Author Topic: Funny way to show support  (Read 5628 times)

Seriati

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Funny way to show support
« on: September 21, 2017, 12:02:56 PM »
This really doesn't deserve it's own thread, but I found it really amusing.  An elementary teacher in Florida asks students to use gender neutral pronouns.  Specifically Mx., they, them, their.  The school principal offered the following support (bolding mine) after some parents expressed concern:

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We support her preference in how she's addressed, we certainly do," Lambert said. "I think a lot of times it might be decided that there is an agenda there, because of her preference — I can tell you her only agenda is teaching math and science at the greatest level she can.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/21/florida-teacher-asks-students-to-use-gender-neutral-pronouns-angering-parents.html

Fenring

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 03:44:26 PM »
Have to admit, even hearing things like this makes me upset. Has anyone here seen the horror film In the Mouth of Madness? It's a story of a man rational to a fault who refuses to accept irrational explanations of reality, faced with an environment where everyone around him is reading crazy stories that change them when they've read it. The general public is slowly changing into something new, at first just slightly off but after some time unrecognizable as being human as he knows it. He insists repeatedly that it's all a bunch of nonsense and that nothing will upset his firm grasp of reality and logic, and by the end of the film (as you may predict) everyone else has changed completely and he is the only 'obsolete' human left. He descends into madness, realizing the folly of considering himself normal when he's the only one left like that.

I've always thought the movie had some important substance to it beyond merely being scary (which it is), and on occasion I feel ripples of it when faced with articles like this. I know Seriati is pointing out the irony of celebrating the elimination of gendered pronouns by using those same pronouns, but I wonder something else which maybe someone here can answer. Is it possibly unconstitutional to require young students to use an alternate form of English in order to appease the political/social sentiments of the teacher? I'm not even addressing whether genderless pronouns are a good idea or not; it's more a question of whether it's legitimate to require people to use them in a systemic setting. It's kind of like serfs of old, who had to address their betters in a way dictated to them; "you will address me as My Lord", and so forth. Can people be compelled to address others in some specific way nowadays?

I can see a fine line here between politeness and dogma. A student would rightly be sanctioned for cursing at someone in class, for instance, so general politeness does matter. But does that mean a teacher has the right to determine what politeness is unilaterally and to enforce that? Putting aside the issue of gender pronouns, what if a teacher announced to the class that the teacher was to be addressed as Your Majesty, that all speaking in class would be prefaced by "By your leave, my liege", and that other students would be referred to only as "The Majesty's loyal subjects." This can certainly qualify as polite; you can check that box right off. But it's also a system of reference that appeals to some (probably said teacher) but not to others. Would it be legitimate to suspend a student for declining to refer to the teacher and other students in this way? Would it even be legal? If not, what's the difference between this and requiring "they" and "them" in reference to other students? Note again I'm speaking of compelling others to use these terms, not about whether it might be nice to do so.

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 04:11:19 PM »
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what if a teacher announced to the class that the teacher was to be addressed as Your Majesty, that all speaking in class would be prefaced by "By your leave, my liege", and that other students would be referred to only as "The Majesty's loyal subjects."

I guess it depends, doesn't it? Implicit in the question is that there's any resistance by the actual children.

It seems to me that this would be a pretty fun teacher for the kids, they aren't going to react badly to being subservient. Likewise with the pronouns, absent any other information, its just a fun game.

One question is, why are parents getting upset? Maybe fear because the world is changing. Maybe they are anti-gay or anti-trans. Maybe a legitimate concern that a muddying of traditional pronoun use can really mess up your grammar abilities. He/She is. They are. or.... They is? Good luck on that standardized test later.

Better alternates would avoid the gender specification with a word that can't be confused like Zee.

It honestly can't come up very often, I'm having a hard time imagining that the teacher would normally be addressed in the third person within earshot, or having some kind of punitive reaction beyond a verbal reminder.

Fenring

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 04:16:37 PM »
Drake, whether the particular neo-language being imposed offends or amuses you isn't really the point. I'm asking whether it's legal to require children to use some arbitrary use of language terms in order to pass their class. And by the way, if I was a parent and heard my kid had to call the teacher Your Majesty I'd be very aggressive in my response.

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 04:33:53 PM »
You just did it again. You implied punitive measures - in this case a failing grade. None of that is in evidence here, not even having to stay in at recess or even a sternly worded rebuke.

A better way for your question to be posed, is it "acceptable" to "request" that children use arbitrary language "with no obvious repercussion". Is the exposure to the idea that people should be able to choose the pronouns by which they are referred really so nefarious and damaging?



DonaldD

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 04:37:32 PM »
Where did the teacher "require"?
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She added: "We're not going for perfection, just making an effort! Please feel free to reach out to me or administration if you have any questions. My priority is for all of my students to be comfortable in my classroom and have a space where they can be themselves while learning."

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 04:41:53 PM »
This transformation happened in the past, though more organically. The informal "thee" got dumped in favor of always using "you". That occurred as social status became more blurred, usage got confusing. As gender identification and gender roles become similarly blurred, it wouldn't be so surprising if gender pronouns became less clear and gender distinction was dropped from third person pronouns.

Interesting side note while I looked up the thee/thou transformation:

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Quakers believed that addressing a social superior as "you" fanned the flames of vanity. As an aside, they also refused to use titles such as mister or your ladyship, and this could get them in trouble if they ended up in court because they also refused to address a judge as your honor.

Looks like you'd have the Quakers on your side about the whole Majesty thing.

Fenring

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 04:46:39 PM »
Those are good points. I took it for granted that when a teacher 'asks' for something in class that it's not arbitrarily optional. If a student had simply rejected her request, how would that have gone down? Don't forget it's not a scenario among peers, the teacher has (ostensibly) full power over the student's physical premises and pass/fail guidelines. If I 'ask' one of my employees to do something you can be sure it's not going to be taken as a mere suggestion no matter how I phrase it. They don't wait for me to add on "this - I command!" before doing things I suggest.

However you're right that maybe the 'table feel' of the situation would bear more scrutiny before concluding that it was essentially mandatory. I can't really be sure it was, true. But the disclaimer that perfection isn't required doesn't mean to me that the practice was entirely optional, it just means that imperfect implementation of the attempt to comply wasn't going to bother the teacher. It doesn't at all imply that refusal to comply was going to be accepted.

My question still stands, by the way, even if it happened to be the case that this isn't what was going on here. Because soon it will happen anyhow, maybe somewhere else. Gender-neutral pronouns will move on from being a matter of interpersonal decorum and will probably become an administrative issue before too long. At least that's what I suspect, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyone care to field my hypothetical question in the meantime?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 04:51:28 PM by Fenring »

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 04:47:20 PM »
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She added: "We're not going for perfection, just making an effort!

From that you get punishments? Yes, they are going to be encouraged to follow the directions, and they will likely be verbally corrected. I never used the word "require", nor did I deny it was a requirement. It is something they are being asked to do, not something that they are being given an option on.

From a learning perspective, it is teaching them to be inclusive of other students and other people as they grow into adulthood. So that's not okay?

edit - Thanks, Fenring. I'm happy to consider other hypotheticals along the way, just drawing a line here. I concede that there could or will exist a teacher at some point who might demand this usage and do any of the big punishments that you postulate.

2nd edit - Dang, I think I misread which side Donald was on. I need to get back to work. :)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 04:50:37 PM by TheDrake »

Seriati

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 04:59:11 PM »
One question is, why are parents getting upset? Maybe fear because the world is changing. Maybe they are anti-gay or anti-trans. Maybe a legitimate concern that a muddying of traditional pronoun use can really mess up your grammar abilities. He/She is. They are. or.... They is? Good luck on that standardized test later.

I think the last alternative, impairment of grammatical ability is a real concern (objectively).  That's already an issue with High School and even College grads.  Mixing up pronouns makes the writer seem like they don't know what they are doing.  Maybe that changes over time if this becomes the rule rather than the exception, but teaching kids that a non-grammatical use of a term is proper could have long term impact on them if society doesn't change to endorse it.

I do get the discomfort though, I had a teacher who insisted on calling me by a name I don't go by (think, for example, a teacher arbitrarily determining to use your middle name over your objections), and I definitely found it off putting.  Not sure the level of attachment is the same - a name is a personal identifier after all.

Wayward Son

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 04:59:54 PM »
As far as it being possibly unconstitutional, I don't see any good avenues for it.  After all, the Founding Father's didn't deem it necessary to guarantee the Right to Proper English. :)

Perhaps something could be argued under the Right to Free Speech, if you find a good enough lawyer.  But since it is confined to the classroom, I don't see how it would apply.  That would imply a Right Not to Learn, which definitely isn't guaranteed (to the sorrow of students everywhere).

Now if the Baptists added a "Holiness of the He and She" to their doctrine, that might allow a Freedom of Religion case.  But that would probably only exempt the particular student from the exercise...

Legally, I don't see a leg to stand on, but I'm just a layman.  A better argument is that she isn't teaching English the way the students would need to know it.  But that seems to me to be a local school board matter, not a judicial one.

DonaldD

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 05:09:27 PM »
I'm wondering how many students are failed for using "Miss" instead of "Mrs" or "Ms"... there seems to be an inherent assumption about people who ask to use non-gender-binary pronouns that they are inherently more punitive than other people.

Crunch

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2017, 05:17:18 PM »
You just did it again. You implied punitive measures - in this case a failing grade. None of that is in evidence here, not even having to stay in at recess or even a sternly worded rebuke.
In the Florida case, not yet. But the trend is clear:
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Under a new set of guidelines rolled out last week by Chicago public schools, children will now be required to address transgender students and employees by their preferred name and pronouns — or face the consequences.
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Students or employees who consciously use the “wrong” pronouns will be in violation of school policies on comprehensive non-discrimination, Title IX and sexual harassment, and student code of conduct.

or

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A bill that passed the California state senate and is now moving through the Assembly could threaten jail time for anyone who refuses to use a transgender person’s preferred pronoun.

The law is currently limited in its effects to nursing homes and intermediate-care facilities, but if passed, those who “willfully and repeatedly” refuse “to use a transgender resident’s preferred name or pronouns” could be slapped with a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison, according to the California Heath and Safety code. The state senate passed the bill 26-12 at the end of May.
So yeah, the time is coming.


Is the exposure to the idea that people should be able to choose the pronouns by which they are referred really so nefarious and damaging?
Newspeak, and that's what this is, is nefarious.
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A living language, such as English, one that has the capability of diverse expression, has the tendency to gain words and therefore broaden the awareness and knowledge of its speakers. Newspeak, on the other hand, loses words, by removing words that represent opposing concepts.
What is happening is removing the opposing concepts of male and female.
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The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression  for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc,  but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that  when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a  heretical thought—that is, a thought diverging from the principles of  Ingsoc—should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is  dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact  and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member  could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and  also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was  done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating  undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox  meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever.

Wayward Son

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2017, 05:51:09 PM »
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What is happening is removing the opposing concepts of male and female.

I wouldn't worry about it, Crunch.  That ain't gonna happen.

I recall my mother telling me once that Finnish does not use sexed pronouns for animals.  Male or female, all animals are simply "it."

But the last I heard, Finnish farmers didn't have any trouble breeding cattle. :) 

I'm sure we'll be able to similarly figure out the different sexes when push comes to shove. ;)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 06:01:06 PM by Wayward Son »

Crunch

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 06:08:03 PM »
Yeah, what's Bruce Jenner? Man or woman?

Wayward Son

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2017, 06:31:06 PM »
Yeah, what's Bruce Jenner? Man or woman?

Why do you care?  Are you thinking of going to bed with her? :)

Which is really what it comes down to:  Why do you need to know?

If you're Jenner's doctor, you'd need to know that he is biologically male.

If he's competing in a women's sport, that might be germane.

But if you meet her on the street, what difference does it make?  Would you treat her differently?  How so?  And how would it affect you if you treated her as the other sex?

She identifies as a woman.  In all matters other than procreation and medical decisions (and perhaps physical sports), why shouldn't you treat her as such?  What difference does it make to you?

It doesn't take much to say, "She is biologically male, but considers herself female."  A few words.  No worse than saying, "She is biologically a hermaphrodite, but considers herself female."  And you don't get any vote in the latter. :)

So, you see, we still can differentiate between men and women.  You just do it in context.  It's not hard.

Fenring

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2017, 06:47:54 PM »
She identifies as a woman.  In all matters other than procreation and medical decisions (and perhaps physical sports), why shouldn't you treat her as such?

What does "treat her as such" mean in any social context other than which pronoun to use?

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2017, 07:27:51 PM »
"What is happening is removing the opposing concepts of male and female." - correct, and this is a good thing. Wayward already broke it down quite well, so I won't go beyond that.

If you want to be a dude in a dress, no matter how you identify, you should be able to do that without ridicule and derision. That's a "gender concept", and most of them are like that - about saying you should or shouldn't act in a certain way based on your gender. The more that's accepted, the more being transgendered becomes boring and unimportant. You're just a person at that point.

If you want to bring up any examples where this is an important thing, feel free. I can't come up with any except the exceptions Wayward brought up.

As far as consequences, would you take offense if someone used the wrong gender pronoun to refer to you, your friends, or your family? Would you shrug it off if a teacher enjoined her class to use a boy's preferred male pronoun rather than referring to him as she?

Yeah, its going to be uncomfortable for some to enter into a Robert Heinlein style society, complete with gender swapping, multiple group configurations, and lots of other fun things. Like equality. It's going to be hard for people to dump their gender stereotypes and nursery rhymes about girls being made of sugar and spice.

Is it indoctrination? Forcing people to think in new ways? Yes, I guess it is. Our alternative is to continue to allow people to be abused, harassed, slighted, and marginalized.

When Stan wanted to be called Loretta, she was instantly supported in everything except her right to have babies. Brian 3:23

Fenring

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2017, 11:40:48 PM »
If you want to be a dude in a dress, no matter how you identify, you should be able to do that without ridicule and derision. That's a "gender concept", and most of them are like that - about saying you should or shouldn't act in a certain way based on your gender. The more that's accepted, the more being transgendered becomes boring and unimportant. You're just a person at that point.

I believe you're mistaken about what it means in some contexts to be transgender. For some it may mean they self-identify as gender neutral. There's probably a word for that but I don't know it. But for the majority (of this small minority) it's a person of one biological sex identifying as the opposite gender. It's more or less the opposite of the scenario you describe, where anyone can wear a dress and a person is just a person. *That* would describe a classic feminist approach to the subject, where gender norms and associations can be broken down, women can wear pants, etc. What we're seeing now in the trans debate is a 100% reversion on this position right back to traditional hetero-normative definitions of what is "feminine" and "masculine", and simply redefines who is feminine and masculine. Do you not see that a biological male wearing a dress to signify that he's a woman is a definitive statement that dresses are for women and not for men? The only difference is that the person's identity is 'trans', but the definitions of "man" and woman" are treated as they were in the 50's. One of my concerns in this area is that while progressives believe they are advancing their cause by pursuing the trans narrative they are actually turning their backs on years of feminist efforts to undo the associations of certain types of apparel to one gender. It demonstrates to me that while progressives are keen to change things, they are not changing them in any particular direction. So it's progression, just not towards anything specific. One year it'll be progress towards X, and the next progress towards Y which just happens to be moving in the opposite direction as X. Do you not agree that there's something inherently sexist, so to speak, by insinuating that wearing a dress is automatically a sign of femininity? Among other things, it seems to say quite clearly that women who don't dress like that aren't feminine. And I'm not just making this up, either, I've heard exactly that comment from women who believe that pidgeonholing 'being a woman' into certain characteristics like wearing a dress and make-up is insulting.

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As far as consequences, would you take offense if someone used the wrong gender pronoun to refer to you, your friends, or your family? Would you shrug it off if a teacher enjoined her class to use a boy's preferred male pronoun rather than referring to him as she?

This is, to whit, the chief issue on this front that reasonable people will have to solve no matter their beliefs. Is another person's request for specific language (a) worth taking into consideration, and (b) important enough that considerable pressure should be brought to bear to obtain compliance if people aren't that willing to comply. The pronoun thing sounds on the face of it like it could be reduces to a politeness issue. I don't think it will remain there, but it theoretically could. But if identity isn't tied to biology I don't suppose that genders are the only relevant area for self-identity. What if someone says they identify as a dragon, and they are not to be referred to as a human being or homo sapiens? Their DNA, after all, shouldn't be a factor, it's their inner person that counts. In that case I have to admit I think I'd refuse outright under almost any circumstances to comply with that, with the exception being if it was someone with psychological issues and it was a question of not 'setting them off' or something.

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Is it indoctrination? Forcing people to think in new ways? Yes, I guess it is. Our alternative is to continue to allow people to be abused, harassed, slighted, and marginalized.

Don't forget my question about was about the [inevitable] scenario of people being forced into this indoctrination. It's well and good if *you* believe it's all true, so why not force people to comply with the truth, but remember that others may not agree - factually. So you'd be indoctrinating and/or forcing compliance on topics where rational people may disagree in good faith. Is that the action of a free society?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 11:43:50 PM by Fenring »

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2017, 11:08:59 AM »
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Don't forget my question about was about the [inevitable] scenario of people being forced into this indoctrination. It's well and good if *you* believe it's all true, so why not force people to comply with the truth, but remember that others may not agree - factually. So you'd be indoctrinating and/or forcing compliance on topics where rational people may disagree in good faith. Is that the action of a free society?

Couldn't that argument be used to support the idea that using racial, ethnic, religious, and other slurs are fine? All part of freedom, right? Some do think so, that there shouldn't even be a concept of hate speech. The Supreme Court has upheld that, for sure, time and again. This isn't an ordinance, this is a school. Freedom of expression isn't something students are afforded. If such an ordinance passes, it will once again be struck down, and that's what I'd want. So it comes down to the idea, is it acceptable to use pressure apart from legal enforcement to push behaviour?

The fact that it is a school in this specific case adds a lot of fuel to the fire, of course, since indoctrination is literally what they have to do for functional reasons. The fact that it is younger kids ramps it up a little more.

Of course we draw a distinction against the farcical idea that someone will demand that they are a dog and insist that their pronoun is woof. That isn't happening here, and it puts me in mind of arguments munging gay marriage with bestiality. Gender neutral pronouns are still evolving, but it's not a lone crank who made it up on a whim. The concept has been around since feminism of the 70s, and ze/hir was introduced twenty years ago.

If my workplace decided to have this policy, I wouldn't have any problem with it; I would adhere to it to the best of my ability. Some of my colleagues would scoff at it and refuse, and I'd wave goodbye as they were managed out. But that's a voluntary situation and not equivalent. This is also, largely, a monopolistic relationship - if you decide you don't like it you can't just pick another public school to go to. Maybe this wouldn't be such an issue if vouchers were in play. :P

I appreciate some of the other bits you were saying, that most trans individuals (like Jenner) are interested in switching identification groups and not eliminating them. I'll have to think more on that, it's a tricky balance to manage.

Wayward Son

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2017, 11:35:59 AM »
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What we're seeing now in the trans debate is a 100% reversion on this position right back to traditional hetero-normative definitions of what is "feminine" and "masculine", and simply redefines who is feminine and masculine. Do you not see that a biological male wearing a dress to signify that he's a woman is a definitive statement that dresses are for women and not for men? The only difference is that the person's identity is 'trans', but the definitions of "man" and woman" are treated as they were in the 50's. One of my concerns in this area is that while progressives believe they are advancing their cause by pursuing the trans narrative they are actually turning their backs on years of feminist efforts to undo the associations of certain types of apparel to one gender. It demonstrates to me that while progressives are keen to change things, they are not changing them in any particular direction.

I think your notion that progressives have to point change in a particular direction is missing the point.  Greater freedom means people can do in any direction that does not interfere with other people's freedom.  So while some people are free to dress and act like 50's women (be they male or female), others are free to dress and act any other way they choose.  So your feminist friends are free to dress as gender neutral, while other women and Eddie Izzard are free to dress like 50's housewives.  (Eddie, AFAIK, is proud heterosexual man. :) )

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Don't forget my question about was about the [inevitable] scenario of people being forced into this indoctrination. It's well and good if *you* believe it's all true, so why not force people to comply with the truth, but remember that others may not agree - factually. So you'd be indoctrinating and/or forcing compliance on topics where rational people may disagree in good faith. Is that the action of a free society?

That is basically the slipperly-slope argument.  If you accept it, that leads me to ask: well, then, what's so great about forcing people to be indoctrinated with the idea that gender is defined only biologically?  That a certain elite defines if you are to be called a "he" or a "she," and you have no say about it.  And that, by being called a "he" or a "she," you are expect to dress and act in a certain manner.  And that certain jobs are better suited for men than for women, and women should not expect to be able to get them.  Etc.

If we, as a society, inevitably force people into indoctrinated ideas, then will not opposing one idea inevitably force people into the opposite idea? 

If so, perhaps we should then consider which idea we'd rather be indoctrinated into.  The one that forces people into pre-determined gender roles, or the one that allows them to choose for themselves which gender role they'd prefer and how to live them.  Which way leads to greater freedom?

Crunch

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2017, 12:08:19 PM »
Yeah, what's Bruce Jenner? Man or woman?

Why do you care?  Are you thinking of going to bed with her? :)
I bet that line kills at recess.  What are you, 12?
Which is really what it comes down to:  Why do you need to know?
Because you told me you could tell. I'm seeing if you really can.
If you're Jenner's doctor, you'd need to know that he is biologically male.

If he's competing in a women's sport, that might be germane.

But if you meet her on the street, what difference does it make?  Would you treat her differently?  How so?  And how would it affect you if you treated her as the other sex?

She identifies as a woman.  In all matters other than procreation and medical decisions (and perhaps physical sports), why shouldn't you treat her as such?  What difference does it make to you?

It doesn't take much to say, "She is biologically male, but considers herself female."  A few words.  No worse than saying, "She is biologically a hermaphrodite, but considers herself female."  And you don't get any vote in the latter. :)

So, you see, we still can differentiate between men and women.  You just do it in context.  It's not hard.
And that's the reality, you can't tell. I mean, you know the truth but you can't say it. That is FORBIDDEN speech. Right now, post-truth guys like you can think of the truth but you just can't really say it (probably why you resorted to juvenile outbursts). As pronouns are changed to meaninglessness, you won't even be able to think it. The truth will be malleable, changing as circumstance and ideology demands. Changing language is a way to control perception and thought, that's why Orwell created the concept of Newspeak - and why you try to engage in it.

Bruce is a man. Nothing changes that, it's indisputable biological science. No matter how strongly you believe that humans can change gender, they can't any more than a human can become a dog. As Bruce is pretending to be a woman, you are pretending that he is a woman too, participating in his delusion.

At first, I didn't really care. I thought it was kind of sad that he'd lost his sh** (what do those Kardashian chicks do to men?!?!) but if he wanted to wear a dress and play pretend then that was fine by me. I just didn't want to play along with the charade and believe it. Sure, I'll call him by whatever name he wants, I'm courteous. But unlike you, I am not going to actually *believe* that Bruce changed gender. Consequently, you need me to lose the idea of gender so I can join in the delusion. You can't have me not care, you are going to force me to care. Part of that is destroying language, making it impossible for people to have wrong thoughts. Nefarious as f*** is what that is.

DonaldD

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2017, 12:53:40 PM »
One of your challenges, Crunch, is that you are using a different definition of the word "gender" than is WS, conflating it with the definition of the word "sex". 

ScottF

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2017, 12:58:43 PM »
It's super strange to me that among progressives if I use scientific, biologically, genetically correct terms like "male"  when describing or referring to Jenner, I'm viewed as bigoted. It's all about science, facts and "anti-denier" in pretty much every category except for this one.

DonaldD

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2017, 01:03:57 PM »
You seem to be working under the same misapprehensions as is Crunch, Scott... including those associated to "progressives".  Gender by definition cannot be "genetically correct".

DonaldD

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2017, 01:15:18 PM »
For a historical perspective, in English at least, "gender" was not a word used to describe persons whatsoever until the 1950s, at which point the term was initially introduced into the language to describe the social construct definition that we use it for today.  One can reject the definition that evolved between 1950-1980, but to pretend that the word gender is somehow new, or this definition is new, is to simply refuse accepting reality.

The attempt to redefine gender to mean biological sex is actually much more recent, and in general is a response to the earlier definition.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 01:18:33 PM by DonaldD »

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2017, 01:15:52 PM »
ScottF, I wonder what the rest of your conversation is like while you're discussing Jenner? I suspect that part of their opinions might be informed by more than just saying "he".

ScottF

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2017, 01:23:23 PM »
You seem to be working under the same misapprehensions as is Crunch, Scott... including those associated to "progressives".  Gender by definition cannot be "genetically correct".

Where did I use the term gender?

ScottF

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2017, 01:25:58 PM »
ScottF, I wonder what the rest of your conversation is like while you're discussing Jenner? I suspect that part of their opinions might be informed by more than just saying "he".

Fair question. I tend to not really engage at all because the tax just isn't worth it. That said, from what I've seen the friction usually gets triggered by the first mention of "he", in any context really.

Wayward Son

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2017, 01:31:19 PM »
Yeah, what's Bruce Jenner? Man or woman?

Why do you care?  Are you thinking of going to bed with her? :)
I bet that line kills at recess.  What are you, 12?

I was trying to ascertain why you needed to know.  It was the first thing that came to my mind.  (And for a lot of people, the first reason that comes to their mind. :) )

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Which is really what it comes down to:  Why do you need to know?
Because you told me you could tell. I'm seeing if you really can.

Well, of course I can.  I can think of two ways to make sure.

1. Ask.  "Are you biologically male? Do you have a penis?"

2. Look.  It's not exactly subtle. :)

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If you're Jenner's doctor, you'd need to know that he is biologically male.

If he's competing in a women's sport, that might be germane.

But if you meet her on the street, what difference does it make?  Would you treat her differently?  How so?  And how would it affect you if you treated her as the other sex?

She identifies as a woman.  In all matters other than procreation and medical decisions (and perhaps physical sports), why shouldn't you treat her as such?  What difference does it make to you?

It doesn't take much to say, "She is biologically male, but considers herself female."  A few words.  No worse than saying, "She is biologically a hermaphrodite, but considers herself female."  And you don't get any vote in the latter. :)

So, you see, we still can differentiate between men and women.  You just do it in context.  It's not hard.
And that's the reality, you can't tell. I mean, you know the truth but you can't say it. That is FORBIDDEN speech. Right now, post-truth guys like you can think of the truth but you just can't really say it (probably why you resorted to juvenile outbursts). As pronouns are changed to meaninglessness, you won't even be able to think it. The truth will be malleable, changing as circumstance and ideology demands. Changing language is a way to control perception and thought, that's why Orwell created the concept of Newspeak - and why you try to engage in it.

Except that language cannot change physical attributes.  No matter what we call Bruce, he will still have the male genitalia, and we will have a word for such people to distinguish them from the other prevalent type, just like Finns can distinguish male and female animals.  No amount of Newspeak will change that.  It's just a silly scare tactic to expect it, especially from the change of a pronoun. :)

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Bruce is a man. Nothing changes that, it's indisputable biological science. No matter how strongly you believe that humans can change gender, they can't any more than a human can become a dog. As Bruce is pretending to be a woman, you are pretending that he is a woman too, participating in his delusion.

At first, I didn't really care. I thought it was kind of sad that he'd lost his sh** (what do those Kardashian chicks do to men?!?!) but if he wanted to wear a dress and play pretend then that was fine by me. I just didn't want to play along with the charade and believe it. Sure, I'll call him by whatever name he wants, I'm courteous. But unlike you, I am not going to actually *believe* that Bruce changed gender. Consequently, you need me to lose the idea of gender so I can join in the delusion. You can't have me not care, you are going to force me to care. Part of that is destroying language, making it impossible for people to have wrong thoughts. Nefarious as f*** is what that is.

As DonaldD pointed out, you are conflating "gender" with "sex."  Biologically, Jenner is male (unless something has changed recently :) ).  But gender has more to do with the social and cultural differences between the sexes,, and Jenner identifies more with the female gender.  That's how she wants to be treated by society, and I, just as you do, respect that.

The way we expect men to dress, act and behave verses how we expect women to dress, act and behave has little to nothing to do with which sex they are.  And the way we treat people should have little or nothing to do with which sex they are.

By demanding that people's gender conform to their biological sex, you are demanding the people conform to our cultural and societal norms of gender.  And who gave you the right to demand that other people conform to your ideals of what a man and a woman is?

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2017, 02:00:54 PM »
Except language absolutely is mutable, and what we mean by the word gender is in flux. Waywar's dictionary reference is reflecting the change in usage, I suspect if we looked up an entry from the 70s it might look different.

Just as the word "literally" has literally been changed (old usage) to include:

"Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling."

You can rail against this usage, but the key point is to facilitate communication. In what way does it facilitate communication to insist on calling a person according to your values, rather to their own? It's literally a train wreck.


DonaldD

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2017, 03:35:43 PM »
You seem to be working under the same misapprehensions as is Crunch, Scott... including those associated to "progressives".  Gender by definition cannot be "genetically correct".

Where did I use the term gender?
I was assuming the smallest amount of straw-man as possible.  If you really meant that progressives are out to label you as a bigot exclusively because you call someone "male" who is genetically/chromosomally male, then your definition of "progressives" is uselessly broad.

To wit: Wayward, do you self-identify as a progressive?  If so, do you also self-identify as a bigot?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 03:39:41 PM by DonaldD »

DonaldD

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2017, 04:02:46 PM »
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Except language absolutely is mutable, and what we mean by the word gender is in flux. Wayward's dictionary reference is reflecting the change in usage, I suspect if we looked up an entry from the 70s it might look different.
Maybe, but probably not in the way that many people think.  The word "gender" up until 1950 was not used to describe people at all, and certainly was not a synonym for "sex".  It's first application to people was to describe the very cultural concept that is up for debate here. 

The usage of "gender" as a synonym for "sex" only came later, primarily as a response to the the new usage of gender as the sociological descriptor for people on the masculine/feminine spectrum.  Basically, "gender" as a synonym for "sex" is the newest of the Newspeak. [/sarc]

Seriati

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2017, 06:08:56 PM »
For a historical perspective, in English at least, "gender" was not a word used to describe persons whatsoever until the 1950s, at which point the term was initially introduced into the language to describe the social construct definition that we use it for today.  One can reject the definition that evolved between 1950-1980, but to pretend that the word gender is somehow new, or this definition is new, is to simply refuse accepting reality.

That's an interesting take on it, derived from Wikipedia I believe.  However, you can look at other sources of etymology and see that the use of gender to refer to  sex has been documented back over 500 years, which kind of makes that argument a bit of myth.

Seriati

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2017, 06:37:55 PM »
If you want to be a dude in a dress, no matter how you identify, you should be able to do that without ridicule and derision.

Why?  Seriously, why should anyone be free from ridicule and derision as a right?  For that to have meaning it would have to be enforceable against other people and limit any right they have to expose someone to ridicule and derision.  What's the scope of that?

Should Trump be free from ridicule and derision, and you pay a fine if you violate that?

Should people calling police officers pigs pay a fine or be jailed?

Should someone claiming their cheating ex-spouse has a small sexual organ on Facebook, be fined or jailed?

I find this idea that Free Speech needs to go away because its hurtful to be so beyond the pale of good logic as to almost be a Twilight Zone episode.  It's terrifying that people who should know better see no problems with believing they have the right to censor others.  For years, it's been a blood insult from those on the left to claim someone was a book burner, turns out it's just a question of what books they want to burn.

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As far as consequences, would you take offense if someone used the wrong gender pronoun to refer to you, your friends, or your family?

I might, I might not, probably depends on context.  However, I wouldn't expect that as a result the state should require them to pay a $1000 fine or go to jail for it.  Are you really implying that this is an acceptable result?

The state has NO business regulating speech, for hate or for any other reason.  The consequences for engaging in bad speech are supposed to be social not legal.

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Would you shrug it off if a teacher enjoined her class to use a boy's preferred male pronoun rather than referring to him as she?

Not sure what you're asking.  I think given the power imbalance between a teacher and a student there are special concerns that don't generally apply to people at large, not to mention that  teachers are often literally employees of a branch of government and again subject to more stringent constraints on what they can say or do.

That said, I'd prefer that teachers always acted with respect.  I would never hold them responsible for not using a non-obvious preferred pronoun, unless they did it deliberately and with an intent to be mean.

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Is it indoctrination? Forcing people to think in new ways? Yes, I guess it is. Our alternative is to continue to allow people to be abused, harassed, slighted, and marginalized.

I get wanting change.  I really don't get being cool with the state indoctrinating people to make it happen.

This is literally straight out of the indoctrination camps of the hard communist societies. 
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 06:40:39 PM by Seriati »

Seriati

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2017, 06:46:41 PM »
Some do think so, that there shouldn't even be a concept of hate speech. The Supreme Court has upheld that, for sure, time and again.

Can you clarify?  Not sure what you think the SC "upheld" but would be interested in why you think it.

TheDeamon

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2017, 08:42:59 PM »
The state has NO business regulating speech, for hate or for any other reason.  The consequences for engaging in bad speech are supposed to be social not legal.

I can see marginal case for incitement(where a verifiable harm can be ascertained) via the "use of hate speech," much as there is a carve out for "hate crimes."

But aside from that, generally agreed. It's a "social issue" which outside of that scope should generally be handled on an individual basis rather than enshrined in law.

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #37 on: September 23, 2017, 10:42:13 AM »
Yeh, I can clarify (google) for you Seriati. A number of local ordinances have been tossed. The PTO has recently been ruled that "The Slants" is a cool band name, prompting many to register even more racist selection.

Nobody, literally nobody is getting fined or tossed in jail, even if every other word out of their mouth is a racial slur.

The constitution protects your right to be a flaming *censored*. When I say that people should be free of derision, I don't mean their detractors need to be jailed. I mean their detractors should be stripped of their job, their standing in their community, their everything.

Seriati

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2017, 10:21:51 PM »
Yeh, I can clarify (google) for you Seriati. A number of local ordinances have been tossed.

Thanks, I thought you were implying the opposite statement (that the SC had supported banning hate speech), which is why I wanted the clarity.

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Nobody, literally nobody is getting fined or tossed in jail, even if every other word out of their mouth is a racial slur.

Whether is enforceable is important, but I find it equally troubling that unConstitutional law's and ordinances are continually passed.  It costs a small fortune to fight the application of law, and it's ridiculous that people should have do that again and again.

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The constitution protects your right to be a flaming *censored*. When I say that people should be free of derision, I don't mean their detractors need to be jailed. I mean their detractors should be stripped of their job, their standing in their community, their everything.

Fair enough, but obviously some people do mean exactly that, that jail time should be forthcoming.

I also think that there's a lot of distasteful opinions that don't need a salted earth approach to combat.  In fact, I think the urge to purge those who are not ideologically pure is far scarier than the problems you want to combat.

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2017, 09:21:45 AM »
Obviously, if you go too far with that, you wind up creating far worse situations. Like, if you fire everyone who is a Trump supporter, you now have a lot of people roaming the streets convinced that they are oppressed by the system and fomenting revolution as their only recourse.

And thanks for asking for the clarification, the use of the word upheld led to the confusion, most likely. Their most recent case was an interesting one, that you could trademark a racial slur. In this case, it was a band calling themselves "The Slants". The SC ruled that the government cannot be in a position to say what constitutes a slur.

Fenring

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2017, 11:24:07 AM »
I think your notion that progressives have to point change in a particular direction is missing the point.  Greater freedom means people can do in any direction that does not interfere with other people's freedom.  So while some people are free to dress and act like 50's women (be they male or female), others are free to dress and act any other way they choose.  So your feminist friends are free to dress as gender neutral, while other women and Eddie Izzard are free to dress like 50's housewives.  (Eddie, AFAIK, is proud heterosexual man. :) )

If greater freedom was the sole goal of progressives then it would be a little less ambiguous as to what's going on. But actually that's not what's happening at all. There's quite a splintered set of factions that seem to have divergent goals which seem to me to be mutually exclusive from each other. You have some groups that want to do away with gender associations and others that want to heavily emphasize them but to swap roles, as it were. You have some saying they just want to be left to do as they will, while others are quite strident about having others recognize and acknowledge something about their lifestyle and identity. You have some people that want to be free to have their own beliefs, while others insist that others accept and validate those beliefs. In short, there is no one group that is ' the progressive movement', and some factions get a lot of more traction than others in a given year or decade. The wheel turns, but not always in the same direction. This is one reason why I do think that, yes, merely 'progressing' is not an achievement in and of itself, unless it's progressing towards something tangible and clear that is understood as being a good destination. The premise some people seem to have is that any progress is good progress, but there is such a thing as regression or simply going off in a new wrong direction.

It's easy to go No True Scotsman with groups like Antifa and say that they're not really progressives in the sense that's intended, but that's the whole problem, isn't it? In the end who really is that fabled Scotsman when there is so much internal contradiction among progressive movements? It's not necessarily a problem that there are divergent progressive views, that it makes for problematic terminology when someone self-identifies as 'a progressive'. Does that mean they must therefore endorse all the variant progressive views, or defend them, or whatever? Sometimes I feel that this is actually the case, because apparently progressive people have a tough time denouncing some kinds of progressive theory whole endorsing others. I think this tendency hurts the left as a whole.


Fenring

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #41 on: September 25, 2017, 11:38:42 AM »
The way we expect men to dress, act and behave verses how we expect women to dress, act and behave has little to nothing to do with which sex they are.  And the way we treat people should have little or nothing to do with which sex they are.

Really? You think physiology has nothing to do with how standard male/female dress has come about? You think that the respective biological roles in creating children has nothing to do with it either? I will suggest to you that you're assuming so many things that you may not even realize how much you're assuming when you make statements like this, and I can assure you they're assumptions that have no basis in science or aesthetic theory. You're free to suggest that as man-woman ceases to be the automatic definition of a couple that perhaps the gender roles can be re-evaluated based on new combinations of persons in relationships, but the biology still is what it is, and in any case the historical reasons why things came to be the way they are don't disappear just because a theory is now prominent. Note that I'm referring specifically to your claim that gender roles and costume have little or nothing to do with biological sex at this point.

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By demanding that people's gender conform to their biological sex, you are demanding the people conform to our cultural and societal norms of gender.  And who gave you the right to demand that other people conform to your ideals of what a man and a woman is?

Careful with this, because when you approach factual matters through a social constructivist lens you basically assert that there are no facts, only cultural constructs. It's the same school of thought that asserts that science is just a cultural bias rather than a factual investigation, and that one person's perceptions are completely disjointed from another's and that there are no solid facts to connect them. I say this because your premise seems to be that gender is a social and cultural construct. I can see how a theory that this is so could be put forward for study, but you say it like it's an established fact. Where has it been established? It seems to me that every culture in history has has a clear-cut distinction between men and women in terms of expectations, attire, roles in the workplace, and so forth, and even so in matriarchal societies. Has every culture ever been wrong about this, and have conspired to actively concoct male/female gender roles despite the fact that biological sex many vary?

« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 11:41:44 AM by Fenring »

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2017, 12:08:31 PM »
Really? You think physiology has nothing to do with how standard male/female dress has come about? You think that the respective biological roles in creating children has nothing to do with it either?

I'm going to be fascinated to see how you think this is true. I'm no expert on clothing, but I believe it largely derived from cultural and functional roles - hunter vs gatherer. Now if you meant to say "tending and raising" children that might get closer. Even so, the variety of dress in primitive cultures is quite limited compared to that in later cultures. Since biology was very little changed over 6000 years, one might think that most of this is attributed to cultural values?

At any rate, this has about as much bearing on modern society as why men bow and women curtsy.

TheDeamon

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2017, 01:34:39 AM »
The way we expect men to dress, act and behave verses how we expect women to dress, act and behave has little to nothing to do with which sex they are.  And the way we treat people should have little or nothing to do with which sex they are.

Really? You think physiology has nothing to do with how standard male/female dress has come about? You think that the respective biological roles in creating children has nothing to do with it either? I will suggest to you that you're assuming so many things that you may not even realize how much you're assuming when you make statements like this, and I can assure you they're assumptions that have no basis in science or aesthetic theory.

I'm kind of laughing at both sides of this. Modern standards of dress(and by "modern" I actually mean "industrial era") have little to no bearing on physiology or logic. Physiologically speaking, no male should ever wear pants, shorts, spandex pants, or any other form of garment which keeps their testes closer to their body than it would be on its own. The entire point of it "dangling" out there in the first place was to keep the testes cool, in order to improve the viability of their sperm count. This is medically verifiable too, this is widely available information for men/couples who undergo counseling for fertility issues--their pants and underwear choices could very well be part of the problem, as is pointed to as one of the simpler options for couples to pursue early on.

Likewise, for both genders there are other physiological consequences of wearing garments which restrict the free-flow of air in and around that particular region of the body specifically, although women in particular are more susceptible, men are not entirely immune, and that their clothing choices could either amplify or mitigate said issues.  However, "social norms"  tend to favor the options that amplify rather than mitigate.

Most of the social expectations revolving around dress, for either gender, has more to do social expectations and the maintenance of expectations or presentation/maintenance of illusions/facades than it has to do with anything else. A lot of this has to do with pre-industrial times when clothing was much harder to come by, so if Mr. and Mrs. Jones turned up wearing many square yards worth of fabric between them, that meant you had to follow suit if you wanted to demonstrate you were "at their level." Thankfully the Victorian Era extremes have been backed down from(where women in particular could be wearing multiple (full) bolts of cloth as a single garment), but we're still left with "the leftovers" from that time.

We still play games over the quality, coloring, and condition of the fabrics, the tailoring/"cut" of the garments being worn, so on and so forth however. After all, "the suit(/dress) makes the man"(or woman) even today in the business world.

There are, of course, other reasons for wearing clothing, but the primary purpose still cycles to clothing being demonstrations of power. Either on the part of the person wearing the clothing they're in, or on the part of the person being compelled to wear whatever they're in. Even then, that demonstration may be little more than a carefully constructed facade.

That is even before getting into some of the more laughable feminist theories on the matter, where they really should be looking back at themselves rather than blaming "the patriarchy" for a fair bit of what has gone on there historically. The idea of "the disempowered woman" in cultures with longstanding monogamous practices specifically is so laughably bad in general as to warrant serious questioning on that ground alone. That isn't to say women weren't abused, or that the abuse wasn't common. But to claim that the abuse was anywhere near universal is trying to build a bridge over the desert, and for those women who weren't being abused, you can be sure they were "defending their territory" and not shy about showing their claws when it came to their own self-interests, which meant creating (social) traps and pitfalls for other women to fall into. Almost guaranteed that many/most social customs, in particular in regards to "high society" (at least in Christianity) were created at the behest of influential women, as I have serious doubts about many men being bothered to go about creating such a convoluted system if left to their own devices(as they'd rather have more choices over fewer).

TheDeamon

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #44 on: September 26, 2017, 02:32:50 AM »
I'm going to be fascinated to see how you think this is true. I'm no expert on clothing, but I believe it largely derived from cultural and functional roles - hunter vs gatherer. Now if you meant to say "tending and raising" children that might get closer. Even so, the variety of dress in primitive cultures is quite limited compared to that in later cultures. Since biology was very little changed over 6000 years, one might think that most of this is attributed to cultural values?

Modes of dress have changed considerably in many parts of the world in the past 200 years particularly. Of course, 200+ years ago, for much of the world, it was fairly normal for many/most people in the world(outside of Europe + its colonies...and even then) to go about in little more than a loin-cloth. It took the early industrial age + a burgeoning textile industry + a European(Christian) "mission to civilize the savages" (that didn't really gain traction in much of the world until the 19th Century) to start gaining much traction. That said, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that even in Europe as late as the early 20th Century, seeing even "a good Christian" (adult) wearing next to nothing wouldn't have been considered particularly unusual. Seeing children in even less being reasonably common outside of certain urban areas. You go digging around and you can find 100+ year old pictures of children in Trafalgar Square among other places in the all together, given that Edwardian England was right on the heels of Victorian England, I think that says something about where we've gone since then. Any parent that let their kid go naked in Trafalgar Square today would likely be locked away and have their parental rights revoked, but its the Victorians who were repressed(and repressive).

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At any rate, this has about as much bearing on modern society as why men bow and women curtsy.

Can't explain the curtsy, but the bowing is to expose your neck to the person you are bowing to, as a show of respect/submission to their authority. Because they could easily strike you down(aka kill you) while you did so. (and consequentially, the deeper the bow, the more vulnerability--respect, that would be demonstrated)

Much as the handshake allegedly also has origins evidently tied to weapon use as well -- and why only men shook hands until comparatively recently.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 02:35:17 AM by TheDeamon »

TheDrake

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #45 on: September 26, 2017, 08:37:42 AM »
As I recall, the curtsy was another Victorian invention. In earlier times both men and women had similar bows in western society. It was those giant dresses that made bending over rather impractical.

TheDeamon

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2017, 10:04:05 AM »
As I recall, the curtsy was another Victorian invention. In earlier times both men and women had similar bows in western society. It was those giant dresses that made bending over rather impractical.

As I think about it further, you're probably close, but not quite. Given that corsets were all the rage during the 19th Century, it is entirely likely that the curtsy was a consequence of particularly tight/rigid corsets and bodices rendered many women practically incapable of bowing while wearing them. Thus it was easier for them to bend at the legs and arms than at the abdomen. Boobs "going wild" as their torso orientation leaves vertical may have been another consideration, but with no practical experience with such garments(or to gain it first hand), it is hard to call. I know those garments were notorious for their lack of flexibility, among other things.

Fenring

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2017, 12:07:51 PM »
Physiologically speaking, no male should ever wear pants, shorts, spandex pants, or any other form of garment which keeps their testes closer to their body than it would be on its own.

I mentioned that clothing is going to relate to physiology *and* aesthetics. It's strange you should interpret these as being exclusive categories. I wasn't referring to the physiological needs of a man or woman and that clothing ought to act in a medical capacity specific to each sex. It's about the design and layout of the body, and about ways in which to show that off while looking distinct from the opposite sex. It's about mating, but not just that, because often a person will dress to impress those of the same sex as well (e.g. those whom they are not sexually interested in). This eliminates the 'because men want it' or 'because women like it' angle as a sole explanation of why these things look good, and should indicate to us that there are biological truths driving what does or doesn't look good that goes beyond sexual attraction. Hence why I mentioned aesthetics.

Incidentally, there's no reason why pants should be restrictive to men. A loin cloth would be used to protect the pants from getting dirty, but I wonder how long it really went on where those were very tight. Nowadays some people still wear that by choice even where there are alternatives, so I don't see a good case even in this context for the clothing defying function. You just miss out that one function is chosen over another. In any case this aspect of clothing isn't what I was addressing.

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Most of the social expectations revolving around dress, for either gender, has more to do social expectations and the maintenance of expectations or presentation/maintenance of illusions/facades than it has to do with anything else. A lot of this has to do with pre-industrial times when clothing was much harder to come by, so if Mr. and Mrs. Jones turned up wearing many square yards worth of fabric between them, that meant you had to follow suit if you wanted to demonstrate you were "at their level."

The bolded part is a case of begging the question, insofar as you're asserting as a premise the very thing I'm contesting. The second part, that there are economic factors involved, is definitely true. But again - are the economics of this arbitrary, or based on actual demand for something that has actual value? For instance, if I buy an Armani tailored suit versus buying a discount $50 suit off a rack, is there any difference there other than social expectation, conspicuous consumption, and cultural context? You bet there is. The Armani suit is going to be vastly superior in most every way, including the materials used, the comfort, the fit, and most importantly, it's going to make the person look much, much better. That is aesthetics at work, and that's what you're paying for. It's not some lie, or socially-agreed upon way of tricking ourselves. The Armani is the better suit, full stop. Maybe women will go for it, maybe men will admire it, but bottom line the thing is going to look really good. That's a fact based in the biology of the man's body and what sorts of things make it look better rather than worse.

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There are, of course, other reasons for wearing clothing, but the primary purpose still cycles to clothing being demonstrations of power.

Oh man, I think you're woefully out of touch about the reasons people like to buy nice clothing. Maybe in some elite business circles (a la American Psycho) you'll get people sizing each other up based on the price tag of their shoes and suit, but 99.9% of the population doesn't do this and is essentially concerned with the magic point where comfort and aesthetics meet what they can reasonably afford.

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That is even before getting into some of the more laughable feminist theories on the matter, where they really should be looking back at themselves rather than blaming "the patriarchy" for a fair bit of what has gone on there historically. The idea of "the disempowered woman" in cultures with longstanding monogamous practices specifically is so laughably bad in general as to warrant serious questioning on that ground alone. That isn't to say women weren't abused, or that the abuse wasn't common. But to claim that the abuse was anywhere near universal is trying to build a bridge over the desert, and for those women who weren't being abused, you can be sure they were "defending their territory" and not shy about showing their claws when it came to their own self-interests, which meant creating (social) traps and pitfalls for other women to fall into. Almost guaranteed that many/most social customs, in particular in regards to "high society" (at least in Christianity) were created at the behest of influential women, as I have serious doubts about many men being bothered to go about creating such a convoluted system if left to their own devices(as they'd rather have more choices over fewer).

This part I agree with, since dress is rarely something merely imposed on one party by another, especially in nominally free countries (in places with Sharia law the case is different). But remember that whatever forms (cultural, social, power, etc) are in place to enforce things like taboo, what is acceptable, and so forth, none of that has anything to do with the *why* of a garment looking good on someone. Scientific tests have already demonstrated that human beauty is not some social construct since infants tend to agree with adults on what is a beautiful face. I believe you will see in time that tests will show that visual aesthetics, including for fashion, are more based in the way the body and brain are put together than in some cultural bias or another. Things look good because they look good, not because we pretend they do and not because we've gotten so used to it that now we're brainwashed.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 12:10:16 PM by Fenring »

Wayward Son

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2017, 04:53:49 PM »
It's an interesting argument, Fenring, that the different sexes wear different clothing because they look better in them, but it is belied by a simple fact:  some men look very good in women's clothing.

For example, there is The Crying Game. :)

While men's and women's clothing is tailored to the average man and woman's body, many people simply are not average.  They would look fine in either clothing.  (Lord knows most women look quite good in men's clothing, but that might just be me. :) )  And the word "tailored" should tell you why certain clothing looks better on one sex vs. the other.  I'm sure nice dresses could be tailored to look good on the average man--assuming you can find average men who would want to wear them. :)

Styles are dictated far more by culture than by how they look on an individual.  And the prohibitions to wearing them are dictated by the culture.  Otherwise, we would see many more exceptions by those who look better in clothing for the other sex.

Wayward Son

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Re: Funny way to show support
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2017, 05:24:18 PM »
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It's easy to go No True Scotsman with groups like Antifa and say that they're not really progressives in the sense that's intended, but that's the whole problem, isn't it? In the end who really is that fabled Scotsman when there is so much internal contradiction among progressive movements? It's not necessarily a problem that there are divergent progressive views, that it makes for problematic terminology when someone self-identifies as 'a progressive'. Does that mean they must therefore endorse all the variant progressive views, or defend them, or whatever? Sometimes I feel that this is actually the case, because apparently progressive people have a tough time denouncing some kinds of progressive theory whole endorsing others. I think this tendency hurts the left as a whole.

When you lump people into groups, it is very hard to get them to agree perfectly.  They will agree on certain generalities, but differ on the finer points.

Look at the Republican Party, for example.  They all agree that we should get rid of Obamacare.  Practically all of the members of Congress have campaigned on that issue.  But they can't agree on how.  Some want to reduce the fiscal impacts no matter what.  Others want to keep most of the program.  The President promised to replace it with something better.  So they keep blocking each other on replacement.  And this is without any input from Democrats!

So while it's hard to get progressives to agree on the progressive ideology, it is also hard to get Republicans to agree on Republican ideology, and  Conservatives to agree on Conservative ideology, and so on.  While it may hurt progressives that they cannot agree on a single theory, it is a common problem, one that hurts all movements in the U.S., if not everywhere.