The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Transgender does not exist

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,845 times Debate No: 70511
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Definition of Gender provided by Merriam Webster's Dictionary:
"a : sex
b : the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex"

If it does exist- it is the product of gender identity disorder- a mental illness.
My argument is that one cannot classify themselves as a concept- gender is assigned by society and culture *not* science. For example, how a woman behaved in ancient Italy versus ancient Japan will be drastically different.The reason behind their actions was purely due to their environment.
To be more specific, during Japanese Feudalism and it's European counterpart, females played opposite roles from each other. There were many female samurais- who were expected to die without a wince, compared to the European female who wasn't even allowed to join the military, behaving similar to a fragile flower.
Thus, you are not born into this world with a specific gender. We have since developed into a society where gender roles are rather...absent and unnecessary. The reason why we have genders is for those seeking a mate (whether hetero or homosexual) can find the appropriate one. Alongside this, I have found limited proof of transgenderism through history- other than the few that occurred due to social inequality among the sexes.
I end my argument with: You cannot feel as though you are a concept, because that very concept is flexible with cultures.


Link"Pronoun, Sex
Gender pronouns makes sex an issue"creates a dichotomy between man and women justifies masculine dominance
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 10 (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. "Feminist Philosophy of Language" MR.)
Sex-marking English, like most " but not all " languages, requires a great deal of what Marilyn Frye calls "sex marking" (Frye 1983). For example, one cannot use pronouns to refer to a particular individual without knowing their sex. Frye notes the absurdity of this. If I am writing a book review, the use of personal pronouns to refer to the author creates the need to know whether that person's reproductive cells are the sort which produce ova or the sort which produce sperm. (Frye 1983: 22) Singular personal pronoun usage is impossible without knowing the sex of the person one is discussing, and in many cases sex would otherwise be utterly irrelevant. Frye takes this to be an instance of a general tendency to make sex relevant where it need not be, which she takes to be a key feature of sexism. In addition, she suggests, the constant need to know and indicate sex helps to perpetuate the conviction that sex is a tremendously important matter in all areas. For Frye, this is a key factor in perpetuating male dominance: male dominance requires the belief that men and women are importantly different from each other, so anything that contributes to the impression that sex differences are important is therefore a contributor to male dominance.

Sexist language is the root cause of patriarchy"leads to male supremacy and loss of women"s agency.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 10 (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. "Feminist Philosophy of Language" MR.)
1Sme feminists (e.g. Penelope 1990; Spender 1985) argue that English is, in some quite general sense, male. (Corresponding arguments are also put forward about other languages.) One thing that is meant by this is that English can be said to be male in a manner similar to that in which particular terms can be said to be male " by encoding a male worldview, by helping to subordinate women or to render them invisible, or by taking males as the norm. One sort of argument for this begins from the examination of large quantities of specific terms, and the identification of patterns of male bias, and proceeds from this to the conclusion that the male bias of English is so widespread that it is a mistake to locate the problem in a collection of words, rather than in the language as a whole. The first stage of this sort of argument is, obviously, a lengthy and complex one. The sorts of claims (in addition to those we have already seen) cited include (a) that there are more words for males than for females in English, and that more of these words are positive (Spender 1985: 15, citing Stanley 1977); (b) that a "word for women assume[s] negative connotations even where it designated the same state or condition as it did for men" (Spender 1985: 17), as with "spinster" and "bachelor"; (c) that words for women are far more frequently sexualized than words for men, and that this holds true even for neutral words, when they are applied to women. Dale Spender, citing Lakoff (1975), discusses the example of "professional", comparing "he's a professional" and "she's a professional", and noting that the latter is far more likely than the former to be taken to mean that the person in question is a prostitute. The sexualisation of words for women is considered especially significant by the many feminists who take sexual objectification to be a crucial element, if not the root, of inequalities between women and men. (For more on such examples, see also Baker 1992.) This widespread encoding of male bias in language is, according to theorists like Spender, just what we should expect. Males (though not, as she notes, all of them) have had far more power in society, and this, she claims has included the power to enforce, through language, their view of the world. Moreover, she argues, this has served to enhance their power. There is sexism in language, it does enhance the position of males, and males have had control over the production of cultural forms. (Spender 1985: 144) This, Spender claims, provides circumstantial evidence that "males have encoded sexism into language to consolidate their claims of male supremacy" (Spender 1985: 144). Spender takes the evidence for this claim to be far more than circumstantial, however, and to support it she discusses the efforts of prescriptive grammarians. These include, for example, the claim that males should be listed before females because "the male gender was the worthier gender" (Spender 1985: 147, emphasis hers), and the efforts (noted earlier) to establish "he" as the gender-neutral third-person English pronoun. According to theorists like Spender, men's ability to control language gives them great power indeed. We have already seen ways in which what one might call the maleness of language contributes to the invisibility of women (with respect to words like "he" and "man"). If one takes the maleness of language to go beyond a few specific terms, one will take language's power to make women invisible to be even stronger. We have also seen ways that what might be called maleness can make it more difficult for women to express themselves. Where we lack words for important female experiences, like sexual harassment, women will find it more difficult to describe key elements of their existence. Similarly, where the words we have " like "foreplay" " systematically distort women's experiences, women will have a difficult time accurately conveying the realities of their lives. If one takes such problems to go beyond selected particular terms, and to infect language as a whole, it is natural to suppose that women are to a large degree silenced " unable to accurately articulate key elements of their lives, and unable to communicate important aspects of their thoughts

Any word that depicts women as sex objects or social norms not applicable to men leads to the exclusion of women. We must challenge our discourse in this round and change the meaning of words to solve patriarchy and chauvinism.
Goueffic 96 (Goueffic, Louise. Author, BA graduate studies in France. Breaking the patriarchal code. Pg. 13-14 : 1996. MR.)
Couched within words are presuppositions about gender, that is many taken-for-granted assumptions about women/men, girls/boys, gender relations, roles and expectations. The identification of sexist wordings is a good start towards raising awareness about how differences in the meanings of words 'reflect differences in the traditional roles accorded to women and men in our society' (Graddol and Swann, 1989: 113). Newspapers, for example, are full of examples of wordings which are used to portray women in negative or limiting ways, i.e. wordings which: depict women as sex objects and on the basis of their appearance rather than their intellect or capabilities (e.g. 'a blonde'); define women in terms of home, family, and domestic roles (e.g. 'mother of three'), in ways that are seldom used for men; trivialize women (e.g. using 'girl' for a much wider age range than 'boy' would be used; also 'weathergirl'); judge women (e.g. 'Iadette", 'career woman'). Consider the following examples from the sports section of the British broadsheet newspaper The Sunday Times. The extracts are from two pieces about tennis, which are written by the same writer, and appear on the same page of the paper. Examples include the use of the words 'persons', 'people', 'Ms", 'they' and 'them' (e.g. 'Each speaker will have one hour for their presentation'), and opting for 'chair' rather that 'chairman', 'flight attendant' rather than 'airhostess', 'doctor' rather than 'woman doctor', etc.
Debate Round No. 1


I see that your argument is moreso a feminist rant? In fact, transgender does not even appear in your argument whatsoever.
Also, I understand that the *history* of many languages is in fact sexist against women, however, we do not live in the day and age to recreate a gender-neutral language. There are also many "male" insults, i.e.
"dick". However, "blonde" does not only apply to females, because there is no female association.
My exact argument is that transgender is false. We are not born into this world "feeling female". We can feel "suppressed" but we cannot feel like a noun/adjective- female being one of the classifications for a creature with female parts.
The matter of feeling female is a product of conditioning.
Think about it, you know those stupid "How to pick up men!" things? Why are they stupid exactly...? Because they try their best to group every man together in one group. There are many, many men that wont want a stick figure lady who does there laundry, and there are some who just want someone to climb up mt. Everest with them. Many people this era believe that gender is a representation of their mental mindset- which is true in the case of nurture not nature.
I think the only reason why gender pronouns are even still around because they help many people find the significant other they are looking for.
And to tackle your last paragraph, I agree, but it is off topic. We should portray doctors as a level playing field- however, I doubt that words are the ones that need attention. What about the wage difference? Isn't that way more important than labels?

Ending argument: Con has not challenged the statement directly, and my argument awaits disproving. You cannot feel, at birth, or any other time in your life, like a gender. Because gender is something that is a product of society, a product of nurture, and a product of social classes. And because your argument is taking such a feminist stance, isn't cross dressing men sexist? Don't they imply, that in order to be female, you have to doll yourself up to the extent of no return and have perfect hair? How about go shopping, or other "feminine" activities that are dictated by media and culture?
Transgender relies on society's stereotypes to float.


My main argument here is that assuming that a gender affiliation is a byproduct of a mental disorder is hurtful and degrading to the LGBT Community, the feminist community, pretty much any community that identifies with something other than binary social choices.
Debate Round No. 2


I am by no means attempting to claim that this is a mental disorder simply because I want to be "disrespectful" to the LGBT community- and this is coming from a lesbian woman. I'm simply saying that there is a high amount of transgender-based suicides, and despite the fact that even after surgery, there is still a large amount committing suicide- and even more staggering amounts of ones who want to go back to their own physical state.
I agree 100% with these articles ; and especially this one and finally

However, many people would rather overlook the depression in these individuals and say : I support tearing apart your body so you feel "right". Thus, you are supporting and funding their depression instead of trying to cure it.

Anyways, this was not the debate at hand anyways, it was that transgender could possibly not exist.
For example, was I born in this world "feeling female"? OR was that conditioning? What if "gender roles" were swapped? I wouldn't notice- or feel unnatural in that placement because that is what is deemed normal.
You cannot feel like a gender. You cannot feel like a noun. Yes, you can feel feminine. But to say in order to feel feminine you must also become female is shocking and only feeding the stereotypes against women! The same can go for FtM's.
Personally, it could go as far as to be compared to anorexia.
Do we look at these patients and say ,"I'll actually give liposuction to you because you feel so fat! It's alright, dear." when in reality it'd kill them and make them worse off? They look into the mirror and see this fat human, while transgenders look into the mirror and see the opposite sex. Both should be treated as either highly delusional, confused, or depressed with a poor self image.

I again, end this argument and eagerly wait to be proven wrong:
How can one feel like a concept? How can one feel like a gender? We are not born into this world assigned behavior that corresponds to our genitalia. Transgender is in itself sexist due to this very question. In order to feel like a gender you must also act out that gender's/sex's very stereotype. (If gender exists, then I swear there is one gender for every single person on this earth. And at that perspective it isn't gender anymore. It's personality.


You're predicating your arguments on an ad-hominem defense, saying that it can't be detrimental because you re part of the LGBTQ community. To start off, no genders physically exist, in most cases they're assigned by sexuality or what they're given at birth. But saying that because someone doesn't identify with a classic binary gender system is reinforcing transphobia and cis-dominance.

Now, to take out your framework, transgender is actually no longer classified as a mental disorder. In 2012, according to CNN, the American Psychiatric Association, or the APA for short, ruled it was no longer a disorder to believe that a man could have been born to be a woman. It has, however, been replaced with gender dysphoria, which is related to the stress surrounding a gender crisis.

I would like to emphasize that you are insisting that it exists because someone is mentally ill. Now, there is one other prominent cultural change that may shock you. Before 1973, homosexuality, which you identify yourself with, WAS CLASSIFIED AS A MENTAL DISORDER. But I mean, it's not like medical journals ever get anything wrong(homosexuality, smoking, heavy drinking, etc.) By classifying it a mental disorder, you are stifling not only the LGBTQ community, but nyone who would EVER happen to become part of this community by having them looked upon as lower class and "brain damaged"

Defending yourself in this argument by saying that it can't be detrimental to the LGBT community becasuse you're a part of the LGBT community is like saying a sinking canoe can't hurt you if you're in the canoe.

If you truly believe that transgender is only the byproduct of a mental illness, you yourself are handicapping all those who feel the need to step out of the binary for generations to come, and those reinforcing cis-dominance. You're destroying a cause yet to be heard. (coming from a cisgendered, heterosexual, white male, not that it matters when we're talking about gender-allignment being a handicap on the population identifying with it)
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by basils 3 years ago
the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones).
"traditional concepts of gender"
"variables included age, income, and gender"
Posted by SirFluffySheep 3 years ago
How so? The only way I could have "refuted" it, was by my first sentence. My first statement was implying that it wouldn't be a feeling, or a legit label, it'd be a diagnosis (not what many people have described the mental disorder to be, many view "Transgender" as a true feeling, unlike the illness p.o.v. and the "non-existent/emotional/feeling/label" one is the one in question)
Either way, my argument still stands until someone cons my statement.
Posted by Toxifrost 3 years ago
You kinda refute your own argument indirectly here....
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro opens with an affirmation of the resolution in the sense that since gender is a social construct, it does not "exist". This was open to the semantics of existence, but I can buy this argument. Con's initial counter-argument was an off-topic, feminist rant about gender roles affecting women. Pro points this out, too. Then Con tries to attribute harmfulness to labelling transgenderism as a mental disease, but the debate is on whether transgenderism exists, not whether it is harmful to label it. Con then, in the continuous off-topic rant that never actually rebuts any of the integral points of Pro's case, implicitly concedes the debate with the argument: "to start off, no genders physically exist". If no genders exists, then transgenderism doesn't exist. Pro wins arguments due to his being uncontested and Con implicitly conceding.