In Praise of Older People Bodies With Vaginas


Actually, now that I think of it,
Blespen (“Blessed with a penis” :wink: )
Perex (“period experiencer”)
Or BOWIVAG, (“Bodies with Vaginas”), hey if AMRAAM, RADAR, SONAR caught on.
PEWPEN (“People with penis”)., PEWPEN?

It’s kind of interesting how people are trying to change the way we use words. A non-binary friend of mine posted a meme going around with the message that it was transphobic to say you’d never date a trans woman because it implies they’re men. Instead, people should say they’re “penis-repulsed” which limits their sexual compatibility with some women including those who use strap-ons and dildos. I don’t actually know if it’s any better for a person to say they’re penis-repulsed but there you go.

I don’t consider myself transphobic. I want trans people to be free from discrimination and violence. But to quote Dave Chappelle, to what extent do I have to participate in their self-image?


While it’s possible you are right – god knows there is far more concern over the existence of transwomen than of transmen – i think the fundamental difference is that one article is political in nature and the other isn’t. Just like the people on this board used “women” and “girls” in the thread here about menstruation. And I’ll comment that most of the time, the article referred not to “men” but to “participants” (in the study) and “patients”. I bet that the most recent Lancet article about breast cancer mostly refers to “women”, “patients”, and “participants”, too.

It seems to me that the category in question–a category including ciswomen and transmen and some nonbinary folks, but not cismen and transwomen and other nonbinary folks–is not a category that I ever need to talk about much. It’s definitely not a socially or culturally cohesive group of folks.

The only time the category does need to be talked about is when specific anatomical or health issues are on the table. And then, why not discuss it with clear language?

None of these terms are dehumanizing:

  • People with red hair
  • People with fair skin
  • People with missing teeth
  • People with elongated earlobes
  • People with stomach ulcers

I agree that the term “people” would have been better than “bodies” in the title–but come on, folks. How long are we going to let the Politically Correct Outrage Machine on Twitter frighten people from using words? This mob that’s screaming at Lancet because they said “bodies” instead of “people” is being ridiculous, and nobody that believes in free speech should put up with it.

Also, moderating:

I suggest that anyone who hadn’t done so review the guidance here:

Guidelines for posting on transgender issues on the SDMB?

In particular

Do not deliberately misgender another poster – that is, refer to them by a pronoun or other sex-specific term indicating a gender other than the one they identify as. This applies only in cases where a poster’s gender identity is reasonably clear. Likewise, do not deliberately misgender off-board figures. This is a more rigorous standard than we apply in other contexts; we do not normally mod posters for merely insulting off-board figures. Deal with it.

Posts that deny the existence of transmen and transwomen completely violate this standard.

Did Sophia Davis take back or apologize for anything she wrote? I understand the editor-in-chief (a different editor) tweeted something to the effect that they were sorry about the misunderstanding, and so on, in an attempt to smooth things over with the readers, which was generous of them.

I’d have figured that someone who Believes In Free Speech should put up with it: that such a person would say that Lancet can of course say “bodies” instead of “people” if they please, and that other people can metaphorically scream at them for doing so if they please — and that I can then criticize one side or the other as I please, and that you can then criticize me for that if you please, and so on, and so on, something, something, up with which I will put.

May I suggest (not very seriously) the following terms:

WOMAN (Women and others menstruating, artificially/augmented or naturally).

CHAP (Corpus has a prostate)

I knew I should’ve added the /s tag.

“People with vaginas” is appropriate in certain contexts. It’s more specific than “anatomically (biologically, genetically, physiologically, sexually) female” or “women”.

Take an XX chromosomes having, assigned female at birth, ciswomen (i.e. they identify as a women) with all of the anatomically female features like a uterus, breasts etc but no vagina (but still a vulva). Is this person anatomically female? I would say yes. But this means they are NOT a person with a vagina. So therefore I would not conflate “anatomically female people” with “people with vaginas”. Whether the Lancet article in question needed to use the former rather than the latter is a different point, but I think both can be appropriate depending on the context.

Am I a man if I have beard, mustaches, prostate, penis and balls but I’m sterile? Or am I just a person with penis? By sterility is caused by my medication. If I stop the medication my balls start to produce semen after some time and I’m no longer sterile.

It’s very clear.

And a man comes on and tells me
How white my shirts can be
But he can’t be a man,
'cause he doesn’t smoke
The same cigarettes as me.

There is probably some room on the spectrum between, say, Clint Eastwood and Richard Simmons. This is fine, smoking is unhealthy. Changing nomenclature should be reserved for cases where it matters. It is less important when the distinction is irrelevant and the meaning clear and respectful.

I may be horribly obtuse (I’ve been called as much) but what’s wrong with “I find you attractive, do you have the wedding tackle I prefer…and how do you feel about making or adopting children?”

Seems like it would cut down on a lot of ambiguity.

That’s a hell of a pickup line.

:smile: Never had much success in that department. Haven’t had to worry about it in three decades or so.

Besides being, as k9bfriender mentioned, a bit abrupt for somebody you’ve just met, it also runs into the issue that some people, apparently, get tremendously insulted at the implication that you can’t tell for certain they’re cisgender just by looking at them.

Once we as a society wrap our heads around the notion that yes, it is possible for very attractive and apparently gender-conforming individuals to have genital anatomy that is atypical for the gender they present as, then hopefully this particular form of offensensitivity will die out.

So apparently I was too subtle, or not subtle enough…it’s not that I’d shake hands and say ‘hey! what parts do you have?’

But it seems like the sticky wicket, as it were, is just when exactly does the conversation happen so that someone isn’t (potentially homophobically) surprised.

I fully acknowledge and embrace that what one is attracted to can deviate substantially from plumbing and binary preferences…and when everybody is on the same page, it’s fantastic.

And we’re in the position where folks can be misunderstood and there’s a whole lotta offense taken and given. (and here’s where I’m trying to NOT step in it, but I will: There are people with whom their sexual identity is a BIG part of who they are, and are emotionally invested in it as a result. I’m not on the prowl, I’m past that period of my life…and I can see where it’s Very Important, but I also have the benefit of looking at it from a clinical distance.)

But you Love who you love, and you really don’t decide that so much as discover what your preferences are, and it’s when folks are surprised that the issues need to be tackled. What the solution to that is, I dunno. Perhaps an evolved version of the Geek Code

Yeah. The only long-term effective solution, AFAICT, is for society to stop getting so freaked out by the existence of transgender identity. That way, transgender people can feel comfortable being “out” as transgender even in the presence of people they’re not getting sexual with, and cisgender people will not get all miffed at the idea that somebody might think they might be transgender.

Until then, many transgender people will have a self-protection incentive to remain closeted as long as they can. And many cisgender people will continue to feel threatened by the notion that their date might be transgender or that they themselves might be mistaken for transgender. And so the unnecessary drama and trauma continues…

If you are DATING someone, transgender should be disclosed up front. I do not subscribe to the notion that can be held back from your date. I never will. They need to disclose.