Author Topic: I'm not a bioligist  (Read 9057 times)

ScottF

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I'm not a bioligist
« on: March 23, 2022, 03:36:44 PM »
So a supreme court justice nominee just said they could not define what a woman is because "I'm not a biologist."

Shouldn't that response in itself be disqualifying? How can one rule on women's rights issues or other laws pertaining to women if they are incapable of articulating what one is?

Grant

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2022, 03:52:55 PM »
So a supreme court justice nominee just said they could not define what a woman is because "I'm not a biologist."

LOL.  You know, I love to complain about the ever present and returning focus on the *censored*show of modern American politics, but that one is kinda funny. 

I still don't care, though.  Neither does the Republican and Democratic politicians.  They just do this kabuki theatre for the voters watching at home. 

I'm all for removing television cameras, recording devices, and all reporters from the capitol.  Government will function better without an audience for the wrestlers to primp for. 

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2022, 04:20:59 PM »
I'm not a biologist is a weird answer. It seems the answer should have been, for a legal definition I would have to see the statutes and case law in that specific matter. Which is exactly what she did in the follow up.

Quote
“Senator, in my work as a judge, what I do is I address disputes. If there’s a dispute about a definition, people make arguments and I look at the law and I decide,” Jackson added, reiterating the methodical judicial approach she has historically applied.

If a legislature defined a woman, then presumably that would be the definition. If it didn't, if it just said "woman" like I presume Title IX did, then indeed it is subject to redefinition according to legal arguments. The only way to smear her as a judge is if she answered either way.

A. "A woman is a person with an F on their birth certificate."
B. "A woman is anyone claiming to be a woman."

Both horribly wrong for a judge to state.

The fact that you, Scott, can't comprehend that there is more than one answer is why I'm glad you weren't nominated to the Supreme Court.

ScottF

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2022, 05:02:26 PM »
Luckily for you, my self-identified sex and colour (that one I don't think I can self-claim, but I suspect you might disagree?) took me out of the running before I had a chance.

Fenring

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2022, 05:22:52 PM »
If a legislature defined a woman, then presumably that would be the definition. If it didn't, if it just said "woman" like I presume Title IX did, then indeed it is subject to redefinition according to legal arguments. The only way to smear her as a judge is if she answered either way.

A. "A woman is a person with an F on their birth certificate."
B. "A woman is anyone claiming to be a woman."

Both horribly wrong for a judge to state.

The fact that you, Scott, can't comprehend that there is more than one answer is why I'm glad you weren't nominated to the Supreme Court.

It would have to depend on whether the case in fact hinged on the definition of "woman". If it did then, yes, the judge should not legislate or moralize from the bench. If it was just a question of using an English word in regular parlance then, no, of course the judge should not require an expert to define "woman" any more than a judge needs a linguist to define "how" or "what" when identifying points of logic. Normal English knowledge is required to participate in a judicial process, most of which is not legislatively defined but is shared in the lexicon. A judge is perfectly free to say "I know what a cloud is, thank you" if the case involves a detail of whether it was cloudy outside or not. A meteorologist need not supply expert testimony on that point unless, again, the case hinges on whether a particular aerial formation was in fact a cloud (or smog, or etc).

msquared

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2022, 05:28:09 PM »
ScottF
Good thing then that you are already so well represented on the SC.

ScottF

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2022, 09:04:34 PM »
Agreed. Although I didn't do a great job representing my sex and colour from a spelling perspective with this thread title.

msquared

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2022, 07:32:13 AM »
Josh Hawley wants to know what your third grade spelling grade was.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2022, 07:34:24 AM »
If a legislature defined a woman, then presumably that would be the definition. If it didn't, if it just said "woman" like I presume Title IX did, then indeed it is subject to redefinition according to legal arguments. The only way to smear her as a judge is if she answered either way.

A. "A woman is a person with an F on their birth certificate."
B. "A woman is anyone claiming to be a woman."

Both horribly wrong for a judge to state.

The fact that you, Scott, can't comprehend that there is more than one answer is why I'm glad you weren't nominated to the Supreme Court.

It would have to depend on whether the case in fact hinged on the definition of "woman". If it did then, yes, the judge should not legislate or moralize from the bench. If it was just a question of using an English word in regular parlance then, no, of course the judge should not require an expert to define "woman" any more than a judge needs a linguist to define "how" or "what" when identifying points of logic. Normal English knowledge is required to participate in a judicial process, most of which is not legislatively defined but is shared in the lexicon. A judge is perfectly free to say "I know what a cloud is, thank you" if the case involves a detail of whether it was cloudy outside or not. A meteorologist need not supply expert testimony on that point unless, again, the case hinges on whether a particular aerial formation was in fact a cloud (or smog, or etc).

That's sophistry. Everything about a supreme court nomination hearing is about their legal interpretation or moral character or mental state. This was a gotcha question and she should have been better prepped, but those are the breaks. There are current cases making their way to the supreme court on this subject, including anti-trans legislation. I can't find a transcript unfortunately, so it is hard for me to know exactly how the question was worded. Note, however that the follow up from Blackburn immediately swung to talking about NCAA rules. Everybody in that room knows exactly what that question was about in context, it wasn't to quiz her vocabulary. A nice cheeky answer might have been the dictionary definition. "An Adult Female Person". Well, then what is female? Well, merriam-webster includes "having a gender identity that is the opposite of male". So that should have been the answer, possibly. So indeed, the definition IS ambiguous, since that choice is available along with the traditional definition of the word.

In fact, male and female have been used to describe everything from electrical connections to mystical energy (Yin/Yang) to the form of the article taken in romance languages. The Senator's mind might have spasmed if subjected to the idea that every inanimate object has its own pronoun.

ScottF

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2022, 09:38:25 AM »
So indeed, the definition IS ambiguous, since that choice is available along with the traditional definition of the word.

Only because we've made it so. The answer should be relatively simple and entirely objective. A woman is a human with two X chromosomes. Not really tricky at all, but we also live in a time where objectivity bows to feelings and perception on a daily basis.

Put another way, if we're collectively agreeing that "woman" means whatever it needs to for the beholder, it means nothing.

NobleHunter

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2022, 09:45:01 AM »
What about people who appear to be women but don't have have two X chromosomes? Or have two X chromosomes but none of the other characteristics usually applied to women? Or somewhere in between?

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2022, 10:03:11 AM »
So indeed, the definition IS ambiguous, since that choice is available along with the traditional definition of the word.

Only because we've made it so. The answer should be relatively simple and entirely objective. A woman is a human with two X chromosomes. Not really tricky at all, but we also live in a time where objectivity bows to feelings and perception on a daily basis.

Put another way, if we're collectively agreeing that "woman" means whatever it needs to for the beholder, it means nothing.

I'm so sorry that the world is moving on without you, it must be jarring. It's okay though, you can live in the idyllic world of the 1950s and watch June Cleaver fulfill the role of traditional housewife.

At the end of the day, this isn't linguistics. Even if we made up entirely new words that only meant gender identity you'd be equally upset that dudes are wearing dresses.

ScottF

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2022, 10:16:00 AM »
So indeed, the definition IS ambiguous, since that choice is available along with the traditional definition of the word.

Only because we've made it so. The answer should be relatively simple and entirely objective. A woman is a human with two X chromosomes. Not really tricky at all, but we also live in a time where objectivity bows to feelings and perception on a daily basis.

Put another way, if we're collectively agreeing that "woman" means whatever it needs to for the beholder, it means nothing.

I'm so sorry that the world is moving on without you, it must be jarring. It's okay though, you can live in the idyllic world of the 1950s and watch June Cleaver fulfill the role of traditional housewife.

At the end of the day, this isn't linguistics. Even if we made up entirely new words that only meant gender identity you'd be equally upset that dudes are wearing dresses.

Lol, you seem to be interpreting my response as something I'm struggling with. The opposite is true.

It's a cognitive dissonance tell that your response to my very objective and clear definition (those with two X chromosomes) is centered around 50's stereotypes and clothing choices.

As if my definition of the word woman is somehow at odds with being perfectly fine with a dude wearing a dress. Is that all you've got?

Wayward Son

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2022, 11:27:16 AM »
The cognitive dissonance you are seeing is coming from the fact that biology does not fit nicely into your conception of gender. :)

In biology, there are those with XY chromosomes and XX chromosomes and everybody else.  It's this "everybody else" that you are neglecting: those with XXY and XYY chromosomes, those with just the X or XXX chromosomes, and sex-reversed XX men, who are phenotypically men but chromosomally women, among others.  In your simple definition, what do you do with a man with testes who you have defined as a woman?  Which bathroom will you require him to use?? ;D

What you are neglecting is that, biologically speaking, sex is not simply male and female.  There is a whole range in between.  You also neglect that sex is not determined only by chromosomes.  There is a whole slew of developmental steps (I've heard something like 26) that determine the final outcome.  It is complex, messy, and not black and white.

Unfortunately, our society developed with a simple black-and-white outlook that insists that everyone is one gender or the other, as exemplified by a quote from an old book, "from the beginning the Creator made them male and female."  Perhaps it was true at the moment of creation, but it ain't true now.

Of course, since gender is a societal construct, we can assign it to people regardless of their biological sex.  But it isn't necessarily simple.  As in the sex-reversed XX males, there are males out there who are really females.  And there are males out there who see their gender as female, and vice versa.  Since it is somewhat arbitrary how people are assigned their gender, it really doesn't matter if some males act as female and vice versa.  Gender is a construct that does not accurately reflect the reality of biological sex, mainly because it only has two categories.

So the person who asked Jackson to define who is a woman is just simple-minded, who really doesn't understand the complexities of biological sex.  ;D

cherrypoptart

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2022, 11:28:30 AM »
Bones McCoy delivers a baby. Kirk asks him boy or girl?

"Dammit Jim I'm a doctor not a biologist!"

NobleHunter

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2022, 11:35:32 AM »
Bones McCoy delivers a baby. Kirk asks him boy or girl?

"Dammit Jim I'm a doctor not a biologist!"

Given the rate of error and possible consequences, maybe it would be better if a doctor did say that. I recall a social media post where if you frame determining someone's gender as a medical procedure with potential side effects, it sounds way too risky to do as a matter of course.

cherrypoptart

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2022, 11:42:47 AM »
In all seriousness, you have a good point there as there are plenty of cases in which the doctors cut things that in other medical opinions may not have needed to be cut, performing life altering surgeries with the goal of gender conformity when that person's biology didn't necessarily agree and maybe the person when they were able to consent later on wouldn't have agreed either.

NobleHunter

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2022, 11:44:17 AM »
Aside: can the mod fix the thread title?

Grant

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2022, 11:56:51 AM »
Aside: can the mod fix the thread title?

Oh please don't.  I look at it sometimes when I'm feeling down and it makes me feel warm.  It might be the only good thing in this thread. 

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2022, 12:01:57 PM »
I didn't bother with the chromosome argument, because the people making that argument don't understand genetics and in any event, they are using it to deny that people should be able to define their gender and force them into compliance.

If someone wants to be treated as a woman on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at other times a man, that's not a problem. Now you can say, well I meant gender at birth, you know like how we use male and female when referring to animals. But if all we applied that term to WAS biology, there would be no need to get upset, would there? Why are you dragging your feet if you aren't worried about gender norms? Do you have a mental image of woman versus man? When you think woman, do you include the thought that the woman might well look and act entirely like a man? Or are you picturing someone who acts feminine?

The problem is in thinking that male and female is as cut and dried as tall and short, that there's some kind of useful objective measure for it.

And I'm with Grant, except for me the reason is the carelessness of the title matches the carelessness of the complaint and argument.

ScottF

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2022, 12:23:34 PM »
I didn't bother with the chromosome argument, because the people making that argument don't understand genetics and in any event, they are using it to deny that people should be able to define their gender and force them into compliance.

You keep getting this wrong. I'm fine with people defining their own gender. Or defining their species. Don't care.

rightleft22

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2022, 12:24:32 PM »
Quote
Unfortunately, our society developed with a simple black-and-white outlook that insists that everyone is one gender or the other, as exemplified by a quote from an old book, "from the beginning the Creator made them male and female."  Perhaps it was true at the moment of creation, but it ain't true now.

Words are symbols on a map and the maps is not the territory.

"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them" In dualistic thought we assume that male = man and female - woman, however the statement, as a good judge might note, does not make that argument. We only assume it does.
Also begs the question If only male = man is created in Gods image then...
Then the Hebrew word Adam is interpreted as a individual person and also as Humanity. the division of the sexes only becoming conscious after Adam/Humanity falls into consciousness.
Words are fun


We stare at the finger and think it the moon.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2022, 12:30:23 PM by rightleft22 »

cherrypoptart

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2022, 12:32:20 PM »
There are a lot of women, whatever that is, who don't want men, or the people those women consider to be men, getting into their intimate spaces, or competing with them in sports. And many of those people who call themselves "real" women are liberals and feminists. That's all just to point out that not all of the people getting upset are on the right. Obviously the opinions of conservatives or religious people don't matter to Democrats but it's getting to the point that the opinions of many of their own feminist supporters don't matter much to them either. It's just interesting and a little sad watching those people get trampled by the woke stampede. All they want is their safe spaces but apparently according to the left, they aren't entitled to them even though they are on the left as well.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2022, 12:32:59 PM »
Then why do you care about the definition of woman? Some kind of esoteric linguistic issue?

rightleft22

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2022, 12:39:19 PM »
"woke" another fun word to play with.
Originally it meant someone "alert to racial prejudice"  (Progressives' suck at choosing words and slogans to rally behind. really, really bad at it.  They get so wrapped up in the words they forget the territory. Heaven help you if you don't use the correct language. So easy for things to become about the language and the person forgotten  )

Now the word 'woke' doesn't mean anything. Its only use a easy way to label something negatively.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2022, 12:45:36 PM by rightleft22 »

ScottF

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2022, 12:48:23 PM »
Then why do you care about the definition of woman? Some kind of esoteric linguistic issue?

For the same reason that if I wanted to present myself as native Japanese, and believed it down to my bones, you should not be compelled to agree with me. I wouldn't expect you to be an a$#hole about it, but you should not be expected to agree that "Yes Scott, of course you were born in Japan, it's your choice!"


rightleft22

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2022, 01:30:00 PM »
Then why do you care about the definition of woman? Some kind of esoteric linguistic issue?

For the same reason that if I wanted to present myself as native Japanese, and believed it down to my bones, you should not be compelled to agree with me. I wouldn't expect you to be an a$#hole about it, but you should not be expected to agree that "Yes Scott, of course you were born in Japan, it's your choice!"

Had you left out the but...

Anything you say can and will be used against you. :)

Read without any context you have defined being Japanese with being born in Japan.  That the Japanese experience, character, culture... equals a specific geography and action of being born on that geography.  Where you are born = who you are.

If  'Japaneseness' is it more then where one is born then someone could  relate, in  thier bones, to this Japaneseness. 
The law of citizenship applies to place of birth. Applying a Law based on place of birth to japanesness would be problematic.  You are free to dress, eat and enjoy all that Japaneseness may point to but true it does not make you a citzen of Japan.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2022, 01:40:18 PM by rightleft22 »

Fenring

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2022, 01:50:46 PM »
I didn't bother with the chromosome argument, because the people making that argument don't understand genetics and in any event, they are using it to deny that people should be able to define their gender and force them into compliance.

You will never be able to understand people who disagree with you on this until you look at your own use of language: you are using the word "gender" as the thing people should be free to choose, but I note you are not using the word "sex". I never hear people say that one can identify as any sex they want. Why? Because sex has the connotation (now) of meaning physiology, whereas the term 'gender' has been moved laterally to mean something like 'sexualized presentation to others' (yes, it also includes presentation to oneself in a sense). So you can have a term like 'gender roles' whereas we do not speak of 'sex roles' (other than in porn casting I guess). However it was previously common usage to use the terms interchangeably at times, even thought strictly speaking they were not identical. That common usage was almost ubiquitous except in academic circles such as gender theory, so it should come as no surprise that at first glance there would be pushback on using the word "gender" in a way that divorces it utterly from how it was typically used before. And I don't mean 'in the 1950's' before, I mean very recently. So that's one area of (IMO deliberate) confusion.

Another issue is that our language previously did not have the capacity to distinguish between social agreement and biology. So a statement about one's social presentation (male/female) was always meant to be synonymous with making a statement about their biology. The whole 'chromosome rainbow' thing isn't really a useful reply to this, since the vast majority fit well into the general usage, which is the entire point of general usage. That's why it's ok to call someone you meet part of "homo sapiens" even though strictly speaking many people have a small % of Neanderthal DNA. Now this is not quite an identical case (one being rare cases of discreet differentiation, the other being a more common vague differentiation) but the principle is the same: the language is good enough if it's good enough. We don't need to be more precise in common usage because it doesn't help. On the topic of whether a person should be free (or rather can require others to agree) to choose their own gender this line of argument is truly irrelevant. I know you used it in response to ScottF's proposed XX/XY definition, but while it sounds like a straight rebuttal it's really a red herring. It doesn't contribute much to the discussion where we are not in fact talking about those people but about 'regular' XX/XY people and how they use language. If the discussion was relegated strictly to those people who do not in fact fit XX/XY then I doubt ScottF would offer any objection.

Bottom line, you are using the word 'gender' in a place where realistically you could but chose not to use the word 'sex'. This is a bit telling, because ScottF is clearly trying to root his position in objective biology, rather than in subjective feelings, and this divide does seem to be carried across in the contemporary difference between the words 'gender' and 'sex'. Otherwise you'd hear people saying they can identify as either sex, but I don't typically hear that word usage, and I think it's for a reason: because it would imply that you can identify as any biology you want, which makes no sense even to people on the far left. That is why, at least I think, why you don't have people identify as 'black' because that is clearly a genetics issue and it's not really disputable. Yes, there is black culture, and I've even heard some people (not even woke people) say they identify with black culture, but they don't say they "are" black. So the word usage here is part of the axis of disagreement, because many people do not agree that the terms male/female should refer to social construction elements but rather should be rooted in the biology. So in this context for them it's like being asked to call someone an 'elf' because they identify with elves in Tolkien; it would be viewed as an eccentric and perhaps even rude request to ask everyone you meet to refer to you as an elf rather than a person. Rude in the sense that you're imposing a personal taste onto others' language usage. Not that it would be 'wrong' per se to identify as an elf; ScottF at any rate seems to be saying he doesn't care about that, but that it's about requiring language use (or in the case of some countries potentially, legally compelled speech). So the disagreement isn't just about whether it's valid to identify as this or that, but whether the common parlance should be pointing to that versus to the simple biology. Obviously this is not a point that is winnable for either side as an argument since it's just conventional usage either way.

What I'm not clear on (or at least it's limited to theories of mine) is why these points seem difficult to see for the gender identification side. It should be pretty apparent what, at minimum, the language dispute is about. Now there are other things at stake, such as social mores, personal comportment, mental health (broadly speaking), and incorrect boxes and lumping people into them, involved, some of which go deeper into the issue. And maybe the surface language disagreement is just a way of almost deliberately avoiding the meatier issues.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2022, 01:52:02 PM »
Why born? If you want an equivalent analogy, you might consider someone who learns at a young age that they feel a strong affinity to Japan. In fact, it is so strong that they move to Japan. They become fluent in the language. They become Japanese citizens. Would you really insist that they are not Japanese? Does that mean that every naturalized American citizen is not really American? Can you understand why they might be pretty upset with you insisting that they aren't "real" Americans?

yossarian22c

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2022, 02:33:29 PM »
Why born? If you want an equivalent analogy, you might consider someone who learns at a young age that they feel a strong affinity to Japan. In fact, it is so strong that they move to Japan. They become fluent in the language. They become Japanese citizens. Would you really insist that they are not Japanese? Does that mean that every naturalized American citizen is not really American? Can you understand why they might be pretty upset with you insisting that they aren't "real" Americans?

What the issue really comes down to is sex. To be able to tell by looking at a person and know if they have the sexual parts you are interested in. Basically this is the only scenario where a trans woman and cis woman differ in a way that people really care about.

Sports is a distant second but used as a proxy. Outside of highly competitive sports the gender difference isn't that significant and those sports leagues have their own rules around participation. If we want to keep gendered differences in sports its there must be some rules in place that are greater than someone asking to be called her instead of him at work and in public.

But outside of dating, where trans persons should be open about their status before beginning a relationship and some small regulations around individual sporting events how someone choses to present gender in public really shouldn't matter. If conservatives really cared about small government that would pass a law giving sports leagues the ability to regulate how they handle trans athletes and stay out of the rest because it really, really, really doesn't matter except in a set of very narrow circumstances around dating.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2022, 03:31:53 PM »
Sure, and international competition also has a bunch of rules about who can be on the national team at the olympics, or in a regional league. You can't just declare yourself Japanese to play rugby for the World Cup side either.

yossarian22c

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2022, 03:38:26 PM »
Sure, and international competition also has a bunch of rules about who can be on the national team at the olympics, or in a regional league. You can't just declare yourself Japanese to play rugby for the World Cup side either.

But you can if you follow the naturalization process for becoming Japanese and are good at rugby.

Fenring

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2022, 04:20:45 PM »
Why born? If you want an equivalent analogy, you might consider someone who learns at a young age that they feel a strong affinity to Japan. In fact, it is so strong that they move to Japan. They become fluent in the language. They become Japanese citizens. Would you really insist that they are not Japanese? Does that mean that every naturalized American citizen is not really American? Can you understand why they might be pretty upset with you insisting that they aren't "real" Americans?

You've chosen an analogy that works partially only because of the peculiar history of Japan. The ethnic/genetic uniformity and the cultural/national identity are closely linked in the case of being Japanese because they've been so isolated and distinct. They are not a mixed culture, or internationally cosmopolitan (by their own design). So being Japanese (the citizenship) and being Japanese (the genetic heritage, phrenology, etc) are the same in most linguistic uses but obviously are not the same if you're talking about a Westerner moving to Japan and gaining citizenship. At that point you would actually be inviting language confusion for the white man to say "I'm Japanese" because you wouldn't know if he meant the status of his residency or his family genetic history. No doubt such an unqualified statement would garner squinty looks and wondering whether he 'really looks Japanese'. And that's not because of some racist double standard, but purely because of the history of word usage. It would probably be a bad idea IMO for such a person to just call himself Japanese even if he got citizenship, purely because he would be communicating badly and it would cause much more confusion that to say "I was born in Kentuky but live in Japan now."

Fenring

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2022, 04:25:57 PM »
What the issue really comes down to is sex. To be able to tell by looking at a person and know if they have the sexual parts you are interested in. Basically this is the only scenario where a trans woman and cis woman differ in a way that people really care about.

I don't think you're quite right. You're trying to be pragmatic, which is a decent concept, but it's not just about daily pragmatic "what if" social scenarios. I think there is a lot of stuff mixed in with this that goes far beyond just whether you "accept" someone's identity or whether you're flirting with the right people. There's that, but that's sort of surface level stuff. Part of the thing liberals don't understand about well-intentioned conservatives is that a system (social or political) has many facets, most of which are not stated as open propositions. This means that we are essentially unaware, or at least not quite conscious of, much of the stuff that makes up such a system. By making moves to shake up or even de-structure a system, it's not just the things we know that are challenged, but the things we don't know. This is one area where I think the right-wing has a superior theory of interrelationships to the left, which is the notion that we can't name all the things that go on but you change them all when you try to reformulate social relations, and this is something to be very cautious of. In the case of pronoun usage I think there's a sense for some people that something is being challenged and changed that goes deeper than just polite social language. To even articulate what this something is might be quite a challenge, but it can't be swept away as nothing merely because it's difficult to articulate.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2022, 04:57:42 PM »
Sure, and international competition also has a bunch of rules about who can be on the national team at the olympics, or in a regional league. You can't just declare yourself Japanese to play rugby for the World Cup side either.

But you can if you follow the naturalization process for becoming Japanese and are good at rugby.

I love that you picked the sport I am most familiar with. There's actually a lot more to it than citizenship, in fact that's not even a criterion.

There are four ways a player can be eligible to represent a country at international level. They are:

They were born in the country.
They have a parent or grandparent who was born in the country.
They have lived in the country for 36 consecutive months (three years) to qualify on residency immediately before playing.
They have completed ten years of cumulative residence in the country before playing.

This is a working definition of who can represent their country. I suspect that definition has been fluid. There was probably a time, especially before the professional era, where it wouldn't even occur to a lot of people that an athlete could represent a country that they don't live in and weren't born in. Literally grandfathered in. I imagine a lot of purists gnashed their teeth about New Zealanders playing for England through a loophole too. It gets REALLY complicated when you start breaking down what locks a player to a country, they can't play for Japan in August under grandfather rules and then play for England in March under native-born rules.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2022, 05:34:43 PM »
Why born? If you want an equivalent analogy, you might consider someone who learns at a young age that they feel a strong affinity to Japan. In fact, it is so strong that they move to Japan. They become fluent in the language. They become Japanese citizens. Would you really insist that they are not Japanese? Does that mean that every naturalized American citizen is not really American? Can you understand why they might be pretty upset with you insisting that they aren't "real" Americans?

You've chosen an analogy that works partially only because of the peculiar history of Japan. The ethnic/genetic uniformity and the cultural/national identity are closely linked in the case of being Japanese because they've been so isolated and distinct. They are not a mixed culture, or internationally cosmopolitan (by their own design). So being Japanese (the citizenship) and being Japanese (the genetic heritage, phrenology, etc) are the same in most linguistic uses but obviously are not the same if you're talking about a Westerner moving to Japan and gaining citizenship. At that point you would actually be inviting language confusion for the white man to say "I'm Japanese" because you wouldn't know if he meant the status of his residency or his family genetic history. No doubt such an unqualified statement would garner squinty looks and wondering whether he 'really looks Japanese'. And that's not because of some racist double standard, but purely because of the history of word usage. It would probably be a bad idea IMO for such a person to just call himself Japanese even if he got citizenship, purely because he would be communicating badly and it would cause much more confusion that to say "I was born in Kentuky but live in Japan now."

Only confusing to some. 28% of Japanese surveyed said Japanese ancestry was not very important. What you're describing is Japanese bigotry and racism, and yes it is good to throw that out even if it does disrupt other parts of the society.

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There are many different definitions of “Japaneseness” and they should all be accepted as valid.

research overview

Think its too much to call it racism? Well somebody wrote a whole book about it, and listed these fun facts.

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Despite domestic constitutional provisions and international treaty promises, Japan has no law against racial discrimination. Consequently, businesses around Japan display “Japanese Only” signs, denying entry to all 'foreigners' on sight. Employers and landlords routinely refuse jobs and apartments to foreign applicants. Japanese police racially profile 'foreign-looking' bystanders for invasive questioning on the street. Legislators, administrators, and pundits portray foreigners as a national security threat and call for their segregation and expulsion. Nevertheless, Japan’s government and media claim there is no discrimination by race in Japan, therefore no laws are necessary.

Wayward Son

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2022, 06:45:16 PM »
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However it was previously common usage to use the terms interchangeably at times, even thought strictly speaking they were not identical. That common usage was almost ubiquitous except in academic circles such as gender theory, so it should come as no surprise that at first glance there would be pushback on using the word "gender" in a way that divorces it utterly from how it was typically used before. And I don't mean 'in the 1950's' before, I mean very recently. So that's one area of (IMO deliberate) confusion.

It's not confusion, but precision, because it has become more and more apparent that gender and sex are two different things.  And as people become more and more aware of this, they start using the two terms in order to distinguish what they are talking about.  They are not trying to deliberately confuse, but the opposite: deliberately point out the distinction.

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That's why it's ok to call someone you meet part of "homo sapiens" even though strictly speaking many people have a small % of Neanderthal DNA. Now this is not quite an identical case (one being rare cases of discreet differentiation, the other being a more common vague differentiation) but the principle is the same: the language is good enough if it's good enough. We don't need to be more precise in common usage because it doesn't help.

For common usage, for 99 percent of the time, that is true.  When Jackson refers to a woman in common usage, she is usually referring to a female.  But notice the context of this thread.

The fact that she wouldn't define what she means by "a woman" was for a Supreme Court position.  And the Supreme Court doesn't address "common" cases.  That is for the lower courts.  The Supreme Court handles the small percentage of the cases which are extremely hard to judicate.  Where the common usage of "woman" may or may not apply.  Where the definition of a "woman" may become extremely important.

So although it is nice to continue to use the common usage of "woman" in common settings, you don't want to be restricted to the common usage in the Supreme Court.  Because "good enough for 99 percent of the time" isn't good enough for the Supreme Court.

But that is precisely what the Senator who asked for the definition was trying to make her do.  Because many Republicans want their definition to be the only one, regardless of who they hurt with it.  And be assured, it does hurt.

I was reading at Electoral-Vote.com how half of transgender kids have serious thoughts of suicide every year.   Not just once or twice during adolescence, but constantly.  And I suspect most of this comes from pressure from being different.  From not being accepted for who they are.  Enforcing a definition, even if it is a commonly accepted one, that makes not being accepted into law will continue to hurt these kids.  And for what?  It is not even an accurate definition.  ::)

You worry about the possible consequences of changing the social mores, but disregard the actual consequences of maintaining them.

So, no, distinguishing between sex and gender does help.  It helps because it is a more accurate reflection of reality, and because it helps those who are hurt by the "common usage."

Fenring

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2022, 07:14:54 PM »
I was reading at Electoral-Vote.com how half of transgender kids have serious thoughts of suicide every year.   Not just once or twice during adolescence, but constantly.  And I suspect most of this comes from pressure from being different.  From not being accepted for who they are.

I underlined and bolded to highlight the fact that you're actually making three separate propositions here, and to an extent they're unrelated (i.e. accepting one doesn't require accepting the others). First proposition is that the suicidal thoughts is not just correlated but caused by the fact that they identify as transgender. To date I've actually not heard a cogent argument by an expert getting past this issue, i.e. presenting what I would call double-blind or at least solid evidence that there's a cause-effect situation occurring, i.e. that this person with their physiology might have had suicidal ideation regardless of their transgender identity, for various other potential reasons. It's the "because" I'm addressing. The second proposition is that this comes from pressure from others, which likewise is often repeated as an axiom but I've never heard credible evidence that this is the case. To be clear, I'm not saying it's not the case, but a lot of presumptions are make in these cases which presume a priori that the person is a victim of bad treatment and this can account for all their symptoms, which is not only a large claim but in fact would be shocking if it was accurate (i.e. that such a simple pressure would create such a strangely negative situation compared to other oppressed people who do not share these types of suicide stats). Your third proposition is that not only does pressure cause these symptoms, but that the only pressure required to account for them is the pressure of non-acceptance, another loaded proposition that likewise does not need to map onto other oppressed/rejected sub-groups. Again I'm not refuting these claims, but merely mentioning that they are typically lumped all together with no evidence, and in fact no regard for the propriety of even having to explain why these different propositions are thrown in at the same time. I suspect the reason is because a social agenda (acceptance of trans people) becomes a retroactive explanation for suffering because it fits the narrative, rather than because we came to these conclusions scientifically.

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You worry about the possible consequences of changing the social mores, but disregard the actual consequences of maintaining them.

And this is the thing conservatives are objectively correct about that a lot of liberals don't get: you should be worried about the possible consequences of changing mores. This reminds me of a sort of parallel social movement (and one which I'm actually sympathetic toward) that's anti-capitalist, which suggests that it's a corrupt pyramid-shaped power structure that needs shaking up. But likewise most of the people making this type of argument (often university students) are only where they are because of the actual merits of the American system, and freely make use of the perks while criticizing the very platform giving them the megaphone. Well they might not be prepared for what would replace it if a power vacuum presented itself! All this to say that taking something apart has effects that cannot be understood until long after it's too late to go back, and conservatives know that, but liberals appear to have no concept of it. I say this as someone who is in some ways a radical who would love to see all kinds of changes. And I'm a theatre person, so again don't mistake my arguments for a partisan position. I would likely see many more changes than you'd ever be comfortable with if I had my way. BUT one must have the awareness that there are serious dangers in making big changes, and for people that are not ok with that you can either respect their hesitation or else estrange yourself from them in all discourse.

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So, no, distinguishing between sex and gender does help.  It helps because it is a more accurate reflection of reality, and because it helps those who are hurt by the "common usage."

Well this is the theory. But one of the issues is that it's essentially a gender theory, whereas it went right from 'niche university course' status to you'd better accept it or you're trying to erase people (or whatever). There was never really a public debate about it in the same way there was about sexual orientation through the 80's and 90's. There was no slow course of it slowly appearing on TV, generating discussion, and having multiple sides to it. This has come as an all-or-nothing-you-are-a-literal-Nazi topic, possibly a result of the social media echo chamber brain-melting culture we're in now.

Fenring

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2022, 07:16:59 PM »
Only confusing to some. 28% of Japanese surveyed said Japanese ancestry was not very important. What you're describing is Japanese bigotry and racism, and yes it is good to throw that out even if it does disrupt other parts of the society.

No, it would be confusing to everything, despite your tacit claim that only bigots would be confused. That is just not true. Whether it should be modified, or could use a de-racist treatment, or anything else, is your opinion to have. My statement was only that saying the statement with no qualification would result in confusion, and that pretending it doesn't is a sort of bullying in the social sphere.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2022, 08:44:34 PM »
Only confusing to some. 28% of Japanese surveyed said Japanese ancestry was not very important. What you're describing is Japanese bigotry and racism, and yes it is good to throw that out even if it does disrupt other parts of the society.

No, it would be confusing to everything, despite your tacit claim that only bigots would be confused. That is just not true. Whether it should be modified, or could use a de-racist treatment, or anything else, is your opinion to have. My statement was only that saying the statement with no qualification would result in confusion, and that pretending it doesn't is a sort of bullying in the social sphere.

Sure it will result in confusion, for some, UNTIL everyone gets used to it. The first time anybody ever used "they" as a pronoun it was confusing as hell. Then comes teaching, learning, acceptance, and normalization. It's not bullying in any form. It's education and understanding. Oh, now I understand why you want to use "they". Cool.

Hell, it was confusing for Archie Bunker to see somebody with long hair in the men's room.

There are serious repercussions surrounding not making changes or not making them quickly enough also. People were terrified about FDRs New Deal and how it would and did reshape society. But if the existing power structure had dragged its feet, it might well have meant revolution.

The Saudis are real hesitant to let women drive cars or uncover their face. Should we cut them slack because they're worried about changing mores and how it might have negative effects?

Fenring

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2022, 08:59:16 PM »
Sure it will result in confusion, for some, UNTIL everyone gets used to it. The first time anybody ever used "they" as a pronoun it was confusing as hell. Then comes teaching, learning, acceptance, and normalization. It's not bullying in any form. It's education and understanding. Oh, now I understand why you want to use "they". Cool.

What I am trying to point out is that to teach you need to have a fact to teach, and if people don't agree on the fact then you have no business saying you are 'teaching' it to them. Learning is what happens when people trust a teacher, but if your 'teacher' is someone who fundamentally calls you evil and racist obviously you'll treat them as hostile, not as a teacher. Acceptance itself does not imply anything good, so let's pass on that one. People can accept horrible things. And normalization is where I would start rather than end the list, because at present the huge push for normalization has preceded any public debate, as I mentioned above. I think the strategy here is to normalize first through brute force, and then when everyone has conformed the need to defend it will vanish. I would personally argue that normalization of new things very quickly is probably a bad thing, even if I agree with the thing. You are treating it as a "we/them" thing, where "we" need to educate "them" and as soon as "they" get on board things will be better. I hope you can see how non-functional that is?

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The Saudis are real hesitant to let women drive cars or uncover their face. Should we cut them slack because they're worried about changing mores and how it might have negative effects?

This example does you no credit, since it's essentially the same as making the 'literally Hitler' argument for anyone who disagrees. Now we don't want to mince words, either: when slavery in the South was pushed against by the North, we very much want to now say the North was right, full stop. Slavery is wrong, and those who required 'educating' needed to be changed. But this is a very dangerous type of mentality, because any fundamentalist or radical movement will see themselves as the North, needing to curb and envirtue the evildoers. So it would be almost better to decline to say the North was right, rather than use it as a signpost for any brute force social change to show that obvious we are the Good Guys so force is justified to make you agree with us.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2022, 10:40:25 AM »
I'm sorry you don't see the equivalence. There is room to disagree about the athletics, or scholarships, or hormone treatments for adolescents. But there is no room for a decent person to say, "I don't want my children to know that trans people exist, and I consider them to be mentally ill." Those people after a period of discussion to try and help them understand, do indeed deserve scorn and judgement. That's not the same as using "force" in the sense you mean about the North and slavery. Consequences are not coercion.

We watched this whole sequence play out with gay marriage. Starting with teaching, explaining, learning. Over time that led to acceptance in the form of legal recognition and the preponderance of public opinion. Normalization is when you stop saying "I'm going to a gay wedding." and you just say "I'm going to a wedding." There are still holdouts, and at this point, I am 100% okay with marginalizing them. They've had a couple of generations to get used to the idea and accept it.

rightleft22

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2022, 11:01:16 AM »
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I was reading at Electoral-Vote.com how half of transgender kids have serious thoughts of suicide every year.   Not just once or twice during adolescence, but constantly.

The rise of Suicided Ideation is a problem across the board. I'm not sure how this measurement is taken, validated and then interpreted. I don't know that many people who have never had such thoughts especially when feeling different.  I suspect everyone when asked will say they have feelings of being different, not belonging and  being alone.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2022, 11:27:03 AM »
Should we even be focusing on suicide, an outlying outcome? What about engagement with their education, feeling a sense of community, and feeling accepted? Don't worry if you're ostracizing people, unless we can prove they are killing themselves over it.

As far as which estimate to work with? The maximum estimate indicates the greatest possible harm. If that's what people need to motivate change, I'm all for hedging toward the worse scenario rather than trying to suss out the median. They didn't die OF transphobia, they just died WITH transphobia? Is that where we're at?

Fenring

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2022, 12:14:38 PM »
I'm sorry you don't see the equivalence. There is room to disagree about the athletics, or scholarships, or hormone treatments for adolescents. But there is no room for a decent person to say, "I don't want my children to know that trans people exist, and I consider them to be mentally ill." Those people after a period of discussion to try and help them understand, do indeed deserve scorn and judgement. That's not the same as using "force" in the sense you mean about the North and slavery. Consequences are not coercion.

Honestly this doesn't sound responsive to what I wrote...

rightleft22

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2022, 12:21:55 PM »
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In the case of pronoun usage I think there's a sense for some people that something is being challenged and changed that goes deeper than just polite social language. To even articulate what this something is might be quite a challenge, but it can't be swept away as nothing merely because it's difficult to articulate.

I'm one of those that don't understand the pronoun thing and do wonder if something deeper isn't being challenged and suspect that most in my generation don't. I'm not saying the challenge isn't a positive or negative, only that I sense a change that is going beyond the issue which I don't understand.

Just completed the diversity training my employer put out. Lots of discussion about the pronoun usage but it didn't feel safe to articulate concern that we might be changing something fundamental that no one understands.

I spent the last few years working on detaching my sense of self, my identity, from labels. (I know how that sounds) I don't want to be defined by a pronoun. Maybe that's privilege because I never had to consider it before.
I think the left is getting so wrapped up in labels as identity and having everyone use the proper language with little room for forgiveness when some get it wrong that thier missing seeing the person. Everyone experience/person hood is important as long as it fits into a accepted label. Its a step backward in my opinion.   

My experience when raising questions on the matter is to be dismissed. Not in a mean way but the Ok Boomer, your world is over and your experience doesn't matter. No country for old men/woman/him/her/she/he/them/theirs...

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2022, 02:38:44 PM »
I'm sorry you don't see the equivalence. There is room to disagree about the athletics, or scholarships, or hormone treatments for adolescents. But there is no room for a decent person to say, "I don't want my children to know that trans people exist, and I consider them to be mentally ill." Those people after a period of discussion to try and help them understand, do indeed deserve scorn and judgement. That's not the same as using "force" in the sense you mean about the North and slavery. Consequences are not coercion.

Honestly this doesn't sound responsive to what I wrote...

You claimed that one is not a teacher if one is calling someone evil or racist (and I'll add in ignorant). I'm saying it is sequential. If I make multiple attempts to help someone understand that it isn't okay to make women subservient or to make trans people hide themselves away, or that they shouldn't use racial slurs, then we move on to the disparagement. Because at some point when you don't accept people for who they are and that you shouldn't restrict them, then you are a bad person and don't really deserve civility or an "agree to disagree" attitude. And yes, as an employer, I'm going to send you to training for you to at least not act on your prejudices, and if you do act out those prejudices at work then I'm going to terminate you. That doesn't make me the bad guy.

Wayward Son

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2022, 03:47:11 PM »
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I suspect the reason is because a social agenda (acceptance of trans people) becomes a retroactive explanation for suffering because it fits the narrative, rather than because we came to these conclusions scientifically.

Fair enough.  Let me know if you find any scientific (as far as psychology can go) evidence, and I'll let you know if I find any.

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And this is the thing conservatives are objectively correct about that a lot of liberals don't get: you should be worried about the possible consequences of changing mores.

The problem with worrying too much about the possible consequences is that, historically, a lot of those worries turned out to be nothing. :)

Consider what has happened when we let people of different classes marry.  Or different races.  Or different religions.  Or allowing pre-martial sex.  Or abolishing slavery.  Or giving blacks equal rights.  Or any number of social changes that have occurred in the past couple of centuries.  The "possible consequences" of every single one of those was the utter destruction and collapse of our society, so we were told.  And yet our society still stands.

It is one thing if you can point to a scientifically-proven (as you put it) consequence of a social change.  But worrying about "possible" social changes often is to worry about nothing.  And those problems that do occur usually can be addressed or mitigated when they become apparent.  And you have to weigh these worries about "possible" consequences against the real problems that we see actually occurring right now to real people.  "What if" and "this could lead to" does not trump "which is causing."

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Well this is the theory. But one of the issues is that it's essentially a gender theory, whereas it went right from 'niche university course' status to you'd better accept it or you're trying to erase people (or whatever). There was never really a public debate about it in the same way there was about sexual orientation through the 80's and 90's. There was no slow course of it slowly appearing on TV, generating discussion, and having multiple sides to it. This has come as an all-or-nothing-you-are-a-literal-Nazi topic, possibly a result of the social media echo chamber brain-melting culture we're in now.

Gender is not some esoteric academic theory.  It is simply a fact, one that can be easily shown simply by looking at different cultures and people.  Are skirts only feminine?  Are women always subservient to men?  Are boys always more aggressive than girls?  Are they always more violent?  There are so many assumptions and customs in our society, based on gender, that have very little if any relationship to a person's sex that it not a question of outlook or philosophy, but simply a matter of observable reality.

The only reason gender was not talked about until recently is the almost universal assumption that everything we believed about the differences in sexes was generic or inborn.  That there was no difference between sex and gender.  That they were one and the same.  But as more and more examples of the variety of behaviors within a certain sex became apparent, we needed some word to distinguish those things that were intrinsic to a person biological sex (reproductive organs, hormones, etc.) and those of a person's gender (expected behavior, dress, etc.)

To say that we should first thoroughly debate gender before accepting it is like saying we should first thoroughly debate gravity before accepting it.  Gravity exists whether a person accepts it or not. The proof is all around us.  So with gender.

TheDrake

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #48 on: March 25, 2022, 04:26:48 PM »
Here's a nice example, based on Utah that tried to separate the sports issue from transgender in general.

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Cox’s plan would legally establish the transgender ideology in Utah’s K-12 sports system. That establishment would open the legal door for the ideology throughout the state’s K-12 schools — even as ordinary Americans — and many GOP politicians — are fighting to evict the unpopular and destructive ideology from their kids’ schools. In Florida, for example, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently signed a law that largely bars the ideology in classes for kids younger than Grade 4.

Luckily, Cox vetoed the sports bill. Note what they mean by "transgender ideology". The idea that some people are transgender and there's nothing wrong with that.

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Most notably, Cox seemed to express more sympathy for boys who identify as girls rather than actual girls, saying he is “learning so much” from the transgender community and that they are “great kids who face enormous struggles.” He also cited “trans youth suicide rates,” adding that those numbers “most impacted” his decision to veto the bill. He then painted transgender children as  “kids who are just trying to find some friends.”

“Rarely has so much fear and anger been directed at so few. I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live. And all the research shows that even a little acceptance and connection can reduce suicidality significantly,” he said

This is a Republican governor in the second reddest state. So maybe its not asking so much to ask people to get with HIS program. Of course, according to Breitbart his stance makes him a liberal Democrat.


TheDeamon

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Re: I'm not a bioligist
« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2022, 03:16:32 PM »
So a supreme court justice nominee just said they could not define what a woman is because "I'm not a biologist."

Shouldn't that response in itself be disqualifying? How can one rule on women's rights issues or other laws pertaining to women if they are incapable of articulating what one is?

Wait, I thought gender was a psychological construct these days. So the correct answer for the "properly woke" should have been "I am not a psychologist."