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Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

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Consul
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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Consul » July 19th, 2019, 5:45 pm

Greta wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 12:57 am
Consul, no offence, but what you say is beyond obvious. Yes, the grass is green and the sky is blue and Trump should have divested his conflicts of interest before entering office. No one needs to be told these things.
What point are you trying to make, Consul, with this extreme obviousness?
Aren't you aware that there are numerous transgender theorists and transgender people who would vehemently (or even militantly) revolt against my claim that transwomen/transmen can become quasi-women/quasi-men at most (through physical feminization/masculinization)?!
Those guys are convinced that transwomen/transmen are (literally and really) women/men, even if they are physically unfeminized/unmasculinized?! Their sole criterion for actual womanhood/manhood is self-identification as a woman/man, everything else, especially biological aspects, being totally irrelevant.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Greta » July 19th, 2019, 6:33 pm

Consul wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 5:45 pm
Greta wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 12:57 am
Consul, no offence, but what you say is beyond obvious. Yes, the grass is green and the sky is blue and Trump should have divested his conflicts of interest before entering office. No one needs to be told these things.
What point are you trying to make, Consul, with this extreme obviousness?
Aren't you aware that there are numerous transgender theorists and transgender people who would vehemently (or even militantly) revolt against my claim that transwomen/transmen can become quasi-women/quasi-men at most (through physical feminization/masculinization)?!
Those guys are convinced that transwomen/transmen are (literally and really) women/men, even if they are physically unfeminized/unmasculinized?! Their sole criterion for actual womanhood/manhood is self-identification as a woman/man, everything else, especially biological aspects, being totally irrelevant.
Numerous? Hardly. A misguided minority. There are also people who believe the Earth is flat and that the Moon landing was faked. There will always be extreme and unfounded views.

It should be said that some don't identify with either gender, a fact reflected in many traditional societies. So they figure there should be more than two legal sexes. The legal situation is basically a "rounded" binary version of the reality, which makes sense administratively. The size of a minority needs to considered before going to the expense of changing records systems.

For instance, in forms requiring eye colour, there won't be a category for "slightly more greenish hazel" and "slightly more brownish hazel". So, in adjusting such forms, the multiple genders proposed at some universities are overkill. Ideally, we stick with just Female and Male or add an Androgynous category as a catch all for for transpeople and intersexed.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Sculptor1 » July 20th, 2019, 8:30 am

Consul wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 5:45 pm
Greta wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 12:57 am
Consul, no offence, but what you say is beyond obvious. Yes, the grass is green and the sky is blue and Trump should have divested his conflicts of interest before entering office. No one needs to be told these things.
What point are you trying to make, Consul, with this extreme obviousness?
Aren't you aware that there are numerous transgender theorists and transgender people who would vehemently (or even militantly) revolt against my claim that transwomen/transmen can become quasi-women/quasi-men at most (through physical feminization/masculinization)?!
Those guys are convinced that transwomen/transmen are (literally and really) women/men, even if they are physically unfeminized/unmasculinized?! Their sole criterion for actual womanhood/manhood is self-identification as a woman/man, everything else, especially biological aspects, being totally irrelevant.
You are tilting at windmills.
You get the strawman award for the week.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » July 24th, 2019, 6:54 pm

If self identification to a certain sex is key to determining the sex of a person then why use the qualifier "transgender" to identify biological men who identify themselves as women? Isn't that prejudicial?

If self identification to a certain sex is key to determining the sex of a person, then how can it be argued that a sex is not something you are born with and not a choice?
If a woman (transgender) is a woman born with a deformity: male organs then you open the possibility that some men who actually think they are men have been fooled by the presence of their male organs into thinking that they are males when in fact, they should think that they are transgender women, or that they are transgender women in denial. But if that does not exist because it is your decision about your sex that identifies you as having either one of the sexes, then it seems to me that a person's sex is a decision about one's self.

In that perspective, you may then have to consider whether some trans human beings being born into another species should not be welcomed also as human beings.

I kind of like this idea because I kind of see here the potential for more protection for at least some animals who would then have to be considered human but I still very much question the sanity of it all.
I am a frog. I choose to be a frog. I make big leaps.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Sculptor1 » July 25th, 2019, 8:30 am

Empiricist-Bruno wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 6:54 pm
If self identification to a certain sex is key to determining the sex of a person then why use the qualifier "transgender" to identify biological men who identify themselves as women? Isn't that prejudicial?
Self identification determines gender. We use the term trans- for that reason.
One reason why the thread heading is BS.
If self identification to a certain sex is key to determining the sex of a person, then how can it be argued that a sex is not something you are born with and not a choice?
Did you mean to use "not" for both conditions? If you are born with a gender then it's not a choice. Its only a choice to accept what you have been given. The other alternative - that it is a simple choice- is as absurd as it can get.
If a woman (transgender) is a woman born with a deformity: male organs then you open the possibility that some men who actually think they are men have been fooled by the presence of their male organs into thinking that they are males when in fact, they should think that they are transgender women, or that they are transgender women in denial.
Maybe? Where's the problem?

But if that does not exist because it is your
you who?
decision about your sex that identifies you as having either one of the sexes, then it seems to me that a person's sex is a decision about one's self.
Non sequitur I think.
Did you choose your gender. Or did you wake up one morning about the age 11-14 and began thinking about the opposite sex in quite a strange and different way?
Not really your choice was it?


In that perspective, you may then have to consider whether some trans human beings being born into another species should not be welcomed also as human beings.
absurd

I kind of like this idea because I kind of see here the potential for more protection for at least some animals who would then have to be considered human but I still very much question the sanity of it all.
Yeah that transgender worm I cut through with the spade in the garden yesterday = it was MURDER.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Wumbo Wombat » September 1st, 2019, 1:18 am

Transgender people aren't under any delusion that they are the opposite biological sex.

Wanting to be called a man or a woman is, as you said, merely a language preference. Biological sex is in your chromosomes and is truly immutable, and the vast, vast majority of trans people understand this.

So accepting that people have the choice to self identify to any gender is in fact, respecting the rights of people to display signs of mental illness.

Now here's where I disagree with you. If I prefer to call an apple an orange, that doesn't make me mentally ill, it merely would make me eccentric. As long as I understand the physical differences between apples and oranges, you couldn't say that I'm under a delusion.

In any case, I don't really see the harm in calling a trans person their preferred pronouns. It's not going to cause us, as a society, to lose our grip on reality, because we all still understand the fundamental biological differences between the sexes. Now if someone with XX chromosomes tried to claim they actually had Xy chromosomes, that would be a different story. I couldn't go along with that.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Greenbone » September 2nd, 2019, 9:24 pm

Empiricist-Bruno wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 6:54 pm
If self identification to a certain sex is key to determining the sex of a person, then how can it be argued that a sex is not something you are born with and not a choice?
If a woman (transgender) is a woman born with a deformity: male organs then you open the possibility that some men who actually think they are men have been fooled by the presence of their male organs into thinking that they are males when in fact, they should think that they are transgender women, or that they are transgender women in denial. But if that does not exist because it is your decision about your sex that identifies you as having either one of the sexes, then it seems to me that a person's sex is a decision about one's self.
Instead of gender, let's consider socioeconomic status for the moment. If someone is born into an upper-class family, they neither chose to be upper-class nor were born upper-class. They were just born into an environment in which they happen to be upper-class. "Upper-class" is not an inherent property of this person. Someone born into the upper class in one country might not be born into the upper class in another country, all else held the same.

It's the same with gender. Gender is a cultural distinction that humans in a society assign to each other for purposes of classification. The same person born into different environments could identify with different genders. So people are not born with a gender, but they also do not choose one. People are born with certain inherent qualities, and depending on the gender norms of the society they are born into, they may identify with one gender or another as a function of their own inherent qualities.

Because societies have gender norms, there usually ends up being a mismatch between gender and sex. We can define someone's sex by their sex organs (but even this definition has ambiguous cases). However, when one thinks of a "man" or a 'woman," one is not thinking "person with a penis" or "person with a vagina," respectively. There are a whole bunch of values, stereotypes, and expectations on appearance/behavior/personality. When this is the case, it may very well happen that a "person with a penis" naturally exhibits some of the behaviors of a "woman." Then the "person with a penis" may identify as a "woman." They do not believe their self-identification makes them a biological woman. They don't believe anything. They merely identify with the cultural norms associated with women. Gender has nothing to do with sex. When I see a man or a woman, I don't know for a fact they are a biological man or woman unless I were to look at their genitals. Yet pretty much every one we ever meet we recognize as either men or women. And those designations are based 100% on their outward appearance and behavior and 0% on the reality of what sex organs they have. Therefore, when we say someone is a "man" we are not talking about their sex at all, but instead about their gender.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Trajk Logik » September 2nd, 2019, 9:41 pm

I thought gender was a social construction. So how is it that transgenders claim that it is a feeling? How does a man know what it feels like to be a woman to make the claim that they are a woman? How is this any different than a person with anorexia believing that their body is overweight? It's a somatic delusion where they believe that something is wrong with their body, when there isn't.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Greenbone » 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.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Trajk Logik » September 4th, 2019, 10:36 am

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.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Sculptor1 » September 4th, 2019, 5:12 pm

Trajk Logik wrote:
September 2nd, 2019, 9:41 pm
I thought gender was a social construction. So how is it that transgenders claim that it is a feeling? How does a man know what it feels like to be a woman to make the claim that they are a woman?
Same way you think you are a man.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Greta » September 4th, 2019, 6:07 pm

Most members seem to live in the 19th century, yet to acquaint themselves with 20th and 21st century discoveries.

Is androgyny "fake news", a made-up concept? Or might it be all men are not large, hairy-chested dominant beasts who love cars and all women aren't shrieking little Earth mothers obsessed with dresses and doilies?

Might it be that, psychologically, people can be in the middle of genders or - shock! horror! - have mental traits more typical of the "opposite sex"? Nooooo, not possible! Men are men and women are objects! [sic]. That's why male-to-female transpeople are always being talked about while female-to-males are invariably ignored. Does no one else find that to be bizarre?

It appears to be because it's a step up from being an object (aka woman) to becoming a transman, while men are seen as disgracing themselves by presenting themselves as objects (aka women).

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Sculptor1 » September 4th, 2019, 6:49 pm

I don't mind being the object of a woman's attention. In fact I love a strong woman. I hate a submissive woman as that makes me nervous that I might be imposing my will on her. I was horrified one day to hear my partner of the time say "why don't you ever just take me?" Whilst the same woman demanded respect as an equal. I'm all for sex games, as long as the rules are made clear. But "taking a woman" is tantamount to rape and that I just ain't gonna do - ever.
So bite me, I'm in touch with a female side, and I love to suspend my machismo to empower a woman in sex.
Or that was how it was when I was younger.
Sex is becoming part of my history these days. Time passes!!!

So apparently there was once a time when men were me, women were women and large furry animals from Alpha- Centauri were large furry animals from Alpha- Centauri. But did those times ever really exist?
I doubt it.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Greta » September 4th, 2019, 7:18 pm

Funny thing. I have never heard a woman speak about being in touch with her masculine side.

There is a subset of people out there for whom their gender roles fit like a hair shirt. It's a tough situation. Do they hide who they are for superficial societal acceptance or do they let themselves be natural and accept the inevitable rejections?

It's a standard human dilemma - we all face those issues to some extent - but for those whose primary nature is taboo and subject to social and legal sanctions, it's much harder and very likely the cause of many suicides.

Societies. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Millions romantically pine for a carefree life in the jungle, away from "all this". Of course, most jungles are gone now and they are terrible, dangerous places at the best of times. I suppose that, along with the fact that there are no happy endings - everyone will one day be gasping their agonised last breath - has prompted many religious thinkers to wonder of Earth is actually Hades.

No matter what you do, the world and its life sucks, especially human societies, and the only way out of this hell is ... philosophy! To reframe and reinterpret, to appreciate the moment, to be grateful for the million possible horrors that could befall you that have not (yet) happened, etc.

Sorry, a bit off track here, but I do see this topic as coming under the larger "everything sucks and then you die" banner, and the fact that some people carry particularly heavy loads in life.

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Re: Gender self identification, a mentally ill concept?

Post by Sculptor1 » September 5th, 2019, 5:48 am

Greta wrote:
September 4th, 2019, 7:18 pm
Funny thing. I have never heard a woman speak about being in touch with her masculine side.

There is a subset of people out there for whom their gender roles fit like a hair shirt. It's a tough situation. Do they hide who they are for superficial societal acceptance or do they let themselves be natural and accept the inevitable rejections?

It's a standard human dilemma - we all face those issues to some extent - but for those whose primary nature is taboo and subject to social and legal sanctions, it's much harder and very likely the cause of many suicides.

Societies. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Millions romantically pine for a carefree life in the jungle, away from "all this". Of course, most jungles are gone now and they are terrible, dangerous places at the best of times. I suppose that, along with the fact that there are no happy endings - everyone will one day be gasping their agonised last breath - has prompted many religious thinkers to wonder of Earth is actually Hades.

No matter what you do, the world and its life sucks, especially human societies, and the only way out of this hell is ... philosophy! To reframe and reinterpret, to appreciate the moment, to be grateful for the million possible horrors that could befall you that have not (yet) happened, etc.

Sorry, a bit off track here, but I do see this topic as coming under the larger "everything sucks and then you die" banner, and the fact that some people carry particularly heavy loads in life.
I think "life sucks" is a choice. If you are honest about the limits of your life and do not get sucked into the dreams and false promises of social pressure and commercial advertising, you can far more easily live your life with what you have, finding joy in simplicity. It's the green solution as well as anything else.

Philosophy helps you make another choice, by giving you a view from the side, above or below. We are defined by our physical sex, and demands are made upon us to conform to some standard or other. Philosophy can take us out of that - though you might not know that given some of the contributions here which seem to ape the most banal societal norms - not just ape but exaggerated.
In effect there is no "masculine" and "feminine", since there is a woman out there more "masculine" than some man out there who is more "feminine". Averages no doubt encourage us to coalesce such typology into convenient pigeon holes. But I've know uncaring women and caring men; violent women and gentle men.

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