Author Topic: Defining "Gender"  (Read 1962 times)

Offline Evolver

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Evolver:
When I wrote "act" I meant how someone behaves, or lives / engages in sexual expression.
To your question regarding "putting it on", not sure what you meant by the phrase.  What I meant was that there are a lot of ways individuals choose to live out sexually - straight , gay or whatever.
I meant 'pretending.' Thank you for clarifying that that wasn't what you meant.

Offline taxmapper

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No need to be offended. 
(Though today it seems its easy). 

the discussion is simply pointing out that the contemporary arguments made are mostly sophistry. 

There is a ongoing theme amongst the evangelical crowd NOT only of Christianity, but also Islam and other religions that is focused on this topic but the people are mostly and woefully ignorant of the details. 


Offline HeldUp

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The current arguments in the socio-political arena are not really about language - they are about changing reality (through language) to conform to whatever fantasy is in the mind of the wannabe.  In the state I live in public elementary schools have been ordered to "teach" K-8 children how to perform sex acts - with very, very graphic picture books. 
Firstly, I would love citation of the "facts" here: please list the book title and ISBN if possible. This is one commonly espoused idea, often debunked as myth, but if there is truth here I want to see it. Secondly, what "fantasy" needs confirmation? And thirdly, who are these "wannabe" people?

I don't want to assume.

Offline HeldUp

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Thanks for your closed PM @moobzie. It's perfectly clear where you're coming from, thank you for formalizing it. The problem lies in people who state their opinion and disallow others to, or suggest they do not, express theirs--regardless of the facts and truths they know and observe.

For me:
Gender = how people express their identity
Assigned Sex = what a doctor thinks they see when they pull us out
Biological Sex = what our chromosomes and our genes, etc. tell our bodies to do

Breasts on males, gynecomastia, are a part of the latter or caused by medical inducement (eg. side effects to medication). Those with idiopathic gynecomastia have some sort of hormonal/genetic predisposition that makes their body develop breasts. Those with simplified and, irrefutable, opinions on gender/sex will often get hung up here. Some may see breasts on a male as a sign of degeneracy. Some males may feel a sort of religious-based shame because of their breast tissue and have difficulty refuting this natural "affront" to their masculinity. Some have theirs removed to reinforce their gender presentation, just as some females augment their breasts to reinforce theirs. Regardless of their breast size, their choice in handling those breasts, if they act in a masculine manner they are men; no less men than any person without breast tissue. That's the heart of the "gender debate", whether people get to have a say in what their gender presentation is.

This is no different than people such as María José Martínez-Patiño, an athlete who was told was female at birth, raised as a girl and identified as a woman. But guess what? She had XY chromosomes. She also has androgen insensitivity disorder, which made her genetically male body develop in a female manner. She only found out because of our limited XX/XY views of sex at the time. These views limited her ability to compete. Her condition predisposed her to no advantage versus her competition, but was forced to withdraw "due to injury" or be publicly outed.

Beyond intersex people, there have been people on the gender-spectrum throughout history, people who have desired or been compelled to present to the world counter to what was assigned to them upon delivery. The rules of gender presentation ebb and flow constantly, too. Powerful men, rulers of empires, wore cosmetics in Egypt. All people, before trousers were cheap enough to make, wore some form of skirt. To think today's social norms are anything but flimsy guidelines set upon us by those that wish to separate us from our money, or have some desire in controlling society, is folly. Trans people are people, too and they've been here since the dawning of time!

I think what people gnash their teeth and wring their hands about are due to the fact that our concept of reality has been pretty limited. There are real concerns of fairness in sport, because we've operated in a limited binary view of ourselves, and there are bound to be outliers that challenge that. The answers are being worked on and it's ugly work, mostly because people are so ugly in trying to enforce their biases. There are answers, we simply must be good humans and find them.

Also, books, problematic because there are adult themes presented in some. My take is that voices of those outside the enforced gender standard have been silenced either passively or actively. The narratives that have come out are real, powerful, and true. These biographies and interpretations of author's history give people hope that they aren't alone, strange, or different. What if we, as predominantly males with gynecomastia, were able to read a book as youths about it and how it is common both in teenagers and in adults and it says nothing about our gender and enforces our normalcy. Would we have the shame we've carried with us our whole lives? Would we need a forum to congregate to and find community in for acceptance? It's the same thing for kids of color, those with non-binary sexual orientation/gender/sex, etc. They have been able to see themselves in a book and feel better about themselves, feel understood, or find understanding. The books aren't grooming them, they are affirming them, like what we find discussing ourselves here. Maybe the medium is rough around the edges, maybe these truths contain themes that are more adult than some children can handle or should be exposed to, but the goal of those that would remove these books from shelves aren't about finding better representative stories. They are solely dedicated to removing them. They think people that that exist outside of their limited worldview are degenerates, broken, ill; that they should be removed from view.

The real degenerates are those that force their children to have sex with prostitutes to show their questioning child that they are men (PragerU vidoc on detransition); that force their children into boot camps of shame and suicide to beat into them they are not who they think they are; that shame and disown their own children to the point of suicide.

I'm sorry if this upsets someone's apple cart, but I won't sit here and let someone tell others to "keep it to themselves" while they get to spread their nonsense unchallenged.



Offline davidinno

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Outstanding essay.  I wish it could be published more widely than on this site.

I cringe to think of the amount of damage done to innocent people through the ages because of this.

Offline taxmapper

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In "past times" (meaning the previous decade and before) the gender thing was something that didn't even hit the radar except for obvious aspects and comedy. 
But when this gender argument came up in 2020 (and I point that date out specifically) people on both sides (now multiple sides) were arguing that sex was/wasnt gender. 

No one and I mean NO ONE actually looked the word up! 

When you apply that sort of thinking to all kinds of arguments including such topics as guns, the ignorance factor becomes a main driver. 

It disgusts me that the political discourse today is based entirely on ignorance. 

This was why I started the post. 

IDK how one holds thier opinions. 
Frankly, people will hold opinions regardless. 
the purpose was not put opinions atop others for ego's sake, it is to inform and lay out the foundation of arguments to state that the easy side of arguments is not so easy once one peels the layers away. 


Offline Evolver

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I think what people gnash their teeth and wring their hands about are due to the fact that our concept of reality has been pretty limited. There are real concerns of fairness in sport, because we've operated in a limited binary view of ourselves, and there are bound to be outliers that challenge that. The answers are being worked on and it's ugly work, mostly because people are so ugly in trying to enforce their biases. There are answers, we simply must be good humans and find them.
Great post, HeldUp. I quote this paragraph because I have taken a special interest in reading about transwomen in sport in the past couple of years.

Yes, it IS ugly work. Those of us who apply science and perspective to the arguments to educate others, although at risk of being accused of our own bias, simply must keep going. A great example was when transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won a national championship event last year. Typically, the conservative media and their followers went apoplectic, despite knowing that this was her only ever win as a woman, in a Covid depleted field, with a time more than 9 seconds slower than olympian Katie Ledecky for this 500m race. She also made the final for the 100m, but finished last. If 'men pretending to be women' have an unfair advantage in women's sport, why aren't they winning all the time?

Online Justagirl💃

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'Defining gender' seems to be 'difficult' only within the last century. 
 
Thousands of years now we have been documenting cases of mixed genders, or flavours of genders in some cases. Not only is intersex very common (1/1500 children), but orientation varies from individuals as well. 

From reading ancient texts we find that squeezing everyone into two well defined boxes is a rather recent development in regards to genders (6 genders were known in ancient Jewish scripts). Homosexuality started being marginalised a little over 3000 years ago, but even still the sages interpreting those texts were well aware of conditions that manifests it. 

I'm not sure when recommended GRS started for intersex babies started, but it has been the norm for decades. Often the doctors made mistakes and the now female individual doesn't feel like a girl at puberty. That's what happens when man plays God. 
Personally I would have loved to have had GRS done to me in infancy, but I understand now why in some cases it's not recommended. 

We can't go just off Chromosomes, because those can be off gender depending on androgen absorption during formation. Even appearance is not a good way of determining sex since some male and female intersex babies look almost exactly alike at birth. 
It takes quite a bit of medical procedures and testing to really determine actual sex at birth of intersex babies that is almost 'never done'!
Doctors today are taking 'educated guesses' just to mark one of two boxes, even if GRS is slowly fading away. Those guesses are often wrong!

Most of the men here have male genitalia, but grew breasts either during puberty or later life. While most of them identity as males with breasts, others don't. Don't sweat it, it was written about 3000 years ago. You come from a long tradition (as long as humans have existed). 

Some of us here are intersex, I know several. We also are well documented through history. 

'Defining sex or gender' becomes much less important when you realise how many variables there are. We will never all fit into two well defined boxes. 

I had an x-ray tech taking images of my hip and leg. The nurse corrected her when she addressed me as ma'am and told her I was male. She glanced at her screen in confusion and said, "that's not what I'm seeing."
Earlier after much pressuring my doctor ordered an ultrasound and chromosomes test for me. Chromosomes are XY, but I have PMDS so I also have a uterus and fallopian tubes. I was also born without a penis. 

My delivery doctor after apparently speaking with my parents gendered me as male. No further testing was performed and the 'two box' gendering system was conveniently satisfied. 
Was it correct? No, it hasn't been correct my entire life. I spent horrific years being forced into boy-mode because a piece of paper signed by a doctor says I am. 

Summary, perhaps we rethink the gendering of babies and leave the 'two box' system entirely. 
When life gives you curves,
flaunt them! 💃
💋Birdie💋

Offline Sophie

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I can only speak for myself. I believe this to be true with every individual as well. I believe that even everyone here is unique in how their genetics, mind, heart ❤️  and soul align. 

I was either 4 or 5 when I began to understand that I was not what I appeared to be. My sister and I would play dress up until it was no longer cute but more embarrassing for my family. 

Let's fast forward to my approach to puberty and instead of a little mustache, my first sign of puberty was my breast buds and my aeriole enlargement. TBH, when my mother told me that I should start wearing a bra, I was excited. I thought that I would be ok as long as I kept developing. The next step was when my sister saw me topless when I stepped out of the shower. She was a little shocked and told our mom that I was as big as her. This, of course, led to me wearing a bra full-time. 

My body continued to develop and my clothing eventually all came from women's clothing stores and departments. This was something that I absolutely welcomed. The clothing was of course more comfortable and fit better. However, I was more comfortable shopping in places that were traditionally reserved for women. I felt that I belonged there and I could relate to those fit issues that women have because I had them too.

I met my wife who accepted me as a full busted, curvy man. She was also the one who encouraged me to become myself. She would have me try on some of her skirts and dresses for years. When we were stuck inside during covid, it became an everyday thing and it went further everyday. When it was time to return to the office, I was so upset and she was too. I loved being her wife and she loved having a wife. That's when we decided that I was never living as man again. 

It was my path. My genetics gave me my curves and lady lumps. It was my feminine soul that brought me to my current gender. My reassignment surgery settled my dysphoria from me always feeling that my male genitals were a birth defect  that was corrected. 

There so many variations of these things that make us who we are and they are all unique and beautiful 😍. 

❤️Sophie ❤️

Offline gotgyne

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'Defining gender' seems to be 'difficult' only within the last century.
 ...
Summary, perhaps we rethink the gendering of babies and leave the 'two box' system entirely.
In a German forum I shortly read the proposal that there should be no sexual determination of infants until they are old enough to deternime it by themselves. (I write sexual instead of gender since in the German language there was no such word as gender for the social expression of the sexual identity. Meanwhile the term 'gender' is used here for some years too but not very common).
A bra is just an article of clothing for people with breasts.

Offline Moobzie

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" transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won a national championship event last year"
And this man was only something like 467th nationally among other males.  His competing / winning women's events deprived some women of scholarship opportunities.  On a personal note, he joked about what he was doing on some of his social media.

Post pubertal males have several scientifically know (actually measured) physical differences in musculature / cardio-vascular strength / endurance from females - giving the males distinct athletic advantage.

I don't care what anyone calls themselves, but using this guy as an example to "win" some kind of debate  is folly.  His cross-dressing doesn't make him a female.

Offline Evolver

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Pretty sure that not many of the 466 males ranked above her competed at that event... ;)

You still haven't told me why she hasn't won anything else?

The only reason that this particular athlete might be muscular despite zilch testosterone is because she trains her butt off! She'd whip your ass and you know it, even though you call yourself a...man. ;D

Offline Moobzie

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Scientific evidence shows that the post pubertal skeletal, muscular and cardio-vascular strength differential between males and females is retained regardless of testosterone levels.  Very recently, several real female athletes in several sports have refused to 'compete' against males in female sports (e.g., cycling, track, boxing, and Brazilian ju-jitsu) precisely because of this factual biological physical advantage.

I haven't used the logical fallacy of ad hominem (attacking someone rather than discussing a subject),  like "She'd whip your ass and you know it, even though you call yourself a...man".  An example of this are these three points here:
#3: Mr. Thomas is a male, not a "she" (yeah, yeah, he can call himself whatever he wants - even a nanny goat);
#2: You falsely assume that cross-dressing sissy can fight (he acts like "Georgie Pordgy" in the famous poem);
#1: You falsely assume I have no real-life combat skills. 

Offline taxmapper

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IMO were off track here. 


Offline HeldUp

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Like I said, there are real world problems to resolve within the athletic world. I also said it was ugly and here's that ugliness. Firstly, Moobzie, I am pretty sure Evolver was talking about swimming prowess and not fisticuffs, but it speaks volumes that you would go there. It's also so very telling how you disrespect Ms Thomas, someone you likely know nothing about, even if you disagree with the merit of her achievements.

Testosterone, power-to-weight ratios, or human scaffolding, we could nit pick certain datasets to fit a narrative all day long. One problem is that some don't want to work to a solution that is not maintaining a "status quo". It's just easier to exclude people and protect a broken system than work toward a goal of understanding and resolution; build something viable. Who says sports need be segregated purely by sex?

Modern sport has operated in a segregated way, mostly, because females have been excluded historically from competing in anything because their "wombs must be protected". Females didn't want any of that and started to compete themselves, mostly in male events because that's all there were. "Women's sport" comes out of the same exclusionary facet of society, it should be seen as tainted by sexism and misogyny not as something necessarily to uphold. It's simply separate and most definitely not equal. The women making waves, competing at a high level, are constantly written off because "a man could do it better". The competitions are derided for their "lack of competition", but they operate without major funding or support from wealthy males. Should women be able to compete? Yes! Should there be fairness in sport? Yes, but what is fair? That's the question that must be answered.

Enter mainstream exposure to intersex, transgender, and transsexual people. They're more visible, they didn't appear over night, we're a more inclusive society that (mostly) notice they exist now. So we have problem with sport again. We don't say "let's figure something out", people say "no, you don't exist"--you're a "cross-dressing sissy". The "men in the room" again decide what's "good and decent" for society. They deride people who would dare upset their "settled" understanding of society; it's happened with race, females in sport, and now trans people.


 

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