• TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    It appears that way because the group of sex essentialists (@Swan @Bitter Crank, @Terrapin Station and @Artemis) haven't realised the terms of identification. Trans people are not non-conforming because they fail to meet a standard required to be a sex or gender. They are non-conforming because their identity breaks with what's expected of them by a social expectation.

    One does not, for example, need a penis to be male. Or a vagina to be female. Like wearing long hair , dresses or enjoying sports, to have a penis or a vagina is just a another property of a person. Identity is a distinct fact from these properties. Some women have a vagina. Some women have a penis.

    In a world where identity is properly understood, trans people would not be trans. Not because they wouldn't have an identity, body or dysphoria, but rather because whatever manifestation of those three they had, it would not break identity rules for them to be trans. The prominent trans woman of imagination would just be a woman, with a penis and dysphoria about her body. She would not to trans in the sense of violating an identity expectation. A woman with a penis, who senses her body with a vagina, would be just as much expected of a woman as having a vagina and feeling it belongs.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    Missing the forest for the trees. The social expectations and myths to change ones body do not vanish in a world which properly recognises and is inclusive sex and gender. Alteration of bodies is, in the end, a question of bodies. Social forces manipulating people to that end can still function perfectly well in that space. Body ideals, presented as irresistible, can occur perfectly well in themselves. A lot of the already do. The six packed men and thin woman plastered over advertising, for example, don't always come with a specific reference to gender (i.e. "Women must be this", "Man must be this" ), but instead are shown and imply the value of the body (whatever sex or gender it might be).

    We are dropping the ball if we think dissatisfaction with bodies is merely a question of whether if someone with certain properties can belong to sex or gender. A paradise inclusive of sex and gender (in the sense of recognising both are identities in themselves, not given by any particular property or another) does not amount to overcoming dissatisfaction with bodies and social expectations surrounding it.
  • bongo fury
    180
    IME trans people only accidentally sound like they are employing gender essentialism because of the conflation of gender with what I have dubbed “bearing”.Pfhorrest

    But then you not only reinforce the received, mythical psycho-sexual essences called genders and orientations, you invent some more and call them bearings. This is more essentialism not less. You aren't questioning the abstraction of masculinity and femininity (and all their specious, arbitrary and culture-specific associations) from biologically male and female at all. You are reinforcing it by proposing to measure or survey people according to, for example, their

    feelings at the thought of being more feminine,Pfhorrest

    ... i.e. of having a different sexual essence, no?
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    That's just having an identity. There is no specific set of properties which amount to being more feminine or not.

    Anyone with a sex or gender is in this position. The cis man with a penis who thinks "I'm male" has the same sort significance and feeling of belonging. (it's also true of anyone without a sex and gender, since they will have a thought and sense of belonging to "no sex and gender." )
  • bongo fury
    180
    feelings at the thought of being more feminine,
    — Pfhorrest

    ... i.e. of having a different sexual essence, no?
    bongo fury

    That's just having an identity. There is no specific set of properties which amount to being more feminine or not.TheWillowOfDarkness

    You should probably take that up with the OP, as the whole sentence is,

    But I get good feelings at the thought of being more feminine, just physically, not talking about anything social yet.Pfhorrest

    Willow, I think the only semblance of common ground among everyone (else) here is acceptance of biological sex as an unproblematic (though complex) biological classification.

    If you were at least on that ground (but I fear not), then I could read your comment,

    There is no specific set of properties which amount to being more feminine or not.TheWillowOfDarkness

    as a critique of essentialism about sex. Would that be appropriate?
  • bongo fury
    180
    In a world where identity is properly understood,TheWillowOfDarkness

    Grateful for a brief outline.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    I know that, which is why the fact I don't accept the essentialism of biological sex (by this I mean the idea that someone's anatomical properties make them masculine of feminine) is integral to the point I was making.

    My point is not only the properties of gender roles like long hair, wearing dresses,etc. which are essentialist, but also the anatomical properties which are supposed to define sex. Why does one need a penis to be male? Why does one need a vagina to be female? If identity of male and female is indeed non-essentialist, then it should be possible for someone of any body to have an identity of male or female. Even in terms of se, the category of male and female cannot be reduced to a property of body .
    The identity of male and female, even in sex, is only given by the identity itself. One can only be male or female, whatever their anatomy, by the fact of having the identity itself. There is no set of properties which makes anyone male or female.

    So when Pfhorrest asserts a feminine identity, it's not on the basis of having certain properties which must make them feminine. No essential properties are granting feminine identity. There are no such properties!

    Rather, the feminine identity is given in terms of itself.

    That's to say, Pfhorrest has a property of feminine identity which is present entirely on its own terms. Not a feature granted by having some set of properties which make one feminine, but to exist with a fact of feminine identity itself.

    Just as a cis man with a penis exists with a male identity itself and thinks the concept of man is of him, Pfhorrest exists with a feminine identity and thinks of the concept of woman of her/them/he (I do not know Pfhorrest's pronouns. Normally, I would just use "they" when I don't know pronouns, but I'll put a range here just to make a point about the self-definition of identity).
  • Swan
    175


    Just a bunch of made up backwards anti-realist junk science with low philosophical merit. Best to leave, imo.
  • Number2018
    292

    In a world where identity is properly understoodTheWillowOfDarkness
    Jordan Peterson claims that the term of identity should not be overused; he insists that the gender identities under the question should have been constructed through the continuous and long-term of social construction:
    “To refuse to engage in the social aspect of identity negotiation — to insist that what you say you are is what everyone must accept — is simply to confuse yourself and everyone else (as no one at all understands the rules of your game, not least because they have not yet been formulated).
    The continually expanded plethora of “identities” recently constructed and provided with legal status thus consist of empty terms which (1) do not provide those who claim them with any real social role or direction; (2) confuse all who must deal with the narcissism of the claimant, as the only rule that can exist in the absence of painstakingly, voluntarily and mutually negotiated social role is “it’s morally wrong to say or do anything that hurts my feelings”; (3) risks generating psychological chaos among the vast majority of individuals exposed to the doctrines that insist that identity is essentially fluid and self-generating”.
    One could reject Peterson’s arguments as too reactionary and obstructionistic, neglecting the essential rights of the oppressed group. Or, maybe he simply
    cannot catch up with our fast-changing time?
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.9k


    Just the opposite, which I covered in the other gender thread:

    Sure we categorize the world with words. Sex is an anatomical category, not a social identity. "Sex" refers to those differences of anatomy and their related functions and behaviors that exist in 99.9% organisms of all species that use sex to procreate.

    "Man"/"Woman" are terms that refer to differences in species and not just sex.
    — Harry Hindu



    Sex has in mind something more tham just difference in anatomy.

    When we use sex, we are not dedicated to identifying anatomical parts. We are interested in identifying which people are male and which people are female. It’s why we don’t just point out an anatomical difference by describing their are different anatomical parts. It’s a self-defined identity. Rather than just describing what bodies people have, it’s an attempt to capture our bodies under specific conceptual meanings. Sex is a categorisation of who takes on an identity of male or female.

    You’re right this is an attempt to identify a different species. Species is the same kind of category. If I assert an entity is a certain species, and so must have certain set of anatomical parts, I am making the same sort of argument defining a conceptual identity.

    But it’s species which is the illusion (an antiscientific) here. For rather than taking anatomy and people on their own terms, describing bodies in terms of what states occur and are observed an each entity, species attempts to define existing bodies and entities through only our conceptual idea of which anatomy can belong to them on account of identity. The account it’s giving is working backwards.

    Instead of looking out at the world, at an entity with identity and taking what bodily features it has, these accounts take species as anatomy, as if the body of entity could be defined merely by our concept of what must be. The approach is anti-scientific because it cannot track instances of the world in which a species exists or behaves in ways we do not expect. It’s using our expectations where the existence of an entity should rule.
    — TheWillowOfDarkness
  • Pfhorrest
    590
    i.e. of having a different sexual essence, no?bongo fury

    No. Bearing has nothing to do with any “essence”. It has to do with how you feel about your physical sex. Orientation isn’t a social construct either: it’s a fact about what kind of person someone wants to fuck. Bearing is a similar fact about the kind of person someone wants to BE. Physically. No weird social or metaphysical anything about it.

    FWIW I think I mostly disagree with Willow about the metaphysics/language of all this.

    Edit to elaborate: I think I mostly disagree with Willow inasmuch as I don't think there are metaphysical essences of anything at all, a general principle with no focus on gender specifically. The closest thing there are to essences are defining characteristics, which is a linguistic matter, not a metaphysical one (how are words defined?). In my proposal about bearing I'm not taking any stance at all on what the proper referents of the words "man" and "woman" are. In general I operate on the principle that words mean what people agree that they mean, and while I expect that most people mean to refer to sexes when they say "man" or "woman", I understand that trans people and allies more usually mean genders or bearings, and so in conversation with them I just roll with the understanding that that's what they mean. I find it an unfortunate circumstance that there is this purely linguistic split that unnecessarily implies some kind of deep metaphysical divide when it's really all about the referents of some words, and I kind of hope that philosophical clarification of all the surrounding topics, like my introduction of the concept of bearing, could help to eventually clear that up.
  • unenlightened
    4.1k
    We are dropping the ball if we think dissatisfaction with bodies is merely a question of whether if someone with certain properties can belong to sex or gender. A paradise inclusive of sex and gender (in the sense of recognising both are identities in themselves, not given by any particular property or another) does not amount to overcoming dissatisfaction with bodies and social expectations surrounding it.TheWillowOfDarkness

    Yes, I agree. But I think we are even more losing the ball down the gutter if we think that gender dysphoria is unconnected with the almost universal body dysmorphia, eating disorders, etc, and vast, vast, beauty industry telling everyone that their intimate places (for instance) are smelly hairy and disgusting, but can be made appealing with the application of much product and frequent surgery - without it, you are not a proper member of the human race and deserve to be shunned by all.
  • wanderingmind
    2
    I am still not entirely sure why it needs to be anybody else's business what happens in another persons bedroom or pants.
    We are all well-versed in the biological method of reproduction. That is a sperm cell and an ovum cell join, science stuff happens, 9 months later comes the bouncing bundle.
    To quote Marcus Aurelius;
    And in sexual intercourse that it is no more than the friction of a membrane and a spurt of mucus ejected.
    . Well, we all have membranes, and we can all spurt mucus.
    Instead of saying 'Oh that's Emma. Emma likes to be called as Steve, have sex with some girls and
    some boys.', it would be literally as easy to say 'Hey Steve!'
    Instead of worrying about whether clothes in the store are for people with a penis or people with vagina, why not worry about whether you like the colour or the cut and the way it looks on you and the way it makes you feel.
    If you are at a point in life where you want to reproduce. Options exist, either adopt/foster. Surrogacy, IVF etc.
    If someone finds a way to be happy, let them. If two people find a way to make each other happy let them. If three people find a way to make each other happy who cares, they're happy. I am happy. You should be happy.
    To put it simply a side-effect of our 'scientific evolution' means that there are no physical barriers to each person on earth simply being themselves and being happy. The only obstacles to this are 'social' ones.
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