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  #101  
Old 06-08-2019, 07:06 PM
Jimmy Chitwood is offline
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Originally Posted by SamuelA
So if they don't have to do anything but say they feel a certain way and should thus have the other gender's privileges, I demand a fueling depot for my helicopter engines. And if I can't have that, I should at least be allowed to dump my waste where we dump used helicopter coolant.
Why? Serious question.
  #102  
Old 06-08-2019, 07:14 PM
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Thanks for the link. It supports 100% the point I was trying to make. As the link states, transexuals need not do anything to establish their new gender identity. They need not take any steps at all.
That's not what you said, but hey, if you're changing to that, cool.

Which brings us to the next question: so fuckin' what? I mean, you've tried to set up a different series of steps they should take, i.e., steps that you don't require of cisgender folks trying to use the bathroom, and steps that you've deliberately crafted to try to make impossible for trans folks to accomplish.

When you set up separate, more difficult, conditions for a minority group to access the facilities and services that the majority group can access without jumping through any hoops, that's discrimination.

My criteria are this: when a person goes into the women's restroom, I ask them to behave themselves in there. It doesn't matter whether they're cisgender or transgender. I'll ask folks who identify as men not to go in there except for work-related purposes. Easy peasy.
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So if they don't have to do anything but say they feel a certain way and should thus have the other gender's privileges, I demand a fueling depot for my helicopter engines. And if I can't have that, I should at least be allowed to dump my waste where we dump used helicopter coolant.
I will then ask you to behave like a helicopter by shutting the fuck up, and if you comply and, like a helicopter, stop demanding any sort of treatment whatsoever, we'll be golden. Fair enough?

And even that's generous of me, because--and this is the key difference between you and transgendered folk--you're not talking in good faith. Your entire analogy depends on your deliberately not telling the truth. And that's disanalogous.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 06-08-2019 at 07:16 PM.
  #103  
Old 06-08-2019, 07:26 PM
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You want to know how a teacher would react to a student demanding to be treated as if he* is an Apache helicopter? How about a former teacher? I find it incredibly obnoxious to make the comparison in the first place, but maybe it's done from arrogant ignorance. So in the interest of fighting that, here goes.

Trans people are not asking to be treated differently; they're asking to be treated the same as their identified gender. So a trans student in one of my classes would have been treated as a student, subject to the same rules all the other students abided by in my classroom.

A kid claiming he* identifies as an Apache helicopter would also get treated the same as other students. If I'm supposed to call the kid "Apache helicopter," and "it," fine. If I'm supposed to use the third person neutral pronoun, fine. If, however, he wants to take off from his seat and spin on top of other students' desks, that's not going to happen. Even if the kid insists he's a helicopter because of an identified mental health disorder that qualifies under federal law and is on an IEP wouldn't be allowed to compromise the learning of other students by such disruptive behavior.

And as a woman, I find this "feminists want to be treated like a man...except, you know, for having to work a dangerous job like a man, face the military draft like a man" crap insulting, demeaning, and patently untrue. I used to do an activity in my classes where kids gave me their birthday month/day, and I'd tell them what their draft number would have been. We pretended women could have been drafted so the girls could participate. Those with a draft number below 196 (using the 1970 draft lottery) had to decide whether they'd go serve, go to Canada, etc. The girls were not statistically less likely than the boys to choose serving.

I don't throw around the term misogynistic too often, but this type of comment definitely qualifies.

*or she
Ok, your example is...remember that college degree you had to get to become a teacher? Well, I guess it's been a while, because your example...is absolutely worthless. Also historically meaningless - women weren't demanding to be drafted during the Vietnam war when it mattered.

And, uh, they voluntarily avoid most of the dangerous jobs they aren't being blocked from entering. You know, truck driving and oil rigs and logging and so on. I'm sure it's all organized discrimination by the "Patriarchy". If you'll excuse me, our monthly meeting is coming up and I need to attend.

Last edited by SamuelA; 06-08-2019 at 07:26 PM.
  #104  
Old 06-08-2019, 07:57 PM
Ronald Raygun is offline
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Thanks for the link. It supports 100% the point I was trying to make. As the link states, transexuals need not do anything to establish their new gender identity. They need not take any steps at all.

So if they don't have to do anything but say they feel a certain way and should thus have the other gender's privileges, I demand a fueling depot for my helicopter engines. And if I can't have that, I should at least be allowed to dump my waste where we dump used helicopter coolant.
Why should I have to do a little dance or whatever to appease you?

On the SDMB, discussions about being trans ultimately wind up talking about mental illness, mind/body mismatch, "fixing" things, fMRI scans, and so on. This view has rapidly fallen out of favor with the majority of trans people (it seems to me), so it's always a culture shock that non-trans folk still talk in these terms.

I've mentioned before that I think it's a mistake to focus on what it means to "be" a man or a woman. I think it's a valid philosophical question (and there's been a lot of literature written on it), but the layperson typically asks the question if not in bad faith, than with a conspicuous political motive. That's why we don't entertain the attack helicopter question, as a general rule. Anyway, I don't focus on the "isness" of things, because it's much more important for me, and much more understandable for others, to tell you what I desire and how I wish to be treated.

What I'm getting at is that if you want to "identify" as an attack helicopter, go for it. Round up a whole bunch of your fellow copters and talk to your representatives in Congress. Sit your family down and tell them. Talk about it with your HR department. Tell me what sorts of employment opportunities you end up with. Maybe consider cutting ties with everyone and starting your life over as an attack helicopter. Discuss medical changes with your doctor. Try to find a surgeon who will work with you to implant a rotor on your back. You'd be like Lili Elbe. How groundbreaking! I mean, she died from a uterine transplant, but you gotta break a few eggs. I really feel for you. I know how it feels to be driven underground (driven in the air?), and as an attack helicopter, you have an increased risk of physical assault. Anyway, tell me how long you last, and realize that if I had to "detransition", I'd probably kill myself.
  #105  
Old 06-08-2019, 08:19 PM
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You could explain why being transgender is not the same as thinking you're an inanimate object. You could point out the science that supports transgenderism as a legitimate medical condition. You could bring up the statistics about the appalling rate of suicide attempts among transpeople, and the associated studies that find being treated as the gender with which they identify dramatically lowers the chance that they'll become suicidal. Or you could call them an asshole and tell them to go fuck themselves.

But if you engage directly with the helicopter argument - if you go through all the ways they're clearly not a helicopter, and why it's a dumb claim from the beginning, you're being a fool. Because the person making the argument is well aware of the flaws in the argument. The flaws are the point of the argument.
How are those strategies working against SamuelA?
  #106  
Old 06-08-2019, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronald Raygun View Post
What I'm getting at is that if you want to "identify" as an attack helicopter, go for it. Round up a whole bunch of your fellow copters and talk to your representatives in Congress. Sit your family down and tell them. Talk about it with your HR department. Tell me what sorts of employment opportunities you end up with. Maybe consider cutting ties with everyone and starting your life over as an attack helicopter. Discuss medical changes with your doctor. Try to find a surgeon who will work with you to implant a rotor on your back. You'd be like Lili Elbe. How groundbreaking! I mean, she died from a uterine transplant, but you gotta break a few eggs. I really feel for you. I know how it feels to be driven underground (driven in the air?), and as an attack helicopter, you have an increased risk of physical assault. Anyway, tell me how long you last, and realize that if I had to "detransition", I'd probably kill myself.
The current problem the "trans-phobes" have is with people who haven't made these difficult and costly changes getting to enjoy various privileges given to those who have. Also, I would like to get some favorable treatment when I apply to a job with google, so it sounds like in the present environment I need to apply as a gay M->F transexual. All I need to do is check the right boxes on a form and I'll be an under-represented minority they would be glad to have!

Also, I am tired of losing at sports, so I think I'd like to compete in the Olympics as a woman. Though to be fair, that wouldn't give me enough of an advantage, but maybe I'd make it to tryouts.

My final comment - us "rotors" don't need to worry about getting attacked once we get the bill authorizing us to be armed with scaled down-helicopter grade armaments at all times. I won't need to be worried about getting attacked once my rotary chaingun is installed.
  #107  
Old 06-08-2019, 08:32 PM
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My final comment - us "rotors" don't need to worry about getting attacked once we get the bill authorizing us to be armed with scaled down-helicopter grade armaments at all times. I won't need to be worried about getting attacked once my rotary chaingun is installed.
And since analogies seem to be difficult for the average poster here: what I mean is, the transphobe's position is that for the average woman using a bathroom, she apparently would feel unsafe if imposing, dangerous looking men were also allowed to use it.

And, in the current environment, we've agreed that anyone is whatever gender they feel like, today. For any appearance or past gender.

Maybe this feeling isn't a real danger.

In the same way, general members of the public would feel unsafe if, in respect of my feelings that I am a helicopter, I get to have a scaled down gatling gun, fully functional, that fires pistol caliber bullets, under my arm at all times.

Even if this feeling isn't a real danger and incidences of mass shootings where "rotors" engage a target without orders from higher up are rare.
  #108  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:34 PM
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The current problem the "trans-phobes" have is with people who haven't made these difficult and costly changes getting to enjoy various privileges given to those who have. Also, I would like to get some favorable treatment when I apply to a job with google, so it sounds like in the present environment I need to apply as a gay M->F transexual. All I need to do is check the right boxes on a form and I'll be an under-represented minority they would be glad to have!
You're demonstrably arguing in bad faith. If you wanted to, you could check that box. Nobody is stopping your ass from doing so. But you don't check that box. Why not?
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Also, I am tired of losing at sports, so I think I'd like to compete in the Olympics as a woman. Though to be fair, that wouldn't give me enough of an advantage, but maybe I'd make it to tryouts.
No you wouldn't.
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My final comment - us "rotors" don't need to worry about getting attacked once we get the bill authorizing us to be armed with scaled down-helicopter grade armaments at all times. I won't need to be worried about getting attacked once my rotary chaingun is installed.
This is so tragically stupid. Helicopters have no human rights. At the point where you're asking to be stripped of your human rights, every other absurdity you spout is irrelevant.

You seem to think your posts are clever.

Christ almighty.
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Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
And since analogies seem to be difficult for the average poster here
Huh. I mean, it's about the dumbest analogy we've seen around these parts since washing machines were getting married, but I'm not sure you can blame the "average poster" for that. You, unlike a helicopter, need to take responsibility for your choices.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 06-08-2019 at 09:36 PM.
  #109  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:41 PM
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How are those strategies working against SamuelA?
How’s yours?
  #110  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:48 PM
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You're demonstrably arguing in bad faith. If you wanted to, you could check that box. Nobody is stopping your ass from doing so. But you don't check that box. Why not?

No you wouldn't.

This is so tragically stupid. Helicopters have no human rights. At the point where you're asking to be stripped of your human rights, every other absurdity you spout is irrelevant.
I wouldn't check the box because I abhore dishonesty.

The helicopter analogy is simply to point out that giving "rotors" the ability to carry fully automatic weapons all of the time is an example of helping one group but causing a perceived danger in another. (maybe most rotors won't hit the master arm switch and mow down a crowd of people, but they could)

The "bathroom bills" are to address a perceived danger with allowing men in a restroom for women.

As an analogy an exact match is unneeded. I know I'm clever and don't need external validation.

Last edited by SamuelA; 06-08-2019 at 09:50 PM.
  #111  
Old 06-08-2019, 10:23 PM
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I wouldn't check the box because I abhore dishonesty.
Do you now.

Stipulating that, what do you hypothesize is preventing enormous masses of cis folk from engaging in the scurrilous plan you imagine? Is it just that you're the first person who's ever thought of it?
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The helicopter analogy is simply to point out that giving "rotors" the ability to carry fully automatic weapons all of the time is an example of helping one group but causing a perceived danger in another. (maybe most rotors won't hit the master arm switch and mow down a crowd of people, but they could)

The "bathroom bills" are to address a perceived danger with allowing men in a restroom for women.

As an analogy an exact match is unneeded. I know I'm clever and don't need external validation.
I'm glad you know you're clever, because that analogy is goddamned awful. It fails on the most basic level, and you've yet to acknowledge that. Beyond that fundamental failure, it also doesn't work on ANY level. A trans woman going into the ladies' room is not the same thing as a person carrying an automatic weapon IN ANY WAY AT ALL.

Analogies don't need to be perfect, but they also shouldn't be moldering dog turds either. Seriously, you're in washing-machine territory here.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 06-08-2019 at 10:24 PM.
  #112  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:09 PM
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How’s yours?
I tried a straightforward response to see if your suggestions would work. Got completely ignored.

Your turn.
  #113  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:25 PM
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Do you now.

Stipulating that, what do you hypothesize is preventing enormous masses of cis folk from engaging in the scurrilous plan you imagine? Is it just that you're the first person who's ever thought of it?
Because it's really difficult to fake. But yeah, it totally works if you can pull it off, like the Indian pre-med who decided to pose as African American. Since he had the right skin tone it was just a matter of faking the accent, hairstyle, etc.
  #114  
Old 06-08-2019, 11:43 PM
Ronald Raygun is offline
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The current problem the "trans-phobes" have is with people who haven't made these difficult and costly changes getting to enjoy various privileges given to those who have. Also, I would like to get some favorable treatment when I apply to a job with google, so it sounds like in the present environment I need to apply as a gay M->F transexual. All I need to do is check the right boxes on a form and I'll be an under-represented minority they would be glad to have!

Also, I am tired of losing at sports, so I think I'd like to compete in the Olympics as a woman. Though to be fair, that wouldn't give me enough of an advantage, but maybe I'd make it to tryouts.

My final comment - us "rotors" don't need to worry about getting attacked once we get the bill authorizing us to be armed with scaled down-helicopter grade armaments at all times. I won't need to be worried about getting attacked once my rotary chaingun is installed.
Why should my ability to use the women's restroom depend on me making costly changes to myself? Trans people aren't exactly flush with cash.

Please tell me what privileges I have. Why did it take me over a decade to come out of the closet to claim said privileges? I mean, the only thing holding you back is the claim that you "abhor dishonesty". (Such a moral paragon you are. ) I didn't even have that excuse.

Loosely speaking, I am a "gay M->F transexual". I've been unemployed for nine months. Please tell me which companies would be glad to have me.

What box on what form do I need to check? You know it's illegal to ask about my trans status, right?

Oh, Google! You mean the company where my coworkers will dox me on 4chan and Kiwi Farms? The company where a trans acquaintance of mine was raped by an executive? And that executive was later dismissed with a ~$100M severance? And this is one of the most trans friendly companies to work for in the nation?

Sports! What sport can I participate in as a woman without taking HRT?

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Originally Posted by SamuelA
she apparently would feel unsafe if imposing, dangerous looking men were also allowed to use it.
The bathroom protections are so that people like me can use the restroom, if not safely, then at least without fear of legal reprisal. I shouldn't need to divulge my medical status or convince you of my sincerity to piss. I've been assaulted in a men's restroom, and I no longer have the muscle strength to fight back. I do not "pass". What do you want me to do? I make an effort to hold it in or use the single-occupancy restroom whenever possible, because I, like all trans people, are very acutely aware of how they are perceived and the effect we have on others. That isn't always an option, though.

Seriously, what is a "perceived" danger and how does it differ from an actual danger? I don't ride rollercoasters because I perceive them to be dangerous, even though they generally aren't. Much to my dismay, I am commonly "perceived" to be a creepy pervy dude with breasts. I assure you that I'm a sweetheart with breasts.
  #115  
Old 06-09-2019, 12:08 AM
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Why should my ability to use the women's restroom depend on me making costly changes to myself? Trans people aren't exactly flush with cash.

Please tell me what privileges I have. Why did it take me over a decade to come out of the closet to claim said privileges? I mean, the only thing holding you back is the claim that you "abhor dishonesty". (Such a moral paragon you are. ) I didn't even have that excuse.

Loosely speaking, I am a "gay M->F transexual". I've been unemployed for nine months. Please tell me which companies would be glad to have me.

What box on what form do I need to check? You know it's illegal to ask about my trans status, right?

Oh, Google! You mean the company where my coworkers will dox me on 4chan and Kiwi Farms? The company where a trans acquaintance of mine was raped by an executive? And that executive was later dismissed with a ~$100M severance? And this is one of the most trans friendly companies to work for in the nation?

Sports! What sport can I participate in as a woman without taking HRT?



The bathroom protections are so that people like me can use the restroom, if not safely, then at least without fear of legal reprisal. I shouldn't need to divulge my medical status or convince you of my sincerity to piss. I've been assaulted in a men's restroom, and I no longer have the muscle strength to fight back. I do not "pass". What do you want me to do? I make an effort to hold it in or use the single-occupancy restroom whenever possible, because I, like all trans people, are very acutely aware of how they are perceived and the effect we have on others. That isn't always an option, though.

Seriously, what is a "perceived" danger and how does it differ from an actual danger? I don't ride rollercoasters because I perceive them to be dangerous, even though they generally aren't. Much to my dismay, I am commonly "perceived" to be a creepy pervy dude with breasts. I assure you that I'm a sweetheart with breasts.
I feel sympathetic to you. But there are ~249 people for every one of you. And they want to feel safe. And apparently they also find you disturbing.

To some extent, law, especially criminal law and morality law, is really just the collective opinion of the majority. Which is overwhelmingly larger than you.

I don't claim to know what the right answer is, actually. I participated in this thread to try to explain why the "Apache Helicopter" meme is being parroted about. I personally don't like the idea that morality should be subject to the whim of popular opinion, but in practice it's all we've got*.

*if you dump incoherent religion justifications you end up with basically looking for the greatest good for the greatest many. So by this math, if calling you your preferred gender pronoun will keep you alive, but if having to do so upsets other people more than 1/249 as much as the wrong one upsets you, it's "immoral" for them to do that.
  #116  
Old 06-09-2019, 12:34 AM
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I tried a straightforward response to see if your suggestions would work. Got completely ignored.

Your turn.
You haven't actually read a single thing I've posted in this thread, have you?

Once again: Pointing out that the helicopter argument is ridiculous is a shitty response, because the argument is deliberately designed to be ridiculous. By addressing the argument on its own merits, you are playing directly into the hands of the bigot making the argument. You are not making him look ridiculous, you are following his playbook.

It's also worth noting that SamuelA hasn't engaged in any of your posts, including the ones where you were being "witty" about him drinking jet fuel. You're not the only one whose made those sort of responses. He's ignored all of them. The posts he's responded to have been the ones where people actually argued trans rights on their own merits.

I'd also argue that you have not, in fact, engaged him in a "straightforward" manner, although quoting someone else's argument that you saw on Twitter is definitely a step up from your first post here.

I think it's also important to remember that advocating for queer rights isn't just about convincing the person making bigoted arguments. You can't go into these things thinking you're going to change that guy's mind. You are also playing to anyone watching who hasn't made up their mind about the subject. This is particularly relevant in this context, because - once again - when you engage the helicopter argument on its own merits, you are following the bigot's script. He's not trying to convince you, either, he's using you as a prop to show the hollowness of your arguments. I'm going to repeat this again, because maybe if I say it six times you'll finally hear it: the person making this argument wants you to point out the reasons he is not an attack helicopter, specifically so he can turn it around on you and use it as an analogy to trans rights.
  #117  
Old 06-09-2019, 03:43 AM
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I feel sympathetic to you. But there are ~249 people for every one of you. And they want to feel safe. And apparently they also find you disturbing.

To some extent, law, especially criminal law and morality law, is really just the collective opinion of the majority. Which is overwhelmingly larger than you.

I don't claim to know what the right answer is, actually. I participated in this thread to try to explain why the "Apache Helicopter" meme is being parroted about. I personally don't like the idea that morality should be subject to the whim of popular opinion, but in practice it's all we've got*.

*if you dump incoherent religion justifications you end up with basically looking for the greatest good for the greatest many. So by this math, if calling you your preferred gender pronoun will keep you alive, but if having to do so upsets other people more than 1/249 as much as the wrong one upsets you, it's "immoral" for them to do that.
I notice you didn't answer any of my relatively straight-forward questions, like "What privileges do I have as a trans woman?" or "How will being a transsexual help me find a job when many people I know have been fired for being trans?", and instead want to retreat to Utilitarianism 101. Why is that?

I mean, you've really answered the OP here. What's the difference between being trans and identifying as an attack helicopter? The answer is that more people support trans rights than attack-helicopter rights -- which is why, if you want to take a dump on a launch pad or whatever it is that attack helicopters do, you should try to get some popular support. I anticipate that it will be harder for you, because trans identities have existed for millennia and seem to spring up independently. Rotor identities have not, and do not spring up without a political context. I'm not implying that transness is worthy of protection because there's evidence that it arises naturally, but rather that people seem more willing to accept it as part of the human condition.

But let's talk about utilitarianism. By the way, I like your phrase "So by this math", because who can object to impartial mathematics? It's just numbers! If it's not mathematical, it's incoherent religion! So I'm going to borrow it.

You're trying to pit all 249 non-trans people against me. That's flawed, and you know it. It's not just trans people who support trans rights, as is evidenced by the number of people in this thread who are calling out your shenanigans. A Gallup poll from 2017 shows that 52% of women think I should be able to use the women's restroom, and 40% of women think I shouldn't. So by this math (52 > 40), I should use the women's restroom. And you should not use the helicopters' restroom. (I assume. Gallup didn't ask.)

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's me against the straights, all 249 of them. You make the following claim.

If (A and B), then C, where

A: Calling me by my pronouns keeps me alive.
B: Calling me by my pronouns upsets people more than 1/249 as much as it pleases me.
C: Calling me by my pronouns is "immoral", where your use of "immoral" is in "quotes", presumably because you "refuse" to "commit" to any "conception" of "morality" due to "intellectual" "cowardice".

So, A. Calling me by my pronouns does not keep me alive. I've been called "she" and "her" with eye-rolly derision. I've been called "he" and "him" by very well-meaning people. And frankly, when I'm on the street, my pronouns are often "it" and "spit". I'm still here. But again, for the sake of argument, I will grant you A. If you call me "he", I will die right then and there.

(By the way, I didn't make up "it and spit", but I really like the turn of phrase.)

OK, B. So I derive some amount of utility from being called "she". And everyone else loses some amount of utility. How do you measure utility? I mean, you're using the figure 1/249. I presume you can measure it to within 0.4% of... something? And are we simply summing this utility up? Are we averaging it? And if so, which average are we going to use? The geometric mean? The arithmetic mean? The quadratic mean? And why?

You know, I don't know why I'm even bringing averages up. See, epistemologically, you have absolutely no idea what it's like to be trans. Being called "he" will kill me (A), and I assign my death a utility of -∞. And even if you dispute that, there's a concept of gender euphoria, which I experience when you call me "she". And that feels like melding with the fucking Godhead. I understandably assign it a utility of +∞. So quite frankly, the other 249 of you can eat me. My gain in utility far outweighs your paltry finite losses in utility. So by this math, call me "she". If your utility losses are also somehow infinite, than by this math, |∞| = |-249∞|, so we're morally neutral. Except that if you try to kill me by misgendering me, I'm gonna take 250 of you fuckers out with me (in this very not real hypothetical), so by this math, you'd better call me "she".

In all seriousness, you don't know my utility function, nor do you know anyone else's. You have a lot of clarification to do at B for me to accept C. I'm not an ethicist. Honestly, my only formal exposure to utilitarianism has been Bentham and Singer, but I guarantee that "Oh, utilitarianism!" is not a slam-dunk argument. You dismiss all other ethical systems as incoherent religion, but please define a "hedon", which is what I'm calling your unit-of-utility. I'm deriving some number of hedons from having my testicles removed. You, presumably, derive some number of hedons from keeping yours. Who has more pleasure, me or you? (I'm presuming that you have testicles, given that your name is "Samuel", but mine apparently is "Ronald", so we really are in Wackyland.) Compare the lack of safety the average woman feels when I enter a women's restroom to the lack of safety I feel in a men's restroom. Consider that I've been assaulted in a men's restroom, and that most women have not been assaulted by a trans woman.

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Originally Posted by SamuelA
I don't claim to know what the right answer is, actually.
Gosh, you're a regular Socrates. But that doesn't stop you from claiming to know how privileged I am. And what women want. And how easy it is for me to find a job. And the corporate environment at Google.

And the fucked up thing with your assertion is that our law isn't even utilitarian! Law in the US is not the collective opinion of the majority. I'm biracial. When my parents married each other, their marriage had a 75% disapproval rate. It would likely still have been illegal in my home state if it weren't for the Supreme Court. So by the math (25 < 75), my parents' marriage was immoral! Fortunately, "There are more intraracial couples than interracial couples" was not a winning utilitarian argument! Did their marriage somehow become more moral? Is your conception of morality dependent on culture? Or is it something fixed and unchanging?

Like, you can tell me "tough shit" and make an appeal to utilitarianism. I'm going to tell you "tough shit" when we vivisect you to harvest your organs to save the lives of ten people*. Not just any ten people either. Ten people who don't justify oppression with flimsy, half-baked arguments.

Sorry, I'm not being inclusive in my language. Ten people and/or helicopters.

*I'm not actually going to harvest your organs.

Last edited by Ronald Raygun; 06-09-2019 at 03:44 AM.
  #118  
Old 06-09-2019, 03:43 AM
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Because it's really difficult to fake. But yeah, it totally works if you can pull it off, like the Indian pre-med who decided to pose as African American. Since he had the right skin tone it was just a matter of faking the accent, hairstyle, etc.
It's actually not hard to fake, for many. With the right surname it's totally doable since many college applications don't require photos. Many white and black people are surnamed Jones, Williams, Brown, Smith, etc. and it would be easy for a white applicant to pass off such a surname as being a black person's.

And even if one did have to submit photos of one's white appearance, an applicant could easily lie and claim they were 1/4 or 1/8 black and that that's why they "mostly" look white.
  #119  
Old 06-09-2019, 07:08 AM
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OK, I'm going to play devil's advocate, because I hate myself.

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Because it's really difficult to fake.
It's actually simple for you to fake being a trans woman quite convincingly. Move to California. I'll give you an endocrinologist referral. Make an appointment, and she'll give you an estradiol prescription. You just have to sign some paperwork. Take semi-weekly injections. Grow breasts. You're a science guy, right? I think you'll find your breasts quite fascinating, purely from a biological and endocrinological point of view! Buy a new "female" wardrobe. I mean, there's nothing stopping a dude from wearing whatever clothes he wants to wear. I've been told I'm quite fashionable. I'll help you out.

To really be convincing, you'll need to attend therapy. Don't worry! I'll coach you. See, we have a long history of lying to therapists. In the past, any attraction to women was immediately disqualifying, as were a host of other behaviors, so some of us have had to put on artificial displays of "femininity" or lie about our sexual attractions in order to get care. So really, there's no reason a cis guy couldn't do it either.

You know, you don't need any sort of referral to get electrolysis. And at this point you look the part. Shit, I'm an electrologist. If you've got a spare 200 hours, I'll do you for free! Or you can do yourself! My DIY epilator for my legs is really just a 9V battery and a 100K pot. So simple!

You may want to change your voice. My voice is naturally low, and there are some tricks around this. Again, you're, like, really smart. You went to college for engineering or some shit, so we can talk about F1 and F2 and resonance and other acoustic principles. I know you passed Physics 1, so this should be a cakewalk. You might sound a little funny regardless, but that's even better! Only a sincere transsexual would speak in such an affected manner. No one will doubt you.

At this point, you really can get referral letters from anyone -- who's going to doubt you? -- and move on to bottom surgery. Honestly, they keep all the nerves when they do you. You'll probably retain the ability to orgasm, if you still have a sex drive that is. Estrogen therapy took mine away. You honestly won't miss it. Having a libido sorta justifies itself in a weird self-sustaining way, and when it's gone... you know that refractory period after you orgasm where sex just seems sorta gross? It's like that all the time! How convenient!

Now you can get that cushy job at Google! And all the perks and privileges that come with being a trans woman!

-----------------------------------

It's easy to "fake" being trans. Like, there's no real logisitical barrier. You don't have to "pass" as cis-assumed. I certainly don't. So, at this point, what's the distinction between you and me? Interiority? Intention? Should you be "allowed" in the women's restroom? I mean, you are a cis dude. But you've jumped through all the hoops. Is the medical stuff necessary (and/but not) sufficient? Why (is it/is it not) sufficient? Why is the medical stuff necessary?

How do you verify my mental state? What if I'm pulling a fast one on everyone? What if I'm trolling everyone on the SDMB? Brian Zembic got breast implants after losing a bet. He could've kept going. How do you verify the mental state of someone who just started to transition? How do you know I'm not a cis woman who "detransitioned" after some experimentation and now has patchy facial hair? What's stopping a cis man from going to the women's room and saying that he's a trans man who started T when he was really young, but the law says he has to use the woman's restroom?

Does my transness depend on me making some kind of effort? If so, what was I when I was in the closet? I was terrified of this for a long time, but I definitely had trans feelings and trans experiences that cleanly map onto those of other trans women. Is your sense of manhood or womanhood dependant on the parts you have? Or is there something interior? Or something cultural?

I'm just asking questions (the favorite phrase of people acting in bad faith). I don't think there are easy answers either, and I've given you a lot of ammo to tear me down, but I personally fail to see why "Believe people when they say what they are" isn't the starting point.

Last edited by Ronald Raygun; 06-09-2019 at 07:10 AM.
  #120  
Old 06-09-2019, 10:16 AM
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You haven't actually read a single thing I've posted in this thread, have you?
I have, to my cost, because I hate reading things that are completely wrong, written by people who commit the sins they accuse others of.

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It's also worth noting that SamuelA hasn't engaged in any of your posts, including the ones where you were being "witty" about him drinking jet fuel.
SamuelA wasn't in the thread when I made that post, so it's obvious you're the one who isn't reading correctly.

However, this digression isn't helping the thread. Since you won't stop hijacking it with your cuddled opinions on the one and only right way to do things I'll bow out. You'll have to find another target of your internet tough guy act in a different thread.
  #121  
Old 06-09-2019, 10:54 AM
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I notice you didn't answer any of my relatively straight-forward questions, like "What privileges do I have as a trans woman?" or "How will being a transsexual help me find a job when many people I know have been fired for being trans?", and instead want to retreat to Utilitarianism 101. Why is that?

OK, B. So I derive some amount of utility from being called "she". And everyone else loses some amount of utility. How do you measure utility? I mean, you're using the figure 1/249. I presume you can measure it to within 0.4% of... something?

You know, I don't know why I'm even bringing averages up. See, epistemologically, you have absolutely no idea what it's like to be trans. Being called "he" will kill me (A), and I assign my death a utility of -∞. And even if you dispute that, there's a concept of gender euphoria, which I experience when you call me "she". And that feels like melding with the fucking Godhead. I understandably assign it a utility of +∞. So quite frankly, the other 249 of you can eat me. My gain in utility far outweighs your paltry finite losses in utility.
Ok, so I found your post well reasoned and you clearly have put far more effort into this than I have. I'm just snipping down to the most interesting bits.

First, the general problem with discrimination - I work in a field where it's considered totally accepted to start outright age discrimination at particularly arbitrary ages. (some people say it's 35) It's a field that does change fairly rapidly over time but I have a vested interested in seeing all non work performance related discrimination be seriously reduced.

And the "at will" bullshit that certain conservative states have enshrined in their law - many of the same backwards states passing bathroom bills as part of trans discrimination - means employees have minimal protection against outright discrimination. The boss can just write down your performance as a subjective metric and then fire anyone they don't like. "Protected classes" don't provide any meaningful protection if an employer doesn't have to actually justify why they fired someone. (instead, you can try to sue, and it's up to you to try to prove they fired you for unlawful reasons)

So this is a clear cause I can get behind. If laws preventing employment discrimination for all non-performance reasons could be constructed, and if those laws also protected cis white males in their 50s and 60s, there is a ton of support for this.

I'm going to also comment that the fact you've been physically attacked in the men's room is can be taken as an argument for the other position - maybe there is a reason women don't want men in the women's restroom. Enough of them are violent, short sighted thugs that this causes real problems.

I didn't know you received a positive reward for "passing" as a woman.

I will comment that you can't use infinities even on paper - human minds are finite value systems. There is a "range max" that is the highest pleasure or pain you can register, and it isn't infinite. We don't know what that max is in measurable, objective terms but we know the underlying components that make up a brain do have mins and maxes.

Since we can't even measure the difference between "burned to death" and "papercut" for pain levels objectively - nobody has a validated algorithm for an fMRI or other piece of objective measurement equipment - this is academic. So you definitely can't measure to 1 part in 250, all I meant was that basing morality and laws on collective opinion really screws rare individuals like yourself.

One final comment: I know you are used to a lot of bigotry and discrimination. Hence your safe assumption that I'm just another bigot. But, frankly, while I may be parroting some of their arguments in their thread, I find it an obvious error to be taking the side of the ignorant residents of Alabama and the congregation of Westboro Baptist Church. I'm just trying to explore why it's an error in this thread.
  #122  
Old 06-09-2019, 09:31 PM
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One final comment: I know you are used to a lot of bigotry and discrimination. Hence your safe assumption that I'm just another bigot. But, frankly, while I may be parroting some of their arguments in their thread, I find it an obvious error to be taking the side of the ignorant residents of Alabama and the congregation of Westboro Baptist Church. I'm just trying to explore why it's an error in this thread.
Dude, you're not just parroting bigoted arguments, you're making and developing them yourself. Again, you need to be taking responsibility for your own choices. You could be choosing to behave otherwise.
  #123  
Old 06-10-2019, 09:11 AM
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As the link states, transexuals need not do anything to establish their new gender identity. They need not take any steps at all.
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Because it's really difficult to fake.
These two statements seem to contradict each other.
  #124  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:12 PM
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These two statements seem to contradict each other.
Bathroom privileges apparently require nothing, while expecting Google to favor you in an interview would require the interviewers being convinced you are trans.
  #125  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:22 PM
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Bathroom privileges apparently require nothing, while expecting Google to favor you in an interview would require the interviewers being convinced you are trans.
"You needed that job....
and you were the best-qualified. But they had to give it to a minority... because of a quota for queers! Is that really fair?


(we know that the guy in the video is cis because of the lumberjack shirt.)
  #126  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:04 PM
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Bathroom privileges apparently require nothing, while expecting Google to favor you in an interview would require the interviewers being convinced you are trans.
I'm curious what proof you think Google would require in this situation.

Also, just to note, I'm still flabbergasted that people are still going on and on about bathrooms.
  #127  
Old 06-10-2019, 01:06 PM
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Well, you could have gone that way too - it's just a lifestyle choice, right?
  #128  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:13 PM
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Bathroom privileges apparently require nothing
Hold up--do you mean they require nothing for cis folk, or for trans folk?
  #129  
Old 06-10-2019, 04:57 PM
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This is a stupid response, because the point of the "I identify as an attack helicopter," is not to make a claim about oneself, it is to denigrate trans people. It's supposed to be a ridiculous statement. By pointing out that its ridiculous, you are supporting their actual point, which is that it's "ridiculous" for a man to "pretend" to be a woman.

Don't play into their rhetorical trap.
I wanted to come out of hiding (since 2002!) to address this.
The first time I saw this was earlier this week in school survey regarding traffic congestion (posted by a student)
The way I read it was exactly the opposite to what you're saying - it (at least in that usage) was poking fun at the survey designer / trying to be funny.
i.e - if you're going to ask a ridiculous, irrelevant question, then I'm going to give you a nonsensical answer - I'm not buying into your idea that gender matters.
  #130  
Old 06-11-2019, 12:06 PM
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I wanted to come out of hiding (since 2002!) to address this.
The first time I saw this was earlier this week in school survey regarding traffic congestion (posted by a student)
The way I read it was exactly the opposite to what you're saying - it (at least in that usage) was poking fun at the survey designer / trying to be funny.
i.e - if you're going to ask a ridiculous, irrelevant question, then I'm going to give you a nonsensical answer - I'm not buying into your idea that gender matters.
Welcome back from hiding, but I don't think this quite addresses Miller's point. AIUI, the idea is that you can't argue "it's ridiculous to say you are an attack helicopter because you don't have any of the relevant characteristics of an attack helicopter". You can't argue that, because it implicitly accepts the principle "it is ridiculous to claim to be X if you don't have any of the relevant characteristics of X".

And once you have accepted that principle, it leads almost inescapably to the question "what are the relevant characteristics of X?" Which is a vexed question when it comes to gender, because no matter what you come up with, there are going to be people who claim "I don't have that characteristic but I am still X". You need to come up with an agreed definition of what constitutes X. And good luck with that.

Regards,
Shodan
  #131  
Old 06-11-2019, 12:26 PM
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Put their penis in a woman (if F->M). Have a baby. Have vaginal sex with a man. Excrete milk from their breasts. Jerk off.

Sorry, I skipped to the middle of the thread. What the fuck are you guys talking about in here?
  #132  
Old 06-11-2019, 12:39 PM
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Sorry, I skipped to the middle of the thread. What the fuck are you guys talking about in here?
He was stating that babies don't have gender, I think.
  #133  
Old 06-11-2019, 02:26 PM
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Oh. I totally didn't get that. Makes sense though. I don't think they are equivalent responses, if that's supposed to be their point. I mean, we are all human, after all, and sexual identification is going to be all in the mind as much as the physiology, but we aren't helicopters and there is simply no way to identify as an inanimate object. As posters have pointed out, helicopters don't talk...they also don't eat.

It IS a stupid point if that's what they are getting at.
Very well stated.
  #134  
Old 06-11-2019, 02:48 PM
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When someone explicitly tells me that they don't want to be treated like a human being, with human rights, I'm going to deny their request.

I'll also point out how it's a dumb analogy for someone else who's wanting to be treated like a human being with rights.
I don't think it could be better said.
  #135  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:37 PM
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Sorry, I skipped to the middle of the thread. What the fuck are you guys talking about in here?
Weekend plans.
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  #136  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:48 AM
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These two statements seem to contradict each other.
I think SamuelA is asserting that trans people should make so much effort, monetarily and medically, that it would be difficult to fake. As a result, the idea of being able to simply claim a gender identity is -- well, I don't know if "offensive" conveys how he feels, but it seems to go against his idea of what being trans is all about.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:54 AM
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Where are you getting the idea that feminists only opposed the draft when people started talking about including women in it?
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History textbooks.
Name one.
  #138  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:04 AM
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As a thought experiment, suppose you were the classic "brain in a vat", transplanted out of your current body, placed in a nutrient bath and kept alive, with all your sensory inputs and outputs connected to the world via a computer interface. Are you now a computer? Or are you still human? If you're a human, are you man or a woman? I think you'd probably still feel like a human of whatever sex you were originally, but there's no self-evident answer here. This is just the set-up.

Now suppose that at conception we have the technology to separate your brain from your body and keep them alive independently. And let's say you are XY, you have what is typically "male DNA". We place both your body and your brain in separate nutrient baths and keep them alive. We ensure that your (headless) body receives the hormone signals etc to trigger the "male" development pathway, so of course it grows a penis and testicles and (eventually) a hairy chest. Your brain meanwhile is in a separate vat. Although it has XY DNA, it is artificially infused with the hormone signals etc that trigger the "female" development pathway from conception. But wait, there's more. In this thought experiment, we have 23rd century virtual reality technology. Your brain is also provided with a VR sensory interface so your brain thinks it's not in a vat. It thinks it's growing up as a little girl in a typical suburban home. In principle, if our VR is good enough, we can generate inputs and process outputs to/from the brain that are indistinguishable from real life input/output. Since all the physical elements (hormones etc) are identical to those of a girl, and all the life experiences are indistinguishable from a real girl having a normal youth not in a vat, the brain must surely develop thinking and feeling that it's a girl.

So now, of course, mad scientists that we are, at the age of (say) 18 we transplant the brain back into its body. What now? I'm not saying there is some obvious "gotcha" here, I'm interested what people think.
I've really been struggling with this. Well, not this post, but it kind of captures a real-life situation I'm in right now. A friend has an adult child who was raised male but is now "transitioning" (my friend's word - I'm not entirely sure what that means). Mostly I just try to listen to my friend, but I don't think I can avoid pronouns forever.
  #139  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:55 AM
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I've really been struggling with this. Well, not this post, but it kind of captures a real-life situation I'm in right now. A friend has an adult child who was raised male but is now "transitioning" (my friend's word - I'm not entirely sure what that means). Mostly I just try to listen to my friend, but I don't think I can avoid pronouns forever.
Of a friend of yours, say someone named Kathy, told you she wanted to be called Kate from now on, would you have a problem adjusting to this?
It is similar to someone you knew as Mike wanted to be known as Michelle.
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  #140  
Old 06-14-2019, 11:56 AM
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I've really been struggling with this. Well, not this post, but it kind of captures a real-life situation I'm in right now. A friend has an adult child who was raised male but is now "transitioning" (my friend's word - I'm not entirely sure what that means). Mostly I just try to listen to my friend, but I don't think I can avoid pronouns forever.
I'm comfortable with struggling with this. In my own mind, my gender doesn't really matter. If I woke up as a woman tomorrow, I'd be freaked out by the impossibility of it all, but I don't think it'd affect my core identity any more than it would if I woke up with blond hair or no freckles. But I have to recognize that it matters a great deal to many other folks, both cis and trans.

Pronouns are tricky, because we've been taught since childhood to use them a particular way, and to conceptualize the gender of other people a particular way. I mess up; I try to correct myself. One important idea is to get over myself: just because it sounds strange in my ears doesn't mean I need to worry about my own ears.
  #141  
Old 06-14-2019, 05:39 PM
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Of a friend of yours, say someone named Kathy, told you she wanted to be called Kate from now on, would you have a problem adjusting to this?
It is similar to someone you knew as Mike wanted to be known as Michelle.
Obviously not. There's a qualitative difference between using a different name for somebody and recognizing a person as being a different gender - and the shift from Mike to Michelle definitely implies a recognition of a change of gender. Which of course is explicitly the entire reason that names are changed like that in the first place - these people want their gender change recognized and accepted.
  #142  
Old 06-17-2019, 05:40 AM
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Pronouns are tricky, because we've been taught since childhood to use them a particular way, and to conceptualize the gender of other people a particular way.
Well, I think this gets to the heart of my struggle. If it was just one individual (or small group of individuals), I would say "hmmm... they're kind of both, so let them be the judge of which is more appropriate." (And I think I'd actually be more ok with them changing their name than someone who's always been Kathy but now suddenly wants to be Kate.)
But I think I'm being asked to buy into the idea that gender is just a societal construct, and I don't believe that.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:14 AM
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Well, I think this gets to the heart of my struggle. If it was just one individual (or small group of individuals), I would say "hmmm... they're kind of both, so let them be the judge of which is more appropriate." (And I think I'd actually be more ok with them changing their name than someone who's always been Kathy but now suddenly wants to be Kate.)
But I think I'm being asked to buy into the idea that gender is just a societal construct, and I don't believe that.
You seem to be more invested in the gender of a specific person than they are. Look at it this way, the overwhelming majority of people you know are perfectly fine with the gender that they are. So there is no real danger to your understanding of societal gender constructs. Pretty sure they will remain largely intact if you allow for the occasional exception to the rule.
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  #144  
Old 06-17-2019, 07:40 AM
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Pronouns are tricky, because we've been taught since childhood to use them a particular way, and to conceptualize the gender of other people a particular way. I mess up; I try to correct myself. One important idea is to get over myself: just because it sounds strange in my ears doesn't mean I need to worry about my own ears.
I'm curious how it is that you "mess up"? Women = "she", Man = "he". What is there to mess up?
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:39 AM
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Well, I think this gets to the heart of my struggle. If it was just one individual (or small group of individuals), I would say "hmmm... they're kind of both, so let them be the judge of which is more appropriate." (And I think I'd actually be more ok with them changing their name than someone who's always been Kathy but now suddenly wants to be Kate.)
But I think I'm being asked to buy into the idea that gender is just a societal construct, and I don't believe that.
You can support the validity of a trans person’s experience, without necessarily buying into their theory about why they have that experience.
  #146  
Old 06-17-2019, 09:32 AM
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I'm curious how it is that you "mess up"? Women = "she", Man = "he". What is there to mess up?
Most people assume the gender of individuals based on external physical characteristics. This is how we are taught to address people using the pronouns in the English language. This can be an exercise fraught with danger when the external physical charactertics of an individual do not match who they internally identify as. You only find out through conversation.

Efforts to change the way English functions have mostly fallen flat, but I personally have made a habit to use 'they'. Lots of people don't like that and think it should be exclusively plural (despite a long history to the contrary).
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:16 PM
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Most people assume the gender of individuals based on external physical characteristics. This is how we are taught to address people using the pronouns in the English language. This can be an exercise fraught with danger when the external physical charactertics of an individual do not match who they internally identify as. You only find out through conversation.
Fraught with danger? What kind of danger am I in if I address a person who looks like a man "He"? Or addressed a person who looks like a woman "She"?

Is it grave danger?

If a person such as that told me that their gender wasn't what they externally project, then fine, I'll just say the other pronoun.

But I didn't mess up. Can't mess up when you don't originally know.
  #148  
Old 06-18-2019, 05:12 AM
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Fraught with danger? What kind of danger am I in if I address a person who looks like a man "He"? Or addressed a person who looks like a woman "She"?

Is it grave danger?

If a person such as that told me that their gender wasn't what they externally project, then fine, I'll just say the other pronoun.

But I didn't mess up. Can't mess up when you don't originally know.
Have you ever heard of hyperbole?

You run the risk of hurting someone, losing face, etc. If misgendering someone doesn't bother you, then fair enough, I guess. Also, this doesn't even just apply to trans people. Some women look very 'masculine 'and some men look very 'feminine'. You don't think being called 'sir' as a woman would be annoying? I know folk who this happens to all the time, and I get why it wouldn't be pleasant.

To avoid assumptions, then best strategy is a neutral pronoun.
  #149  
Old 06-18-2019, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I'm curious how it is that you "mess up"? Women = "she", Man = "he". What is there to mess up?
I have a friend, let's say Jason. Jason and I mainly knew each other through gaming, some years back; we gamed together for years on a nearly-weekly basis. But the group fell apart, and now I mainly know Jason through Facebook, as well as through Jason's excellent online reporting.

Jason came out as trans a few years ago and asked to be called "she" or "they." But Jason kept her name.

I struggle to remember to call Jason "she" when I talk about her. I mess up.

I've had other similar experiences where I misgender someone. I hate doing so.
  #150  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I have a friend, let's say Jason. Jason and I mainly knew each other through gaming, some years back; we gamed together for years on a nearly-weekly basis. But the group fell apart, and now I mainly know Jason through Facebook, as well as through Jason's excellent online reporting.

Jason came out as trans a few years ago and asked to be called "she" or "they." But Jason kept her name.

I struggle to remember to call Jason "she" when I talk about her. I mess up.

I've had other similar experiences where I misgender someone. I hate doing so.
Fair enough, but I'm curious if she had changed her name as well, would you struggle to remember to call her by her new name?
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