Greenbone wrote: ↑
September 3rd, 2019, 9:43 am
The categories of gender with their associated appearances/behaviors itself is a social construct. However, someone's feelings dictate which of those socially constructed categories they believe they belong to.
When a biological man says they identify as a woman, I don't think they are saying they know what it feels like to be a woman. They are saying that they naturally prefer to exhibit the outward appearance/behavior associated with women in our society.
When a person with anorexia says they are overweight, they are making a measurable claim about their body that can be disproved. But what is a biological man saying when they say they are a woman? Are they saying that they have female sex organs? No, they are saying they identify more with the gender role of women in their society. That cannot be disproved. In fact, it could easily be true. So I wouldn't call it a delusion.
What if for instance, a man was born and felt like they were a biological man, but just naturally had a preference for wearing clothing that we usually associate with women? What if his whole life, he wore nothing but clothing for women, but in every other way he is a man? Is he suffering from a delusion? I wouldn't say so. I would just say that he has a preference for wearing women's clothing, and I don't see why there is anything wrong with that since the clothing we assign to different genders is kind of arbitrary has been in flux throughout history. Similarly, a man could naturally prefer other things like behaviors, jobs, or personalities more commonly associated with women. In society because of social conditioning, it's not very easy for somebody to live completely independently of everything else that is going on around them and simply choose everything they prefer for their life. Usually we have to make choices like which religion or political ideology we identify with and then because of group behavior, we end up taking on a lot of extra qualities of those groups we might not have initially desired. Right now in our society, gender is a binary distinction and someone trying to live in between that distinction like a man who only wears women's clothing would not be accepted by most people. For some people, they may jsut decide they prefer to live wholly as a woman than as a man and vice-versa.
Men in our society wear dresses, sport long hair and wear jewelry and makeup and still call themselves "men". So wearing dresses, sporting long hair and wearing jewelry and makeup have nothing to do with gender as a social construct. I don't see why a "transgender" needs to use terms in a way that makes them incoherent. Why can't a man wear a dress and makeup and still be a "man"?
Gender and sex are the same thing. There are what we call "males" and "females" that distinguish between the different sexes and there are "men" and "women" which are terms that make distinctions not just among sexes but among species. "Man" is a human male just as a "buck" is a male deer.
There is also the problem of claiming to be women and then go to have surgery to change their "sex". The problem is that their bodies try to revert back to their original form. A man has to wear a stint to keep the wound between his legs open. A real woman doesn't have to do that.
Wearing a dress and makeup doesn't make one a woman. One's species and sexual characteristics are what determine whether one is a woman or not.
The other problem is parents raising their children as a member of the opposite sex. This is what leads one to adopt the norm of wearing dresses as a male. We all adopt our norms at a very young age. Our norms are what we feel comfortable with as we get older. So it makes sense that these people feel comfortable, or normal, wearing dresses when they are older and then feel the rejection of others.
Dr. John Money was the one that proposed the idea that gender was a social construct. I find it strange that Money is rarely mentioned in these kinds of discussions when he was the one that started it. His experiment failed miserably and led his experimental subject, David Reimer, to commit suicide. Doesn't this sound familiar? Transgenders have a extremely high suicide rate, not because of how they are treated by others (African-Americans can claim a whole slew of injustices against them yet their suicide rate is only a fraction of transgenders), but because of their confusion about their identity. Are they what they feel they are (their sex), or they way they were raised? It seems to me that parents have a much greater influence than the rest of society does on how an individual identifies themselves and goes on to become a productive member of society.