Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by Fozzie Bear, May 22, 2018.
Except those who disagree.
You've seen it; they haven't. Nobody here supports or defends it. What's to be discussed? To what end?
It seems to me just the opposite Vintage Paw
Men who identify as women ‘feel like’ women. I’ve yet to hear any trans person actually explain what that means, name those feelings, so can only assume that it means some kind of stereotypical, idealised notion of woman. But maybe someone wants to correct me?
That seems to me to be narrowing the definitions of gender. Rather than maleness expanding to incorporate men whose gender identity includes feminine aspects, the conclusion is that they must, in fact, be a woman. And women are asked to expand the definition of woman to include ‘men who feel like women’. Which does seem a little bizarre to me.
Maybe it is all just a brave new world which us old farts will have to adjust to.
You could do worse than read certain sections of the NHS page on gender dysphoria.
No it's not. Of course the context of the wider world outside U75 is important but if people aren't going to engage with what is actually posted by posters then everyone might as well go off to twitter. This is a bulletin board for discussion, that discussion has to be based on what people are actually saying, you might place it in the wider context but lazy assertions based on what "people" are saying don't advance any debate.
Thanks. Do you happen to know what proportion of trans gender individuals have a diagnosable endocrine abnormality? The above conditions are rare, and I wondered how much they account for gender dysphoria. Ta for any reply!
I cant answer that question and I recognise that in past discussions there has been a predictable desire for one side to use this aspect in their favour, and the other to massively downplay its relevance. The NHS article knows better than to speculate on all the stuff that doesnt fit within the safer territory of clear biological explanations.
A lot of that more unclear stuff about 'feelings' and the discussions we could have about it are clearly dangerous territory, responsible for some of the extreme polarisation we end up with in these debates. Because there is a lot of baggage and dearly held beliefs and assumptions. Mine, yours, everybody elses.
This is my stumbling block also. Although just because nobody can give an answer doesn’t mean there isn’t one unknown to us.
Just one example would be that I dont have to glance at too many research papers before I get the sense that small improvements in scientific understanding of topics related to genes, gender, sex and the mind happen quite often. If I believe some hype about progress on the genetics front then its tempting to expect an acceleration of some of these things in future.
This stuff always has the potential to expand understanding as well as possibly generating new dilemmas. But from what I've seen of the way humans tend to come up with simple labels and classifications, it is entirely possible that even if science eventually demonstrated a very rich world of variation that makes a mockery of some of the notions about biological sex, these old ideas will still persist in their simplified form.
elbows fair enough. And of course I think you’re right that increased knowledge of the interplay between genetics and endocrinology will result in a lot more shades of grey when it comes to both sex and gender.
I see this has been causing a stir on mumsnet too. Incidentally they don't know what causes mental health difficulties (as in not really a clue imo) either so don't get your hopes up they know why people have gender dysphoria.
I guess I think it might be better if that gender spectrum was just accepted more for what it was, as people who (for whatever reason), have more of a mix of gender typical attributes. Rather than try to change their physical characteristics with hormones or surgery, they were just a feminine man or a masculine woman or someone who was in between. And society changed to accept that, rather than the focus being on individuals to conform to gender roles. But maybe that’s pie in the sky.
Or maybe that is in fact where solidarity can be found between feminists and gender questioning people?
I’m not convinced I’m making sense tho, I’m more thinking out loud.
I think there's a definite blurring out there and a lot of those who are anti-trans do not really meet the established radical feminist viewpoint particularly as allegiances form with the conservative right. The Posie Parkers of the world for example, very femme, heterosexual and who may not feel they have a gender identity but certainly have a very gendered presentation and a fairly conservative outlook. They seem a long way from the rad fem lesbian seperatists who made up the original anti-trans movement within feminism.
I don't want to drag someone in to this thread if they don't want to be here, but I think this post on the old thread from iona was a good, if obviously subjective, description of how gender dysphoria felt to them.
are you sure you aren't a feminist?
I don't know what this refers to.
Sure. But just call them (daily mail transphobes or whoever you’re talking about) something else ? VintAge paw was accusing ‘gender critical feminists’ of narrowing acceptable ways of being female that’s what I found weird.
she may be banned from competing at top level again, it seems - https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/04/22/trans-athletes-testosterone-olympic-2020-toyko/
Makes perfect sense to me. If you’re given two very distinct and restrictive boxes that you can be in, and you don’t fit in your box, where are you meant to look?
Especially if a bunch if your traits fit really well with the other box.
I suspect that, by and large, they’re looking in the wrong place, because it’s far easier to get funding for research when it falls in line with the dominant paradigm.
I was being sarcastic about the whole thing.
I think this is where people start talking past one another though.
It's possible to feel uncomfortable with certain traits that you see society as associating with *your* gender, maybe more comfortable with others, and then relating to still others supposedly of the *other* gender, to feel some apply to you, others not, to not particularly *feel* yourself to be essentially one gender or another most of the time, and also to completely reject any idea that you have gender dysphoria. You're just *you*, and to hell with the stereotypes imposed by others.
And of course it is very possible to think that the above is an altogether healthier position than that of someone who slips easily into culturally defined gender roles. Who fits comfortably in those? Conformist types, no? Fuck that.
I do understand that true gender dysphoria is something very different from what I describe above, but at the same time, notions of 'living as' one gender or the other and having such notions formally (even medically) defined, sit very uneasily with many people, me included. You might look at me and say that I'm very obviously 'living as' a man, but aside from clothing (I wear conventionally 'male' clothes) and maybe the current hairstyle, I'm not really sure what that means. I'm certainly resistant to the idea that some further meaning might be imposed on me from outside.
Possibly apropos of nothing, but my (55year old) partner has had an endocrine imbalance his whole life - culminating in some quite unusual (to me) biological characteristics (no bodily hair at all, brittle bones) although he parlayed any anxiety/dissidence into enthusiastic drug-taking rather than sexual query...partly because, I guess, this was the rebel outsider culture (or definitely part of his, and mine) during our 70's adolescence...as opposed to gender questioning which, I truly think, has a uniquely cultural place in millenial society...although it's evolution was long. Needing to articulate difference, freakishness, during a period of turmoil...but filtered through a consciousness which is contemporaneous to the wider social world...my partner did/ find an element of playful freedom in sexual dissidence during our Brighton student days, though, that's for sure.
So, um, what I am labouring to say is how tricky it can be, to draw the dots between biological, social, political identity, selfdom, belonging and other, quite slippery things
(probably unhelpful but hormones...scary
That’s a good point that it perhaps expresses itself in this way due to current sociological reasons. Interesting post.
I think these things all get conflated - there are issues relating to endocrine and biological differences in some people, including intersex conditions, but these are pretty rare, and when it comes to what we'd generally put under the umbrella of gender-dysphoria and transgender experiences I think we get polarised between either:
i) It's a condition of the body/brain.
ii) It's a condition of the mind.
Both of those presuppose it's a condition of the person suffering the consequences, but I think it's possible that we're neglecting the possibility that it's a condition relating to how we relate to one another. All of us, not just the person bearing the brunt of our condition.
do we need to nail down exactly why some people are trans?
don't think anyone has nailed down exactly why some people are gay / bi, but there is - at least in some countries / cultures - a growing acceptance that some people are, and just getting on with it...
This is happening. I have a couple of friends who are cis women with “masculine” traits such as being tall & slender (whilst also being quite feminine in their presentation); they get misgendered on a weekly basis & are now finding they’re being challenged over whether they’re in the right toilets much more frequently than before this was such a hot topic.
And yes, pretty much any time any one of my friends who are cis women engage in any online debate where they show support for trans people, they are assumed to be trans women.
It might seem like a bonkers comparison if you’ve not come across it before but it’s become a reality for butch women and gender nonconforming women.
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