Should public schools officially recognize a student's gender identity?

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boots:

cthulhuspawn82:

I wonder if "you" know the difference between gender and sex? Gender is a meaningless social construct. Boys wear blue and girls wear pink, because our society arbitrarily decided that blue was masculine and pink was feminine. Wearing pink doesn't make you a girl or a "she", it makes you a boy who likes to wear pink. That's a vast oversimplification of the issue, but anyone here should be smart enough to understand the concept.

You know what's a vast oversimplification? Believing that because something doesn't have clear boundaries and isn't scientifically defined it must be meaningless.

We have people who want to be recognized as a member of the opposite "sex". They want to go into the ladies restroom, and partake in any other "female restricted" zones and activities. The bathrooms are labeled Men and Women not "people who are butch" and "people who are effeminate"

Thanks for making my point for me. Most bathrooms are labelled men/women, ladies/gents, boys/girls etc. They refer to gender, not sex. You have a problem with the idea of a transgendered woman peeing in the privacy of a stall in the ladies bathroom because you think that the other women who can't see her might be made to feel uncomfortable by the genitalia that they can't see? And yet you don't think men would feel uncomfortable if a woman - bust, skirt, long curly hair and all - walked into their bathroom and started applying her lipstick in the mirror? It's almost as though transgendered people can't win either way.

Personally, I'm in favour of co-ed bathrooms with individual stalls, but if someone identifies as a lady then you can be damn sure I'll fight for her right to use the ladies toilets.

I wonder, do you consider butch lesbians to be men?

That's a simply gorgeous prejudice you accidentally let slip there. You couldn't just say "butch women", could you? You had to say "butch lesbians". Because how can a women be butch and not be a lesbian?

So bathrooms are separated by gender not sex, and gender is a a social construct of accepted Masculine and Feminine behaviors. So if I am a man who enjoys ballet and shopping for shoes, I should go into the ladies bathroom? I assume that if I walked into the women's locker room and said "It's OK girls, I watch the Oprah channel." I will get nothing but a face full of pepper spray.

Women,don't cut your hair short or watch football, otherwise you'll lose your scholarships and be forced to used the Men's room

Double post fault of the site not my own. I wont take the fall for this. Will add something here later to make the wasted space "useful"

Added Post:

The whole bathroom thing proves this is also about sex rather than just gender. Bathrooms are separated by sex so a person wishing to go into the women's restroom is demanding to be acknowledged as a member or the female sex, or simply to have privileges restricted to the female sex.

I personally don't think we need to separate men and women, or treat them differently in different situations. But if that's the way we are doing it, and those are the rules, we need to obey them as long as they exist.

cthulhuspawn82:

So bathrooms are separated by gender not sex, and gender is a a social construct of accepted Masculine and Feminine behaviors. So if I am a man who enjoys ballet and shopping for shoes, I should go into the ladies bathroom?

If you're a man, no. If you're a woman who enjoys ballet and shopping and happens to have a penis, then yes.

I assume that if I walked into the women's locker room and said "It's OK girls, I watch the Oprah channel." I will get nothing but a face full of pepper spray.

Women,don't cut your hair short or watch football, otherwise you'll lose your scholarships and be forced to used the Men's room

For someone who claimed that gender is "meaningless", you have a depressingly and childishly binary concept of what gender is.

Skeleon:
...
I generally think there's too much worry about kids noticing genitals. At that age, girls are icky anyway.
And if she actually does change upon entering puberty, you can always adapt and start treating her like a guy. If she actually continues considering herself a girl but is attracted to girls you can always treat her like a lesbian, i. e. like any other girl (well, except for safe-sex ed obviously).
...

If it gets them into the girl's shower room, I'm pretty sure a lot of pubescent boys would quickly learn the phrase "I'm a Transgendered Lesbian!". Why didn't I think of that back then! Not sure they'd appreciate that.

Imperator_DK:
If it gets them into the girl's shower room, I'm pretty sure a lot of pubescent boys would quickly learn the phrase "I'm a Transgendered Lesbian!". Why didn't I think of that back then! Not sure they'd appreciate that.

Don't you think you could base something like that on, say, months of behaviour and actual individual case history? When people officially change their gender, we don't just take their word for it on day 1, they have to live a certain period as that gender and demonstrate an actual wish to change. Why not employ a sort of mini-version of that here? And let's be honest, if a guy is willing to go through a few months of dressing like a girl and having purple hair just to get into the girls' shower room, let him have that. You've got to reward that kind of hard work and tenacity.
Actually, are we talking about shower rooms with individual stalls or communal ones? Because the former really shouldn't be an issue. Do they even still have communal shower rooms?

Skeleon:
...
Don't you think you could base something like that on, say, months of behaviour and actual individual case history? When people officially change their gender, we don't just take their word for it on day 1, they have to live a certain period as that gender and demonstrate an actual wish to change. Why not employ a sort of mini-version of that here?

If as a principal you're going to convince the parents that you're not attempting to recreate the schools from "Brave New World", you'll probably need to present a formal GIDC-diagnosis of the boy to them (it's apparently possible to diagnose children).

And let's be honest, if a guy is willing to go through a few months of dressing like a girl and having purple hair just to get into the girls' shower room, let him have that. You've got to reward that kind of hard work and tenacity.
...

Agreed. Though the girls with all the erect attention directed at them might not be so sympathetic to such tireless effort being rewarded.

cthulhuspawn82:
I wonder if "you" know the difference between gender and sex? Gender is a meaningless social construct. Boys wear blue and girls wear pink, because our society arbitrarily decided that blue was masculine and pink was feminine. Wearing pink doesn't make you a girl or a "she", it makes you a boy who likes to wear pink. That's a vast oversimplification of the issue, but anyone here should be smart enough to understand the concept.

"Meaningless"? Arbitrary, foolish, pointless, fair enough, but not meaningless.

The real question for me is, why do we still segregate males and females bathrooms anyway?

Changing rooms I can kind of understand, since you're likely to be in a state of undress (but even in an all-male changing room there might be some gay guys, so the "no chance of getting sexual titillation" defence goes out of the window).

But bathrooms? Get rid of urinals and make it all stalls if need be, plenty of males would be perfectly happy to not have to studiously block out the guy coughing and spitting into the stall mere inches to the side while trying to get the flow going.

Having said that, my university had a bathroom which, for security reasons during paid-entry social nights, became unisex (opening up the rest of the building to allow access to the male toilet would have let people sneak in without paying). I hated the idea and would actually leave the building, walk around, use the male toilet, and then walk back. Weird, eh? Perhaps if school bathrooms had been unisex[1] since nursery/reception onward I wouldn't have had such an engrained hang-up about it.

[1] you know, like the toilet in YOUR OWN HOUSE is, assuming you have male and female family members

Batou667:
The real question for me is, why do we still segregate males and females bathrooms anyway?

That was my first thought on this topic as well. It seems to me that everyone is far too hung up on nudity and that this is primarily a function of so many people being so hung up on nudity (and that being transmitted culturally during childhood and beyond.) It is self-reinforcing but ultimately unnecessary.

Lilani:

"However, I'm certain you can appreciate that as Coy grows older and his male genitals develop along with the rest of his body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his continued use of the girls' restroom."

Ah, yes, which is exactly the same reason we should force gay or bisexual students out of sports and make them hold it until they get home, right? Instead of teaching them to be comfortable and tolerant? Please. That's the worst sort of excuse.

I'm also tired of this idea that unless somebody can pass or gets a surgery that most people can't afford and can't even health qualify for their identity doesn't 'count'. Like as if only people who can pass are actually transgendered and born in the wrong body, but if you're too heavy or something then eat shit. This is basically a symptom of that. "He has a penis, so therefor his gender identity is male!" is just transphobia no matter if they want to pretty it up with "And that makes people who we tell to be uncomfortable, uncomfortable!".

Lilani:
Apart from not letting her use the girl's restroom and not addressing her by her preferred gender, the school appears to show no objection to Coy's identifying as a girl. They aren't telling her to dress like a boy at this point, and apparently she's even allowed to have long purple hair in school. So by no means is this a very strictly conservative school we're talking about, here.

Not addressing her by her gender isn't exactly excepting her identity, and how long before somebody gets a stick up their ass about the dress or hair? I don't see that lasting too long. As long as there is a sort of 'acceptable level of bigotry', then these goal posts are going to continue moving backwards, I can guarantee you that on personal experience.

Lilani:
So my question is, is this a valid concern and how do you think gender-identity should be handled by schools, if at all? Should students be allowed to use the opposite facilities if they identify as a gender that is not the same as their sex? Should schools address them by the gender they identify as rather than their sex?

They can follow by the same guidelines that you would do with an adult who is transitioned or transitioning, really. It's not that terribly hard. The earlier that people accept somebody for their transitioned identity the better it is for that child's health and the easier it will be for the other students to accept them. The more the school fights it now even if it promises it'll be trans-friendly in the future the more that the other students will fight it. That's why a dress and long hair aren't enough.

Lilani:
As far as me, I'm really not sure where I stand on the bathroom thing. It would be very easy to say it could be awkward and have an averse impact on other students, but I really haven't heard many accounts of this or read any literature or studies on how gender identity plays into social interaction and development. I fully understand and accept that children as young as Coy can develop their own gender identities, and no matter how the school handles their bathrooms I don't think they should be outright told they are wrong. But even the article admits children who identify as a gender that's different from their sex is essentially an unstudied group. And then even I'm disgusted that I'm speaking of them as though they're some alien race to be examined and categorized, so I'm going to be flaky and not commit to a single side at this point. So now, your turn. What do?

The thing is that these 'studies' on long term acceptance of transsexuals isn't gonna happen if we refuse to allow people to attempt to adjust to transsexuals on the basis that we haven't had enough studies. But considering no other group ever being treated properly or integrated into society as a whole has ever harmed the majority by being recognized and integrated into society and visibility has always helped the minority in question, that it'd be fair to assume the same would be true here rather than hoping that some long term 30 year long study will prove it, and that any bigots will take that study seriously even if it does (I've never seen nobody in NOM or anything relent on the gay rights issue because studies prove that gay people are fine parent, after all, even though we knew it all along).

cthulhuspawn82:

So bathrooms are separated by gender not sex, and gender is a a social construct of accepted Masculine and Feminine behaviors. So if I am a man who enjoys ballet and shopping for shoes, I should go into the ladies bathroom? I assume that if I walked into the women's locker room and said "It's OK girls, I watch the Oprah channel." I will get nothing but a face full of pepper spray.

Women,don't cut your hair short or watch football, otherwise you'll lose your scholarships and be forced to used the Men's room

You're confusing and possibly purposefully so to remain belligerent considering your really malformed analogies, the difference between gender identity and societal gender roles.

Please watch this, to better understand this concept. It's an imperfect video but it's probably as close as I'm gonna find in a few minutes that would also be understandable to somebody who hasn't had to deal with any of this in their personal life, because this conversation with you is going to go absolutely nowhere fast until you understand these concepts and the differences.

Imperator_DK:

Skeleon:
...
Don't you think you could base something like that on, say, months of behaviour and actual individual case history? When people officially change their gender, we don't just take their word for it on day 1, they have to live a certain period as that gender and demonstrate an actual wish to change. Why not employ a sort of mini-version of that here?

If as a principal you're going to convince the parents that you're not attempting to recreate the schools from "Brave New World", you'll probably need to present a formal GIDC-diagnosis of the boy to them (it's apparently possible to diagnose children).

And let's be honest, if a guy is willing to go through a few months of dressing like a girl and having purple hair just to get into the girls' shower room, let him have that. You've got to reward that kind of hard work and tenacity.
...

Agreed. Though the girls with all the erect attention directed at them might not be so sympathetic to such tireless effort being rewarded.

Agreed, this is precisely why bisexual people shouldn't be admitted into bathrooms period. [/sarcasm]

Damien Granz:
...This is basically a symptom of that. "He has a penis, so therefor his gender identity is male!" is just transphobia no matter if they want to pretty it up with "And that makes people who we tell to be uncomfortable, uncomfortable!".

No, it's more a of symptom of "(S)he has a penis, therefore (s)he can fuck our daughters and make them pregnant". Which will be biologically true once they all hit puberty, whatever the gender identity.

Not that one can reasonably believe that this would be likely to take place. But if your clients are all scared to death of it anyway, and there are already rules in place based on there being different bathrooms and shower rooms for each sex, then there's little reason to break them based on one person's own subjective feeling of identity. You don't get disability checks because you feel ill, nor do you qualify for affirmative action because you feel black; It'll need to be documented.

Which gender identity disorder in children can also be. Once that's done, well then you have a girl in a boy's body at your hands, and can put her in with the other girls, penis or not. And you can prove to any parents who complain/sue/allege that you run Sodom and Gomorrah Elementary that it's a girl, and thus tell them to shut up.

Agreed, this is precisely why bisexual people shouldn't be admitted into bathrooms period. [/sarcasm]

That post referred to shower rooms. For hormone raging adolescents.

You know, those clumsy annoyances where everything with a whiff of sex is a very big deal. Higher standards of paternalism apply to protect them from misunderstandings, embarrassment, rumours, conflicts etc. etc., including the stupid ones. Whereas adults can be expected to just look away if they don't like what they see (Not that there's much to see with bisexuals). Was it a university, things would look quite different.

Imperator_DK:

Damien Granz:
...This is basically a symptom of that. "He has a penis, so therefor his gender identity is male!" is just transphobia no matter if they want to pretty it up with "And that makes people who we tell to be uncomfortable, uncomfortable!".

No, it's more a of symptom of "(S)he has a penis, therefore (s)he can fuck our daughters and make them pregnant". Which will be biologically true once they all hit puberty, whatever the gender identity.

Not that one can reasonably believe that this would be likely to take place. But if your clients are all scared to death of it anyway, and there are already rules in place based on there being different bathrooms and shower rooms for each sex, then there's little reason to break them based on one person's own subjective feeling of identity. You don't get disability checks because you feel ill, nor do you qualify for affirmative action because you feel black; It'll need to be documented.

Because some bigots think that gay students will spread their gay around isn't a good reason to force gay kids into a different school or to drop out. You're saying that nobody can reasonably believe this would be likely to take place, then being like "Oh well, I guess the bigots get to win!". Fuck that nonsense. Transphobia is transphobia, and I don't care if some bigot tries to justify it by claiming that scarabs will pour out of a transwoman's mouth and devour the flesh of the pure. You're telling me right there that you think their concerns are stupid then passively using it to justify bigotry.

Imperator_DK:
Which gender identity disorder in children can also be. Once that's done, well then you have a girl in a boy's body at your hands, and can put her in with the other girls, penis or not. And you can prove to any parents who complain/sue/allege that you run Sodom and Gomorrah Elementary that it's a girl, and thus tell that it's a girl, and thus tell them to shut up.

Bigots sure aren't going to give a damn about what a piece of paper says. No bigot ever has been swayed by evidence or science. It'd be great if that was true, but it isn't. And who's to say that this kid, Coy, doesn't have a therapist already?

I dislike the idea too that your orientation or identity isn't a concern unless you can afford a doctor's note saying that you're gay or trans or whatever. Like "You must be this rich for us to give a shit about your gender identity".

And as I said, you can get whatever proof you want, and shitheads are going to still have 'concerns' over her.

Imperator_DK:

Agreed, this is precisely why bisexual people shouldn't be admitted into bathrooms period. [/sarcasm]

That post referred to shower rooms. For hormone raging adolescents.

OK, then my sarcastic quote still stands. I guess you're arguing that gay or bisexual people should be barred from showers, or sports teams or whatever else?

Imperator_DK:
You know, those clumsy annoyances where everything with a whiff of sex is a very big deal. Higher standards of paternalism apply to protect them from misunderstandings, embarrassment, rumours, conflicts etc. etc., including the stupid ones.

Again, I don't feel that the 'stupid' reasons are equally valid. Just because some bigot decides that gay kids will disease up their straight kid with the gay doesn't make that a valid concern for why gay kids should get their 'separate but equal' school.

Imperator_DK:
Whereas adults can be expected to just look away if they don't like what they see (Not that there's much to see with bisexuals). Was it a university, things would look quite different.

I.. what? What the are you talking about? Do you have some sort of notion that bisexuals don't have genitals?

To add some context to the thread (because, quite frankly, it is fucking disgusting that some people are assuming the kid just "decided" they were a different gender for the shits - comparing it to wanting to be a train, really? - and saying that that parents "went back to their beers"):

Clearly the child is just confused about people with long hair and wanting to wear pink, after all no six year old has any concept of sex/gender/sexuality (a common sentiment expressed in this thread)...

'He wanted to know when we were going to take him to the doctor so that they would give him girl parts so that his body would be a girl.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2285016/Coy-Mathis-Transgender-girls-parents-legal-action-school-tells-use-boys-restroom.html

When Coy began complaining about "something wrong" with her body, her parents took her to a specialist, who diagnosed gender identity disorder. Doctors recommended no immediate medical intervention but to let her "live as a girl," he explained. "They spoke to the school and they said, 'fine.'

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/colorado-transgender-girl-banned-grade-school-bathroom/story?id=18607443&page=2

Or apparently not. It is a shame that the article in the original post did not mention these quite important factors, as I feel it would have altered the tone of many of the posts in this thread.

It is not even just the family that take the view that the child is female:

Prior to the complaint, the first-grader, who dresses as a girl and is recognized as female on her passport and state-issued ID, had experienced no issue using the girls' bathrooms.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2285016/Coy-Mathis-Transgender-girls-parents-legal-action-school-tells-use-boys-restroom.html

Also, the school really are being bigoted, and may even be in breach of the law:

The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination against transgender students in public schools.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/colorado-transgender-girl-banned-grade-school-bathroom/story?id=18607443

Which seems rather at-odds with the official reasoning for denying Coy the use of female bathrooms:

But a Dec. 12 letter from the school's lawyers to TLDEF said, "The district's decision took into account not only Coy but other students in the building, their parents, and the future impact a boy with male genitals using a girls' bathroom would have as Coy grew older."

While other students and teachers do not notice that Coy has male genitals, the school said it feared as the child developed parents and students would become "uncomfortable."

"...It would be far more psychologically damaging and disruptive for the issue to arise at an age when students deal with social issues," the letter said.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/colorado-transgender-girl-banned-grade-school-bathroom/story?id=18607443

Particularly when one considers that there is good reason for allowing Coy to use the female bathrooms:

Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, who is representing the Mathis family said: 'By forcing Coy to use a different bathroom than all the other girls, Coy's school is targeting her for stigma, bullying and harassment.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2285016/Coy-Mathis-Transgender-girls-parents-legal-action-school-tells-use-boys-restroom.html

On a more general note:

It is quite common for gender identity issues to appear in prepubescent children - and it really disheartens me that people are saying this kid must be wrong because "I wanted to be a dinosaur/dog/train at 6..." - it just reeks of a lack of education. There are heartbreaking stories out there from parents who have found their 4 year old children trying to cut off their male genitalia with safety-scissors because they have the "wrong parts". A child that is diagnosed before puberty can be placed on hormonal suppressants - an increasingly popular option - because not only does this make transitioning easier, particularly for male-to-female transgender young adults (the changes at of puberty are irreversible without surgery, whereas a female-to-male transgender will essentially undergo male puberty on hormones), and it allows for further assessment and counselling as the child grows to ensure that the initial diagnosis of gender identity disorder was correct and that undergoing sexual reassignment is what the person wishes to do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity_disorder
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity_disorder_in_children

Please, educate yourselves. Whilst I am fairly confident that there was no malice behind many of the statements I have alluded to above, they are still really offensive to the transgender community - of which there are a fair few on the Escapist. Sure, I have only presented you with Wikipedia, but it is a good jumping off point to begin to understand these complex issues.

remember the shower scenes from starshiptroopers? noones gives a shit about your sex. that would be a neat future.

why do 6years olds actually need seperate bathrooms? It hardly makes a difference at that age and later on you shouldnt force someone who looks like a women to go to the mens bathroom, that could be potentially dangerous for that person, no matter what is between her legs.
In this case only the changing rooms matter and there I must admit sex comes before gender. The thing is, if Coy is so lucky to get HRT before her male puberty, she wont fit just the male or female sex, at that point she would need a seperate room, with the other transexuals in her stage, but still no seperate bathroom, especially as in that case the whole pregnance thing falls off. After HRT and surgery transsexuality should anyways be seen as sorta cured and making any differences then is just ridiculous.

So far, let her go to the girls bathroom, if there are any complaints, then it would be the disabled bathroom for her (just cause a TS bathroom for one person is kinda stupid)

Damien Granz:
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Because some bigots think that gay students will spread their gay around isn't a good reason to force gay kids into a different school or to drop out. You're saying that nobody can reasonably believe this would be likely to take place, then being like "Oh well, I guess the bigots get to win!". Fuck that nonsense. Transphobia is transphobia, and I don't care if some bigot tries to justify it by claiming that scarabs will pour out of a transwoman's mouth and devour the flesh of the pure. You're telling me right there that you think their concerns are stupid then passively using it to justify bigotry.

People tend to emotional about their kids. This is not a bad thing. Kids tend to be quite ignorant, and extremely conformist and sensitive during their adolescence, to the point that powder kegs for conflict should be kept to a minimum. Making this kid a spearhead for transgender rights isn't right, independent from whether the cause it's done for is so. Adults can do whatever they want, so long as it'll only harm themselves. Children need to be protected with a certain degree of paternalism, and helped into as peaceful a coexistence with their fellow students as can be had. This takes priority over ideological concerns, and I can't imagine this becoming a major media case is good for the social climate of the school.

Bigots sure aren't going to give a damn about what a piece of paper says. No bigot ever has been swayed by evidence or science. It'd be great if that was true, but it isn't. And who's to say that this kid, Coy, doesn't have a therapist already?

No, but people who don't care much either way do. And they're generally in majority. Nobody (...who hasn't watched some bad anime) has any prior experience with, knowledge about, or interest in, purple-haired underage transgender girls being mascots in a fight for justice in the school toilet. So they're pretty easily swayed by an authoritative statement from a medical authority figure that, yes, this is indeed a girl trapped in a boy's body. Apparently she does have a diagnosis, so it's already settled.

I dislike the idea too that your orientation or identity isn't a concern unless you can afford a doctor's note saying that you're gay or trans or whatever. Like "You must be this rich for us to give a shit about your gender identity".

The girl already has a diagnosis. I don't know whether such is particularly expensive, but if so, why not fight for free health care for everyone instead? Two birds with one stone.

...
OK, then my sarcastic quote still stands. I guess you're arguing that gay or bisexual people should be barred from showers, or sports teams or whatever else?

No, since they have something as authoritative as a diagnosis underlining their right to be their; The right set of genitals.

Again, I don't feel that the 'stupid' reasons are equally valid. Just because some bigot decides that gay kids will disease up their straight kid with the gay doesn't make that a valid concern for why gay kids should get their 'separate but equal' school.

If it influences the relationships of the kids, it's relevant. It's logical validity or empiric truth value doesn't matter, and if a pragmatic compromise, half-truth, or white lie will bring about the best result, then that's what's to be done.

I.. what? What the are you talking about? Do you have some sort of notion that bisexuals don't have genitals?

There's nothing to see, in the sense that bisexual genitals don't look any different from heterosexual ones. So a bisexual man in a shower room won't stand out, whereas a transgender man would. This doesn't matter in regard to adults though.

Imperator_DK:

People tend to emotional about their kids. This is not a bad thing. Kids tend to be quite ignorant, and extremely conformist and sensitive during their adolescence, to the point that powder kegs for conflict should be kept to a minimum. Making this kid a spearhead for transgender rights isn't right, independent from whether the cause it's done for is so. Adults can do whatever they want, so long as it'll only harm themselves. Children need to be protected with a certain degree of paternalism, and helped into as peaceful a coexistence with their fellow students as can be had. This takes priority over ideological concerns, and I can't imagine this becoming a major media case is good for the social climate of the school.

So, forcing kids into whatever gender role is dictated by what they have between their legs is now "protecting" them?

I'm not sure I'm sold on that idea.

boots:

cthulhuspawn82:

So bathrooms are separated by gender not sex, and gender is a a social construct of accepted Masculine and Feminine behaviors. So if I am a man who enjoys ballet and shopping for shoes, I should go into the ladies bathroom?

If you're a man, no. If you're a woman who enjoys ballet and shopping and happens to have a penis, then yes.

I assume that if I walked into the women's locker room and said "It's OK girls, I watch the Oprah channel." I will get nothing but a face full of pepper spray.

Women,don't cut your hair short or watch football, otherwise you'll lose your scholarships and be forced to used the Men's room

For someone who claimed that gender is "meaningless", you have a depressingly and childishly binary concept of what gender is.

Damien Granz:

cthulhuspawn82:

So bathrooms are separated by gender not sex, and gender is a a social construct of accepted Masculine and Feminine behaviors. So if I am a man who enjoys ballet and shopping for shoes, I should go into the ladies bathroom? I assume that if I walked into the women's locker room and said "It's OK girls, I watch the Oprah channel." I will get nothing but a face full of pepper spray.

Women,don't cut your hair short or watch football, otherwise you'll lose your scholarships and be forced to used the Men's room

You're confusing and possibly purposefully so to remain belligerent considering your really malformed analogies, the difference between gender identity and societal gender roles.

The problem is that you both define woman, specifically the "women" sign on the bathroom, as a gender rather than sex. So the difference between "women" and "men" is depends on societal behaviors. So a man who likes shoe shopping ballet should go into the Women's bathroom, and a woman with short hair who likes football should use the Men's.

Now I suspect you might say that social behavior as well is not important. You can have a penis and like football and still be a woman. All that matters is that you feel like you are a woman or that you identify yourself as a woman. If that is the case, then the problem becomes completely ridiculous for reasons I will now show.

In order for my to think of myself as a woman, or to identify as a woman, I must have some concept of what a woman is. But what would that concept be? It can be nothing physical, you can have a penis or vagina and still be a woman. It can be nothing to do with mental or social behavior, you can like shoe shopping or football and still be a woman. So a definite concept of "Woman" is impossible

You cant simply define Woman as "one who thinks they are a woman", because without any concrete evidence of what a thing is or what its physical and/or metal qualities are, how can you determine that you are one.

Can either of you, or anyone else, give me a concrete definition of what a woman is? Imagine if you asked me if I was a woman and I replied, "I don't know, what is a Woman". What would you say to me? What sorts of physical and mental clues should I look for to determine my "gender"

Imperator_DK:

People tend to emotional about their kids. This is not a bad thing. Kids tend to be quite ignorant, and extremely conformist and sensitive during their adolescence, to the point that powder kegs for conflict should be kept to a minimum.

I'm going to stop you there to say that somebody being 'emotional' about something you're wrong about to the point of causing harm to another child doesn't mean jack to me. I'm sure every case of bigotry in education or otherwise from women reading to black students in white schools to this had somebody being 'emotional' trying to defend it and wanting to 'protect' their kids. That's a horrible excuse. I'm sick and tired of it, it's always been a load of bullshit.

Second, if kids are ignorant, then we should probably not reinforce their ignorance, especially not by showing them that bigotry is OK. Kids being ignorant of things is absolutely no excuse for the school board to perpetuate ignorance. That's the absolute worst sort of excuse really, it's extremely lazy. "Well, all the kids are probably gonna be racist, so I guess black kids shouldn't have an education!". I'm sick and tired of this notion that bullying or harassment or discrimination is fine if the package is adorable enough. You want to keep this 'powder keg' of conflict to a minimal, then discreetly and quietly accept the child's gender identity like their doctors and anti-discrimination laws suggest you do. The 'ignorant' children will largely follow suit.

The funny damn thing was, the children in this account were following suit until the school board decided to intervene.

If you foster a hostile learning environment for this transgendered child to where bigotry to them is authority sanctioned then these kids are going to emulate the bigotry of the adults. It does absolutely no favor to anybody involved.

This idea that children should get to pick their curriculum because they're too stubborn otherwise is just a straight up self fulfilling failure.

Imperator_DK:
Making this kid a spearhead for transgender rights isn't right, independent from whether the cause it's done for is so.

Whaa? Nobody should have to fight for the basic right to be who they are, but that's the world we live in. Burying it because you want to 'protect' this child from the horrors of winning rights for themselves and people like them is stupid. I hate further this idea that it's OK to bully a child because that's apparently better for them than them being the plaintiff in a case against their own bullies.

"Yeah, I know that your rights are being stepped on and you're being abused by bigots, but isn't it so much better than having to fight for your rights? It doesn't matter that you're cause his just, just let the bigots have their way because that's so much better than standing up for yourself."

Imperator_DK:
Adults can do whatever they want, so long as it'll only harm themselves. Children need to be protected with a certain degree of paternalism, and helped into as peaceful a coexistence with their fellow students as can be had. This takes priority over ideological concerns, and I can't imagine this becoming a major media case is good for the social climate of the school.

Oh, bullshit. She didn't choose to be transgendered. She doesn't need to be 'protected' from being transgendered. She just is transgendered. She needs to be protected from an abusive school board who is (illegally I might add) discriminating against her.

Imperator_DK:

Bigots sure aren't going to give a damn about what a piece of paper says. No bigot ever has been swayed by evidence or science. It'd be great if that was true, but it isn't. And who's to say that this kid, Coy, doesn't have a therapist already?

No, but people who don't care much either way do. And they're generally in majority. Nobody (...who hasn't watched some bad anime) has any prior experience with, knowledge about, or interest in, purple-haired underage transgender girls being mascots in a fight for justice in the school toilet. So they're pretty easily swayed by an authoritative statement from a medical authority figure that, yes, this is indeed a girl trapped in a boy's body. Apparently she does have a diagnosis, so it's already settled.

And yet you're like "Well, OK, so she has a therapist that has diagnosed her.. well it doesn't matter because her parents and indeed all transgendered children's parents should give up on having a safe learning environment for their child because hey that's easier than having to deal with confronting bigots! After all, if they have this piece of paper that they have everything will turn out well and change people's minds, except obviously in this case where it's not making anything better for this child and isn't changing my mind on the matter a bit!".

If it's so damn settled then why are you against her identity being recognized properly by the school board?

Imperator_DK:

I dislike the idea too that your orientation or identity isn't a concern unless you can afford a doctor's note saying that you're gay or trans or whatever. Like "You must be this rich for us to give a shit about your gender identity".

The girl already has a diagnosis. I don't know whether such is particularly expensive, but if so, why not fight for free health care for everyone instead? Two birds with one stone.

I do? I wasn't aware I had to pick one or the other. How is that an excuse for bigotry? "Well, the real problem here is health care costs, so I guess what we should do is sit by idly and tolerate bigotry until we fix every other problem in the world!" isn't a great way of doing, well, anything.

Imperator_DK:

...
OK, then my sarcastic quote still stands. I guess you're arguing that gay or bisexual people should be barred from showers, or sports teams or whatever else?

No, since they have something as authoritative as a diagnosis underlining their right to be their; The right set of genitals.

Your concern with having a transgendered person in the improper bathroom or shower wasn't based on them having the wrong genitals as if water falling out of a facet falls upwards in defiance of gravity if there is a penis around. Your concern was that it would create sexual tension later in life, or at least the appearance of it. Coupled with some weird insistence that this person's identity doesn't count unless doctors recognize it.

You're still arguing that gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. people should be barred from restrooms or showers and the like.

What my genitals in that theoretical situation aren't what matter in that equation so much, it matters what I would be supposedly spying on, or who would be spying on me.

Follow your logic to its full conclusion, don't get lazy and stop half way.

Imperator_DK:

Again, I don't feel that the 'stupid' reasons are equally valid. Just because some bigot decides that gay kids will disease up their straight kid with the gay doesn't make that a valid concern for why gay kids should get their 'separate but equal' school.

If it influences the relationships of the kids, it's relevant. It's logical validity or empiric truth value doesn't matter, and if a pragmatic compromise, half-truth, or white lie will bring about the best result, then that's what's to be done.

You say that as if the only people that matter in the equation are the other kids. But you're influencing their relationships towards this girl by basically saying "The teaching staff is OK with bigotry towards this student". It's not a pragmatic compromise. Insisting this person's gender is male is not a half truth or white lie, it's a straight up falsehood and one that is damaging to this child and runs contrary to their ethical best interests, their medical best interests and their legal best interests. Just because this lie makes it easier on you doesn't make it valid.

Imperator_DK:

I.. what? What the are you talking about? Do you have some sort of notion that bisexuals don't have genitals?

There's nothing to see, in the sense that bisexual genitals don't look any different from heterosexual ones. So a bisexual man in a shower room won't stand out, whereas a transgender man would. This doesn't matter in regard to adults though.

It's not about her standing out, it's about the fact that if your rationale for kicking out a transwoman from the female bathroom because it'll cause sexual tension or spying then it'd follow to make just as much sense to kick a gay man out of the male bathroom because he might spy on other men and to also kick him out of the woman's room because they might spy on him, and it'd make sense to kick out a bisexual person from either bathroom or locker room for the same reason.

Except it doesn't make sense, it's stupid as fuck. It's discriminatory as hell.

cthulhuspawn82:

The problem is that you both define woman, specifically the "women" sign on the bathroom, as a gender rather than sex. So the difference between "women" and "men" is depends on societal behaviors. So a man who likes shoe shopping ballet should go into the Women's bathroom, and a woman with short hair who likes football should use the Men's.

Watch the goddamn video before you comment on it at least. It addresses exactly this. You're confusing societal gender roles with gender identity.

cthulhuspawn82:
Now I suspect you might say that social behavior as well is not important. You can have a penis and like football and still be a woman. All that matters is that you feel like you are a woman or that you identify yourself as a woman. If that is the case, then the problem becomes completely ridiculous for reasons I will now show.

In order for my to think of myself as a woman, or to identify as a woman, I must have some concept of what a woman is. But what would that concept be? It can be nothing physical, you can have a penis or vagina and still be a woman. It can be nothing to do with mental or social behavior, you can like shoe shopping or football and still be a woman. So a definite concept of "Woman" is impossible

Trust me, you'd know it if you felt it. Your gender identity might seem invisible to you or indistinguishable from your societal roles because you're cisgendered, but it's still there. You instinctively 'know' you're whatever gender you are. You don't think about it so much because society has made it easy for you not to, because you fit in one of the 2 correct 'boxes'. You don't have to define it in such a narrow specific way to understand it's there.

OK. There is a part of your brain that distinguishes the difference between sound and sight and taste and all the other senses that can go haywire to where you can literally feel taste sensations based on sounds you hear or how a word is laid out. Obviously if this part of the brain is working under statistically nominal parameters, taste is something that only happens to things you put in your mouth (or smell strongly). But defining taste as only 'the sense that happens when your tongue touches something' will make you completely incapable of understanding the senses of somebody with synesthesia.

To try to rationalize that the whole thing doesn't happen because you don't feel it personally is extremely narrow minded.

cthulhuspawn82:
You cant simply define Woman as "one who thinks they are a woman", because without any concrete evidence of what a thing is or what its physical and/or metal qualities are, how can you determine that you are one.

Maybe take their and their doctor's and therapist's expert advice on it rather than try to armchair coach it?

cthulhuspawn82:
Can either of you, or anyone else, give me a concrete definition of what a woman is? Imagine if you asked me if I was a woman and I replied, "I don't know, what is a Woman". What would you say to me? What sorts of physical and mental clues should I look for to determine my "gender"

That's kind of what the point of their therapy is? The one you're denying the validity of?

The people who are talking about bathrooms being about sex and not gender have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. We didn't separate bathrooms based on sex, we separated them based on gender (which is a social construct, just like segregated bathrooms).

I say let the kid go to the bathroom she's most comfortable in. The other children wouldn't feel uncomfortable if they weren't taught rigid gender constructs and how "if she has a penis, she's not really a girl, so if she goes to the girls' bathroom it's badwrong." This could be a crucial step towards trans acceptance. If these children are raised to accept trans people as normal, they will probably grow to be very accepting adults in the future, and we might actually accomplish something major in the LGBT front.

Well, the bathrooms are designed with the sex organ in mind.

However, in her case she will be going in a stall, which grants privacy to her and should protect her from any incidents happening in the bathroom due to her situation. It seems to be in everyone's best interest for her to use the girl's bathroom.

generals3:
I guess it's time to specify the rules for bathrooms: "For Male sex only" and "for Female sex only". There no more "gender" issues consider your sex is purely physical.

I mean, the bathrooms are obviously adapted to the physical aspects of people's sex and not the gender. Otherwise we should have urinals in both kind of bathrooms. So really, the school is right. He has a penis so he goes to the bathroom were penises belong.

And since males are required to use urinals, that's a perfectly valid argument.

Imperator_DK:

If it gets them into the girl's shower room, I'm pretty sure a lot of pubescent boys would quickly learn the phrase "I'm a Transgendered Lesbian!". Why didn't I think of that back then! Not sure they'd appreciate that.

I'm sure they'd also go through psychological screening and change their operating identification, too.

Zachary Amaranth:

generals3:
I guess it's time to specify the rules for bathrooms: "For Male sex only" and "for Female sex only". There no more "gender" issues consider your sex is purely physical.

I mean, the bathrooms are obviously adapted to the physical aspects of people's sex and not the gender. Otherwise we should have urinals in both kind of bathrooms. So really, the school is right. He has a penis so he goes to the bathroom were penises belong.

And since males are required to use urinals, that's a perfectly valid argument.

Not really. I've used both mens and womens public toilets (for reasons ranging from queue-dodging to short-sightedness) and the only actual difference between them is that the mens have urinals as well as stalls. When it comes to peeing and pooping, we don't really have sex-specific needs. You can't even use the "only males can pee standing up" excuse, not any more.

Even without that little item, if a transgendered guy goes into the men's toilets they just have to use a stall instead of a urinal. No biggie. It'd be the same deal for any guy who needed to drop the kids off at the pool rather than just seeing a man about a horse.

boots:

Not really. I've used both mens and womens public toilets (for reasons ranging from queue-dodging to short-sightedness) and the only actual difference between them is that the mens have urinals as well as stalls. When it comes to peeing and pooping, we don't really have sex-specific needs. You can't even use the "only males can pee standing up" excuse, not any more.

Even without that little item, if a transgendered guy goes into the men's toilets they just have to use a stall instead of a urinal. No biggie. It'd be the same deal for any guy who needed to drop the kids off at the pool rather than just seeing a man about a horse.

Just to be clear, I was taking the piss (no pun intended).

People keep bringing the whole "genitals" thing up in this thread like there is a necessity for specific devices for men and women.

Also, women can pee standing up without an STP device. Just takes a bit of practice. Same would apply to a transman.

EDIT: Case in point, right above my posts:

Ryotknife:
Well, the bathrooms are designed with the sex organ in mind.

Not QUITE as bad, but still a similar sentiment to what I was tackling.

Zachary Amaranth:

boots:

Not really. I've used both mens and womens public toilets (for reasons ranging from queue-dodging to short-sightedness) and the only actual difference between them is that the mens have urinals as well as stalls. When it comes to peeing and pooping, we don't really have sex-specific needs. You can't even use the "only males can pee standing up" excuse, not any more.

Even without that little item, if a transgendered guy goes into the men's toilets they just have to use a stall instead of a urinal. No biggie. It'd be the same deal for any guy who needed to drop the kids off at the pool rather than just seeing a man about a horse.

Just to be clear, I was taking the piss (no pun intended).

People keep bringing the whole "genitals" thing up in this thread like there is a necessity for specific devices for men and women.

Also, women can pee standing up without an STP device. Just takes a bit of practice. Same would apply to a transman.

EDIT: Case in point, right above my posts:

Ryotknife:
Well, the bathrooms are designed with the sex organ in mind.

Not QUITE as bad, but still a similar sentiment to what I was tackling.

It is not a necessity, no. But urinals are more efficient to relieve yourself for a piss than using a stall. They are smaller (so you can fit more in), faster, less maintence, and are less likely to leave a mess (queue the normal banter of men constantly missing the toilet), and im assuming they use less water. Therefore in general, i support a person using the bathroom that is optimized for their use, but in her case im going to make an exception.

I say let her use the girls bathroom because her safety is more important than efficiency.

Obviously neccessity has nothing to do with it, otherwise she would be physically incapable of using the girls bathroom and this whole topic would be moot.

Zachary Amaranth:

Just to be clear, I was taking the piss (no pun intended).

Lol I did a reading fail. Though in my defence, there are people in this thread expressing the same thought with a totally straight face.

Damien Granz:

cthulhuspawn82:

The problem is that you both define woman, specifically the "women" sign on the bathroom, as a gender rather than sex. So the difference between "women" and "men" is depends on societal behaviors. So a man who likes shoe shopping ballet should go into the Women's bathroom, and a woman with short hair who likes football should use the Men's.

Watch the goddamn video before you comment on it at least. It addresses exactly this. You're confusing societal gender roles with gender identity.

The problem with the video is that he says that gender identity is which gender you identify with, man or woman. But he doesn't define what a man or a woman is. I think he simply assumed we all knew what a man and a woman are. But according to people like you and boots, "Woman" is an unintelligible concept. "Woman", according to your arguing, can not be defined by any physical, mental, social, or emotional attribute or set of attributes.

But this whole argument is pointless. The true argument in this thread is based on the assumption that bathrooms are separated by gender and not sex, and I still have no Idea were people got that crazy idea. If both Men's and Women's bathrooms can be used by both biological males and females, then there would be no point in the distinction. So obviously, the society that creates segregated bathrooms intends them to be separated by sex, not gender. In fact, any distinction or segregation a society makes between "Men" and "Women" must be based on sex rather then gender or the distinction would be as pointless as gender segregated bathrooms.

cthulhuspawn82:

The problem with the video is that he says that gender identity is which gender you identify with, man or woman. But he doesn't define what a man or a woman is. I think he simply assumed we all knew what a man and a woman are. But according to people like you and boots, "Woman" is an unintelligible concept. "Woman", according to your arguing, can not be defined by any physical, mental, social, or emotional attribute or set of attributes.

You know what is a useful thing to do before trying to argue a point? A Google search.

The concept of "a woman's brain in a man's body" isn't just a vague New Age idea or an intellectual deconstruction. We know that the brain structure of females is different from that of males. Studies of transgendered people have shown them to have a male-typical brain structure in a female body or vice versa, meaning that there is a neuropsychological explanation for the condition.

Here's a New Scientist article on one of the more recent studies.

However, it doesn't make sense to talk about the brain in the same terms that we talk about the reproductive organs, because the brain is not a reproductive organ (all quips aside). Our brains do not make babies, but they do govern just about every microscopic aspect of how we think and how we view ourselves including - guess what - our gender identity. So our brains are not sexed, but they are gendered.

How are our brains gendered? Lots of different ways. I'm fairly sure that we don't have a genetically inherited neuron cluster for "liking Oprah" or "playing football" or any other of the many arbitrary ways that society attempts to divide gendered behaviour along a strict divide that doesn't exist. It wouldn't be disingenuous to assume, however, that a person with a certain brain structure would be capable of identifying themselves as part of a group that has the same brain structure, and to therefore say with certainty, "I am a man" or "I am a woman".

Yes, gender is a socially constructed concept. So is murder, but it doesn't make the corpse with fifty stab wounds any less real.

You have gender-segrated bathrooms in your schools? Why? We dont have them on any level, from daycare to university, and we haven't had any problems about it.

Gender sgration in general is stupid. Changing rooms is the only exception, due to (mostly) heterosexual males not keeping their hands to themselves. But Seriously? Seeing how extremely uncomfortable transgenders tend to be about their bodies, the chances are that they won't bother anyone. If anything it would be other people bothering them.

When will people get through their head that we are harmless? Everytime there's a problem/scandal it's always we who end up bring harassed/raped/murdered, never you normal people. Can't you just let us exist and try to live decent lives, we have enough problems as it is.

Zachary Amaranth:

Just to be clear, I was taking the piss (no pun intended).

People keep bringing the whole "genitals" thing up in this thread like there is a necessity for specific devices for men and women.

Also, women can pee standing up without an STP device. Just takes a bit of practice. Same would apply to a transman.

Oh great a device that is probably almost never used and probably came after urinals makes it easier for women to pee standing up. That couldn't be any more irrelevant to the fact toilets were obviously segregated according to sex.

cthulhuspawn82:

But this whole argument is pointless. The true argument in this thread is based on the assumption that bathrooms are separated by gender and not sex, and I still have no Idea were people got that crazy idea. If both Men's and Women's bathrooms can be used by both biological males and females, then there would be no point in the distinction. So obviously, the society that creates segregated bathrooms intends them to be separated by sex, not gender. In fact, any distinction or segregation a society makes between "Men" and "Women" must be based on sex rather then gender or the distinction would be as pointless as gender segregated bathrooms.

As for this, it's based on your continued belief that gender is "meaningless" (a common mistake that gets made at first by just about anyone who skims through a few pages of post-structuralist theory and figures that's enough to have a well-formed understanding of this kind of critical thinking - enough at least to make a massively reductive summary of it). For what it's worth, I don't think we should have segregated bathrooms at all. So long as private stalls are available it seems strange to arbitrarily divide up the hand-washing section of the facilities, and dividing bathrooms into only two categories only reinforces the idea of a strictly binary gender system. But if we are going to have segregated space, it's probably better to divide it on the grounds of what's inside our heads, rather than superficial stuff like what's between our legs.

boots:
But if we are going to have segregated space, it's probably better to divide it on the grounds of what's inside our heads, rather than superficial stuff like what's between our legs.

That's what i don't get: how does it make more sense to segregate according to vague social constructs rather than relevant tangible physical traits? I always thought urinals were in male bathrooms because they took less space and it's much much much easier for males to pee standing up and not because urinals were "manly" (which would have to be the explanation if bathrooms were segregated according to gender).

generals3:

boots:
But if we are going to have segregated space, it's probably better to divide it on the grounds of what's inside our heads, rather than superficial stuff like what's between our legs.

That's what i don't get: how does it make more sense to segregate according to vague social constructs rather than relevant tangible physical traits? I always thought urinals were in male bathrooms because they took less space and it's much much much easier for males to pee standing up and not because urinals were "manly" (which would have to be the explanation if bathrooms were segregated according to gender).

If the only reason you can think of for having separate bathrooms is urinals, then it's worth noting that the urinal was not patented until 1866. There were gendered public toilets in Ancient Rome. So let's ditch that notion now.

Our public toilets are divided up for men and women because those are the two recognised genders and our society thinks in binaries. This thread alone is evidence enough that transgendered individuals are still not acknowledged by a large portion of society, and are dismissed as delusional aberrations by many people. We have separate toilets for the same reason we have separate dorms: because we evolved from a society where men and women were segregated. Is it because of sex or because of gender? Impossible question to answer, since when this standard was first set no one made a distinction between the two.

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