lot easier. There’s no nudity/exposure. If the trans person is trying to be a woman, I think in most cases that it will not create an issue. Potentially harder in a gents toilet, but men can always use the cubicles if they want to, and again the issue doesn’t arise.
If you have woman who has transitioned from a natal gender to the extent that she passes as a woman, she’d create more disruption by going into the mens rooms.
But are you saying we should be required to act contrary to our beliefs? If I believe a person is a man, and have strong evidence for it, should I be required to refer to him as a woman just to pander to his delusion?
Two wrongs don’t make a right, so other examples are superfluous. And if you don’t see much indoctrination it may be that you are not looking far enough afield. See Canada for instance. As we know from other “rights” they are certain to arrive near you soon.
That’s a fair point which I’m not sure how to address. Needs more thought.
When I think through that, it seems so fundamental and important to the trans-person and so incidental to me that it wouldn’t cost me a thought. I probably wouldn’t personally support a law that would put someone in jail for using wrong pronouns. But much like when I asked you how you would react if I gendered you neutral or female, in spite of your own belief, it would seem either careless, or if fully intentional, then rude and boorish.
this seems scare mongering, and not just “scare quotes” mongering. Of course, I cannot say for sure it’s not happening.
Forgetting Trans for a moment… personally I’d prefer gender neutral public toilets as a norm. Women I’ve talked to don’t like that because of their belief/experience that men are dirtier in their use of toilets, partly because of standing to urinate, but not only. But there’s a sense to it in a lot of situations, in particular if gender-mix changes over time (e.g. in a workplace, school, college course). Also makes it easier to include the baby changing facility once rather than doing it twice or having it stranded in the women’s.
Back to Trans it would remove one flashpoint as you now have “human toilets” and gender is irrelevant.
Changing rooms become something else probably, at least in anglo-cultural sphere (and several others).
I haven’t been to a sauna very often, but I was years ago at a couple in Switzerland and Austria. Was all nude and all mixed (men, women, I don’t think there were any children present though). Depending on where they were with transition, a trans person could still stand out in such a setting, but at least it’s clear that there’s only one place so only one place for them to be.
I worked with a guy who believed he had been abducted by aliens. (I know it sounds like a joke but it certainly wasn’t). This was of fundamental importance to him along with a plethora of other bizarre beliefs that were patently untrue, but which I discussed at length with him over a couple of years. When his beliefs were challenged by others he experienced stress and developed psychosomatic problems. I like to think I treated him respectfully at all times, and certainly never dismissively, but never did I think it would be helpful to him or our mutual colleagues to pander to his delusions.
You seem to be suggesting that if you referred to me as a female it would be careless, rude or boorish only if I believed myself to be male. That’s wrong. I am male. Objectively, truthfully, verifiably. If I ever try to pretend anything else, feel free to tell me to catch a grip. I consider it tragic for people who are in thrall to such delusions. Especially because – with a few rare exceptions – they are usually a bad caricature of the gender they wish to emulate. Like it or not, it is hardly an evolutionary accident that other humans are biologically programmed to be alert to such fakery.
The whole notion is flawed to begin with: if they feel they were born “in the wrong body” their whole attempt at emulation signifies a belief that there are characteristics that are truly gender-specific. Otherwise why try to emulate them? But this flies in the face of the claim that gender is a social construct. In that case they are merely forsaking one fashion for another.
In my very early teens I desperately wanted to fit in with punk fashions. In the trousers department, tight-fitting drainpipes were de rigeur. But my family were highly impecunious and the clothes were all hand-me-downs. So I was more likely to be seen in flares or – god forbid! – bell-bottoms. I wanted to be Johnny Rotten in red tartan drainpipes. Instead, I was David Bowie on the back cover of Hunky Dory. What’s more I couldn’t even pretend to be a retro-cool fashionista as the similarity ended at the waist – my haircut was from the cheapest barber in town who had not updated his style from G.I.-style crewcuts of the 1940s. I was sure I was a punk who had been born into a fashion disaster of someone else’s making. Nobody could see the real me. But then pretty soon Bowie was back in a clown suit, Miami Vice suits with padded shoulders and rolled-up sleeves were “in” and the fashion train set off in a different direction. Just about the time I could afford to dress myself, I lost interest.
Why is “gender identity” any different? If gender is a social construct, essentially a fashion, how is it any more important than being a glam rocker, a punk or a New Romantic? And if gender is more intrinsic than that, then you’re stuck with what Nature intended.
And should those women’s real or imagined concerns be overridden by the imagined gender identity of non-reassigned transgender people?
I recently spoke with a Google employee who told me that’s in one of their US offices there is a female employee who identifies as a fox. Apparently this person wears furry clothes to work and meetings and everyone plays along.
Now I’m prettty sure that if this ‘fox’ came into my yard and I decided to shoot and kill her due to my being of the view that she was likely to steal some of my chickens, those same Google colleagues would want me charged with murder ie nobody actually believes she is a fox, it’s all just a carefully crafted collective (politically motivated) delusion that’s probably not doing the fox a whole lot of good over the longer term. A bit like the great Irish property bubble in some regard.
There are also safety issues arising from the normalization of the trans concept across mainstream society. A male who transitioned to female has been charged with rape in an English prison being one.
I would see it as rude only if you asked that you be addressed as the other. (Belief is another level: you may be a man who believes you’re a woman, but you don’t want the trouble that comes from presenting that belief in public, so you want to be addressed as male “for a quiet life”. In that case, I’d consider it polite to address as male.
Regarding actuality: I’ve only got your word for that (that you’re male), and that’s actually enough. I’m prepared to deal with you on that basis. Your identity is not important enough to me for me to go any further in investigating it. I’s rather personal to you. When you say it’s verifiable though, I’m curious: have you actually verified by genetic screening? There are situations where someone has apparently male/female physical attributes, but would not pass the relevant X-X/X-Y test.
It’s tempting to say that doesn’t only apply to trans people (though I’m thinking in particular of character).
By your standard, is there a threshold of neglect or unattractiveness where one could lose one’s birth gender inadvertently.
It doesn’t really. There’s a social construct in place today that means that most people react on the basis of certain triggers. To emulate/adopt/etc., those triggers doesn’t mean that they are inalienable or completely genetically hard-wired. It just means they are in place today in a particular context.
I don’t have answers to these questions. The one point I’d highlight is that being stuck in the wrong body/outfit also changes how the world interacts with you. (i.e. you as a frustrated punk would find it harder to be accepted as a punk)
I’d generally favour the inclusive/access rights rather than the exclusionary rights.
Some people would prefer not to have blacks/homosexuals/lesbians in their toilets. It may be a real preference, heart-felt. It diminishes their satisfaction to have integrated bathrooms. However I favour the access-right over the exclusionary-right.
Further up the page you asked for an example of potential dangers associated with the broader concept as I think you couldn’t conceive of one. Surely this story is one such example whereby indulgence of what can only be described as the current trans agenda resulted in a number of women being sexually assaulted and raped.
Your above response appears to be to suggest that you don’t see an issue with imprisoning natural born men who decide to identify as female in an enclosed space with females for up to 20-23 hours per day, and have sought to draw an equivalence between the risks associated with same and the risk of rape or sexual assault that may exist in everyday scenarios outside of prison. Further, it could perhaps be considered why prisons are segregated along gender lines to begin with.
As per the following article it seems that women are to be the biggest losers in the clamour to create a ‘trans-inclusionary’ world, not least in the manner in which what are considered gender ‘norms’ are being re-written by many activists around the issue…and its still not fully clear to me why such a trajectory would be deemed desirable.
An incidental point, but one I’ve experience in. Men’s toilets are generally cleaner than women’s, as will be readily attested by anyone who’s ever had to clean public toilets for a living.
I’ve always found the toilet flashpoint thing a little weird - non-gender-specific bathrooms are fairly common (at least in Dublin), and not just in LGBT±friendly venues, or places with limited space. Seems a no-brainer.
Politeness is nice, but not the basis on which society operates. If you require people to believe that a man is a woman, or act as if they believed it, the reaction will not be polite. Do you think there are other scenarios in which we should be forced to pretend that delusions are real in order to be polite? Is that not even a tad worrying?
Can I just confirm that you are acknowledging that genes are the sine qua non of sex determination? If not, why are you following this line of questioning? Would you agree that male X-X, X-X-Y (Klinefelter’s) and androgen insensitivity syndrome are disorders? (That is, they are the result of specific defects that occur in reproduction or development). They are also rare and not a factor in the general transgender question.
I never mentioned neglect or unattractiveness.
Many things about human development are not completely genetically hardwired. That is not to say they don’t have a large genetic component. I am not arguing for a fundamentalist genetic determinism. I am arguing for not overthrowing useful norms because they don’t suit a tiny but vocal minority.
I completely agree. A great deal of compassion is required here. That is not fostered by trampling all over traditional norms.
Not necessarily. In this case, I don’t see it as of concern (one way or another) because the impacts are primarily internal to the trans person. What I mean is that even if I try to take your view (or what I think I understand is your view) that the gender is X-Y/X-X chromosome defined at birth, I can’t see much external effect when someone then adopts another gender during their life.
I also disagree that politeness and tolerance are not parts of what makes social systems function.
I’m following this line because it seems to be one of your basic assumptions/tenets. But I could be wrong on that. Anyway, what I’m saying is that even within that X-X/X-Y determinism frame (which I don’t share), you (like me) still end up interacting practically, day to day, with gender based on how you and other people present themselves.
And most of the time, at least in my daily life, the gender of other people is pretty incidental to me. Switching it would make no difference.
Why are they not a factor? I think the edge cases are useful in testing the thinking, and they are real. Some of these situations are also not necessarily apparent. e.g. people with Androgen insensitivity syndrome can develop apparently normally, and can excel in many ways. Before modern testing there wouldn’t necessarily have been anything indicating something unusual.
They are pretty rare (wikipedia says something like 1/3000), but trans-gender itself is relatively rare too.
What I responded to was
Whether you meant that in the physical (my assumption) or behavioural sense we can certainly go and find X-X born men who are physically or behaviourally poor caricatures of the gender-norms our society associates with men… either via genetics or lifestyle.
You really did though. You wrote “Like it or not, it is hardly an evolutionary accident that other humans are biologically programmed to be alert to such fakery.”.
It doesn’t have any scientific basis as a statement. Nor is it a straightforwardly presented value judgement (i.e. “I don’t like XYZ”). It looks a lot like a common enough resort to biological determinism.
This sounds to me like, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-so_story , and makes a perfectly solid defence of racial segregation in southern US, excluding women from the vote, excluding non property owners from vote, or any other set of norms that have been able to claim the banner of “traditional norm” at some point or another.
No, I just consider it to be a bit of a red-herring. Men rape men in prison too. I’m sure women sexually abuse women in prison. If we have a story where a Donegal man stabs a Dubliner in Mountjoy, why not use that as an argument to segregate on county lines. Or should gays/lesbians be in prison with their own gender?
If a black guy stabs/rapes a white guy in prison, you could equally use that as an argument to segregate prisons on race.
In all these cases, the real problem is that prisons are violent places and if you lock people up together in enclosed spaces for 20-23 hours a day (as you say ), some ugly things will happen. If a trans-person is going into prison, I’d like to see some sort of expert opinion brought to bear in terms of risk-assessing how that’s likely to work out (could get the scenario you fear, or perhaps more likely the trans person get beaten up by the other prisoners).
Most of what that article refers to would support an argument to further support the progress of male-female equality, rather than to argue against progress for trans-gender people.
Also, very practically, the article talks about impacts on toilets and waiting times. Like mickandmac, I think that’s a bit of a red herring. Anyway, there’s such a thing as unisex and female urinals, and (though I lack the equipment to test myself ) women can urinate standing even into a male urinal with technique.
I cleaned toilets (en-suites to hotel rooms), but never segregated ones. What makes the women’s dirtier? Sanitary waste?
I’ve heard different women say, with quite a degree of conviction!, that men leave the toilet dirtier. But I don’t really have any sample size myself.
What do you mean you don’t share it? Sex in humans (and, in fact, all mammals) in genetically determined. There’s no doubting that. It’s a biological fact. To argue otherwise is unscientific and irrational. What we are arguing about is whether there is a concept of gender – different from sex – which is not sexually determined.
Most of the time, yes. But by no means all the time. There are still innumerable examples of when gender roles matter.
Well then present some scientific evidence about links between chromosomal disorders and this alleged non-sexually determined concept of gender. I’m happy to consider anything you’ve got.
You say it’s a social construct but have provided no evidence.
You can’t be serious. You’re suggesting that physiological cues in mate selection don’t exist, and/or are not based on sex differences? Ah c’mon, surely you’re able to find some of the extensive literature on the subject. Coming from a different angle, here are just a few taken from a discussion of facial feminising surgery in a book on gender dysphoria:
Humans are alert to innumerable physiological and behavioural cues in social interactions.
Yes, because advocating for segregation by sex in contexts in which sex makes a difference is akin to keeping slaves.
No offence, but you put me in mind of the nutcases who say that a person who prefers sex with a person of the opposite natal sex compared to a transsexual is transphobic. Thanks for reminding me that the excesses of those pushing a “liberalising” agenda know no bounds. Their supporters and facilitators are already in place – those for whom the mere mention of “traditional norms” is a trigger, regardless of any common sense argument.