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Started by Agrippina on Dec 23, 2017 12:06:30 PM
Transgender - what's the problem?

Seems to be in the news a bit and all over the alt-right's social media.

The crux of the argument seems to be over calling yourself a woman (gender) when you are in fact a man (biological).

Even if we accept that the argument that the transgender viewpoint is wrong I don't see any good reason not to indulge it anyway.

If a girl I worked with wanted to be called him/her etc then what's the problem?

[This thread is now closed to further comments]
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levelgaze - 31 Dec 2017 10:55:03 (#2 of 12893)

I don't think there is much disquiet about transwomen (and -men) choosing to present as a different gender to their sex and wanting people to be accepting and accommodating of that.

There is a deal of disquiet among (second-wave) feminists in particular about current consultations around a new Gender Recognition Act. Trans Activists (who can be a pretty unpleasant bunch online) are asking for self-identification without any psychological or medical gatekeeping to be legally sufficient and unchallengeable.

They are concerned about particular issues about male bodied people in sex-segregated spaces (including refuges, rape crisis centres, women's prisons etc.); puberty blockers being given to children to effect a 'better' transition at a later date; and their perception that females are being silenced in discussions of issues specific to femaleness (the politics of reproduction and women's bodies) on the grounds that such discussions are transphobic and triggering for women who are not female-bodied.

They also have wider concerns about transwomen claiming identical experience to women, and are wary of having their right to speak to those issues usurped. I also think that they detect in a lot of transactivism a very male aggression and entitlement, and are increasingly labelled as TERFs and transphobes when they question anything at all.

machiavelli - 31 Dec 2017 11:03:09 (#3 of 12893)

I have no problem with what another person calls themselves. I am not obliged to call them likewise.

Gotout - 31 Dec 2017 11:06:51 (#4 of 12893)

Just don't try joining the US military...

SantaLawls - 31 Dec 2017 12:00:33 (#5 of 12893)

I object to being called a cis woman or a cis-gendered woman. I can't change how some people refer to me but I'll call myself what I like. I am a woman. Not a born woman or a gendered woman or someone who identifies as a woman. I am a woman.

Impedimenta - 31 Dec 2017 12:11:49 (#6 of 12893)

Is that a real problem, Lawls?

awryinamanger - 31 Dec 2017 12:17:59 (#7 of 12893)

Do you also object to being called a white woman, Lawlsie? If so, why? And if not, why not?

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PoppySeedBagel - 31 Dec 2017 12:32:54 (#9 of 12893)

Yes and chest feeding is the approved term in some circles.

FleurDuMal - 31 Dec 2017 12:33:17 (#10 of 12893)

We all have a contribution to make to this debate, Carti, and in your case it should be silence.

Cartimandua - 31 Dec 2017 12:38:28 (#11 of 12893)


Ginmonkey - 31 Dec 2017 12:44:20 (#12 of 12893)

I tend to take a live and let live attitude towards all of this. However recently i was rather incensed in an internal work equality report where "women" had been replaced by "people who identify as women". However the categories "men", "LGTBQ" and "BAME" stayed just that without qualification.

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Ginmonkey - 31 Dec 2017 12:55:14 (#14 of 12893)

I also have some disquiet about the confusion between gender and sex by some activists.

Gendered dress and social/ career preferences and behaviours are societal not biological. A like for for make suiting and short haircuts doesn't make you any less a woman and vice versa an urge to wear make up and corsets does not make you any less a man.

I understand that sex and sexuality is not binary and some people genuinely feel they are in the wrong body. However i worry that some of the debates around trans gender and non binary arereinforcing societal gender stereotypes rather than breaking them down.

Agrippina - 31 Dec 2017 12:56:19 (#15 of 12893)

"I have no problem with what another person calls themselves. I am not obliged to call them likewise."

Calling a transgender the opposite of what they wish to be called is going to cause them offense and distress.

That should be avoided unless we have a good reason and I can't see that there is one.

Agrippina - 31 Dec 2017 12:58:21 (#16 of 12893)

"We all have a contribution to make to this debate, Carti, and in your case it should be silence."

That made me lol *applauds*

levelgaze - 31 Dec 2017 13:00:34 (#17 of 12893)

Yes, ginmonkey. The irony of the furious division on this is that it derives from the same theoretical roots concerning gender performance and how it is constructed. For me, though, Feminism is deeply critical of a. the the pressures which determine the performance, and b. the relationship between those pressures and the oppression of women. Trans ideology seems to just embrace the primacy of gender performance without being critical of its origins.

I think most people think this is all a straightforward issue for liberals, but it really isn't. I'm particularly perturbed by the tone of a lot of Trans Activism online. See:

Ginmonkey - 31 Dec 2017 13:05:02 (#18 of 12893)

Indeed. Ironically ambitious women have had to put on gender performance to make it on the male world for a long time.

Cartimandua - 31 Dec 2017 13:12:28 (#19 of 12893)

It was always obvious that a more superior victim group with even greater grievances would come along to trump third wave feminists. Their issues will be secondary to trans ones from now on.

Pinkgum - 31 Dec 2017 13:13:17 (#20 of 12893)

The sharp edge of trans activism does not reflect the day to day lives of the majority of trans people. It's like judging Islam and Muslims on the actions and philosophy of IS or Al Qadea.

I'm very uncomfortable with the extremes on both sides, the intolerance that they share is counter productive.

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