Things we are uncomfortable talking about can be things we need to talk about

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This topic contains 78 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Autumn 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #43898

    Unseen
    Participant

    I don’t know about elsewhere, but in the U.S. many people seem to find it hard to answer what seems to be a simple question:

    What is a woman?

    Just a few years ago, most of us knew the answer. You know…someone like our mother or our sister or Mrs. Dudley the elementary school teacher. Or ourselves.

    In a similar way, we seemed to know what a man is.

    BUT THEN, a certain member of the American Senate, Marsha Blackburn, asked the then nominee to the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown, the question posed above and it became a phenomenon when Judge Brown seemed incapable of marshaling a reply. Of course, I understand her problem. She’s a judge and is used to terms of art and considering context when using terms, but the optics were horrible.

    We know all about sex reassignment, gender dysphoria, LGBTQ+, and even cross dressing, but isn’t defining “man” and “woman” basically a simple matter?

    A guy named Matt Walsh made a movie where he went around and asked people, some on the street and some expert academics the question and the people on the street for the most part (unless they were politically active though the question silly and the academics failed to give a definition or gave a tautological definition like “A woman is someone who identifies as a woman” which only makes sense if they know what a woman is. (But, if you know what a woman is then you don’t need the tautology, you can just produce a definition without bringing identity into it.)

    Now, yes, I’m sure he’s a fire-breathing conservative who is also probably against abortion as well. And yet, it’s hard not to identify with his frustration and amazement at the total weirdness he runs into simply asking “What is a woman?” and being treated like he’s asking some sort of trick question.

    #43901

    Autumn
    Participant

    The way we defined ‘man’ and ‘woman’ prior to this point in time rested way more on cultural norms than we’d like to admit. As that’s coming undone, it’s difficult to call up on older definitions without invoking concepts that increasingly feel like nonsense.

    If you start your definition from biological reproduction, you’re starting in a good place. If you’re ending there, you’re not ending in a good place. XX/ XY is a very useful generalization. It’s functional with regard to human reproduction. As long as you don’t treat it dogmatically or lose perspective on it, it’s not a big deal.

    Even biologically, the idea of XX/ XY is a little misleading for many. The reality isn’t that neat and tidy. And that’s just fine. If you look at these chromosomes as their constituent parts, they aren’t identical units like lego pieces used to build men and women according to a fixed plan. They’re varied. If you go up a level to how those sex chromosomes are expressed in humans, again, it’s varied. Humans don’t separate out that easily into two perfectly discreet camps based on biology.

    Add to that the fact that we add on so much cultural noise to the definitions of man and woman, and suddenly it gets a whole lot messier.

    Realistically, the definition of man and woman didn’t really change at its root so much as it expanded its border. We now are more likely to recognize intersex conditions and gender identity. We’re more likely to recognize a distinction between what is biological and what is cultural (and the blurred line between the two). We’re more likely to dispense with social conventions separating men and women a matter of decades ago thus reducing the need to define man and woman as rigidly as we did before. Moving on from a previous paradigm is often a little messy. Just let it be messy for awhile. It’s not that big of a deal.

    #43902

    Belle Rose
    Participant

    @unseen,

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I laughed SO hard in that video 😂

    #43903

    Belle Rose
    Participant

    What is a Woman:

    A female homo sapien.

    BAM 😂

    #43904

    Belle Rose
    Participant

    A male homo sapien is a MAN

    If one or the other identifies as the opposite gender they are TRANS men or women.

    Right?

    #43905

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If one or the other identifies as the opposite gender they are TRANS men or women.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    #43906

    Noel
    Participant

    At the doctors a while back. Overhead the receptionist speaking with an EMT about why they had to ask patients if they were born a woman. Seems that a woman came in complaining about abdominal pain. Doctors tried every exam they knew off. Passed it off as irritable bowel syndrome. Finally a nurse asked the question, “we’re you born a woman?”  Patient said no. She had prostate cancer.

    #43907

    Unseen
    Participant

    My video favorite was the white, blond, seemingly male (presenting as male?), women’s studies professor, who all but stood on his head to avoid answering “What is a woman?” In the end, he gave the circular reply “A woman is someone who identifies as a woman.” “Okay, but, what is a woman?”

    Gosh, if the  Democrats don’t stop defending all this pronouns and “there are as many genders as there are people” stuff, we’ll have Trump or DiSantis or some other GOP Neanderthal back in The White House instead of someone who might do something about women’s reproductive rights, the climate, homelessness, etc.

    Are the gender wars the hill the Democrats are ready to die on?

    #43908

    Unseen
    Participant

    At the doctors a while back. Overhead the receptionist speaking with an EMT about why they had to ask patients if they were born a woman. Seems that a woman came in complaining about abdominal pain. Doctors tried every exam they knew off. Passed it off as irritable bowel syndrome. Finally a nurse asked the question, “we’re you born a woman?”  Patient said no. She had prostate cancer.

    Great story that illustrates that people who are actively making words like “woman,” “man,” “female,” and “male” ambiguous are spreading a notion that has its dangers.

    We are a mammalian species and we have no trouble saying whether our dog or cat, our cattle, the birds and the bees are male or female. If an ambiguous creature were to be born, a hermaphroditic cat, for example, we’d still know what a more typical cat is in a binary way. The ones that aren’t anatomically binary are exceptions, some pathological and some not, but it doesn’t challenge our notion of what it is to be female or male for a cat or a human.

    We do need a definition of these terms. And I pretty much go along with Belle Rose and the “Because I’ve got a dick” guy in the video.

    Sure, I understand and accept a male who identifies as female, for example, but only as long as I have an understanding of what males and females are. And for that, as Belle Rose said, we have biology.

    #43909

    Autumn
    Participant

    Noel wrote:
    At the doctors a while back. Overhead the receptionist speaking with an EMT about why they had to ask patients if they were born a woman. Seems that a woman came in complaining about abdominal pain. Doctors tried every exam they knew off. Passed it off as irritable bowel syndrome. Finally a nurse asked the question, “we’re you born a woman?” Patient said no. She had prostate cancer.

    This doesn’t really necessitate doctors asking as a matter of general practice. Doctors treat patients who are varied in too many ways to count. They ask questions as needed—at times awkward questions—hope patients answer honestly, and provide the best diagnosis they can based on that and test results. In this case, the process worked since the patient got their diagnosis.

    Trans people generally accept that there may be medical reasons where sex-specific traits may be relevant. Problematically, discrimination in medicine is a common enough experience that trans people are often reluctant to tell medical professionals they are trans unless there is a reason.

    #43910

    _Robert_
    Participant

    I think it’s such a non-issue as far as interacting with other adults…be true to yourself and I respect that. I am not as sure about minors receiving drugs or elective surgery without having mental health professionals involved.

    #43911

    Autumn
    Participant

    I think it’s such a non-issue as far as interacting with other adults…be true to yourself and I respect that. I am not as sure about minors receiving drugs or elective surgery without having mental health professionals involved.

    Minors don’t receive drugs or elective surgery without medical professionals involved. ‘Mental health’ is a holdover from when this was considered primarily a mental health issue. Mental health counselling can still be relevant in many cases, and ideally, young children presenting with incongruence of gender would have access to specialists; however, resources often aren’t available.

    One way or another, at the onset of puberty, hormones become an issue. If the youth isn’t transgender and cross-sex hrt is given, then that will result in negative outcomes. If the child is transgender and cross-sex hrt is denied, that will result in negative outcomes. There isn’t a neutral, non-intervention option once the individual is displaying signs of gender incongruence and is seeking medical treatment. Going through the wrong puberty for their gender identity will cause harm. The closest neutral option we have right now is GnRH agonists to delay the developments of puberty until such time that individuals can make a more informed decision as teens supported by medical practitioners.

    Surgical interventions are not offered until the age of majority or the ordinary limits for medical consent. The only cases I know of where parents can have such surgeries done on children are with regard to children with intersex conditions, and that’s a huge ethical problem of its own.

    Children aren’t shapeless lumps until they hit eighteen at which point they’re magically endowed with the wisdom to know if they truly should live as a woman, a man, or non-binary person. Most of us have a sense of our identity developing from early childhood and sadly that can’t just be put on hold for the sake of squeamish adults. We apply the best medical care we can.

    #43912

    Unseen
    Participant

    I think it’s such a non-issue as far as interacting with other adults…be true to yourself and I respect that. I am not as sure about minors receiving drugs or elective surgery without having mental health professionals involved.

    As my Jewish childhood neighbor lady might have said, “And parents? What are they? Chopped liver?” Nowadays, when it comes to some important life-altering changes, the parents are lucky to even get input, much less giving permission.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  Unseen.
    #43914

    Autumn
    Participant

    Parents are usually involved in the medical process save for contentious cases such as emancipation, disagreements between parents/ custodial cases, cases where the parents want medical treatment to be denied and the courts have to determine if the patient is competent to make decisions for themselves.

    Parents have rights in the medical treatment of their children, but they aren’t absolute. Children aren’t property. They are human beings, Giving parents absolute dominion would enable abusive scenarios.

    #43915

    _Robert_
    Participant

     Most of us have a sense of our identity developing from early childhood and sadly that can’t just be put on hold for the sake of squeamish adults. We apply the best medical care we can.

    Yea it’s that “most of us” part that requires some vetting by professionals. A closeted gay classmate of mine in high school was all alone in their trans struggles, I am pretty sure, and it ended in suicide. There were a lot of guilty Catholics, but a more typical accidental student death a week later sort of changed the subject (to their relief it seemed to me).

    I agree as far as ’18 Y/O’ age of consent is concerned, the range of development is as wide as the Mississippi, but I guess you have to draw that legal line somewhere. I am sure the trans-haters play up all sorts of bullshit horror stories about minors being “influenced” by people with pro-trans agendas; I have seen several click-bait articles, but I didn’t go there.

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