More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonconfor

Clippings from news sources involving fashion freedom and other gender equality issues.

Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby Daryl » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:24 am

pelmut wrote:To understand what happens to the others, imagine you woke up tomorrow and found you had a female body, how would you feel about that? Would you just shrug your shoulders, buy some makeup and appropriate clothes and learn to accept being called "she" and "her" for the rest of your life, or would you say "Hey, this isn't me, I know I'm a man, why is everyone telling me I am a woman?"


Ooh ooh, I want to answer this question! (reading this thread backwards so bear with me)

It's been a theme in sci-fi for quite a while. I love movies like "Switch" because they toy with this very idea. Also known a few trans people of both the types that have had SRS and haven't. So here is my answer.

I'd view it as an adventure and get on with getting accustomed to it. One of the first things I'd check is if my sexual preferences had changed, because it might be convenient if they did, and I should know something like that. (also a theme explored in Switch) I'd consider it the new me and move forward.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby Daryl » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:00 am

pelmut wrote:So which word does describe the innate property determining how the individual feels they fit into society, over which they have no control and which they cannot change? ...and why would there be two words ("sex" & "gender") if they both meant the same thing?


There is no such thing. That "innate property" is pure sophistic rubbish constructed to give certain academics a field to publish and gain tenure in. People have self images, and notions of how they fit into their environements, of course, but the "innate property" idea is a gender mishmosh reification, nothing else.

The two words do NOT mean the same thing. I have never said they did. In English we correlate them, but gender is a property of language not a property (innate or otherwise) of people. You even quoted where I said they were different, then asked that question....

Daryl wrote:In English we assign gender to language terms in an attempt to reflect the actual sex of people: male or female.

pelmut wrote:Your statement is almost accurate, we have attempted to use the word 'gender' to reflect sex - and it doesn't work. Now that we are coming to realise that the two words refer to two different things which are independent of each other, we are gaining a much better understanding of the way things really are. My sex is definitely male and my gender is mostly feminine, I am in no doubt about that and there are thousands of people like me in England alone. Trying to force us to fit into society in a way which we find distressing, simply because our bodies have developed in response to hormones we feel are foreign to us, is no longer considered a proper way to treat people


Oh truly, we have merely "attempted" to use the word "gender" to reflect sex? But we failed? Then explain all the commonly used gendered formalisms. Most folks consider "gender" just another word for "sex". They are wrong, but it's patently untrue that it's been unsuccessful.

And spare me the activist agenda victim stuff, please. We all agree that forcing people into gendered roles and behaviours is not good. That does not mean that gender is a property or possession of people, nor does it make its reification valid, or useful.

"Hormones we feel are foreign to us" sounds like an ideation run amok, a psychological phenomenon not some mysterious "innate" essence at work. People used to feel they had evil spirits in them. Both seemed real to them but were really just ideas they latched on to because any explanation is better than no explanation. That doesn't support the reality of the assertion.

This is the problem with trans and gender activism. It employs post-modern understanding academically, using language as a site of change and struggle and influence, but rhetorically it goes modern (or pre-modern), employing essentialist language and reifications in order to confuse people and propel issues. It is dishonest to its core, despite well meaning sympathetic people being fooled into adopting its theoretical base and becoming the footsoldiers in this fraud of a conflict.

Daryl wrote:Sexually differentiated and enforced roles and behaviours do amount to the ground upon which a struggle for justice and fairness exists, but that is all about rigid role and behaviour expectations, not language. We need to bring down those rigid expectations. Mucking with the language is not doing that; it is avoiding it -- trying to do an end run around the problems with sophistry.


pelmut wrote:I agree that rigid rôle and behaviour expectations are wrong, but the reason this is now being understood as wrong is partly due to the clarity resulting from the recent progress in using language correctly; making sure that "sex" is used where it means biological sex and "gender" is used where it refers to societal interactions. This is not manipulating language to support an agenda, it is using the correct meanings of words in order to clear up the muddle that has made life difficult for so many people for so many years.


The "correct" meaning resting on what authority? The authority of "gender studies" professors and activists? The authority that causes you to call gender an "innate property" of a person, NOT of language terms?

Pick that apart. You said "now being understood"? That's an appeal to authority. The research in that field is almost entirely normative, not empirical. Empirical research is only introduced when it supports a thesis, not for its power to describe observable reality but for its power to influence our perception of reality.

French philosophers are fun. Check out the title on the book that Neo keeps his contraband in near the begining of the first Matrix: "Simulacra and Simulation", by Jean Baudrillard. That book came out in 1981. No one talked about "transgender" back in those days. There was "transexual" and "transvestite", and that was it. How did "gender the innate property" idea work its way in to our matrix? I can tell you it wasn't the scientific community.

They haven't cleared up any muddle. They have created one. Why? Publish or perish.

Daryl wrote:"I wear a skirt. Refer to me in the masculine. I expect to be treated equally if I seek stereotypically feminine work." Like that, not like "I wear a skirt because I am gender variant x."
No, just no.


pelmut wrote:Fine, you wear a skirt for one reason, I wear it for another.


I doubt that. We both wear them because we want to, and our reasons for wanting to are as complex as flowers, not singular. You just singularise it with "gender innate property", an idea that hasn't existed until fairly recently.

pelmut wrote: The only time a problem will arise is if someone insists that my reason is the same as your or vice-versa. The wrong is coming from ignorance, not from clarifying the fact that two words actually refer to two different things when, traditionally, they have been confused for the same thing.


And there it is: all those who disagree are ignorant (or just wrong, or malevolent). Us, and them.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby Daryl » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:24 am

skirtyscot wrote:And I don't understand how anybody can say that they feel like a man, or a woman. How does anybody know how that feels? I don't know what it feels like to be a man, and I am one. All I know is what it feels like to be me. I have no idea how that compares to any other person's experience, and I can't conceive of any possible way to test that.


Your observation points out the core problem in these discussions: that group attributes are being rhetorically converted into essences and personal possessions.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby Daryl » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:34 am

Stu wrote:Vice is a ghastly, misandric site and it is deeply hypocritical. The very expression "toxic masculinity" is a stick the feminazis use to beat men while portraying women as perpetual victims and men, and non-feminist women, should reject it. It is sexist just as it would be racist to refer to "toxic blackness" when alluding to the higher proportion of black people arrested for certain kinds of crime. It is not their "blackness" which makes them offend and it's not our natural masculinity which makes some men commit domestic violence. When it comes to domestic violence, research has shown that it is not a gendered crime; both sexes commit it and I have yet to see evidence that males are any more racist than females.

I have not been to Australia, but there is a macho culture among many Australian men that I have detected and that's hardly surprising having regard to the history of the country. Just three or four generations ago, Australians were to some extent pioneers and toughness was needed to survive and there is always a strong imperative for clear gender roles in such societies. Australia is now modern, developed nation and some of the macho culture will naturally tone down as more people become sophisticated city dwellers. But this is can not be, and must not be, forced upon them by a feminist lobby which doesn't just hate so-called "toxic" masculinity - it despises all masculinity.

So, when they talk about "re-branding", they mean on their terms, i.e. men having to be what they say men should be.


You speak truth to power, bro!
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby pelmut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:40 am

skirtyscot wrote:
pelmut wrote:[*Example: Headline in The Sun (UK) yesterday:
"Fury as men who identify as women allowed to take a dip in ladies’-only Hampstead Heath lake "

Actual statement by the organisers:
“The KLPA is committed to helping to create at the Ladies’ Pond an inclusive environment for all women, including transgender women, which is free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation." ...


Sadly, here I have to side with the Sun. There does indeed seem to be fury, as reported in the article. Many women are angry about this sort of thing. I've had a bit of a dig about for the opposite view to yours in Reddit and found this: https://www.reddit.com/r/GenderCritical ... g_exactly/

You seem to have stumbled across the radical feminism lobby who are one of the main groups trying to stir up this hatred and fear; these are the very people the gutter press feeds off. They have deliberately confused a legitimate problem of men trying to gain access to a women's group (who were sent away without any problems) with the group's reassurance that genuine transwomen are still welcome - and are trying to say that transwomen are the problem.

The simple statement that all women are welcome hasn't provoked "fury", it hasn't even resulted in one extra transwoman joining the swimmers and it certainly hasn't opened the door for male perverts to invade the privacy of women. Transwomen want to be indistinguishable from natal women and would run away rather than face any conflict; that is why so many organisations are putting out statements like the one above, to put them at their ease.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby pelmut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:02 am

moonshadow wrote:... I suspect that when these type of stunts are pulled (obvious men portraying "trans-women"), it's likely the result of a far-right traditionalist who's out to make a point. From my understanding, it seems most genuine trans* people at least make an attempt to appear in accordance with their preferred gender.

It does seem to be coming from groups with a far-right agenda. It is worth noting that the men weren't actually portraying trans-women, they were just portraying women; transgender didn't come into it.

moonshadow wrote:Once again, if I were a trans-woman, even if I "passed" or came closing to "passing", I'd still wait to be invited, or at least seek the blessing of the facility's management prior to my use of the facilities. It just keeps the drama down, and I wouldn't want to be where I'm not welcomed, regardless of the prejudice that may cause such sentiment.

That appears to be what has happened: the group reassured transwomen that they will be treated like all the other women. A radical feminist lobby has seized on that statement, and the previous report of men dressed as women, as a way to feed another anti-trans story into the gutter press.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby crfriend » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:26 am

moonshadow wrote:As gender has been explained to me as a "sliding scale", and I think it's pretty clear nobody is one hundred percent one way or the other (masculine/feminine), at what point on the scale does one cease being "cis" and start being "trans"?

This is the problem -- the threshold keeps getting moved when nobody is looking. If we take the potentially fallacious view of "hyper-masculinity" being one endpoint and "hyper-femininity" on the other, the needle has been shifting towards the "masculine" side for quite some time now, which is why some "traditionally feminine" (who defines "tradition", and how long is it valid for?) behaviours are now prohibited for men as they're well on the "far side" of the relocated threshold. Worse is that people are being judged by the "new" threshold, and that threshold is moving, not being judged on the quality of their character or actions.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby crfriend » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:45 am

pelmut wrote:[...] "Fury as men who identify as women allowed to take a dip in ladies’-only Hampstead Heath lake "

[...] “The KLPA is committed to helping to create at the Ladies’ Pond an inclusive environment for all women, including transgender women, which is free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation."

Meta-question: "In our supposedly equal world, why is it that "women's-only" spaces remain enshrined in law but "men's-only" places are prohibited?" Is that "equal" or "fair". It does not appear so to me. And I grow extremely weary of hearing about the whining of "victims".
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby pelmut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:10 am

crfriend wrote:I actually sense something entirely different. What I see is the artificial creation of dozens of tiny little "trans-* boxes", each correlating to a "diagnosis" and the tightening of the "normal" box into something that's starting to resemble a singularity. It's time for the singularity to expand again, in a glorious "Big Bang" and return to it's normal, inclusive, state.

This is a problem inherent in digitising an analogue quantity, you can represent it with an ever-increasing number of bits or, at the other extreme, you can draw an arbitrary dividing line and digitise it as a single two-state bit. The former is more accurate but the latter is easier for the layman to understand or to number-crunch.

I agree that dozens of little "trans-* boxes" isnt a helpful way to proceed (especially when they are inaccurately used by people who don't appear to have a grasp of the fundamentals), but rolling everything into one doesn't help either because we would be heading back to the ignorance and intolerance of the 1950 (white macho heterosexual male is normal, everything else must be must be inferior or a perversion).

I don't see the tightening of the "normal" box which you describe, perhaps it is something which hasn't happened here yet. The concept of "normality" in the U.K. seems to be getting wider and wide - in fact, the box around it has disintegrated.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby pelmut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:23 am

crfriend wrote:
moonshadow wrote:As gender has been explained to me as a "sliding scale", and I think it's pretty clear nobody is one hundred percent one way or the other (masculine/feminine), at what point on the scale does one cease being "cis" and start being "trans"?

This is the problem -- the threshold keeps getting moved when nobody is looking.

The problem is the arbitrary drawing of a threshold when there is no need for one. Whilst "cis" and "trans" are useful concepts for understanding situations that fall into certain clearly-defined categories, there are plenty of situations where they don't apply. Similarly "straight" and "gay" don't apply to a couple where one of the partners is intersex or transgender.


crfriend wrote:Worse is that people are being judged by the "new" threshold, and that threshold is moving, not being judged on the quality of their character or actions.

Why be judged at all? You are handing power to the person judging you (especially if they try moving the goal posts to put you on the wrong side of them). Reject their judgement and move on.
Last edited by pelmut on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby pelmut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:30 am

crfriend wrote:
pelmut wrote:[...] "Fury as men who identify as women allowed to take a dip in ladies’-only Hampstead Heath lake "

[...] “The KLPA is committed to helping to create at the Ladies’ Pond an inclusive environment for all women, including transgender women, which is free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation."

Meta-question: "In our supposedly equal world, why is it that "women's-only" spaces remain enshrined in law but "men's-only" places are prohibited?" Is that "equal" or "fair". It does not appear so to me. And I grow extremely weary of hearing about the whining of "victims".

Certain sections of the feminist groups will fight tooth and nail to maintain this inequality, just as male political groups fought to prevent women from getting the vote 100 years ago.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby crfriend » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:06 pm

pelmut wrote:
crfriend wrote:I actually sense something entirely different. What I see is the artificial creation of dozens of tiny little "trans-* boxes", each correlating to a "diagnosis" and the tightening of the "normal" box into something that's starting to resemble a singularity. It's time for the singularity to expand again, in a glorious "Big Bang" and return to it's normal, inclusive, state.

This is a problem inherent in digitising an analogue quantity, you can represent it with an ever-increasing number of bits or, at the other extreme, you can draw an arbitrary dividing line and digitise it as a single two-state bit. The former is more accurate but the latter is easier for the layman to understand or to number-crunch.

The original, where the "dividing line" (the threshold bit) was in the centre worked passably well for generations with plenty of "wiggle room" for most everybody. At issue here is that the "dividing line" has moved well off-center towards the "masculine" extreme which has greatly expanded the range of "acceptable behaviours" for women and greatly diminished the range for men, and has had the side-effect of the automatic reclassification of many men -- falsely -- into a trans-* bucket. So, while a reasonably macho guy of today still, perhaps barely, classes as male, a guy who was five years ago classed as slightly effeminate is now very clearly trans-*. This is a huge step in the wrong direction.

Binary only works in powers of two; it's a basic mathematical fact of the system.

To use the more familiar decimal system, imagine the "gender spectrum" to proceed from "1" at "intensely masculine" and "10" at "intensely feminine". The split used to be around "5" with "normal masculine" and "normal feminine" expressed as bell curves with the centres around 3 and 8 and some overlap in the middle; what we seem to have now is the "normative masculine" occupying 1 to 2, several bins of trans-* from 3 to 4, then "normative feminine" from 4 to 10 with the bell curve of femininity now having a very heavy tail and the head of the masculine curve extending out to, perhaps 4 or, maybe, 5 with guys in that range classed as trans-*. It's entirely a cultural thing; biology does not change that fast, and note that a bell curve does not fit comfortably in the new regime (something that indicates to me a departure from natural processes).
I don't see the tightening of the "normal" box which you describe, perhaps it is something which hasn't happened here yet. The concept of "normality" in the U.K. seems to be getting wider and wide - in fact, the box around it has disintegrated.

This has been going on here in the US since the rise of the neo-cons and the reactionaries in the 1980s, and has recently accelerated with a doubling-down on that mentality. If, as posited, things in the UK are getting better with "normality" now encompassing a wider swathe, why is anyone there even worried about this topic?
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby pelmut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:44 pm

crfriend wrote:
pelmut wrote:
crfriend wrote:I actually sense something entirely different. What I see is the artificial creation of dozens of tiny little "trans-* boxes", each correlating to a "diagnosis" and the tightening of the "normal" box into something that's starting to resemble a singularity. It's time for the singularity to expand again, in a glorious "Big Bang" and return to it's normal, inclusive, state.

This is a problem inherent in digitising an analogue quantity, you can represent it with an ever-increasing number of bits or, at the other extreme, you can draw an arbitrary dividing line and digitise it as a single two-state bit. The former is more accurate but the latter is easier for the layman to understand or to number-crunch.

The original, where the "dividing line" (the threshold bit) was in the centre worked passably well for generations with plenty of "wiggle room" for most everybody. At issue here is that the "dividing line" has moved well off-center towards the "masculine" extreme which has greatly expanded the range of "acceptable behaviours" for women and greatly diminished the range for men, and has had the side-effect of the automatic reclassification of many men -- falsely -- into a trans-* bucket.

This is the result of ignorance - possibly fuelled by some sort of agenda, but it certainly isn't how transpeople see it. A man in a skirt is still just a man in a skirt; in a few cases he may turn out to be transgendered - or, more usually, he may not. Ten years ago, I'm sure some people who saw me in a skirt or kilt wondered if I was "gay", because that was the most recent group to come out of hiding and was uppermost in the minds of the general public; nowadays they sometimes replace "gay" with "trans".

crfriend wrote:So, while a reasonably macho guy of today still, perhaps barely, classes as male, a guy who was five years ago classed as slightly effeminate is now very clearly trans-*. This is a huge step in the wrong direction.

People seem to have an innate need to classify others and to make up explanations for things they don't understand, it often results in daft conclusions when they base their assumptions on ignorance. Transgender is very specific category, not a convenient term for any sexual/gender/lifestyle-choice variation the public doesn't understand.

crfriend wrote: If, as posited, things in the UK are getting better with "normality" now encompassing a wider swathe, why is anyone there even worried about this topic?

Most people weren't worried until the press cashed-in on it and found it was easier to get sensational effects by giving a platform to the extreme feminazis than it was to gain an understanding of a complex subject and spend time getting their facts straight. Both the press and the religious bigots have blood on their hands, but far from showing any remorse they continue to incite persecution and mis-treatment of vulnerable children and adults.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby pelmut » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:31 pm

skirtyscot wrote:
pelmut wrote:... imagine you woke up tomorrow and found you had a female body, ...

It's a poor analogy anyway. That sort of thing does not happen to transgender people. They've had all their lives to learn to cope with whatever it is.

Very rarely do they learn to cope with it because there are very few, if any, coping strategies other than transition. On another forum I read posting after posting of people who are in despair and desperately seeking for any sort of coping mechanism. The replies, from people who have had a lifetime of experience, is that they have never found a successful one - but good luck anyway.

A lot of transgender people are only just beginning to realise that they are transgender, because when they were children the condition was virtually unnown. I only discovered three years ago that this was what had been going on in the background of my life since I was a child; I knew I wasn't homosexual and I wasn't effeminate, but I equally well knew that my thinking processes weren't like those of the men I was supposed to have used as rôle models. When I used women as my rôle models, I felt a lot more comfortable and things worked out better.

skirtyscot wrote:
pelmut wrote:For the transgender person, this is what it feels like. There is something inside them that makes them know who they are - and it isn't what is on their birth certificate.


I'm afraid you have failed to tell me what it is, which is a problem, given that I've already said I can't conceive of a way to test for feelings of a gender. What is it that transgender people have, that enables them to perceive in themselves a gender as against a sex? The fact that mine align does not mean that I should not be able to perceive both of them separately.

I agree my explanation is not very objective, but it felt like trying to describe the colour blue to a colour-blind person. I'll try again with an analogy...

Assume you are right-handed, how do you know you are right-handed if nobody has ever tried to make you write with your left hand? You might occasionally hear a left-handed person complaining about how difficult some right-handed task is, but in the everyday course of events you don't feel particularly right-handed because it is of no consequence to you. If I (who happen to be left-handed) asked you to explain to me what it is inside that makes you right-handed, you probably couldn't tell me - but whatever it is, it is definitely there and you can't change it.

Now suppose you had been born into a world of left-handed people, who would not let you write with your right hand because they didn't believe that right-handedness was possible. You struggle on writing left-handed, feeling more and more frustrated; then one day you surreptitiously try writing right-handed and everything falls into place - there is a sudden feeling that this is what you have been missing all these years. You pluck up the courage to tell your mother; she is horrified and tells you never to do it again. That evening your father hears about it and beats the living daylights out of you - if he ever catches you doing it again he will kill you!

At this point you would be only too aware of your right-handedness, to a much greater extent than you are now. You wouldn't be able to develop a coping strategy other than hiding it to keep your parents and society happy or, if you were brave enough, getting in touch with other right-handed people to see if there was a way of persuading society that writing right-handed wasn't such a terrible thing after all.

skirtyscot wrote:
pelmut wrote: As children they see others of the same age group doing what they would like to do and being treated how they would like to be treated and they can't understand when they are told it is wrong for them to feel like that because of their biological sex.


Now you're back to gender being a social construct. If the adults laid off the "dolls and for girls, trucks are for boys" all the kids would be happy. Are you saying that if they got total acceptance of their choices and personality, the problem would go away?

It isn't a panacea, but "gendered" toys and clothing are among the most obvious stereotypes that are use to tie gender to sex. For a much wider view of the situation with transgender children, this video gives a better insight than I could manage.


skirtyscot wrote:This seems the place to comment that I'm not trying to be awkward with all this. I'm genuinely curious. No guy gets his genitals chopped off for a laugh, so transgenderism clearly is a real phenomenon. But I can't understand what it is, and there are some glaring inconsistencies in the things that the activists say, so I'm not persuaded by their arguments. I've no doubt that if I suggested it was a mental illness, half of the Internet would want to come round and lynch me. But I have no better explanation.

I'm glad you have given me the opprtunity to try to explain - it is a pity I am not making as good a job of it as I had hoped.

The problem is that a lot of activists see their campaigns in a war-like setting and the first casualty of war is truth. The subject is not an easy one to explain because a lot of the explanations go against the teaching of some religions and other common beliefs, which muddy the waters immensely. Some of the acivists aren't all that clued-up either, they might deliberately use language sloppily to get a point over to the uninitiated - or they might be using words for their emotional value without regard for accuracy.

Recent research suggests that different parts of an embryo develop at different times during pregnancy and if the hormonal conditions change between the development of the genitals and the development of certain parts of the brain, this can result in a mismatch between them. That theory was rejected for years because experimenters could find no clear differences between the structures of the male and female brains; but recent experiments have discovered that the pattern of some brain activity is distinctly different, with transmen being more like men than women. It is as if the hardware is the same but the fundamental hard-wired programming is different. The research is fairly recent and will need to be verified before the findings can be allowed to rattle down through the scientific community and be generally recognised as valid.

There is a tie-up between transgenderism and mental illness - but it isn't the obvious one: A lot of transgender people become mentally ill because of the stresses on them from a hostile society. Suicide is often their means of escape.
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Re: More Than A Quarter Of California Teens Are Gender Nonco

Postby Ralph » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:44 pm

Wow, such a lot of activity in recent days! I had a lot to catch up on.

Daryl, I like your reasoned approach that attempts to stick to facts rather than feelings. Unfortunately this approach is all too easily dismissed as "bigoted" and "narrow-minded" because demonstrable facts don't support the trend towards self-identity. See below for a bit more rambling discourse. BTW, I answered your survey but I found the choices rather limiting -- perhaps because I'm a bit of an outlier. My preference is for maxi skirts, the longer the better, both for comfort and because they completely avert the exposure problems associated with shorter skirts. Beyond that, I don't know if I could specifically identify one style only as a favorite, 2nd favorite, etc. It depends on my mood, my needs at the moment, the weather, whatever the voices in my head tell me...

As I mentioned, I agree with much of what Daryl said previously:
"Sex" refers exclusively to a biological distinction, and with a few exceptions is unambiguous. The existence of intersex persons doesn't change this, and my heart goes out to those folks who have to deal with societal expectations/prejudice as well as self-identity confusion. But unless you fall in that category, your sex is either male or female. Surgery won't change that (unless you somehow manage to erase all those Y chromosomes from your DNA).

"Gender" is an artificial social construct, because everyone has his/her/its own ideas of what it means to be male or female in gender and society as a whole keeps moving the goalposts. I have a highly developed sense of empathy, making me more inclined to cry easily in emotionally tense situations (reading or hearing of some tragedy befalling even total strangers, watching a sad movie with my wife, etc.) That same trait also gives me a more nurturing personality. I like Broadway musicals and tend to burst out in song for no apparent reason. I am terrified of conflict, physical or verbal, so I tend to just give in when someone else establishes dominance. I'm terrible at sports, preferring sedate activities like virtual world building or board games or puzzles. Listening to the world's definition of what it means to be male or female, those traits brand me as solidly female. Why? Why can't a person be a boy who plays with dolls, a man who wears skirts or is skilled at decorating, a woman who loves football? I suspect that many people who reach the conclusion that they identify as female are only going along with what society says must inherently be female traits.

Sometimes when I propose that point of view, the counterargument is the evidence of young people (under the age of 10, even as young as 2 or 3 years old) who declare that they are a gender different from their birth sex. I would love to know how a 2-year-old even knows the difference between boy and girl, much less "knows" he or she is one or the other. Again, I submit that this self-identification comes from information they are taught, not some innate sense of maleness or femaleness. Am I wrong? Show me statistically relevant data that proves otherwise.

At the risk of introducing a slippery slope argument, I'll close with an interesting discussion I had with my daughter on how much society should be expected to accommodate those who self-identify as something or someone other than their biological construction. This came up a couple of years ago when there were stories about people who went way beyond SRS and gender identity: Several people who sought surgery to intentionally disable or disfigure body parts, such as amputating legs, chemically induced blindness, etc. And one older gentleman (?) who wanted to live and be treated as not just a woman, but as a diapered little girl. Then there was the oddly amusing revelation that the president (now ex-president) of the NAACP was a white woman who self-identifies as black.

So where do we draw the line? How do we decide that it's mentally healthy to self-identify as a different gender from your sex, but not as a blind person or a baby girl or a pterodactyl? How much should society be expected -- even forced by legal authority -- to change forms of address or provide facilities meeting the needs of people who have some nonstandard identity? Why is it OK to cut off a man's reproductive organs but not his legs?

Let me stress that I don't know the right answers, and it doesn't affect me anyway. I'm also OK with using whatever pronouns and honorifics a person says he or she prefers, although if there are conflicting visual cues I can't promise I will remember to do it right every time. I just throw these musings out once in a while as a sanity check when it seems like the world is plunging headlong into some direction by popular appeal without thought to consequences.
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