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Do you see transgendered folks as female?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Narz, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    It is one thing to be in favour of 'equality in front of the law', which is the just thing to do, and a hugely different one to somehow demand that another person has a view on someone just because it is social-justice friendly or whatever.
    It doesn't work in this way. Nor is anyone to be expected to think highly or positively of anyone else. It either happens or it does not, and as long as there is no crime it is far more problematic to regulate thoughts and views.
     
  2. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    There are lots of ways a group can be discriminated against without a crime being committed, even despite apparent equality in front of the law.

    I'm willing to go out on a radical limb and say I think its more important that historically marginalised groups have freedom from harassment than other groups have freedom to harass.
     
  3. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Depends on what you mean by "groups", cause a group can be an official organisation (with some power too), but a "group" can also be random people in a small social circle. The latter (as well as individuals) should not be targeted for views, let alone thoughts they do not express to anyone they may not like anyway.

    I mean imagine how it would be like if one had to speak potentially harmingly to an obese person, just cause they had to express they do not like obesity. While it is jerkish to do so and harm others it is not at all jerkish to not like something you see in someone. There is no one who likes everything, nor would that be natural or a state of betterment, since it would be self-imposed and unstable/fake.
     
  4. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    It's not the same but it is comparable. Better analogy within the LGBT spectrum: you wouldn't call a gay person a MiG-15 would you? Why not? Then apply the same reasoning to tranny.
     
  5. illram

    illram Deity Retired Moderator

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    Who said anything about regulating thought or thinking everyone has to think highly or positively of anyone else?
     
  6. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Well, some may think negatively of TG people? Some think negatively of rich people, or bald people, or dumb or autistic or lawyers or whatever. It doesn't magically go away if one asks that some particular over-category is spared.

    People routinely think bad of others in all sorts of ways.
     
  7. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    How about spazzo? Is that comparable to either tranny or the n word?
     
  8. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    TBH, 'spastic' isn't really a nice term either. I suppose it literally means 'breaking away'.
     
  9. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    It's a term that people with cerebral palsy will often use amongst themselves, though.

    As is "crip" by people with a range of chronic physical disabilities.
     
  10. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    I hardly think that merely saying "no, I don't consider them to be really female", when specifically asked a direct question on the matter, constitutes "harassment".
     
  11. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    What about my freedom to tell them they're wrong when they tell me that I'm wrong for telling them they're wrong? Etc etc.

    While that's a nice attempt at a logical "gotcha", all you're really doing in this case is defending the idea of villifying someone for merely expressing an opinion when prompted to express that opinion. Now I'm not telling anyone they CAN'T do that, just that it's not a particularly morally superior stance to take.
     
  12. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    Condescendingly setting yourself up as the morally superior party who is above the lesser beings who don't think the same as you isn't really much better than being a yelling jerkwad really.
     
  13. illram

    illram Deity Retired Moderator

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    Telling someone they're wrong is not necessarily vilifying them. Unless you are assuming that your opinion is somehow more objectively correct than theirs.

    If you insist on calling a "Mister" a "Ms." for example even when they have expressly stated they are otherwise, and they tell you you are offending them, I don't see a problem with them telling you so. That to me isn't vilification. The implication I get from what you are saying is that somehow your opinion on their identity is entitled to more weight than their own self-perception of themselves, and you should furthermore be free from any sort of criticism of holding that opinion, otherwise you are somehow being oppressed or something.

    No one is saying spare them. Or at least I'm not. I'm just saying that I think it's absurd to focus on how much care we should have for all these special flowers who should be able to criticize a transgender identity freely without anyone telling them otherwise.
     
  14. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    Well you're obviously not paying any attention to anything I'm saying then because:

    a) At no point have I stated that I like to go around challenging transsexuals' self-identity to their faces. In fact I've pretty much said the opposite.

    b) The "vilification" I was talking about was coming from this thread, not from any of these hypothetical transsexuals you think I've been harassing. You know, like telling people that they should be brainwashed or killed for the greater good, rather than just letting people think what they think. And yes, I know it was hyperbolic, but it still speaks to the underlying attitude.

    c) I never said I should be free from criticism. But telling someone that they NEED to change how they think in a condescending way isn't really criticism. Emphasis on the word think again, as opposed to act. Going around harassing transsexuals would be an act.

    It would be nice if, just occasionally on here, someone could argue with what I've actually said, rather than with some other stance that they've wrongly assumed I probably hold.
     
  15. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    I thought that the whole point of the thread was about if we were actually considering such "Mister" to be in fact a "Mister" or a "Ms.".
     
  16. illram

    illram Deity Retired Moderator

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    I'll take your word for it, and say sorry. :) I admit to assuming you were implying something based on what I remember in your posting history. :hatsoff:
     
  17. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    On that note, there are also several people in this thread who are using the word "transsexual," which is similarly considered to be a slur. Transsexual was a medical term denoting someone who had undergone sex reassignment surgery, but it dates to a period when sex and gender were considered separate things, with sex being the biological side and gender being a psychological self-identity. Today it is not used by the transgender community because it draws a distinction between "gender" and "sex" when there is none. People are what gender(s) they say they are, end of story.

    If you absolutely cannot think of humans as anything but genitalia, then speak of penis-havers and vagina-havers; assuming that men have penises and women have vaginas is cissexist and denies people basic elements of their self-identity.
     
  18. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    All who disagree must be reeducated. :assimilate:

    People have a right to assert their self-determined gender. Others would be reasonable and socially charitable to agree with them.

    Gender has too many definitions, among my favorite, to date, is J. Butler's "gender as performance." The judges of a performance are the audience, however, as gender is a social construct, not an individual construct. That we say "people are what gender(s) they say they are" is a current social construct.

    End of story? Are we truly at the end of humanity's story for defining gender?
     
  19. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Judith Butler's performative gender formula has been roundly criticized as a huge step backwards for feminism and for being trans-antagonistic. You'll see why:

    Allow me to quote Sherry Wolf's Sexuality and Socialism at length:


    The trouble with "gender trouble"

    Queer theorists' project of deconstructing given truths to reveal how they have been created by society also translates into denying gender and sexual categories. They argue that gender is "discursively constructed," and therefore can be "discursively" deconstructed - to define is to "reify" or make something concrete, and therefore part of our struggle, they argue, is to reject definitions. Marxists, in contrast, see gender and sexual categories as socially constructed, and therefore they can only be socially deconstructed, with language following behind. Most famously among the queer theorists, Butler writes that gender is a sort of "cultural fiction, a performative effect of reiterative acts": Gender is the repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being. In her book Gender Trouble, Butler argues that "there is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender," and so feminists as well as LGBT liberationists who take these "cultural fictions" as givens are trapped. However, it appears that it is Butler and company who have trapped themselves in a discursive enigma of their own creation.

    It is one thing to argue that the way we physically comport ourselves, dress, style our hair, etc., is at least partly an involuntary performance shaped by the culture in which we are raised. No doubt that this is true and Simone de Beauvoir's 1949 book The Second Sex makes this case eloquently, as Bulter acknowledges. It is quite another to conclude from this that all gender is a hoax that can be contested through parody, as Butler suggests. She writes: "practices of parody can serve to reengage and reconsolidate the very distinction between a privileged and naturalized gender configuration and one that appears as derived, phantasmatic, and mimetic - a failed copy, as it were." She argues that positive political change can arise from destabilizing society's construction and assumptions of gender through drag and other forms of parody. Cloud takes on Butler's utopianism for substituting struggle with a theater of the self in which intimacy is staged and words are detached from their material referents. The theory of performativity locates agency in the 'consciousness'....of individuals and not in posing a collective challenge to capitalism. Yes, gender and its norms are both socially constructed and constricting, and some people, such as those who are transgender, find these norms asphyxiating. But the problem is that we live in a sexist society in which the way one is treated, how much one is paid, one's physical vulnerability, and a zillion other considerations are shaped by one's gender - not that we each have a gender. As the introduction to Butler's piece in the Transgender Studies Reader asks: "if gender is not real, how real can its oppression be?" Naturally, any liberatory politics must embrace the multiplicity of sexual behaviors and mannerisms, styles of dress, and physical demeanors that human beings desire to express. It must reject the legal norms that demand a person's physical sex must conform to their gender identity. But arguing that gender is a meaningless category, rather than a more ambiguous one than some social scientists believe, raises interesting philosophical questions yet drives us into a theoretical organizational cul-de-sac.

    If woman is a fiction, it raises an obvious difficulty in fighting for her rights. Butler argues, "The premature insistence on a stable subject of feminism, understood as a seamless category of women, inevitably generates multiple refusals to accept the category." She then draws the conclusions that feminism itself, in fighting for this fictional category, is "coercive and regulatory." Here, stable concepts and clarity of meaning are construed as "regulatory." Rather, it is the coercive powers of the law that impose the notion that a person's genitalia must necessarily conform to their gender identity.

    Butler and Sedgwick rightly take on feminists who raise essentialist arguments - that women are nurturing and more passive as a result of their biology, for example - but don't get at the real-world issues that confine most women, and men for that matter, such as their income, access to education, health care, and so on. In fact, one glaring deficiency of queer theory is how little it even attempts to engage with the realities of most peoples' lives. While "bodies" are analyzed ad nauseam by these theorists, their writings assume that people's gender and sexuality are the most defining aspects of their lives. Surely people's bodies are partially constructed by society, more specifically by what class one is born into. One is more likely to be obese, smoke, die young, and have greater stress if one must work long hours, sit in horrendous traffic jams, have little leisure time, and all the other class-influenced aspects of our lives. Historian Harriet Malinowitz's quip about queer theorists rings true here: "the queer theorist network often resembles a social club open to residents of a neighborhood most of us can't afford to live in."

    Many who have theorized about gender and sex have conceived of a distinction between the two in a way that Butler describes as "sex is to nature or "the raw" as gender is to culture or "the cooked." While some may agree that femininity and masculinity are social creations, biological sex, it is usually argued, is not - you are either born with one set of bits or the other. On the contrary, Butler and others rightly challenged the limited notion of a sexual binary of male/female given the evidence of millions of intersex people with ambiguous genitalia who do not fit neatly into either category. The scientific fact of anatomical variation that runs the spectrum of possibilities, however, is not a clarion call to erase male and female from our vocabularies -these words signify real live beings in the world, several billion in fact. Instead, it raises the concept of ambiguity in the realm of sex for a minority of people who are traumatized not by the terms "male" and "female" by by a society that will not allow for sexual fluidity, uncertainty, and difference.

    The Intersex Society of North America explains, "we've learned that many intersex people are perfectly comfortable adopting either a male or female gender identity and are not seeking a genderless society or to label themselves as members of a third gender class." In the real-life experiences of those whose interests queer theorists tell us their ideas sever, it is not the labels that transgender and intersex people abhor, rather it is the medical establishment and other institutions that create their dilemma. The labels merely serve to describe what ash been codified by law and social practice. It is interesting to note that even those drawn to these ideas and who sometimes use the contorted vocabulary of queer theory must abandon them when the rubber hits the road, so to speak, as transgender activist Riki Wilchins does in her movement organizing. Tragically, because of the distorted tradition of socialism and a weakened left, ID politics and queer theory play off each other in some academic quarters as if in a hermetically sealed bubble. Yet neither is capable of delivering sexual liberation, and their shared suspicions of objective truth and skepticism about the possibilities for common mobilization lead both to an interminable standoff.

    Postmodern ideas developed and flourished in the post-1960s period, when a generation of Americans grew up without participating in or even witnessing class struggles on a mass scale. Tens of millions have now come of age in a society where these politics of difference and individualism appear as common sense, which perhaps accounts for the continued widespread acceptance of the language of these theories even as their social relevance recedes. As anthropologist Max Kirsch astutely points out,

    "queer theory's highlighting of the impossibility of identity and the relativity of experience closely follows the development of current capitalist relations of production, where the self-contained individual is central to the economic goal of creating profit through reproduction and its by-product, consuming...It is thus my view that the tenets of Queer theory closely pattern the characteristics of social relations that it claims to reject. Rather than building resistance to the capitalist production of inequality, it has, paradoxically, mirrored it."

    As Kirsch puts it,"we are not alone." Human beings are social animals who cannot exist or thrive without each other. We are weakest as individuals. While ruling-class ideology promotes rugged individualism and the development of personal attributes as means toward success, it is as a collective class that ordinary people have the power to make change. Not because we are all the same - obviously not- but because we all have a common enemy in the system and the tiny class of parasites who run it. Regardless of our differences and how experiences of oppression manifest themselves, workers have more in common than not. What class society has constructed, organized forces in opposition to it can tear down. However, the philosophical poststructuralism of queer theory is a fetter on the physical deconstruction of this oppressive system.

    Queer theory takes some of its problems created by identity politics activists, who often draw barriers between oppressed groups, and attempts to resolve them by theorizing out of existence both groups and barriers. What neither seems to accept is that simply because someone cannot identify as lesbian does not mean that she cannot identify with lesbians. Nobody can refuse, of course, that only a gay man with AIDS, for example, can know what it is like to go through this world as a sexual minority often blamed by right-winters for having brought onto himself a potentially fatal ailment. Similarly, only a Black woman can know what life is like in her skin. However, queer theorists elevate the realities of differences into insurmountable obstacles to common identity, and by extension, common action is called into question as well.

    The ideas that gave theoretical expression to an era of low struggles, a tiny organized left, and neoliberal economic politics that ran roughshod over ordinary peoples' lives no longer appear to have the same currency in social movements. As we enter an era in which demands are being made on a new administration [this piece was written in 2009) and the first shoots of struggle are surfacing in labor and among LGBT people, activists drawn from the ranks of the downwardly mobile middle and working classes are seeking practical strategies and politics to achieve real change. Great possibilities lie in the leftward shifting consciousness regarding homosexuality in US society and the growing sense that in unity there is strength.
     
  20. daft

    daft The fargone

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    transgendered?
    I don't want to state here what I really think, hahe.
     

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