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Author Topic: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex  (Read 1201 times)

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Offline Kythia

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2014, 05:57:08 PM »
That's...

I find it ironic that in another thread you recently posted about the need for "cis" and "trans" as terms (for very good reasons, I'm not arguing against it) but here you say "we'll just have to accept the terminology, we can't change it."  The terminology you use, Steampunkette, is determined entirely by you.  You presumably agree that the terms you are using are incorrect and, in the abstract if not the concrete, harmful.  There is I'll wager noone with a gun to your head preventing you from changing those terms.  What precisely is your issue here?  You post seems to be paraphrasable as "You're right, but I'm not going to do it because reasons"

This:

Because changing everything to "Mindset Identities" as you're proposing undermines literally decades of work to communicate basic concepts to cisgender individuals who have no other frame of reference to what we're talking about.

is especially nonsense.  These are, as we agreed, not basic concepts, they're not actually real.  The thing you're trying to communicate to "cisgender individuals" (which includes me) simply doesn't exist.  If that's the best you have - we've been doing this wrong for ages and doing it right now would undo our previous hard work - then you should abandon that quick sharp.  I tend to think that was just a badly phrased sentence though.

Because changing everything to "Mindset Identities" as you're proposing would require us to convince the majority of people to completely change the way they think of gender traits in a society that CONSTANTLY reinforces it through media, education, and custom.

You, errrrrm, you're aware that changing how people think of gender traits is literally what we want to happen, right?  Like, that that's the goal?  I'm not sure what you mean here?  Yes, it would mean changing people's thoughts about gender roles.  Yanno - good.  That's...that's like a super important thing to happen, and if you're saying that your existing terminology is a drag against that then, once again, abandon it as quickly as you earthly can.  Again, I suspect this was a poorly phrased sentence.

But your argument that "this is hard to do, therefore we shouldn't even try" isn't very good.  I'm perfectly prepared to accept there may be good reasons I'm wrong - this is literally the first time I've thought about it.  But "I dunno, dude, that seems like a lot of work" isn't a good enough reason.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2014, 07:23:22 PM »
No, Kythia. My argument isn't "We shouldn't even try"

My argument is "We're trying to break it down in Feminism and have been for decades. We'll get there, eventually, but we also need to establish a baseline of understanding to work off of to secure basic rights, and that needs to happen NOW and not in the future."

Because it's taken us 50+ years to get gender broken down as far as it has and we're -still- struggling against shitloads of backlash.

You can't erase all of that. And you can't erase the trouble we're going through just to be recognized and accepted in society.

As for Cisgender: It was coined in 1991 by a cisgender german scientist and entered into use as a psychological term. We were, again, latching onto language already created for us by someone else who entered into the discussion from a position of privilege, specifically one where the invention of new terminology is considered acceptable and routine. But by the same token it's hardly a valid comparison to "Strip all gendering from the English Language for everyone"

Yes. We do need to strip gender from the English Language. It's something that is going to take decades and possibly even centuries. You cannot ask us to wait that long to secure basic rights and acceptance for ourselves. And to secure those things we have the unenviable position of convincing a hell of a lot of people who don't believe we exist that not only do we exist we shouldn't be beaten, murdered, or denied basic services.

The terminology we use has to be in line with the people we're communicating with, Kythia. Come to me with this line of reasoning when I don't have to carry around my birth certificate, amended by court order, to use a public bathroom in the state I live in for fear of being arrested otherwise.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2014, 07:45:22 PM »
The terminology we use has to be in line with the people we're communicating with, Kythia. Come to me with this line of reasoning when I don't have to carry around my birth certificate, amended by court order, to use a public bathroom in the state I live in for fear of being arrested otherwise.

Just to get it out of the way first - I really don't see the relevance of this point.  Why have you mentioned it?  What does it have to do with the conversation?  Honestly, it seems like a distraction - "I have problems x, y and z therefore nothing else should be done until they're solved".  I'm sure its not, but I don't see another way of reading it.

Back on topic:

Your argument really does seem to be strange.  Tell me where I've got you wrong, please:
1) You accept that naming Bob's various mindsets after genders is objectively incorrect
2) Because it stereotypes, unreasonably, both genders with a host of attributes that are by no means unique to them
3) You think that in the future something should be done about that issue
4) You don't think something should be done now
5) Because many people think of it in terms of gender
6) Because that is the way you insist it should be referred to
7) See 3

Do you see my objection?  Assuming I've understood you right, and I don't see another way of reading your position, you don't think anything should be changed because you've spent ages instilling in the population at large that it must be a gender issue despite agreeing that that is incorrect.  You're...you're fighting the wrong battle there, or on the wrong side at least. 

Now, all of the above is predicated on my gut feeling that Bob's mental states aren't gendered being correct.  As I've said before, I only thought of it tonight and I'm far from married to the idea - if there are reasons that that statement is incorrect or partially correct or whatever then thats a different matter.  But you seem to think it isn't, that Bob's mental states shouldn't be given genders. If that is the case then just, yanno, stop insisting that they are.  Be right; admit that previous positions were less right. Surely?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2014, 07:57:03 PM »
Okay, Kythia, point 5 is where the breakdown seems to be; it should actually read "Because fighting that battle will make a number of people less safe in very real ways."

There's also another, more fundamental reason: Body maps and dysphoria. When I'm in the female mindset, if I check my body map, it expects to find breasts and a vagina. When I'm on the male side, it expects a penis. Surely that's relevant to the terms we use?

Offline Kythia

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2014, 07:59:54 PM »
Okay, Kythia, point 5 is where the breakdown seems to be; it should actually read "Because fighting that battle will make a number of people less safe in very real ways."

That's not something Steampunkette has touched upon.  Could you expand please?

Quote
There's also another, more fundamental reason: Body maps and dysphoria. When I'm in the female mindset, if I check my body map, it expects to find breasts and a vagina. When I'm on the male side, it expects a penis. Surely that's relevant to the terms we use?

Oh, no, I fully accept that.  That was the reason I moved it to Bob from Ephiral.  Dysphoria is a seperate issue to the one we're discussing though, so no I don't think its relevant.  You could, for example, feel more analytical, stoic and whatever else I said when you felt you should have a vagina, more emotional and whatever in penistime without in any way harming the validity of that body map.  My objection is to labelling those sets of traits as male or female.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2014, 08:11:04 PM »
Yes. I bloody well have.

I've been talking about civil rights and communicating with the public to try and get basic fundamental civil rights for trans individuals. You say it's a derailment.

I think the problem is that you're looking at this discussion as if it is in a vacuum rather than one aspect of a massive systemic problem in our society, and so are attributing my points to what I "Want" instead of what I feel is necessary to freaking SURVIVE.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2014, 08:16:58 PM »
Yes. I bloody well have.

I've been talking about civil rights and communicating with the public to try and get basic fundamental civil rights for trans individuals. You say it's a derailment.

I think the problem is that you're looking at this discussion as if it is in a vacuum rather than one aspect of a massive systemic problem in our society, and so are attributing my points to what I "Want" instead of what I feel is necessary to freaking SURVIVE.

No, rereading some of your posts, I think the problem is that we've been having two seperate conversations that were close enough for us not to realise.

Hypothetical person Bob - I'm moving this away from Ephiral to depersonalise it - swings between two brain states.  In one they feel more analytical, more reserved, more stoic.  In another they feel more emotional, extroverted and intuitive.

Why are we referring to this as a gender identity issue?  The rationale seems to be that we associate the first of those bundles of behaviour with males, the second with females so switching between the two must, therefore, be a switch of mental gender.  Correct me if I'm wrong. 

I'm not talking about trans individuals.  I'm talking about two bundles of behaviour/thought patterns/etc.  Ephiral mentioned that her mindset was "stereotypically" male/female and mentioned that that clashed with a desire to be rid of gender essentialism.  I said I thought he should stop referring to them as male/female.

You then, I'm assuming, thought I was talking about...I'm not sure.  Trans people's mindesets?  Something akin to that.  And began a conversation about that, which I didn't realise was a seperate one.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2014, 08:21:57 PM »
Incidentally. one thing third wave feminism brought to where I live (Sweden) was the verbal distinction between gender (language/thinking/ social mores/experience) and one's physical sex, and that male and female could refer to either of those. When I was a kid, that distinction may have existed, in Swedish, in certain obscure social science theory discussions and by word-of-mouth on the fringes of LGBT groups, but it had absolutely no wider usage (or mainstream academic recognition). If people wanted to bring it out they had to do so by a lot of special pleading and I figure they were sure to meet challenges if they tried to. Many languages still lack that kind of distinction as "good currency".
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 08:27:55 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2014, 08:50:38 PM »
Briefly sticking my head into the semantics debate between the other three ladies here: Kythia, I'd chime in with you that if the bundles of brain states and styles of behaviour, talking, flirting and so on that you're hinting at existed like free atoms and molecules in a gas, each individual person fully independent and without any two-way gendered interactions and pressures, then it wouldn't make sense to use the words male or female, or masculine and feminine, to describe certain ways people think, speak, dress, respond (one example: 99% of crying with other persons watching you, in the modern world, seems to be done by women, this is a hugely gendered thing even if the local instances of sobbing are often spontaneous and involuntary).

But hey, we don't live in an atomized world. Our awareness of how we communicate, talk, dress, our ways of trying to attract people, manipulate people, win over or guide people are absolutely infested with imitation and relating to whatever other people want from us from the first words we speak. I'm not saying we imitate blindly, but we do handle these kinds of speech, behaviour (including sexual behaviour), self-image, self-presentation with an eye on how other people of whatever sex or gender do it, how they perform.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 08:56:59 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2014, 08:55:06 PM »
Briefly sticking my head into the semantics debate between the other three ladies here: Kythia, I'd chime in with you that if the bundles of brain states and styles of behaviour, talking, flirting and so on that you're hinting at existed like free atoms and molecules in a gas, each individual person fully independent and without any two-way gendered interactions and pressures, then it wouldn't make sense to use the words male or female, or masculine and feminine, to describe certain ways people think, speak, dress, respond (one example: 99% of crying with other persons watching you, in the modern world, seems to be done by women, this is a hugely gendered thing even if the local instances of sobbing are often spontaneous and involuntary).

But hey, we don't live in an atomized world. Our awareness of how we communicate, talk, dress, our ways of trying to attract people, manipulate people, win over or guide people are absolutely infested with imitation and relating to whatever other poeple want from us from the first words we speak. I'm not saying we imitate blindly, but we do handle these kinds of speech, behaviour (including sexual behaviour), self-image, self-presentation with an eye on how other people of whatever sex or gender do it, how they perform.

Mmm, that's a really good point.  You may be right there.  Although it is entirely possible that there's a benefit to not describing something as male/female even if there are really good reasons for doing so.  But yeah, good point.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2014, 05:04:10 PM »


Presented without comment.

Offline SouvlakiSpaceStation

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2014, 09:49:58 PM »
Re: the image Steampunkette just posted

This reminds me of an article I read for school a few months ago. "How to Build a Man" by Anne Fausto-Sterling. I think it's really relevant to this thread. It discusses how intersex infants get their gender assigned based on the size of their genitalia, among other things. You can find a Word document of the entire article by Googling "how to build a man fausto sterling."

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Human Identities, Sexuality, and Romances are Complex
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2014, 10:58:35 PM »
Here's the article Souvlaki mentioned, I don't think unapproved members can post links:  "How to Build a Man" by Anne Fausto-Sterling.  It was an interesting read.