• Erik
    464
    I absolutely agree with you that there may be significant points of convergence between the two sides in the debate. I've actually spent a good deal of time thinking about this very issue and typically get positive feedback from those I pitch my ideas to.

    It clearly involves clarifying terms and engaging in other tedious but essential legwork, but it's an important topic that I'd like to discuss elsewhere. I don't want to distract from Roke's topic any more than I already have, so let's start a discussion on that one and get to work.
  • Michael
    6.5k
    If I, as a straight white cis gendered male, decided I wanted to walk around in jock strap, an undersized bright illuminescent pink tutu and a bow tie from now on in public, should I be able to? Or should society have a say in whether or not that is appropriate? And where is that line? There has to be a line somewhere, but there is more focus on the fact that people should be able to express themselves than trying to establish when people are going too far.Mr Phil O'Sophy

    You want a line somewhere? How about a line that says that if it is acceptable for people with one type of genitalia to wear a particular item of clothing then it is acceptable for people with a different type of genitalia to wear that same item of clothing? Nothing about biology makes it the case that it's appropriate for people with male genitalia to wear trousers but not skirts or for people with female genitalia to wear skirts but not trousers, or for people with female genitalia to wear make up and high heels but not people with male genitalia.

    And although historically there may have been a connection between the use of the pronouns "he" and "she" or the nouns "man" and "woman" and the biology of the person being talked about, there's no compelling reason to insist that this use can't evolve as has been the case with other words. Meanings change.

    These are the socially constructed gender norms that need not be dogmatically followed.
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866
    I've actually spent a good deal of time thinking about this very issue and typically get positive feedback from those I pitch my ideas to.Erik

    I would love to hear your ideas in either a new thread (if its not specifically related to gender) or in a private message thread. Would be interesting to discuss that with you.

    It clearly involves clarifying terms and engaging in other tedious but essential legworkErik

    Funny that, I'm reading Berkeley right this very moment on his critique of abstract ideas (which gender appears to be) and I'm on his introduction, right this moment, at §22, where he says:

    First, I shall be sure to get clear of all controversies purely verbal; the sprinting up of which weeds in almost all the sciences has been a main hindrance to the growth of true and sound knowledge. Secondly, this seems to be a sure way to extricate myself out of that fine and subtle net of abstract ideas, which has so miserably perplexed and entangled the minds of men (my comments - the patricidal, misogynstic, cis-gendered, transfobic, sexist, b%£#@&*d!), and that with this peculiar circumstance, that by how much the finer and more curious was the wit of any man, by so much the deeper was he like to be ensnared, and faster held therein. Thirdly,... yada yada yada

    Interestingly and coincidently relevant (i'm doing an essay for Uni on Berkeley)
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866
    How about a line that says that if it is acceptable for people with one type of genitalia to wear a particular item of clothing then it is acceptable for people with a different type of genitalia to wear that same item of clothing?Michael

    So how about a man wearing skin tight yoga pants? Especially if said man happens to be fully loaded with junk that can't be hidden, and due to the skin tightness of the yoga pants can be clearly seen and outlined. Should that be acceptable in public?

    Nothing about biology makes it the case that it's appropriate for people with male genitalia to wear trousers but not skirtsMichael

    is there not something inappropriate about children seeing up a mans skirt when he's sat down on public transport with his legs open? (which Men tend to do more often than females)

    These are the socially constructed gender norms that need not be dogmatically followed.Michael

    There are also critiques of socially constructed gender norms (which are also socially constructed btw) that need not be dogmatically followed
  • Michael
    6.5k
    is there not something inappropriate about children seeing up a mans skirt when he's sat down on public transport with his legs open? (which Men tend to do more often than females)Mr Phil O'Sophy

    Is there not something inappropriate about children seeing up a woman's skirt when she's sat down on a public transport with her legs open?

    Of course. But it doesn't then follow that it's inappropriate for men or women to wear skirts. Only that it's inappropriate to look up someone's skirt and for someone wearing a skirt to sit with their legs open.

    Besides, how is it different to a kilt?

    So how about a man wearing skin tight yoga pants? Especially if said man happens to be fully loaded with junk that can't be hidden, and due to the skin tightness of the yoga pants can be clearly seen and outlined. Should that be acceptable in public?

    Perhaps not, but then that has nothing to do with the fact that it's "women's" clothing and everything to do with the fact that the outline of his genitals is visible (which I assume is less decent than the outline of a woman's breasts being visible)? We can always have a secondary rule that prohibits these exceptional cases.

    But then do a Google image search for "men in yoga pants". Hardly the horror show you're making it out to be.
  • Moliere
    1.1k
    I think of gender as having two sides of identity -- a social identity and a personal identity. They aren't stereotypes as much as they expressions and impressions; expressions to others and expressions to self, impressions from others and impressions from self. Depending on how fine we wish our gender categories to be we could actually generate numerous such groupings depending on how people express and are impressed upon by others and their self.

    It's also a much more complex and bigger question than even triadic or quarternary designations really imply. Gender is an aspect of identity, and so is actually a topic worthy of study because of this complexity and our general ignorance of the phenomena. (that is, it's more than just how we use words, it's an actual phenomena that can be studied)
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866
    Is there not something inappropriate about children seeing up a woman's skirt when she's sat down on a public transport with her legs open?Michael

    yes there is. I'm more conservative with regards to clothing and think people should cover their nakedness, not display it, male and female. But I would argue that women are less likely to sit with legs open than men. Men need to not squish the go-nads, so it can be required to give them some space.

    Of course. But it doesn't then follow that it's inappropriate for men or women to wear skirts.Michael
    I'd disagree, I think there are things about people that you will inevitably have (bad people exist), and by being so freely dressed you are indirectly (and unknowingly) perpetuating peoples perverted tendencies, and those who are trying to fight those tendencies will only find that task more difficult when people are walking around half naked. I do not think the public space should be a place for people to make sexual displays.

    A response to the possible criticism that it should not be considered a sexual display - when young males come of age, they set the bar pretty low for what they count as 'porn'. Simply going through shopping catalogues can suffice for someone hitting puberty. And so I would say certain displays of dress are wholly inappropriate for the public space considering there are young people everywhere, and whether you like it or not, they are effected by people who dress provocatively. I think the dressing situation combined with the porn addiction crisis in young males is directly responsible for creating an army of hyper horny young people that have a near zero - sense of moderation of self-restraint.

    Only that it's inappropriate to look up someone's skirtMichael
    Children are quite inquisitive, and don't necessarily understand why it is inappropriate and if they can get away with it (especially younger lads) they will look. Considering most parents sit glued to their phones I'm happy to assume that children get away with looking at lots of things they shouldn't be looking at.

    Besides, how is it different to a kilt?Michael
    Thats assuming i think the kilt is ok. lol. My family are scottish, and still, I don't think the kilt is a good thing either. So I guess if you think its ok you're not going to understand/ or agree with my criticism. To be consistent with my claims about dressing appropriately, I would have to follow that on to the kilt as well. Would be silly of me to accept one and not the other.

    Perhaps not, but then that has nothing to do with the fact that it's "women's" clothing and everything to do with the fact that the outline of his genitals is visible (which I assume is less decent than the outline of a woman's breasts being visible)? We can always have a secondary rule that prohibits these exceptional cases.

    But then do a Google image search for "men in yoga pants". Hardly the horror show you're making it out to be.
    Michael

    I think that men and women should make the effort to not display their private parts (that includes breasts.) I personally think these are private things that should be kept between partners. And who is deciding whats an exceptional case? I thought most of what you're describing as acceptable as an exceptional case. That alone will not solve the problem.

    I googled it, and think you're funny. I only saw things that proved my point (unhidable bulges), or they were baggy gypsy pants, had been photoshopped, or had it tucked in for the photoshoot.

    I think the whole claim rides on whether or not we should be creating environments that draw the attention of peoples eyes to places where they should not be drawn. There is something about forbidden fruit that draws us towards it, and so its best to hide forbidden fruits rather than display them and tell people not to go near them. If its inappropriate to look at, why is it appropriate to have it on display?

    Ask yourself why its inappropriate for people to run around naked. Based on your logic, (like you made with looking up skirts of people sat down with legs open) why can people not just walk around naked, and we shout at those people who complain for looking in the first place?? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO CONTROL YOUR EYES! we could say.

    I think its a ridiculous argument. The more you're not supposed to look at something, the more you have to fight your brain to control yourself. its an unnecessary addition to society that only feeds to vanity, and the division in the opinion of those who see it as right/wrong.
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866
    Something very interesting regarding children and resisting temptation, and why we should not display things that are forbidden, but should hide them:

  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866
    Also, I think this video shows the differences between boys and girls a great deal. and although there may be exceptions to the case, I think those exceptions are also socially constructed, and so don't feel that a digression to 'well they were socially constructed that way' argument is sufficient, because the only suggestion to combat social construction... is with more social construction of a different kind. Its calling something a problem thats inescapable and shouldn't be viewed as a problem in and off itself. Especially when those who criticise it want to use social construction to combat it, which I find incredibly hypocritical.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.2k
    That has lead to many forms asking for people's gender when they actually mean sex. Simone de Beauvoir saw gender as an oppressive collection of cultural expectations about behaviour, based on people's sex, and she wished it would disappear.andrewk
    Simone de Beauvoir herself was probably confused about her own gender/sex by how she developed. This particular line in her Wikipedia article is telling:
    "De Beauvoir was intellectually precocious, fuelled by her father's encouragement; he reportedly would boast, "Simone thinks like a man!" — Wikipedia

    Even IF gender and sex were not synonyms based on the way that they are being defined (physiology vs. behavior), physiology normally defines one's behavior. In every other species, each organism reacts to, and interacts with, another based on their perception of the attributes of the other - like their health and sex. In other words, males not only act like males but are treated as such by others of it's kind.

    In humans you find this tiny fraction of the population confused about it's sex because of how they were interacted with as they developed from a very young age.
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866
    In other words, males not only act like males but are treated as such by others of it's kind.Harry Hindu

    Then the animal kingdom suffers from patriarchal oppression as well! and they also need a feminist movement! ...
  • Ciceronianus the White
    553
    As near as I can tell, which is to say by consultation with a dictionary, "gender" has to do with the state of being male or female, or the perception of being male or female, or perhaps the state or perception of being something else, but according to cultural and social differences and characteristics rather than biological.

    I don't find this definition particularly enlightening. But whatever else "gender" may be, I think it's in any case something that certain lawyers (I'm a lawyer), academics, psychologists, sociologists, pundits and politicians will find a way to exploit for their own benefit as best they can.
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866


    I wonder, although there are differences in how gender is expressed from culture to culture, is it ever the case that one culture can't tell the sex of differing cultures because of their different gender representations?
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866
    I don't find this definition particularly enlightening. But whatever else "gender" may be, I think it's in any case something that certain lawyers (I'm a lawyer), academics, psychologists, sociologists, pundits and politicians will find a way to exploit for their own benefit as best they can.Ciceronianus the White

    interesting, how do you think it can be exploited?
  • Roke
    118

    If you are a biological determinist, or biological essentialist, about sex and gender, for instance, you are likely to judge that someone who doesn't comply with a demand regarding how people of a given sex ought to behave isn't entitled to be considered normal. — Pierre-Normand

    I think this is part of what I wanted to get at.

    If I don't behave normally, I'm not entitled to be considered normal. But it need not be a pejorative thing. I think the healthy thing for a nonconformist to do is to accept that they aren't normal, rather than campaign to redefine normal. My sense is that this is a big part of what's going on.
  • Roke
    118

    Can you elaborate on what gender means to you? Expressions and impressions about what? Is my affinity for pinstripes part of my gender?
  • Ciceronianus the White
    553
    interesting, how do you think it can be exploited?Mr Phil O'Sophy
    As to lawyers, it represents an opportunity. We see it exploited already. Just do a Google search of "gender law." An example, I would think, would be in what I like to call the Lex Lavacrum, the "Law of the Bath(room)", i.e. the disputes arising out of the use and alleged misuse of gender-specific bathrooms. Then, there are the questions arising from disputes as to the rights of transgender or transsexual people (e.g., serving in the military); whether the law should recognize the "third gender" option. Much money to be made by enterprising lawyers--Thar's gold in them thar genders.

    As to academia, gender is and no doubt has been for some time the subject matter of courses historical, psychological, anthropological, sociological. You'll find academic journals devoted to gender, I'm sure. As to pundits and politicians, what do they do but exploit controversial issues? Gender certainly is one of them. Positions on gender will generate popularity, publicity, funding and votes.
  • Roke
    118

    So you don't think sex and gender are synonymous? Is gender is a social construct? — bloodninja
    I think they used to be synonymous but have drifted apart. And I suspect gender is a poorly defined fraught concept now, post-drift. Trying to sort it out.
  • Roke
    118


    I understand where you're coming from. I think the cognitive dissonance stems from an attempt to reconcile multiple narratives about these issues. It's sometimes easy to mistake two separate positions for the same thing due to the overlapping themes. In addition to that, many of these positions seem internally inconsistent. I've been picking up on a certain recurring theme: anti-something positions that sneakily presuppose the something they're attacking.
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    866


    Yeah exactly what I’ve been noticing. They make attack on X because of principals P & Q...etc, then suggest alternative Y which presupposes and requires P & Q for its conception and establishment, undermining its initial criticism and motivation for suggesting Y in the first place.
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