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The problem with Sex v. Gender discussions

MassiveDump
Posts: 3,423
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3/15/2014 4:27:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
You can't say that people who are physically female but mentally male have a hormonal abnormality or imbalance, or else people lose their sh!t.

But... isn't that what it is, or is there just a more politically correct way to say it?
NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
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3/24/2014 5:04:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/15/2014 4:27:07 PM, MassiveDump wrote:
You can't say that people who are physically female but mentally male have a hormonal abnormality or imbalance, or else people lose their sh!t.

But... isn't that what it is, or is there just a more politically correct way to say it?

It could be purely psychological. I have a friend(well, more of an acquaintance) who doesn't have any hormonal imbalance, but still thinks he's a Lesbian in a man's body.
nikidavis
Posts: 43
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3/24/2014 6:37:08 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
What do you mean by "lesbian in a mans body." Is she/he transgender?
One day I saw a man walking down the street, and he walked up to me and said, "Did you know that humans are the only species who tear down trees to make paper, and then write 'save the trees!' on them." I was amazed, then everyone else looked at him and glared with annoyance. I was the only one that actually cared, about the trees, about the man, about the world.
kbub
Posts: 1,377
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3/24/2014 11:59:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/24/2014 5:04:23 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
At 3/15/2014 4:27:07 PM, MassiveDump wrote:
You can't say that people who are physically female but mentally male have a hormonal abnormality or imbalance, or else people lose their sh!t.

But... isn't that what it is, or is there just a more politically correct way to say it?

It could be purely psychological. I have a friend(well, more of an acquaintance) who doesn't have any hormonal imbalance, but still thinks he's a Lesbian in a man's body.

You mean "she."
kbub
Posts: 1,377
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3/24/2014 12:02:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/15/2014 4:27:07 PM, MassiveDump wrote:
You can't say that people who are physically female but mentally male have a hormonal abnormality or imbalance, or else people lose their sh!t.

But... isn't that what it is, or is there just a more politically correct way to say it?

I wrote this elsewhere. Hope it helps:

Alright! Gender 101: When someone is not male or female, they is referred to as "they," even though "they" is usually thought of as singular. One NEVER uses the word "it" for a person. Additionally, the word "it" should not refer to nonhuman animals, but instead "she" or "he" or "s/he."

Now, it is important to realize that "sex" and "gender" are not the same thing, though they are related. "Sex" refers to physical differences, including primary sex characteristics such as hormones and genitalia, and also secondary sex characteristics such as beards, adam's apples, voice differences, breast/hip sizes, etc. However, these sex characteristics are not always clear cut. An award-winning female athlete lost her medal because she had hormonal levels that the olymipics determined made her a man. Additionally, there are those who, through hormone changes such as through the use of steroids, have developed characteristics typical of the other sex; and many people identify as "intersex" (or "hermaphrodytic," though this is a biologic term that is very offense outside of biology). Intersex persons have primary and/or secondary sex traits that fall in between male and female. Many have a gential protrusion that is hard to differentiate between a penis or a vagina, and in fact is considered neither. Many of the primary and secondary sex characteristic can be switched up--someone may develop a chest that is wider than males and a beard, or may have hormones that do not correspond to external sex qualities.

Now onto gender. Gender is a construct that we build in our minds. It is often highly-connect to sex, but not always. Gender develops from our idea of "male" and "female," but just because they are ideas does not make them any more or real. Gender has a profound influence on the way one behaves, and also seems to have some neurological components. Although gender is a "construct," this does not mean it is dismissed on a whim. If I were male, for example, I would not suddenly say I am female, or if I did I would be joking. I might even wish I were a female, but that would not change my gender. Judith Butler describes the way that gender plays a central role in one's life but is also a social construct as "gender performance." This "performance" does not refer to drag shows, which are a parody of gender roles. Instead, it refers to how people act within self-conceptualized framework of being a particular gender.

An easy way to distinguish between sex and gender is this example: supposing you say a man walking down the street with no obvious secondary or primary sex characteristics--how do you know this person is male? You don't check his pants. Instead, you can see gender--the man presents himself as a man. This happens even for men who do not conform to most stereotypes--it is still apparent. They way one dresses, wears one's hair, talks, behaves, uses pronouns---all of these are gender traits.

People can know they are males or females without having to look at their gentalia. If their gentalia were removed, at least at first, one's self-identification of gender would not change. A female would still be a female, and a male still a male. This is because gender is a central component of one's identity. However, some people have a self-identity that does not match the sex characteristics they were born with. These persons are "transgender." For all important intents and purposes, this person's identity is their gender, not their sex. They are not "pretending" to be male or female or "wishing" they are male or female--instead, they are male or female, despite the fact that their gentalia might jut out or in. However, though this makes a big difference in whether or not one can use a urinal with dignity, it really doesn't make a difference for this person's identity. Transgender persons, except in such cases like the urinal, need to be treated as their gender-identification. This identification usually stays as consistent as a non-transgender person--it is not a "phase" or a "sissy-man" or a "manly-siss;" they are for all intents and purposes their gender. While many do not wish to identify as transgender, many wish to have that option to express themselves as male transgender or female transgender.

Like sex, or perhaps more so, gender is complex and cannot be established on a binary. Even a continuum model fails to include the complexity of gender. This complexity is similar to sexual orientation which, despite the myth, is not a clear set of distinctions. Most homosexual persons have at least some degree, however slight, in the other gender, and likewise heterosexual persons often have an amount of attraction to the same gender. Additionally, not only is there enormous complexity within the categories of sex and gender, but also in all the ways sex and gender interacted. Despite the complexity of these distinctions, it is very easy to put up the basics that would make everyone much more comfortable (I think facebook might have gone overkill a bit, but I respect the move away from binary). Here are some easy options:
-Male
-Female
-Agender (no gender)
-Genderfluid/ambiguous gender
-Bigender
-Crossdresser
-Genderqueer
-Transgender male
-Transgender female
NiqashMotawadi3
Posts: 1,895
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3/24/2014 1:53:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/24/2014 11:59:06 AM, kbub wrote:
At 3/24/2014 5:04:23 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
At 3/15/2014 4:27:07 PM, MassiveDump wrote:
You can't say that people who are physically female but mentally male have a hormonal abnormality or imbalance, or else people lose their sh!t.

But... isn't that what it is, or is there just a more politically correct way to say it?

It could be purely psychological. I have a friend(well, more of an acquaintance) who doesn't have any hormonal imbalance, but still thinks he's a Lesbian in a man's body.

You mean "she."

He is in a guy's body without any sex-change so I call him a "he," and he is used to that, but I guess he does feel like a she.
kbub
Posts: 1,377
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3/24/2014 2:39:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/24/2014 1:53:28 PM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
At 3/24/2014 11:59:06 AM, kbub wrote:
At 3/24/2014 5:04:23 AM, NiqashMotawadi3 wrote:
At 3/15/2014 4:27:07 PM, MassiveDump wrote:
You can't say that people who are physically female but mentally male have a hormonal abnormality or imbalance, or else people lose their sh!t.

But... isn't that what it is, or is there just a more politically correct way to say it?

It could be purely psychological. I have a friend(well, more of an acquaintance) who doesn't have any hormonal imbalance, but still thinks he's a Lesbian in a man's body.

You mean "she."

He is in a guy's body without any sex-change so I call him a "he," and he is used to that, but I guess he does feel like a she.

It's generally rude to call a transgender person something other than their preferred gender or pronoun set.
cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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3/24/2014 5:18:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/24/2014 6:37:08 AM, nikidavis wrote:
What do you mean by "lesbian in a mans body." Is she/he transgender?

A terrible assumption, this is.
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
nikidavis
Posts: 43
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3/24/2014 6:30:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/24/2014 5:18:42 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
At 3/24/2014 6:37:08 AM, nikidavis wrote:
What do you mean by "lesbian in a mans body." Is she/he transgender?

A terrible assumption, this is.

Why?
One day I saw a man walking down the street, and he walked up to me and said, "Did you know that humans are the only species who tear down trees to make paper, and then write 'save the trees!' on them." I was amazed, then everyone else looked at him and glared with annoyance. I was the only one that actually cared, about the trees, about the man, about the world.
cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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3/24/2014 6:32:38 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/24/2014 6:30:35 PM, nikidavis wrote:
At 3/24/2014 5:18:42 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
At 3/24/2014 6:37:08 AM, nikidavis wrote:
What do you mean by "lesbian in a mans body." Is she/he transgender?

A terrible assumption, this is.

Why?

Because a lot of transgender's do it because they think they are one gender in the others body.
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
nikidavis
Posts: 43
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3/24/2014 6:50:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/24/2014 6:32:38 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
At 3/24/2014 6:30:35 PM, nikidavis wrote:
At 3/24/2014 5:18:42 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
At 3/24/2014 6:37:08 AM, nikidavis wrote:
What do you mean by "lesbian in a mans body." Is she/he transgender?

A terrible assumption, this is.

Why?

Because a lot of transgender's do it because they think they are one gender in the others body.
Yes I agree. I am for transgender rights. And they do it because they are one gender in another's body.
I was just confused by what he said.
One day I saw a man walking down the street, and he walked up to me and said, "Did you know that humans are the only species who tear down trees to make paper, and then write 'save the trees!' on them." I was amazed, then everyone else looked at him and glared with annoyance. I was the only one that actually cared, about the trees, about the man, about the world.
cybertron1998
Posts: 5,818
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3/24/2014 6:51:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/24/2014 6:50:18 PM, nikidavis wrote:
At 3/24/2014 6:32:38 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
At 3/24/2014 6:30:35 PM, nikidavis wrote:
At 3/24/2014 5:18:42 PM, cybertron1998 wrote:
At 3/24/2014 6:37:08 AM, nikidavis wrote:
What do you mean by "lesbian in a mans body." Is she/he transgender?

A terrible assumption, this is.

Why?

Because a lot of transgender's do it because they think they are one gender in the others body.
Yes I agree. I am for transgender rights. And they do it because they are one gender in another's body.
I was just confused by what he said.

They are mentally one gender in another gender's body
Epsilon: There are so many stories where some brave hero decides to give their life to save the day, and because of their sacrifice, the good guys win, the survivors all cheer, and everybody lives happily ever after. But the hero... never gets to see that ending. They'll never know if their sacrifice actually made a difference. They'll never know if the day was really saved. In the end, they just have to have faith.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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3/24/2014 7:03:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
They don't have a "hormone abnormality." Prior to medical intervention, the hormones usually match the dangly bits/genes. A hormone abnormality, that is, hormones not matching dangly bits, is often a TREATMENT doctors will use.

They have a neurological abnormality. A transgender person, at least the kind that seeks medical intervention, the kind in the original sense of the word, has the body of one gender and the brain structure of another. They can't change the brain and usually no one would want to, so they generally seek some combination of making the hormones along with the physical characteristics exactly as abnormal for their genetic makeup as their brains are.

A lot would be offended at "abnormal," but f*** normalcy and f*** tumblr.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.