Gender Identity and Sexism

Gender Identity and Sexism
ciceronianus
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#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 18, 2013 - 4:13 PM:

The Great Whatever wrote:


This is not a joke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otherkin

Every wing of the transgender community I've spoken to hates the otherkin with a passion, because as you can imagine, the otherkin are fond of drawing parallels between themselves and being transgendered.


I think I'm inclined to hate them as well, to be honest. Cats I can understand, but elves?
Kwalish Kid
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#12 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 18, 2013 - 7:28 PM:

Aesthetics wrote:
Based on what? The lack of citations? That's a fairly big jump, and an unfair one at that. I have listed a few citations above.

No, based on what I know of the horrible gender biases in science and in reporting about science. Also, based on my (albeit limited) knowledge of biology and expectations on the limits of gender differences in human biology.

Here's some articles about our similarities and differences:

www.huffingtonpost.com/2013...venus-study_n_2618199.html

OK, a study that shows there are minimal differences between men and women. Not looking good for those biological differences!

Page not found.

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Aesthetics
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#13 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 19, 2013 - 3:38 AM:

MetaMetaMatt wrote:
No, I would say that a man who says that a man who feels like a woman (or a woman who feels like a man) is actually wrong, is actually wrong.


What is it about me that suggests I am a man?

I'm not here to say so-and-so is wrong because I want them to be, or because I am biased, which I fear I may be coming across as. I'm trying to understand gender identity and whether or not it is sexist. This remark doesn't expand on the conversation at all, you aren't telling me why I am wrong.

Kwalish Kid wrote:
OK, a study that shows there are minimal differences between men and women. Not looking good for those biological differences!


This is one study that suggests there are little. Also, if there are minimal differences, doesn't this support the idea of wanting to be one or the other sex being even less 'true'?

Sorry about the other links being lost. It seems when I posted them they got shortened and so the proper URL was lost.

Here's an attempt to post these two articles (I have lost the article in the NY Times and cannot seem to find the URL):

Men and Women Are From Earth: Examining the Latent Structure of Gender

Men and women have distinct personalities - The Telegraph

That being said, there is clearly disagreeing arguments about which is right and true, and many people disagree on what being a 'man' and a 'woman' is. It's hard to know which is right, if there is even such a thing.
Wosret
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Posted Jun 19, 2013 - 4:14 AM:

I think it is blaming the victim. Sure, having certain dispositional, or behavioral traits doesn't mean you're the opposite sex, especially when based on cultural stereotypes, or oppression of the minority by the determined majority mean, of how men and women are, psychologically, physiologically, emotionally, and behaviorally.

This doesn't change the fact that this is the way people think, that if you don't conform to certain roles, and expectations, then you're checked. Told this isn't for you, it is for them.

The better question is "are we sexist", not "are they sexist".

And my answer would be: yes, we are.
Aesthetics
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#15 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 19, 2013 - 5:50 PM:

Wosret wrote:
The better question is "are we sexist", not "are they sexist".

And my answer would be: yes, we are.


OK, so we are sexist. But shouldn't week to lessen and eventually (if possible) remove sexism from society? By supporting this, are we maybe supporting sexism?
BitterCrank
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#16 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 19, 2013 - 6:40 PM:

Aesthetics, I can't quite tell where you are coming from.

Being conscious of and sensitive to sexual difference is one thing. Expecting sexual characteristics to drive stereotyped behavior is quite another. But even if one expects women to be maternal, and men to be producers (workers), doesn't seem to add up to sexism. If sexism means anything, it should involve decisions that are not at all supported by reality.

Maybe what sexism does is restrict the meaning of gender for one's narrow, and merely temporary advantage. For instance, interpreting a woman's presence in public alone (either alone on an empty street or alone in a crowded room) to mean that she is available and craves one's lascivious attentions is sexist. Not hiring a young woman because you believe that many women take time off from work to be mothers, isn't automatically sexist. Many women do get pregnant, bear children, and take time off work to mother them. (Seems like that would be a good thing, if it is possible for her to do that.)

One of the reasons for women's pay differential is that many women do leave the workforce for a period of time to be mothers. When men leave the workforce for similar amounts of time, for whatever reason, they also pay a future earnings penalty.

Wosret
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#17 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 19, 2013 - 7:07 PM:

Aesthetics wrote:


OK, so we are sexist. But shouldn't week to lessen and eventually (if possible) remove sexism from society? By supporting this, are we maybe supporting sexism?


Supporting what? As I argued, if anything transitioning is the result of a sexist society, not a cause. To go after an already suppressed, and marginalized gross minority of society helps in what way? Seems to me to just further prejudice, sexism, and gender stereotypes, and a step towards solidifying, and enforcing gender roles. A huge step towards sexism, prejudice, and oppression, not away from it. Go after the cause, not the victims -- and start with yourself.
TheWillowOfDarkness
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#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 20, 2013 - 4:42 AM:

Aesthetics wrote:
Now, the only scientific difference between men and women is biological differences. Women are noted for a higher level of activity in the prefrontal cortex, which governs planning, organization, impulse control, and learning from mistakes. Men are noted for greater activity in regions associated with visual perception, tracking objects through space, and form recognition. Women have better memory, but less sense of direction. Men are on average more happy, but live shorter lives. These sort of differences which only prop up due to biological differences. Any other differences are a result of stereotypes and sexism.

Since the only difference between men and women is biological differences, would you say that a man who feels like a woman (or a woman who feels like a man) is actually wrong? They are biologically a man (or a woman), so they cannot possibly be another sex 'inside', unless this is based on sexist or stereotypical views of what a man or a woman is. Is this sexist? I am not fully experienced in this exploration of gender identities, but I feel there is some discrepancy that hasn't been explored... what does everyone think?


The argument really has the wrong target. One cannot be concerned about whether they are "really man" or "really a woman" unless they already have the sense they belong to one of those categories. Without that link, there is no reason for them to be concerned about whether they really belong to a given gender category because they are not fulfilling a certain sexist ideal of what "men" and "women" are. Concern about fulfilling a sexist standard with reference to their own gender identity cannot occur prior to the develop of their gender identity.

The question of whether sexism plays a role in the development of some trans identities is certainly relevant. If someone, who is assigned gender X, is in as society which is sexist, finds they feel like doing things which are only permissible to gender why, it isn't a great step to consider how they might feel they actually belonged to gender Y. However, in that situation gender identification, while the feelings have been generated as a result of sexist culture, have stayed on and become their own thing, before an concern about fitting into the "male" or "female" role as a trans person occurs. A gender identification might be generated on the basis of someone feeling uncomfortable within their social role, but is not predicated on holding a sexist stand on what mean and women should be in general. Someone might develop a sense the belonged to other gender to a sexist environment, yet otherwise hold no prescription that men and ought to fit into certain, mutually exclusive roles.

Some trans people certainly do seek to fit into certain sexist ideals of masculinity or femininity. For some that is part of what is necessary to get identified as their gender in general life. When people interact in society they judge the gender categorisation of someone by certain looks, clothing, behaviours, etc., etc., so trans people often mimic those to some degree to get gendered correctly in public situations.

Other times trans people can feel under pressure from other to "prove" they really fit into the gender they claim. Many trans people have to deal with not only strangers dismissing their identity, but family members as well. Much of the time people who have a negative reaction to a trans identity have strong ideas about what is "male," what is "female" and how they are mutually exclusive. In such circumstances, if a trans person engages in activity which is somehow outside what their gender is "supposed to do," it will often be thrown back at them as evidence that they "are not really trans." Trans people have reasons to play along with sexist discourses beyond actually agreeing with them.

There are, of course, some sexist trans people, who have particular ideas about what makes a "male" of "female(often devloping out of the general views of society and the pressures I listed in the previous paragraph)," and they can have ideas which are extremely problematic in relation to trans identities(where does, for example, thinking men ought to be aggressive leave trans men who are not aggressive? It discounts their gender identification. ), but that sexism is an integral part of trans gender identification.
TheWillowOfDarkness
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#19 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 22, 2013 - 10:11 PM:

Aesthetics wrote:
That being said, there is clearly disagreeing arguments about which is right and true, and many people disagree on what being a 'man' and a 'woman' is. It's hard to know which is right, if there is even such a thing.


Examining what exactly is meant by sex and gender would be a good start because there is a contradiction within your own definitions. Even if we were to accept the assertions of that study you posted( 18% of men and women having personality traits which stereotypically are held to belong to the opposite sex), there would a contradiction within your own biological definition of sex.

In the OP you outlined that it was biological differences which defined man and women, yet by your own source, which is professing biological difference(and I assume you agree with this since you posted the studied to support your assertion of greater biological difference between men and women than was otherwise stated in the thread) nearly 1/5 of men and women don't follow the pattern of what biologically makes a woman or man. How is that supposed to work?
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#20 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jun 23, 2013 - 3:29 AM:

I personally don't know about being checked, to be honest. I was raised in a large family, and was the middle child, so no one really paid attention to me. I had few friends, none that were ever really close, and kept to myself. I tended to enjoy both media aimed at boys, and girls. Tended to read media aimed at girls, and watch media aimed at boys. When I started to get into my latter teens, and early twenties, I began to get asked if I was gay or something a lot, and have pretty much everyone I got to known uncertain about my sexuality -- more rarely but sometimes people would question my gender allegiances.

Why I am afraid of people, or at least, getting to know anyone. I never thought I was the opposite sex, but I had thought that it would be nice if I were, and lamented and repented over that in my late teens a lot. I thought maybe I was, or I had to wear it on my sleeve because I wanted to get to know people, and it didn't seem to be something I could hide. I told my mother about it (only like six months ago, although it has been something I've been aware of, and been made aware of for more than a decade), and she spent two days in the closet, saying that all the queers were out, and that seems to be where Jesus now is in our modern perverted times. She though, thinks it means super gay, like the extreme end of homosexuality, and doesn't understand anything else.

I don't even know what I'm doing to make people wonder. I had thought that it had to do with role models growing up, who I emulated, or a sick kind of vanity, or projection of what I thought was attractive, and desirable in another on to others, feeling that I needed to embody those qualities myself, or biology, hormones, or complete insanity, or trauma, or self-hatred, or a million other things, but I have no idea. I always felt, publically at least, that it was something I had to get rid of, hide, or deal with, rather than be. If people would mind their own damn business, and not be so concerned about labeling you, and placing you into a category, and asking you about such things, I wouldn't be worried about getting to know people.

See, it isn't just as easy as not thinking about it anymore, as it is something people remind me of, and I don't know how to stop doing whatever it is people think they see.

Sexism? Sure, why not? Add that to the list of things that could be wrong with me.

Edited by Wosret on Jun 23, 2013 - 3:46 AM
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