• Pseudonym
    1.2k
    I am trying to grasp the grammar of your first sentence as clearly as possible, and I am having a little difficulty. I think this is unfortunate, because this seems like an important statement. Is there another way to phrase it that might help me out more?angslan

    Let me try a metaphorical example. It is possible to be both a firefighter and a swimmer. There's nothing preventing you from being in both groups because the membership criteria are fighting fires, and being able to move efficiently in water, and these do not clash. It is not possible to be both a swimmer and a non-swimmer, because you cannot simultaneously be able to move efficiently in water and be unable to move efficiently in water.

    It is traditionally held that whatever the membership criteria are for the group {women}, they are mutually exclusive to the group {men} (like swimming and non-swimming. Without even having to examine the nature of the membership criteria, we can tell that the trans claim involves this kind of mutual exclusivity because the whole reason for asking people to use a particular term of address is the upset it causes to have the alternative used. It is implied then, that choosing "woman" as the correct term, automatically makes "man" the incorrect one. The expression is "I prefer to be called a woman", but the implication (by your invocation of respect) is that calling them a "man" would be an insult or a harm. But the expression wasn't "don't call me a man" was it? It was "I prefer to be called a woman". The fact that not calling someone a man is implied in the request to call someone a woman means that the person is presuming the terms are mutually exclusive and so a request to be called by one automatically constitutes a request not be called by the other.

    If I list my preferred title as 'Mr', it indicates that I would prefer to be called "Mr X", but if someone simply called me 'sir', I'd have no cause to mind. The terms are not mutually exclusive, I didn't, by asking to be called 'Mr', automatically preclude being called 'sir'. I did, however, automatically preclude being called 'Mrs', and may well take offence if someone does without reasonable grounds to do so.

    Does that explain it?

    I am surprised at the claim that no offence should logically be taken - you rejected that idea for feminists who claim that addressing trans people compromises or threatens their own gender identity.angslan

    Hopefully this is partly explained above. Once you've grasped what I mean above, I hope the fact that offence is reasonable in some situations and unreasonable in others is simple enough to be obvious.

    I strongly feel that you should leave this part out of your arguments for the moment - this is a whole nother can of worms to debate whether this technically constitutes a delusion or not. The DSM does not consider gender dysphoria, for example, a delusion. What it does do it start to sound like some sort of attack against trans people, which I think is going to cloud your argument.angslan

    Yes, I agree. I originally got involved in this whole discussion because I didn't like the way people were being branded as intolerant bigots for holding positions which (whilst I did not personally agree with) were reasonable, rational positions to hold. As I said to another poster, there's nothing insulting about having delusions, a huge portion of the population suffer from delusions of one form or another at some point in time in their lives. It's in support of this as a rational possibility (rather than a bigoted intolerance) that I come back to it occasionally, but the conversation between you an I has moved a long way from that and it's a distraction to include it now, you're right.

    This is why my argument engaged with respect in forms of address and not the universal application of words. None of these words are unique in their variability across times and places and people.angslan

    Two things; firstly, we come back to the (I think false) idea that respect is only one way, that respect constitutes only adhering to the way the addressee wants to hear a word, and not the way the speaker wants to use a word. I don't hold to that belief. Secondly, what I do think is unprecedented is the global nature of the social environment we live in these days. I don't think we can any longer rely on the "different words mean different things across cultures" argument. It is a legitimate concern that once a term is used in some way in certain environments, that it will rapidly come to mean that in every environment in the world. Global social networking makes it extremely difficult for one social group to maintain their own personal terms in any realistic sense. The world at large adopts terms as having a certain meaning and there is almost overwhelming pressure to conform. If 'woman' comes to mean {person who wants to be called a woman} in the workplace, the social networking sites, politics and media, then that's what it will mean, and the idea that any group who are offended by that meaning can just retain their own meaning within their own group is just nonsense. We are definitely talking about changing the universal meaning of the word 'woman', no doubt about that.

    I don't think either group uses them generally inconsistently or incoherently, though they certainly do not agree with each other. And I think that any strict definition is going to land someone in a logical quagmire where some level of coherency falls apart when using strict definitions to make claims.angslan

    Yes, but I've presented an argument in fairly logical rational steps showing that the trans use of the term 'woman' is inconsistent and incoherent and you haven't actually refuted any point of it yet, so what I'm interested in here is not your opinion that neither group are using it inconsistently or incoherently, but your justification for that belief in face of arguments to the contrary. That's why this is on a philosophy forum. If you have a counter argument for any of the points I laid out, that's what I'd be interested to hear.

    Is this discussion about language? Or relative harms? How to treat each other? Or whether trans people are delusional?angslan

    I think it's about all of them. Language use dictates and expresses a great deal (some would say all) of what we feel about the world and ourselves, including our identity. So language use is inherently tied to relative harms. I'm, broadly speaking, an ethical naturalist, so relative harms are intrinsically tied to how we treat each other (we should try to minimise relative harms). Where our desired treatment clashes, there needs to be some method of seeking compromise, and I believe that method should be rational thought. Delusions are beliefs held despite rational argument to the contrary, so the question of whether one set of beliefs might be a delusion becomes integral to the type of solution we arrive at to any conflict of interests. The only caveat, is that I personally have ruled out the possibility of trans people being delusional. You obviously do not think they are either, so you and I need not discuss that option. As I said, I only mentioned it because I think it's a legitimate theory to bring to the discussion and others seemed to want to just stonewall it, not because I personally hold it to be the case.
  • angslan
    48
    It is traditionally held that whatever the membership criteria are for the group {women}, they are mutually exclusive to the group {men} (like swimming and non-swimming. Without even having to examine the nature of the membership criteria, we can tell that the trans claim involves this kind of mutual exclusivity because the whole reason for asking people to use a particular term of address is the upset it causes to have the alternative used. It is implied then, that choosing "woman" as the correct term, automatically makes "man" the incorrect one.Pseudonym

    I don't agree that it is implied that the sets are mutually exclusive from the trans claim. In fact, the claim requires that they are not, as I pointed out earlier. Just because someone identifies as a woman does not mean that they have no qualities associated with the set {men}. In fact, in many instances people who make claims that they are a woman have a penis, so this categorically cannot be part of the claim. Drawing the implication that you continue to draw ignores a fundamental part of the trans claim, so I am sceptical that you fully understand the claim if you argue otherwise. I can see that if you start with the premise that the sets must be mutually exclusive then you can state that the claim is illogical, but I cannot see how in good faith you think that this is implied by the claim. Conversely, suggesting that the sets are mutually exclusive excludes non-binary and spectrum concepts of gender, intersex people, trans people, men who feel feminine and women who feel masculine, and perhaps even groups of women or men who believe that they do not feel like each other.

    For some, the names "Bill" and "William" are relatively interchangeable and they do not mind being referred to as either. For others, "Bill" and "William" are distinct and they wish to be correctly addressed by the one that they prefer. But this does not mean that they believe that this is the case for all Bills or Williams. I think it is incorrect to suggest that preferring a certain type of address implies that the sets are necessarily mutually exclusive. I think it is even more incorrect to suggest that the level of offence taken is associated with whether the sets are mutually exclusive or not rather than whether the person addressing them is respectful.

    Once you've grasped what I mean above, I hope the fact that offence is reasonable in some situations and unreasonable in others is simple enough to be obvious.Pseudonym

    No, sorry.

    We are definitely talking about changing the universal meaning of the word 'woman', no doubt about that.Pseudonym

    I mean, we're not. That is abundantly clear from the different and distinct uses that we have currently in discussions of various sorts.

    I've presented an argument in fairly logical rational steps showing that the trans use of the term 'woman' is inconsistent and incoherentPseudonym

    No you haven't, you have, at every turn, applied your own premises that ignore a fundamental part of trans claims - including the variety of trans claims (e.g. binary, non-binary, spectrum concepts of gender).

    If you have a counter argument for any of the points I laid out, that's what I'd be interested to hear.Pseudonym

    You have a very good chance if you go back through my posts to see this - I've repeated it several times, including in this post. At this point I cannot tell if you are receptive to what other people write, because I don't believe you've ever responded to this content in my posts. This is, in fact, quite infuriating.

    I think it's about all of them. Language use dictates and expresses a great deal (some would say all) of what we feel about the world and ourselves, including our identity. So language use is inherently tied to relative harms. I'm, broadly speaking, an ethical naturalist, so relative harms are intrinsically tied to how we treat each other (we should try to minimise relative harms). Where our desired treatment clashes, there needs to be some method of seeking compromise, and I believe that method should be rational thought.Pseudonym

    Well, I put forward a suggestion regarding treating each other and the basic principle behind it. I haven't seen an argument from you regarding relative harms that suggests one set of harms is greater than the other, so I really don't know where you stand here.

    we come back to the (I think false) idea that respect is only one way, that respect constitutes only adhering to the way the addressee wants to hear a word, and not the way the speaker wants to use a word.Pseudonym

    I've never said that respect is one way. I've said that how we treat (and address) people can either respect their interiority/subjectivity/identity or treat them as objects (i.e. defined and categorised by the addresser regardless of the interiority/subjectivity/identity of the addressee). I've made an argument that addressee-oriented addressing preserves self-respect because it preserves that speakers can address themselves (either explicitly and externally or self-reflectively and internally) according to the concepts that they feel are appropriate.

    You have asked several times for "compromise" - but I don't know what you mean by that because all I have seen, generally, is a defense for feminists who feel that "woman" has a strict categorisation and arguments that trans claims are incoherent, which does not look like understanding or compromise at all. I think I've done a better idea of proposing a compromise.
  • Moliere
    1.4k
    It doesn't make anyone intolerant.Pseudonym

    Eh, I think that's a bit of an overstep. I granted that Mary was not intolerant. I don't think you are intolerant. But just because one can reach a different conclusion rationally that doesn't mean that people do do so. Intolerance can be inferred just by the simple fact that trans persons are treated as lesser persons -- they are the butt of jokes, they are objects of violence, they face workplace discrimination, and sometimes families are churches are not as accepting as other communities. Coming out as trans can sever one from friendships or families.

    It's one thing to have a question and come to a conclusion but still treat people more or less fairly, and quite another to punish them for their difference. That's intolerance.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    I see applicability, but I don't think that qualia is the best tactic for understanding identity. Nagel highlights the problem of consciousness, but I don't think the problem of consciousness elucidates interiority or identity as well as others. What I've been drawing from here is mostly Levinas's exposition on interiority in Totality and Infinity.Moliere
    You said that feelings are best measurement for understanding identity. What are feelings if not a kind of qualia?

    That's not what I have been proposing, so I guess my answer, in turn, is that these things do not determine identity. Physical relationships and physical differences do not determine identity. Your physical relationship in a family doesn't either. Your physical relationship with others doesn't determine identity with respect to marriage, friendship, or coworker-hood.

    Species-hood, yes -- physical differences are what makes one a part of the species. And physical differences do not enable participation -- at least at the individual level -- in procreation, especially with human beings. Being a k-selected species makes it so that the purely physical facts don't stop an individual from participating in child-rearing, which is actually more prominent with humans than the mere facts of gestation.

    And physical development only determines whether you are a physical child or physical adult. The transition from childhood to adulthood is determined by mental development and social structures -- so that adulthood can be gained as early as 13 or up to 18, in the legal sense. What counts as a mature person varies significantly, though the physical facts remain the same among persons.
    Moliere
    You are inconsistent again, and it's getting old. So, your relationship with your family doesn't make you a niece/nephew, son/daughter, father/mother, etc.? You are aware that we take on different identities and none of them contradict each other?

    I never said physical differences enable participation in procreation. I said that our differences allow us to participate in our own unique way in propagating the species. You cannot procreate with just females. You need males as well, and each one contributes in it's own unique way to the propagation of the species. Those differences are what make up one of your identities.

    Yeah, definitely. I imagine that it what the trans experience might be like, something I simply can't understand because the feelings are outside of my experiencePseudonym
    And the trans-person claims that they understand the feelings that are outside of their experience (ie. a man claiming that he understands what it is to be a woman in order to make the claim that he is a woman.) How is it that the transperson has access to experiences that you don't when you are both same sex?
  • Moliere
    1.4k
    You said that feelings are best measurement for understanding identity. What are feelings if not a kind of qualia?Harry Hindu

    This is just a metaphysical puzzle. What does it matter that we count them as qualia or not? Either way we know what it is to feel, and we know that our feelings are specific to ourselves. You don't feel like I feel at the moment. It's this interiority that's important to the discussion at hand, and not the metaphysical status of feelings.

    your relationship with your family doesn't make you a niece/nephew, son/daughter, father/mother, etc.?Harry Hindu

    My physical relationship doesn't make me a niece, son, father, and so forth. What physical quantity would we measure to establish nephew-hood? Genes? But this is a filial relationship established in social practices. Kinship groups vary significantly between cultures. And it is possible to be someone's son while not being their biological child -- such as the case of adoption. It's also possible to be disowned by your family, and find a new group of people who you call family and said family is just as real as those who have physical genetic relationships with one another.

    The relationship between persons is what counts, though. The physical, measurable quantities don't.

    You cannot procreate with just females. You need males as well, and each one contributes in it's own unique way to the propagation of the species. Those differences are what make up one of your identities.Harry Hindu

    In the bright and gloroius gay space luxury communist future this will be superseded with SCIENCE!

    :D

    In all sincerity, it depends to what extent you identify with your physical capacities. Identity is a mental phenomena. There is a social side to identity, but that's not what we're talking about when talking about gender-identity.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    I don't agree that it is implied that the sets are mutually exclusive from the trans claim. In fact, the claim requires that they are not, as I pointed out earlier. Just because someone identifies as a woman does not mean that they have no qualities associated with the set {men}. In fact, in many instances people who make claims that they are a woman have a penis, so this categorically cannot be part of the claim.angslan

    I didn't say the full set of membership criteria are mutually excuse. I said that membership of a set is mutually exclusive on the basis that being labelled as a member of the opposite set is offensive. People do not make random requests just so that they can be offended when those requests are not met, they request that things which they think will offend them are avoided.

    Thus it is reasonable to presume that being called a man offends a trans woman for some reason that other than idle preference (that would be ridiculous, to set up a request just so that you can be offended when it's not met).

    Thus, a trans woman in saying "I am a woman" is either also claiming "I am not a man" (and so will take offence if you call me one) or is making the frankly ridiculous request that they are not referred to as a man even though they are one simply because they don't like it for no given reason.

    I mean, we're not. That is abundantly clear from the different and distinct uses that we have currently in discussions of various sorts.angslan

    The fact that uses are currently multiple on a discussion forum specifically about the multiple uses of the term really cannot be held up as evidence that the use is not changing, or will not change in future as a result of common usage in the media. This discussion is hardly an accurate reflection of the social mileau.

    No you haven't, you have, at every turn, applied your own premises that ignore a fundamental part of trans claims - including the variety of trans claims (e.g. binary, non-binary, spectrum concepts of gender).angslan

    What premises have I applied which ignore trans claims?

    I've repeated it several times, including in this post. At this point I cannot tell if you are receptive to what other people write, because I don't believe you've ever responded to this content in my posts. This is, in fact, quite infuriating.angslan

    I haven't seen an argument from you regarding relative harms that suggests one set of harms is greater than the other, so I really don't know where you stand here.angslan

    So, we both know how it is to feel like everything we've written is just being ignored then.

    I've said that how we treat (and address) people can either respect their interiority/subjectivity/identity or treat them as objects (i.e. defined and categorised by the addresser regardless of the interiority/subjectivity/identity of the addressee). I've made an argument that addressee-oriented addressing preserves self-respect because it preserves that speakers can address themselves (either explicitly and externally or self-reflectively and internally) according to the concepts that they feel are appropriate.angslan

    Yes, that's one way. Where in any of that is there anything about the addressee's respect for the speaker? You've just written an entire argument which makes no mention whatsoever of anything the adressee had to do to respect the speaker and then claimed that this proves your idea of respect is two way. I'm baffled.

    I think I've done a better idea of proposing a compromise.angslan

    So what have you given up from your original position that people should be addressed by the terms they prefer? You do know what compromise means?
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    But just because one can reach a different conclusion rationally that doesn't mean that people do do so. Intolerance can be inferred just by the simple fact that trans persons are treated as lesser persons -- they are the butt of jokes, they are objects of violence, they face workplace discrimination, and sometimes families are churches are not as accepting as other communities. Coming out as trans can sever one from friendships or families.

    It's one thing to have a question and come to a conclusion but still treat people more or less fairly, and quite another to punish them for their difference. That's intolerance.
    Moliere

    Absolutely. I don't want to poor cold water on such an impassioned exposition of how trans people are mistreated, but I said "it [others reaching a different conclusion about motives] doesn't make anyone intolerant", not "no one is ever intolerant about this issue"
  • Moliere
    1.4k
    Ah, fair point.
  • angslan
    48
    What premises have I applied which ignore trans claims?Pseudonym

    Oh my god.

    Where in any of that is there anything about the addressee's respect for the speaker?Pseudonym

    When they address the speaker.

    So what have you given up from your original position that people should be addressed by the terms they prefer? You do know what compromise means?Pseudonym

    Why do you think that people need to give things up in order to sort things out? Anyway, if people disagree on definitions, address-oriented addressing means that both will compromise when addressing the other.

    I said that membership of a set is mutually exclusive on the basis that being labelled as a member of the opposite set is offensive.Pseudonym

    That doesn't mean that they are exclusive. I literally just wrote on this. I can't believe how much you are complaining that I don't listen when this discussion has already taken place and you have somehow ignored it.

    Did you reply about intersex people and gender identity yet? Did you show your principles of compromise? Did you respond regarding your concept of what is more harmful in terms of denying identity? You bang on about these last two as though these are of critical importance, but I think you only ask them of other people and don't provide any responses yourself. That hardly seems good faith to me.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.6k


    It's not a fair point because the intolerance is defined within the very concepts being used.

    The moment we understand trans identity be mistaken or non-existent, we are engaged in the discrimination and intolerance against trans people. In our very concepts, we deny their meaning is part of reality which is valuable and respected. An effect which is not limited to instance in which trans identity is genuine. Even people were correct to reject trans identity in this way, they would be just as discriminatory and intolerant of trans people. Treatment of other people isn't defined by whether their identity claims are accurate its about how you treatment. It about how they are valued and treated.

    Even posing the "alternative" is a form of intolerance because it doesn't respect there is a reason to respect trans identity. It's tries to consider a "neutral" position when the one which is absent intolerance understands there is reason not to reject trans identity..

    In this respect, it like getting up and saying: "Well, it might be the case that children aren't valuable Perhaps we don't need to take care or them. Maybe."

    The supposed "neutrality" of the position is just a rejection of a reason for taking an action. In the face of something we have a reason for accepting or enacting, it claims we have none.

    Such "neutrality" only feeds the intolerant positions. When a position which identifies we have a reason for not being intolerant, "neutrality" supposes this isn't present. It takes no-one has a good reason for rejecting intolerance and the intolerance is just as viable of a position. It the definition of pouring cold water on those trying to point out we have a reason to reject intolerance.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    if people disagree on definitions, address-oriented addressing means that both will compromise when addressing the other.angslan

    It's not just about addressing. The terms 'woman' and 'him/her' are not used solely for addressing people. They are terms within a community of language speakers used for all sorts of purposes. For whom are the 'women' s' toilets set aside, those who are physiologically women, or those who think they're women? At whom is a positive discrimination programme requiring 50% women applicants aimed at, those who are physiologically women, or those who think they're women? Which group of people is women's studies investigating, for whom do women's rights campaign, who may join a women's support group, who is included in "women and children first", who is being referenced by the expression "women were traditionally oppressed", who are biblical and other religious texts referring to when they mention 'women', at whom should the WHO aim it's excellent women's health initiative?

    That doesn't mean that they are exclusive. I literally just wrote on this.angslan

    Yes, I'm disputing what you wrote. Both you and Willow seem to have this bizarre concept that if you state something is the case that's the end of the debate on the matter, if I still disagree I must have not read you clearly enough.

    I disagree with your argument that it doesn't mean they are exclusive, for the reasons given.

    I disagree with your argument that the nature of the trans claim exclude strict categorisation for the reasons I've given.

    I disagree with your argument that addressee oriented language is mutually respectful, for the reasons given.

    I disagree that identity is paramount and known only to the person to whom it refers.

    You keep repeating these assertions as if they were arguments. I provided a seven point argument in logic with which you disputed only one point (which I later provided a counter argument to).

    What logical argument have you got which takes you (in logical steps, without further bare assertion) for interpreting the meaning of the claim "I am a woman", as referring only to non-exclusory membership criteria? Not just as statement that it doesn't, an argument, in logical steps, one following from the other.

    Did you reply about intersex people and gender identity yet?angslan

    I'm not discussing the claims of intersex people, so why bring it up? I'm discussing the claim, by a trans woman, "I am a woman". If an intersex person claimed "I am neither a man nor a woman" or "I am both a man and a woman" those would be two completely separate claims. Why would the trans claim be affected by them?

    Did you show your principles of compromise?angslan

    Yes, trans people (and those who agree with them) use the term as they wish, others use the term as they wish. No one demands anything of any group who do not wish to speak that way. Each group gets to speak exactly the way they want. If a women's support group wants to allow those who think they're women to join, it can, if it doesn't, it can exclude them. Letting people act as they see fit in so far as it is possible is a pretty basic ethical stance.

    Did you respond regarding your concept of what is more harmful in terms of denying identity?angslan

    No, I don't agree with your premise that identity is defined by the person to whom it refers, so there's no argument to refute. If people are harmed by externally applied identity labels which they don't like, then they need to at the very least provide a coherent argument as to why. "I don't like it" is not good enough. Certainly "no one should ever apply externally derived identity labels" is an argument I find frankly ridiculous as it undermines thousands of years of speech practice for no observable gain. I don't believe the arguments given so far are sound.
  • angslan
    48

    It's not just about addressing. The terms 'woman' and 'him/her' are not used solely for addressing people. They are terms within a community of language speakers used for all sorts of purposes. For whom are the 'women' s' toilets set aside, those who are physiologically women, or those who think they're women? At whom is a positive discrimination programme requiring 50% women applicants aimed at, those who are physiologically women, or those who think they're women? Which group of people is women's studies investigating, for whom do women's rights campaign, who may join a women's support group, who is included in "women and children first", who is being referenced by the expression "women were traditionally oppressed", who are biblical and other religious texts referring to when they mention 'women', at whom should the WHO aim it's excellent women's health initiative?Pseudonym

    What an intractable issue! If only there were some field like intersectional feminism that didn't treat all women as identical, and then this type of categorisation wouldn't be a problem. We can only hope, I guess.

    Both you and Willow seem to have this bizarre concept that if you state something is the case that's the end of the debate on the matter, if I still disagree I must have not read you clearly enough.

    I disagree with your argument that it doesn't mean they are exclusive, for the reasons given.
    Pseudonym

    You know that you and I both gave reasons, right? We didn't just state something and demand it was true. But I did critique your implications from the trans claim and for exclusivity, and I did give reasons for my position, and I've never really seen a response except for you to repeat yourself. So I think that this is probably as far as we'll get in this part of the discussion.

    You keep repeating these assertions as if they were arguments. I provided a seven point argument in logic with which you disputed only one point (which I later provided a counter argument to).Pseudonym

    I don't really think you provided a logical argument, but you did present it that way. But at the heart of it, you just stuck to a premise about exclusivity that you seem to feel strongly about. Your counter-argument was critiqued, if you look back.

    I think it a bit of an odd numbers game to say that I disputed only one point - I critique the foundational point. This isn't a numbers game.

    I'm not discussing the claims of intersex people, so why bring it up?Pseudonym

    Because it is relevant to the discussion of whether gender categories are exclusive.

    Yes, trans people (and those who agree with them) use the term as they wish, others use the term as they wish.Pseudonym

    I'll admit that I've not seen this in our discussion, but maybe you stated it much earlier. I'm interested then, given the proposal I formulated for speaker-oriented and addressee-oriented addressing, why you think one is better than the other. Obviously I've given my reasoning regarding not treating people like objects. I note you made an objection, but your objection didn't propose that one was preferable to the other. What's the reason for adopting speaker-oriented addressing over addressee-oriented addressing?

    No, I don't agree with your premise that identity is defined by the person to whom it refersPseudonym

    I'm not sure I said that.

    What logical argument have you got which takes you (in logical steps, without further bare assertion) for interpreting the meaning of the claim "I am a woman", as referring only to non-exclusory membership criteria?Pseudonym

    Your argument requires a premise that only admit exclusivity - and ignores non-binary and spectrum concepts of gender. You just throw these out the window. You throw these out the window despite the existence of intersex people, who are clearly non-binary.

    You just throw out the claims of trans people, who make the claim that although they have characteristics normally found in one category, have other characteristics of people in the other category - i.e. a claim that the categories are non-exclusive - and then you turn around and say that somehow this claim implies exclusivity!

    You start with the premise that these claims are wrong, because you start with the premise of exclusivity. I know you don't think you do, but my critique has been trying to show you that, in fact, you do. You throw out all of these things. You even seem to throw out the claims that not all women feel the same about what it means to be a woman.

    You start with the premise that none of this is true - so of course you are going to conclude that it is not true. And then you turn around and say, "Let's be logical and philosophical about this."

    You seem to have appealed to delusion, to some logic that can't possibly accept non-binary gender concepts, you ask for compromise regarding relative harms but one that has to prefer treating trans without respect if that's what we wish, and then you say, "but I made a 7-step argument" and "everyone who disagrees with me isn't listening"!

    I am convinced, at this point, that your philosophy on this issue is a rationalisation for how you already feel.

    I am willing to be convinced otherwise.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    This is just a metaphysical puzzle. What does it matter that we count them as qualia or not? Either way we know what it is to feel, and we know that our feelings are specific to ourselves. You don't feel like I feel at the moment. It's this interiority that's important to the discussion at hand, and not the metaphysical status of feelings.Moliere
    I was pointing out another one of your inconsistencies when I asked you that question, but you didn't seem to get it.

    My physical relationship doesn't make me a niece, son, father, and so forth. What physical quantity would we measure to establish nephew-hood? Genes? But this is a filial relationship established in social practices. Kinship groups vary significantly between cultures. And it is possible to be someone's son while not being their biological child -- such as the case of adoption. It's also possible to be disowned by your family, and find a new group of people who you call family and said family is just as real as those who have physical genetic relationships with one another.

    The relationship between persons is what counts, though. The physical, measurable quantities don't.
    Moliere
    I was talking about biological relationships. Sure, people can adopt and that would make the child their legal son/daughter, and that still supports my claim that relationships define your identity.

    In the bright and gloroius gay space luxury communist future this will be superseded with SCIENCE!

    :D
    Moliere
    It wouldn't be bright and gay. It would be rather dull and boring with everyone being genetically and behaviorally the same, or modified for specific tasks for Big Brother. There would be no individual identities.

    In all sincerity, it depends to what extent you identify with your physical capacities. Identity is a mental phenomena. There is a social side to identity, but that's not what we're talking about when talking about gender-identity.Moliere
    I already pointed out (and you keep ignoring it (the only thing you are consistent on)) that, if gender-identity is as you have defined it as the feeling and/or need to behave like the opposite sex, then what does it mean to behave like the opposite sex when all sexes can and have historically engaged in those behaviors? The only difference lies in how societies define how certain sexes should behave. And how does one sex know what it feels like to be the other to claim that they identify as the other?
  • Pattern-chaser
    375
    My default position in the absence of evidence to the contrary is that it would require a slightly different brain to 'run' a female body than to 'run' a male one.Pseudonym

    Yes, and a male-oriented brain running a female body might explain gender dysphoria as something other than a delusion. :smile: :up:
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    What an intractable issue! If only there were some field like intersectional feminism that didn't treat all women as identical, and then this type of categorisation wouldn't be a problem. We can only hope, I guess.angslan

    Why would this type of categorisation no longer be a problem if we were careful not to treat all women as identical. Take, for example, a women's group who agrees that women can be very different from one another, different clothes, different experiences, different personality etc. Explain how that answers their question about whether to include people in their group on the basis of physiological or psychological features. Explain how that helps any decision they make avoid causing emotional harm to those who wanted it to go the other way. I'm not seeing how your comment is related at all. Unless a "woman's group" is going to exclude someone from membership, then it is just "a group". The people it includes can be hugely diverse, but they must have some things in common which are absent from those who are excluded. Someone's got to decide what those things are.

    I critique the foundational point.angslan

    As far as I understand it, you said that there needn't be a single thing that all members have, but it could be a family resemblance type set of things. I said that didn't affect the argument because that set still needs defining and must exclude others in order to be a category. I haven't read anything from you countering that. The rest of the argument you had no direct counter to, so I'm left with no idea as to what grounds you dispute the argument on other than you don't like its conclusions.

    Because it is relevant to the discussion of whether gender categories are exclusive.angslan

    But I'm not discussing whether gender categories are exclusive, I'm discussing the implications of the claim that it would be disrespectful to call a trans woman a man. I think one of the implications of that claim is that there are criteria for being a man which the trans woman does not fit. The claim by intersexuals would be a different claim. I'm not trying to make a statement about the way things actually are, I'm exploring the logical implications of the trans claims. It's an "if... then" type of argument if that's easier to understand.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    'm interested then, given the proposal I formulated for speaker-oriented and addressee-oriented addressing, why you think one is better than the other.angslan

    Adressee oriented speaking requires that the meaning of a term used by one person is contained in the mind of another. This goes right back to the beginning. The way we use words describes, perhaps even constructs, our entire world-view, so I consider it vitally important that speech is allowed to reflect that (when that world-view is a morally acceptable one).

    But I think the problem goes further with this specific form of adressee oriented speech. If we were talking about two definitions of 'woman' and asking whose definition should be used during a speech act, I would be very sympathetic to the idea of using the addressee's definition. But that's not what's being proposed. Here we're talking about exchanging the speaker's definition (based on commonly accessible information) for a definition which is inaccessible to the speaker. It's that which I find most offensive. Language is a communal excersice, it troubles me deeply that some people are trying to make it a private one. That I could be using a term incorrectly until you personally tell me how to correctly apply it is not respecting the mutuality of language.

    I'm not sure I said that.angslan

    I mean that the only person who can correctly apply identity labels is the person to whom they refer. That's your entire premise isn't it?

    Your argument requires a premise that only admit exclusivity - and ignores non-binary and spectrum concepts of gender.angslan

    No, the premise of my argument is the trans claim that it would be disrespectful to refer to them by a term other than their preferred term. The other steps are inferences or deductions from that premise.

    I am convinced, at this point, that your philosophy on this issue is a rationalisation for how you already feel.angslan

    Everyone's philosophy is a rationalisation for how we already feel. Anyone thinking otherwise is deluding themselves. The trick isn't to try and derive reality empirically from what you see, it's just to make sure that any theories which are wildly untenable are discarded and your favourites of any which remain are as sound as you can make them.
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    Yes, and a male-oriented brain running a female body might explain gender dysphoria as something other than a delusion.Pattern-chaser

    Yes, that would be the theory, but the science is a long way off. The point is that this still would not support the non-exclusivity that trans people are trying to include in their claims. This would make womanhood a matter of either having a woman's body, or a woman's brain (or both). Anyone with neither would not be a women no matter what they say about it.
  • angslan
    48


    Interestingly, you ignored the majority of things that I said you were already ignoring, so it is not a surprise that your last posts got us nowhere.
  • Blue Lux
    480
    Well, I have experienced a resurgence in my interest in Jung and I thought I would share his thoughts on the subject, because I find them very revealing. Jung thought a person was not tabula rasa, and neither do I. I think gender is a construct of externalities. This is to speak in accordance with Beauvoir's conception of the woman. "One is not born a woman but becomes one." I agree with this recent translation of the original French.
    Speaking in terms of Jung, there is a masculine archetype and a feminine archetype of the "collective unconscious" or autonomous psyche. There is no inherited form, for archetypes are formless and do not have content. They are potentialities of formation for psychical manifestations. They are biological displays, in a sense, seen throughout the species. They are much like instincts, which is not to say that the anima and animus (these specific archetypes) are instinctual in the sense that they would be a teleological ratification of some sort: they are inherited patterns, tendencies of expression. There are many archetypes, and the knowledge of them is typically seen in art. Furthermore, as a result of the experience of the individual in a world where their externalities shape their conceptions of who they are, these archetypes become manifest according to the cultural, artistic representations at hand. Feminine qualities have become associated to many different things according to the culture, art and time. For instance, the high-heeled shoe used to be a very masculine sort of shoe in some places. Now it is more-so feminine. Within every person, however, is this display of masculinity and feminity: one becomes within and one becomes without, but both form together for a totality. Jung observed an old couple he knew for years and years. They began their marriage easily distinguishable in terms of masculinity and femininity, but after decades they began to look and seem interchangeable as if the modes of their psyches complemented one another. Their personalities were, in their late life, more-so androgynous, connected to one another for a sort of psychic complementarity. This is the state of affairs for the heterosexual, typically. The homosexual is more difficult to understand in terms of this theory of the mind. But the understanding typically relates to an undifferentiation of anima and animus or an undifferentiation of a more primordial androgynous archetype.
    "The meeting of two personalities is like a chemical reaction: if there is any reaction, both are changed." C G Jung

    I agree with this conception of gender and masculinity and femininity.

    But perhaps it sounds weird or strange. I have heard that Jung is "esoteric."
  • Blue Lux
    480
    What a woman is, is a matter of opinion. What a female is, biologically, is not. What a girl, woman, or whatever word a person wants to use to describe whatever they are referring to... Again... We are speaking about personal references and experiences of what something is. Definitions are fluid afterall. What makes an apple remain 'an apple' as if 'apple' is something anywhere other than in ones own personal representations? These representations are not absolute. They can be whatever one wishes them to be. This is the unfortunate revelation of the transgender movement for thought. Absolutism, in exchange for a radical relativity, is the case... And this is grounds for massive confusion... As life should be... Confusing!
  • Pseudonym
    1.2k
    What makes an apple remain 'an apple' as if 'apple' is something anywhere other than in ones own personal representations?Blue Lux

    Community agreement between the players of that particular language game. If meanings we're all based only on personal representation we wouldn't have clue what each other were saying. An apple is called an 'apple' because a significant enough majority of language users agree that the fruit of the Malus genus (or something we empirically believe to be such) is referenced by that word. If you had your own personal definition for 'apple' you simply wouldn't be able to use the word in conversation with another in any practical sense.

    You're confusing fuzziness around the edges of a definition for total relativism. If I was handed something which looked very much like an apple but had one flaw (say, it was blue) I would have to make a personal decision about whether to call it an 'apple' or not, but in order to converse with my language community about it, we'd have to come to some agreement about whether to refer to this new thing as an 'apple' or not. That agreement could be based on its shape, its origin, its taste even, but it can't be based on the way the object makes me feel, or how I personally identify with it, because those things are not available to other language users. We can't all agree on the a definition by those metrics and so can't converse communally about it. And if we can't do that, what's the point?
  • Blue Lux
    480
    I think it is actually very true that we have no idea what other people actually mean. I think faith is a huge component of most linguistic exchanges. We speak to each other in abstraction. Only very rarely does meaning truly hit home with one another. This is very rare.

    If I say "I ate an apple earlier". What does that even mean? That is a complete abstraction. You know 'in a sense' what I mean, but this 'sense' is completely divorced from the truth.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    Yes, and a male-oriented brain running a female body might explain gender dysphoria as something other than a delusion.Pattern-chaser
    Is this not what I have been saying all along - that this is the result of a defect in the brain (physical and/or psychological)?

    What does it even mean to even say that there is a male-oriented brain running a female body when the brain cannot exist independently of the body and is considered part of the body?

    What about the hormones testosterone and estrogen? Are they present in the body/brain in the same ratios as the opposite sex? Does the male body claiming to be a woman have a brain with the wiring for handling menstrual cycles? Your claim seems to expose a lack of understanding in basic biology. It is more accurate to call it a physical defect, or a psychological delusion, and there is nothing offensive about that. Just as it isn't offensive to say that it is a physical/psychological defect for anorexics to feel as if they are obese.
  • Moliere
    1.4k
    It's not a fair point because the intolerance is defined within the very concepts being used.

    The moment we understand trans identity be mistaken or non-existent, we are engaged in the discrimination and intolerance against trans people. In our very concepts, we deny their meaning is part of reality which is valuable and respected. An effect which is not limited to instance in which trans identity is genuine. Even people were correct to reject trans identity in this way, they would be just as discriminatory and intolerant of trans people. Treatment of other people isn't defined by whether their identity claims are accurate its about how you treatment. It about how they are valued and treated.
    TheWillowOfDarkness

    I absolutely agree that how people are treated is more important than whether or not what they say of themselves happens to be true.

    Intolerance, as I've been reading and using it in this conversation, is the same as a disgust for individuals, or a pleasure derived from punishing individuals simply for who they are.

    I would say there are degrees involved here -- not everyone who disbelieves the truth of a trans person's claim is disgusted with them or derives pleasure from punishing them for who they are. When I say "fair enough" I mean I can see the rational machinery at work.

    Not all patterns of inferences or beliefs or actions, though rational, are necessarily other things -- like heartwarming, wise, endearing, good. But they don't need to be in order to count as rational, at least in accord with a particular kind of rationality. And I think a less nuanced approach is entirely warranted in the political field -- there are no philosopher-kings, and we are not doing politics here.

    In the case of Mary what you have is fear. She is reacting out of fear for the death of her own identity because the trans identity calls it into question, makes her believe that her struggles will be lost and forgotten, that the social nature of gender, what should be abolished, will be pushed aside and all the gains and benefits from the previous 50 or so years will be forgotten. It's not disgust, but fear, and a fear derived from a challenge to her identity -- a kind of existential fear. Now, fear can lead to ugly places, but as we've set up the scenario here, at least, this is the basic concern.

    In the case of @Pseudonym we have a kind of incredulity based on the fact that he has another explanation. Given that he doesn't mind accommodating trans persons in action I don't think there's disgust involved or a pleasure in punishing.

    Also, something that @Pseudonym does not have, that I do, is the experience of trusting trans persons on a project of some kind, on equal footing, unrelated entirely to their identity. I'll tell you right now that I did not always believe that trans identity was an identity. It's not something I'm immediately familiar with. It was also not something that was of primary concern to me -- there were other, more important things going on. It seemed like the most respectful thing to do to treat them as they asked, and move on with other things. But after having trusted not just one, but many trans persons with things that are far more questionable than mere identity -- something which rarely comes into question for anyone at all -- and reflecting on that then it occurred to me that this was just inconsistent and was basically based on the fact that I like to see things before I believe them, and I hadn't seen this. The thing here being that I couldn't see it, since I do not have a trans identity. But if someone doesn't have that experience, either, then I really can see how it seems like an odd phenomena, since I thought the same, and how they might reject it out of a sense of incredulity.

    So while I entirely agree that treatment is what is important, I think there's a midway point from bigotry to the pure acceptance of people and belief in them. That midway point may not be a praiseworthy place to be, but it's not exactly on the same level as workplace discrimination, cruelty, physical or emotional violence, and so forth, either. These differences do not need to be acknowledged in political discourse, as far as I am concerned, but given that this is philosophy I think the nuance is warranted.


    Now something I'm most interested in is your statement:

    Even {if} people were correct to reject trans identity in this way, they would be just as discriminatory and intolerant of trans people.

    This might take us a bit far astray for this thread, but I agree deeply that the correctness of statements is not as important as the treatment of persons. I'm tempted to say the truth doesn't matter at all, but then it also sometimes does so that's not quite right. I want to hear more though because you begin by saying the concepts themselves are violent and discriminatory, while still saying that the truth of claims is not important. There's a tension there that's intellectually interesting, and I have the general intuition that goodness is more important than truth, especially when it comes to others -- but hammering out the specifics is hard to do.

    Even posing the "alternative" is a form of intolerance because it doesn't respect there is a reason to respect trans identity. It's tries to consider a "neutral" position when the one which is absent intolerance understands there is reason not to reject trans identity..

    In this respect, it like getting up and saying: "Well, it might be the case that children aren't valuable Perhaps we don't need to take care or them. Maybe."

    The supposed "neutrality" of the position is just a rejection of a reason for taking an action. In the face of something we have a reason for accepting or enacting, it claims we have none.

    Such "neutrality" only feeds the intolerant positions. When a position which identifies we have a reason for not being intolerant, "neutrality" supposes this isn't present. It takes no-one has a good reason for rejecting intolerance and the intolerance is just as viable of a position. It the definition of pouring cold water on those trying to point out we have a reason to reject intolerance.

    I am not neutral, so let's just get that out of the way. I don't think there's some superior neutral position. And I think that philosophy can certainly be used to post hoc justify bigotry while making it look like it might not be bigotry. Surely the middle ground between outright bigotry and pure acceptance would be exactly where one would mask their bigotry -- since the outright hatred is easy to identify.

    But, all that being the case, I don't think that everyone who falls in-between the two qualifies as a bigot. I don't think that it's the job of political actors to try and specify this kind of delicate nuance. But, given that this is philosophy, I'd say that there is, in fact, a middle ground of sorts. Not that it's neutral or naturally superior to other beliefs, only that it's different from bigotry.
  • Moliere
    1.4k
    I was pointing out another one of your inconsistencies when I asked you that question, but you didn't seem to get it.Harry Hindu

    I was answering your question, which you seemed to want. It's not an inconsistency at all. Interiority can be parsed in various ways through ontology, but we're not talking about ontology. You can call feelings qualia, but nothing in that changes what I've said.

    The closest that would come to would be to say that this man is claiming to be a woman without knowledge of the qualia of womanhood. But I don't think it works that way at all. We don't have knowledge of the male's (to use Banno's language) internal experience. So we can't say that this male does or does not experience what it is to be a woman.

    It's as if you want to acknowledge that females have womanhood, and males and manhood, but since this male is claiming womanhood and you know that all males feel malehood they couldn't possibly know womanhood. But, since you aren't a male with womanhood, you yourself wouldn't know that either.

    It's just a metaphysical puzzle, nothing to get all worked up about.

    I was talking about biological relationships. Sure, people can adopt and that would make the child their legal son/daughter, and that still supports my claim that relationships define your identity.Harry Hindu

    But then we have to ask -- how do you determine these relationships? It's not a measurable, physical entity. Biological relationships barely scratch the surface here. So your talk of biological relationships doesn't really explain relationship. What other physical entity would you propose to designate a son who is not a biological son?

    already pointed out (and you keep ignoring it (the only thing you are consistent on)) that, if gender-identity is as you have defined it as the feeling and/or need to behave like the opposite sex, then what does it mean to behave like the opposite sex when all sexes can and have historically engaged in those behaviors?Harry Hindu

    Your latter supposition is trans-historical, whereas mine is not. What it means depends on circumstance -- micro-circumstance, in some cases, because even between individual families in the same culture these things can differ.

    The only difference lies in how societies define how certain sexes should behave. And how does one sex know what it feels like to be the other to claim that they identify as the other?

    The claim isn't with respect to all others. It's with respect to oneself. Also, you're still conflating sex, gender, and gender-identity here. A whole sex isn't claiming to have a gender-identity. Certain persons with a sex feel elsewise from their assigned at birth sex, gender, and gender-identity -- because it often comes as a package deal. What's assigned by society is at odds with what is known about the self.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    The closest that would come to would be to say that this man is claiming to be a woman without knowledge of the qualia of womanhood. But I don't think it works that way at all. We don't have knowledge of the male's (to use Banno's language) internal experience. So we can't say that this male does or does not experience what it is to be a woman.

    It's as if you want to acknowledge that females have womanhood, and males and manhood, but since this male is claiming womanhood and you know that all males feel malehood they couldn't possibly know womanhood. But, since you aren't a male with womanhood, you yourself wouldn't know that either.
    Moliere
    And the male who claims to have "womanhood" wouldn't know what "womanhood" is to say that he has it. You are attributing special powers to transgenders that they don't have. Why would one man know what "womanhood" is like and another not know what it is like?

    But then we have to ask -- how do you determine these relationships? It's not a measurable, physical entity. Biological relationships barely scratch the surface here. So your talk of biological relationships doesn't really explain relationship. What other physical entity would you propose to designate a son who is not a biological son?Moliere

    Did I not say that it is a legal relationship? Are relationships not established over time, with more time implying a deeper relationship? And what about the actions taken to maintain the relationship? Caring for a child that you adopted is what makes it a relationship as well. Just look at all the things that define your relationship with the people in your life, and how each relationship is different, and they are different as a result of the amount of and kind of things you do for each other. It has to do with the amount and types of actions you do with someone else, along with any physical relationship that might exist.

    Your latter supposition is trans-historical, whereas mine is not. What it means depends on circumstance -- micro-circumstance, in some cases, because even between individual families in the same culture these things can differ.Moliere
    In other words, it is arbitrary - like "god". Someone's "manhood" could be someone's "womanhood" and then where do those definitions that you and Banno seem so fond of stand? Doesn't that mean that gender is undefinable - non-existent? It's meaningless. Nonsense. Your own definitions and explanations defeat themselves.
  • Moliere
    1.4k
    Are relationships not established over time, with more time implying a deeper relationship? And what about the actions taken to maintain the relationship? Caring for a child that you adopted is what makes it a relationship as well. Just look at all the things that define your relationship with the people in your life, and how each relationship is different, and they are different as a result of the amount of and kind of things you do for each other. It has to do with the amount and types of actions you do with someone else, along with any physical relationship that might exist.Harry Hindu

    This is closer I think. But what differs here is that these aren't physical quantities which are measured. There is a qualitative aspect to a relationship, something which isn't definable in the sense that a biological relationship is. You could get the gist across to someone about your relationship between yourself and your son, but if they don't have that experience then there is something missing.

    It's worth noting here, too, that feelings of kinship also vary with time and culture. But that doesn't make them meaningless, nonsensical, or entirely undefinable. It does, however, mean that there isn't going to be some trans-historical account of kinship, or some objective measurable physical criteria which will enable you to independently establish kinship. At some point you just have to ask people and believe them.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.6k
    Someone's "manhood" could be someone's "womanhood" and then where do those definitions that you and Banno seem so fond of stand? Doesn't that mean that gender is undefinable - non-existent? It's meaningless. Nonsense. Your own definitions and explanations defeat themselves. — Harry Hindu

    The "manhood" or "womanhood" (or the "manhood and womanhood") is never going to be another's. In any case, it's a feature of an individual. I can no more have another's "manhood" or "womanhood" than I can be another person. Each person's "manhood" or "womanhood" is only ever their own. No "manhood" or "womanhood" is ever the same.

    They aren't made arbitrary by this feature either. In any case, the "manhood" or "womanhood" is its own unique feature of the world (and can be understood by others; I can know who is a man, who is a woman, that the manhood and womanhood of each are different, how they are different, etc.), a feature which stands on its own as a presence in world ("the manhood/womanhood of..."), rather than being some sort of membership granted by having some sort of organs or behaving the right way.

    Rather than "manhood" and "womanhood" being traits achieved by following a rule, they are a primary feature of individuals themselves, a significance of the given individual which occurs with their various traits (whatever those might be).

    One is a man/women not because of specific biological or behavioural traits, but rather because they are a man/woman in the first instance.

    The "arbitrariness" is a misunderstanding drawn from thinking that womanhood or manhood is granted in conforming to some rule of traits which make someone a man/woman. For any man or woman, we are already past any "arbitrariness" because their manhood or womanhood is already who they are.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    This is closer I think. But what differs here is that these aren't physical quantities which are measured.Moliere
    The amount of time and types of things you do for each other can be said to be physical quantities. I could even say that feelings are physical as well, but I don't like to use those incoherent terms, "physical" and "mental". Everything is information. Your feelings inform you of the state of your body and can say that they are the relationship between mind and body. Relationships are a process. Nothing is either physical or mental. It is all process/information.

    At some point you just have to ask people and believe them.Moliere
    In other words, you need to have faith that people's judgements of their own feelings are accurate - even though experience tells us that that isn't always the case. How - religious.

    There was a lot more to my post that would keep us on topic, but you don't seem interested in facing tough questions.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    The "manhood" or "womanhood" (or the "manhood and womanhood") is never going to be another's. In any case, it's a feature of an individual. I can no more have another's "manhood" or "womanhood" than I can be another person. Each person's "manhood" or "womanhood" is only ever their own. No "manhood" or "womanhood" is ever the same.

    They aren't made arbitrary by this feature either. In any case, the "manhood" or "womanhood" is its own unique feature of the world (and can be understood by others; I can know who is a man, who is a woman, that the manhood and womanhood of each are different, how they are different, etc.), a feature which stands on its own as a presence in world ("the manhood/womanhood of..."), rather than being some sort of membership granted by having some sort of organs or behaving the right way.

    Rather than "manhood" and "womanhood" being traits achieved by following a rule, they are a primary feature of individuals themselves, a significance of the given individual which occurs with their various traits (whatever those might be).

    One is a man/women not because of specific biological or behavioural traits, but rather because they are a man/woman in the first instance.

    The "arbitrariness" is a misunderstanding drawn from thinking that womanhood or manhood is granted in conforming to some rule of traits which make someone a man/woman. For any man or woman, we are already past any "arbitrariness" because their manhood or womanhood is already who they are.
    TheWillowOfDarkness
    This is just more nonsense. All you are talking about is our own individual preferences, not anything that can be called "manhood" or "womanhood". If anything and everything falls under some umbrella term, then that makes the term meaningless, as everything and anything could be that thing (manhood) and it would be inconsistent to call those things by another, opposite term (womanhood).

    Does one's preference for chocolate or vanilla ice cream fall under manhood or womanhood? As a matter of fact, I don't see most of my actions or preferences as falling into any gender/sexual category. My preference for chocolate ice cream is not a representation of my manhood or womanhood. If it is different for everyone, then why call it manhood or womanhood? Why call it anything other than individual preference?

    You people are simply pulling out these arguments from your nether regions without even processing them for coherence and consistency. This is getting boring. Your arguments are no different in structure than those made my religious people vehemently holding on to their irrational beliefs to the point where they become incoherent.
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