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Janie Grace

Non-gendered kids

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11 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

Are you saying you believe that the logical end is that every trans person is basically Rachel Dolezal?

 

Is Rachel Dolezal and other transracial people the *logical conclusion* of gender dysphoria? I certainly don't think so. 

The POINT is that race to gender analogies will only get you so far. This much is obvious. They have separate histories and in all likelihood separate futures. 

Currently, because it serves their purposes, transactivists would like for liberal-leaning people to accept that gender and race are entirety analgalous, though. 

To be clear, we don't all get all our information about this issue from the wtm chat boards. Just as you do not. 

To be further clear, again, we (no one here on these chat boards) wants anyone to be stripped of their human rights. And in addition to that, I personally wish all adults with persistent gender dysphoria to be unencumbered legally and socially to do what they must to live as their preferred gender. 

In these conversations you continually want to boil everything down to how you feel about your trans friends. But we probably all feel similarly toward our trans friends.  The questions __do not lie__ with how we feel, person to person. You can't get away with saying that it doesn't effect women in any real way. It absolutely does, and that has been demonstrated to you repaleatedly. 

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8 hours ago, poppy said:

 

Well yes, scorn for [sneering voice] "political correctness" has been around for decades, as in "I don't like femi-nazis, excuse me for not being politically correct!" I guess a better way of asking is, if it was a cause you cared about, how would you approach "don't alienate people" with "speak truth / seek justice".  What is the appropriate balance.

 

7 hours ago, poppy said:

 

I don't really understand what you mean when you use that term. I know what I think it means, but context wise, I'm guessing you might have a different idea. Would you mind sharing? (I promise to not bite your head off.)

Tsk, tsk. I go off to teach my kids for a day and y'all blow up a thread in the meantime to a point where I can hardly keep up!! But @poppy I assured you I would reply, so here goes my best after a full day of kids and two glasses of wine, even if I feel that I'm horribly behind in the conversation. ?

As to your first point- I'm going to start with the disclaimer that I am admittedly out of my element on this. I am the furthest thing from a SJW on earth, which has made it difficult for me to frame  some of your question in my head. It's just not my calling- to be very public about certain things- and I'm okay with that. I've given a lot of thought to your question though, and the best way I can approach it to illustrate my point is through a public health platform, because that's where the vast majority of my experience is, and where I am comfortable. Hopefully I can do this without being too long winded. The question is: How do I get a message across without alienating people, while speaking truth/seeking justice? 

To begin with, I think you have to acknowledge from the get go that there are people you are not going to reach, for a multitude of reasons. I'm going to use a fairly controversial issue as an example- vaccines and autism. If I am coming at this from a public health perspective, I want, no I  need, the vast majority of a population to vaccinate. Otherwise, it doesn't work. The whole system collapses if I don't have a strong majority percentage.

Yet, I have this very vulnerable and rightfully sensitive subgroup who are dealing with children with autism and no real scientific cause. There is a lot of theory and yet nothing definitive telling them what caused this to happen to their child, and a significant portion of them are vehemently opposed to my plan, as a PH official, to encourage vaccination for myriad reasons. Then I have a gradient, so to speak, of other groups which range all the way from die-hard vaccinators who never even miss a flu shot for their kids, through the people on the fence who could be convinced by the next convicting news or FB article, then to people who think vaccinations are a governmental conspiracy and then some. Where am I going to start? I'm going to start with the fence sitters for a targeted message and I'm going to build up my base with the die-hard vaccinators. I am not going to go after the hurting people, who are rightfully skeptical of just about everything any "official" or corporate executive is going to try and say, whether rightly or wrongly,  because their child was injured. I'm not going to step on those toes to be honest. But I am not going to stop my message about the importance about vaccination as a whole across the entire population, because if I don't- I am morally committed to the truth that at that point people will die. So I can still speak my truth, so to speak, and get my point across, without becoming outright authoritarian about it.

I am not going to push for a law that compels the anti-vaccine people to vaccinate, or worse yet, push for forced vaccinations or for children to be removed from parents who don't vaccinate. And what's nuts, is I don't think any of these scenarios are that far fetched, as far as my vaccine example OR for the situation of how parents may or may not choose to deal with a dysphoric child may result in a custody issue for the parents. I think that is clear when there are parents who are fearful that they may lose custody of their children if they don't get on board with gender reassignment surgery, because there are people willing in the local governments to push the button at the child's request to do so and override the parents authority, that we are definitely in an very volatile societal point.

The irony is not lost on me that many of the driving forces behind such removals of parental control over children with gender dysphoria, in cases where the parents perhaps promote more of a "wait and see" approach than the child would prefer, would become absolutely apoplectic if the same was done over a vaccination and the state barged in and forced vaccinations upon children with the parents losing custody if they didn't comply. Yet the ACLU will step in as "advocates for the child" for one, but not the other. Why exactly is that?  I don't think either of those scenarios are okay, even slightly, so as far as my approach, I'm going to use honey and sugar, and maybe money. I'm not going to use a stick where the stick= jail time to try and win hearts and minds. Much like the OP's situation- I don't care how much I personally might disagree with what the parents are doing. I'm not willing at this point in time with any of the evidence I've seen put forth on either side to try and pull the "nuclear option" so to speak to have the child removed. 

And I know you said in another post that it isn't the case here- as far as legislation on this type of gender politic, but it actually is on the state, county and city levels in many places, and they are growing bolder with a plan to expand. CA is attempting to legislate pronoun usage, I believe emboldended by Canada's "progress" on the issue,  and I believe a municipality in NY already has. I haven't had time to double check, but I believe it is WA, and possibly OR where teens can seek the assistance of local government entities to have their health decisions removed from their parents and given as proxy (or whatever the proper term is) to the local government. 

As far as your second question- what do I define as identity politics, I think that more eloquent people have posted about this issue on the thread since i was last on, and again- I am beginning to feel a bit out of my element on this thread as a whole. But my interpretation of identity politics, is when you have a set up as such: 

I am a member of____________group, which has been historically marginalized/attacked/brutalized/exploited (pick all that apply), therefore I am owed______________ and because I have had my voice/rights stripped previously I get to define the terms that determine the composition of said group. If you (the "outsider"), or other groups not part of our own try and counter those term or question the validity thereof, then you are marginalizing/attacking/brutalizing/exploiting our group all over again and are as much of a perpetrator as those who have harassed us historically. You should be, and will be publicly shamed. You are a member of (fill in "privileged" group here)  and therefore you have no right to speak as far as "our"______________ group. Please remove yourself from the conversation because you are a privileged/elitist/racist/sexist (select appropriate term) to participate. Your time is over. Our time is now. History will be on our side, and you are no longer relevant to the situation. 

Now. I fully admit feminist played this little game and perhaps helped write one of the books on it. And for reasons that Stella and others have mentioned, that is a large part of why I distanced myself from the feminist movement from the 90' once I went to college and developed an  understanding beyond "feminists just want to have the same opportunities as men, like voting and owning stuff, and physical autonomy."  Once the cold reality (or theory) started to set in, I didn't like the direction things were going, even though I couldn't put my finger on exactly where all of my hesitancies were. But I decided the 4th wave of feminism, or whatever wave it is at this point- was not for me. Then for reasons still unknown to me, the feminist wagon got hitched to the transgender wagon more strongly that transgenderism did the LGBT wagon.  I think this is somewhat due to LGB hesitancy to become enmeshed in the whole gender politic thing, but I'm not a scholar on the topic to speak knowledgeably- it's more of an observation. If they is why, then props to them for foreseeing the trainwreck this is going to be in the longhaul, even if they haven't managed to avoid it entirely. Anyway, now I think we are seeing the very first shots fired over the bow where the feminists are realizing the vast implication of what they've gotten themselves into.......and that's going to play out for a long time. 

As far as my prompt above, I don't think that an avoidance of identity politics needs to ignore wrongs and injustices either in the past or present. That's not my point at all. But when you silence one group who may have legitimate concerns over what is being said, who are attempting to have a dialogue, and after all are still very legitimate players in the greater society, you're going to offend people who might otherwise have been an ally and it's going to turn to our side/their side pretty quickly. It is and is going to continue to play out across race/ethnicity/gender lines and I'm sure more things than I can think of at the moment.

I find it ironic now, that when race relations are at a high level of volatility,  people on every side of the political spectrum are paying hundreds of dollars to find out more about their "ethnic heritage" through DNA site so they can further identify with a group. Based off of some for-profit company's reference range that may or may not be legitimate......it's just crazy to my cyncial self. But people like groups. They always have, so I don't see the identity thing going away anytime soon- if anything it's going to blow up more with various dust ups here and there. But I do think  these "othering" groups are not a good long term strategy for the stability of any society, let alone once as diverse as the U.S. 

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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I think a lot of this may stem from a general confusion about how we form identity, and think it must be some kind of essential brain thing - or at least that is how they think about it with gender.  I mean, I think it would be unusual for a person to make that kind of claim, though there have been cases.  But I don't think it's difficult to imagine that someone white, brought up in a Filipino family in another country might have a really different sense of identity.  Or, we could even look at something like sexual identity and sexuality - the idea of being gay or homosexual as an identity is nowhere near universal in cultures, including ones where plenty of people are having same-sex sexual encounters.  Yet for us, many people feel it's really an essential and inborn part of their identity.  In the one case the person might "feel" Filipino but obviously isn't, in terms of ancestry.  In the other a person may have whatever biological characteristics lie behind being attracted to people of the same sex, but they don't "feel" gay.  

I think the way identity is built in an individual is far more complicated than a lot of people think, because they take their own so much for granted.

Exactly. And this is why in a non-social science type scientific study you don't categorize people by sexuality, or any other "self-identified" category. You categorize them by behavior, biology,  and sex, because when it comes down to brass tacks, the behavior as it is acted out and the biological sex of the person are more reliable indicators of most things than what the person identifies as.

Even with things like pregnancy- the doctor isn't going to say "by the way what ethnicity do you identify as?" to determine what genetic testing you might need. They're going to ask "are you or your husband genetically related to anyone of Mediterranean descent?" etc. etc. It's endless as far as the disconnect between identity and behavior. 

I cannot tell you how many men I sat across a table from at the HIV clinic who identified as straight and yet were having all sorts of regular sexual relations with multiple men. In their mind, if they were doing it for money, it didn't count. People never cease to amaze me on things like this. And it didn't matter if in my head I'm thinking "OH PLEASE STOP. You are completely a bisexual man!!" What mattered was that he was a man having sex with men, and therefore from a scientific, data collection stand point, that is what he was labeled. But as far as his identity, we weren't anywhere near the same page.......so as an aside, just know there are plenty of people in America too whose sexual behaviors aren't in line with what identity is perceived. It's what they do, not who they are. 

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18 minutes ago, texasmom33 said:

Exactly. And this is why in a non-social science type scientific study you don't categorize people by sexuality, or any other "self-identified" category. You categorize them by behavior, biology,  and sex, because when it comes down to brass tacks, the behavior as it is acted out and the biological sex of the person are more reliable indicators of most things than what the person identifies as.

Even with things like pregnancy- the doctor isn't going to say "by the way what ethnicity do you identify as?" to determine what genetic testing you might need. They're going to ask "are you or your husband genetically related to anyone of Mediterranean descent?" etc. etc. It's endless as far as the disconnect between identity and behavior. 

I cannot tell you how many men I sat across a table from at the HIV clinic who identified as straight and yet were having all sorts of regular sexual relations with multiple men. In their mind, if they were doing it for money, it didn't count. People never cease to amaze me on things like this. And it didn't matter if in my head I'm thinking "OH PLEASE STOP. You are completely a bisexual man!!" What mattered was that he was a man having sex with men, and therefore from a scientific, data collection stand point, that is what he was labeled. But as far as his identity, we weren't anywhere near the same page.......so as an aside, just know there are plenty of people in America too whose sexual behaviors aren't in line with what identity is perceived. It's what they do, not who they are. 

 

This is a problem I think with social science studies - by defining the categories you can almost create certain outcomes.

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1 hour ago, poppy said:

 

Just about everyone I know who is transgender in real life is pretty poor. There's a minister who I think gets a good salary? But that's the exception.  The people who are fighting for them are (in my world) my church - as part of our social justice mission. So this doesn't resonate with me at all. I can tell it's something you are passionate about.    Is that how it is in your country? Trans people are generally wealthy men? Zero intersectionality? It's just so far from my lived experience. 

I don't have the latest numbers in front of me, but I believe in the U.S. the numbers are shifting more and more to be centered amongst young people who aren't even necessarily economically independent. They aren't poor. They're still living at home. I think that we are seeing a huge shift in who exactly composes the transgender population. What used to be seen as an issue of a middle aged people who had struggled with their transgenderism and all of the accompanying mental health issues that may have preceded or stemmed from being "forced" to live as dysphoric, so to speak, now has pivoted to be this  very young <25 group who are economically dependent on their parents. So I don't know that for this specific issue, socio-economic status plays the role it used to. If anything I think it's moving up the socio-economic scale, because to be frank, if you're struggling to put food on the table, having a sex reassignment surgery is hardly going to tip the meter on level of import. I do think asking why its shifting downward as far as age, at a statistically significant rate to these younger aged groups is worth examining though. As is asking why a recent study that indicated that social media use may play a huge role in this phenomenon for young people got closed down faster than I could blink. 

And another thing I've noticed as far as the face of transgenderism, that sort of grows out of this thread in general......The progressive stereotypical champion of a transgender male to female middle aged person who has lived a life of quiet solitude and simply wants to be left in peace to do their own thing isn't what many of us are seeing in reality. Maybe 10 years ago it was. At least for me. I started working with some of these groups in the 90's. It's not the same now. The shifts have been immense. The politically active component of trans rights are younger, more vocal, and more political now. And they are using that power to reach out to very, very young people- often in very vulnerable family, social or psychological situations. Frankly, I think calling some of these pro-trans groups exploitative isn't inaccurate. Caitlin Jenner is the media's often "go-to" face of transgender persons. Caitlin Jenner is old school news to my experience. What they need is a 19 or 20 year old girl who has chosen to have her breasts removed and her ovaries and uterus removed and gone through a fairly gruesome reassignment surgery, and is part of a campus collective now advocating for trans-rights. But that is a little bit harder of a pill to swallow. It's gritty. I think it isn't what most people probably want to think of- but I think it's the new reality. They don't want to see their teenaged son or daughter.- they'd rather see a mature person who, after a life of living in a shell,  made a mature and considerate decision to transition. So, the media is giving them what they want. They're seeing an aged Olympic has been, a wealthy reality-TV star, who decided to come out to his family and everyone as out a transgender woman, and oh by the way he's a Republican, so look how non-threatening he is and let's put him on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But more and more people are becoming aware that this cultural shift isn't about middle aged men or women. It's about very young people. It's about 3 year old, like OP's niece. It's about teenagers and junior high kids. And I don't think most people had 20 years to ruminate on this, so to the general eye, it's hit a boiling point, very, very quickly. It's an entirely different discussion when you're talking about children and I don't know that many of the complacations around the transgender issue can be discussed without acknowledging that fact. 

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4 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

Exactly. And this is why in a non-social science type scientific study you don't categorize people by sexuality, or any other "self-identified" category. You categorize them by behavior, biology,  and sex, because when it comes down to brass tacks, the behavior as it is acted out and the biological sex of the person are more reliable indicators of most things than what the person identifies as.

Even with things like pregnancy- the doctor isn't going to say "by the way what ethnicity do you identify as?" to determine what genetic testing you might need. They're going to ask "are you or your husband genetically related to anyone of Mediterranean descent?" etc. etc. It's endless as far as the disconnect between identity and behavior. 

I cannot tell you how many men I sat across a table from at the HIV clinic who identified as straight and yet were having all sorts of regular sexual relations with multiple men. In their mind, if they were doing it for money, it didn't count. People never cease to amaze me on things like this. And it didn't matter if in my head I'm thinking "OH PLEASE STOP. You are completely a bisexual man!!" What mattered was that he was a man having sex with men, and therefore from a scientific, data collection stand point, that is what he was labeled. But as far as his identity, we weren't anywhere near the same page.......so as an aside, just know there are plenty of people in America too whose sexual behaviors aren't in line with what identity is perceived. It's what they do, not who they are. 

 

I didn't really understand this when you were explaining it in an earlier thread - now I see you are making a distinction between orientation, behaviour and identity - that's right, right ? 

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Poppy, I can't find the post where you quoted me asking me to explain about gender not being evidence based.

I was not clear enough in my quoted post. Gender (sex stereotypes - girls are bad at math, boys don't cry) is a social construct; that's why it's mutable across time and cultures 

Gender  (an innate gender identity in the brain, which is not the same as awareness of one's sex and/or distress at one's sex, and which may be mismatched with one's sex) is a theory. A pretty new theory as these things go. And there is no strong evidence for this kind of gender.

People who argue for this gender identity - this sense of a gendered self which emerges naturally from the child (and not their awareness of their sexed body, the sexed body of others and the sex category they fit into, and the social roles linked to their sex) are arguing on a house of sand. Not only is it unobservable - no, brains scans don't show transwomen have woman-gendered brains - it is indefineable and immaterial. 

None of that means people don't suffer from dysphoria about their sexed bodies. They do. None of that means they shouldn't be treated in adulthood with hormones and surgical transition. None of that means they don't deserve the same human rights as all of us.

What it does mean is that the evidence is not there to support giving innate gender identity primacy over biological sex on a societal level in all situations.

Will evidence emerge ? Maybe. Will strong evidence emerge ? Perhaps. 

Even if strong evidence emerges, there is still a potential conflict of interests between women and transwomen; no platforming and shouting TERF and TWAW! doesn't begin to explore this conflict, which can only be resolved by discussion that is free and open.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by StellaM
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9 hours ago, OKBud said:

 

Is Rachel Dolezal and other transracial people the *logical conclusion* of gender dysphoria? I certainly don't think so. 

The POINT is that race to gender analogies will only get you so far. This much is obvious. They have separate histories and in all likelihood separate futures. 

Currently, because it serves their purposes, transactivists would like for liberal-leaning people to accept that gender and race are entirety analgalous, though. 

To be clear, we don't all get all our information about this issue from the wtm chat boards. Just as you do not. 

To be further clear, again, we (no one here on these chat boards) wants anyone to be stripped of their human rights. And in addition to that, I personally wish all adults with persistent gender dysphoria to be unencumbered legally and socially to do what they must to live as their preferred gender. 

In these conversations you continually want to boil everything down to how you feel about your trans friends. But we probably all feel similarly toward our trans friends.  The questions __do not lie__ with how we feel, person to person. You can't get away with saying that it doesn't effect women in any real way. It absolutely does, and that has been demonstrated to you repaleatedly. 

 

Couple things to reply to here.  Earlier you said I conflate sex and gender. Here you say I boil it down to who my friends are.  I don't know why you think either is true.  This is a matter of principle, not "niceness" as we all all agreed so please stop with the belittling or trying to discredit me.  Also I don't appreciate you putting words in my mouth.  I most definitely did not say "it doesn't' effect women in any real way". Perhaps you are thinking of a different poster?

The reason I talked about people I know is that Bluegoat asserted that fighting for transgender people's rights is a means of keeping the powerful in power. Because it is based on a social identity, it does not address class or race or sex.  THAT is not my experience at all,  that lack of intersectionality.   Basically my argument is that transgenderism is not a means of further subjugating the poor! I'd appreciate it if you spoke to that point, which is the substance not personal.

I also saw some thoughtful posts by Stella M & texasmom which I really want to reply to, but I have a flight in 3 hours so I really gotta go. Please dont' take my silence is ignoring or disrespect of the discussion!

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4 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

I didn't really understand this when you were explaining it in an earlier thread - now I see you are making a distinction between orientation, behaviour and identity - that's right, right ? 

Exactly. You’d never be able to sort through it otherwise because the groups, as we have shown here, could never be pinned down. Not that we don’t divide them out into numerous categories from a data standpoint, but yes. People can participate in behaviors all the time but either not understand that 1) yes this might classify the person as XYZ and/or 2) even have the vaguest notion of what XYZ is. They’re just doing what they do. So if say, for an STD education outreach- my numbers are going to tell me that Men who have Sex with Men (MSM in the literature) are at the highest risk for a certain disease. The laypersons temptation is most likely to be “okay, we need to extend outreach to gay men” but you’d be missing a bigger part of the picture of who is actually engaging in the behavior, and who are all now at risk from the behaviors, because thanks to the intersection of identify and behavior, you’ve actually got women being put at risk in this same pool. This is because suprise, surprise- who others might classify as “gay” by their actions, are actually men of every orientation who are also having sex with women too. They’re not labeling themselves as gay or bisexual because the act isn’t how they chose to define themselves. (And this is completely out of the transgender topic for simplicity - that complicates it even more.) 

I think sometimes the more educated people become, the less they realize that an awful lot of the population is not on the same page about a lot of things. We see all of this information and news coverage and what not and we’re like “who could not know this?” Well it’s a lot of people. And until I sat across and got to explain different sexual orientations and different types of sex to people so they can answer a questions, I had no clue how big this group was. Just because they don’t know what it’s properly called doesn’t mean they aren’t in that group or doing it- they’re just calling it something else. They call it being on the down low maybe. We call it behaviorally bisexual, because it is, but I also can’t slap an identity label on someone who doesn’t claim it, so you reconcile the two by categorizing by behavior rather than the identity. Hopefully that makes sense. 

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4 hours ago, StellaM said:

Poppy, I can't find the post where you quoted me asking me to explain about gender not being evidence based.

I was not clear enough in my quoted post. Gender (sex stereotypes - girls are bad at math, boys don't cry) is a social construct; that's why it's mutable across time and cultures 

Gender  (an innate gender identity in the brain, which is not the same as awareness of one's sex and/or distress at one's sex, and which may be mismatched with one's sex) is a theory. A pretty new theory as these things go. And there is no strong evidence for this kind of gender.

People who argue for this gender identity - this sense of a gendered self which emerges naturally from the child (and not their awareness of their sexed body, the sexed body of others and the sex category they fit into, and the social roles linked to their sex) are arguing on a house of sand. Not only is it unobservable - no, brains scans don't show transwomen have woman-gendered brains - it is indefineable and immaterial. 

None of that means people don't suffer from dysphoria about their sexed bodies. They do. None of that means they shouldn't be treated in adulthood with hormones and surgical transition. None of that means they don't deserve the same human rights as all of us.

What it does mean is that the evidence is not there to support giving innate gender identity primacy over biological sex on a societal level in all situations.

Will evidence emerge ? Maybe. Will strong evidence emerge ? Perhaps. 

Even if strong evidence emerges, there is still a potential conflict of interests between women and transwomen; no platforming and shouting TERF and TWAW! doesn't begin to explore this conflict, which can only be resolved by discussion that is free and open.  

 

 

 

 

https://www.the-scientist.com/features/are-the-brains-of-transgender-people-different-from-those-of-cisgender-people-30027 I find I can actually agree with you on the state of the science.

As to the "potential conflict of interests between ciswomen and transwomen" that happens with any intersectionality. Free and open discussion about it is difficult when the usual strategy of cisgender women with this concern is to demand exclusion of transgender women from the conversation and/or refusing to acknowledge that they are women at all.

 

All of which has strayed FAR from the original topic.

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37 minutes ago, Ravin said:

Free and open discussion about it is difficult when the usual strategy of cisgender women with this concern is to demand exclusion of transgender women from the conversation and/or refusing to acknowledge that they are women at all.

 

 

The usual strategy such as it is lies further back from the question than this, so to speak. It starts with, "what do you understand a woman to be?" or, more accurately, "What is a female?"  

We can't even agree on what a female is in these conversations. There are people insisting that their sexed body parts are female because they feel female, even though those bodies and the individual parts contained therin have never been considered female. And, yes, those people are driving the conversation at-large, in the world, because everyone else is sort of reacting to that. Either positively or negatively. I can't see how this is helpful to transgender people of either gender, and I know it isn't helpful to cis, as you say, women. 

 

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10 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

 

Tsk, tsk. I go off to teach my kids for a day and y'all blow up a thread in the meantime to a point where I can hardly keep up!! But @poppy I assured you I would reply, so here goes my best after a full day of kids and two glasses of wine, even if I feel that I'm horribly behind in the conversation. ?

As to your first point- I'm going to start with the disclaimer that I am admittedly out of my element on this. I am the furthest thing from a SJW on earth, which has made it difficult for me to frame  some of your question in my head. It's just not my calling- to be very public about certain things- and I'm okay with that. I've given a lot of thought to your question though, and the best way I can approach it to illustrate my point is through a public health platform, because that's where the vast majority of my experience is, and where I am comfortable. Hopefully I can do this without being too long winded. The question is: How do I get a message across without alienating people, while speaking truth/seeking justice? 

To begin with, I think you have to acknowledge from the get go that there are people you are not going to reach, for a multitude of reasons. I'm going to use a fairly controversial issue as an example- vaccines and autism. If I am coming at this from a public health perspective, I want, no I  need, the vast majority of a population to vaccinate. Otherwise, it doesn't work. The whole system collapses if I don't have a strong majority percentage.

Yet, I have this very vulnerable and rightfully sensitive subgroup who are dealing with children with autism and no real scientific cause. There is a lot of theory and yet nothing definitive telling them what caused this to happen to their child, and a significant portion of them are vehemently opposed to my plan, as a PH official, to encourage vaccination for myriad reasons. Then I have a gradient, so to speak, of other groups which range all the way from die-hard vaccinators who never even miss a flu shot for their kids, through the people on the fence who could be convinced by the next convicting news or FB article, then to people who think vaccinations are a governmental conspiracy and then some. Where am I going to start? I'm going to start with the fence sitters for a targeted message and I'm going to build up my base with the die-hard vaccinators. I am not going to go after the hurting people, who are rightfully skeptical of just about everything any "official" or corporate executive is going to try and say, whether rightly or wrongly,  because their child was injured. I'm not going to step on those toes to be honest. But I am not going to stop my message about the importance about vaccination as a whole across the entire population, because if I don't- I am morally committed to the truth that at that point people will die. So I can still speak my truth, so to speak, and get my point across, without becoming outright authoritarian about it.

I am not going to push for a law that compels the anti-vaccine people to vaccinate, or worse yet, push for forced vaccinations or for children to be removed from parents who don't vaccinate. And what's nuts, is I don't think any of these scenarios are that far fetched, as far as my vaccine example OR for the situation of how parents may or may not choose to deal with a dysphoric child may result in a custody issue for the parents. I think that is clear when there are parents who are fearful that they may lose custody of their children if they don't get on board with gender reassignment surgery, because there are people willing in the local governments to push the button at the child's request to do so and override the parents authority, that we are definitely in an very volatile societal point.

The irony is not lost on me that many of the driving forces behind such removals of parental control over children with gender dysphoria, in cases where the parents perhaps promote more of a "wait and see" approach than the child would prefer, would become absolutely apoplectic if the same was done over a vaccination and the state barged in and forced vaccinations upon children with the parents losing custody if they didn't comply. Yet the ACLU will step in as "advocates for the child" for one, but not the other. Why exactly is that?  I don't think either of those scenarios are okay, even slightly, so as far as my approach, I'm going to use honey and sugar, and maybe money. I'm not going to use a stick where the stick= jail time to try and win hearts and minds. Much like the OP's situation- I don't care how much I personally might disagree with what the parents are doing. I'm not willing at this point in time with any of the evidence I've seen put forth on either side to try and pull the "nuclear option" so to speak to have the child removed. 

And I know you said in another post that it isn't the case here- as far as legislation on this type of gender politic, but it actually is on the state, county and city levels in many places, and they are growing bolder with a plan to expand. CA is attempting to legislate pronoun usage, I believe emboldended by Canada's "progress" on the issue,  and I believe a municipality in NY already has. I haven't had time to double check, but I believe it is WA, and possibly OR where teens can seek the assistance of local government entities to have their health decisions removed from their parents and given as proxy (or whatever the proper term is) to the local government. 

As far as your second question- what do I define as identity politics, I think that more eloquent people have posted about this issue on the thread since i was last on, and again- I am beginning to feel a bit out of my element on this thread as a whole. But my interpretation of identity politics, is when you have a set up as such: 

I am a member of____________group, which has been historically marginalized/attacked/brutalized/exploited (pick all that apply), therefore I am owed______________ and because I have had my voice/rights stripped previously I get to define the terms that determine the composition of said group. If you (the "outsider"), or other groups not part of our own try and counter those term or question the validity thereof, then you are marginalizing/attacking/brutalizing/exploiting our group all over again and are as much of a perpetrator as those who have harassed us historically. You should be, and will be publicly shamed. You are a member of (fill in "privileged" group here)  and therefore you have no right to speak as far as "our"______________ group. Please remove yourself from the conversation because you are a privileged/elitist/racist/sexist (select appropriate term) to participate. Your time is over. Our time is now. History will be on our side, and you are no longer relevant to the situation. 

Now. I fully admit feminist played this little game and perhaps helped write one of the books on it. And for reasons that Stella and others have mentioned, that is a large part of why I distanced myself from the feminist movement from the 90' once I went to college and developed an  understanding beyond "feminists just want to have the same opportunities as men, like voting and owning stuff, and physical autonomy."  Once the cold reality (or theory) started to set in, I didn't like the direction things were going, even though I couldn't put my finger on exactly where all of my hesitancies were. But I decided the 4th wave of feminism, or whatever wave it is at this point- was not for me. Then for reasons still unknown to me, the feminist wagon got hitched to the transgender wagon more strongly that transgenderism did the LGBT wagon.  I think this is somewhat due to LGB hesitancy to become enmeshed in the whole gender politic thing, but I'm not a scholar on the topic to speak knowledgeably- it's more of an observation. If they is why, then props to them for foreseeing the trainwreck this is going to be in the longhaul, even if they haven't managed to avoid it entirely. Anyway, now I think we are seeing the very first shots fired over the bow where the feminists are realizing the vast implication of what they've gotten themselves into.......and that's going to play out for a long time. 

As far as my prompt above, I don't think that an avoidance of identity politics needs to ignore wrongs and injustices either in the past or present. That's not my point at all. But when you silence one group who may have legitimate concerns over what is being said, who are attempting to have a dialogue, and after all are still very legitimate players in the greater society, you're going to offend people who might otherwise have been an ally and it's going to turn to our side/their side pretty quickly. It is and is going to continue to play out across race/ethnicity/gender lines and I'm sure more things than I can think of at the moment.

I find it ironic now, that when race relations are at a high level of volatility,  people on every side of the political spectrum are paying hundreds of dollars to find out more about their "ethnic heritage" through DNA site so they can further identify with a group. Based off of some for-profit company's reference range that may or may not be legitimate......it's just crazy to my cyncial self. But people like groups. They always have, so I don't see the identity thing going away anytime soon- if anything it's going to blow up more with various dust ups here and there. But I do think  these "othering" groups are not a good long term strategy for the stability of any society, let alone once as diverse as the U.S. 

 

What people latch on to for justification for intervening on behalf of a trans youth seeking hormone treatment, etc., is the understanding we have come to about risk. A trans youth without family support is at at least a degree of magnitude higher suicide risk. The research that's been done has found that youth in a supportive family environment are at no higher risk for suicide than anyone else in their age group, even if dealing with discrimination and bullying outside the home. That is a very different risk profile than an unvaccinated child in the U.S., whose risk of death as an individual is only very slightly elevated by not being vaccinated, because they are insulated by the vaccination of others, by good nutrition, and by access to medical care to treat them should they contract a vaccine-preventable illness.

It's more akin to taking a child with a cancer that has a much higher risk of killing them without adequate treatment from their parents on grounds of medical neglect when they have opted for "alternative medicine" or trying to pray it away to the exclusion of conventional, evidence-based allopathic medical treatment. 

I agree that playing identity politics is a means of deflecting from more basic issues such as the flaws in our economic system which impact nearly everyone. However, I disagree that the political Left is playing identity politics as a distraction shell game; rather, it's the other side, inflating the importance of identity politics to set themselves up as on the side of "the rest of us who aren't playing those games", which is to say the shrinking white middle class and the white working class, for the benefit of the wealthy, mostly white and mostly male, elite whose underlying agenda seems to be to keep themselves on top and damned the consequences for everyone else. At this point, those being most vehemently accused of playing identity politics are the ones seeing through the identity politics and pushing for progressive change.

I think humans seek identity with an in-group for a sense of belonging and social cohesion. We are social creatures and can't survive without other humans. What we aren't so good at is fostering that sense of belonging and social cohesion without "othering" those outside the group. The average human being just can't quite grok that level a sense of belonging and "in-group" for the whole human species, especially when the existential threats to that group are so far beyond immediate individual perception and cannot be readily anthropomorphized into an "other." there's been a lot of bloodshed in the last few centuries over investing too much of that sense of belonging in one's nation-state, and over the last few thousand years of investing it in one's religion. A more sustainable social adaptation to our burgeoning population is yet to be found.

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3 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

Exactly. You’d never be able to sort through it otherwise because the groups, as we have shown here, could never be pinned down. Not that we don’t divide them out into numerous categories from a data standpoint, but yes. People can participate in behaviors all the time but either not understand that 1) yes this might classify the person as XYZ and/or 2) even have the vaguest notion of what XYZ is. They’re just doing what they do. So if say, for an STD education outreach- my numbers are going to tell me that Men who have Sex with Men (MSM in the literature) are at the highest risk for a certain disease. The laypersons temptation is most likely to be “okay, we need to extend outreach to gay men” but you’d be missing a bigger part of the picture of who is actually engaging in the behavior, and who are all now at risk from the behaviors, because thanks to the intersection of identify and behavior, you’ve actually got women being put at risk in this same pool. This is because suprise, surprise- who others might classify as “gay” by their actions, are actually men of every orientation who are also having sex with women too. They’re not labeling themselves as gay or bisexual because the act isn’t how they chose to define themselves. (And this is completely out of the transgender topic for simplicity - that complicates it even more.) 

I think sometimes the more educated people become, the less they realize that an awful lot of the population is not on the same page about a lot of things. We see all of this information and news coverage and what not and we’re like “who could not know this?” Well it’s a lot of people. And until I sat across and got to explain different sexual orientations and different types of sex to people so they can answer a questions, I had no clue how big this group was. Just because they don’t know what it’s properly called doesn’t mean they aren’t in that group or doing it- they’re just calling it something else. They call it being on the down low maybe. We call it behaviorally bisexual, because it is, but I also can’t slap an identity label on someone who doesn’t claim it, so you reconcile the two by categorizing by behavior rather than the identity. Hopefully that makes sense. 

 

Yes, and what if in fact there is no label at all, in the whole society?  It kind of adds some clarity to the idea that sex is really among the most concrete categories for identity because it seems to be pretty ubiquitous across cultures and times.  There are really very few other categories that are like this, many simply haven't existed in many places and times.

 

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7 hours ago, Ravin said:

https://www.the-scientist.com/features/are-the-brains-of-transgender-people-different-from-those-of-cisgender-people-30027 I find I can actually agree with you on the state of the science.

As to the "potential conflict of interests between ciswomen and transwomen" that happens with any intersectionality. Free and open discussion about it is difficult when the usual strategy of cisgender women with this concern is to demand exclusion of transgender women from the conversation and/or refusing to acknowledge that they are women at all.

 

All of which has strayed FAR from the original topic.

 

If the starting point always has to be TWAW, then it's not free or open discussion,, because it doesn't allow for 1. the reality that this is not a biological statement that reflects material reality but an ideological one, and people can and will differ on ideologies without wanting to 'wish away or hate transexual people'  and 2. completely forcloses on the idea that there is a conflict of interests in some situaions.

A more effective starting point would be, imo, transwomen are transwomen...how do we protect their rights at the same time as we protect the rights of women and girls ?

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, StellaM said:

A more effective starting point would be, imo, transwomen are transwomen...how do we protect their rights at the same time as we protect the rights of women and girls ?

This makes a lot of sense to me.

There are complex and nuanced issues involved and those are very difficult to carry on a discussion about if we start by conflating terms and obscuring meaning.

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4 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

If the starting point always has to be TWAW, then it's not free or open discussion,, because it doesn't allow for 1. the reality that this is not a biological statement that reflects material reality but an ideological one, and people can and will differ on ideologies without wanting to 'wish away or hate transexual people'  and 2. completely forcloses on the idea that there is a conflict of interests in some situaions.

A more effective starting point would be, imo, transwomen are transwomen...how do we protect their rights at the same time as we protect the rights of women and girls ?

 

 

 

More effective ....if your stance is to positions people who are trans as a threat. There is no other marginalized group who you would speak about this way.

How do you protect the rights of women while protecting men? How do you protect  the rights of Native Americans while protecting the rights of Whites? 

Those  are all questions that can be part of the conversation..... but are pretty foul if assumed  as an ‘effective starting point’. IMO.0

 

By by the way, it took me a minute to figure out what TWAW is, because I do not go to tons and tons  many message boards on this topic. It seems to stand for  ‘transwomen are women’.  

 

 

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8 minutes ago, poppy said:

More effective ....if your stance is to positions people who are trans as a threat. There is no other marginalized group who you would speak about this way.

How do you protect the rights of women while protecting men? How do you protect  the rights of Native Americans while protecting the rights of Whites? 

Those  are all questions that can be part of the conversation..... but are pretty foul if assumed  as an ‘effective starting point’. IMO.0

 

By by the way, it took me a minute to figure out what TWAW is, because I do not go to tons and tons  many message boards on this topic. It seems to stand for  ‘transwomen are women’.  

 

 

 

Um, yes, you might very well talk about those things in that way if there was a potential conflict.  And in some cases there can be - affirmative action programs might be an example - it can become a question whether certain types of programs that some people support could in fact trample rights of others to fair employment.  Discussions of land rights for First Nations groups can sometimes impact property rights for others as well, and that also becomes a discussion.

If you change the laws around the protection of women in order to protect trans people, that can at least potentially also change the way they affect women.  How is that not a matter of balancing or trying to maintain important protections for women?  

There are lots of other examples where we try and balance protection of groups, or protection of rights of one person, against the rights of another, because there is some kind of conflict.  I'd say it was so common it's almost to be expected to crop up.

I do not at all understand this idea that an ideological belief that one group needs to be protected somehow magically means that actions taken for that purpose cannot have significant or negative impacts on others.  How would that happen?

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1 hour ago, poppy said:

More effective ....if your stance is to positions people who are trans as a threat. There is no other marginalized group who you would speak about this way.

How do you protect the rights of women while protecting men? How do you protect  the rights of Native Americans while protecting the rights of Whites? 

Those  are all questions that can be part of the conversation..... but are pretty foul if assumed  as an ‘effective starting point’. IMO.0

 

By by the way, it took me a minute to figure out what TWAW is, because I do not go to tons and tons  many message boards on this topic. It seems to stand for  ‘transwomen are women’.  

 

 

I disagree.  I think part of the current problems with all of the above + some, are that we haven't started with those as a talking point. You cannot ask the "non-marginalized" portion of any population- and that group may shift to mean all sorts of groups depending on time and location and the specific conversations- to simply step aside, bow their heads and have remorse for past perceived wrongs that they may or may not have directly attributed to or are even cognizant of, and also to acquiesce all of their present ground and have no control or input into the conversation on how things will proceed in the future. If that group feel as if they are already starting on the hind foot, it's most likely not going to be a productive conversation. It simply brews resentment, and although it may take a while to manifest openly, I can't think of a single instance ever in history where that ended well. 

Just because a person or group was wronged or perceived as wrong, or is simply accused as being in the wrong- that doesn't mean that the perpetrator or accused loses any and all voice, yet I feel like that is the goal with so much of this. I don't know. I feel like this topic is so massive, it probably deserves it's own thread, as we've all clearly more than jumped the track from the OP. 

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Please excuse my hormonal rant....

There IS conflict between how we define bio women and trans women.   

Today has physically sucked for me.  I have spent most of the day in pain.  I have been through more "feminine napkins" than I care to count today.  And despite the fact that I am 40, have given birth to 4 children, and know all the ins and outs of the entire thing....it still grosses me out.  Not in an embarrassing way...I am not ashamed, but seriously....bleck.

There is not a single trans woman that will ever have to deal with the "horrors" of cycle day one.  (well, I suppose unless uterus transplants eventually become part of the sex change process....it could happen.)

The reality is that trans women and bio women ARE different.  It just straight up IS.  It's not about what OTHER problems a trans woman might face, because those things DO exist.  It's true that I would never know what it is like to deal with a male organ that I don't feel belongs there.  But that simply means the issues are different.  No trans woman in prison will ever know what it's like to be denied pads.  No trans women will ever worry about pre-eclampsia.  No trans woman will ever wonder if her BCP are making her as insane as she feels.   Because no trans woman ever has to worry about taking BCPs.  

That doesn't mean trans women don't have their own set of difficulties.

 

But those difficulties are DIFFERENT.  Just not the same.

 

I need to go handle some things.  Again.

Edited by happysmileylady
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The more I read these discussions here, the more I think there is just an impasse that cannot be solved.

There can never be a resolution because the very acknowledgment that trans women are not biologically women and do not fit in all the same spaces or events as biological women is considered bigoted and hateful. Biological women can never have their own space since that's the case because it is bigoted to exclude trans women in all cases. I've just become convinced that there's no way to get around this. If being female or male is defined without consideration of biology, then it doesn't even matter anyway.

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2 hours ago, poppy said:

More effective ....if your stance is to positions people who are trans as a threat. There is no other marginalized group who you would speak about this way.

How do you protect the rights of women while protecting men? How do you protect  the rights of Native Americans while protecting the rights of Whites? 

Those  are all questions that can be part of the conversation..... but are pretty foul if assumed  as an ‘effective starting point’. IMO.0

 

By by the way, it took me a minute to figure out what TWAW is, because I do not go to tons and tons  many message boards on this topic. It seems to stand for  ‘transwomen are women’.  

 

 

Why is that a foul starting point? WIthout examining that stuff, as said upthread, one breeds resentment and othering on both sides. In the immigration debate, I think the absolute refusal for certain parties to even entertain the notion that illegal immigration comes at a cost to American workers means both sides feel combative and protectionist. And as Bluegoat said, in the end this has meant that people are profiting off the cheap labor that is left as the spoils of the lack of discussion there.

You think it's foul to have a discussion about land rights when someone pays money, thinks they own land on the up and up, and then they find out the government is going to confiscate it (or the mineral rights) and give it to someone else? Like there is no discussion to be had with the guy who is going to get his land confiscated because he didn't know it used to belong to NA or had no say in it being given to NA, even if he might be sympathetic to an issue?

We had these "foul" discussions a lot in the military actually. I can think of a specific example: if we adjust a physical requirement for how much an infantry soldier must be able to lift in order to allow more women to be in the infantry, how will that affect men on the battlefield? Will women be able to carry a wounded dude to safety if we allow her in the unit? Or, If we allow women on submarines, what spaces are we going to give up to allow for appropriate berthing?

And I'm back at this being an intractable problem. If there can be no discussions like this, asking bio women what it means to them to give up a safe space to a bio-male (because there is only "women" and it isn't defined by biology), whoever is forced to give something up is going to feel marginalized, resentful, bitter, and everyone involved is going to lack understanding. No one wins.

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1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Please excuse my hormonal rant....

There IS conflict between how we define bio women and trans women.   

Today has physically sucked for me.  I have spent most of the day in pain.  I have been through more "feminine napkins" than I care to count today.  And despite the fact that I am 40, have given birth to 4 children, and know all the ins and outs of the entire thing....it still grosses me out.  Not in an embarrassing way...I am not ashamed, but seriously....bleck.

There is not a single trans woman that will ever have to deal with the "horrors" of cycle day one.  (well, I suppose unless uterus transplants eventually become part of the sex change process....it could happen.)

The reality is that trans women and bio women ARE different.  It just straight up IS.  It's not about what OTHER problems a trans woman might face, because those things DO exist.  It's true that I would never know what it is like to deal with a male organ that I don't feel belongs there.  But that simply means the issues are different.  No trans woman in prison will ever know what it's like to be denied pads.  No trans women will ever worry about pre-eclampsia.  No trans woman will ever wonder if her BCP are making her as insane as she feels.   Because no trans woman ever has to worry about taking BCPs.  

That doesn't mean trans women don't have their own set of difficulties.

 

But those difficulties are DIFFERENT.  Just not the same.

 

I need to go handle some things.  Again.

 

This emphasis 1. ignores that not all problems women face is society today stem from biological differences, and 2. still starts from a position of "othering" trans women. Not a single one of those issues you brought up applies universally to all cisgender women, either. Not all women who are biologically female menstruate. Not all women who are biologically female get pregnant (or can get pregnant). 

There is plenty of common ground there, enough that the exclusion is counter-productive.

Take this list for instance: http://shriverreport.org/top-18-issues-challenging-women-today/

#1,2,3,6,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17, &18 are all gender-based issues to one extent or another, and for many of them, the intersectionality of being a woman with the particular forms of discrimination trans women face for being transgender exacerbates them for trans women. #4,5, & 7 are directly related to female reproductive burdens, and therefore are reasonably argued to not be issues transgender women face. However, there is absolutely no reason to think trans women would in general NOT support other women with respect to issues 4, 5, & 7. Trans women are not standing on soap boxes demanding that issues 4, 5, & 7 be ignored.

Edited by Ravin
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1 hour ago, texasmom33 said:

I disagree.  I think part of the current problems with all of the above + some, are that we haven't started with those as a talking point. You cannot ask the "non-marginalized" portion of any population- and that group may shift to mean all sorts of groups depending on time and location and the specific conversations- to simply step aside, bow their heads and have remorse for past perceived wrongs that they may or may not have directly attributed to or are even cognizant of, and also to acquiesce all of their present ground and have no control or input into the conversation on how things will proceed in the future. If that group feel as if they are already starting on the hind foot, it's most likely not going to be a productive conversation. It simply brews resentment, and although it may take a while to manifest openly, I can't think of a single instance ever in history where that ended well. 

Just because a person or group was wronged or perceived as wrong, or is simply accused as being in the wrong- that doesn't mean that the perpetrator or accused loses any and all voice, yet I feel like that is the goal with so much of this. I don't know. I feel like this topic is so massive, it probably deserves it's own thread, as we've all clearly more than jumped the track from the OP. 

 

Why are you talking about  shame and remorse and accusations? That’s bizarre to me. Here is what I was thinking of.   When women got the right to vote, their concern was not ‘this will not every mans vote have less weight—- And that is just as important as our desire for a voice!”  

 

 When gay people were granted the right to marry, they had spent years and years enduring debates about how granting them that right was an affront to the concept of marriage and would hurt heterosexuality... and of course  is still a simmering source of anger among many straight people.  It most certainly ‘brewed resentment’.

 

So what, they should have ... accepted civil unions maybe? That seems to be a rough analogy to ‘transwomen aren’t women’, I guess? Is that what you are arguing?

 

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41 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

Why are you talking about  shame and remorse and accusations? That’s bizarre to me. Here is what I was thinking of.   When women got the right to vote, their concern was not ‘this will not every mans vote have less weight—- And that is just as important as our desire for a voice!”  

 

 When gay people were granted the right to marry, they had spent years and years enduring debates about how granting them that right was an affront to the concept of marriage and would hurt heterosexuality... and of course  is still a simmering source of anger among many straight people.  It most certainly ‘brewed resentment’.

 

So what, they should have ... accepted civil unions maybe? That seems to be a rough analogy to ‘transwomen aren’t women’, I guess? Is that what you are arguing?

 

I'll say right off the bat that @EmseB sums up my reply a post or two above. But just to clarify a few things from your quote to me-- women asking to vote weren't trying to become men. They were asking to be able to engage in the same political process as men, but as women. They didn't want to be men. You can want the same rights as someone and not have to sign your soul or body or what have you over to do so. If transwomen wanted to form a group specific to the unique issues/prejudices they face and be proponents for their own rights, as transpersons,  and protections for their group, more power to them and I'd hardly be getting my knickers in a twist over it. But that's not what they are doing. 

So I don't think the comparisons are near equal. Trans-women think that despite having a penis and testicles, or having had them before they chose to remove them; as well as a lifetime pre-transition of having testosterone course through their bodies that "some unquantifiable thing" that no one can define, qualifies them to be included in the  exact same as a person born with ovaries and a uterus. How exactly does that work? Because they *think* that they *think* the same as a female? Whatever that means. They have feminine thoughts? They dislike the body they're in and can't identify with the traits of their born sex, so they must therefore qualify as the other binary choice? And that is what makes them interchangeable with a biological woman? I'm sorry, but I don't agree. 

Transwomen are biological men saying that they are women. That is not a false statement. There is nothing hateful with making that statement because it. is. a. fact. I can scientifically quantify it  in multiple ways. Just the same way I can drop something have it hit the ground and proclaim that gravity still exists. Except for now people are telling me that biological men saying they are exactly the same as me are right, and if I don't realize that then I'm clearly in the wrong. Because men aren't men if they proclaim they're women. It's just that simple.  If that's not gaslighting, I honestly don't know what on earth is. I don't understand how this ever even became an argument. It's ludicrous. 

The only thing making transwomen "women" is that they are proclaiming it. I can proclaim things all day long and that doesn't make it so. I can paint myself a different color and that doesn't make me a different ethnicity or race. And I don't care what dysphoria someone with an M.D. or PhD might say I had if I chose to do so, I don't see that being received well at all- and particularly poorly by the people who are also telling me that men can be women and why am I being so hateful about the whole thing?  Why is that exactly? Would anyone want that to be okay? That's sort of frightening. I'm not okay with that even slightly. Just because I want to identify with a group, no matter how badly that I might want to, reality doesn't work that way. 

I will never in a million years understand what it is like to be born a black woman into a lower socio-economic status, much less, a black MAN born into similar situation. I mean, the whole concept is laughable tbh. Where the hell would I possibly get off doing that? But this. isn't. any. different. So, if I want to say I'm a black person, then I'm a beyond a racist, as well as being totally deluded, but if I want to say I'm a man, I'm enlightened. Alrighty then. 

Honestly, I give up. People in this thread have made excellent points that I will not be able to add anything to. BlueGoat, and StellaM and EmseB and Maize and others I'm sure I'm leaving off have a deeper grasp on the theory, the viewpoint I'm coming from, and everything else behind this than I do. I have truly appreciated the civil discourse here and the thought provoking questions, but I'm going to politely step aside from contributing further in this thread now. I don't think there is anything more I can add that is going to move this discussion forward or into any unchartered territory. I feel like we're stuck in a circle and I've just exhausted anything remotely intelligent I have to add here. Until the next time, good night to all. 

 

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6 hours ago, poppy said:

More effective ....if your stance is to positions people who are trans as a threat. There is no other marginalized group who you would speak about this way.

How do you protect the rights of women while protecting men? How do you protect  the rights of Native Americans while protecting the rights of Whites? 

Those  are all questions that can be part of the conversation..... but are pretty foul if assumed  as an ‘effective starting point’. IMO.0

 

By by the way, it took me a minute to figure out what TWAW is, because I do not go to tons and tons  many message boards on this topic. It seems to stand for  ‘transwomen are women’.  

 

 

 

Well, yes. Exactly. 

How to protect females while also protecting a subset of males - dysphoric males who live as women because they feel healthier and happier that way.

I know that's not what you meant - but I think it's interesting that you rest your argument on the idea that women, as a class, are oppressors of gender non conforming males, as a class. Hence in your comparison, when it comes to transwomen, the class 'women' is analogous to the class' 'whites, and to the class 'men'.

Firstly, I think that's largely ahistorical. Women, as a class, haven't had access to political and economic power en masse in their own right until fairly recently. In plenty of places they still don't. So to posit the class 'woman' as the oppressors of any male is a very temporally and geographically narrow viewpoint.

Secondly, to the class of women you assign this privilege called 'cis' - the idea that our internal sense of gender matches our sex, and that this enables us to walk easier in the world than GNC males.

That's interesting also, because plenty of women don't have an internal sense of gender. I know I don't. The closest I could get to it in queer terminology is to say I experience my inner voice as sexless, non-binary, perhaps ? So without a sense of gender (as distinct from an awareness of the female body and female experience in that body) it's hard to conceptualise this 'good fit'.

Many women also experience gender (sex stereotypes) as a hierarchical form of oppression (and this would be a classic feminist position). Gender doesn't reside within them, in this model, but outside of them, as social expectations used to control femaleness. These expectations are often experienced as damaging and harmful. To say that a woman's acceptance of her sexed body means she also accepts 'gender' is to ask women to identify with their own oppression. And that's not such a great thing. Certainly not a progressive thing. Not really a feminist thing, given that female adherence to sex stereotypes is often due to the social cost involved in rejecting them.

Cis privilege is the concept which allows you to map 'woman' onto 'white/wealthy/Western/male'. But if cis privilege doesn't exist - because internal gender identity doesn't exist, because the class ''women'  has never had the systemic power to punish and oppress a sub-set of males who step out of masculinity, or because gender oppresses women to the same extent it oppresses GNC males, then you end up with two vulnerable groups. And those groups are women, and transwomen. And yes, their rights at times conflict. Because the two groups have differing needs. And if both classes are vulnerable, then yes, you do have to start from a position of thinking about how you solve those conflicts without throwing either group under the bus.

The idea that this position (I'd call it  moderate - arguing that woman be defined as 'adult human female' certainly isn't a radical innovation ) is foul is a bit bemusing.

I am guessing you rest the 'foulness' on the idea that the above suggests transwomen pose an especial threat to women by virtue of their transness. It's not really that at all. There's nothing icky or sick or morally repulsive or dangerous about the idea that males sometimes transtion to live as if they were women. 

It's their maleness that is the problem. It's possible to identify out of cultural ideas attached to maleness (although many men struggle to identify out of their male socialisation, no matter their gender presentation); it's not possible to identify out of your sexed body, and your sex class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by StellaM
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On 10/29/2018 at 3:47 PM, StellaM said:

 

It matters in terms of safety. I know if I have to choose who is walking behind me at night, I'll choose the female every time. If I have to tell a young child what to do if they get lost, there's a reason I say 'find a mommy with children'. 

And it matters in terms of comfort and dignity. For example, my strong preference for pap smears and breast exams is to see my female GP. My strong preference when changing in the open changing room at my local pool is to change with other females.

And it matters in terms of heatlh. Anyone treating you needs to know your sex. Not your gender. Your biological sex.

It matters in terms of keeping data. 

And, yes, in terms of the hind brain. We're still mammals, after all.

I have thought about this a lot in the past month in dealing with breast cancer. Philosophically, it shouldnt matter if my surgeon is a male or female as long as they are a brilliant surgeon, explain things well, and know how to make an incision. But it does matter. My surgeon is a woman and can no doubt remember when her breasts first matured into a womanly form. She understands the psychological role a woman’s beasts have to that woman. Now this is my own, intuitive extrapolation, but her philosophy of “breast conservation” seems to me to be distinctly female. I think male breast surgeons may have more of a propensity to think what matters is how the breasts look outside of clothing, (or even without clothing). It’s not a “bad” goal - for some women, this is also their primary goal, and is not wrong - but my instinct is that male sugeons are more likely to think from this end point, while my surgeon herself thinks from the opposite direction: let’s remove the cancerous tissue, get you cancer-free, and then repair the aesthetics once we get there

I shall not lie; I am very, very pleased that the majority of professionals on my team are females. I have utter gratitude for these women who pursued “hard” jobs for ladies to be in and who probably have dealt with a good deal of sexism over the years. 

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9 hours ago, Ravin said:

not all problems women face is society today stem from biological differences,

 

From where do the problems that women in society tend to face, that men do not tend to face, stem?

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I don't participate in these threads because this issue is so far outside my experience. But I read every one because I want to understand and have compassion for people who are struggling and hurting so much. Thank you, texasmom33, StellaM, OKBud, EmseB, and others who articulated what I could never find the right words to express even to myself. You've helped frame why I have so much trouble wrapping my head around this issue. Thank you, also, to others who post different perspectives. You've given me a lot to think about as well.

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9 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

Well, yes. Exactly. 

How to protect females while also protecting a subset of males - dysphoric males who live as women because they feel healthier and happier that way.

I know that's not what you meant - but I think it's interesting that you rest your argument on the idea that women, as a class, are oppressors of gender non conforming males, as a class. Hence in your comparison, when it comes to transwomen, the class 'women' is analogous to the class' 'whites, and to the class 'men'.

Firstly, I think that's largely ahistorical. Women, as a class, haven't had access to political and economic power en masse in their own right until fairly recently. In plenty of places they still don't. So to posit the class 'woman' as the oppressors of any male is a very temporally and geographically narrow viewpoint.

Secondly, to the class of women you assign this privilege called 'cis' - the idea that our internal sense of gender matches our sex, and that this enables us to walk easier in the world than GNC males.

That's interesting also, because plenty of women don't have an internal sense of gender. I know I don't. The closest I could get to it in queer terminology is to say I experience my inner voice as sexless, non-binary, perhaps ? So without a sense of gender (as distinct from an awareness of the female body and female experience in that body) it's hard to conceptualise this 'good fit'.

Many women also experience gender (sex stereotypes) as a hierarchical form of oppression (and this would be a classic feminist position). Gender doesn't reside within them, in this model, but outside of them, as social expectations used to control femaleness. These expectations are often experienced as damaging and harmful. To say that a woman's acceptance of her sexed body means she also accepts 'gender' is to ask women to identify with their own oppression. And that's not such a great thing. Certainly not a progressive thing. Not really a feminist thing, given that female adherence to sex stereotypes is often due to the social cost involved in rejecting them.

Cis privilege is the concept which allows you to map 'woman' onto 'white/wealthy/Western/male'. But if cis privilege doesn't exist - because internal gender identity doesn't exist, because the class ''women'  has never had the systemic power to punish and oppress a sub-set of males who step out of masculinity, or because gender oppresses women to the same extent it oppresses GNC males, then you end up with two vulnerable groups. And those groups are women, and transwomen. And yes, their rights at times conflict. Because the two groups have differing needs. And if both classes are vulnerable, then yes, you do have to start from a position of thinking about how you solve those conflicts without throwing either group under the bus.

The idea that this position (I'd call it  moderate - arguing that woman be defined as 'adult human female' certainly isn't a radical innovation ) is foul is a bit bemusing.

I am guessing you rest the 'foulness' on the idea that the above suggests transwomen pose an especial threat to women by virtue of their transness. It's not really that at all. There's nothing icky or sick or morally repulsive or dangerous about the idea that males sometimes transtion to live as if they were women. 

It's their maleness that is the problem. It's possible to identify out of cultural ideas attached to maleness (although many men struggle to identify out of their male socialisation, no matter their gender presentation); it's not possible to identify out of your sexed body, and your sex class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a complete dodge of the question should a marginalized group not fight for rights and basic dignity if it impacts another group and makes them feel resentful. I know you are able to go on at length about how you reject gender as a category and many here agree with you. I get that . But I also assume you as a feminist do not avoid feminist issues  because it breeds resentment in men.

 

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5 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

This is a complete dodge of the question should a marginalized group not fight for rights and basic dignity if it impacts another group and makes them feel resentful. I know you are able to go on at length about how you reject gender as a category and many here agree with you. I get that . But I also assume you as a feminist do not avoid feminist issues  because it breeds resentment in men.

 

I think (part of) her point was that in order to grant the premise of your questions, you have to assume that women are even capable of marginalizing/oppressing a particular subset of men, when in actuality, the gender roles and feelings those men claim as what makes them women are the same roles and feelings and projections that have been used to keep women in their place for a very long time.

And then the flip side is the argument that people who are born male but ID as female are not male in any sense and therefore are in fact marginalized by people of their own gender who don't accept that reality.

The reason Stella outlined all those things in her post was because those are all assumptions you made or take for granted when asking your questions. There's no way to answer it if you don't make the same assumptions about gender and sex.

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Just now, EmseB said:

I think (part of) her point was that in order to grant the premise of your questions, you have to assume that women are even capable of marginalizing/oppressing a particular subset of men, when in actuality, the gender roles and feelings those men claim as what makes them women are the same roles and feelings and projections that have been used to keep women in their place for a very long time.

And then the flip side is the argument that people who are born male but ID as female are not male in any sense and therefore are in fact marginalized by people of their own gender who don't accept that reality.

The reason Stella outlined all those things in her post was because those are all assumptions you made or take for granted when asking your questions. There's no way to answer it if you don't make the same assumptions about gender and sex.

 

I am not assuming women are the oppressors. 

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25 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

I am not assuming women are the oppressors. 

I'm willing to grant that I misread a lot of what you've been saying then.

I thought (part of) your point was that bio women who exclude trans women are oppressing/marginalizing trans women and perhaps further, that anyone (women included) who defines gender to align with biological traits is oppressing/marginalizing trans people.

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3 hours ago, OKBud said:

 

From where do the problems that women in society tend to face, that men do not tend to face, stem?

 

Briefly (since I already said this in the post you snipped the quote of me from): gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes can be recognized as a problem separate from issues around gender identity. If men and women were treated the same in every way in our society outside of the immediate realities of how we accommodate and acknowledge their different reproductive burdens, your argument that transgender women and cisgender women have no common concerns or experiences would hold more weight. Also, the frequently-cited stereotype of the late-transitioning wealthy white trans woman is not an accurate representation of transgender women as a whole. Such women may be a disproportionate voice in terms of activism because they have the resources at hand to make themselves visible and their voices heard, in part as a legacy of decades of wealthy white male privilege pre-transition. But if Kaitlyn Jenner is who you automatically think of when someone mentions transgender women, you are ignoring most of them.

Your dismissiveness of the on the ground realities of discrimination against transgender people--especially women--is convenient for emphasizing the overwhelming reality of male privilege. But here is a reality check for you: transgender women lose male privilege when they transition. Having had it in the past doesn't mean they have it in the present. They may have some legacy benefits of it, but not necessarily. Especially if we start looking at other intersectionalities, such as for women of color, those with low socioeconomic status (another thing a lot of transgender people lose with transition--socioeconomic status). Transgender women give up male privilege in order to survive. 

Likewise, transgender men like myself gain male privilege, even though doing so doesn't erase our history of childhood etc. being raised and treated as female. This gender-based privilege isn't the reason we transition, at least in Western society. I know exactly zero cisgender women (or women who maintain that they don't grok gender identity) who feel it is in their best interest for their own well being to begin hormone therapy, undergo surgery, and change their legal documents so they can live in the world as men. Your insistence that there is no such thing as cisgender privilege ignores the reality that transgender women experience discrimination and the double standards of society which burden women, while at the same time, transgender people--and transgender women more than transgender men--experience discrimination and stigma based on how many in society--including people like you--view transgender people. 

Maybe we should raise kids without gender. If we could get all of civilization on board with doing so, it would matter a whole lot less. Sexual orientation and gender identity would matter a whole lot less in such a world. Biological sex wouldn't matter in such a world until people were at the point in their lives that they want to have kids, and then sensible ways of handling the disparate burden of childbearing could be developed. Too bad that's not the world we live in.

 

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58 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

This is a complete dodge of the question should a marginalized group not fight for rights and basic dignity if it impacts another group and makes them feel resentful. I know you are able to go on at length about how you reject gender as a category and many here agree with you. I get that . But I also assume you as a feminist do not avoid feminist issues  because it breeds resentment in men.

 

 

Look, if feminists are proposing social changes that are really going to be harmful to men, they should be called out on it.

I can think of a few areas where I think there are issues.  I worry a lot about education for young boys and the fact that there are a lot more educational supports directed specifically to girls.  I don't like it that it is still seen as important for girls to have female spaces and mentors but not for boys, and organizations that used to do that are now all co-ed.  I object with some of the MeToo stuff that it's promoting a way of thinking that is pretty unbalanced with regard to men and women's sexuality, or is pushing a kind of double standard.  I think that the push to have women fulfilling themselves in the workplace, just like men, kind of overlooked the fact that wasn't really what was happening to men in the workplace at all.  

People have an obligation to think about the justice of what they want in relation to other people.  No one gets a pass because they suffer from one kind of oppression or anything else.

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12 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I'm willing to grant that I misread a lot of what you've been saying then.

I thought (part of) your point was that bio women who exclude trans women are oppressing/marginalizing trans women and perhaps further, that anyone (women included) who defines gender to align with biological traits is oppressing/marginalizing trans people.

 

 I will make this point: cisgender women who exclude transgender women ARE aiding in the continuance of the patriarchal system which oppresses and marginalizes all women and all transgender people to one extent or another.  This approach lets cisgender men keep sitting up at the top of the privilege pyramid unchallenged, just as arguments about which is worse, race discrimination vs. class discrimination helps uphold white supremacy and the oligarchy of wealth.

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20 minutes ago, Ravin said:

 

Briefly (since I already said this in the post you snipped the quote of me from): gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes can be recognized as a problem separate from issues around gender identity. If men and women were treated the same in every way in our society outside of the immediate realities of how we accommodate and acknowledge their different reproductive burdens, your argument that transgender women and cisgender women have no common concerns or experiences would hold more weight. Also, the frequently-cited stereotype of the late-transitioning wealthy white trans woman is not an accurate representation of transgender women as a whole. Such women may be a disproportionate voice in terms of activism because they have the resources at hand to make themselves visible and their voices heard, in part as a legacy of decades of wealthy white male privilege pre-transition. But if Kaitlyn Jenner is who you automatically think of when someone mentions transgender women, you are ignoring most of them.

Your dismissiveness of the on the ground realities of discrimination against transgender people--especially women--is convenient for emphasizing the overwhelming reality of male privilege. But here is a reality check for you: transgender women lose male privilege when they transition. Having had it in the past doesn't mean they have it in the present. They may have some legacy benefits of it, but not necessarily. Especially if we start looking at other intersectionalities, such as for women of color, those with low socioeconomic status (another thing a lot of transgender people lose with transition--socioeconomic status). Transgender women give up male privilege in order to survive. 

Likewise, transgender men like myself gain male privilege, even though doing so doesn't erase our history of childhood etc. being raised and treated as female. This gender-based privilege isn't the reason we transition, at least in Western society. I know exactly zero cisgender women (or women who maintain that they don't grok gender identity) who feel it is in their best interest for their own well being to begin hormone therapy, undergo surgery, and change their legal documents so they can live in the world as men. Your insistence that there is no such thing as cisgender privilege ignores the reality that transgender women experience discrimination and the double standards of society which burden women, while at the same time, transgender people--and transgender women more than transgender men--experience discrimination and stigma based on how many in society--including people like you--view transgender people. 

Maybe we should raise kids without gender. If we could get all of civilization on board with doing so, it would matter a whole lot less. Sexual orientation and gender identity would matter a whole lot less in such a world. Biological sex wouldn't matter in such a world until people were at the point in their lives that they want to have kids, and then sensible ways of handling the disparate burden of childbearing could be developed. Too bad that's not the world we live in.

 

 

Gender stereotypes are not the main reason that women as a group find themselves in a less powerful position than men in many cases.  Their reproductive role is the reason.  Often directly - if you have the potentiality of being pregnant, likely will be every year through your fertile years so long as you are sexually active, that is just a huge impact on the possibilities for your life and what you can do with it.    Even now when we can, at least for the present, keep families to one or two children, differences related directly to childbirth and childrearing comprise a lot of the political and social issues for women.

But in so far as gender roles exist and have existed, they almost all - I'd say all actually except I'm sure there must be an exception - come out of reproductive role.  Some of them are not really functional and can be overcome, but a fair number probably can't, as they are simply the way reproductive roles interact with culture.

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53 minutes ago, Ravin said:

 

Briefly (since I already said this in the post you snipped the quote of me from): gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes can be recognized as a problem separate from issues around gender identity. If men and women were treated the same in every way in our society outside of the immediate realities of how we accommodate and acknowledge their different reproductive burdens, your argument that transgender women and cisgender women have no common concerns or experiences would hold more weight. Also, the frequently-cited stereotype of the late-transitioning wealthy white trans woman is not an accurate representation of transgender women as a whole. Such women may be a disproportionate voice in terms of activism because they have the resources at hand to make themselves visible and their voices heard, in part as a legacy of decades of wealthy white male privilege pre-transition. But if Kaitlyn Jenner is who you automatically think of when someone mentions transgender women, you are ignoring most of them.

Your dismissiveness of the on the ground realities of discrimination against transgender people--especially women--is convenient for emphasizing the overwhelming reality of male privilege. But here is a reality check for you: transgender women lose male privilege when they transition. Having had it in the past doesn't mean they have it in the present. They may have some legacy benefits of it, but not necessarily. Especially if we start looking at other intersectionalities, such as for women of color, those with low socioeconomic status (another thing a lot of transgender people lose with transition--socioeconomic status). Transgender women give up male privilege in order to survive. 

Likewise, transgender men like myself gain male privilege, even though doing so doesn't erase our history of childhood etc. being raised and treated as female. This gender-based privilege isn't the reason we transition, at least in Western society. I know exactly zero cisgender women (or women who maintain that they don't grok gender identity) who feel it is in their best interest for their own well being to begin hormone therapy, undergo surgery, and change their legal documents so they can live in the world as men. Your insistence that there is no such thing as cisgender privilege ignores the reality that transgender women experience discrimination and the double standards of society which burden women, while at the same time, transgender people--and transgender women more than transgender men--experience discrimination and stigma based on how many in society--including people like you--view transgender people. 

Maybe we should raise kids without gender. If we could get all of civilization on board with doing so, it would matter a whole lot less. Sexual orientation and gender identity would matter a whole lot less in such a world. Biological sex wouldn't matter in such a world until people were at the point in their lives that they want to have kids, and then sensible ways of handling the disparate burden of childbearing could be developed. Too bad that's not the world we live in.

 

No, women (I refuse to use the term “cis”...as a woman, I despise it.) find it in their best interests to undergo hormone therapy an surgery to overcome specific conditions that no person who is not a biological woman will EVER face.  No person who is not a bio woman will undergo daily progesterone in oil shots just to keep her body from miscarrying.  No person who is not a bio woman will ever have a hysterectomy.   Or experience ovarian cancer. Or feel fear of the ever climbing c-section rate.  Or hope the donation truck that showed up after the hurricane had some tampax on it.  Or contemplate what to do about her pregnancy after rape.  And it’s true that other than the hormonal therapies for infertility, I have never personally experienced those things.  But that doesn’t change the fact that those issues are unique to bio women only and no woman who isn’t  a bio woman will ever have to deal with those issues.  

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52 minutes ago, Ravin said:

 

 I will make this point: cisgender women who exclude transgender women ARE aiding in the continuance of the patriarchal system which oppresses and marginalizes all women and all transgender people to one extent or another.  This approach lets cisgender men keep sitting up at the top of the privilege pyramid unchallenged, just as arguments about which is worse, race discrimination vs. class discrimination helps uphold white supremacy and the oligarchy of wealth.

Well, and this was my original point when I replied to Poppy. There are a whole lot of things in this post, basic definitions and categories, that are assumed by the person making this argument. I read your first sentence and think, well,  but I don't grant the whole premise of cisgender. I am not cis. I don't identify as such even if that's the category some would put me in.  What if I don't agree to a pyramid of privilege or matrix of oppression as a basis for how things should be worked out in society? Where does that leave us (general, not you and I specifically)?

If we cannot even agree on what gender is without appealing to how someone acts/dresses/feels/presents themselves in society, that, to me, is a non-starter.

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2 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

No, women (I refuse to use the term “cis”...as a woman, I despise it.) find it in their best interests to undergo hormone therapy an surgery to overcome specific conditions that no person who is not a biological woman will EVER face.  No person who is not a bio woman will undergo daily progesterone in oil shots just to keep her body from miscarrying.  No person who is not a bio woman will ever have a hysterectomy.   Or experience ovarian cancer. Or feel fear of the ever climbing c-section rate.  Or hope the donation truck that showed up after the hurricane had some tampax on it.  Or contemplate what to do about her pregnancy after rape.  And it’s true that other than the hormonal therapies for infertility, I have never personally experienced those things.  But that doesn’t change the fact that those issues are unique to bio women only and no woman who isn’t  a bio woman will ever have to deal with those issues.  

Well, and along with all that, a biological male has little to fear in terms of a biological female overpowering them physically in many/most situations.

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3 hours ago, Ravin said:

 

 I will make this point: cisgender women who exclude transgender women ARE aiding in the continuance of the patriarchal system which oppresses and marginalizes all women and all transgender people to one extent or another.  This approach lets cisgender men keep sitting up at the top of the privilege pyramid unchallenged, just as arguments about which is worse, race discrimination vs. class discrimination helps uphold white supremacy and the oligarchy of wealth.

 

Nope. 

Misogyny can be challenged without asking women to pretend that sex differences, sex linked roles and sex based interests no longer exist.

When GNC males insist on taking what is not theirs - medals, spaces, places, language - when even one woman is saying 'no', that's just garden variety sexism. 

Now, can GNC males be allies in the feminist project ? Yes. But to do that they need to quit this nasty habit of female erasure. Many do. I think quite a few of the arguments here are behind the times, in that plenty of transexual people are seeing that this codification of gender is, in fact, a conservative project, not a liberation.

 

 

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4 hours ago, EmseB said:

I think (part of) her point was that in order to grant the premise of your questions, you have to assume that women are even capable of marginalizing/oppressing a particular subset of men, when in actuality, the gender roles and feelings those men claim as what makes them women are the same roles and feelings and projections that have been used to keep women in their place for a very long time.

And then the flip side is the argument that people who are born male but ID as female are not male in any sense and therefore are in fact marginalized by people of their own gender who don't accept that reality.

The reason Stella outlined all those things in her post was because those are all assumptions you made or take for granted when asking your questions. There's no way to answer it if you don't make the same assumptions about gender and sex.

 

Thanks. I spent ages on that post! And it was a good faith answer. 

 

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Poppy, it's not about resentment.

It's about justice. 

Many demands of trans rights activists are not just towards women and girls. 

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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

No, women (I refuse to use the term “cis”...as a woman, I despise it.) find it in their best interests to undergo hormone therapy an surgery to overcome specific conditions that no person who is not a biological woman will EVER face.  No person who is not a bio woman will undergo daily progesterone in oil shots just to keep her body from miscarrying.  No person who is not a bio woman will ever have a hysterectomy.   Or experience ovarian cancer. Or feel fear of the ever climbing c-section rate.  Or hope the donation truck that showed up after the hurricane had some tampax on it.  Or contemplate what to do about her pregnancy after rape.  And it’s true that other than the hormonal therapies for infertility, I have never personally experienced those things.  But that doesn’t change the fact that those issues are unique to bio women only and no woman who isn’t  a bio woman will ever have to deal with those issues.  

 

Amen. 

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On 10/29/2018 at 10:56 PM, texasmom33 said:

 

Tsk, tsk. I go off to teach my kids for a day and y'all blow up a thread in the meantime to a point where I can hardly keep up!! But @poppy I assured you I would reply, so here goes my best after a full day of kids and two glasses of wine, even if I feel that I'm horribly behind in the conversation. ?

As to your first point- I'm going to start with the disclaimer that I am admittedly out of my element on this. I am the furthest thing from a SJW on earth, which has made it difficult for me to frame  some of your question in my head. It's just not my calling- to be very public about certain things- and I'm okay with that. I've given a lot of thought to your question though, and the best way I can approach it to illustrate my point is through a public health platform, because that's where the vast majority of my experience is, and where I am comfortable. Hopefully I can do this without being too long winded. The question is: How do I get a message across without alienating people, while speaking truth/seeking justice? 

To begin with, I think you have to acknowledge from the get go that there are people you are not going to reach, for a multitude of reasons. I'm going to use a fairly controversial issue as an example- vaccines and autism. If I am coming at this from a public health perspective, I want, no I  need, the vast majority of a population to vaccinate. Otherwise, it doesn't work. The whole system collapses if I don't have a strong majority percentage.

Yet, I have this very vulnerable and rightfully sensitive subgroup who are dealing with children with autism and no real scientific cause. There is a lot of theory and yet nothing definitive telling them what caused this to happen to their child, and a significant portion of them are vehemently opposed to my plan, as a PH official, to encourage vaccination for myriad reasons. Then I have a gradient, so to speak, of other groups which range all the way from die-hard vaccinators who never even miss a flu shot for their kids, through the people on the fence who could be convinced by the next convicting news or FB article, then to people who think vaccinations are a governmental conspiracy and then some. Where am I going to start? I'm going to start with the fence sitters for a targeted message and I'm going to build up my base with the die-hard vaccinators. I am not going to go after the hurting people, who are rightfully skeptical of just about everything any "official" or corporate executive is going to try and say, whether rightly or wrongly,  because their child was injured. I'm not going to step on those toes to be honest. But I am not going to stop my message about the importance about vaccination as a whole across the entire population, because if I don't- I am morally committed to the truth that at that point people will die. So I can still speak my truth, so to speak, and get my point across, without becoming outright authoritarian about it.

I am not going to push for a law that compels the anti-vaccine people to vaccinate, or worse yet, push for forced vaccinations or for children to be removed from parents who don't vaccinate. And what's nuts, is I don't think any of these scenarios are that far fetched, as far as my vaccine example OR for the situation of how parents may or may not choose to deal with a dysphoric child may result in a custody issue for the parents. I think that is clear when there are parents who are fearful that they may lose custody of their children if they don't get on board with gender reassignment surgery, because there are people willing in the local governments to push the button at the child's request to do so and override the parents authority, that we are definitely in an very volatile societal point.

The irony is not lost on me that many of the driving forces behind such removals of parental control over children with gender dysphoria, in cases where the parents perhaps promote more of a "wait and see" approach than the child would prefer, would become absolutely apoplectic if the same was done over a vaccination and the state barged in and forced vaccinations upon children with the parents losing custody if they didn't comply. Yet the ACLU will step in as "advocates for the child" for one, but not the other. Why exactly is that?  I don't think either of those scenarios are okay, even slightly, so as far as my approach, I'm going to use honey and sugar, and maybe money. I'm not going to use a stick where the stick= jail time to try and win hearts and minds. Much like the OP's situation- I don't care how much I personally might disagree with what the parents are doing. I'm not willing at this point in time with any of the evidence I've seen put forth on either side to try and pull the "nuclear option" so to speak to have the child removed. 

And I know you said in another post that it isn't the case here- as far as legislation on this type of gender politic, but it actually is on the state, county and city levels in many places, and they are growing bolder with a plan to expand. CA is attempting to legislate pronoun usage, I believe emboldended by Canada's "progress" on the issue,  and I believe a municipality in NY already has. I haven't had time to double check, but I believe it is WA, and possibly OR where teens can seek the assistance of local government entities to have their health decisions removed from their parents and given as proxy (or whatever the proper term is) to the local government. 

As far as your second question- what do I define as identity politics, I think that more eloquent people have posted about this issue on the thread since i was last on, and again- I am beginning to feel a bit out of my element on this thread as a whole. But my interpretation of identity politics, is when you have a set up as such: 

I am a member of____________group, which has been historically marginalized/attacked/brutalized/exploited (pick all that apply), therefore I am owed______________ and because I have had my voice/rights stripped previously I get to define the terms that determine the composition of said group. If you (the "outsider"), or other groups not part of our own try and counter those term or question the validity thereof, then you are marginalizing/attacking/brutalizing/exploiting our group all over again and are as much of a perpetrator as those who have harassed us historically. You should be, and will be publicly shamed. You are a member of (fill in "privileged" group here)  and therefore you have no right to speak as far as "our"______________ group. Please remove yourself from the conversation because you are a privileged/elitist/racist/sexist (select appropriate term) to participate. Your time is over. Our time is now. History will be on our side, and you are no longer relevant to the situation. 

Now. I fully admit feminist played this little game and perhaps helped write one of the books on it. And for reasons that Stella and others have mentioned, that is a large part of why I distanced myself from the feminist movement from the 90' once I went to college and developed an  understanding beyond "feminists just want to have the same opportunities as men, like voting and owning stuff, and physical autonomy."  Once the cold reality (or theory) started to set in, I didn't like the direction things were going, even though I couldn't put my finger on exactly where all of my hesitancies were. But I decided the 4th wave of feminism, or whatever wave it is at this point- was not for me. Then for reasons still unknown to me, the feminist wagon got hitched to the transgender wagon more strongly that transgenderism did the LGBT wagon.  I think this is somewhat due to LGB hesitancy to become enmeshed in the whole gender politic thing, but I'm not a scholar on the topic to speak knowledgeably- it's more of an observation. If they is why, then props to them for foreseeing the trainwreck this is going to be in the longhaul, even if they haven't managed to avoid it entirely. Anyway, now I think we are seeing the very first shots fired over the bow where the feminists are realizing the vast implication of what they've gotten themselves into.......and that's going to play out for a long time. 

As far as my prompt above, I don't think that an avoidance of identity politics needs to ignore wrongs and injustices either in the past or present. That's not my point at all. But when you silence one group who may have legitimate concerns over what is being said, who are attempting to have a dialogue, and after all are still very legitimate players in the greater society, you're going to offend people who might otherwise have been an ally and it's going to turn to our side/their side pretty quickly. It is and is going to continue to play out across race/ethnicity/gender lines and I'm sure more things than I can think of at the moment.

I find it ironic now, that when race relations are at a high level of volatility,  people on every side of the political spectrum are paying hundreds of dollars to find out more about their "ethnic heritage" through DNA site so they can further identify with a group. Based off of some for-profit company's reference range that may or may not be legitimate......it's just crazy to my cyncial self. But people like groups. They always have, so I don't see the identity thing going away anytime soon- if anything it's going to blow up more with various dust ups here and there. But I do think  these "othering" groups are not a good long term strategy for the stability of any society, let alone once as diverse as the U.S. 

I think the issue with gender dysphoria is that once you've gone through puberty of your biological sex, "passing" as a member of the sex that you identify with becomes much more challenging.  So it becomes much harder to wait and see, because waiting and seeing and letting nature do its work has real, life long repercussions.  If you let a kid just be who they are and put them on puberty blockers, I think most people, even trans advocates, are okay with that.  But I understand where people are hesitant to just wait and see, when puberty is going to exacerbate the issue for many of the kids who do not just outgrow it, and you can't tell in advance who that will be. 

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19 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

I'll say right off the bat that @EmseB sums up my reply a post or two above. But just to clarify a few things from your quote to me-- women asking to vote weren't trying to become men. They were asking to be able to engage in the same political process as men, but as women. They didn't want to be men. You can want the same rights as someone and not have to sign your soul or body or what have you over to do so. If transwomen wanted to form a group specific to the unique issues/prejudices they face and be proponents for their own rights, as transpersons,  and protections for their group, more power to them and I'd hardly be getting my knickers in a twist over it. But that's not what they are doing. 

So I don't think the comparisons are near equal. Trans-women think that despite having a penis and testicles, or having had them before they chose to remove them; as well as a lifetime pre-transition of having testosterone course through their bodies that "some unquantifiable thing" that no one can define, qualifies them to be included in the  exact same as a person born with ovaries and a uterus. How exactly does that work? Because they *think* that they *think* the same as a female? Whatever that means. They have feminine thoughts? They dislike the body they're in and can't identify with the traits of their born sex, so they must therefore qualify as the other binary choice? And that is what makes them interchangeable with a biological woman? I'm sorry, but I don't agree. 

Transwomen are biological men saying that they are women. That is not a false statement. There is nothing hateful with making that statement because it. is. a. fact. I can scientifically quantify it  in multiple ways. Just the same way I can drop something have it hit the ground and proclaim that gravity still exists. Except for now people are telling me that biological men saying they are exactly the same as me are right, and if I don't realize that then I'm clearly in the wrong. Because men aren't men if they proclaim they're women. It's just that simple.  If that's not gaslighting, I honestly don't know what on earth is. I don't understand how this ever even became an argument. It's ludicrous. 

The only thing making transwomen "women" is that they are proclaiming it. I can proclaim things all day long and that doesn't make it so. I can paint myself a different color and that doesn't make me a different ethnicity or race. And I don't care what dysphoria someone with an M.D. or PhD might say I had if I chose to do so, I don't see that being received well at all- and particularly poorly by the people who are also telling me that men can be women and why am I being so hateful about the whole thing?  Why is that exactly? Would anyone want that to be okay? That's sort of frightening. I'm not okay with that even slightly. Just because I want to identify with a group, no matter how badly that I might want to, reality doesn't work that way. 

I will never in a million years understand what it is like to be born a black woman into a lower socio-economic status, much less, a black MAN born into similar situation. I mean, the whole concept is laughable tbh. Where the hell would I possibly get off doing that? But this. isn't. any. different. So, if I want to say I'm a black person, then I'm a beyond a racist, as well as being totally deluded, but if I want to say I'm a man, I'm enlightened. Alrighty then. 

Honestly, I give up. People in this thread have made excellent points that I will not be able to add anything to. BlueGoat, and StellaM and EmseB and Maize and others I'm sure I'm leaving off have a deeper grasp on the theory, the viewpoint I'm coming from, and everything else behind this than I do. I have truly appreciated the civil discourse here and the thought provoking questions, but I'm going to politely step aside from contributing further in this thread now. I don't think there is anything more I can add that is going to move this discussion forward or into any unchartered territory. I feel like we're stuck in a circle and I've just exhausted anything remotely intelligent I have to add here. Until the next time, good night to all. 

 

 

It sounds like you really think every trans person is a deluded or a liar, and will extend no sympathy or respect beyond that. It’s socially   acceptable blackface and nothing else. This post got 10 likes .  10!

I’m not saying you are hateful. I’m not attempting to censor you. I’m glad you posted and were genuine.   I didn’t quote  you to argue - I respect being done with talking. I have been there myself sometimes.  

It does  makes me really sad that this is the prevailing WTM view. This is a post about other posters here and about friend of mine.  This is why I keep replying. 

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6 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I think the issue with gender dysphoria is that once you've gone through puberty of your biological sex, "passing" as a member of the sex that you identify with becomes much more challenging.  So it becomes much harder to wait and see, because waiting and seeing and letting nature do its work has real, life long repercussions.  If you let a kid just be who they are and put them on puberty blockers, I think most people, even trans advocates, are okay with that.  But I understand where people are hesitant to just wait and see, when puberty is going to exacerbate the issue for many of the kids who do not just outgrow it, and you can't tell in advance who that will be. 

 

It's not just that most kids will desist; it's that we don't really know what the effects of not going through your natal sex puberty are on cognition and sexual fuction, and we don't know what the effects of life time opposite sex hormone treatment are. We just don't know. We know there's an impact on fertility. We're hardly even starting to know about the effects of puberty blockers on kids who only took them due to precocious puberty. It seems like a big risk for the benefit of 'passing'. 

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1 hour ago, StellaM said:

Poppy, it's not about resentment.

It's about justice. 

Many demands of trans rights activists are not just towards women and girls. 

 

If you go through the posts again you will see this is precisely what I argued. I am not asking  women to feel guilty or resentful at all  .

And please do not call me out (again) on using ‘women’ without qualifing that I mean cis women. I have been avoiding using the term based on the requests of posters here. 

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2 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

It sounds like you really think every trans person is a deluded or a liar, and will extend no sympathy or respect beyond that. It’s socially   acceptable blackface and nothing else. This post got 10 likes .  10!

I’m not saying you are hateful. I’m not attempting to censor you. I’m glad you posted and were genuine.   I didn’t quote  you to argue - I respect being done with talking. I have been there myself sometimes.  

It does  makes me really sad that this is the prevailing WTM view. This is a post about other posters here and about friend of mine.  This is why I keep replying. 

I comfort myself with the knowledge that it is not the prevailing view outside of the WTM.

I also felt I needed to keep involved in these discussions because of PMs from members who let me know sharing my son's story actually changed their minds on this issue but I think I'll stay away from them from now on. 

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5 minutes ago, poppy said:

 

It sounds like you really think every trans person is a deluded or a liar, and will extend no sympathy or respect beyond that. It’s socially   acceptable blackface and nothing else. This post got 10 likes .  10!

I’m not saying you are hateful. I’m not attempting to censor you. I’m glad you posted and were genuine.   I didn’t quote  you to argue - I respect being done with talking. I have been there myself sometimes.  

It does  makes me really sad that this is the prevailing WTM view. This is a post about other posters here and about friend of mine.  This is why I keep replying. 

 

These are not posts about your friend. They are posts about an ideology. 

 In any case, you are very selective in your reading.

If you were to go through my posts you would see that I have been careful to talk about dysphoria being real, treatment being neccessary for many of those with dysphoria, and that the dysphoric who transition due to their dysphoria should have the same human rights as the rest of us. That is not disturbing.

You are disturbed that plenty of people do not believe the same way you do about gender. We don't believe 'woman' is a social contruct, we don't believe in cis privilege, we don't believe that women are oppressed on the basis of gender (gender's the tool! not the cause!), we don't believe there is evidence for 1. innate gender identity and 2. that this should take precedence over sex at all tmes.

We do believe that sex is innate, forms a distinct and useful category. that girls and women have experiences that are, for the most part, very different to that of transwomen, and that the needs of the two groups are not the same. 

You are upset that some people are not full on social constructionists, basically., and that we don't really want laws written on that basis.

And that's very unreasonable. 

 

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