• ninoszka
    2
    We all heard it: gender is a social construct. Philosopher and Queer Theorist Judith Butler even goes as far as describing gender as performative: "gender" is not something that actually exists, but something that is created by every individual's behaviour.

    This, however, does not seem to fit with the mainstream idea of "gender identity": an internal feeling or knowledge about the own gender.

    So here comes the tricky question: is gender something that is created by society, or is it a natural property of an individual? Is gender nature or nurture?

    If gender was only socially constructed, why would have so many people a clear idea of what their gender is to choose to change their bodies, behaviours and appearance so radically - what transgender people do? Still, if gender was something intrinsic, how come different societies have come to have completely different views and expectations on this matter?

    Looking forward to reading your thoughts! :)
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    Welcome! Coincidentally my very first discussion here was also on this exact same topic. Summary of my thoughts from there: there are (at least) two different things that get called "gender", one of them a social property (about sex-delineated roles, presentations, performance, identification, etc), and one of them a psychological property (one's feelings about the sexual characteristics of one's body). The social property has priority on the word "gender", which I think has been misappropriated to refer to the psychological property, to the detriment of everyone involved because of the confusion that that has caused. And I propose using the term "bearing" to refer to the psychological property instead.
  • bert1
    610
    I don't understand the social property thing. Lets say we have a biological male who feels and identifies as male in Pfhorrest's sense of 'bearing'. But lets say he works as a cleaner, wears a pink leotard (he doesn't give a shit about colours) to his ballet class, and insert a load of female-associated stuff here of your own choosing. In what sense does he have a female gender? In no sense at all it seems to me. How is it possible to correctly refer to this person as a woman and use female pronouns?

    Maybe I just haven't been exposed to such usage.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    In what sense does he have a female gender?bert1

    If people look at that person and think "that's a woman", and they treat that person as they would treat a woman (however that is), then that person has a female gender in the sociological sense, because that sociological sense is all about societal perceptions.
  • Book273
    209
    Gender is the descriptor of an idea which supports a generalized pattern of behaviours that allows for a rapid, albeit non-specific, understanding of whatever that descriptor is being applied to by an outside observer. For example, I say "Male" and the reader has an almost instant general understanding of what I mean. The same is true for "Female", Masculine and Feminine, etc.

    Gender identity is only of importance to those who are trying to shape the perspective of others. My dog doesn't care if I call him a male, female, or a turnip. He will, however, respond as a male dog when she smells a female in heat. She is also unconcerned about what I call her. Neither are concerned with societal labels. That is a people thing.
  • Jack Cummins
    1k

    I would say that it is also important to take into consideration how the perceives their gender as well. It is also complicated if we make assumptions just on the basis of the way a person may look. Perhaps we would need to engage in conversation with the person who appears male, but is wearing a pink leotard, to know their unique story, before we start to apply labels and pronouns on the basis of our assumptions, which are only assumptions.
  • bert1
    610
    If people look at that person and think "that's a woman", and they treat that person as they would treat a woman (however that is), then they have a female gender in the sociological sense, because that sociological sense is all about societal perceptions.Pfhorrest

    I have not heard that usage, not even once. At no point have I ever heard a man referred to as a woman because of the roles he performs. Do sociologists do this? Do they go around calling male cleaners female?

    Are cleaners female (or lumberjacks male), by definition, in this sociological sense?

    EDIT: Of course I have come across gender stereotypes. But this has never led to any confusion about the gender of the person performing that role. People are just horrified that a female is doing such and such male-associated role, or vice versa. It's the mismatch that causes the horror. But if they adopted the sociological use, there would be no mismatch.
  • Book273
    209
    I take issue with the idea that I am expected to address people by the gender identity that they claim to relate to, rather than the gender they appear to be biologically assigned. I say appear to be assigned because I am not confirming this assignment. My reason for this is simple: if you wish to be addressed as a woman, appear as a woman. If as a man, appear as such. People are visual creatures, our survival has been based on the ability to see something, relegate it a position (food, threat, mate, etc) in an instant, and move forward on that judgement. However, if I am required, or expected, to ignore my evolutionary prerogatives in order to better accommodate someone's feelings, I find that I respond in a dismissive manner. In short, I can't be bothered because I don't care enough to be. Also, as I am unconcerned about other's opinions of me (for the vast majority of the time) I find it ridiculous that someone who does not know me should place any worth on my opinion of them. I find the expectation that anyone should be expected to make that kind of accommodation for anyone else an exceedingly selfish concept.

    If I identified with being a divine power, is it reasonable of me to expect everyone to address me as "Oh most Holy Divine One."? I think not, nor should I ever expect it.
  • Tom1352
    16
    I would describe gender purely in the psychological sense as has been described i.e. one own's feelings about the sexual characteristics of their own body. The 'social property' of gender as discussed seems to be referring more to the qualities traditionally associated with the male and female sexes or masculinity and femininity which does not necessarily need to have any bearing on gender. In the cleaner example the male could be said to have feminine qualities, as in those traditionally associated with females but this would not make their gender female.
  • Tom1352
    16


    I completely agree that no one should be required to address others by their chosen gender identity, individuals should be free to address others however they want nonetheless this still leaves a very wide scope about what you should and shouldn't do. It would be unreasonable to expect someone to accurately identify a gender identity (in the psychological sense) purely by appearance, however if an individual has explicitly expressed how they wish to be identified this creates at least some kind of informal social expectation on how they should be addressed. Anyone would be free to ignore this expectation and address them by appearance although this may lead to other social consequences.
  • ninoszka
    2


    I read your ideas in the discussion you linked, and I mostly resonate with your ideas. I'd like to ask you more on your ideas on "bearing".

    You describe "bearing" as an internal sense related to the own biological sexual characteristics. However, for many gender questioning people I met, this is not that much of a concern. These people started their questioning also from an internal sense of themselves, which, however, was related to how much they identified with social definitions of feminine and masculine behaviour. For other people I met, their questioning had also the aspect of as what gender, in the social sense, they would like to be recognised and treated by others. In both cases, the aspect of their biological sexual characteristics seemed secondary: physical transition was taken into consideration not as an end, but as a means of matching their outside with their inside perception.

    I'd be very curious to read your thoughts on this!
  • TheMadFool
    8.4k
    What puzzles me is this. If gender-identity issues, with ambiguous genders, and this seems more plausible than not, in the population existed throughout human history why on earth haven't we gotten used to it? I mean if gender-ambiguous individuals were prevalent all this while, we should've been desensitized to them by now. 2 million years of evolution the human race has gone through is a lot of years by any standard to get used to something, right? Yet, there seems to be virulent form of animosity the traditional genders (male/female) harbor towards the gender-ambiguous community. It's as if they're new kids on the block and the neighborhood won't have anything to do with them

    Anyway...

    Gender comes in the following varieties:

    1. Mind Male + Body Male [the traditional male]
    2. Mind Male + Body Female
    3. Mind Male + Body Ambiguous

    4. Mind Female + Body Male
    5. Mind Female + Body Female [the traditional female]
    6. Mind Female + Body Ambiguous

    7. Mind Ambiguous + Body Male
    8. Mind Ambiguous + Body Female
    9. Mind Ambiguous + Body Ambiguous

    There are 9 possible mind-body gender states.

    But then I remember reading a philosophy book that asks the question, "does the mind have gender?"
  • bert1
    610
    If I identified with being a divine power, is it reasonable of me to expect everyone to address me as "Oh most Holy Divine One."? I think not, nor should I ever expect it.Book273

    This is not an apt analogy. Narcissists and megalomaniacs are very different from people experiencing gender dysphoria. And complying with their preferences has very different consequences in each case. Its seems simply polite to address someone who feels female and wants to be recognised as such, to do so. And the consequences of doing so seem wholly positive to me. Even if you disbelieve them, and you think they are faking it be cool or something, it's better to give the benefit of the doubt.
  • bert1
    610
    Banno be blasted, I'm going to look in some dictionaries to see if this sociological sense exists according to lexicographers.

    EDIT: Well that didn't help. Can anyone give me some examples of the sociological usage of 'male' and 'female' in a few examples sentences. Sorry if I'm being stupid.
  • Tom1352
    16


    What do you mean by mind male/female/ambiguous? Is this referring to the psychological sense as discussed as in what an individual feels about themselves or socially as in whether they have typically masculine or female qualities or a combination of both?
  • TheMadFool
    8.4k
    What do you mean by mind male/female/ambiguous? Is this referring to the psychological sense as discussed as in what an individual feels about themselves or socially as in whether they have typically masculine or female qualities or a combination of both?Tom1352

    Mind male = someone who thinks "I'm a male".

    Mind female = someone who thinks "I'm a female".

    Mind ambiguous = someone who thinks "I'm male AND female"

    Body male = someone who has male genitalia

    Body female = someone who has female genitalia

    Body ambiguous = someone who has both male AND female genitalia
  • Tom1352
    16


    What would a mind male + body female individual be appealing to in thinking that they are male? This would clearly not be on a biological basis unless you would say that they are simply factually mistaken. My understanding is that this would need to appeal to some kind of social construct about the typical qualities associated with sex i.e. a mind male individual does not relate themselves to the qualities typically associated with a body female. Admittedly I am finding it hard to distinguish between the social and psychological senses mentioned earlier.
  • Book273
    209
    You present an interesting dilemma: choosing which identity issue is more valid and therefore more supportable. Narcists and megalomaniacs are apparently not to be supported but gender confused individuals are ok to support. Should I also be supportive of those who believe their capabilities are greater than they are? What about those who believe they are far less capable than they are? What if I identify as being of another race, is that supportable, or should someone simply tell me to look in the mirror and move on?
    I am very much supportive of people seeking to improve themselves and have never told anyone that they are incapable of attaining their goals. I have said that they might have to work harder than others, but not to let that stop them. I did have a friend that, for all purposes, identified as being of a different race. He was exceedingly annoying for about 8 months, at which point I showed him a mirror and told him to let it go, he was not of the race he identified with. That was the last time he brought it up or behaved in that manner. I did not think my behaviour was wrong then, nor do I now.
  • TheMadFool
    8.4k
    What would a mind male + body female individual be appealing to in thinking that they are male? This would clearly not be on a biological basis unless you would say that they are simply factually mistaken. My understanding is that this would need to appeal to some kind of social construct about the typical qualities associated with sex i.e. a mind male individual does not relate themselves to the qualities typically associated with a body female. Admittedly I am finding it hard to distinguish between the social and psychological senses mentioned earlier.Tom1352

    Well, what I've noticed is gender-identity assumes a definite form - I'm male/female as the case may be - at a very young age, much too young for social factors to be relevant I'm afraid. Take this with a pinch of salt though as it's based on anecdotal "evidence".

    As for the question that I ended my second to last post with, "does mind have a gender?" I recall writing about it on another thread. Women are, barring a few outliers, generally weaker than men and so that imposes restrictions on the options available to them in any given situation. It, in a sense, forces women or should force women, to, well, think outside the box. Over many generations, if genetic inheritance is true, the divergence between male and female brains should become sharp enough to be noticeable. These physical and mental differences will naturally become part of the social landscape - manifesting as distinct and, some might say, non-overlapping, gender roles that then take on a life of their own in the social sphere. Whether, after gender roles have been firmly established in a social context, they become a mold we impose on the young and whether this produces desired or intended results is, to me, an open question.
  • tim wood
    6k
    It seems to me (code meaning that what follows may be inadvertent nonsense)...

    Most people are born manifestly equipped as either male or female and thus identified, trained in the expectations of the culture as to what is and is not appropriate for each.

    And some people are not happy with this. Such unhappiness can have one and only one of two causes, although both may ultimately work together, those being in the categories of nature or nurture. If nature, and I buy the notion that there are such people, men in women's bodies and women in men's, then manifest equipage is not determinative in itself but rather something else is. Chromosomes, the XX v. the XY may be the answer at some level, but that seems too simple and inadequate. And I certainly have no answer.

    As to nurture, that implies that manifest equipment - genitals - is determinative, but that environment/psychology has bent the matter. I buy this too, but imo this is at heart a psychological problem.

    And I buy @Book273's observation, which I understand this way: if George want me to call him, refer to him as, think of him as, Georgina, he's going to have to help me out by appearing to be a Georgina.

    The whole subject, then, is confused, fraught, and agenda-driven, and likely will remain so until a good deal of clarity is added.
  • bert1
    610
    Narcists and megalomaniacs are apparently not to be supported but gender confused individuals are ok to support.Book273

    I don't think gender dysphoria is confusion. People who identify as the opposite gender from their sex have not made a mistake, as if they need to look in their pants to check if they got it right. They know perfectly well what sex they were born as. It just doesn't feel right in a really profound and important way (as far as I know from my conversations with such people). There's no confusion. Or is there?

    Should I also be supportive of those who believe their capabilities are greater than they are?

    Supportive yes, but you can politely point out that they have made a mistake.

    What about those who believe they are far less capable than they are?

    Again, we should politely point out their mistake, perhaps.

    What if I identify as being of another race, is that supportable, or should someone simply tell me to look in the mirror and move on?

    Yes, as long as it is done sensitively. That's because it's clearly a mistake, at least in most cases.

    The point is it's fine to tackle mistakes, but feeling you are not the gender others perceive you as is not a mistake. You can't fix it by getting people to look at their genitals.

    It's important to be realistic and not come up with examples that don't really exist. Gender dysphoria is a pretty common thing that people actually have. Is race dysphoria actually a thing? Species dysphoria isn't as far as I know. I guess there are bound to be the odd one or two people who very strongly feel they should have been born as a horse (or whatever), but this is such a rare thing I don't think our intuitions about that should guide what we think about gender dysphoria.

    I feel a bit uncomfortable about discussing this as I don't really know what it's like to have gender dysphoria, but I know a number of people who do and it comes up in my work, so I am interested.
  • Jack Cummins
    1k
    One of the most complex stories around gender is told in, ' As Nature Made Him: The Boy Raised As A Girl,' by John Colapinto. The author tells of his true life story He was a twin, had circumcision and it went wrong and he lost his penis. A decision was made to raise him as a girl. He was given surgery as a child to create realistic female genititalia. This was followed by oestrogen therapy and John became Joan. The sexologist John Money used this example to show that gender is nurture based rather than dependent on nature. The implications of this were applied in decisions about rearing intersex children.

    However, what happened eventually, and was shown by John Calapinto is that he did not identify as female at all, as sociologists were implying. He had not even looked like a female as he had still become hairy and masculine as a even though he was given female hormones and been bullied for this. He chose to live as a male and had some kind of physical treatment to become more male again, but at the time he wrote the book he had not had surgery to create a prosthetic penis. However, he actually committed suicide a short time after the book was published.

    It is worth saying that what emerged was that John was also experiencing many other life difficulties, and his twin brother also committed suicide, although I am not sure if John or his twin, who developed schizophrenia, committed suicide first. However, I think that this whole true story points to the essential nature of gender and gender identity and how it is more than a social construct. This has importance for the whole understanding of intersex conditions as well gender dysphoria.
  • Kenosha Kid
    2k
    We all heard it: gender is a social constructninoszka

    It's odd, isn't it, that social construct theory came out of structuralism and poststructuralism and yet then proceeds with claims about absolutes. Gender IS a social construct. Umm. Well, maybe now, if that's how we agree to define the word.

    The less silly version is: human gender roles are social constructs, which is certainly uncontroversial even if elements of a role optimise on the basis of sex differences, because roles are roles in a society.
  • Harry Hindu
    3.9k
    We all heard it: gender is a social construct.ninoszka
    Yeah, but what is a social construct? Aren't "social constructs" a nice way of saying "stereotypes"? It's a term used by the socialist left that enables them to enforce the use of stereotypes without appearing to be stereotyping.

    When a man says that they feel like a woman when they wear a dress, they are reinforcing the stereotype that to be defined as a woman, you need to wear a dress. You can wear a dress and still be a man, or wear pants and still be a woman, because what clothes you wear isn't what defines a man or a woman.
  • Dawnstorm
    133
    I have not heard that usage, not even once. At no point have I ever heard a man referred to as a woman because of the roles he performs. Do sociologists do this? Do they go around calling male cleaners female?

    Are cleaners female (or lumberjacks male), by definition, in this sociological sense?
    bert1

    I'm not sure how got this from Pfhorrest's post. The social roles in questions aren't occupational; they're gender roles. male/female is the distinction in question, and it combines with other distinctions:

    Age: Man/Woman vs. Boy Girl
    Family: Father/Mother/Son/Daughter vs. Man/Woman/Boy/Girl
    Occupation: Waiter/Waitress (vs. the generalised occupational profile)

    And so on.

    "Gender" tends to refer to two distinct adjective pairs: male/female vs. masculine/feminine.

    And gender expectations aren't generally strict. In fact, if a male person only has masculine traits, people tend to think of him as hyper-masculine rather than as the norm, and when it occurs in adolescents we tend to think of it as "a phase". There may be strict elements, though, depending on where and when.

    It's my impression that the current discourse about being trans doesn't reject the mainstream construct, but treats it as insufficient. Most trans activists, for example, would be fine with a four-way distinction "male/female" and "cis/trans", while also being aware that this might not help genderfluid or agender people. The problem is that a social world traditionally structured for cis people isn't really equipped for the trans distinction (see public bathrooms or locker rooms), and in practise treating a trans woman like a trans woman isn't always possible because the mindset isn't widespread enough yet.

    Finally, remember what I said above about strictness and hyper-masculinity/feminity? Well that's an area that tends to affect trans people differently than it does cis people. A cis-woman who is "too masculine" is a "deficient woman". A trans-woman cannot be "too masculine" under the same mindset; she - no HE - is mistankenly, deludely, or dishonestly claiming to be a man. What gender construct you buy into and apply (automatically and unreflectively for the most part) heavily influences the social reality you see.

    The term "social construct" doesn't only have one meaning in sociology, but if nothing's changed the most common usage tends to come from phenomenology. Husserl - Scheler - Schütz. I think the most-cited text could have been Berger/Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality when I graduated in sociology in the early 2000s, but I'm not sure. It's definitely a defining text, though. It's not really that important here, and it's also not the whole academic picture. I'm just mentioning it in case your interest runs deep enough so you have a place to start your research, should you want to.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    The term "social construct" doesn't only have one meaning in sociology, but if nothing's changed the most common usage tends to come from phenomenology. Husserl - Scheler - Schütz. I think the most-cited text could have been Berger/Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality when I graduated in sociology in the early 2000s, but I'm not sure. It's definitely a defining text, though. It's not really that important here, and it's also not the whole academic picture. I'm just mentioning it in case your interest runs deep enough so you have a place to start your research, should you want to.Dawnstorm

    I would be interested if you wanted to start a thread talking about the philosophy of social constructs more generally, since it's an area I'm lacking in formal education and a discussion of it would be informative.

    I'm particularly interested in something that seems to be implicitly believed by many of the kind of people who usually talk about social constructs, but not explicitly claimed so far as I'm aware: that not only are some things merely socially constructed, but everything is, there is no objective reality at all, and (most to the point I'm curious about) that all talk about things being some way or another is therefore implicitly an attempt to shape the behavior of other people to some end, in effect reducing all purportedly factual claims to normative ones.

    That is to say, in claiming that all of reality is merely a social construct, such constructivism seems to reframe every apparent attempt to "merely describe reality" as actually an attempt to change how people behave, which is the function of normative claims. In other words, that no apparent assertion of fact is value-neutral: that in asserting that something or another is real or factual, you are always advancing some agenda or another, and the morality of one agenda or another can thus serve as reason to accept or reject the "reality" of claims that would further or hinder them.

    I'm interested in that because it looks to me like the flip side of the same conflation of "is" and "ought" committed by scientism: where scientism supposes that a prescriptive claim can be supported by a descriptive claim, constructivism seems to suppose that all descriptive claims have prescriptive implications.
  • bert1
    610
    And gender expectations aren't generally strict. In fact, if a male person only has masculine traits, people tend to think of him as hyper-masculine rather than as the norm, and when it occurs in adolescents we tend to think of it as "a phase". There may be strict elements, though, depending on where and when.Dawnstorm

    Thanks for your help Dawnstorm. I still struggling to get the concepts straight (no pun intended). I'm stuck on the logical relations between the concepts.

    Just here you said that a male might have just masculine traits. Could a female have just masculine traits? Or does the definition of 'female' preclude that?

    Just to go back to absolute basics for me, I'd like to disambiguate the term 'gender' as follows:

    1) 'Gender' can mean biological sex, as defined by chromosomes or genitalia or whatever. Perhaps hormone levels, I don't know, but it's biological stuff that defines it. So that concept is reasonably clear in my mind.

    2) 'Gender' can mean how one feels from the inside out. This is Pfhorrest's concept of 'bearing'. I think this is a useful coinage as it reduces confusion between different senses of 'gender'. This concept is also pretty clear in my mind. And this is the way the concept seems to be primarily used by the people I talk to in my work.

    3) There seems to be a further concept of gender. This is what I don't really understand, unless this concept is identical with the concept of gender stereotypes, or societal expectations of what a certain biological male or female should choose in terms of career, values, hobbies, friends, what books they should read and what clothes they wear etc. This corresponds fittingly to one pair of opposites you mentioned: feminine/masculine. But it does not correspond to the other pair of opposites you mentioned: male/female. This is because in normal usage, the adoption of certain masculine or feminine gender stereotypical behaviours is NOT sufficient to make one a male or female. This can be proven (I suggest) by conceiving of a man (sense 1) who only does feminine things. This does not make him a woman, it does not change his gender. We merely say of him that he is a man doing feminine things. If he FURTHER says that he identifies as a woman, and that feels right to him (in the sense 2 of 'bearing') then this does change his gender. We then, if we are polite, refer to her and consider her a woman. It is senses 1 and 2 that determine a person's gender, and sense 3 only adds masculinity and femininity to that. So what I'm questioning is that sense 3 is not really about the male/female opposition, and wholly about the masculine/feminine opposition.

    No doubt I am still very confused, but does that make my confusion clearer? Can you help me any further with this?

  • Welkin Rogue
    51


    In orthodox terminology, it looks like (1) is sex and (2) and (3) are different ways of thinking about gender. (2) is an internalist account. (3) is an externalist account.

    My trouble with (2) the internalist account is that I struggle to get a grip on its content, independent of (3). I have been reading Wittgenstein's PI (half way through) so I'm thinking in terms of how words get their meanings. If Wittgenstein is right, the meaning of a word like 'woman' can't be some private experience or state.

    Suppose someone says that they are a woman. Yet in their appearance and behaviour, they display the characteristics of a man. That is, their appearance and behaviour attract our application of the word 'man’, given how we have been trained to use that word. What do we do, now? If we insist that meanings must consists in something like patterns of public usage, we cannot say that the meaning of ‘woman’ is an inner feeling of some kind.

    I suspect that the best response here is to say that there is public stuff which can form the basis of a sensical language game for gender terms like ‘woman’. Someone who sincerely says that they are man will have characteristic features that we can track in some sense.

    Perhaps a very minimal meaning might be: being attracted to and identifying with things tagged masculine (here we see the appeal to (3): (2) only makes sense in relation to (3)). Even if they don’t act that way, this may be because of repression and training to conform to their ‘assigned gender’. Perhaps over time they would begin to act and look more that way. But even if they did not, we might say that a man may simply be someone who, regardless of appearance, behaves their affinity with manly things.

    Note that because there is no essence to 'woman' as a gender term, we are 'allowed' to imaginatively extend its application in ways that might violate certain features we thought (wrongly, because there are no essences) were essential. And there can be quite a lot of variation among these ways. The point is that whatever the meaning of 'woman' is, it must be found in (evolving, messy) public language games. Publicly invisible self-identification is insufficient. If someone said they were a woman, but we could find nothing in their manifest behaviour or appearance to indicate that we should extend the term 'woman' to them, we would be tempted to say that they were making a mistake - that they had failed to understand what 'woman' meant.
  • Pfhorrest
    3.9k
    This is why I propose not using an “internalist account of gender”, but rather acknowledging something differently from gender entirely, which has been confusingly conflated with it.

    There are people who were born into bodies that they feel uncomfortable (dysphoric) about, people who find the idea of having a different body makes them feel good (euphoric). When the difference between those two body images is about sex, we call that “gender” dysphoria or euphoria.

    It’s perfectly easy to communicate the fact of these feelings in public language terms that don’t involve saying “I am a man/woman” — we communicate our feelings about all kinds of things, such as who we find sexually attractive, all the time — and it’s perfectly reasonable that people should want those feelings respected and to be allowed to take actions on them as they deem appropriate without condemnation or censure.

    But mixing that up with gender the social construct and insisting that others use language contrary to the way they have learned it to respect those feelings just creates unnecessary conflict. I imagine that if instead of saying “I am a woman” when someone is uncomfortable with having a penis and more comfortable with having a vagina, people said “I want to be a woman” or “I like being a woman” or something else that made it clear that what they’re communicating is something about their state of mind, there would be a lot less pushback against them.

    There would still be some of course, just like men who unambiguously communicate that they like having sex with other men still get some pushback from bigots anyway. But why create more tension with people who would otherwise be allies just over this comparatively trivial linguistic and ontological issue?
  • Outlander
    869
    One gets pregnant and one doesn't. Unless you're a seahorse, of course. Are you a seahorse?
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.