Transgender and gender roles

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I think you should visit India which if I recall right recognizes 4 genders. (That is officially!). They all have their position in the society.

But the issue here with the idea of "Female Man" or "Male Female". Is language cultural. We have certain definitions that can be considered absolute, on which we construct the ideas of other words and with that we can understand concepts and meanings of words.
Issue here is that genetically "Male" and "Female" are quite absolute. It can be defined at the most meta-level of human biology, in the DNA. This is a fact we can not escape, unless we come up with new words for "male" and "female".
It is very much like "positive" and "negative", + and -, They are absolute and we cant escape their meaning without creating a paradox of language.

For example:
If there can be a "male female". Then what is the definition - meta - of "male". Unless we have a concept for this we can not define "male female". And what is female then? How can male be female, while still being male?

If you been reading even a bit about language philosophy you can understand how the infinity loop, paradox, begins. If X is Y, then Y is X, X = X, Y = Y, Y = X... How is it possible to create understandable concept that we can use as language references.

Ofc this is just cultural concept here.(Culture being philosophical jargon that holds in all aspects of society, language, culture, history, words, religion, concepts... etc...)

I will sadly not dwell in to the social aspects of this issue. Mainly because I believe that there is no male or female, but human. We are all humans and that should be only defining feature that we have!

On personal note: I believe people in general are shit (including me), this society is shit, this world is shit. The humanity is stupid and primitive. So I don't believe there will be a huge cultural revolution over a VERY SMALL minority. I wish there could, but it is just Utophistic thinking.

"I wish for the humanity to be fixed, for the ground to be healed, for the sky to be mended and that life wouldn't hurt. But this is only a dream and should remain as such, dreams are as important as the reality. They both need each other, both must exist."

The last paragraph from the last letter a local philosopher wrote before sleeping away. I respected him dearly. If we all could be as wise as he was... But we can't.

Beautiful Tragedy:

oh i'm gonna slap you! or rather i would but you'd like it ;P

Who?

Me?

Nooooo...

Slapping is the worst punishment I could possibly think of, please don't do that, THE HORROR.

Now, i'll just be stripping so you can slap away to your hearts content :)

Seeing as a lot of the deconstructive payload of 'gender politics' is rooted in feminism, which, in turn, is currently still held hostage by people intent on transforming society and bring about the post-nazi übermensch, I find it quite hard to even attempt to contribute something worthwhile to this thread that doesn't completely derail or blow up one way or another.

Just these random thoughts off the top of my head:

My love and respect encompasses people of all sexual orientations and gender-politics-conformist stances, even though I believe gender politics to be some of the most disruptive, evil crap since Lebensborn.

Gender outlaws and 'third sex' folks already exist, most of them you have to pay cash to get straight access to the naughty bits, though. All this does not even touch the subject of intersexed children, which still tend to get thrown into the LGBT bin, for whatever stupid reasons.

Oh, and then there's the fact that an alarming lot of feminists have a very hostile stance towards transsexuals, and a lot of gay guys are completely unable to 'get it'. Just the other day, there was a piece on Jezebel that called for non-lesbians to be outright banned from gay bars. The LGBT community isn't exactly one big, loving family, and when you throw hardcore feminism into the mix, tick-tock goes the clock and it's 1933 Nazi Germany or Stalin era Russia all over again. Both are not exactly known for featuring lots of liberties or self-service buckets of love for non-conformists.

So, I think a current issue on my mind that manages to get right on topic does a far better job than I currently could:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2261756/Council-worker-refused-believe-transsexual-woman-row-parking-fine.html

Further reading (3 years back):
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/02/01/trans-woman-told-it-was-illegal-for-her-to-use-womens-toilets/

Read it. Think about it. Put yourself in her shoes, no matter who or what you are. See what her issues are specific to the case outlined in the article. See if 'gender politics' address her issues properly. See if a gender neutral society would really be a place where she would have it... easier. I think not. Destroying traditional gender roles is not the path to a better tomorrow. Weeding out the evil and the assholes and the intolerance within each and every one of us is... or could be, at least. But how to go about it? I have no clue. Do you?

Aaron Sylvester:
Even our brains (by which I mean most "normal" brains) are incredibly hard-wired to subconsciously associate EVERY person we meet with their gender first. Age is a close second, but gender always comes first.

Can you prove this?

Liberating gender roles isn't destroying them.

Rawne1980:

Beautiful Tragedy:

oh i'm gonna slap you! or rather i would but you'd like it ;P

Who?

Me?

Nooooo...

Slapping is the worst punishment I could possibly think of, please don't do that, THE HORROR.

Now, i'll just be stripping so you can slap away to your hearts content :)

OK I am glad we are on the same page at least

I'm trans, MtF. I also fit totally comfortably into the male gender role. I sit around on the internet all day, playing competitive online games and swearing at people, socialise with my friends by insulting them and making dick jokes, I play D&D and Magic and Warhammer 40K and I like moves with explosions and swords and guns and superheroes killing nameless mooks by the dozen. I've never really given a shit about anything 'girly' except for My Little Pony, but that too is a guy thing nowadays. I'd be absolutely miserable if I had to spend my whole life doing what society deems is feminine, and plan on continuing to act generally masculine for the rest of my life. I still want to be female though, for reasons totally unrelated to gender roles. So no, I don't think that eliminating gender roles would really change much. Facial hair isn't a social construct sadly, it won't just go away if I stop believing in it.

Well I've got absolutely nothing to add to this discussion. But still it was an interesting and enlightening read.

The metaphor I'd developed (even though I have NO idea if it's accurate or not) is that of ghost limbs. When someone's brain is telling them that something is supposed to be there (or not be there, as the case may be), but the physical reality runs contrary to those signals. Obviously in this case the physical pain that ghost limbs create would be likened to the emotional pain that trans individuals feel.

What I have to wonder is, if someone who was born with this affliction was born on an island with no real conception of gender, would they have the same desire to physically "become" a female? Would they still feel even a vague sense of dissatisfaction with their bodies?

drisky:

thaluikhain:
This happens to be a major point for Radical Feminists.

Most RadFems seem to be absurdly transphobic for various reasons, most charitably because the idea of transgenderism is based on the gender binary. OTOH, Dworkin[1] simply believed that once the gender binary was done away with, there'd be no need for transgenderism. IMHO, that's probably an over-simplification (radical feminism is often a bit myopic like that), but nobody can really say for sure.

Is she the same one that said the only reason Transsexuality exists was so men could rape women in female only spaces like public bathrooms? And that Trans people are supported by the patriarchy? Anti-trans feminism says some pretty crazy things, hell one of the prominent ones believed that FtM transsexuals where just a myth.

No...radical feminists tend to follow Dworkin on most things, but they got their transphobia on their own. There's one or two things she said that can (and are) taken out of context, though.

[1] Who was very influential amongst radfems, and is notable outside them for being the feminist that you say said something awful when you want to discredit feminism. It's always her for some reason

Relish in Chaos:
So what are your thoughts on this whole can of worms I may've opened?

Personally, I see no point in denying the point-of-view of transgendered people or trying to tell them they're wrong or the hundred other mountains of bullshit the TG community faces everyday, most of which boil down to saying "no, you're wrong and don't know your own experiences".

FUCK. THAT. NOISE.

And the bullshit of telling TG people what they are and what they aren't... fuck that as well.

It's all the insecurities of other people having things harder and it's a load of shite. We're all people and should be treated as such, without bullshit judgements and without trying to cram other people into convenient box for our own piece of mind. Are our societies so weak that they need to make everyone conform to these strict, constraining, sometimes utterly and destructivelty inappropriate labels? Because if they are, I would say that the problem is withour societies not with the people who make them uncomfortable by being who they are or who they want to be?

I mean, shit, isn't striving to be who you feel you should be one of the most fundamental goals for humanity?

Or as Gandhi said "be the change you want to see in the world"

Relish in Chaos:

Eclectic Dreck:

Uhura:

I don't understand. Why would you take offense when it doesn't directly affect you in any way?

It is a statement that I see as being untrue. Biologically, hell, genetically at the least, you are whatever gender you are. That is not mutable. Introducing yourself as something other than what you are because that's what you think you are makes the entire purpose of identifying a gender largely meaningless.

It's the sort of offense you take if someone says "the sky is purple". Basically, I'm rejecting the proposition because the fundamental idea is alien to me.

To be honest, I wouldn't give a shit if I knew someone who genuinely believed that the sky is purple. But don't compare the two. I mean, it's not as if there's any known disorder that makes someone believe the sky to be a different colour than it is.

"Offence" is an odd word to describe something that doesn't even affect you.

Their choice to change their gender as much a possible neither affects not offends me. Their choice to lie about their gender, something that is thus far immutable, is what causes offense. A perception of gender and a gender may be different things - I can respect that. But if I ask what someone's gender is, chances are very good I want to know what the actual gender is not their perception.

It's rather closed-minded to think that perfect transition is and always will be impossible (in fact, I think you'd be surprised with what they achieve now). If someone could become indistinguishably the opposite sex, why would they be obliged to disclose the fact that their sex had been different previously?

Better still, what if all children were born sexless and later in life, probably puberty, chose a sex? Would you judge them on that first choice, rather than an initial assignment at birth? What if they went on to change their mind? Obviously currently issues over sex are currently based on two things- historically, the sexual binary existed because there just wasn't any other option, and right now, we have yet to achieve safe, easy and flawless sexual transitions.

Also, the idea of changing sex is far from an alien idea- there are very old stories about individuals changing sex or swapping bodies and modern story-telling hasn't let up on that subject, while intersexed individuals have been well documented throughout history. The only different is that modern medicine is making the reality of changing sex far more possible.

Back to the OP, there are a number of people who have body dysmorphic issues that can be confused for transexual feelings, which is why seeing a specialist psychiatrist is very important. I mentally lump transexuality in with body integrity identity disorder and those sorts of issues- there is an obvious mismatch between what the brain believes the body should be, and what the body is. Regardless to the cause, the best solution is successful psychiatric care merely because this avoids the risks and expenses that surround surgery. As suggested before, if such changes to the body were safe and easy, there'd be no good reason to prevent it and I'm sure a number of curious people would give it a go to (possibly to the outrage of a number of transexuals who feel like their experiences are cheapened by people treating sex change so casually? I'd love opinions on that concept).

Rawne1980:
snip

and

Beautiful Tragedy:
snip

Get a room guys :L

OT: There is a sci-fi universe where there are six genders. I think it was something like male, female, transgendered male, transgendered female, hermaphrodite, neutral/asexual, with sets of pronouns for each. Which would make talking about these things much easier, from a purely meta-linguistic standpoint.
Hmm...
It's quite a weird thing to try to think about. As in, I'm just not equipped to truly understand what it would be like to have a female body, therefore I have no real way to comprehend how transgendered people might feel. The only thing I can compare it too is if I were to lose a limb or something. I can imagine the sense of loss and frustration I'd feel if I were to be missing say, my right hand. I need that hand for all my means of expression. I use it to draw, play bass, type, play games. It is a fundamental part of who I am. If I did lose it, I'd try to build a robot one...

So my conclusion is, I want a robot hand. Just in case.

What was the topic again?

RhombusHatesYou:

Relish in Chaos:
So what are your thoughts on this whole can of worms I may've opened?

Personally, I see no point in denying the point-of-view of transgendered people or trying to tell them they're wrong or the hundred other mountains of bullshit the TG community faces everyday, most of which boil down to saying "no, you're wrong and don't know your own experiences".

FUCK. THAT. NOISE.

And the bullshit of telling TG people what they are and what they aren't... fuck that as well.

It's all the insecurities of other people having things harder and it's a load of shite. We're all people and should be treated as such, without bullshit judgements and without trying to cram other people into convenient box for our own piece of mind. Are our societies so weak that they need to make everyone conform to these strict, constraining, sometimes utterly and destructivelty inappropriate labels? Because if they are, I would say that the problem is withour societies not with the people who make them uncomfortable by being who they are or who they want to be?

I mean, shit, isn't striving to be who you feel you should be one of the most fundamental goals for humanity?

Or as Gandhi said "be the change you want to see in the world"

i love you! thank you

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