I'm Transgender. Ask me anything.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by SexHaver420, Dec 8, 2020.

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  1. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man

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    What you're misunderstanding, is the problem that I presented to the OP. As I've understood it, a Trans person is very firm on their gender identity. If they were born a biological male, but now identify as a female, they insist that they're a 100% female, not some bogus wannabe. They're fighting for their identity to be validated.

    Then there are the postmodernists that claim that gender is an arbitrary social construct - not real, just used as a tool of oppression. These people would tell a trans person that their gender identity is invalid, because all gender identities are invalid.

    Does this make sense? It's a messy confrontation between the two ways of thinking.
     
  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I'd like to say that clears things up, but that doesn't reflect the way I normally encounter people talking about the subject. I thought that the "it's a construct" thing was the accepted/"correct" way that people are supposed to talk about these things. I was under the impression that there isn't any consensus anywhere about every trans person being entirely firm in their identity or their understanding of said identity, and that lots of people think gender is arbitrary, whether they use that as the basis to try to invalidate someone elses identity or not. I'd again invite you to define these things so that I can understand where you're coming from, since I'm still just as confused as before.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I don't think social constructs need be arbitrary. Crime is a social construct, yet it's effects are tangible. Same with occupation.

    Gender is a social construct, and the trouble here is that the younger generations seem to have either a different definition or have not decided on their definition as universally as previous generations did. Thirty years ago, gender was pretty deeply seated as "male, "female," or "no gender," but there is a sizeable movement to add to that. I'm unaware of a large movement to do away with the concept altogether, but it wouldn't take much to convince me that it does.

    A person identified by their occupation, which might change over their life. Gender could be similar, as it is a depiction of a person's role in society. Obviously, it's more complex than that simple analogy, but both are social constructs that identify a person's role in some vaguely defined way.
     
  4. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man

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    It depends on how you define "happy". Elated 24/7? Small minority. Not miserable? Probably most people. Fairly satisfied that they're living in accordance with their values, and getting by in a world that's objectively more comfortable than that known by any of their ancestors? That's the average person, and I think that might be the best approximation for "happy" that we ought to have.

    My personal position is probably the least popular, or rather, the least common. I think that humans are in a constant state of becoming, and incapable of firmly placing their finger on their identity. I think identity is socially negotiated, and therefore practical, but can be pathologized if enough respect isn't given to individuality.

    But I'm not talking about my perspective here. I'm curious as to how the Trans community responds to the people that say gender is a baseless social construct. If you're fighting to have your conviction socially validated, you're up against those who seek to invalidate it.

    Also, to be sure, this stuff isn't exactly settled. There's a compelling argument about how gender is a muddy social construct, and then there's a compelling argument that social constructs are naturally evolved to begin with. I'm interested in all of this, but too many people won't let you get away with trying to have a discussion about it.
     
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  5. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man

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    You're saying the same thing as I did in my last post, more or less. Social construct, in my opinion, means something like "our best approximation to whatever the thing actually is" rather than "completely baseless and only presented as objective to maintain oppressive power structures", which is what the postmodernists believe. Unfortunately, that's the more popular meaning of the term, today.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  6. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Ok - I think the last couple of posts have actually clarified a lot of where you're coming from, so that makes more sense to me.

    My follow up question becomes - either directed at op or Adam or whoever wants to talk about it:
    If gender is, to put it the way bostjan did, "a depiction of a person's role in society", then what is that role exactly? Particularly if we're stripping away the attachment to sex, what role does a person play that makes them "male" or "female"?

    I mean that in the sense that you can identify yourself by your profession because you perform a role that's specific to that title. You're categorizing yourself on the basis of a performed activity at that point. I call myself a programmer because I write software. I call myself a guitarist because I play a guitar. So therefore I call myself male because ________ .....? I'm curious to see how people fill in that blank.
     
  7. Manurack

    Manurack Nunavut Inuk

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    Hahahaha
     
  8. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    - I think one of the main problems with communicating about all this stuff is there's way to much semantics going on. - It's like people have to attend night classes to get the terminology straight. Way beyond most people's patience and tolerance level, regardless of subject.
    - To many terms with to many hair splitting definitions to keep track of. It can cause confusion and frustration.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I think that's typical of any group of people who care very greatly about something, though.

    I mean, perfect example, there's the sort of tongue-in-cheek post about asking the OP how she identifies, if it's "she/her" or a couple long made-up Ibanez model numbers Those are made-up model numbers... but most of us know Ibanez model numbering schemes well enough that we can decipher them pretty well by looking at them, figure out what sort of guitar we're talking about... and in this specific context, "get' the "joke" the dude is making.

    Sure, the level of assumed terminology knowledge and understanding can be pretty high, and can be frustrating for an outsider - I struggle with it too, I didn't know what "cis" meant for YEARS - but that's hardly unique to the trans community. And I say that as a cis guy with a UV7PWH, RG3120TW, RG50RFR, and RG752AHM hanging on my wall.
     
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  10. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I won't speak for c7, but to me, there's no issue with having a lot of terminology, or very specific acronyms, but not everyone uses the same set of semantics - not everyone means the same thing even if they're using the same words. That's why I keep asking what people mean when they say gender. I've yet to encounter any two people who define it the same way.
     
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  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Well, no... a social construct is a concept defined by society. It may approximate a concrete thing, but usually, not.

    Identity, in general, is a social construct. It's not just your face, but a name, an ethnicity, a gender, an occupation, etc. Almost all of those things are defined by norms set by society. In 2020, you can change any of those if you like, and if you can afford it. I'd say that, a century ago, you could really only change your name and occupation, and a millenium ago, maybe those, but only if you were extremely privledged.
     
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  12. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man

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    "Defined by society" is not the same thing as "invented by society." That's the distinction I'm outlining.
     
  13. BornToLooze

    BornToLooze SS.org Regular

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    That's like I still don't get the difference in bi and pansexual.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I think you might be making distinctions between extremes that aren't really held by anyone (or very many). To be "socially constructed" just means that something has come about socially - it says nothing about why or how. If said construct actually was completely arbitrary and pulled randomly out of nowhere, it would still be "socially constructed". Like names -> there's no reason to refer to someone with a particular sound outside of the social contract that we've decided to give people names, and the practical need for some way to identify people in language.

    ^ Whereas this has nothing to do with being a social construct. In a lot of cases, I think you could argue that we've socially-constructed things to be our best approximation of what we think things should be, but calling something a construct doesn't make it descriptive of anything per-se.
     
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  15. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    "bi" means "I like both men and women". Pansexual means "I like everyone" which would include people who don't define themselves by either, aka "Gender non-binary" or "gender non-conformist". Or also possibly people with mixed biology/anatomy (which is more common than many people think).

    Then there's "polysexual" which could mean both, but could also exclude either bi or pan, depending on how you interpret "many".
    Bi=two
    Pan=all
    Poly=many

    If you only think there's 2 genders, then they all mean the same thing.

    If you think there are 3 genders, then "poly" is possibly the same as "pan" because "all" is more than "bi"/"two" so you'd want to differentiate...but "bi" is also multiple as it's more than one.

    If you think there are 4 genders, then "poly" would mean 2 or 3 genders, but not necessarily 4... I can wrap my head around 3 genders, but like when talking about spacial dimensions, I can't really get my mind to understand anything beyond 3.
     
  16. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man

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    You haven't encountered the postmodernists. There are people that believe that objectivity doesn't exist, and that if you disagree, it's because you've been brainwashed, by an opressor.

    Anyway, back to my definition of socially constructed: it works specifically in the context of gender. For most of human history, the way we've thought about gender has been perfectly reasonable. It's been approximately correct, if not objectively correct. As time goes on, perhaps it becomes less sensible, and society begins to renegotiate the definition, hopefully landing on a more agreeable and functional approximation.
     
  17. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Shameless Contrarian

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    Where did gender come from, anyway? Because it's my understanding that sex was always the 'official' term used to differentiate between male/female, yet the two terms seem to have been used largely interchangeably up until relatively recently. There must have always been a distinction, otherwise why have two words?

    I don't think the two lines of thinking are as fundamentally at odds with each other as you may think.
    The conclusion that gender is a social construct wouldn't necessarily mean that any gender-based labels are 'invalid,' moreso that they're all just words that don't really have any intrinsic definition beside what we give them, and that people can collectively approximate a loose definition that serves as a safe assumption to start with.

    So you have Camp A saying that it's all technically nonsense, and then you have Camp B, who uses those nonsense labels to try and convey their thoughts and feelings to others in a way that they can understand. The comparison has been brought up before, but it's a lot like music genres. We all know that they're different, but we all have different ideas behind what marks each one. I know for a fact almost everyone in this thread has used 'Death Metal' to refer to something that is absolutely not death metal because you know that's what the person you're talking to will understand.

    That's my perspective, anyway. I think it's just a communication thing. With that idea, it seems plausible that the two groups wouldn't have too much friction.
     
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  18. SexHaver420

    SexHaver420 Oops I'm a girl.

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    If you could take your gender theory talk to pms and that would be great and i'd really appreciate it. It's not really what the point of the thread is.

    Thanks.

    People should just identify with whatever makes them happy and it shouldn't matter if they're not hurting anyone.

    Being bisexual means the ability to be attracted to multiple genders. Plural. BisexuaIity is in no way trans/enby exclusive. Being pansexual means someones gender identity doesn't matter to you as far as I'm concerned.

    More questions would be neat.
     
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  19. TheInvisibleHand

    TheInvisibleHand SS.org Regular

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    Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?
     
  20. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I don't mean this to sound funny, but if the point of the thread was to - in your own words -
    then gender is sort of core to transgender issues, isn't it?

    IMO you have an audience here who I think have demonstrated that they're willing to take in other people's perspectives. I was honestly hoping that any time I asked a question that you'd be the one to jump in and answer it, since you're the person to whom they'd be most applicable, and you arguably have a sort of inside perspective that others might not.
     
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