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Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:46 pm
by Stu
I see no inconsistency there whatsoever.

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:22 pm
by Yonkas
Stu, thanks for responding. I would like to respond to your points in full, but before I do that, please address all of my points. It might not have been your intention, but you seem to have cherry picked points I have made, and have, in effect, based your rebuttal upon a straw man.

The rules of engagement are very important to have in a conversation. Without them, you are not having a conversation, but a shouting match.

One of the rules of engagement (but not the only one) is to actually respond to all the points the other party has made (unless it is too burdensome to do so, in the case of a Gish Gallop).

In particular, you never responded to,
Yonkas wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:19 pm
But what if you're mistaken? I know I have been. Indeed, people have even mistaken my gender, and I have never looked particularly feminine.

..Furthermore, non-trans people have been evicted from bathrooms because other people mistook their sex-atypical features to be a sign that they were transgender.

So, what would you do to account for this, once somebody corrects you? Surely you wouldn't ask them to prove it to you. That would be impolite, and might even earn you a "f**k off." I'd wager it would be easier for you to say, "sorry," and be on your way, than to escalate things.
This particular point invalidates quite a few of the rebuttals you made in your last comment. However, in case it isn't clear what I am saying, please let me rephrase and expand upon my point:

1) I acknowledge that it is impractical to make much effort at guessing the pronoun your are supposed to use when first meeting a person, so, you should never be faulted for guessing wrong.
2) If you use the wrong pronoun, then, it is likely offensive to the other person.
3) You cannot always know a person's gender by looking at them, even if they are not transgender
Please give yourself a moment to internalize 3). If you can't think of examples, I will provide you with a few (and please assume that no person mentioned is transgender):
a) a woman with very masculine features and a flat chest dresses up normally (because women have that freedom), and wears khaki pants and a polo shirt. Many people will think she's a man.
b) a man who has very feminine features dresses up in gender neutral clothing. Many people will think he's a woman.
c) a woman with very masculine features wears a formal gown and makeup. Many people will think she's a transvestite.
d) a tall woman, who grows facial hair and isn't allowed to cut it off because of her religion dresses in gender neutral clothing. Many people will think she's an effeminate man.
e) a man with feminine features wears a skirt because he doesn't believe that skirts are for women only.
4) Since you cannot know a person's gender by looking at them, and they tell you that you used the wrong pronoun, You have no polite way to argue. You cannot request to examine their genitals. You cannot ask them to furnish you with birth certificates. You cannot feel them up. The very act of challenging them is impolite, because you are disrespecting their request to be recognized as a certain gender. So, if they "correct" you, the only polite response is to begin using the pronoun they request.

So with that in mind, your test for using pronouns is impossible to execute.

Furthermore, I do question what you even mean by "presenting," as lots of transgender people do present themselves quite unambiguously as the other sex, and presumably, you don't wish to refer to such people by their preferred gender (Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong about you in this case). That's their goal. And by the argument I just presented above, you have no ability to politely distinguish between a a gender-atypical cis-person and a trans-person who is not passing successfully.

So, how do you propose to apply your gender test to people successfully under these circumstances? What am I missing?

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:33 pm
by Stu
Hi Yonkas.

I wasn't so much cherrypicking your arguments as trying to avoid making my response way too long, so I addressed what I perceived to be your key arguments. I will try to deal with your points as you have listed them:

1) I acknowledge that it is impractical to make much effort at guessing the pronoun your are supposed to use when first meeting a person, so, you should never be faulted for guessing wrong. Agreed.
2) If you use the wrong pronoun, then, it is likely offensive to the other person. Unless it's done in the face of obvious signals about how a person identifies, i.e. gender markers, and/or done for the express purpose of causing offence, I disagree. If I see someone wearing what appears to be a police uniform, I will address them as if they were a police officer. If a person wishes to be addressed with the feminine pronouns, then shave off the beard and wear women's attire
3) You cannot always know a person's gender by looking at them, even if they are not transgender Agreed. But we have to make a judgment and, if we are wrong, then it is quite legitimate to be corrected and then one can change the pronoun choice. That is recognition of an objective reality and it would be perverse not to do so. This is a vanishingly rare event, though.
Please give yourself a moment to internalize 3). If you can't think of examples, I will provide you with a few (and please assume that no person mentioned is transgender): In my experience, people who are transsexual normally go to great lengths to resemble the sex with which they identify and I would address them accordingly.
a) a woman with very masculine features and a flat chest dresses up normally (because women have that freedom), and wears khaki pants and a polo shirt. Many people will think she's a man. She is objectively a woman and, once I know that, everyone should refer to her as such. Not an issue.
b) a man who has very feminine features dresses up in gender neutral clothing. Many people will think he's a woman. His choice to dress in gender neutral clothing in the knowledge that he has feminine features. He then takes a risk. Another example of objective reality. Once his actual sex becomes evident, then he should be referred to accordingly.
c) a woman with very masculine features wears a formal gown and makeup. Many people will think she's a transvestite. I would assume she is either a trans woman or a masculine women and would refer to her with feminine pronouns. Not an issue.
d) a tall woman, who grows facial hair and isn't allowed to cut it off because of her religion dresses in gender neutral clothing. Many people will think she's an effeminate man. Again, once her actual sex is made manifest, then feminine pronouns are used. Not an issue.
e) a man with feminine features wears a skirt because he doesn't believe that skirts are for women only. See (b) above
4) Since you cannot know a person's gender by looking at them, and they tell you that you used the wrong pronoun, You have no polite way to argue. You cannot request to examine their genitals. You cannot ask them to furnish you with birth certificates. You cannot feel them up. The very act of challenging them is impolite, because you are disrespecting their request to be recognized as a certain gender. So, if they "correct" you, the only polite response is to begin using the pronoun they request. That's why I stressed that I will refer to them according to how they "present" - a word I have used consistently. To repeat, is someone is evidently male (e.g. facial hair, balding, male clothes, deep voice etc), then I am going to use the pronouns he/him and not she/her - and vice-versa for someone who is evidently female. Of course I won't be looking in their underwear or demanding a certificate from a geneticist to decide what sex they are - I will determine their sex according to how they have chosen to appear to others. If someone falls between the two, then I will make a best guess and if it becomes evident that my guess is OBJECTIVELY wrong, I will revise my judgment on pronouns. But they don't get to dictate my use of my own language where there is no question as to which sex they are.

Furthermore, I do question what you even mean by "presenting," as lots of transgender people do present themselves quite unambiguously as the other sex, and presumably, you don't wish to refer to such people by their preferred gender (Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong about you in this case).

You are completely wrong. When say "present", I mean how they make themselves appear. If you want me to call you she/her, then wear female attire and female shoes and a female hairstyle and stick on some lipstick - and shave. At least make some effort so I have a clue that you are either a tans woman or a masculine cis woman and then I will use the feminine pronouns. I have done this many times - not an issue.

I think that answers all your points. :D

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:38 pm
by pelmut
Stu wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:52 pm
I would refer to them (i.e. to a third party) as they appear to be.
Stu wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:53 pm
[...] children should be taught that from the start. So a child is not a girl just because he wants to be a girl at that time;
  
Stu wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:46 pm
I see no inconsistency there whatsoever.
It looks to me as though you are saying that children should be subjected to a deeply distressing misgendering based on their genetic makeup (or physical appearance resulting from it) but you would not do that to adults who would find it equally distressing.

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:52 pm
by pelmut
Stu wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:33 pm
I will refer to them according to how they "present" - a word I have used consistently. To repeat, is someone is evidently male (e.g. facial hair, balding, male clothes, deep voice etc), then I am going to use the pronouns he/him and not she/her - and vice-versa for someone who is evidently female.
Even if they have specifically asked you not to?  Wouldn't that be intentional misgendering and disrespect?

What you appear to be saying is that if you meet a transwoman who has not completed her course of facial hair removal or doesn't want to wear a wig for some reason -- or a transman who is awaiting a mastectomy -- you would continue to misgender and offend them until they had changed their bodies enough to satisfy you.

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:09 pm
by Stu
pelmut wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:38 pm
It looks to me as though you are saying that children should be subjected to a deeply distressing misgendering based on their genetic makeup (or physical appearance resulting from it) but you would not do that to adults who would find it equally distressing.
If a child presents as a boy and I use male pronouns, then I am obviously not, to use your expression, "misgendering" him - my language is simply reflecting reality as i perceive it. The same goes for a girl, a man or a woman.
pelmut wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:52 pm
Even if they have specifically asked you not to?
It's not their choice - it's mine. I would not refer to someone as "Doctor" or "Lord" just because they felt inclined to use a title to which they were not entitled. Now if they take the trouble to attempt to appear as the sex with which they identify, then I am happy to cut them some slack on that for the reasons already stated, i.e politeness, and also that I am in no position to determine their biological sex. But let me make it patently clear: while I have an obligation to use someone's preferred name, I am under no moral obligation to refer to that person to a third party with a function word in my own language which is semantically false.
pelmut wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:52 pm
What you appear to be saying is that if you meet a transwoman who has not completed her course of facial hair removal or doesn't want to wear a wig for some reason -- or a transman who is awaiting a mastectomy -- you would continue to misgender and offend them until they had changed their bodies enough to satisfy you.
That is a massive straw man. I am saying no such thing.

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:09 am
by pelmut
Stu wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:09 pm
pelmut wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:38 pm
It looks to me as though you are saying that children should be subjected to a deeply distressing misgendering based on their genetic makeup (or physical appearance resulting from it) but you would not do that to adults who would find it equally distressing.
If a child presents as a boy and I use male pronouns, then I am obviously not, to use your expression, "misgendering" him - my language is simply reflecting reality as i perceive it. The same goes for a girl, a man or a woman.
If the child wishes to present as a girl, wishes to adopt the clothing worn by girls, wishes to be called by a name particular to girls and wishes to be called by certain pronouns, that is the child's chosen gender presentation, even if she is not able to do all of those things.  By using the opposite pronouns you would be misgendering her; you cannot see her gender and your opinion of her physical appearance is not relevant to her or anyone else.

pelmut wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:52 pm
Even if they have specifically asked you not to?
It's not their choice - it's mine. I would not refer to someone as "Doctor" or "Lord" just because they felt inclined to use a title to which they were not entitled.
Formal titles like those have legal implications and cannot be used by people who are not entitled to them.  Pronouns are the choice of the person to whom they apply and it is uncivil (and potentially dangerous) to delibrately refer to people in ways which offend them.  You do have the freedom to choose which pronouns you use in the same way as you have the freedom to choose to walk up to someone and spit in their face, fondle their genitals or perform some equally offensive action, but you would be wise to consider the consequences before doing so.
Now if they take the trouble to attempt to appear as the sex with which they identify, then I am happy to cut them some slack

...and if they don't or can't for some reason, would you continue to misgender and offend them until they had changed their bodies enough to satisfy you?

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:57 am
by Dust
pelmut wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:09 am
Stu wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:09 pm
It's not their choice - it's mine. I would not refer to someone as "Doctor" or "Lord" just because they felt inclined to use a title to which they were not entitled.
Formal titles like those have legal implications and cannot be used by people who are not entitled to them.  Pronouns are the choice of the person to whom they apply and it is uncivil (and potentially dangerous) to delibrately refer to people in ways which offend them.  You do have the freedom to choose which pronouns you use in the same way as you have the freedom to choose to walk up to someone and spit in their face, fondle their genitals or perform some equally offensive action, but you would be wise to consider the consequences before doing so.
So titles have legal implications, but battery and sexual assault do not? Spitting in someone's face is battery, and fondling their genitals is sexual assault. How can using the wrong pronouns to refer to someone even come close to these criminal acts?!?

Right or wrong, women have special legal protections. Are there not legal consequences for claiming them if you are not a woman? Comparing this to titles is absolutely correct.

"Potentially dangerous" to offend... Why? Because trans people are violent? Is that what you just implied? I hope that is not what you meant, but that is how it reads.

Yes, all actions have consequences, but to equate the ones you just did is absurd.

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:48 am
by Uncle Al
:hmmm: This particular room in Skirt Cafe' is getting kind of warm.
Our Air Conditioning system can't handle the heat that is building up :eye: :? :roll:

So, will the participating members - PLEASE CALM DOWN :?:
This thread has profoundly drifted slid off the tracks.
Can we get this train back on the right set of tracks :?: PLEASE :?:

PLEASE :?:


Uncle Al
:mrgreen: :ugeek: :mrgreen:

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:31 am
by pelmut
Dust wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:57 am
pelmut wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:09 am
Stu wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:09 pm
It's not their choice - it's mine. I would not refer to someone as "Doctor" or "Lord" just because they felt inclined to use a title to which they were not entitled.
Formal titles like those have legal implications and cannot be used by people who are not entitled to them.  Pronouns are the choice of the person to whom they apply and it is uncivil (and potentially dangerous) to delibrately refer to people in ways which offend them.  You do have the freedom to choose which pronouns you use in the same way as you have the freedom to choose to walk up to someone and spit in their face, fondle their genitals or perform some equally offensive action, but you would be wise to consider the consequences before doing so.
So titles have legal implications, but battery and sexual assault do not? Spitting in someone's face is battery, and fondling their genitals is sexual assault.
In the U.K., deliberately misgendering someone after they have asked you to stop is also an offence and there has been a recent case where someone was sacked for refusing to stop bullying people in this way.  The judge's comments when she tried to sue her employer for wrongful dismissal make interesting and enlightening reading.
How can using the wrong pronouns to refer to someone even come close to these criminal acts?!?
I was using these as examples of offensive behaviour that could lead to trouble.  A person is able to do them but most civilised people choose not to.  The majority of civilised people would make that choice out of consideration for the feelings of the other person but a few would only be deterred by the consequences, legal or otherwise.

Right or wrong, women have special legal protections. Are there not legal consequences for claiming them if you are not a woman?
Not in the U.K., the Equality Act of 2010 abolished the last remnants of that.  I don't know about U.S. law, but I think I might have heard through the 'trans grapevine' if there had been any recent cases.

"Potentially dangerous" to offend... Why? Because trans people are violent? Is that what you just implied? I hope that is not what you meant, but that is how it reads.
I don't think trans people are any different from anyone else in this respect; if you start calling people offensive names based on your (mis)perception of their sex, gender, skin colour or any other physical aspect, you might expect that some of them would retaliate either directly or by resort to the law.

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:54 am
by Shilo
Did you not listen to uncle Al ? Definitely severely off topic. At least start a new thread. I am a new member but I don’t think anyone is doing the forum any favours

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:58 pm
by pelmut
To bring the thread back on topic, the foregoing remarks don't just apply to misgendering transpeople; they apply equally well to offending men in skirts by calling them trans, queer, drag queens or a number of other things which are insulting if they happen to be untrue -- and constitute bullying if they are done persistently.  The opinion of the bully based on his interpretation of the skirt-wearer's appearance is no justification for such behaviour.  It is entirely appropriate to challenge support for such justification when it appears on this forum, no matter how it is dressed up as reasoned argument and debate.

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:33 pm
by crfriend
What we're seeing here is the classic case of two "sides" that are dug in and are talking past each other. One is arguing linguistics and the other is arguing sociology. I'm not going to say that the two are immiscible, but they tend to not mix all that well under normal conditions.

This is not a place for extremism nor militancy; I'd like to see this place as a spot of civility and gentility -- things to be cherished because they are so rare in the modern world. Seek common ground. Please.

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:36 pm
by Stu
pelmut wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:31 am
In the U.K., deliberately misgendering someone after they have asked you to stop is also an offence
It isn't an offence - the case was not heard under the criminal law. It was not what the judge decided, nor was empowered to decide. A relatively junior judge in an employment tribunal (not even a criminal judge) simply threw out an unlawful dismissal claim following someone being fired for misgendering (which also involved persistent harassment, allegedly). This is not caselaw as the court is too junior and the next court could decide differently. By the way, anyone can call themselves "doctor" without any legal restrictions in the UK. It's just not recognised by the state unless it is evidenced by holding the appropriate degree.
pelmut wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:31 am
The majority of civilised people would make that choice out of consideration for the feelings of the other person but a few would only be deterred by the consequences, legal or otherwise.
A civilised person would respect another's right to use his own language to a third party as he sees fit.

Let's just clear up one issue. I am not saying that someone has to "satisfy" me about their gender; I am saying that I will make up my own mind about which pronoun to use according to how the individual presents. If you want me to use female pronouns to others when referring to use - that's easy - just dress and style your hair as a female and don't sport facial hair. If you want me to use male pronouns to others when referring to use - that's easy - just dress and style your hair as a male and don't wear a frilly top or bright red lipstick etc. If you choose to dress ambiguously or androgynously, then I will exercise my right to decide for myself which pronoun is likely to be the most accurate.

I don't think my views would be regarded as extreme or transphobic. A bit of give and take is all that's required and we can all get along. :D

Re: Nice article that mentions Skirtcafe favorably

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:49 pm
by Stu
pelmut wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:58 pm
To bring the thread back on topic, the foregoing remarks don't just apply to misgendering transpeople; they apply equally well to offending men in skirts by calling them trans, queer, drag queens or a number of other things which are insulting if they happen to be untrue -- and constitute bullying if they are done persistently.  The opinion of the bully based on his interpretation of the skirt-wearer's appearance is no justification for such behaviour.  It is entirely appropriate to challenge support for such justification when it appears on this forum, no matter how it is dressed up as reasoned argument and debate.
I totally agree. But that's just being a jerk and people are allowed to be jerks - and they should be challenged when they are. What you wear is a fashion choice and, while other people are free to hold opinions on what you wear, if they voice negative ones uninvited, then they can expect a negative response in return. That applies whether it is a man wearing a skirt being accused of being a drag queen, or a women in a short skirt being called a slut.