Sex vs. gender and identity
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26-12-2015, 08:26 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2015 08:30 AM by claywise.)
Sex vs. gender and identity
I've been over at the Atheist Experience trying to get some clarity on a question that a caller to that show brought up on Sunday.

The caller raised an interesting issue, but was himself something of a schmuck. He argued that, as a skeptic, he had a problem when someone who appeared to be of a particular sex told him he/she was of another — so, for example, a person with male secondary sex characteristics saying he was female, offering a female name, requesting use of female pronouns, etc.

The caller was a dick about it, in my opinion, saying it was up to him to make such decisions. My personal approach is the opposite: If someone says, "I'm Mary, and I am a woman," I am going to respect that self-identification in practice, even if I harbor doubts (or simply don't understand) because of other "evidence" before me.

The question was, in so many words: As skeptics, we generally require evidence before accepting beliefs, so why is it different when someone "obviously" male/female claims to be something else?

I took a more abstract approach, asking whether or not it is "special pleading" to automatically accept transgender identification when we would not do so for, say, race (think Rachel Dolezal), or even someone claiming to hear — actually hear — God instructing them about the world.

The conversation was for the most part polite — I've learned that this issue can raise hackles pretty easily — and perhaps I'm just too stupid to grasp it all, but the essence kept coming back to, "You are confusing sex and gender."

I thought I'd see what the great minds of the TTA have to say.

Merci beaucoup.

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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26-12-2015, 08:49 AM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2015 08:58 AM by jennybee.)
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
I agree the guy sounds like an ass. I think he's taken the term skeptic to a whole other level. I mean what does he want? Someone who says they are Mary, but looks like a Tom, to take their pants off and show him? I mean come on. If someone is transgendered, transsexual, or a biological male or female who may have feminine/ masculine characteristics of what business is it to him? It does not impact him or his life in any way. Religion, on the other hand, violates people's lives. It stands in the way of science. It produces magical thinking and hate. Those things we need to be skeptical of.
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26-12-2015, 08:58 AM
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
There are very few social circles where saying "Oh yeah?!? Show me your pussy" is acceptable.

Dodgy

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26-12-2015, 09:06 AM
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
(26-12-2015 08:26 AM)claywise Wrote:  The question was, in so many words: As skeptics, we generally require evidence before accepting beliefs, so why is it different when someone "obviously" male/female claims to be something else?

The question I see is how the person self-identifies. If they say that I should call them by a typically feminine name and treat them as I would a woman then I will. That is sufficient evidence for me to accept the claim in the same way that I don't need evidence for their name; they know what they want to be called and it would be presumptuous to think that I know them better than they know themselves. My initial assessment of their appearance may be the opposite but that is largely irrelevant since their self-identification is more important than the physical attributes.

Gender isn't a simple thing like height. If a 5'2" woman tells me that she is 6'5" then I'm going to say she's just wrong. If she tells me that she actually identifies as a man and would prefer to be addressed that way then I will respect his request.

Quote:I took a more abstract approach, asking whether or not it is "special pleading" to automatically accept transgender identification when we would not do so for, say, race (think Rachel Dolezal), or even someone claiming to hear — actually hear — God instructing them about the world.

As I understand it, Dolezal was simply lying. Accepting her claims made sense until evidence contradicted it but the physical evidence for transgender people doesn't contradict their claim. Claims to hear god are claims of fact external to the individual and I can accept their claim that they are "hearing" something without having to accept their attribution of what that something is until evidence confirms it.

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26-12-2015, 09:07 AM
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
(26-12-2015 08:58 AM)DLJ Wrote:  There are very few social circles where saying "Oh yeah?!? Show me your pussy" is acceptable.

Dodgy

Unless you hang around with Tartarus that is.
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26-12-2015, 10:41 AM
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
There are a couple key issues here for me: by saying you are something you may or may not be, are you committing a fraud of some sort (Rachael was using a race to promote herself) and secondly, is your claim harmful to yourself or others (are you using it to prey on others). If the answer is no to these then it makes no difference what people want to be regarded as or whether they choose or don't choose to be that way.

There are many kinds of cross-gendered medical issues that can come to mind but again that is their private issue. Some day we will worry less about scary gender roles we don't understand and more about people being good people.

[Image: dnw9krH.jpg?4]
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26-12-2015, 11:09 AM
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
(26-12-2015 09:07 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(26-12-2015 08:58 AM)DLJ Wrote:  There are very few social circles where saying "Oh yeah?!? Show me your pussy" is acceptable.

Dodgy

Unless you hang around with Tartarus that is.
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Problem is (s)he doesn't wait to be politely asked.

I saw a documentary I can't recall the name of where this person changed genders multiple times. Don't know if that means surgically or hormonally. And then there are those who aren't in the least bit confused, just misassigned. Like this happy boyfriend and girlfriend.

#sigh
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26-12-2015, 11:33 AM
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
(26-12-2015 08:58 AM)DLJ Wrote:  There are very few social circles where saying "Oh yeah?!? Show me your pussy" is acceptable.

Dodgy

You haven't been to an Easyrider's Rodeo yet....


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26-12-2015, 11:33 AM
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
Simples. You can see what's on the outside, but you can't see what's on the inside.

If the person feels that they are not the gender their body displays, then there is obviously something going on that causes them to identify like this. Some day we will figure out what it is. Meanwhile, the person still feels that way and we can just respect it.

I don't know why fakes are being brought up as part of the argument. People fake all sort of things to accomplish whatever they are pursuing. Has nothing to do with the topic, really.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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26-12-2015, 11:42 AM
RE: Sex vs. gender and identity
(26-12-2015 08:26 AM)claywise Wrote:  I've been over at the Atheist Experience trying to get some clarity on a question that a caller to that show brought up on Sunday.

The caller raised an interesting issue, but was himself something of a schmuck. He argued that, as a skeptic, he had a problem when someone who appeared to be of a particular sex told him he/she was of another — so, for example, a person with male secondary sex characteristics saying he was female, offering a female name, requesting use of female pronouns, etc.

The caller was a dick about it, in my opinion, saying it was up to him to make such decisions. My personal approach is the opposite: If someone says, "I'm Mary, and I am a woman," I am going to respect that self-identification in practice, even if I harbor doubts (or simply don't understand) because of other "evidence" before me.

The question was, in so many words: As skeptics, we generally require evidence before accepting beliefs, so why is it different when someone "obviously" male/female claims to be something else?

I took a more abstract approach, asking whether or not it is "special pleading" to automatically accept transgender identification when we would not do so for, say, race (think Rachel Dolezal), or even someone claiming to hear — actually hear — God instructing them about the world.

The conversation was for the most part polite — I've learned that this issue can raise hackles pretty easily — and perhaps I'm just too stupid to grasp it all, but the essence kept coming back to, "You are confusing sex and gender."

I thought I'd see what the great minds of the TTA have to say.

Merci beaucoup.

My daughter is transgender. Here are several scientific studies on the subject.

http://aebrain.blogspot.com.au/p/transse...ntity.html

When someone comes out as transgender they're not just doing it for fun. For most transgender people it's something that's they've felt since childhood or sometimes during puberty it hits them like a ton of bricks as it did for my daughter.

If someone says they have felt they are the opposite sex it's not just a spur of the moment idea, there are actual physical differences in the brain in the areas that contribute to gender. Sometimes I wish the brain was see-through, like a piece of glass, so friends and fellow workers could see the differences in the brain just like they do with skin color.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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