Transexuality

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Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:27 pm UTC

From: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=20294

Aradae wrote:Personally I can only go so far with acceptance (my limit is before transexuals). To me there is just something ever so wrong about changing your sex. And I don't buy the "women trapped in a man's body" or other way around crap either. Deal with it, accept it, there's nothing or unnatural about being gay but it's highly unnatural (so far as I'm concerned among mammals and other vertebrates) to mutilate yourself to look like a person of the opposite sex. Flame me, spit on me for being intolerant, I'm not changing my chance on transgender people.


Why bother putting it forward if you admit to having no logical basis, and profess a complete unwillingness to change your view no matter what argument is presented to you? What purpose did it serve to even type that? Especially on a board with at least three transexuals and/or transvestites among its regular posters? Were you just trying to be needlessly offensive?
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Aradae » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:28 pm UTC

Pardon me. I guess I shouldn't have put that last part in there. What I really would like however is for someone to present their side of the argument. In my mind and probably in the mind of many people in the world, transexuals have, are, and will always be perceived as disgusting.

If you think this view is illogical than please impart to me the logic of your view. Why do you think it's right to get surgery just so your exterior can match what you think you are. Does it really help a person with an identity crisis? Why should it be in the right for everyone to unquestioningly accept a person who has undergone such a procedure.

I don't think I am intolerant. I have several friends who are gay/lesbian/bisexual and even helped to organize a Gay-Straight alliance club at my High School. But I do have a line beyond which lies people and ideas that I cannot accept. If you can present to me a convincing argument I may reconsider which side of that line transexuals are on but as of yet I have not found one.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:31 pm UTC

Aradae wrote:Why should it be in the right for everyone to unquestioningly accept a person who has undergone such a procedure.


Why is it any of your business? They're doing what they feel they need to do in order to feel right with themselves. Why do you care?
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Re: Transexuality

Postby karmiclube » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:38 pm UTC

i almost feel like i'm interrupting a private conversation, but seeing as it's in a public forum, here goes.

help me out here. i'm trying to figure out how one can accept that nature can "get it wrong*" about who a person is sexually attracted to, but not accept that nature can "get it wrong" about which sex a person identifies with. i realize it's oranges and kumqwats, but the concept is simple enough...there's all kinds of hormones going on in gestation. sometimes things get mixed up.

*for any given value of "wrong."
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:38 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Why is it any of your business? They're doing what they feel they need to do in order to feel right with themselves. Why do you care?
Because they exist?

It's one thing to want to ban something, and another to dislike it. Someone else's freedom to offend me is my freedom to offend them. His feeling that transexuality is 'digusting' is on the same emotional level as the transexual's feeling that their sex should match their gender. Neither are rationally justified, and neither can be; I don't see too much evidence that either can or should be changed from the outside (I'd obviously like to see less bigotry, but I'd like more for individuals to retain control over their tastes). Now, he might meet a transexual worth having a friendship with and the repeated exposure will inure him to others being transexual; but that's his change that he'll make at his pace at his discretion.

As for why he stated it? Because it's something worth discussing. It's nice to know what other people think of what you think.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:42 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:As for why he stated it? Because it's something worth discussing.


See, that's what I don't get. Why is an irrational distaste for someone else's choices worth discussing if there isn't more to it? Especially brought out of the blue for no good reason?

Just seems needlessly inflammatory to me, but he seems to think he has a debate here.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Aradae » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:54 pm UTC

I don't know, I guess it seemed sort of relevant to what the original topic was about. I've expressed my opinion a couple of times on other fora and the discussions always left me feeling that I'm in the wrong for my distaste in transexuals. I guess you can say the debate is why is it wrong to hold that distaste.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:00 pm UTC

You can have a distaste for whatever you want. I personally wonder why you would cling to a distaste you can't justify, but it's your right to cling to it as you like.

The mistake comes, I suppose, when you start to treat that distaste like it means something. When you start being a dick to transexuals because you have some visceral distaste for them, or start supporting abridgements of their rights, and so forth.

Avoid that, and you're just...a person with an irrational dislike. The same type of person who's disgusted by homosexuality or interracial relationships or whatever, but doesn't do anything about it or support those who do. Not the type of person I'd necessarily hang out with, but otherwise fine.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

Belial wrote:See, that's what I don't get. Why is an irrational distaste for someone else's choices worth discussing if there isn't more to it? Especially brought out of the blue for no good reason?

Just seems needlessly inflammatory to me, but he seems to think he has a debate here.
Well, there certainly aren't conclusions that can be reached (it's doubtful that there are any shared premises that could be fallen back upon), but there still can be benefits from having that discussion. He gets to feel out how and why others respond to his feelings (and there's a fairly large chance someone else will come out of the woodwork and agree that transsexuals are disgusting, given him some confirmation), and the defenders of transsexuality get a chance to demonstrate their support for it and present any rational reasons, if they exist, for supporting it.

But you're right in that this boils down to either "live and let live" or "everyone should think the way I do," and possibly the realization that one isn't in the camp they thought they were.

Belial wrote:I personally wonder why you would cling to a distaste you can't justify, but it's your right to cling to it as you like.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby sophyturtle » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:09 pm UTC

Having had many transgender friends I know how it can change their lives. Males and females are treated differently (duh), and there are different social rules for each. The idea of matching your outside to reflect how you feel on the inside is not new. Nor is changing something about yourself so people perceive you as who you feel you really are and treat you as such. Why should it seem so strange to change the largest identifier our society goes by if the one you were assigned does not fit?
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Re: Transexuality

Postby lorenith » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:14 pm UTC

I have to wonder why he would ask for peoples opinions and a debate on something he says is set in stone and will never change for him.

All I have to say is his apparent hate towards transgenders is rather off putting and discomforting to me. I could understand if maybe he's a little uncomfortable with one, but that's not really good reason to be hateful.

And I'm sure he's heard this 3 times over in all his other forums...

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Aradae » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:31 pm UTC

lorenith wrote:I have to wonder why he would ask for peoples opinions and a debate on something he says is set in stone and will never change for him.


Ignore the first post. I said that mostly because mostof the arguments I've heard in favor were just as irrational as my distaste for them.

lorenith wrote:All I have to say is his apparent hate towards transgenders is rather off putting and discomforting to me. I could understand if maybe he's a little uncomfortable with one, but that's not really good reason to be hateful.

And I'm sure he's heard this 3 times over in all his other forums...


I'm uncomfortable with them, yes, but I don't think it's anything more than a mild distaste. To give you a good comparison, my feeling for transexuals is like my feeling towards this guy for what he did to his ear.

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Re: Transexuality

Postby eijkaibjck » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:37 pm UTC

The fact that someone can get extremely annoyed about something works both ways. Frequently it gives out more information about the particular person that is annoyed than about the supposedly annoying thing. And my point is not to make an ad hominem argument. Instead what I'm saying is that this matter can only be discussed considering the hater persona, not the object of the hate alone.

Personally I think the matter of gender change is morally neutral. It is not to be even considered as a moral decission, like the choice between chinese and mexican food on a tuesday is not.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Jessica » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:50 pm UTC

Dammit. I really don't want to talk about this today. It's been a bad day all around, and I don't want to defend/educate people about transexuality and transgenderism today. Maybe later. I will say that it always hurts a bit when I hear people saying "Just deal with it". It is something I'm dealing with, and is something I've tried ignoring in the past. Dealing with it, includes talking to my doctor, my therapist and transitioning. Ignoring it causes me horrible pain and makes me depressed.

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:55 pm UTC

Okay, let's step back a few.

Aradae wrote:I don't buy the "women trapped in a man's body" or other way around crap either. Deal with it, accept it,


Aradae wrote:Why do you think it's right to get surgery just so your exterior can match what you think you are. Does it really help a person with an identity crisis?


Consider your distaste with the procedure itself. Most people aren't thrilled about the idea of being cut on, especially in the genital area. Consider how difficult and taxing surgery and hormone therapy and so forth are, physically and mentally and emotionally. And consider all the social stigma that people heap on transexuals. All the disgust that people like you have toward them.

Then ask yourself, would someone go through with all of that if the alternative weren't worse? Would they bother with any of that if they didn't feel so uncomfortable with their birth sex that they felt they had to change it?

I will admit that on an empathic level, I have trouble with it. I've said it before, but on an emotional level I'm just so totally uninvested in my sex that if it changed today, I probably wouldn't care except for having to adapt to the societal ramifications. But just because I can't quite wrap my head around putting myself in someone else's emotional situation doesn't mean I can tell them that it's not real or that they should just cope with it. Quite the opposite: I literally cannot imagine being in their situation, so what right do I have to tell them how they should deal with it or pass judgement on the method they choose?

Edit: This post slightly ninja'd by gharbad. No one will at all fault you for staying out of this discussion, ghar. I'm not even sure moving it here was the right plan, but of the options it seemed best.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby rob insurgent » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

who cares if what another person chooses to do with their self or their life is 'right'? i don't.

if someone feels that they should be a different sex strongly enough to make it happen through expensive and costly surgeries and hormone therapies, who is anyone to disagree?

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Re: Transexuality

Postby PictureSarah » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

I am not transsexual, but I think I can imagine, to some degree at least, what it would be like. I am biologically female, and also mentally female. And I am also biologically and mentally very feminine. I can hardly comprehend the disconnect and unhappiness if I were stuck in my current body but I felt male, or having to live in a man's body while mentally I am a woman. It would just feel wrong. I don't know if I would surgically/hormonally change myself, because that's a huge decision to make and a painful process to undergo, but I would surely at least consider it. It would not change who I was mentally to any great extent (at least I don't believe it would), but it would change how the world perceived me and reacted to me, which would be desirable. As many negative side effects as there are to being a woman, I wouldn't want to be anything else because I don't know how to be anything else, and if my body were male, I would wish to change it so that my physical self was aligned with my mental self.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Aradae » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

Belial wrote:

Consider your distaste with the procedure itself. Most people aren't thrilled about the idea of being cut on, especially in the genital area. Consider how difficult and taxing surgery and hormone therapy and so forth are, physically and mentally and emotionally. And consider all the social stigma that people heap on transexuals. All the disgust that people like you have toward them.

Then ask yourself, would someone go through with all of that if the alternative weren't worse? Would they bother with any of that if they didn't feel so uncomfortable with their birth sex that they felt they had to change it?



Haven't really thought of it like that. In retrospect I guess I really don't have a problem, yet the whole notion still seems kind of disgusting to me. Kind of like accepting homosexuals for who they are but not wanting to know what goes on in their bedroom.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:27 pm UTC

Well, yeah, major surgery can be squicky. Just doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it, or the people who do it.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby 22/7 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:41 pm UTC

Aradae wrote:I'm uncomfortable with them, yes, but I don't think it's anything more than a mild distaste. To give you a good comparison, my feeling for transexuals is like my feeling towards this guy for what he did to his ear.

Image

I'll be completely honest here and say that I, too feel kind of a "why? just why?" feeling when I see something like that, but I'm not sure I could translate it to a decision like getting a sex change. The second one I can understand, if completely academically, the desire to change one's sex. I myself would never want to be female, they put up with a lot of shit that we don't between menstrual cycles, societal differences, having boobs (they would be in the way for much of what I enjoy doing), bodily upkeep, etc., etc. But I can understand that, were I to feel like a female but were male, that would be a pretty strong reason to make this decision. The really big ear lobe thing... I just can't come up with a reason good enough for me personally to want to do that to myself.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Masuri » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:47 pm UTC

A big meh to this topic. Not the Transexuality part of it, but the 'you MUST accept this as fine and good' part.

There's this weird movement of what I call Tolerance Nazis. You WILL accept and appreciate every weird-ass thing people do to themselves and embrace it! And if you don't, I will try to bully you until you do! I will not tolerate your intolerance! (Think Tolerance Camp from South Park.)

Well, no, I can't promise to embrace that stuff, and no amount of bullying will change that. I respect people's right to do the aforementioned weird-ass things, and as long as it doesn't do me any harm, I'm fine with whatever anyone wants to do. But do I really need to smile and welcome it with open arms and force myself to be totally comfortable with stuff that other people do? No. The buck stops at accepting their right to do it.

Do I find the idea of swapping genders odd? Undeniably! Yes, I understand all the reasoning and that it's a psychologically necessary thing for some people. I still find it odd. It's not a judgment or a condemnation, it's just how I feel about it. The idea of trying to make such an adjustment blows my mind. Physically, mentally, and socially, it would be an incredible challenge. You can't bully me out of that viewpoint and make me say, "Why! Swapping genders is as natural as water running downhill or the birds flying south for the winter!" Because it really isn't. It's a rare thing but some people find it utterly necessary. More power to them. It's still odd to me.

Deciding my comfort level with things is up to me, and nobody else gets to dictate that. If Aradae is uncomfortable with the idea, that's fine. If Belial is comfortable with it, it's equally fine. I don't get this absolute demand for acceptance. Nor do I understand the tactic of tromping someone until they believe as you do, even if that belief of yours is more open-minded. Means, ends, etc.

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:56 pm UTC

Masuri wrote:It's not a judgment or a condemnation


Now go back to the first post in the thread and figure out where your situation and the situation that prompted this thread differ.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby 22/7 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:01 pm UTC

Masuri, I whole-heartedly agree with you. I find many of these things odd myself. However, unless you're referring to some kind of moral judgment, I have to disagree that it isn't a judgment. Of course, I personally think that the word "judgment" gets used in a very negative way most of the time, such that you get comments like "don't judge me" which, let's face it, is a ridiculous thing to request. But, I'm taking the "the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind" definition of judgment. The commonly used definition is, as I said, significantly more loaded (to the negative) than this one.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:05 pm UTC

Really, Masuri, on further thought, I hardly think discussion is "bullying". If you're convinced that "X people are disgusting and unnatural", how is attempting to convince you that X people aren't so bad and probably aren't deserving of disgust hurting you? What do you lose by having the conversation? For that matter, what would you lose by getting over your disgust, if that's what your conversation eventually led to?

You accuse people who push a message of tolerance of being "tolerance-nazis", but why is your intolerance so sacred to you that questioning or pressing it is taboo?
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Masuri » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:11 pm UTC

No, I see. He finds it unnatural, and for him that's both a judgment and a condemnation. I get that.

I guess what I'm asking is, why do you get to decide how he can feel about this subject? Not everyone has to be okay with everything. He doesn't like it, he finds it unnatural - and why is that not okay? Any weird shit anyone wants to do themselves is just fine, but being weirded out by it is not?

The tone of this thread is not 'discussion' that I can tell. It's more like, "Why are you such an intolerant asshole, Aradae?" I don't agree with the guy but I did feel compelled to pipe up about it. It's okay for him to not like this. Really.

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Re: Transexuality

Postby 22/7 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:14 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Really, Masuri, on further thought, I hardly think discussion is "bullying". If you're convinced that "X people are disgusting and unnatural", how is attempting to convince you that X people aren't so bad and probably aren't deserving of disgust hurting you? What do you lose by having the conversation? For that matter, what would you lose by getting over your disgust, if that's what your conversation eventually led to?

You accuse people who push a message of tolerance of being "tolerance-nazis", but why is your intolerance so sacred to you that questioning or pressing it is taboo?

I think he meant that the aforementioned discussion implied a certain intolerance to his intolerance, a sort of "you're not ok with this, you find it weird, whatever, and that's not ok with me." At least, that's how I read it.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Masuri » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

Yeah. What 22/7 said.

A lot of conversations about controversial topics tend to go like this:

What do you think of transexuality, Ted?
I think it's fine! What do you think, Bill?
I think it's pretty weird, Ted. Don't you?
You're an intolerant asshole, Bill!

At some point, I feel like we've lost our ability to agree to disagree. We skip straight from discussion past argument and onto confrontation. That's how I felt this thread started - calling Aradae out for being an intolerant prick. Maybe he is. Who knows? But I don't think jumping on him about it is a valid and in-depth discussion of the transexuality issue. The first post of a thread often sets the tone and that's the tone I felt was set. Thus I'm compelled to say that I respect his right to feel as he does. It's not right or wrong, it just is.

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:22 pm UTC

Masuri wrote:The tone of this thread is not 'discussion' that I can tell. It's more like, "Why are you such an intolerant asshole, Aradae?"


Actually, the initial tone was "Why did you feel the need to share your feelings on transexuality in an only semi-related thread? And what was the point of saying it if you weren't willing to discuss it?" and then once it was purged from that thread, it became "why should or shouldn't aradae be disgusted by transexuals or consider them unnatural or bad." Which seems like a discussion to me.

22/7 wrote:I think he meant that the aforementioned discussion implied a certain intolerance to his intolerance, a sort of "you're not ok with this, you find it weird, whatever, and that's not ok with me." At least, that's how I read it.


Masuri is a she, for reference. Anyway, what does it matter if I don't tolerate his intolerance? I can't do anything about it except talk to him about it.

Furthermore, I have as much right to express my disgust for his disgust as he has to express his disgust in the first place. And I have every right to attempt to convince him that transexuality is acceptable as he has to expound on how transexuality is unnatural and disgusting. At the absolute worst, it just puts us on equal footing.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Masuri » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:30 pm UTC

Well, true. You can argue about it forever and never change each other's minds. Hence my comment about how we've lost the ability to agree to disagree.

Or maybe we've knowingly given it up so we can keep our post-count high. ;)

The only thing that I dislike about the endless argument is that it kind of ups the ante with each successive post and then you have someone like Gharbad who reads this stuff and feels bad. I dunno that I think the back and forth is really worth that, especially when you both know that neither is budging.

Ah well, carry on.

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:32 pm UTC

Except that the OP budged 12 posts ago.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Aradae » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

I'm disgusted that you're disgusted with my disgust....

...What?
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Jessica » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:40 pm UTC

YOU ALL DISGUST ME! CURSE YOUR NON-GENDERSWITCHING WAYS!!! :)
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Re: Transexuality

Postby 22/7 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:49 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
22/7 wrote:I think he meant that the aforementioned discussion implied a certain intolerance to his intolerance, a sort of "you're not ok with this, you find it weird, whatever, and that's not ok with me." At least, that's how I read it.


Masuri is a she, for reference. Anyway, what does it matter if I don't tolerate his intolerance? I can't do anything about it except talk to him about it.

Furthermore, I have as much right to express my disgust for his disgust as he has to express his disgust in the first place. And I have every right to attempt to convince him that transexuality is acceptable as he has to expound on how transexuality is unnatural and disgusting. At the absolute worst, it just puts us on equal footing.

Gender neutral masculine FTW? You certainly have the right to say/believe whatever you want. I guess the word intolerance is also quite loaded. There's a difference between having something bother you and being what I would consider "intolerant" of it. Being intolerant implies that you're actively doing something with respect to the subject as opposed to simply being made uncomfortable by it. My stepfather is somewhat uncomfortable with homosexuality, largely due to his upbringing, but I wouldn't say he's "intolerant" of it. He would never seriously use the word "fag" in reference to a gay person, he would never change the way he acted towards someone because of how they were oriented, etc. I think that once we cross the threshold of "it's not ok that you don't like something" and begin to actually act on that, then we've crossed a line that, imo, shouldn't be crossed.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Aradae » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

Gharbad wrote:YOU ALL DISGUST ME! CURSE YOUR NON-GENDERSWITCHING WAYS!!! :)


I am disgusted with you but I respect your right to be disgusted with me.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Infornographer » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:53 pm UTC

I know the discussion has veered away from transexuality and towards tolerance, but I'd like to contribute my two cents on the former subject.

Anyone who thinks of sex (yes, physical sex) as a purely binary system has serious misconceptions of human biology. Yes, human beings exhibit sexual dimorphism but not everyone has clearly male or female physiology. Even people born with an X and a Y chromosome have functional female reproductive systems sometimes.

Maleness comes about by the expression of a specific gene, SRY on the Y chromosome. This gene, like several others, has varying degrees of expression. Although its expression follows a bimodal distribution (either predominantly or negligibly expressed), a small but significant percentage of the population does fall in the middle ground. You just don't hear about it.

People have such binary ways of thinking about this. I mean, consider this: when a mother gives birth to a child, the first question asked usually has to do with the child's gender. "Is it a boy or a girl?" For a small percentage of the population, this question doesn't have a valid answer. For the vast majority of the population, it has a fuzzy answer.

Biologically speaking, you'd have to speak of moving across a gradient rather than flipping a switch.

Frankly, I wonder how those people who oppose sex changes feel about cosmetic surgery? Not to equate the two, but I never much liked biological determinism. I rather like the notion of freeing ourselves from the failures of our biology.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby 22/7 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:00 pm UTC

Umm... what kind of percentages do you think you're dealing with that looking at gender in a "binary manner" is wrong? I was under the impression that the number of people are not strictly male or female was far less than 10%, maybe in the 1-2% range or less.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Transexuality

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

I was going to bring up basically what you did in the last two paragraphs there, but I figured the conversation had moved way past the point where I could reasonably take part in it. Also, you use your words real prettier than me.

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Re: Transexuality

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:39 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Umm... what kind of percentages do you think you're dealing with that looking at gender in a "binary manner" is wrong? I was under the impression that the number of people are not strictly male or female was far less than 10%, maybe in the 1-2% range or less.

I'd say that 1-2% is a "small but significant" percentage. In the US alone, that's several million people. Worldwide, it's tens of millions.
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Re: Transexuality

Postby 22/7 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:05 pm UTC

Absolutely, it's a lot of people. But treating gender as binary when that is an acceptable approach 98-99% of the time is, well, acceptable. In medicine, they refer to this as a "horse" because horses are common and "common things happen commonly", as opposed to a "zebra" which is uncommon. Treating the gender of every person you come into contact with as non-binary is assuming a zebra when your evidence is only enough to point to horses.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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bigglesworth wrote:If your economic reality is a choice, then why are you not as rich as Bill Gates?
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Re: Transexuality

Postby Jessica » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:13 pm UTC

The problem with horses is when people try and tell you zebras are horses, and tell the zebras that they have to change into horses.

... yay stretching analogies.
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