LGBT and other labels

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:19 am

1. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes but still feels like a boy: gender role (or gender expression perhaps, or possibly even gender variance).

2. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes and feels like a girl: gender identity.

Have I got that broadly right?

So therefore to say that gender is a social construct is too general. You'd have to distinguish between the two basic phenomena above (allowing that it's not necessarily 100% one or the other in an individual case). Personally, I doubt the latter is a social construct, by and large. I'd say we're talking biology for that one, mostly.

Not that ascribing causes matters much, at the end of the day, as regards relating to this that or the other person. Everbody's just people. Mix of nature and nurture and all that jazz.

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Post by DrZoidberg » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:27 am

[quote=""ruby sparks""]One of the reasons I tend not to think of gender identity as a social construct, or mainly a social construct, is that I read that the onset of transgender identity (or at least gender variance) is very early. This paper suggests that the mean age is 5 years old:

http://itgl.lu/wp-content/uploads/2015/ ... ildren.pdf[/quote]

I don't think it proves what you think it proves. Lets for sake of argument say that gender identity is biological. Very young kids are basically blobs that eat and shit. Five seems to be the age when kids get a somewhat more sophisticated concept of human interaction. It makes perfect sense, to me, that this is the age when the gendering instincts start to kick in. If you've been around a variety of kids any length of time I think you've noticed how kids just start doing stuff at different ages, as if new software has been installed. Why would gendering be any different?

If I recall correctly science has so far identified 10 distinct hormones that control gender expression in adults. Only one of them, testosterone, controls if we get a penis or vagina. It makes perfect sense that we can get a penis, but the rest of the hormones can be more set towards the other side.

The whole point of sexual reproduction in any animal is to create variety. Variety is just variety. Some variants will be more fit than others.

No, it's not optimal to give a child loads of testosterone, and then the rest feminine hormones. But nature is going to do this sometimes. It's how nature works. It will also be rare. Which transsexuality is.

I think that article can be correct, while gendering is also biological. I see no conflict.
"Sorry, you must have been boring"
/Dr Zoidberg

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:36 am

[quote=""DrZoidberg""]I don't think it proves what you think it proves.[/quote]

Let's get off on the right foot here. I'm not going anywhere near the word proof. :)

[quote=""DrZoidberg""] Lets for sake of argument say that gender identity is biological. Very young kids are basically blobs that eat and shit. Five seems to be the age when kids get a somewhat more sophisticated concept of human interaction. It makes perfect sense, to me, that this is the age when the gendering instincts start to kick in. If you've been around a variety of kids any length of time I think you've noticed how kids just start doing stuff at different ages, as if new software has been installed. Why would gendering be any different? [/quote]

Um...it wouldn't, necessarily.

My point was that it seems unlikely that social constructs make all that much of a contribution to gender identity given that 5-year-olds are not going to be exposed to them much that young. It points more towards biology.

[quote=""DrZoidberg""]If I recall correctly science has so far identified 10 distinct hormones that control gender expression in adults. Only one of them, testosterone, controls if we get a penis or vagina. It makes perfect sense that we can get a penis, but the rest of the hormones can be more set towards the other side.

The whole point of sexual reproduction in any animal is to create variety. Variety is just variety. Some variants will be more fit than others.

No, it's not optimal to give a child loads of testosterone, and then the rest feminine hormones. But nature is going to do this sometimes. It's how nature works. It will also be rare. Which transsexuality is.

I think that article can be correct, while gendering is also biological. I see no conflict.[/quote]

Ok now I'm confused. I don't really disagree with any of that, or indeed with anything much you've said in the thread.

Just two small things...

1. You referred to transexual. I'm not sure that's the same thing as transgender (in terms of identity or expression)?

2. When you say 'gendering' is also biological, are you not distinguishing between gender identity and gender expression?

Now I'm not sure where you and I differ, on top of not being sure where you and poli differ or even if any of us do! Lol.

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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:48 am

Sidenote: I think I'd be ok with saying that someone with a female gender identity is biologically female, regardless of what body parts they have, because......cocks, tits and pussies are just externally visible bits of biology. Bollocks too. Wombs...not so much (can't think of a slang word for womb). But my point is the brain is biology too.

I think I'd have to add the word 'persistent' (gender identity). If it's not persistent......there's something less binary going on. Something more complicated. It might not even qualify as a particular identity any more, as such. Or it might be a fluid identity. Bigender identity perhaps? More labels, yay!
Last edited by ruby sparks on Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by DrZoidberg » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:06 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]1. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes but still feels like a boy: gender role (or gender expression perhaps, or possibly even gender variance).

2. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes and feels like a girl: gender identity.

Have I got that broadly right?

So therefore to say that gender is a social construct is too general. You'd have to distinguish between the two basic phenomena above (allowing that it's not necessarily 100% one or the other in an individual case). Personally, I doubt the latter is a social construct, by and large. I'd say we're talking biology for that one, mostly.

Not that ascribing causes matters much, at the end of the day, as regards relating to this that or the other person. Everbody's just people. Mix of nature and nurture and all that jazz.[/quote]

When I was a child I liked dressing up in girls clothing. I'm pretty sure I'm straight as an arrow. I think I just liked my sister a lot.
"Sorry, you must have been boring"
/Dr Zoidberg

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DrZoidberg
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Post by DrZoidberg » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:20 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]

Um...it wouldn't, necessarily.

My point was that it seems unlikely that social constructs make all that much of a contribution to gender identity given that 5-year-olds are not going to be exposed to them much that young. It points more towards biology.
[/quote]

Sorry. I misinterpreted the point you were making. Wrong of me. I bask in the shame of wrongness.

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
1. You referred to transexual. I'm not sure that's the same thing as transgender (in terms of identity or expression)?
[/quote]

Sloppy word usage of me. You are correct.

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
2. When you say 'gendering' is also biological, are you not distinguishing between gender identity and gender expression?
[/quote]

Hmm... yes and no. I suspect gender identity is the same thing as gender expression. Just because we can't see something with our bare eyes, doesn't make it learned behavior. Again... we don't see this in any other animals. I'll need extremely strong evidence for me to change my view on it.
"Sorry, you must have been boring"
/Dr Zoidberg

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Post by Rheanne » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:36 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]1. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes but still feels like a boy: gender role (or gender expression perhaps, or possibly even gender variance).

2. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes and feels like a girl: gender identity.

Have I got that broadly right?

So therefore to say that gender is a social construct is too general. You'd have to distinguish between the two basic phenomena above (allowing that it's not necessarily 100% one or the other in an individual case). Personally, I doubt the latter is a social construct, by and large. I'd say we're talking biology for that one, mostly.

Not that ascribing causes matters much, at the end of the day, as regards relating to this that or the other person. Everbody's just people. Mix of nature and nurture and all that jazz.[/quote]

Ruby, what does it feel like to be a boy?

Do you think a woman knows what it feels like to be a woman?

If one takes the cliche of "A trapped in the body of B", do you think that the person in question knows what it feels like to be A (in contrast to B)?

None of these questions are answerable, because the simple fact of the matter is that you feel precisely and exactly just the way you do. You cannot separate your mind from your body.

What is determinable is how you feel when you are outwardly expressing the inner A; that helps integrate the dissociation between the inward A and the outer B - but it is entirely psychological. You can't say that "I feel like a woman" or "I feel like a man" when immersed in that role, since you cannot know what it should feel like. You can only say, "I feel happier/unhappier when I discard the trappings of B and assume those of A."

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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:40 pm

[quote=""DrZoidberg""]When I was a child I liked dressing up in girls clothing. I'm pretty sure I'm straight as an arrow. I think I just liked my sister a lot.[/quote]

If we're doing anecdotes....my parents, for a while, made me wear a skirt. It was a ham-fisted way of trying to deal with my not getting the hang of toilet training until way, way (dysfunctionally) late. I had two sisters and no brothers. Not surprisingly, this matter came up quite a lot during the years I was getting psychotherapy. Luckily, all was resolved, though I bet you don't believe me when I say that, because you're just like all the rest and one day I'm going to make you all pay ha ha right ha ha. My username and avatar? I just liked the film, ok? Get off my case.

[quote=""DrZoidberg""]

Sorry. I misinterpreted the point you were making. Wrong of me. I bask in the shame of wrongness. [/quote]

No prob. I don't think I expressed my point clearly at all. Crossed wires. Bane of internet discussions.

[quote=""DrZoidberg""]Sloppy word usage of me. You are correct. [/quote]

I think I've contradicted myself and used the wrong terminology at least 3 times on the last 2 pages alone. If it seems like I'm making it up (or trying to learn if you like) as I go along, that's probably because I am.

[quote=""DrZoidberg""]Hmm... yes and no. I suspect gender identity is the same thing as gender expression. Just because we can't see something with our bare eyes, doesn't make it learned behavior. Again... we don't see this in any other animals. I'll need extremely strong evidence for me to change my view on it.[/quote]

Interesting. I'll have to get back to you later on that one. :)
Last edited by ruby sparks on Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:54 pm

[quote=""Rheanne""]Ruby, what does it feel like to be a boy?

Do you think a woman knows what it feels like to be a woman?

If one takes the cliche of "A trapped in the body of B", do you think that the person in question knows what it feels like to be A (in contrast to B)?

None of these questions are answerable, because the simple fact of the matter is that you feel precisely and exactly just the way you do. You cannot separate your mind from your body.

What is determinable is how you feel when you are outwardly expressing the inner A; that helps integrate the dissociation between the inward A and the outer B - but it is entirely psychological. You can't say that "I feel like a woman" or "I feel like a man" when immersed in that role, since you cannot know what it should feel like. You can only say, "I feel happier/unhappier when I discard the trappings of B and assume those of A."[/quote]

Interesting. I'll have to get back to you later on that one. :)

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Post by lpetrich » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:06 pm

Some transgender people have a position about gender identity that I consider very illogical.

In my mind, being transgender is having a psychological gender identity different from one's body's gender. Thus, a transwoman is anatomically male and psychologically female and a transman is anatomically female and psychologically male.

The illogical part IMO is considering one's entire body to have one's psychological gender. Like some transwomen claiming that penises can be female if their owners are psychologically female.

Adopting this convention would cause a lot of confusion in discussions of genitalia and other sexually-differentiated features, and it is also contrary to what many transgender people try to do: give themselves body features that are more typical of their psychological gender. That often requires rather expensive surgery.

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Post by Rheanne » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:41 pm

What does it mean to be psychologically female? How does it feel to be psychologically male?

You think it's illogical because you are using the gender binary dividing line as the pivot for your reasoning.

Try instead to imagine how you'd feel about this if you rejected the entire binary dichotomy altogether and it didn't exist except in a purely biological sense.

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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:46 pm

[quote=""Rheanne""]Ruby, what does it feel like to be a boy?

Do you think a woman knows what it feels like to be a woman?

If one takes the cliche of "A trapped in the body of B", do you think that the person in question knows what it feels like to be A (in contrast to B)?

None of these questions are answerable, because the simple fact of the matter is that you feel precisely and exactly just the way you do. You cannot separate your mind from your body.

What is determinable is how you feel when you are outwardly expressing the inner A; that helps integrate the dissociation between the inward A and the outer B - but it is entirely psychological. You can't say that "I feel like a woman" or "I feel like a man" when immersed in that role, since you cannot know what it should feel like. You can only say, "I feel happier/unhappier when I discard the trappings of B and assume those of A."[/quote]

So....are you saying...that if (hypothetically) someone, someone who we might currently call transgender (and who themselves might under everyday circumstances say that they feel they are/were in the wrong body, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner for example) was born on a desert island....and either there was nobody else there or those that were there applied no gender labels or what have you....that there would be no 'crisis', no feeling of being in the wrong body?

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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:33 pm

[quote=""Rheanne""]
ruby sparks;679854 wrote:1. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes but still feels like a boy: gender role (or gender expression perhaps, or possibly even gender variance).

2. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes and feels like a girl: gender identity.

Have I got that broadly right?

So therefore to say that gender is a social construct is too general. You'd have to distinguish between the two basic phenomena above (allowing that it's not necessarily 100% one or the other in an individual case). Personally, I doubt the latter is a social construct, by and large. I'd say we're talking biology for that one, mostly.

Not that ascribing causes matters much, at the end of the day, as regards relating to this that or the other person. Everbody's just people. Mix of nature and nurture and all that jazz.
Ruby, what does it feel like to be a boy?

Do you think a woman knows what it feels like to be a woman?

If one takes the cliche of "A trapped in the body of B", do you think that the person in question knows what it feels like to be A (in contrast to B)?

None of these questions are answerable, because the simple fact of the matter is that you feel precisely and exactly just the way you do. You cannot separate your mind from your body.

What is determinable is how you feel when you are outwardly expressing the inner A; that helps integrate the dissociation between the inward A and the outer B - but it is entirely psychological. You can't say that "I feel like a woman" or "I feel like a man" when immersed in that role, since you cannot know what it should feel like. You can only say, "I feel happier/unhappier when I discard the trappings of B and assume those of A."[/QUOTE]

I concur.
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ruby sparks
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Post by ruby sparks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:46 pm

[quote=""Roo St. Gallus""]
Rheanne;679869 wrote:
ruby sparks;679854 wrote:1. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes but still feels like a boy: gender role (or gender expression perhaps, or possibly even gender variance).

2. Little Johnny (biologically male) likes dressing up in girl's clothes and feels like a girl: gender identity.

Have I got that broadly right?

So therefore to say that gender is a social construct is too general. You'd have to distinguish between the two basic phenomena above (allowing that it's not necessarily 100% one or the other in an individual case). Personally, I doubt the latter is a social construct, by and large. I'd say we're talking biology for that one, mostly.

Not that ascribing causes matters much, at the end of the day, as regards relating to this that or the other person. Everbody's just people. Mix of nature and nurture and all that jazz.
Ruby, what does it feel like to be a boy?

Do you think a woman knows what it feels like to be a woman?

If one takes the cliche of "A trapped in the body of B", do you think that the person in question knows what it feels like to be A (in contrast to B)?

None of these questions are answerable, because the simple fact of the matter is that you feel precisely and exactly just the way you do. You cannot separate your mind from your body.

What is determinable is how you feel when you are outwardly expressing the inner A; that helps integrate the dissociation between the inward A and the outer B - but it is entirely psychological. You can't say that "I feel like a woman" or "I feel like a man" when immersed in that role, since you cannot know what it should feel like. You can only say, "I feel happier/unhappier when I discard the trappings of B and assume those of A."
I concur.[/QUOTE]

I think I do too. Not sure yet. Waiting for clarification on something. Still thinking.

In the meantime......what about...those who say that they experience both? There was a person on British TV if I recall correctly, who said that they feel one or the other (man or woman) alternately, on a given day. Gender fluid, I think the term is. So, does that person know (what it's like to be A in contrast to B)?

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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:57 pm

[quote=""Rheanne""]What does it mean to be psychologically female? How does it feel to be psychologically male?

You think it's illogical because you are using the gender binary dividing line as the pivot for your reasoning.

Try instead to imagine how you'd feel about this if you rejected the entire binary dichotomy altogether and it didn't exist except in a purely biological sense.[/quote]

I think that is a huge exception.

I tend to think that the predominant dimorphism in biological genital expression seems to the the primary cue for social construction of gender identity. But not every individual is comfortable with the social construction and some feel the need to find their comfort in gender outside the predominant social gender construction scheme. Don't all populations have outliers?
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Post by Pandora » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:26 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]
Pandora;679804 wrote: Most of the problems, IMO, stem from gender roles being too tightly defined, and too much judgment being involved when people differ from the roles.
Here you must be talking only about the problems with gender roles, I presume, not the problems with gender generally, since some of the problems will be with gender identity. I agree with you and sorry for being so pedantic. :)

One question that strikes me to ask is...are gender roles/behaviours and gender identities necessarily non-overlapping phenomena? I know this is likely to sound daft and possibly trivial but...if I (I'm a cisgendered man) were to 'walk like a woman and wear make up and a dress' I might also start to 'feel a bit like a woman'. Or the other way around. I might start by 'feeling like a woman' and then put on the lipstick, the eyeshadow and the dress. What I'm saying is, the role/behaviour and the identity might get blurred together. In my case, it'd likely be a temporary, partial thing, but does it still illustrate that these two things, dare I say, cross over?[/QUOTE]

I don't know. I guess I'm sort of thinking that if social gender roles weren't so judgmental, then people with gender dysphoria (or whatever it's called) wouldn't have nearly as much anxiety and stigma associated with their presentation... and that would be most of the battle won right there.
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Post by Pandora » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:39 pm

[quote=""DrZoidberg""]If I recall correctly science has so far identified 10 distinct hormones that control gender expression in adults. Only one of them, testosterone, controls if we get a penis or vagina. It makes perfect sense that we can get a penis, but the rest of the hormones can be more set towards the other side. [/quote]

Hell, sex isn't even as simple as people think it is. Even physical maturity of primary and secondary sex characteristics is all messy. For example... height, widening of hips, and the initial growth of leg, armpit, and pubic hair, as well as armpit stench (don't know the technical term for that one) is controlled by the adrenal gland. But development of breast tissue, onset of ovulation, dropping of testicles, and coarsening of body hair is controlled by the pituitary gland, and an entirely different set of hormones.

I know someone with Kallman Syndrome. She got leg hair and stink, but isn't actually entering puberty. She's going to undergo some hormone treatment to address it.

Seems like it would be innocuous enough... but it's way more complex - there are elements of brain development that are triggered during puberty, and are related to the hormones produced by the pituitary gland. Additionally, growth plates don't fully solidify, and bones don't attain adult density unless those hormones trigger. So someone with Kallman Syndrome doesn't end up just not looking like an adult male or female... but also ends up not attaining full mental and skeletal development. There's a whole host of potential complications all related to that one step in the pituitary process not starting as it ought to.

So let's throw a pile of other hormones into the mix... ones that trigger behavioral instincts associated with sex-linked traits. Those can't be any *less* complicated than the ones associated with the development of physical sex characteristics.
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Post by Pandora » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:41 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]Wombs...not so much (can't think of a slang word for womb). [/quote]

Baby Builder? Fetus Factory? How about Sexfruit Farm?
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Post by Pandora » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:44 pm

[quote=""ruby sparks""]My point was that it seems unlikely that social constructs make all that much of a contribution to gender identity given that 5-year-olds are not going to be exposed to them much that young. [/quote]

Mmm... I would challenge that assumption. There's a whole lot of nurture-based personality that is learned before kids start kindergarten. A lot of it is till malleable... but I don't think it's moot to assume that a 5-yo hasn't had any material exposure to gender roles in society: baby dolls, playing house, dress-up, cowboys & indians, etc. Toys and TV are rife with representations of "girl roles" and "boy roles".
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:46 pm

[quote=""Pandora""]
ruby sparks;679858 wrote:My point was that it seems unlikely that social constructs make all that much of a contribution to gender identity given that 5-year-olds are not going to be exposed to them much that young.
Mmm... I would challenge that assumption. There's a whole lot of nurture-based personality that is learned before kids start kindergarten. A lot of it is till malleable... but I don't think it's moot to assume that a 5-yo hasn't had any material exposure to gender roles in society: baby dolls, playing house, dress-up, cowboys & indians, etc. Toys and TV are rife with representations of "girl roles" and "boy roles".[/QUOTE]

This begins once the visible genitals are identified....nowadays, often in utero, but certainly at, and immediately following birth. It is pervasive and incessant....as to how rigid it is depends upon the conditioning of the parents.
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:47 pm

[quote=""Pandora""]
ruby sparks;679859 wrote:Wombs...not so much (can't think of a slang word for womb).
Baby Builder? Fetus Factory? How about Sexfruit Farm?[/QUOTE]

Uterus.

As in, "Get the US out of my uterus!"

I think it's just south of Idaho.
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Post by Pandora » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:28 am

[quote=""Roo St. Gallus""]
Pandora;679893 wrote:
ruby sparks;679859 wrote:Wombs...not so much (can't think of a slang word for womb).
Baby Builder? Fetus Factory? How about Sexfruit Farm?
Uterus.

As in, "Get the US out of my uterus!"

I think it's just south of Idaho.[/QUOTE]

Uterus is technical, not slang. Where's your sense of humor?
Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform - Mark Twain

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Post by Here Rests A Cemetery » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:21 am

I think the labels have gotten excessive and are counter-intuitive now.

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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:22 pm

[quote=""Pandora""]
Roo St. Gallus;679906 wrote:
Pandora;679893 wrote:
ruby sparks;679859 wrote:Wombs...not so much (can't think of a slang word for womb).
Baby Builder? Fetus Factory? How about Sexfruit Farm?
Uterus.

As in, "Get the US out of my uterus!"

I think it's just south of Idaho.
Uterus is technical, not slang. Where's your sense of humor?[/QUOTE]

Just west of Idaho.

And 'Uranus' is technical, too. Doesn't stop it from being used as slang.
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Post by DrZoidberg » Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:27 pm

[quote=""lpetrich""]Some transgender people have a position about gender identity that I consider very illogical.

In my mind, being transgender is having a psychological gender identity different from one's body's gender. Thus, a transwoman is anatomically male and psychologically female and a transman is anatomically female and psychologically male.

The illogical part IMO is considering one's entire body to have one's psychological gender. Like some transwomen claiming that penises can be female if their owners are psychologically female.

Adopting this convention would cause a lot of confusion in discussions of genitalia and other sexually-differentiated features, and it is also contrary to what many transgender people try to do: give themselves body features that are more typical of their psychological gender. That often requires rather expensive surgery.[/quote]

I think you're doing a classic cognitive mistake, when discussing this. Once we've opened up for transgenderism, there's not two genders, or even three or four genders. There's a billion various variants. There's many ways it can feel wrong, and many ways to fix it.

Your mistake is in thinking binary, and trying to shoehorn their theory (well.. theories... there's a bunch) into your binary model.
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