National Geographic magazine

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National Geographic magazine

Postby Pdxfashionpioneer » Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:31 pm

The cover story of the January issue of National Geographic magazine is on transgenderism and how diverse a group of people the label covers.
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby Gordon » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:02 pm

Here is a link to an article about the magazine coverage;
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magaz ... ote-gender
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby moonshadow » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:40 pm

I had posted a reply before but deleted it after I decided I'd rather refrain from comment until I've had a chance to read the issue.

As of this writing, I haven't read the whole magazine cover to cover (I seldom do anyway, just the articles that jump out at me), but I did read the article "Rethinking Gender", which was very interesting. I learned a little I didn't know before, I cleared up a few matters I had vexed on in the past, I uncovered some new mental knots for me to work on, and read some things I had already known.

One paragraph in the article made me think of many of the folks here at SkirtCafe,

On page 69 of the subscription issue (not sure if there's a difference between that version and the news stand version):

National Geographic -Rethinking Gender- January 2017 page 69 wrote:Vilain alienates some transgender activist by saying that not every child's "I wish I were a girl" needs to be encouraged. But he insist that he's trying to think beyond gender stereotypes. "I am trying to advocate a wide variety of gender expression," he wrote in a late-night email provoked by our phone conversation, "which can go from boys or men having long hair, loving dance and opera, wearing dresses if they want to, loving men, none of which is 'making them girls'-- or from girls shaving their heads, being pierced, wearing pants, loving physics, loving women, none of which makes them boys' " [0]


[0]- Note two items I put in italics, "being pierced, wearing pants", regarding his remark on women (or girls), I found this somewhat in error as obviously, piercings are nothing new to the female gender and they've been wearing "pants" (trousers) for decades now, with entire clothing lines dedicated to female trousers.... not to beat that dead horse again, but still the comment didn't make sense to me.

Skimming the magazine it seems to focus heavily on the gender issue of children, "what is the proper way to raise a child who is questioning gender roles?"

Perhaps there is more hidden in the text about the adult transgender demographic. "Passing" is a lot more difficult post puberty. All children are essentially "cute", but lets hear about the 50 year old transgender woman who can't afford HRT, much less a wig or other falsies, and simply identifies as "woman". Lets hear about some of these mid aged non gender conforming people who have dealt with their share of drama as a result of the exploration into their chosen gender. Yes we all know trans-children get bullied, but lets face it, most school administrations are going to embrace them with open arms, as schools generally are considered to be liberal minded. Not all 20-something trans women are prostitutes, some are actually trying to carve out a normal life, yet face constant bouts with unemployment, housing, etc.

It raises some interesting and downright vexing questions, and I'm wondering as I dig deeper in the article, will some of these questions be addressed?

What is "Gender Identity"? I've posed questions along this line on this site before. What "defines" a woman or a man in the sense of gender? I'm not talking about who has a penis or who has a vagina. I mean, if gender identity is a matter of the workings of the brain (as many studies suggest), then technically, a transgender man (F2M) should be able to wear anything he wants to, from frilly dresses and skirts, long hair, ear rings, makeup, etc. A transgender woman (M2F) should be able to wear trousers, grow a beard, cut her hair short, etc. Similar to how many on this site identify as men, yet we clearly embrace many female gender roles.

Where is that line between cis and trans? And who defines where it is?

It's really quite complex. Your gender identity can be of a woman, yet your gender expression can be a man, or vice versa. Personally, I'd like to see society gravitate to the erosion of gender roles all together. With the core function of male and female being, one has a penis the other has a vagina, anything past that, from what we wear, to our hobbies, interest, occupation, etc is a matter of personal preference, and only defines who we are as individuals, not necessarily a part of some grand larger group of people.

And with the hundreds of gender identities already on the table, and the thousands of combinations of those gender identities, expressions, etc, I feel it won't be much longer before human society evolves to such a point where it just doesn't matter any longer. You are you and I am me.
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby Gordon » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:02 pm

Well said Moon.
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby stevelous » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:09 pm

There was a news item on the BBC last year where it was reported that gender counseling was been given to children as young as 4. For my part I thought good idea, we need to listen to kids and take their view of their place in the world seriously. I wish that that something along those lines would have been available when I was young.

The real point I wish to make is that my elderly Father was dead against the idea declaring it 'bloody stupid, what next?' Being 'old' school his beliefs are that 'men are men and women should be grateful'. He is even against wearing kilts believing that you have to be entitled to wear one. God knows what he would make of man skirts.

Sadly, when support is not available to transgendered children they often take their own lives. Support is also needed for the parents of such kids, society can be so cruel to those it believes are not normal, what ever normal is.
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby Ray » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:23 pm

I remember my first wedding, when kilts were encouraged. The wedding wasn't in Scotland; it was in North West England. Several of the guys said that they weren't entitled to wear the kilt, being English, and they were very dismissive of those English guests who might do so.

It was therefore highly amusing to see their faces on witnessing 3 English kilt wearers out of the 15 in kilts (slightly over 50% of the male attendees), and moreover, the attention that the kilts got from the ladies. Lesson learned.

One of the English guys loved the kilt so much, he wore one to the evening reception of his own wedding some years later. He - and his new wife - loved it, as did the guests, none of whom (to my knowledge) gave him any heat for being kilted. Most Scots are quite happy for Englishmen (and other non-Scots) to wear kilts. It's not as if we own the rights to the garment.

the Irish, of course are an honourable exception. Our Celtic brethren have as much claim on the kilt as the Scots. Tom - kilt on!
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby moonshadow » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:43 pm

You know, I was just thinking, had we had known NatGeo was going to publish an issue on gender this January, we should have reached out to them. There have been some interesting threads on this board on that very topic, and while many of us resist any trans label like the plague, like it or not, trans-issues and the discrimination that comes with it, generally has effected all of us in some way or another, even if it's a minor way.

I mean, really, how many of us can say with certainty that we've NEVER had the slightest issue with a social situation involving one our our skirts because, "skirts are for women only"?
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby crfriend » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:01 pm

I remain unconvinced that the entire notion of trans-* is anywhere near as prevalent as some media types would have us believe. Does it exist? Sure. Does it exist to the extent that it justifies bombarding the general populace from all sides with it? Likely, no.

For those afflicted with genuine gender dysphoria it's a big, big, deal -- and they can suffer terribly from it, and deserve understanding, sympathy, and assistance. My main worry at this point is that, with the hardening of social attitudes (certainly in the USA, but also, I suspect elsewhere) there is going to be a backlash, that that backlash is going to be exceedingly ugly. Think 1938 ugly. All the hype could well work against any good intentions going.

Personally, I've been -- quite politely, mind -- asked whether I was "transitioning" which I shot down in direct proportional politeness as the question was asked. The trick is to do so eloquently and articulately. That way you only have to do it once. Have I ever experienced any form of discrimination? Not that I have perceived. I was politely asked to wear trousers to a trade show last year where I was an emissary from the Company in the presence of customers and competitors -- and of course I did, and told my boss that was my intention anyway and that he needn't have worried. (Although more than a few laughs were had over the matter.)
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby Caultron » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:04 am

crfriend wrote:I remain unconvinced that the entire notion of trans-* is anywhere near as prevalent as some media types would have us believe...

It's real, trendy, sensational, and sells magazines, that's for sure.

Most sensational, of course, is the idea that children as young as 4 or 5 can express gender dysphoria. Previously, I think most people believed that desires for sexual reassignment arose in the late teens, along with other sexual awakenings. But any time you connect little kids with sex you get lots of attention.

But it's not as if every grade school in the USA is now teeming with gender-mismatched students.
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby dillon » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:25 am

I think it's a real and under-reported phenomenon, and that there are many who feel it but never entertained the notion, simply from the standpoint of practicality. Some men reach a crisis apex in their middle ages when it becomes a do or die situation. The results of late-life GRS is seldom aesthetically satisfying. The fact is, if we can identify and support transgendered kids, then some of their sex characteristic development can be chemically arrested to allow proper assessment over time. This is usually easily and mostly fully reversed when the meds are stopped. If the child is not really TG, then little has been lost. But it would have to be a challenge to make that call in a child who doesn't yet understand sex, unless the child is secure enough in the home environment to tell his parents early and not fear repercussions or rejection. Some kids know they are in the wrong genitalia from their earliest years; others only examine their feelings upon reaching puberty. All should have the loving support of the family, but too many understand that they would not have such support, and remain closeted, unhappy, and perhaps self-destructive.

The term GRS nominally means Gender Reassignment Surgery, but I think that is a poor name for it. It should be called Gender Reconciliation Surgery, since it is perhaps easier to reconcile the body, surgically, to the mind than vice versa, since the psychological treatment for such does not exist. Some religious fundamentalists will dispute this; they promote quack cures for LGBT issues, but the records of those programs is largely one of failure and a waste of time and resources.

I look on the attention being given to TG issues in kids as a positive, and hope the bigots and naysayers will lose this debate. It is social evolution, in that we are using our God-given intellect, finally, in acts of good and not of social repression, or pseudo-religious malice, or thoughtless, garden-variety negativism.
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby crfriend » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:00 am

dillon wrote:I think it's a real and under-reported phenomenon, and that there are many who feel it but never entertained the notion, simply from the standpoint of practicality. Some men reach a crisis apex in their middle ages when it becomes a do or die situation.

My view is different. I recognise the phenomenon as real, although regard it in that light -- a phenomenon.
The fact is, if we can identify and support transgendered kids, then some of their sex characteristic development can be chemically arrested to allow proper assessment over time.

How does one winnow out the ones who truly are dysphporic from those who are pretending because it's the latest "in" thing? I'm not dismissing this, but with the saturation-coverage it's getting today it's easy to trigger hypochondria.
I look on the attention being given to TG issues in kids as a positive, and hope the bigots and naysayers will lose this debate. It is social evolution, in that we are using our God-given intellect, finally, in acts of good and not of social repression, or pseudo-religious malice, or thoughtless, garden-variety negativism.

That goes without saying, however I still suspect the notion is not as common as the media would have us believe, nor as prevalent as the far right ranters might like to think. The problem is is that it sells. Also, getting hard numbers is quite difficult.
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby jc.33 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:34 pm

dillon wrote:The term GRS nominally means Gender Reassignment Surgery, but I think that is a poor name for it. It should be called Gender Reconciliation Surgery,
They are referring to it as GCS or Gender Confirmation Surgery now. I also agree with your views.
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby r.m.anderson » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:32 pm

moonshadow wrote:You know, I was just thinking, had we had known NatGeo was going to publish an issue on gender this January, we should have reached out to them. There have been some interesting threads on this board on that very topic, and while many of us resist any trans label like the plague, like it or not, trans-issues and the discrimination that comes with it, generally has effected all of us in some way or another, even if it's a minor way.
I mean, really, how many of us can say with certainty that we've NEVER had the slightest issue with a social situation involving one our our skirts because, "skirts are for women only"?


After the fact - one can always write the Editor and in following issue(s) the reply maybe printed with one viewpoint from our affinity organization !
Wearing cross dressing (skirted) clothing is closely related with the sexual spectrum !
"Kilt-On" -or- as the case may be "Skirt-On" !
WHY ?
Isn't wearing a kilt enough?
Well a skirt will do in a pinch!
Make mine short and don't you dare think of pinching there !
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby crfriend » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:06 pm

r.m.anderson wrote:Wearing cross dressing (skirted) clothing is closely related with the sexual spectrum !

Is it? Really?

Universally?
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Re: National Geographic magazine

Postby Darryl » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:41 am

crfriend wrote:
r.m.anderson wrote:Wearing cross dressing (skirted) clothing is closely related with the sexual spectrum !

Is it? Really?

Universally?


I've encountered a few who consider it a clear indication of homosexuality (mostly hard-core Southern Baptists). That you are dressing to appear as a woman in order to attract a man (another homosexual). The cognitive dissonance of appearing as a woman to attract a man who likes men apparently does not bother some people. Apparently the thought process is:

Boys like boy things. Girls like girl things. All boys like boy things. All girls like girl things. Boys that like girl things (?!) must want to be girls. Boys that like girl things must like boys.


According to Cross-Dressing, Sex and Gender, by Vern L. Bullough and Bonnie Bullough:
(1) The number of cross-dressers who are strictly heterosexual range from 72% to 97%.
(2) The number of cross-dressers who are exclusively gay range from 3% to 9%.
(3) Bisexual cross-dressers in the US make up 28% of the cross-dressing population.
(4) The number of cross-dressers who are married range from 78% to 88%.


Additional studies:
A 1995 Special Monograph, revised in 2014, sponsored by the European Medical Journal shows that one in ten men regularly wears feminine clothing and cross-dressers live longer, healthier lives than other men. But many wives and girlfriends don’t know their man’s undercover secrets. Dr. Coleman is of the opinion that the 1 in 10 figure is rising quite rapidly and that cross-dressing is currently one of the fastest growing social phenomena in the western world.


The Bulloughs had some interesting numbers:
77% of cross-dressers simply like the feeling of the material and 48% say it helps them relax and deal with stress. While 69% fear exposure, only 16% experience negative social impact, such as loss of job or relationship; and only 4% had legal problems. 74% have a female partner who knows, approves (43%) and helps them choose clothing (37%).
The incidence of homosexual experience among transvestites (1 in 5) is slightly lower than the incidence of any homosexual experience among non-transvestite heterosexuals (usually regarded as 1 in 3). The incidence of genuine homosexuality and bisexuality among transvestites is considerably less than 1 in 5 and probably close to the normal figure for non-transvestite males of between 5% and 10%.


The pendulum swings...how much pushback it gets and how far it goes to the other extreme is likely impossible to predict.
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