What's Makes A Man/Woman?

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evilthecat:

inu-kun:
If he lied I want a proof he lied, which should be in no short supply rather than heresay.

You can want what you want. There is never going to be any "proof" of anything, because all we have to go on is a single student crying to the media when they didn't get their way. Institutions are not going to stoop to the same level of unprofessional conduct just to soothe your anxieties.

And there's a difference between lying and misrepresenting. Lying is when I say something which didn't happen. Misrepresenting is when I infer something which didn't happen by carefully wording things that did happen. I have no doubt that the ethics committee expressed concern over damage to the institution's reputation, because that is one of the things an ethics committee exists to weigh up. However, the intention is very clearly to give a misleading impression that this was the primary motivation and that what is at stake here is some kind of political suppression of important research rather than a student proposing to do highly inappropriate masters dissertation and being rightly picked up by an ethics committee for it.

Heck, I've seen numerous news outlets describe him as an "academic", which kind of illustrates how grossly out of line with reality the narrative is.

I kinda doubt that academies are above that and as long as they don't reply (which they can do in an official capacity) there's no reason to believe the man is wrong.

And if it was a point they made it's certinely should be criticized, like if I'd want to enlist there and get the answer that I can't:
1) Because I don't have good enough grades.
2) Because I'm a dirty jew.

Even if 1 is correct it is still an (in this case) antisemitic answer and deserve to be called out and explained.

inu-kun:
If what he did had merit he could have continued it further from master's level or encouraged other organizations to deal with an issue, if what he done would have made no effect then why are they so afraid of its effects and if he was stopped by the ethics commitee from where the "social media" explanation came from?

1) Because he would have fucked up his degree, and thus the university would be failing him by letting him continue.
2) Because his research could have caused emotional or psychological harm to its participants, which he was not equipped with the research skills or the time to avoid.
3) Because any backlash could have caused damage to the institution while contributing nothing of value to it. It would have an entirely negative impact from their perspective.

Everything you say he could have done, he can still do. Heck, there are people with actual PhDs who are making the same argument he was intending to make. The reason they aren't doing the research (although I know some have written on this topic before) is because actually doing research is a big deal, it takes a long time and a lot of effort to do it properly and most people advancing this kind of argument aren't fundamentally very interested in trans issues, it's just a convenient outlet for their conservative views.

If Caspian was really so deeply motivated by this one conversation he had with a surgeon (because that's the basis of his argument, he spoke to a surgeon once) that he really, really wants to do the research, he still can. All he needs to do is finish his taught degree, actually learn what they're trying to teach him and then apply to do a PhD and see if he can find a supervisor willing to accept it. Of course, he'll still have to face an ethics board again but hopefully by then he will have learned enough and have a better proposal. Then he can spend 3-6 years of his life working on this, which is what it actually takes to turn out a good piece of research.

Again, bring me the proof.

inu-kun:
And the institutional oversight is behind a thought paywall.

Yes, welcome to Earth. I'm sorry to inform you that the "knowledge economy" is exactly like all other sectors of the economy, meaning you don't have a magic and special right to speak freely. Noone's interested in your super important special personal thoughts, that's what your blog (or god forbid, your twitter account) is for. In academia, you have to go through the process if you want to speak or to have a voice. Freedom of speech is not an academic value and never has been, which is why these conversations never involve the "free speech" of actual academics. Academics know that their jobs are not licenses to blurt out whatever thought comes into their head, but are contingent on the quality and relevance of their speech, as well as the procedural correctness of how it is conducted. These are skills acquired over many years of specialised training, and even that training is no guarantee that a person will actually be able to work or speak in an academic environment. It depends largely on whether an institution sees them as enough of an asset to take on.

It's only non-academics who assume that academia has to be some kind of groovy free-association space where everything goes.

I can bet you would have changed your tone if it wasn't aligned to your favour. Nobody is asking for full free speech (which is a strawman), but there is a sane limit to how far people can thought police and this is a case of it.

inu-kun:
Also if I read it right the university in question recieves funding from the UK government so it's definitely the public's right to know.

Nope. In this case it's the individual's right to disclose, which he did. The issue is that he did so in a highly manipulative way which accords the university no option to respond, and without waiting for internal procedures to run their course.

But this is exactly why universities seek to avoid damage to their reputations, because trials by media are very seldom fair or balanced.

They have the ability to respond, especially to what they did and did not say. All you do is engage in victim blaming.

inu-kun:
I kinda doubt that academies are above that and as long as they don't reply (which they can do in an official capacity) there's no reason to believe the man is wrong.

Oh, academics are not above it. Like people in any profession, academics bitch like champions. However, noone is going to come out "in an official capacity" and talk to the media because:

1) It's extremely unprofessional, and academics have actual careers which could be harmed by displaying any lack of professionalism.
2) Speaking "in an official capacity" would ultimately make no difference without institutional backing. If it helps, I can say that I'm speaking "in an official capacity" right now.
3) Everyone knows that trials by media are unfair. There are already internal disciplinary procedures for handling allegations of misconduct, but these are not matters for public discussion because the potential for misrepresentation or mudslinging is very high. The only people who will go to the media are people who think that they, personally, have something to gain from doing so. In other words, people who are not actually interested in finding out what happened or deciding whether it was appropriate so much as inciting public sympathy and promoting their own name.
4) It's bad media strategy. As it stands, all we have is one lone student crying unfair about a decision which didn't go their way. It blew over pretty fast. Dredging it up again weeks after the fact isn't going to convince anyone, it's just going to put the whole thing back into the public eye.

inu-kun:
And if it was a point they made it's certinely should be criticized, like if I'd want to enlist there and get the answer that I can't:
1) Because I don't have good enough grades.
2) Because I'm a dirty jew.

Even if 1 is correct it is still an (in this case) antisemitic answer and deserve to be called out and explained.

Well, if you got that answer, then someone is probably going to lose their job. Universities have very, very strict anti-discrimination policies, far stricter than most employers (because of their role in dealing with young people). Hatespeech is also a crime, so you could also go to the police if you so wanted, although they will probably be less effective than just reporting the problem to the institution.

I mean, you could call up your publicist straight away and go to the media with that, sure, but it would make no difference other than potentially prejudicing the internal or police investigation which would inevitably occur. Now, if you went through the internal investigation and at the end the institution did nothing or didn't go as far as you'd like (which has happened, I know a staff member who racially abused a student and kept their job - albeit with greater oversight and mandatory anti-racism training) then going to the media might be a good idea because at that point it is an institutional problem.

But running straight to the press is not even going to get you an explanation, because at that point there is nothing to explain. All they can tell you is that they're investigating.

inu-kun:
Again, bring me the proof.

Proof of what. I'm describing basic generalisations about masters degrees and research and explaining how an ethics board things. I have a masters degree, I've taught masters students as a GTA, I know people who have served on ethics boards and I've even heard anecdotal stories of actual misconduct on the part of ethics boards (like male academics questioning whether someone can do a piece of research because they're a woman and they might be too emotionally fragile) so I'm not even ruling that out as a possibility. That's why we have internal oversight.

But Masters students do not have the training (or more importantly the time) to do a piece of research of the scope being described. Like, it is so out of line with the scope of what is possible for an MSc research project that I'm amazed I would have to explain this even to people without a background in research. It's PhD level research at least, and as mentioned PhDs take years to complete and then months or years to edit for publication. Your MSc is not the place to change the world, and every year many, many students have to be talked down from trying to do Masters dissertations which are far too ambitious or impossible. The vast majority listen and take that on board, and in doing so they learn an important lesson about managing a piece of research.

Secondly, there are very clear and obvious ethical concerns with researching people who are emotionally vulnerable, and when noone wants to take part in your research because they're traumatized that kind of suggests it might be a valid concern.

Thirdly, yes there is a clear risk of damage to the institution. As mentioned, universities often take the risk of reputational damage on the chin when research is clearly important or making a contribution, but it's proportional to the ammount they get back. With a taught masters student, they get nothing back. Worse than nothing, in fact, because by letting them do a project which is utterly impossible within the timeframe they are setting that student up to fail, which also reflects badly on them.

inu-kun:
I can bet you would have changed your tone if it wasn't aligned to your favour. Nobody is asking for full free speech (which is a strawman), but there is a sane limit to how far people can thought police and this is a case of it.

"Aligned to my favour". Lol, wut.

I have no objection to people doing case studies on people detransitioning. Ideally, those people should have some kind of background or long term commitment to studying trans issues more generally and a willingness to develop the requisite contextual knowledge. What's not acceptable to me, and actually kind of bullshit, is someone with no research experience deciding on the basis of a single conversation with a surgeon who has performed SRS reversals that detransitioning is some kind of escalating phenomenon which demands we overturn a best practice founded on decades of research into transgender people. True, on one hand I have a political problem with that because it's recognisably dangerous, it's stigmatising to a very vulnerable community and dog whistling to people who want sticks to beat trans people with, hence why Caspian's academic defenders and "friends" are mostly conservative Jungians who think that trans people are delusional and TERFs who think that trans people are sexual deviants. However, my biggest problem with it is that it's just bad practice. It may meet the standard of free speech, but it doesn't meet the standard of accurate, complete and relevant speech, and speech which doesn't meet that standard has no place in an academic setting.

It took me 2.5 years before I knew what the conclusion of my research was going to be. Before that, I had a vague idea or hypothesis but I didn't have the knowledge to apply it as a direct claim and know that I could justify it every step of the way back. Deciding ahead of time that detransitioning is some kind of escalating threat which will blow our whole understanding of the medical ethics of treating transgender people out of the water is not exhibiting any kind of responsibility to the truth or the kind of restraint I would expect as a researcher (and bear in mind, in research terms I'm still a baby).

If I were to propose this piece of research, I would simply propose to investigate the self-perceived life histories of a small number of detransitioners (like, maybe two or three depending on the precise length of the project) with the goal of figuring out what they feel led them to make a bad decision. From there, it should be easy to identify questionable factors in their treatment which might be worth following up in future research. Achievable within the timeframe, much less ethically risky, less blatantly politically motivated and consequentially less likely to call the institution into any kind of disrepute. It's not going to change the world and blow all our minds with radical mind bullets, but unless you're an established researcher with several published books you aren't going to regardless.

Part of why masters students are there is to learn how to properly frame and propose a piece of research. I just did it, because I have a masters and I learned a lot from doing one. Students who aren't willing to learn in this way are not going to do well.

inu-kun:
They have the ability to respond, especially to what they did and did not say. All you do is engage in victim blaming.

Not really. There is nothing to respond to while the internal investigation is in progress.

And lol @ victim blaming. Sorry, but if being subject to procedure is victimhood, then I'm a victim too. I've gone through an ethics board. Heck, I had to spend a summer doing some pretty fundamental corrections after my upgrade viva before being approved. I didn't realize that muh free speech was being so cruelly trampled, otherwise maybe I would have gone to the media and got some free self-promotion out of it!

Mr Companion:
A man is pride, power, stoicism, independence, recklessness, lust
A woman is tenacity, wisdom, control, soul, willpower, caution, creation

I've always enjoyed being a man so I can't comment on being trans but I'd recommend picking the traits you like from either.

....Uh.

I'm a rather cautious man who enjoys writing. And I'm rather shit at being stoic. And, you know, I'd like to think that I'm fairly smart.

So...what does that make me?

Assuming there's no intersex disorder:

-Do you have a penis and testicles?

-Do you have a Y chromosome?

-Can you drive well?

If yes to the above, congratulations, you're a man. Embrace it, it's a great thing.

Delicious Anathema:

-Can you drive well?

Ignoring the rest of the sludge, how did this stereotype become a thing?

Car insurance companies used to charge men more for insurance for a good goddamned reason. Hard to argue with Actuary tables.

altnameJag:

Delicious Anathema:

-Can you drive well?

Ignoring the rest of the sludge, how did this stereotype become a thing?

Car insurance companies used to charge men more for insurance for a good goddamned reason. Hard to argue with Actuary tables.

How did it become a thing? Do you even drive?

Men usually are in the most devastating car crashes because of drunk driving/high speed, but the most frequent (harmless but annoying) day-to-day driver stupidity and bad parking is almost a female monopoly.

Delicious Anathema:

altnameJag:

Delicious Anathema:

-Can you drive well?

Ignoring the rest of the sludge, how did this stereotype become a thing?

Car insurance companies used to charge men more for insurance for a good goddamned reason. Hard to argue with Actuary tables.

How did it become a thing? Do you even drive?

Men usually are in the most devastating car crashes because of drunk driving/high speed, but the most frequent (harmless but annoying) day-to-day driver stupidity and bad parking is almost a female monopoly.

See, I generally count the dude careening down the street at 8 miles above the speed limit , switching lanes like he was in a Furious movie to be a worse driver than the gal that made me wait a few more seconds at a stop sign because they didn't signal their right turn.

I take annoying well. I mean, I hang out with gamers.

Delicious Anathema:

altnameJag:

Delicious Anathema:

-Can you drive well?

Ignoring the rest of the sludge, how did this stereotype become a thing?

Car insurance companies used to charge men more for insurance for a good goddamned reason. Hard to argue with Actuary tables.

How did it become a thing? Do you even drive?

Men usually are in the most devastating car crashes because of drunk driving/high speed, but the most frequent (harmless but annoying) day-to-day driver stupidity and bad parking is almost a female monopoly.

And how does that get simplified into "women can't drive" when in reality no one can drive but you'll probably live another day with a female driver

I mean, should we add "ignore your own faults and blame women" to your list of "you might be a man if" items

undeadsuitor:

Delicious Anathema:

altnameJag:
Ignoring the rest of the sludge, how did this stereotype become a thing?

Car insurance companies used to charge men more for insurance for a good goddamned reason. Hard to argue with Actuary tables.

How did it become a thing? Do you even drive?

Men usually are in the most devastating car crashes because of drunk driving/high speed, but the most frequent (harmless but annoying) day-to-day driver stupidity and bad parking is almost a female monopoly.

And how does that get simplified into "women can't drive" when in reality no one can drive but you'll probably live another day with a female driver

I mean, should we add "ignore your own faults and blame women" to your list of "you might be a man if" items

Serious accidents happen less than the everyday bickering, that's my explanation for why the stereotype exists.

Also, it was a joke. Way to make a big deal out of nothing.

Delicious Anathema:

-Can you drive well?

No, I suck at it and get overly paranoid.

What, am I not a man now?

altnameJag:

Delicious Anathema:

-Can you drive well?

Ignoring the rest of the sludge, how did this stereotype become a thing?

Car insurance companies used to charge men more for insurance for a good goddamned reason. Hard to argue with Actuary tables.

There was a myth that women are exceptionally bad in terms of spacial awareness and driving was the task that requires a lot of it. The reality is that while yes, there is a difference, it is negligible. Women tend to be more "careful drivers" and less road rage which is what the insurers reflected.

Delicious Anathema:

Also, it was a joke. Way to make a big deal out of nothing.

Jokes have punchlines. That was a stereotype based on nothing you got called out on.

altnameJag:

Delicious Anathema:

Also, it was a joke. Way to make a big deal out of nothing.

Jokes have punchlines.

Not a fan of Andy Kaufman?

Johnny Novgorod:

altnameJag:

Delicious Anathema:

Also, it was a joke. Way to make a big deal out of nothing.

Jokes have punchlines.

Not a fan of Andy Kaufman?

I'll eat my cat if Delicious Anathema is doing a bit.

altnameJag:

Johnny Novgorod:

altnameJag:
Jokes have punchlines.

Not a fan of Andy Kaufman?

I'll eat my cat if Delicious Anathema is doing a bit.

It's an internet forum. We're all doing bits.

I'm transgender.

Genetically I am a man. I cannot change my genetics. My shoulders will always be broad, my bones will always be more dense than a womans bones, I dont have "hips" I dont have real lady parts.

I have recently accepted that the way I feel is in defiance of genetic and biological reality. Also I was ok with being a boy until the age of around 17.

As good atheists and science based human beings, we must face the biological reality. And I do, which means that I am in denial and that is ok. It is not worth going against my core values and against science to make myself feel better aboutg myself.

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