When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 27th, 2020, 12:48 pm 

Badger -

If someone said to me I know nothing because I’m ‘straight’ I would take issue with that.


Quite right. I'm straight and I know lots. It's because I'm secure in my own skin (so far) I can walk amongst them as a human being amongst human beings, not 'social constructs'.

I don't care what they call themselves, that's their world. But, by creating a separate world, they've given themselves a problem. The problem isn't those outside it but themselves. Which I doubt if they see.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Serpent on August 27th, 2020, 1:32 pm 

charon » August 27th, 2020, 11:48 am wrote:I don't care what they call themselves, that's their world. But, by creating a separate world, they've given themselves a problem. The problem isn't those outside it but themselves. Which I doubt if they see.

It's kind of a loop, isn't it?
People who are excluded from society at large have no choice - other than seclusion and masquerade - but to set up their own community. People who are persecuted, devalued and derided have no choice - other than loss of identity - but to establish alternate standards. IOW, to create a subculture.
As long as the persecution continues, they must always be on guard against the majority - and that requires a degree of suspicion, of secrecy, of exclusivity. Persecuted minorities who make an exception to trust some mainstream individual have often been betrayed, by design or inadvertently, by pigeons and patsies.
Maybe there comes a time when vigilance is no longer necessary, but one doesn't erase the instinctual responses of a lifetime overnight. It will take a wholly free generation to accomplish perfect ease in an open society...
assuming an open society is established anytime soon.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 27th, 2020, 2:30 pm 

Yes, but I don't think they are being persecuted, that's the point.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 27th, 2020, 2:38 pm 

Heh! I just went out for a walk, crossed the street, and look what was in front of me. I nipped back for a camera but it had gone so this is off their website.

Nice to know all their staff must be Real Men... but you can never be quite sure, can you? :-)

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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Serpent on August 27th, 2020, 3:13 pm 

charon » August 27th, 2020, 1:30 pm wrote:Yes, but I don't think they are being persecuted, that's the point.

That's your perception from a contemporary pov. It may not be theirs.
I've heard any number of privileged people say that growing up in a ghetto or poverty, or a migrant camp is no barrier to economic and social mobility, if only 'they' were not so defensive, standoffish, clannish or whatever. But they may have a quite different experience and reasons for their response.
Or the climate in which they're in no way excluded or put down may not have existed in its current state for very long. That was my point about old habits.
No two minority groups or subcultures are alike and no two individuals have exactly the same motive for their attitude to their in-group and the society at large.
I'm just presenting variations on the theme which may apply in one situation or another.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby doogles on August 27th, 2020, 6:05 pm 

Lomax » Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:41 pm wrote:Working three jobs so I'm not gonna waste too much of my time playing whack-a-mole with false assertions but briefly: C-16 was not "abused" in the (unjust) treatment of Lindsay Shepherd - her mistreatment was not carried out under its auspices and at any rate it wasn't a criminal trial; "cis" is literally a descriptive term (adopted by the scientific community and various government advisory bodies) the same as "straight" and if we have to drop it then you'll have to drop "transgenders" too; most people have no problem being called "cis" apart from William Shatner, the "Gender Critical" movement and assorted other transphobes; whatever Peterson thinks his "main" point was he gained fame for portraying C-16 as "Maoist" and insisting it criminalised misgendering (it doesn't) and that therefore he was a fearless free speech martyr (if anyone doubts it I urge them to go back and watch the videos that made his name); finally it's fine to be "uncomfortable" but that's irrelevant to how to treat a person and irrelevant to the OP. Edy's concerns were that the "social construct" approach is unscientific (it isn't*) and that it's pointless (it isn't). As to the familiar-sounding "segments on both sides" argument I'd caution against a zero-sum mentality or concluding an inability to form a stance: only one "side" is being denied bathroom access, healthcare, military employment, government recognition, housing, and general freedom from harrassment, on a daily basis, the world over. Hate crimes against trans people have tripled in my country since 2014; trans people experience extremely high rates of domestic abuse and sexual abuse, including by police officers and healthcare professionals; they have a higher suicide rate than any other demographic, by far, including war veterans; high rates of them are forced by economic pressures into sex work and then murdered; when they are not allowed to live according their gender identity - that is to say, when they are forced into the spaces that correspond to their sex-assignment-at-birth rather than their current social role - they are often assaulted, in homeless shelters and bathrooms. The world's bestselling novelist endorses a person who calls trans people "perverts" and "fucking blackface actors" (and incidentally spreads the Soros myth. Antisemitism is prolific in the Gender Critical movement, for reasons I think I can explain). In the face of all this, the eager and artificial self-pity of Peterson and Shatner is of infinitesimal importance.

I'd be interested to learn more on the Phillipine vs English language.

* 2,617 scientists signed an open letter defending it here; there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of studies to back it up, including these ones here; scientists have spoken out against the transphobia of the Intellectual Dark Web, and the science holds that acknowledgement of the above facts is the most ethical approach and best for the wellbeing of trans-identified people.


Lomax, I would like to sincerely congratulate you on the scholarly nature of your post. For a bloke holding down three jobs, you certainly spent a lot of time researching the statements you made. Well done!

I've met many gay and lesbian people and found them very interesting to talk to, but never any 'trans' people yet. Your post has given me a much better understanding of the plight they must find themselves in on a daily basis.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 27th, 2020, 6:20 pm 

Serpent » August 27th, 2020, 8:13 pm wrote:
charon » August 27th, 2020, 1:30 pm wrote:Yes, but I don't think they are being persecuted, that's the point.

That's your perception from a contemporary pov. It may not be theirs.


You forget, if you read my other post, that I knew them. They weren't persecuted by anyone, not even the authorities. A lot of people in that scene were borderline mental, disaffected, on dope, all the rest of it. They had ideas that society was against them but I never saw it. Not once. If they did have ideas, those ideas were anti-authority and anti-establishment anyway.

Closet yourself away and you become quite sure that those on the other side of your self-erected wall are against you. Want an example? You'll like this. America, Russia, China. Commies, reds under the bed, aliens from outer space... The Nazis had Jews, it goes on.

And those with social and gender issues are just the same. Not all, just a minority. They're the ones getting political - 'Call us this, don't call us that, and we'll call you something else'. Boring and a pain the in the neck.

But the ordinary gender issue people just get on with it. Confused and upset, maybe, but no real problem.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 27th, 2020, 6:28 pm 

doogles -

I've met many gay and lesbian people and found them very interesting to talk to


How many told you they were persecuted?
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 27th, 2020, 6:32 pm 

Look how persecuted they are... in India!

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/12/busi ... index.html
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Lomax on August 27th, 2020, 6:36 pm 

Doogles - kind of you to say so :) (Cat out the bag: two of my jobs are journalism related. I write and edit for a political magazine)

Charon - that is what we call "anecdotal evidence". Please see the broader statistical evidence I linked. Trans people suffer with housing, healthcare, employment, personal privacy, political representation and the justice system. Just 'cause you don't see it don't mean it ain't there. You're only telling us about yourself right now.

charon » August 27th, 2020, 11:20 pm wrote:Closet yourself away and you become quite sure that those on the other side of your self-erected wall are against you. Want an example? You'll like this. America, Russia, China. Commies, reds under the bed, aliens from outer space... The Nazis had Jews

and black people, and communists, and disabled people, and homosexuals, and trans people.

Badger -

Okay, I'll accept that gender is reducible to endocrines if you'll accept the corollaries: first (and given that there is an overlap between the two cis groups here, even in the absence of the DSD you describe, androgen insensitivity) that a naturally low-T man is therefore a woman and a naturally high-T woman is thereby a man; second, that a binary trans woman on HRT is therefore a woman and a binary trans man on HRT is therefore a man; third, that some women therefore have a penis and testicles and XY chromosomes and some men have a uterus and XX; fourth, that we don't know whether many people are men or women even if we thought we did and so we'll have to take their word for it; fifth, that a man on steroids is more of a man than he was before; sixth, that there are men who "identify" as women and vice versa; seventh, that any sharp line we draw between man and woman will be arbitrary and therefore socially constructed. Norms are still norms, sure, but we can, do and should change them - as we did for homosexuality.

All the same, does the following assertion

BadgerJelly » August 27th, 2020, 2:45 pm wrote:I think hormones are very much everything about this. Someone with male chromosomes and with an inability to produce testosterone will effectively grow up to be a woman - that in itself is a very telling point regarding both how people look and feel.

hold without the word "effectively"? Genuinely curious where you stand on that.

BadgerJelly » August 27th, 2020, 2:45 pm wrote:Also, keep in mind that MANY people have used ‘gender’ as synonymous with ‘sex’ throughout most of their lives - language changes and people are sometimes slow to keep up.

Sure, I understand that. Look, I get it: I used to see trans women as men who can do whatever the hell they like. Oliver Thorn has said the same. I expect it is true of many people, including even some trans people. I doubt any of my sociopolitical arguments, or our excursions into the philosophy of social constructivism, or the vast output of the medical community, is going to do much about that. I think the best effector of change is just the presence and integration of trans people themselves (particularly those who "pass") - I doubt anyone familiar with Paris Lees, or Blaire White, or Katy Montgomerie, or Buck Angel, really has any trouble or feels they are having to perform mental gymnastics. As trans people become more common, more open, and more accepted, the problem will doubtless solve itself, for the most part. All the same, some people are committed to actively resisting it. When Ben Shapiro accidentally refers to a trans woman as "she" he "corrects" himself and misgenders her.

Incidentally, and on the subject of both language and conceptual schemes evolving: the Gender Critical movement likes to define "woman" as "adult human female" but the irony is at their expense. The noun "female" was not applied to women - that is to say, to humans - until the father of gynaecology, J Marion Sims, discovered that the results of his experiments on black slaves also revealed medical truths about white women (or, as we used to say, "women"). White America refused to think of black women as women (hence Sojourner Truth's famous speech) and so a sex-gender distinction was introduced. In other words, the Gender Critical crowd are not linguistic conservatives, whatever they may imagine.

And I agree about not conflating trans identity with mental illness. So does the healthcare community - that's why the DSM replaced GD (gender dysphoria) with GID (gender identity disorder). Only the former falls under its mental illness category.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 27th, 2020, 7:25 pm 

Lomax -

that is what we call "anecdotal evidence".


That's exactly what it is. And, since I'm not trying to prove anything, too bad.

You're only telling us about yourself right now.


I'm not trans or anything else. And lots of people suffer with housing, healthcare, and all the other stuff!

Like I said before, if I turn up to look at a flat/apartment looking normal I might get it. If I turn up with an orange mohawk and 4" holes in my earlobes I might not. Discrimination? Sure, why not.

Closet yourself away and you become quite sure that those on the other side of your self-erected wall are against you... and black people, and communists, and disabled people, and homosexuals, and trans people.


Exactly, so don't closet yourself away. Unless you can't help it because you're disturbed.

Did you say you were a political journalist? I don't like those who politicise human predicaments, it's exploitative. Some of the nicest people I've met were socially challenged and some of the worst appeared thoroughly respectable.

I don't care what they look like, I don't look at the image, I take the person, one by one. You're not going to get round that one in a million years.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Serpent on August 27th, 2020, 8:37 pm 

charon » August 27th, 2020, 5:20 pm wrote:You forget, if you read my other post, that I knew them. They weren't persecuted by anyone, not even the authorities. A lot of people in that scene were borderline mental, disaffected, on dope, all the rest of it. They had ideas that society was against them but I never saw it. Not once. If they did have ideas, those ideas were anti-authority and anti-establishment anyway.

I don't know those people same people, but I have known many kinds of marginalized people over a long period. Your example is one small group of people out of a very large world, in which a great many subcategories of people have many different kinds of relationship with their larger society. I don't claim to understand them all, but I can't believe you do, either.

Closet yourself away and you become quite sure that those on the other side of your self-erected wall are against you.

Sometimes it's self-erected; sometimes not. When it is, the reason may be trivial or a matter of survival or anywhere on that spectrum, conditions may change in either direction over time, and their perception doesn't necessarily always match the external reality.
As long as we're safely and comfortably majority, we can't possibly understand all the variants of minority experience.

Want an example? You'll like this. America, Russia, China. Commies, reds under the bed, aliens from outer space... The Nazis had Jews, it goes on. And those with social and gender issues are just the same.

I really don't see very much resemblance.

Not all, just a minority. They're the ones getting political - 'Call us this, don't call us that, and we'll call you something else'. Boring and a pain the in the neck.
But the ordinary gender issue people just get on with it. Confused and upset, maybe, but no real problem.

Confused and upset sounds like a problematic way to spend one's life.
I think, though, that i see what you're driving at. Every group - even the big, dominant majority - has some annoying fringes.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby TheVat on August 27th, 2020, 9:17 pm 

Can't reply atm, so will just say there's a variant of Godwin's Law, which is that any online discussion of xenophobia or cultural paranoia will eventually contain a Kinks reference.

There is, btw, a Netflix series called Sense8 which has a trans woman as a major character. I've seen one episode (twas ok, just not my cup o tea).
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 27th, 2020, 9:29 pm 

Serpent -

I don't know those people same people, but I have known many kinds of marginalized people over a long period. Your example is one small group of people out of a very large world, in which a great many subcategories of people have many different kinds of relationship with their larger society. I don't claim to understand them all, but I can't believe you do, either.


Of course I don't, but look at the big picture. Why do all these groups exist at all? We're just people, human beings on the same planet. Why do we form groups, separate and divided, at all?

We're not separated by human problems, they're universal. We're separated by labels, right? Whether it's national, religious, political or social, it doesn't matter, the effect is the same.

I don't belong to any group of any kind, and never have. I wouldn't adopt a label, it's aggressive. I don't know if we see this, in fact I'm sure we don't. Having a label separates one from others and creates problems. How can I have a relationship with you if you insist on calling yourself an XYZ and taking an ideological stance? It's impossible.

But that's what's happening. We divide everything, all the time. Look at all the trouble in the world. I guarantee it's almost certainly between two opposing factions of one kind or another.

And this gender stuff is yet another factor of separation. The politically-minded are playing on it, screaming their demands, that the rest of us call them by this name, not that name, and all that.

Of course, it has nothing to do with the actual problems some people are facing. In themselves they're unsure of their bodies, their sexuality. That's not political, that's a human dilemma. On that level how one approaches it needs tremendous care, not ostracisation or condemnation.

Do you see the difference I'm making here? I'm saying the human problem is one thing and the ideological or political business is another. That difference is extremely important to see.

As long as we're safely and comfortably majority, we can't possibly understand all the variants of minority experience


Possibly not, but who asks us to be safe and comfortable just because we're the majority? Obviously a person can sit back and feel safe and comfortable if they haven't got these problems - if they are problems - but that's their own self-interest, their self-centredness.

I really don't see very much resemblance.


Separation and isolation breeds paranoia, that's the resemblance.

Confused and upset sounds like a problematic way to spend one's life.


That's why it's a problem, they don't know who they are. Or they're convinced they do but think that no one will accept them.

And they're absolutely right, not everyone will. Some people will hate them. So what do they do? That's been the question here from the beginning.

Disappear? Hide away? Form an isolated community away from the world like the lepers used to do?

This is the issue. If you're different how do you cope in this world?
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby BadgerJelly on August 28th, 2020, 12:37 am 

Lomax -

I used to see trans women as men who can do whatever the hell they like.


I guess we differ here then. I haven’t, since I thought about differences in the sexes at around 16 yrs old, seen trans women as men that can do whatever they like. I saw and see them as people who can do pretty much whatever they like provided that society allows it.

I know you’ve seen Joe Rogan’s podcasts so I’m curious what you think about children who transition from male to female or vice versa - meaning medical treatment - and whether or not you think this is a good idea? There is the issue of competitive sports too. Sometimes movements go too far and do themselves a disservice.

I wouldn’t remove ‘effectively’ because it would suggest that chromosomes are insignificant in determining sex. My point was that hormones play a huge role in this area and there is plenty of scientific evidence for this. I’d call her a woman, but if she suddenly decided that she was actually more male than female (could be?) and wanted to be called something else that’s fine.

As trans people become more common, more open, and more accepted, the problem will doubtless solve itself, for the most part. All the same, some people are committed to actively resisting it. When Ben Shapiro accidentally refers to a trans woman as "she" he "corrects" himself and misgenders her.


I don’t see people ‘actively resisting’ so much in discussions online. I do see MANY instances of trap and bait and attempts to ‘win’ an argument rather than learn and listen as well as express thoughts, ideas and opinions.

Like I may have mentioned before it is completely normal in Philippine society to see transgenders - there is literally at least one in every fast food joint I’ve ever been too (absolutely NO exaggeration!). The west has some leftover Victorian attitudes to sex and anything related to sex so I think it’ll be a bit of a rough transition as happened with gay rights.

A lot of concern in this area is for children. It is a real concern when we’re talking about physically altering children's bodies. There should be real concern in this area.

that a naturally low-T man is therefore a woman and a naturally high-T woman is thereby a man


Nope. I was talking about complete absence due to an underlying genetic condition.

second, that a binary trans woman on HRT is therefore a woman and a binary trans man on HRT is therefore a man


If I go on HRT I’m not a woman. If I said I was a woman, that’s fine too. If outwardly I still looked like a guy in a dress, that’s fine too. Until people are used to seeing this everyday it probably wouldn’t be instantly accepted - human nature. Also, given that sexual identity is a minuscule part of what constitutes a person we cannot guarantee that transgenders are going to find this easy, as some people suffer with stress more readily than others and this is precisely why the dialogue has opened up (if I’m honest though I think a lot of the activists are doing transgenders a disservice because they don’t quite understand that others are not as resilient as they are. Some people thrive in this kind of environment and it is down to them to carry the burden with grace and civility as best they can rather than poor fuel on the fire.

It’s tough! Seriously tough.

third, that some women therefore have a penis and testicles and XY chromosomes and some men have a uterus and XX


Some, meaning 1 in several hundred million? Some people have XXY.

I think the issue here you’re thinking we should redefine the use of ‘man’ and ‘woman’. Seems pretty dumb to me just as redefining what ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ means would. These are COMMON terms and I don’t see a good reason to change what they mean in day-to-day speech to suit a small minority of the population. It may change in several generations, but it’s idiotic to believe it should be forced through now without any kind of resistance.

If you wish to conflate political speech with the scientific terminology go ahead. It won’t work, just as Dawkins’ ‘meme’ has a life of its own in colloquial speech apart from its strict scientific definition.

I’ll skip the rest to this (I’m fairly sủe you get my póitiin)

seventh, that any sharp line we draw between man and woman will be arbitrary and therefore socially constructed.


Arbitrary? Not really. How are you on abortion? Where is the line that distinguishes between killing an unborn child and aborting? There is an ‘arbitrary’ - therefore socially constructed - stance there. Your use of words matter so ‘arbitrary’ is not likely conveying what you wished to express.

I don’t walk down the street and think to myself that the man that looks like a man may identify as a woman. I see a man walking down the street. If I chat to him and it turns out he prefers her, then I’d be okay with that. In my experience people in a one-to-one discussion are usually quite charitable to each other IF and ONLY IF there is no audience. I reckon asking people to partake in private one-on-one discussions in this area would be useful - sadly impractical though on a large scale.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Serpent on August 28th, 2020, 12:47 am 

charon » August 27th, 2020, 8:29 pm wrote:Of course I don't, but look at the big picture. Why do all these groups exist at all? We're just people, human beings on the same planet. Why do we form groups, separate and divided, at all?

That's a fairly large question about anthropology. While I have some answers, or rather parts of an answer, I don't think it's appropriate to the subject at hand.

We're not separated by human problems, they're universal. We're separated by labels, right? Whether it's national, religious, political or social, it doesn't matter, the effect is the same.

No, it's not. There all different effects, from mild discomfort to genocide.

I don't belong to any group of any kind, and never have.

Nonsense! You belong to half a dozen.

I wouldn't adopt a label,

No, you have an identity, which consists of a nesting doll of personae, everyone one of which can be labelled - and will be, by any observer, whether you choose your own labels or not.
it's aggressive.

What's aggressive about calling yourself whatever you wish to be recognized as?
Having a label separates one from others and creates problems.

But we are not others. We are all individuals. Brian said so.
How can I have a relationship with you if you insist on calling yourself an XYZ and taking an ideological stance? It's impossible.

How can I have a relationship with a nameless jelly with no ideas or convictions? That's impossible.

But that's what's happening. We divide everything, all the time.

Of course we do. We're a verbal, arithmetical, analytical species.
But you've got the division of people backward. You seem to proceed from the assumption of an original unity that was artificially subdivided. This may be true of the earliest algae, but all of evolution since then is a story of division into increasingly complex, diverse and specialized entities. It took a billion years for nature to come up with something that could interact with other creatures. Eventually, social animals formed groups. Communities of mammals work pretty well as long as every member of the group has personal contact with every other member. When the group gets any bigger than that, conflicts arise; factions form.
And this gender stuff is yet another factor of separation. The politically-minded are playing on it, screaming their demands, that the rest of us call them by this name, not that name, and all that.

So, like, if everyone just pretended to be whatever the elite want them to be and never show their true identity, everything would be fine?
I doubt it: there still isn't enough potable water and arable land for ten billion.

Do you see the difference I'm making here?

I think so. But I'm wondering about your grasp of the causes and effects.

but who asks us to be safe and comfortable just because we're the majority?

The beauty of being in the majority is that you don't have to ask. You don't have to do anything. You can look out at all the people protesting this and demanding that and making all those political waves, and say, "Why don't they all just shave off their mohawks, wear a nice suit and change their name to Smith?"

Separation and isolation breeds paranoia, that's the resemblance.

Maybe so, but not everybody gets to choose integration.

This is the issue. If you're different how do you cope in this world?

That's one of the issues. A slightly bigger one is, how does the majority cope with those who are different? At the moment, not terribly well, but some of us are trying to figure it out, and some are demanding to be recognized and many are listening; many are responding.
It's never going to be simple or easy. No improvement in a society ever takes place without confrontations and struggles, fusses and messes.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Lomax on August 28th, 2020, 5:18 am 

charon » August 28th, 2020, 12:25 am wrote:I'm not trans or anything else. And lots of people suffer with housing, healthcare, and all the other stuff!

Trans people suffer with housing even when they can afford it, because they're disliked or misunderstood by landlords. They suffer with healthcare because Trump doesn't want them to have it, or because a GP hasn't kept up to date. In other words they would suffer less if people at large would understand their situation, and not try to sweep it under the rug.

charon » August 28th, 2020, 12:25 am wrote:
Closet yourself away and you become quite sure that those on the other side of your self-erected wall are against you... and black people, and communists, and disabled people, and homosexuals, and trans people.


Exactly, so don't closet yourself away. Unless you can't help it because you're disturbed.

Did you say you were a political journalist? I don't like those who politicise human predicaments, it's exploitative.

Okay, well first: I don't care what you like. As a journalist I'm not answerable to you, and journalists who pander to their readers' (or worse, non-readers') ignorance are invariably the worst journalists. Second, strip the human predcaments out of politics and there'll be no politics left. All pushes for civil rights are both human and political. Third, what would be your opinion on people who fabricate quotes to argue against? Like you've done here?
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Lomax on August 28th, 2020, 5:47 am 

BadgerJelly » August 28th, 2020, 5:37 am wrote:Lomax -

I used to see trans women as men who can do whatever the hell they like.


I guess we differ here then. I haven’t, since I thought about differences in the sexes at around 16 yrs old, seen trans women as men that can do whatever they like. I saw and see them as people who can do pretty much whatever they like provided that society allows it.

Well, I accept the amendment - society often will not allow them - but I was getting at something else. I'm saying trans women are women, and while I can make a philosophical and even a biological argument for that, I don't think they'll persuade anyone, even if they're bulletproof. If gender (and perhaps even sex) are social constructs - at least in terms of the lines we draw around them, we can't simply redraw the lines and the job is done. They're buried deeper in our consciousness. I'm saying that living around trans people is what it will take, I expect. (That's not me ducking out of the debate though - the concepts are still worth discussing, imo.)

BadgerJelly » August 28th, 2020, 5:37 am wrote:I know you’ve seen Joe Rogan’s podcasts so I’m curious what you think about children who transition from male to female or vice versa - meaning medical treatment - and whether or not you think this is a good idea? There is the issue of competitive sports too. Sometimes movements go too far and do themselves a disservice.

Regarding transitioning children, I think my country has it just right. Children aren't legally allowed to undergo "gender confirmation surgery" (or "sex change" surgery, as it used to be known). They can be prescribed puberty blockers, which the science isn't 100% settled on, but there is a pretty decent amount of science, and none of it has found any harmful effects of blockers to my knowledge. The effect of the blockers is also reversible - a detransitioner can stop taking them, and will hit puberty as "normal". Before accepting any such treatment children are also subject to the Gillick competence test - they have to be able to demonstrate a full understanding of the consequences and alternatives.

I've heard Joe Rogan say some things which, as far as I can find, are false, such as that there are six year olds getting sex change surgery. I think he may be the victim of disinformation here.

With regard to sport, I don't know, and I think there are broader questions about whether it's even worth segregating men and women. I think it's a messy topic with no easy solutions. Parker Molloy has written extensively in defence of allowing people to self-identify in sport and I'll get around to reading her arguments at some point.

BadgerJelly » August 28th, 2020, 5:37 am wrote:I don’t see people ‘actively resisting’ so much in discussions online. I do see MANY instances of trap and bait and attempts to ‘win’ an argument rather than learn and listen as well as express thoughts, ideas and opinions.

Like I may have mentioned before it is completely normal in Philippine society to see transgenders - there is literally at least one in every fast food joint I’ve ever been too (absolutely NO exaggeration!). The west has some leftover Victorian attitudes to sex and anything related to sex so I think it’ll be a bit of a rough transition as happened with gay rights.

Agreed. My arguments are no doubt anglocentric but, with regard to people resisting the change, I gave the example of Ben Shapiro. There's also a whole movement (I've alluded to it several times - the Gender Critical movement, known by its enemies as the "TERF" movement) which really does go out of its way to take exception at everything, will not under any circumstances be civil, and crowbars misgendering into every sentence, even at the cost of less wieldy language.

Here's a high-profile example: feminist philosopher Germaine Greer, in 1976, writing for the London Independent:

On the day that The Female Eunuch was issued in America, a person in flapping draperies rushed up to me and grabbed my hand. “Thank you,” it breathed hoarsely, “Thank you so much for all you’ve done for us girls!” I smirked and nodded and stepped backward, trying to extricate my hand from the enormous, knuckly, hairy, be-ringed paw that clutched it. The face staring into mine was thickly coated with pancake make-up through which the stubble was already burgeoning, in futile competition with a Dynel wig of immense luxuriance and two pairs of false eyelashes. Against the bony ribs that could be counted through its flimsy scarf dress swung a polished steel women’s liberation emblem. I should have said, "You’re a man. The Female Eunuch has done less than nothing for you. Piss off."


With regard to your responses to my list of "corollaries": despite you calling them "dumb" they are simply what follows from defining sex and gender purely in terms of hormones. You accuse me of redefining man and woman but that's the point: you are doing the same by isolating that one trait. You did exactly what the Gender Critical movement does: reverted back to chromosomes when challenged. It's irrelevant how common or rare Swyer Syndrome is: as I said at the start, if a definition cannot account for exceptions, then it is not a working definition.

I'll propose an alternative: "man" and "woman" are what Wittgenstein called "family resemblances". They are white, black and grey areas where genitals (current and at-birth), gonads (current and at-birth), other reproductive organs (current and at-birth), hormones (current and at-birth), chromosomes, psychology, performance (in the Butlerian sense), social roles, secondary physical characteristics and external perceptions all overlap, in varying degrees. There's no one trait, and anyone may be "missing" one or several from their Platonic/stereotypical category. A person who is assigned male at birth may hit all or nearly all of the markers for "woman"; a person assigned female at birth might hit half of them. I think a rigid catch-all definition is impossible. So I think a "working" definition is just one that works pragmatically - a social construct, in other words.

And yes, I think the lines we draw regarding abortion are arbitrary. We arbitrate them for good political and ethical reasons.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby BadgerJelly on August 28th, 2020, 7:12 am 

Lomax -

I fear we’ve both misrepresented what the other is saying perhaps? It happens.

Ducking the debate? Nah, no problem there. We’re all limited in our understanding and have to reduce cmoplex issues down to manageable nuggets - it makes sense to ‘avoid’ or ‘sidestep’ something rather than say the wrong thing and be taken out of context.

Of course Joe Rogan isn’t an authority, and certainly says MANY things out of tune with the facts - he usually gets corrected by guests somewhere down the line though.

I do think women’s and men’s sports should be segregated ... I find it hard to argue against that? That is if we only wish to have me win everything and make a living from sports whilst women simply opt out because the physical odds are stacked VERY highly against them.

In terms of transgenders in sports it’s a tricky area to deal with. In sports, generally speaking, being male from birth and then switching ... I don’t see how this is fair on other women, yet I also believe there should be options for transgenders to partake in sports (the idea of ‘transgender category in the olympics‘ would seem mostly counter productive in terms of being accepted as this or that gender ... unfortunately I just think this is a matter of two bad choices for those dealt this hand at birth - some people are born a certain way and others another way).

Don’t have much respect for Shapiro to be honest in terms of presenting ‘balanced argumentation,’ yet he’s sometimes a decent window into the mindset of someone more conservative in their approach to societal issues.

When I said ‘dumb’ I was assuming you would’ve corrected what you said. I still don’t buy into the idea of ‘there are exceptions therefore there is no norm’ kinda argument. It doesn’t hold much weight from an analytical perspective and, as I stated in the rather crass comparison to abortion, not knowing where the line of distincton is doesn’t mean we’re unable to distinguish and/or shouldn’t distinguish - as mentioned sexual activity is a fundamental part of any species existence (expressed as it is throughout the animal kingdom in a variegated and intriguing way).

I don’t think it’s particularly charitable of you to say ‘arbitrary’ is the same as ‘arbitrate’. If you meant it is ‘arbitrated’ then my remark is null and void.

This doesn’t work:

if a definition cannot account for exceptions, then it is not a working definition.


If that’s where you’re beginning from then you’d have to present a substantial amount of logical analysis to back this up ... I think you’d struggle too, but if it’s still what you believe that’s okay. We don’t have to agree and I hope we never agree on EVERYTHING :)

GOTTA RUN ...
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 28th, 2020, 7:35 am 

what would be your opinion on people who fabricate quotes to argue against? Like you've done here?


You're a bad man, Lomax, like most politicos. I haven't fabricated anything.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 28th, 2020, 8:18 am 

Serpent -

That's a fairly large question about anthropology.


It's not 'anthropology', it's what we do. It's the fact as we speak.

There all different effects, from mild discomfort to genocide.


But the overriding effect is the same, expressed in different ways. The effect of separating hman beings - or, rather them separating themselves - is trouble and conflict, as you've said.

you have an identity


Of course I do. I have a name and all the rest of it, but I have no label. I'm not part of any organised group, political, religious, or otherwise.

What's aggressive about calling yourself whatever you wish to be recognized as?


Because your label separates you from others. This is so obvious. The moment I call myself a Christian, for example, I'm separate. It's a violent act.

we are not others. We are all individuals


We are others, and that's the whole point. The man in the jungle is just like you, as are the people anywhere on the earth. We've evolved as a species to what we are now. The question of individuality is entirely questionable.

How can I have a relationship with a nameless jelly with no ideas or convictions? That's impossible.


You're missing the point. A person separated by their beliefs and convictions is in a form of isolation. They may meet and work with others, and all that, but they remain essentially separate... except it's a false separation. Our basic humanity is what unites us but that becomes smothered or ignored when ideologies come between us. It's foolish behaviour.

You seem to proceed from the assumption of an original unity that was artificially subdivided.


Correct. Forget algae, we're people, humans. Either you live in contact with your fellows or you go through life in a separative state. Such a person obviously has no real relationship with others. Only the person who is not separate is in contact, not only with others but everything around him, which includes nature. Now we're destroying nature because, feeling separate, we treat it as something to be exploited.

if everyone just pretended to be whatever the elite want them to be


I'm not suggesting anyone should pretend to be anything, that's the whole point.

not everybody gets to choose integration.


Why not, seeing the disastrous effects of non-integration?

how does the majority cope with those who are different? At the moment, not terribly well,


That's what I'm saying. And how do the different people cope with them and also with themselves?

See, this is the crux of the whole thing, isn't it? It's about how we live on this earth and relate to each other. That's the whole human problem in a nutshell. Now we apparently find it very difficult, probably because we've never really looked into these issues.

Understand it, nothing survives very long in isolation, complete or partial. Actually there's no such thing as isolation if you come to think of it. Just being here means we're related to everything else. But we don't think like that, we like our problems, our labels, our ideas and opinions, our ridiculous beliefs, with all the conflicts and problems they bring us. We don't seem to connect one with the other, the cause with the effect. On the contrary, we accept life as a war, an ongoing battle, a constant argument, on and on. I really don't know why, it's so foolish and unnecessary. Of course, when it becomes too much for us then we start crying, trying to understand what's happened. There's so much sorrow in the world and it's all completely unnecessary. We're like children, lost and confused.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Serpent on August 28th, 2020, 11:05 am 

charon » August 28th, 2020, 7:18 am wrote:It's not 'anthropology', it's what we do.

Anthropology is the study of what we do.

[from mild discomfort to genocide]
But the overriding effect is the same, expressed in different ways.

Sure. Dead by extensive torture is just an exaggerated form of social malaise.

The effect of separating hman beings - or, rather them separating themselves - is trouble and conflict, as you've said.

Only, that's not what I said.

I have a name and all the rest of it, but I have no label. I'm not part of any organised group, political, religious, or otherwise.

You live on an unregistered plastic island in the middle of the pacific?

Because your label separates you from others. This is so obvious. The moment I call myself a Christian, for example, I'm separate. It's a violent act.

Tenuous grasp of word definitions, as well.
You cannot - physically are unable to - meld with all the other humans in the world. And if you were part of all them, you'd still be separate from the sea turtles, marmosets and sequoias.

We are others, and that's the whole point.

It's a point I'm not nearly mystical enough to accept.

And how do the different people cope with them and also with themselves?

See, this is the crux of the whole thing, isn't it? It's about how we live on this earth and relate to each other. That's the whole human problem in a nutshell. Now we apparently find it very difficult, probably because we've never really looked into these issues.

We - that is to say, chroniclers, philosophers, shamans, aunties, elders, judges, poets, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists - have been delving into 'these issues' for some 4,000 years on paper, 30,000 years before that, in symbology.

There's so much sorrow in the world and it's all completely unnecessary. We're like children, lost and confused.

Yes, you're right. Why can't we all just get along?
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 28th, 2020, 2:58 pm 

Serpent -

Why can't we all just get along?


I've just told you, because we all think we're separate, which is a false separation, ideologically produced.

Do try to be serious, it's such a waste of time otherwise. We're not talking about jelly things and plastic things. But it doesn't matter, I won't pursue it if you'd rather not.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Serpent on August 28th, 2020, 4:13 pm 

charon » August 28th, 2020, 1:58 pm wrote:Do try to be serious, it's such a waste of time otherwise.

I am serious, and I gather you are. But the concepts you're so passionate about are foreign to me - and I think, foreign to reality. It sometimes sounds as if you think un-Pence-like people are doing it on purpose and they could just stop being different if they chose to. I don't believe that. Or else, all categories and groupings, sympathies and antipathies, conflicts of interest and the will to power could simply be erased by edict. I don't think that's a reasonable expectation. At other times, you seem to acknowledge differences, but think those differences can somehow be homogenized into a single species identity, if people stop calling attention to themselves. I don't believe that, either. Then again, mostly I just don't know what you're advocating and what you're opposing.

How do you propose we all become as one? What does this "one" look like? How does it function in the society?
The operative word there is propose: what are the steps to be taken and by whom?
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Lomax on August 28th, 2020, 4:35 pm 

BadgerJelly » August 28th, 2020, 12:12 pm wrote:I do think women’s and men’s sports should be segregated ... I find it hard to argue against that? That is if we only wish to have me win everything and make a living from sports whilst women simply opt out because the physical odds are stacked VERY highly against them.

I think national and international boxing offer one possibility. There is a men's British champion, and a men's commonwealth champion, and a men's world champion, all fighting in the same league together. So when all the best heavyweight boxers were American in 1990s, the best British boxers weren't prevented from being awarded as such. Like most sports boxing is ranked, so the British champion is unlikely to be fighting the American champion if there is a huge skill gap - partly for safety reasons. It's true the lesser British champion therefore never topped his own league (ignore, for a moment, Frank Bruno's brief success) but his title was still worth as much as it would have been under segregation, if that makes sense.

I know it's an imperfect solution, but I think that all we have is a selection of imperfect solutions.

BadgerJelly » August 28th, 2020, 12:12 pm wrote:When I said ‘dumb’ I was assuming you would’ve corrected what you said. I still don’t buy into the idea of ‘there are exceptions therefore there is no norm’ kinda argument.

I didn't say that. In fact I specifically said norms are still norms. I said exceptions disprove definitions. (You don't buy that, but I refer you to the definition of "definition".) Presumably we're not going to start policing people for being (or not being) normal; the salient question here is surely how to define man and woman.

BadgerJelly » August 28th, 2020, 12:12 pm wrote:I don’t think it’s particularly charitable of you to say ‘arbitrary’ is the same as ‘arbitrate’. If you meant it is ‘arbitrated’ then my remark is null and void.

Very well. The dispute came from me saying

Lomax » August 27th, 2020, 11:36 pm wrote:any sharp line we draw between man and woman will be arbitrary and therefore socially constructed. Norms are still norms, sure, but we can, do and should change them - as we did for homosexuality.

and it was perhaps a poor choice of words, so I'll rephrase:

Lomax » August 27th, 2020, 11:36 pm wrote:any sharp line we draw between man and woman will be a choice and therefore socially constructed. Norms are still norms, sure, but we can, do and should change them - as we did for homosexuality.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 28th, 2020, 4:36 pm 

Serpent -

How do you propose we all become as one?


It's not a question of how to achieve oneness, it's a question of removing barriers. The barriers are self-created. No one asks us to separate ourselves from others, it's voluntary.

Obviously more difficult for a child indoctrinated from childhood but we're adults, supposed to be aware of ourselves. We can do it, if we so choose.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Serpent on August 28th, 2020, 4:57 pm 

charon » August 28th, 2020, 3:36 pm wrote:It's not a question of how to achieve oneness, it's a question of removing barriers.

Okay, so tell me the correct step for achieving that.

The barriers are self-created.

I didn't create most of them; they existed when I got here. Moreover, I can see the interests some of these barriers serve, and I lack the ability to dissuade the beneficiaries and disarm the belligerents.

No one asks us to separate ourselves from others, it's voluntary.

Go, tell it in the ghetto!
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby charon on August 28th, 2020, 6:42 pm 

Serpent -

You're not thinking, you're just having fun. I can't operate on that level, sorry.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby Serpent on August 28th, 2020, 8:18 pm 

charon » August 28th, 2020, 5:42 pm wrote:Serpent -

You're not thinking, you're just having fun. I can't operate on that level, sorry.

I'm not having fun. I'm talking about the real world.
I don't know exactly what collective you mean by "we"; I'm painfully aware that there is no such entity beyond designated and delineated groups - whether they choose their own labels or have labels stuck on them by others. A good deal of the conflict at the center of this thread is a determination on the part of one small minority to reject labelling by the majority and control their own identity.
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Re: When Men And Woman Are Social Constructs

Postby BadgerJelly on August 29th, 2020, 12:37 am 

Lomax -

My point is simply that if you ask me if a man is male and a woman is female I would answer ‘yes’. I wouldn’t answer ‘yes, but in some exceptional cases they aren’t,’ just like I would answer yes to the to the question ‘Are cars faster than ants?’ without the need to add ‘with some exceptions.

The kind of ‘norms’ we’re talking about here are not based on ‘social constructs,’ they are physical differences clearly observable EVEN THOUGH a man can be mistaken for a woman and a woman for a man. There have been, and will be, circumstances where I don’t know is someone is a man or woman and this has literally nothing to do with anything other than outward appearances - into which I can see if someone wishes to be perceived as a ‘man’ or ‘woman’ even if I can see they are atypical in terms of sex matching their personal expression of themselves.
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