• prothero
    429
    One can erase, change, modify or even eliminate the social constructs around gender roles in society.
    Doing the same for the physical or biological aspects of sex or gender represents a more difficult problem.
  • BC
    13.1k
    It ain't going away because it's a pet peeve.Tom Storm

    What? My pet peeves don't rule? I'm aghast!!!

    No one was "assigned" a sex (not talking about gender) at birth until that peculiar construction was pushed by the transgendered and their allies. Similarly, "people who are pregnant" is a very recently contrived usage. The only "man" who got pregnant was a woman transgender who had had nothing removed and decided to reverse her hormone therapy and have a child. It was reported in the popular press as some sort of "breakthrough". It was a breakthrough of stupidity into sensible discourse.

    I do not abide by insulting people for their sexual or gender preferences.Philosophim

    I don't either, and have followed the trans person's world view, whether I thought it was sensible or not.

    Accepting their world view for purposes of conducting social services is one thing; validating their world view in a philosophy discussion about transgenderism is altogether different. I have some doubts about aspects of gay men's worldviews, too -- legal marriage, fathering children with a surrogate, service in the military, and so on. That doesn't imply that I am hostile toward fellow gays who are married, have children, and are veterans.

    I didn't have to provide social services to a MAGA Trump-type (I retired before Obama was elected) but had one walked into the office, I would have provided the services they were due.
  • Tom Storm
    8.4k
    What? My pet peeves don't rule? I'm aghast!!!BC

    I hate to tell you...

    No one was "assigned" a sex (not talking about gender) at birth until that peculiar construction was pushed by the transgendered and their allies.BC

    Kind of, but sex was always 'identified' or 'determined' then 'recorded' on birth paperwork and a birth certificate. Whether the word is assigned or identified makes little practical difference. The point being that recorded sex at birth by a health professional, as opposed to self-identified gender may be seen as separate matters - and by no means all trans folk, as I'm sure you know, agree on criteria, just as cishet males won't all agree on masculinity. Thank Christ.

    I don't either, and have followed the trans person's world view, whether I thought it was sensible or not.BC

    Fair enough.

    The only "man" who got pregnant was a woman transgender who had had nothing removed and decided to reverse her hormone therapy and have a child. It was reported in the popular press as some sort of "breakthrough". It was a breakthrough of stupidity into sensible discourse.BC

    And for me this type of issue is a separate matter to the reality of transgenderism. It's located in peripheral discourse or sense making about the issue. What worries me is people making a hasty generalization fallacy into 'therefore all trans is stupid.' Which I'm not accusing you of doing. There will no doubt be bullshit present too as there are in all matters.

    I didn't have to provide social services to a MAGA Trump-type (I retired before Obama was elected) but had one walked into the office, I would have provided the services they were due.BC

    Now you've clearly crossed the line.
  • Hanover
    12k
    Objective considerations trump subjective considerations. The desire for subjective considerations to take precedence over objective considerations results in prejudice or sexism.Philosophim

    All ideological identities are subjective because they relate to thought processes and they will only correlate to objective criteria if the subjective ideology requires it.

    For example, an Orthodox Jew defines a Jew as having a mother who is Jewish and he defines Judaism as a very specific set of beliefs and behaviors.

    A Reform Jew allows that a Jew be the child of a Jewish mother or father and he defines Judaism quite differently than the Orthodox Jew.

    Should the Orthodox Jew be required to accept the way the Reform define Jews and Judaism? No, but neither should he have the authority to deny the Reform Jew his right to call who he wants a Jew.

    Let us then add another problem, which makes this analogy all the more apt. Suppose "Jews" have certain rights to citizenship in Israel that non-Jews don't? Who gets to decide who receives these rights, the Orthodox Jew or the Reform Jew. This debate over terms now has political consequences and the two sides will have to fight over authority.

    Back to transsexuals. If gender, as you define it, is a subjective belief, isn't it also a subjective belief that that belief must correlate to an objective criterion like sex? Why do you get the authority to demand that gender must correlate to biology anymore than an Orthodox Jew has the authority to demand that religious affiliation correlate to biological factors?

    This battle you define is therefore one over authority, meaning it is a political battle between the progressives and the orthodox (lower case), but it is not, as you claim, just a foolish error by the transexuals in not appreciating the old rule that sex and gender correlate. They wish to overthrow that old rule
  • Pierre-Normand
    2.2k
    [...]This battle you define is therefore one over authority, meaning it is a political battle between the progressives and the orthodox (lower case), but it is not, as you claim, just a foolish error by the transexuals in not appreciating the old rule that sex and gender correlate. They wish to overthrow that old ruleHanover

    This is an very enlightening analogy.
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    All ideological identities are subjective because they relate to thought processes and they will only correlate to objective criteria if the subjective ideology requires it.Hanover

    Incorrect. Definitions are of course constructed by human subjective observation of reality, but for them to be of most use, they must be able to be objectively used. For example, if I define a tree as a "Thing with branches and leaves", its not very useful for details in a world with brushes and shrubs. A botanist wouldn't hold to such a definition because clarity and accuracy of definitions are important when discerning between plants as a profession.

    If a Reform Jew and Orthodox Jew have definitions for their own branch of Judaism, that is fine. But then this needs to be objectively matched to the definitions to say, "That person is a Reform Jew, and not an Orthodox".

    Back to transsexuals. If gender, as you define it, is a subjective belief, isn't it also a subjective belief that that belief must correlate to an objective criterion like sex?Hanover

    What I am saying is if you have a definition of gender, and a definition of sex, gender does not change your sex. Vice-versa, sex does not change your gender. Thus if we separate people according to sex, and the limitations of the body that sex entails, saying you identify with a gender that matches another sex does not entail you entry into areas divided by sex.

    To do so would be to have the Orthodox Jew say to the Reform Jew. "I identify as a Reform Jew, even though I don't meet your birth criteria for it." This is not a battle over authority. This is a battle over people trying to say that gender equates to sex. That because you act in a particular self-subjective gender, that this qualifies you to be treated as if you are the opposite sex in all authoritative matters. Gender does not override sex, just like sex does not override gender.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    'Trans rights' are a political correctness minefield in today's culture. A story in the Sydney Morning Herald being a case in point - the Oxford Union, a 200 year old debating society which has hosted many illustrious and controversial speakers, is being pilloried for inviting a professor who has been identified as hostile to trans rights.

    [Kathleen] Stock – described recently as a “mild-mannered and eminently sensible middle-aged lesbian” – resigned as a professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex in 2021 following what she described as “bullying and harassment” in response to her views on gender identification and transgender rights. The controversy revolved around her belief that a person’s self-declared gender identity does not outweigh their biological sex, “particularly when it comes to law and policy”.

    In April, the Oxford University LGBTQ+ society called for Stock’s invitation to speak [at the Union] to be rescinded, claiming she was “transphobic and trans-exclusionary”. It also accused Oxford Union of disregarding the welfare of the society’s members under the guise of free speech.

    Earlier this month, Oxford’s student union passed a motion to cut financial ties with the Oxford Union. Seventy-eight per cent of those present voted in favour, preventing the Oxford Union from having a stall at the freshers’ fair, causing a reduction in membership that will likely put a strain on the debating organisation’s finances. It is the first time such action has been taken.

    Several Oxford colleges including St Edmund Hall, Mansfield, St Anne’s and St Hilda’s have also passed motions condemning the talk, calling for Stock’s invite “to be rescinded in support of the trans community.”

    Christ Church, one of the wealthiest colleges, described Stock as a “notorious transphobe” and said that if she spoke the union would be “complicit and responsible in spreading transphobic rhetoric”

    So - say what you like about gender constructs.......

    (on second thoughts, better not :yikes: )
  • Hanover
    12k
    Incorrect. Definitions are of course constructed by human subjective observation of reality, but for them to be of most use, they must be able to be objectively used. For example, if I define a tree as a "Thing with branches and leaves", its not very useful for details in a world with brushes and shrubs. A botanist wouldn't hold to such a definition because clarity and accuracy of definitions are important when discerning between plants as a profession.Philosophim

    There can be disputes as to what constitutes what, including what objective criteria are to be used for that determination. Whether Pluto is a planet or not is one such question. Obviously nothing ontologically changed about Pluto over time, but that it one day was considered a planet and another day not is based upon convention and whatever purposes the people using the term are trying to fulfill.

    If a Reform Jew and Orthodox Jew have definitions for their own branch of Judaism, that is fine. But then this needs to be objectively matched to the definitions to say, "That person is a Reform Jew, and not an Orthodox".Philosophim

    If they live in isolation from one another, then there is no pragmatic effect for their distinct uses of the term Jew, but where it matters is when the term "Jew" (or in your case "woman") is afforded certain rights in the community at large. So, if the rule is that "Jews" have the right to instantly become citizens should they immigrate to Israel, then a decision as to who is a Jew becomes important. Who gets to decide that question is one of politics and authority. If the Orthodox control the Knesset, then certain people the Reform would allow in would be excluded. That would then result in a political dispute by those disenfranchised.

    Now turning toward the question of what is a woman. If women are permitted to play on certain sports teams, use certain pronouns, and use certain bathrooms, the question then becomes who gets to decide who is a woman and be afforded those right, and that is a political dispute. I'm not suggesting I disagree with the decision to disallow transsexual woman the right to play sports with biologically born women, but I am saying that there is no absolute right one way or the other dictated by biology. What value society wishes to afford biological distinctions is up to the society.

    What I am saying is if you have a definition of gender, and a definition of sex, gender does not change your sex. Vice-versa, sex does not change your gender. Thus if we separate people according to sex, and the limitations of the body that sex entails, saying you identify with a gender that matches another sex does not entail you entry into areas divided by sex.Philosophim

    It's obvious that one's mental state does not change their biological state. It is also obvious that it is the accepted orthodoxy that we seperate men and women on the basis of sex (not gender). It is also obvious that there is a notable group of people arguing against that orthodoxy and demanding that seperation occur on the basis of gender not sex.

    What this means is that you're not making an argument. You're simply restating the accepting orthodoxy and stating it shouldn't be challenged. That is, you're just telling me that we've traditionally separated men and women on the basis of sex, not gender identification, so we can't start changing things just because someone has changed their gender identification. My point is, says who? Why is that a dicate of reality that things be done tomorrow the way they were done yesterday?

    "I identify as a Reform Jew, even though I don't meet your birth criteria for it." This is not a battle over authority. This is a battle over people trying to say that gender equates to sex.Philosophim

    It's entirely a battle of authority. The Reform Jew isn't saying that his mother is Jewish even when she's not and so therefore he's Jewish. He's saying his mother is Christian, but he's insisting that he's still Jewish because parental religion is irrelevant to his analysis. It's directly analogous to what we're talking about here. A MtF transsexual isn't saying she was actually born a biological female so she's therefore a woman. She's saying she was born a biological man, but identifies as a woman, so she is a woman to be afforded all priviledges afforded women, and she doesn't care about your definition of what a woman is and how it relates to sex.
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    There can be disputes as to what constitutes what, including what objective criteria are to be used for that determination.Hanover

    Of course there can. But if we are to construct objective criteria that have logical consistency when applied to broad societies, certain criteria work better than others for communication, clarity, and consistency. In general, subjective definitions do not create clear communication, clarity, or consistency. A functional society will let people have their subjective definitions within their isolated communities. If they ask broader society to accept them as objective definitions that all communities within must accept, broader society is generally served better by rejecting these subjective notions unless there is good cause for society to change.

    If they live in isolation from one another, then there is no pragmatic effect for their distinct uses of the term JewHanover

    Here is where your excellent initial analogy is breaking down. We do not have gender and sex isolated from each other. They also aren't variations of the same thing. I think this analogy has gone far enough and it should refocusing on the topic itself; that gender is a social construct, sex is an objective measure for all to agree despite one's societal culture, and that gender does not have the right to claim it can be equivalent with sex.

    Now turning toward the question of what is a woman. If women are permitted to play on certain sports teams, use certain pronouns, and use certain bathrooms, the question then becomes who gets to decide who is a woman and be afforded those right, and that is a political dispute.Hanover

    You have the order mixed up. First you decide what a woman is, then you decide permissions, pronouns, etc. The definition of men and women has already been decided by society, and that basis has always been sex. Without that, gender itself is meaningless. If gender is a belief in how a woman should act, gender first relies on there being a clear definition of what a woman is by sex. Sex is stable across all cultures. That is why gender can vary across cultures, but always uses sex as the basis for this gender. The definition by sex is not political in the least. It is based off of biology, a science. Changing this definition of biology outside of biology would be political.

    Sports and places of division by sex, are by sex, not gender. They were divided because of the biological consequences of sex, not a person's behavior or manner of dress. This is obvious, and not up for debate. In sports it is simply because of the unconquerable differences between men and women in physical exertion. I've done amateur weight lifting and have an interest in physical exercise and capability. Men's biological bodies are simply better adapted pound for pound than a woman's for competitive physical activity. This is a biological fact, not an opinion.

    It ha nothing to do with whether a woman was butch or empathic. It has nothing to do with dress or make up. All of these personal expressions of individuals which do not come from sex, have no basis in decisions regarding sex.

    You're simply restating the accepting orthodoxy and stating it shouldn't be challenged. That is, you're just telling me that we've traditionally separated men and women on the basis of sex, not gender identification, so we can't start changing things just because someone has changed their gender identification. My point is, says who? Why is that a dicate of reality that things be done tomorrow the way they were done yesterday?Hanover

    Of course we should not just keep doing things, "because we've always done it that way." But we don't also change things because "Well I want to." There has to be a logical reason. Perhaps an advance in science or understanding of human nature. Which is why I never shy away from the question. But the answer of some in the transgender community that gender should be the reason for division instead of sex doesn't make any sense.

    As noted, gender is a subjective construct which can vary from individuals and group to group. My sister does not paint her nails or wear dresses. Does that mean she's the gender of a male? Of course not. She has the sex of a female, and in her mind, not wearing dresses or not painting your nails doesn't make her any less gendered as a female either. Yet there are people out there who would believe my sister is not expressing the female gender. Should we have society legislate that she is now a gendered male because she does not paint her nails or wear dresses? Of course not, that's absurd. Sex is unchanging and not subjective. It makes much more sense that sex would be the ultimate arbiter of sex identification, not gender.

    The battle for authority is not the definition of sex. Its not the idea that gender is a self-subjective identity. The battle is from one segment of society who wants to have everyone take a small group's self-subjective identity, and have that be more important in societies decisions then sex identification. Sex identification has continued to exist because there are important divisions regarding sex, solely because of biology. The introduction of gender, or that acting in one person's particular stereotype of what one sex should act like means you should be identified as that sex, is illogical.

    A MtF transsexual isn't saying she was actually born a biological female so she's therefore a woman. She's saying she was born a biological man, but identifies as a woman, so she is a woman to be afforded all priviledges afforded women, and she doesn't care about your definition of what a woman is and how it relates to sex.Hanover

    The word "man" and "woman" are not based on gender, they are based on sex. There is no question as to what a man or a woman is. There are no privileges afforded a man or a woman beyond this biological difference. We can say there are stereotypical expectations of men and women's behavior and expression, and many men and women do not fit into those stereotypes. Not fitting into a stereotype doesn't change your sex, period. If a man wants to wear dresses, paint their nails, and act flighty, that's fine. They are still a male that's expressing themselves in a particular way. You can say, "I like a particular gendered idea of the way a woman acts in society, so I'll act that way." There's nothing wrong with that. But you are still a man or a woman because of your sex, not your actions or expressions.

    It also doesn't matter whether they care about societies definitions or not. Society always gets to decide. And if they really didn't care, they wouldn't be trying to change how society functions. I don't get to decide what the word "sheep" means, any more than you get decide what any other word means. I am open of course to hearing whether society should change the meaning of certain words or laws and regulations. In the case of gender and sex, I do not see any good arguments as to why society should use gender as an identifier for someone for whom their sex does not match. Give me some reasons, and I'll consider them.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    I am open of course to hearing whether society should change the meaning of certain words or laws and regulations.Philosophim

    I'd try to avoid changing or adopting law based on what people think themselves to be, however strongly and genuinely, myself. But I'm old, and your world frightens and confuses me.
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    I am open of course to hearing whether society should change the meaning of certain words or laws and regulations.
    — Philosophim

    I'd try to avoid changing or adopting law based on what people think themselves to be, however strongly and genuinely, myself. But I'm old, and your world frightens and confuses me.
    Ciceronianus

    The argument I bring is that there is no logical reason why we should change the status quo of gender and sex being separate, and that one's gender has nothing to do with one's sex, or societies laws and divisions by sex. We should never be frightened and confused of asking questions or examining our presuppositions. I think fear and confusion comes when change is made without adequate reason and/or poorly explained.
  • Ciceronianus
    2.9k
    he argument I bring is that there is no logical reason why we should change the status quo of gender and sex being separate, and that one's gender has nothing to do with one's sex, or societies laws and divisions by sex. We should never be frightened and confused of asking questions or examining our presuppositions. I think fear and confusion comes when change is made without adequate reason and/or poorly explained.Philosophim

    My reference to being frightened and confused was a reference to an old Saturday Night Live skit involving the "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer," a character played by the late, great Phil Hartman.

    In fact, though, we should be careful what we do with the law. We're seeing laws, regulations and policies being adopted willy-nilly (as I said, I'm old) addressing gender already. No doubt there's more to come.
  • substantivalism
    218
    The word "man" and "woman" are not based on gender, they are based on sex. There is no question as to what a man or a woman is. There are no privileges afforded a man or a woman beyond this biological difference. We can say there are stereotypical expectations of men and women's behavior and expression, and many men and women do not fit into those stereotypes. Not fitting into a stereotype doesn't change your sex, period. If a man wants to wear dresses, paint their nails, and act flighty, that's fine. They are still a male that's expressing themselves in a particular way. You can say, "I like a particular gendered idea of the way a woman acts in society, so I'll act that way." There's nothing wrong with that. But you are still a man or a woman because of your sex, not your actions or expressions.Philosophim

    Basically this sums up every single problem that both sides possess in having any sort of dialogue on this sort of discussion. Everybody gets the distinction between gender and sex. If they don't then its no difficulty in educating them on that. The issue is deciding on what matters gender should take the forefront and in what cases sex should.

    Bathroom discussions revolve around this a lot where its gender that rules and whether you have the 'correct' internal/sexual anatomy or the right chromosomes isn't how people 'gain access' to such private places. Its passing that matters and not some rigorous identification.

    Sports is a different matter and one in which biology takes the forefront. . . UNLESS there is some specific biological characterization (bone structure, hormonal levels, etc) as a way of leveling the playing field that is sufficient enough to allow fruitful and relatively balanced competition. That is something that would have to be argued for as impossible/possible in principle by those educated in sports science.

    Social groups, cohesion, and the benefits gained from such matters are another situation of great disagreement.

    The question should always be: Is gender or sex the deciding factor in some particular social/political/economic decision? Or to what degree is each characterization to be leveled?
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    The question should always be: Is gender or sex the deciding factor in some particular social/political/economic decision? Or to what degree is each characterization to be leveled?substantivalism

    My point is that gender should never be a factor. Gender is a subjective stereotype, an expectation of how a sex should act in a social setting. Dress codes that do not explicitly tie to physical sex (for example, shirts that cover up breasts correctly) should not be enforced. Thus requiring someone to wear a dress, or not wear a dress, should be abolished. Make up or lack of make up should be abolished. Basically society should not enforce behavior or fashion based on physical sex. THAT is old, outdated, and enforcement of stereotypes.

    All areas that are necessarily tied to sex should never consider gender. Never. Anything that has to deal with nudity should always be separate due to the possibility of one sex being able to force themselves on another's vulnerable position. Women's sports, bathrooms, and shelter's should all be based on biological sex. Laws should enforce that if a man goes into a male bathroom dressed as a woman, they cannot be harassed or discriminated against. This seems fair and right towards all parties involved.
  • substantivalism
    218
    My point is that gender should never be a factor. Gender is a subjective stereotype, an expectation of how a sex should act in a social setting. Dress codes that do not explicitly tie to physical sex (for example, shirts that cover up breasts correctly) should not be enforced. Thus requiring someone to wear a dress, or not wear a dress, should be abolished. Make up or lack of make up should be abolished. Basically society should not enforce behavior or fashion based on physical sex. THAT is old, outdated, and enforcement of stereotypes.Philosophim
    Exactly, gender is only a factor when it is. . . well. . . an actual factor. Not arbitrarily inserted into a decision without relevancy.

    All areas that are necessarily tied to sex should never consider gender. Never. Anything that has to deal with nudity should always be separate due to the possibility of one sex being able to force themselves on another's vulnerable position.Philosophim
    There is already the possibility of another forcing themselves on another in that situation right now. There isn't a bouncer, pants checker, or chromosomal identifier at the door of every. . . or possibly any. . . bathroom so there is no way to enforce this. Nor is the possibility of some hormonally unbalanced and crazed abuser going to see the woman's sign on the door then think, "Oh shoot. They got me. Now I can't fulfill my desires because its law that only real woman can enter this bathroom. I guess i'll abuse woman elsewhere in a more public place." On top of the fact that abuse in this respect is already covered under law.

    A situation i've never actually seen dwelt with is. . . If a person, dressed as woman and self-proclaimed trans-woman, entered the bathroom. . . with no one else there. . . relieved themselves. . . then left. What are the consequences of that action? What are the legal charges to be brought on that person for relieving themselves in the wrong area? What if someone else was in the room regardless of any minute but irrelevant interaction they had? Would that worsen the charges?

    Are we taking legal action against them because we think they are probably an abuser? Are we biased in that respect?

    It does all hinge on IF it comes to public/legal light that a person who did enter the bathroom had different anatomical parts or chromosomes. When that does happen, what do we do?

    I've seen some interesting arguments on the internet that argue that all transexuals or homosexuals are mere sexual deviants on par with pedophiles as well as ploys to be sexually abusive. I'm sure you can find an article on some man who dressed as a woman is expected and acted as indecent or immorally a manner as possible. Oh look, I found one in Florida!

    Women's sports, bathrooms, and shelter's should all be based on biological sex.Philosophim
    Got it. Unisex bathrooms all the way.

    Laws should enforce that if a man goes into a male bathroom dressed as a woman, they cannot be harassed or discriminated against. This seems fair and right towards all parties involved.Philosophim
    Sure, although this should already be covered under anti-discrimination laws if it isn't already.
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    There is already the possibility of another forcing themselves on another in that situation right now.substantivalism

    Of course. Its not about the likelihood, Its about the comfort of those feeling like they have a safe space for their sex. When you're in a vulnerable position with your pants down in a bathroom or needing to adjust clothing you don't want to worry about a man in the area. If a man wants to invade a bathroom and commit assault they can of course. But when there is a social pattern that's ingrained in a person its less likely to occur.

    Are we taking legal action against them because we think they are probably an abuser? Are we biased in that respect?substantivalism

    Laws can be created, but enforcement of them is another matter. Its illegal for someone to trespass on my property. But if I had a kid cut through my yard one day as a short cut, do I need to call the police? No. Its an option. If a person disguises themselves well enough to pass and no one notices, then no one will likely care. But if someone DOES notice, and it bothers them, they then have the right to ask the person to leave or report them.

    I've seen some interesting arguments on the internet that argue that all transexuals or homosexuals are mere sexual deviants on par with pedophiles as well as ploys to be sexually abusive.substantivalism

    That is not what is being discussed here at all. The argument of division by sex has nothing to do with gender. Meaning when I talk about the potential for sexual deviancy, it applies to the sex difference, not the gender difference. 99.X% of people do not commit sexual abuse in bathrooms. But the fear of that .x percentage that do is enough to have sex divisions by law.
  • substantivalism
    218
    Of course. Its not about the likelihood, Its about the comfort of those feeling like they have a safe space for their sex.Philosophim
    A safe place for themselves. Saying for their sex brings in group identity and goes outside the purview of non-gendered talk about sex. A group identity brings in social identity and cohesion which is related to but not the same as biological sex itself. It's something founded on stereotypes and generalizations especially when contrasting with the opposite sex 'group'.

    But when there is a social pattern that's ingrained in a person its less likely to occur.Philosophim
    Exactly, like those laws covering abuse, indecency, etc. That already exist. We can worsen the sentences if they are not up to your liking. Put in more unisex bathrooms? More education on toxic masculine/feminine behaviors in or outside relationships? Mental health improvements in early warning behaviors to be noticed?

    If a person disguises themselves well enough to pass and no one notices, then no one will likely care. But if someone DOES notice, and it bothers them, they then have the right to ask the person to leave or report them.Philosophim
    Note that what you said is not actually specific to any correct bathroom usage. Technically, a person could find someone who is fairly masculine but has chromosomes that are XX as rather bothersome as well but we will. . . for some reason. . . curb their uncomfortability under the guise of 'anti-discrimination' if they are in the woman's rest room.

    This seems hypocritical. I can imagine perfectly reasonable scenarios involving people's 'discomfort' about being around or having their kids around some transitioned individual who is perhaps as transitioned as could be. . . but in the 'right' restroom in your meaning.

    Also, what are they going to report them for? If they were neither abusive nor indecent. Nor were they violent, aggressive, or verbally abusive. Are we going to tell them they used the rest rooms and then left? Are we punishing them for not 'passing' enough?

    The argument of division by sex has nothing to do with gender.Philosophim
    The second you brought up 'passing' or not 'passing' you brought up gender. The second you brought up 'discomfort' and therefore indirectly some social acceptance of this behavior also involves. . . gender.

    Note that i'm going with the simplest definition afforded to me as to what sex is. Your chromosomes and nothing else. Especially since many other physical features of people on the surface level are or have been suspect to recent easier forms of modification or the realization of the social conventional nature they have. Regardless, I'm sticking with the chromosome definition.
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    A safe place for themselves. Saying for their sex brings in group identity and goes outside the purview of non-gendered talk about sex. A group identity brings in social identity and cohesion which is related to but not the same as biological sex itself. It's something founded on stereotypes and generalizations especially when contrasting with the opposite sex 'group'.substantivalism

    No. You can have gendered stereotypes and identities formed within any group. You can make friends or enemies with anyone. The social dynamics that may result within one particular group do not negate a group's division by sex, period. We are talking about division due to physical safety and vulnerability. Anything that forms outside of that is secondary and has nothing to do with a person's sex, or the division of sex that formed this group to begin with.

    Note that what you said is not actually specific to any correct bathroom usage. Technically, a person could find someone who is fairly masculine but has chromosomes that are XX as rather bothersome as well but we will. . . for some reason. . . curb their uncomfortability under the guise of 'anti-discrimination' if they are in the woman's rest room.substantivalism

    Find me the number of cases in which a woman was confused for a man. Its not many. Of course there are exceptions. There are always exceptions. General laws are not based on exceptions, but generalities. If you want to carve out subdivision a1 to the rule to ensure exceptions are treated fairly, all good. For example, if the other bathrooms are full, if you have a child under a certain age of that bathroom's sex, etc. There is no general reason to allow cross bathroom attendance.

    Also, what are they going to report them for? If they were neither abusive nor indecent. Nor were they violent, aggressive, or verbally abusive. Are we going to tell them they used the rest rooms and then left? Are we punishing them for not 'passing' enough?substantivalism

    Some laws are not about a person doing something specifically wrong, its about prevention. There's a law that a person can't trespass on my lawn. I see some kids playing football out in the street and they end up occasionally running up on my lawn. Are they doing any harm? No. Are they staying long? No. Do I have the right to go out and tell them to get off my lawn, and call the cops? Yes. Would I be a jerk? Yes. Doesn't matter though. Territory and property rights need to sway towards those who own them, even if that person is a jerk.

    The second you brought up 'passing' or not 'passing' you brought up gender. The second you brought up 'discomfort' and therefore indirectly some social acceptance of this behavior also involves. . . gender.substantivalism

    Not at all. I didn't bring up passing and not passing, you did. Doesn't matter if you're passing or not, the law is if you have a biological sex that does not belong in a particular place divided by sex, you don't belong there. Period. Acting or trying to hide one's sex does not give you a pass.

    Second, the discomfort is not based on gender, but on sex differences. Can a man rape a woman? Can a man physically overpower a woman? In general, yes. It has nothing to do with whether that man is in a dress or khakis. This is not about the way society expects the way for a man or woman to act, this is about the physical interactions that can occur based purely off of sex differences.
  • Possibility
    2.8k
    Its about the comfort of those feeling like they have a safe space for their sex. When you're in a vulnerable position with your pants down in a bathroom or needing to adjust clothing you don't want to worry about a man in the area. If a man wants to invade a bathroom and commit assault they can of course. But when there is a social pattern that's ingrained in a person its less likely to occur.Philosophim

    Perhaps we can look closer at this problem that the mere presence of the male sex is perceived as a threat to the female sex. This may be part of what I think Josh meant about the inextricable link between gender and sex. It is expectations of gendered behaviour plus male sex that leads to a perceived threat. The discomfort is not just based on sex differences, but on its combination with expectations of gendered behaviour. If a male walked into the ladies’ bathroom wearing a dress, I would look for certain gendered behaviour as an indication of possible threat. There are plenty of women who could physically overpower me if they wanted to - even sexually assault me, physically speaking. But that’s not within the realms of expected (gendered) behaviour from women. I understand the feeling that we don’t want to worry about the proximity of a penis when our pants are around our ankles, but I think if we’re honest that worry is more about gendered behaviour in relation to that penis than it is about the sex differences. Because I would think there are men who feel vulnerable walking into a men’s public bathroom, too, and would be on the lookout for certain behaviours, rather than simply the presence of a penis…

    I think we’re inconvenienced by this growing awareness of the complexity of reality. We like the idea of social shortcuts: men dress as men and go to men’s toilets, and women dress as women and go to women’s toilets - then we can continue to make assumptions based on minimal data. Life is much easier that way, but it would also be easier if everything was black and white (think Pleasantville). That’s comfort, sure, but it’s not reality. We need to learn to pay more attention, and not jump to conclusions too soon. As older adults, we just don’t want to allocate limited time, attention or effort to reconstructing our predictions about the world; ie. learning, making mistakes, etc. But that’s life, not just childhood.
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    This may be part of what I think Josh meant about the inextricable link between gender and sex. It is expectations of gendered behaviour plus male sex that leads to a perceived threat.Possibility

    No, this does not involve gender. Gender is a societal expectation of how a sex should behave in terms of body language, dress, and cultural expression. The ability for a man to penetrate a woman is a function of sex. It is not an expectation of how a man should act, it is the recognition of the physical potential action that a man can act on.

    There are plenty of women who could physically overpower me if they wanted to - even sexually assault me, physically speaking.Possibility

    Very few women can physically overpower even an average man. Physical rape by a woman is much more difficult based on anatomy. But this may be irrelevant based on the point I made earlier. I note just as much that women are not allowed to enter the men's room. So if you fear that, all the more reason to separate the sexes.

    If a male walked into the ladies’ bathroom wearing a dress, I would look for certain gendered behaviour as an indication of possible threat.Possibility

    You cannot necessarily judge the intent of someone by their behavior. Also gender does not apply to sexual assault or lewdness. Gender is very simply a subjective expected set of behaviors and cultural expressions that society and groups of individuals expect a sex to express. Men not crying is an example of a gendered expectation. This does not mean a man cannot cry. This does not mean that a man crying is a gendered expression. The gendered expression would be if a man decides not to cry purely because of the gendered expectations of himself or the group he is around.

    Rape, assault, etc. are not gender expectations. Physical sex differences, and the general results they have, are not gender expectations.

    I think we’re inconvenienced by this growing awareness of the complexity of reality. We like the idea of social shortcuts: men dress as men and go to men’s toilets, and women dress as women and go to women’s toilets - then we can continue to make assumptions based on minimal data.Possibility

    Speak for yourself. I am not inconvenienced by reality. I've thought about this topic for several months after doing lots of research scientifically, psychologically, and in online communities. I've already mentioned that I do not believe there should be any laws regulating gender expression. If men want to wear dresses, so be it. But in cases where real sex differences have potential outcomes, absolutely laws and limitations need to be made. Your gender is irrelevant to the law. Your gender is pointless except to the culture, social structure you are in, or your own personal guidelines. Sex differences and their potential outcomes regarding the physical nature and potential of those differences absolutely can be regulated by laws. The problem with your argument is labeling gender as something it is not, and inadvertently crossing into sex differences.
  • substantivalism
    218
    No. You can have gendered stereotypes and identities formed within any group.Philosophim
    . . . and a group is not your chromosomes so we are off to a good start here.

    You can make friends or enemies with anyone.Philosophim
    No specific chromosomes specified or needed in such situations, yeah.

    The social dynamics that may result within one particular group do not negate a group's division by sex, period.Philosophim
    It does imply its existence, need, or IDENTITY. Groups are not made in a vacuum. They are made on personal, social, psychological, economic, historical, or on any other particular collection of reasons.

    Note, that there is a difference between a mere grouping based one particular characterization (having such and such chromosomes) and a social sense of cohesion. . . which is therefore not your chromosomes. Neither is and the expectations we hold for who can be 'a part' of it may be arbitrary or rather culturally set in stone. Those are the reasons people grasp at in the trans persons in the wrong bathroom discussion where its a talk of gender stereotype, assumed intentions, and toxic cultural identity.

    We are talking about division due to physical safety and vulnerability. Anything that forms outside of that is secondary and has nothing to do with a person's sex, or the division of sex that formed this group to begin with.Philosophim
    Am I now extending the definition of sex to include biological factors such as bone structure, muscle physiology, and. . . what else?

    Find me the number of cases in which a woman was confused for a man. Its not many.Philosophim
    That is the point of looking for exceptions such as in the case of trans people because this doesn't then become a throw away point but a reality.

    Of course there are exceptions. There are always exceptions. General laws are not based on exceptions, but generalities. If you want to carve out subdivision a1 to the rule to ensure exceptions are treated fairly, all good.Philosophim
    So, this whole discussion feels pointless as I could put in an exception for trans individuals as has already been done or will be done.

    For example, if the other bathrooms are full, if you have a child under a certain age of that bathroom's sex, etc. There is no general reason to allow cross bathroom attendance.Philosophim
    I've been talking about cross bathroom attendance. . . of trans individuals. Let us be sure to not parrot the myth of advocating for increased sexual predation because we give trans exceptions.

    Some laws are not about a person doing something specifically wrong, its about prevention.Philosophim
    Then prevent actual potential harm. . . not a person just using the restroom for its intended purpose. The exception clause you brought up comes back at us again.

    Not at all. I didn't bring up passing and not passing, you did.Philosophim
    Well. . . you did say. . .

    If a person disguises themselves well enough to pass and no one notices, then no one will likely care. But if someone DOES notice, and it bothers them, they then have the right to ask the person to leave or report them.Philosophim

    That is what 'passing' is.

    Doesn't matter if you're passing or not, the law is if you have a biological sex that does not belong in a particular place divided by sex, you don't belong there. Period. Acting or trying to hide one's sex does not give you a pass.Philosophim
    Unless. . . [insert trans exception].

    This is not about the way society expects the way for a man or woman to act, this is about the physical interactions that can occur based purely off of sex differences.Philosophim
    . . . and the well-founded as well as supported implied intention to possibly do harm. That trans-exception again, also.
  • Philosophim
    2.2k


    Ok, I think we've narrowed down our misunderstanding.

    We don't generally let men or women in the other bathrooms. Being trans has nothing to do with whether you are a man or woman by sex. Your dress and behavior do not negate your sex or make you special. We don't have exceptions for trans people, because trans people aren't biologically different, they're just different by gender.

    You seem to think how a person acts should trump sex differences. They don't. Acting like what some people think the opposite sex should act like does not make you the opposite sex. This is a clear fact. So if you're a man in shorts, a tank top, sweater, or a dress, you don't belong in woman's sports, their bathroom, or any other place divided by sex.

    We do not divide bathrooms based on how you're dressed. There's a reason why urinals are not in women's restrooms, and its not because men "shouldn't cry". So there is no exception based on gender. There are exceptions based on physical sex differences or having a child of the correct sex with you. Thus there is no exception for trans individuals, because trans people are people of a particular sex who act or dress differently then their sex's stereotype.

    The social dynamics that may result within one particular group do not negate a group's division by sex, period.
    — Philosophim
    It does imply its existence, need, or IDENTITY. Groups are not made in a vacuum. They are made on personal, social, psychological, economic, historical, or on any other particular collection of reasons.
    substantivalism

    I'm a little lost here. I'm not saying you can't have a relationship or an identity within a group. But you cannot have the identity of another sex, when you are not the other sex. You cannot have an identity of being a pale red head if you are a brown skinned brunette. You can never be the opposite sex. Its impossible. Desiring to be, pretending to be, are all desires that cannot come to fruition in reality.

    I'll put another question to you. Why can't a trans person use the bathroom of their own sex? Why can't a trans person compete with members of their own sex? Why can they not accept that they are a particular sex, but they like to act like the other sex? Isn't that reality? I have no problem with a man dressing as a woman, or a woman dressing up like a man. But when you think doing so makes you the other sex, and affords you the ability to cross over to the other sex when those divisions by law were made based on sex, you've crossed over from logic into wish fulfillment. Societies job is not to entertain other people's wish fulfillment.

    Not at all. I didn't bring up passing and not passing, you did.
    — Philosophim
    Well. . . you did say. . .

    If a person disguises themselves well enough to pass and no one notices, then no one will likely care.
    substantivalism

    And I believed I said that because you were implying passing at some point. Looking back I don't see where that was. If you did not imply that, my mistake. But that is why I brought it up.

    So to your point then, you need to explain to me why acting like or impersonating the other sex gives you the right to enter areas that are separated by sex. If we don't let non-trans men into women's bathrooms, why should one who acts like a stereotype of one, should?
  • Possibility
    2.8k
    No, this does not involve gender. Gender is a societal expectation of how a sex should behave in terms of body language, dress, and cultural expression. The ability for a man to penetrate a woman is a function of sex. It is not an expectation of how a man should act, it is the recognition of the physical potential action that a man can act on.Philosophim

    First of all, gender is not necessarily about ought - As a woman, I have learned not to make decisions based on societal expectations of how I ought to behave. In turn, and because I’m rarely in a position to enforce judgement, my interactions with men are based on how he is likely to act in any given situation, not how he should act.

    This is more than recognising the potential physical action - I’m a small woman, so if I responded to physical capacity alone, I’d be living in fear with almost every encounter. I have to take into account more complex qualitative predictions as to the probability of that potential being acted on. Fortunately in most situations that’s low, and my own capacity to interact at an intelligent level is high - so overall, my fear is low. I feel I should point out that, as women, there are many occasions in our lives where we have our pants around our ankles in the presence of strange men, and need to recognise much more than ‘the physical potential action that a man can act on’ in order to interact effectively.

    So, let me be clear - the mere physical ability for a man to penetrate a woman is NOT the source of fear or discomfort felt by women. Rape and sexual assault ARE an aspect of gender in relation to sex - this is not a matter of either/or. Men (or women) who use their physical potential action to oppress or manipulate the behaviour of others (male or female) as their perceived right is the problem, NOT the potential action itself.

    You cannot necessarily judge the intent of someone by their behavior. Also gender does not apply to sexual assault or lewdness. Gender is very simply a subjective expected set of behaviors and cultural expressions that society and groups of individuals expect a sex to express. Men not crying is an example of a gendered expectation. This does not mean a man cannot cry. This does not mean that a man crying is a gendered expression. The gendered expression would be if a man decides not to cry purely because of the gendered expectations of himself or the group he is around.Philosophim

    Well, I can more reliably predict the intent of someone by their behaviour than by their physical appearance or dress. Gender is not simple at all - it’s a complex structure of predictions that are probabilistic at best. The discomfort felt in witnessing a man crying in public is also an example of gender expectations at work - but we’re not obliged to express that discomfort in how we respond.

    In the same way, a male who walks into the female bathroom is going to cause discomfort in women based on a combination of gender AND sex, not sex alone. If they are dressed as a woman, then I’m going to watch for other behaviour indicators to assess the potential risk. It’s easy enough to do (harder to explain), and anything less than that would be ignorance on my part.
  • substantivalism
    218
    We don't generally let men or women in the other bathrooms.Philosophim
    Based on appearance, yes.

    Being trans has nothing to do with whether you are a man or woman by sex.Philosophim
    Yes, it hasn't anything to do with chromosomes. Only whatever ISN'T chromosomes. . . so everything else. Unless you have a different definition to provide.

    Your dress and behavior do not negate your sex or make you special.Philosophim
    Yes to the former. The latter however ignores societal classes, social roles, and stereotypes themselves.

    You seem to think how a person acts should trump sex differences.Philosophim
    Well, i'm not privy to biological essentialism and given your extremely broad label painted for the word gender it actually is the case that it does. As it now covers everything that people would feel is relevant to being part of their group such as social roles, social discourse, social etiquette, dress, mannerisms, etc. Even much of the biological elements which can be readily modified. The literal only thing not included are your chromosomes by definition and or any latent biological essentialism that couldn't be 'transitioned' away.

    So if it quacks like a duck, acts like a duck, and walks like a duck. Should it better stay away from those other ducks because its DNA doesn't match up?

    The above is the impression I get from the defensive position i'm entertaining here. They are talking about bathrooms as spaces in which only "woman" are allowed and the 'sex' element to this is an excuse or cover up for prior assumptions of how transitioned an individual needs to be to then be seen culturally as 'woman/man' enough. Rather like an outcast seeking to be allowed by the best of their efforts into a collective that seeks to outcast them permanently for reasons irrelevant for the significant portion of most individuals as a part of that collective.

    Acting like what some people think the opposite sex should act like does not make you the opposite sex.Philosophim
    It could make you similar in every manner that is relevant to most people as to what it means to be culturally/socially a man/woman while not having the right chromosomes still.

    We do not divide bathrooms based on how you're dressed. There's a reason why urinals are not in women's restrooms, and its not because men "shouldn't cry".Philosophim
    It's based on your biological appendage then but technically both bathrooms should have toilets that allow for either to use. I prefer them even due to their added privacy of a closed door.

    Thus there is no exception for trans individuals, because trans people are people of a particular sex who act or dress differently then their sex's stereotype.Philosophim
    The point I want to emphasize at this stage is how we've treated the bathroom situation. As a couple of the feminist articles i've seen on the issue have showcased and you admitted its about perceived safety among those of similar supposed standing. Its thinking, because we have the same external biology/behavior/chromosomes that we then feel comfortable around you in that vulnerable state. The question then is how much of the first two are needed until suddenly they, as you said before, 'don't feel uncomfortable'? Is there a 'male/female brain' or sense of biological essentialism that dooms any person who tries to avoid those masculine/feminine stereotypes?

    You can never be the opposite sex. Its impossible.Philosophim
    If you are talking about chromosomes. . . then yes. If you are talking about societal classes to identify under or be a part of. . . well. . . we are on a philosophy forum.

    The question isn't of changing your DNA it's about acceptance and 'passing' in a societal context. Being allowed or given permission among groups of a particular sort. I'm being rather general here.

    Why can't a trans person use the bathroom of their own sex?Philosophim
    Uhhh. . . reasons.

    Why can they not accept that they are a particular sex, but they like to act like the other sex?Philosophim
    Mostly because of the bare fact that you made in the beginning of this whole discussion. Gender isn't sex. It's fluid and people who have a particular set of chromosomes might just behave contrary to expectations of this biological fact. So, they may desire to be accepted into that grouping irrespective of being held down by their mere chromosome status. This new desire being so great that it motivates them to completely change many aspects of themselves to achieve this goal. Perhaps not too different to changing oneself in certain minor or major ways to gain friends, a romantic partner, or mirror a famous individual.

    Why do you desire to be however masculine/feminine of a mix that you are?

    I have no problem with a man dressing as a woman, or a woman dressing up like a man.Philosophim
    If gender is separate from or to be mostly dissolved away from sex then it's just dress, stereotype, and. . . lots of varied behaviors.

    So to your point then, you need to explain to me why acting like or impersonating the other sex gives you the right to enter areas that are separated by sex. If we don't let non-trans men into women's bathrooms, why should one who acts like a stereotype of one, should?Philosophim
    Look everyone! We finally got to the actual point of this sort of discussion!

    The question here is. . . what makes a woman/man that isn't their chromosomes? What behaviors/mannerisms/mental states are 'owned' by women/men?
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    This was rather long, so I understand if you're unable to address or quote everything here. I might repeat myself a bit but I did not have time this morning to remove some possible repetition of points.

    We don't generally let men or women in the other bathrooms.
    — Philosophim
    Based on appearance, yes.
    substantivalism

    No, that's incomplete. Do men dressed in clown suits get rejected from the men's restroom? No. Its not appearance, its based on sex. Appearance is how we readily judge another's sex. Can you attempt to disguise your sex? Yes. Does that change your sex? No. Does that mean that because we can disguise our sex that suddenly it makes it ok? No. Appearance is not your sex. Being able to "pass" does not change your sex.

    Your dress and behavior do not negate your sex or make you special.
    — Philosophim
    Yes to the former. The latter however ignores societal classes, social roles, and stereotypes themselves.
    substantivalism

    Yes, it does ignore classes, roles and stereotypes. That's gender. The idea that a woman is inferior to a man is gender. The idea that only men can be fire fighters is gender. The idea that men cannot raise children is gender. All of those are subjective stereotypes and quite frankly, discrimination. Gender is not a good or positive thing substantivalism. Its a primitive emotional approach to judging members of the opposite sex on things that have nothing to do with one's actual physical sex.

    Instead of digging into stereotypes by saying that trans people "belong to a certain social club" we should be changing our attitudes about gender stereotyping. Men should be able to wear tasteful dresses in public and we should all be able to treat that man with respect, equal rights, and not derision. A person shouldn't feel like they need to lie that they're the other sex to avoid stereotypes. A short man or tall man shouldn't be bullied.

    To help me with our discussion, tell me why someone should cross sex divided places because of gender, over instead simply working on getting people to accept that men and women don't have to conform to gender stereotypes to be men and women? Specific examples please, not general abstracts.

    cting like what some people think the opposite sex should act like does not make you the opposite sex.
    — Philosophim
    It could make you similar in every manner that is relevant to most people as to what it means to be culturally/socially a man/woman while not having the right chromosomes still.
    substantivalism

    Again, this is wrong. It is not culturally what it means to be a man or a woman, that's poor grammar. A man or a woman is by sex. Cultural expectations of how a man or a woman should behave, dress, and act apart from the physical sex differences is gender. Saying because I act like a certain expectation that one sex has makes me that sex, is discriminatory behavior.

    The point I want to emphasize at this stage is how we've treated the bathroom situation. As a couple of the feminist articles i've seen on the issue have showcased and you admitted its about perceived safety among those of similar supposed standing. Its thinking, because we have the same external biology/behavior/chromosomes that we then feel comfortable around you in that vulnerable state. The question then is how much of the first two are needed until suddenly they, as you said before, 'don't feel uncomfortable'? Is there a 'male/female brain' or sense of biological essentialism that dooms any person who tries to avoid those masculine/feminine stereotypes?substantivalism

    It has nothing to do with a male or female brain. A man can enter a bathroom with painted nails, act flighty and emotional, and they're still a man. They are in a place they belong based on their sex. A muscular woman with a deeper voice who likes war games and monster trucks can enter a bathroom as well. The ultimate reason why we have bathroom division is based on sex. Not just the physical sex, but the act as well. Bathrooms are places of physical vulnerability, and generally attempt to have privacy from the rest of the world. Its not a place you go in and flex in the mirror or twirl your new dress around to strangers. You know this.

    In places of physical vulnerability we try to minimize discomfort. We don't want to hear a man and a woman having sex in the stall next to us. When a woman has a period accident, she doesn't want to have men seeing her in that position as she takes a bloody tampon to a trashcan. Men don't want you looking over at their urinal. You get it.

    Now, do we have exceptions like gay individuals? Of course. But its an extremely rare portion of the population. Further, the secondary sex characteristics do not have as much of a power difference, so any assault is less deadly and easier to fight off.

    When you argue that trans people should be able to cross bathrooms, you make the mistake of ignoring sex. If you consider sex, what you should be saying is that all men and women should have no bathroom division at all. If its only a cultural idea, then we say the whole thing is a mistake.

    So, argue that there should be no division of bathrooms based on sex if you want. Once you can show that, then we can say trans people can use the other restroom, as well as non-trans people. If you think there should be a division of bathrooms by sex, then trans people don't get to use the other bathroom, because gender is not the same as sex.

    You can never be the opposite sex. Its impossible.
    — Philosophim
    If you are talking about chromosomes. . . then yes. If you are talking about societal classes to identify under or be a part of. . . well. . . we are on a philosophy forum.
    substantivalism

    Societal classes are subjective expectations of behavior, culture, and dress based on those chromosomes. An expected societal class has nothing to do with your sex, its about the expectations others have about your sex. That's gender. Gender and sex are different. So this does not counter my point that changing your sex is impossible. You can disguise yourself to change people perceptions about you and their expecations of you. That does not change your sex.

    Why can't a trans person use the bathroom of their own sex?
    — Philosophim
    Uhhh. . . reasons.
    substantivalism

    Ok, then why don't we work on harsher punishment for violations like this, or work on the culture so that members of their own sex will not act negatively towards other based on stereotypes? Why is the solution to pretend a stereotype means you now belong in a place of another sex, despite you not being that other sex? Isn't the former much more logical and cause the least amount of issues in society?

    Gender isn't sex. It's fluid and people who have a particular set of chromosomes might just behave contrary to expectations of this biological fact. So, they may desire to be accepted into that grouping irrespective of being held down by their mere chromosome status...This new desire being so great that it motivates them to completely change many aspects of themselves to achieve this goal.substantivalism

    And to that I say, "Tough luck". I'm short and I can't be a basketball player. It has nothing to do with my desire to be a basketball player. It has to do with my physical difference. Me putting on stilts and telling everyone I'm a tall person, or acting like the stereotypes of a tall person doesn't change this. My denial from the NBA isn't because of my behavior or societal discrimination. Its based on my failure to measure up physically for what is needed to be an effective member of a competitive sport.

    I have no problem with a man dressing as a woman, or a woman dressing up like a man.
    — Philosophim
    If gender is separate from or to be mostly dissolved away from sex then it's just dress, stereotype, and. . . lots of varied behaviors.
    substantivalism

    Yes, that's exactly it.

    The question here is. . . what makes a woman/man that isn't their chromosomes? What behaviors/mannerisms/mental states are 'owned' by women/men?substantivalism

    Nothing. That's the entire point. Gender is a subjective stereotype of a group or individuals. If it doesn't have to do with physical characteristics, its not sex.
  • Philosophim
    2.2k
    First of all, gender is not necessarily about ought - As a woman, I have learned not to make decisions based on societal expectations of how I ought to behave.Possibility

    Gender is a stereotype of "ought". If you don't behave in accordance with certain stereotypes, does that change your sex? Of course not. My sister does not wear dresses and dissects dead bodies for a living. Does that mean she's not a woman by sex? Of course not.

    I feel I should point out that, as women, there are many occasions in our lives where we have our pants around our ankles in the presence of strange menPossibility

    These are not strange men. These are medical professionals who have been vetted to ensure a particular level of trust. Men and women janitors can enter into cross bathrooms because we also know they're vetted. There is a level of professional trust. We're not pulling some guy off the street to give you an exam right?

    So, let me be clear - the mere physical ability for a man to penetrate a woman is NOT the source of fear or discomfort felt by women.Possibility

    Some women, yes. But I am interested in groups, not individuals. Let me ask you this then, should there be a division of men and woman at all by bathrooms? Ignore the idea of trans entirely. Should we remove the men and woman bathroom division entirely? Would that cause any problems? If you say yes, then you are one person who does not believe men and women should be divided by sex in bathroom situations. If so, I have no disagreement, as you've erased a sex division, not a gender division.

    If you do think there's a separation needed, then you need to explain to me why a separation based on sex suddenly gets overruled by a man wearing a dress. Why don't they still go over to their own bathroom? Why do they need or be allowed to come over to yours?
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.5k
    I think that in order to define something as a woman there has to be something concrete being referred to and in this case it is the reality of biological human females in whose womb we all grew and that automatically excludes all men from the category woman.

    If there is nothing concrete that the word "Woman" refers to then it refers to nothing.

    So it is conceptually impossible for a biological human male to be a female without making terms meaningless.

    If a man goes in oestrogen and grows breasts he is trying to emulate a woman because oestrogen is linked to developmental features in actual women. So once again he is modelling himself on a real biological phenomena found in nature not on a mental concept of gender identity. Which is identical to blackface and someone emulating the features of an African.
  • substantivalism
    218
    So i'm going to use the words male and female to denote having respectively XY/XX chromosomes. I'm using the word women/men to regard the social/cultural categories and all assumed stereotypes or behaviors coincident with those terms colloquially.

    No, that's incomplete. Do men dressed in clown suits get rejected from the men's restroom? No. Its not appearance, its based on sex.Philosophim
    Except that isn't what you implied before. . .

    If a person disguises themselves well enough to pass and no one notices, then no one will likely care.Philosophim
    So. . . its based on appearance then from which they immediately judge the intentions of the person in question. If they don't 'pass' then and only then is it a problem regardless of whether its a trans-women or mistaking a rather "manly" seeming cis-gendered female for a male. It doesn't matter. The 'uncomfortability' that actually motivates lawful chromosomal divide is based on the fact that. . .

    Appearance is how we readily judge another's sex.Philosophim

    Can you attempt to disguise your sex? Yes. Does that change your sex? No. Does that mean that because we can disguise our sex that suddenly it makes it ok? No. Appearance is not your sex. Being able to "pass" does not change your sex.Philosophim
    It does change the point or significance of using it or its utility in a true general sense.

    Yes, it does ignore classes, roles and stereotypes. That's gender. The idea that a woman is inferior to a man is gender. The idea that only men can be fire fighters is gender. The idea that men cannot raise children is gender. All of those are subjective stereotypes and quite frankly, discrimination. Gender is not a good or positive thing substantivalism. Its a primitive emotional approach to judging members of the opposite sex on things that have nothing to do with one's actual physical sex.Philosophim
    Being seen as a likely perpetrator or as a statistical risk based off of your 'grouping' is also not based directly on your sex. It's a prior bias. . . assumption. . . stereotype if you will. . . and sex is neither sufficient nor necessary to motivate its presence. Only the action itself or some well founded intention to indulge in it when it's readily present.

    Instead of digging into stereotypes by saying that trans people "belong to a certain social club" we should be changing our attitudes about gender stereotyping. Men should be able to wear tasteful dresses in public and we should all be able to treat that man with respect, equal rights, and not derision. A person shouldn't feel like they need to lie that they're the other sex to avoid stereotypes. A short man or tall man shouldn't be bullied.Philosophim
    You know, you are right. So let us agree for the moment with Butler that gender is to be seen as a performance. You aren't pretending to be a man dressed as women. You are you. Identity isn't XX chromosomes or XY chromosomes. . . it's who you 'are' or what you consider your 'self'.

    This is why I don't get you throwing gender out the window but yet you still want to keep this sex divide at the forefront. Why? You imply its independent of gender, gender preference, or stereotyping but when it has to do more with presumed intentions based on appearance or uncomfortability then you go outside your tool box.

    To help me with our discussion, tell me why someone should cross sex divided places because of gender, over instead simply working on getting people to accept that men and women don't have to conform to gender stereotypes to be men and women? Specific examples please, not general abstracts.Philosophim
    The question is why it should be a dividing line at all WITH a lawful set of consequences that negate some moral intuitions we have on it. Yes, you've already said that laws don't have to be morally guided. . . that does mean they still could be. In the trans-person using the restroom for its purpose example; if they are not being voyeuristic, violent, invading the personal privacy of others within reason, abusive, or intentionally disruptive without reason then it doesn't strike me as something deserving of lawful consequences. They are punished. . . for using a restroom.

    The sex distinction makes the above a punishable offence. Which compounds itself upon society as a whole, your intention as well. Which motivates not the dissolution but the cementing of gender stereotyping as now its implied, whether by accident or a desired result, that you can't get society to a point that. . .

    A person shouldn't feel like they need to lie that they're the other sex to avoid stereotypes.Philosophim

    Turns out, such stereotyping is seemingly motivating the decision to punish someone who's only action was using the restroom. The motivation being one's 'uncomfortability' which is garnered by societal expectations of how one who is MALE is to be judged on sight or even under a 'disguise'.

    Again, you seem to want to agree with me on gender and yet if a person doesn't conform to gendered expectations of their sex then they are still said to be 'doing it wrong'. They are not dressed, 'they are a man dressed as a woman.' They are not a mere individual, 'they are a man or woman.' Male and female don't carry those connotations but they can drag such stereotypes along if you don't explicitly make that clear. On top of the fact that a male person can't pretend to be a female person anymore than I can change by DNA but anything else may be extensively changeable. . . and therefore not 'owned' by the male sex or the 'female' sex.

    Again, this is wrong. It is not culturally what it means to be a man or a woman, that's poor grammar. A man or a woman is by sex. Cultural expectations of how a man or a woman should behave, dress, and act apart from the physical sex differences is gender. Saying because I act like a certain expectation that one sex has makes me that sex, is discriminatory behavior.Philosophim
    Then you need to put this canyon divide between, in the terms as i'm using them, what it means to be a man or women as well as accepted among those who ascribe to those labels/categories and male/female.

    Nobody should or does act like they have XX chromosomes. As if they mean, "I'm feeling really XX chromosome today." No, they act feminine where this cluster concept may cover the experience/behavior. No one is pretending to be male, they are everything that in the performative definition of gender such a category is meant to imply by a colloquial usage.

    Female people don't own facial expressions and externalized forms of certain behavior nor do males as if some one doing something similar is 'stealing' it or some 'cheap copy'. As that assumes, contrary to our assumptions, that gender is in fact strapped to your chromosomal status. That or some weird claim as to all people who are male/female people of being some monolithic ontological entity that 'owns' those features regardless of whether they can be changed.

    Ok, then why don't we work on harsher punishment for violations like this, or work on the culture so that members of their own sex will not act negatively towards other based on stereotypes?Philosophim
    That would be a start.

    Why is the solution to pretend a stereotype means you now belong in a place of another sex, despite you not being that other sex?Philosophim
    First, sex is not the reason they feel the need to be with the same sex. . . its SIMILARITY. Do I need to quote you again. . .

    If a person disguises themselves well enough to pass and no one notices, then no one will likely care.Philosophim
    Go figure. . . so it had everything to do with appearance. Sex is a secondary coincidental fact to one in which similarity is what seems to rule acceptance here.

    Sex is a characteristic and it is not a motivational group identification to fall under. If you do that you are now going outside the purview of sex into. . . sociological creations.

    Nothing. That's the entire point. Gender is a subjective stereotype of a group or individuals. If it doesn't have to do with physical characteristics, its not sex.Philosophim
    However, the motivation and reason why this choice is made can be heavily influenced by gender.
  • substantivalism
    218
    Which is identical to blackface and someone emulating the features of an African.Andrew4Handel
    If i'm understanding the analogy well enough here then this implies that you can't be too feminine as a male and therefore are 'appropriating' woman's identities. This assumes that woman 'own' those mannerism/biological signifiers/behaviors characteristic of them stereotypically or not. That you can 'steal' the identity of being a woman because being a woman is only a woman when a female person does it stereotypically. . . but if you do it stereotypically then it's 'doing it wrong'. Better stay on your gendered field or otherwise you'll be sued for feminine/masculine copyright infringement! Be careful about how you smile or what music you like as that may just be pure 'appropriation'!
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.5k
    The current situation is that men can legally identify as women and enter women only spaces and awards.

    It is the equivalent to me having plastic surgery to look Chinese and winning Chinese business man of the year.
    Or like the actual case of Rachael Dolezal who impersonated a black person and took a job advertised for a black person.

    Men do not tend to look like women especially because women tend to have prominent breasts and wide hips so having surgery and hormones to look like woman and try and act like a women is an impersonation not a accidentical misidentification.
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