Football doesn’t make sense to me »« Artisanal Toast?

Losing sight of all the bad

A while back, everyone — Democrats included — were saying that Chris Christie seemed to be a moderate Republican. The Tea Party hated him, and liberals were saying he wasn’t so bad. He reminds me a lot of this current pope, getting a free ride because of superficialities while everyone overlooks the actual details of what he does.

But maybe the current scandals he’s facing are chumming the waters so that the media will actually take a look at his policies. Latest case in point: denying transgender people the right to amend their gender identification.

While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) navigates scandals about blocked bridges and misused hurricane-relief funds, he’s continuing to conduct business as usual, and on Monday that included vetoing a bill that would make it easier for transgender people to obtain amended birth certificates. Assembly Bill 4097, passed by the legislature in recent months, would allow trans people to change their gender identification without undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

Just remember: “business as usual” for a Republican is oppression and discrimination, and Christie is no exception.

Comments

  1. unbound says

    Remember that a moderate Republican of today would have been an extremist shit-bag 30 years ago. Both parties have shifted to the right a lot.

  2. borax says

    Christie reminds me of Jon Huntsman. He’s put forth as a reasonable candidate because he doesn’t say as much stupid shit as his peers, but when it comes to his actual voting record he’s the same as any other Republican.

  3. frog says

    He’s also against marriage equality. It doesn’t seem to be a religious thing (surely he would work the religion angle harder if he had one), more of the usual “men with men is icky!” nonsense. Being anti-trans*people would be right in line with that.

    The best thing I’ve heard him called is a buffoon. At this point I’m pleased his in-your-face style is so grating to much of the country. Imagine what damage he could do if he were personable.

  4. petemoulton says

    You’re being a little naive about this, PZ. There’s no way on earth the supine corporate media will ever delve into Christie’s (many) wrongdoings. He may be the world’s biggest asshole, but he’s a rethuglican, so he gets a miss.

  5. borax says

    And as a note on transgender surgery (from a cis-gendered straight male who may get a lot wrong). It seems to be very expensive and I assume may not be wanted by all people who identify as transgender.

  6. Irreverend Bastard says

    One day, far, far in the future, race and gender won’t matter. No forms will ever ask for race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Because it’s completely irrelevant. We’ll all be equal. Clothes will be gender-neutral. Schwarzenegger in a pink miniskirt and fishnet stockings won’t raise any eyebrows. We’ll all be free to dress however we want.

    Far, far in the future.

    And in the US, even further in the future. Because, dudes, you’re obsessed with that shit.

  7. Becca Stareyes says

    Irreverend Bastard @ &

    It will always matter to some people, but as a personal piece of identity. (And perhaps the ‘race’ will be closer to ‘ethnicity’, reflecting the culture of oneself and one’s ancestors, rather than how we group them based on physical variations.) Knowing that Jane sees herself as female and African-American*, or that Bob is male and Welsh would tell you a piece of Jane and Bob, but so would knowing that Bob considers himself a giant comic book geek, and Jane is a Cubs fan who regularly goes to games.

    * Because at this point, I think ‘American descended from West African slaves’ is a distinct identity from the various West African cultures.

  8. scott says

    There was an interesting throwaway line on Maddow last night. The Romney campaign vetted Christie pretty hard as a VP candidate… and they went with the zombie-eyed granny-starver instead. Wonder just what they found?

  9. says

    I can identify with the need for changing genders on identification, but a lot of people don’t realize how it can be abused.

    What’s stopping a guy from changing the sex on his birth certificate in order to legally use women’s washrooms, participate in women’s sports, and worst of all, enter MMA competitions where he can now legally beat on women?

    I’m not agreeing with what Chris is promoting, but it’s not as black and white an issue as either side thinks it is.

  10. says

    philisyssis
    I am doing my utmost to respect the three post rule and not just rip into you. That said, this is bullshit on the same level as the bathroom pervert crap. Just knock it the fuck off.

  11. kevinalexander says

    I can see his presidential ads now.
    Christie! Cause he’ll bring Jersey politics to Washington!

  12. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    philisyssis: I suppose you win some kind of award for all the transphobic panics in one short sentence, plus a dig at Fallon Fox, who is in fact a woman.

  13. David Marjanović says

    What’s stopping a guy from changing the sex on his birth certificate in order to legally use women’s washrooms, participate in women’s sports, and worst of all, enter MMA competitions where he can now legally beat on women?

    Imagine how much fun that person’s daily life must be.

    Go ahead, try.

  14. Nentuaby says

    Philisyssis, go read Zinnia Jones’ blog for an hour or two. Don’t comment there, just read her material. She’s answered all that about 90 time over.

  15. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    Borax @ #6: You’re right, the numbers of surgeries that are thought of together as gender confirmation surgery add up pretty intensely. The cost is well above what most people (not least trans* people, who unfortunately face job problems when they do transition) have lying around. And not everyone has the same dysphorias about the same parts, and really should not have to undergo unwanted, extremely complicated and expensive surgery to satisfy someone else’s bizarre genital obsessions in order to change a marker on a driver’s license.

    This is of course, not even touching non-binary identified people, for whom there is not even a standard stereotype of surgeries (should they wish surgical intervention, some do, some prefer just hormonal transition, some none at all), and pretty much never have the opportunity to not lie on their documentation anyway.

  16. futurechemist says

    @8

    To reinforce your observation, check out the Presidential graph here: http://voteview.com/blog/?p=735

    … and the last four Congressional graphs here: http://www.voteview.com/political_polarization.asp

    Thanks for the graphs! What really jumped out at me was how over the past 40 years, Congressional Democrats haven’t really changed much while the Republicans have gotten much more conservative. That and the gerrymandering trend towards a much more polarized Congress have contributed to the recent stalemates.

    Also for presidents, the difference within a party is much tinier than the difference than the differences between parties. That is, the difference between the most and least liberal Democrats (Carter vs Obama/LBJ) is miniscule compared to the difference between the most conservative Democrat and most liberal Republican (Obama/LBJ vs Eisenhower).

  17. futurechemist says

    Forgot to mention, more on topic for Christie, he’s been kind of inconsistent (but mostly bad) on LGBT rights. He vetoed this bills on transgender rights and same-sex marriage, but he did sign the bill banning orientation change therapies for minors. When he signed the latter, he openly said that he thought being gay wasn’t a choice, so I don’t understand how he can say it’s an intrinsic part of being a person, but then vote against laws supporting that.

  18. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Borax:

    And as a note on [SRS/GCS] (from a cis-gendered straight male who may get a lot wrong). It seems to be very expensive and I assume may not be wanted by all people who identify as transgender.

    Or, y’know, people may want it and then think, “Tuskeegee!”

    As a white trans* person I find it hard enough to trust clinicians with my body. A black trans person from Alabama who actually knows anything at all about the history of medical racism? I can’t imagine wanting to set foot in a hospital, much less volunteer to let someone knock me out and wield a knife on my body while I’m unconscious.

    Wanting surgery is one thing.
    Affording surgery is another.
    Being able to find an actual doctor you can trust?

    Something else yet again.

  19. zibble says

    @6 borax

    And as a note on transgender surgery (from a cis-gendered straight male who may get a lot wrong). It seems to be very expensive and I assume may not be wanted by all people who identify as transgender.

    Yes, and there are other problems too. For one, there really isn’t a good FtM bottom surgery. Converting a penis into a vagina is a lot easier than building a penis wholesale – at best, it still involves replacing functional genitals with non-functioning ones.

    Also: bottom surgery necessarily involves being sterilized. A law requiring people to be sterilized on the basis of being a disliked minority is more than a little eugenics-y.

    Why is it so typical for “small-government” Republicans to defend mandating fucking *surgery*? Yes, it’s inappropriate for our government to regulate corporations – instead, they should regulate our bodies through compulsory surgery. I wish more people got that joke.

  20. Rich Woods says

    @futurechemist #21:

    When he signed the latter, he openly said that he thought being gay wasn’t a choice, so I don’t understand how he can say it’s an intrinsic part of being a person, but then vote against laws supporting that.

    Because he’s a politician. Hypocrisy is in the job description.

  21. razzlefrog says

    I have mixed feelings about this. Do birth certificates display sex or gender? The latter is constructed, the former isn’t. (From what I*** gather. Subject to change with new information. Preferably, via book recommendations about sex and its usefulness/uselessness, written by accredited doctors and scientists and not sociologists.) If it’s sex, I can see where keeping it is meaningful. If it’s gender (I really have to wonder how one would assess gender in an infant), that could obviously only be determined by the individual.

    Maybe if we arranged it so that the need to provide sex information didn’t stalk trans people in their daily lives on forms and whatnot, we could cut out some (and ideally, all) of the unwanted invasion of privacy. By just getting rid of that info requirement for everyone. But I don’t know, that introduces its own complications.

    This really seems like a messy situation.

  22. says

    Dalillama:

    philisyssis
    I am doing my utmost to respect the three post rule and not just rip into you.

    Oh, feel free to rip in. They aren’t new here, and came damn close to being banned at one point (or they were banned and got out under amnesty. Can’t remember now.)

  23. says

    If the things that I brought up aren’t even worth being discussed, please at least give me the courtesy of a polite explanation as to why.

  24. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @philisyssis:

    You have. They’ve been discussed. In particular:

    I can identify with the need for changing genders on identification, but a lot of people don’t realize how it can be abused.

    1. Oh, no one ever mentions the possibility that non-trans* folk will use the lack of trans* oppression to commit sexually related crimes, primarily victimizing women? Do tell!
    …Like tell a single fucking source for how many people “don’t realize how it can be abused”. Or did you just make up a general statement of ignorance that you thought couldn’t be falsified, then assert it as if it were fact while fully conscious of your deception?

    2. Feel free to cite the abusable provisions in the bill. Can a non-trans* person actually do that under this bill? Really? How? Or when you said,

    a lot of people don’t realize how it can be abused.

    were you just trying to make clear that you have no idea how it can – or can’t – be abused?

    But wait! Here’s a scenario!

    What’s stopping a guy from changing the sex on his birth certificate in order to legally use women’s washrooms, participate in women’s sports, and worst of all, enter MMA competitions where he can now legally beat on women?

    Ooops. Wait again. It’s just a question. A question that might even be answered by **reading the fucking legislation**.

    But instead of going to the NJ Legislature’s website and reading the bill’s language that the site makes publicly available, you come here to assert:

    I’m not agreeing with what Chris is promoting, but it’s not as black and white an issue as either side thinks it is.

    Except you don’t know whether or not it’s a black and white issue, because you haven’t actually identified any weakness in the legislation at all. You’ve just identified your ignorance.

    so when you say:

    If the things that I brought up aren’t even worth being discussed, please at least give me the courtesy of a polite explanation as to why.

    my explanation is this: I don’t know why you’re ignorant, but I can tell you that the sources of your ignorance, if worth discussion at all, aren’t being discussed on this thread because your ignorance is not the point of this thread.

  25. Nentuaby says

    Razzlefrog, sex is both near-entirely irrelevant and *also constructed.* Babies are regularly born with genitals that don’t fit the traditional binary and socially or surgically nudged into whatever adults consider the “closer” sex. People whose genitals are destroyed by injury are not considered to become sexless. Etc.

  26. says

    Hi Crip,

    Thanks for responding. I do admit to still being ignorant about these things, which is why I wanted to put them up for discussion. If I cut out all of the assholery portions of you response, you gave me some good things to look into. I will be educating myself more on what the actual legislation says and if it can actually be abused like I think it can.

    I’ll be doing my own searches, but in the meantime if you happen to have any links that you think I may find educational with further discussion about this topic, please post it.

    Thanks!

  27. stripeycat says

    Philisyssis. I’ll assume good faith on your part, and discuss your specific points.
    1) The bathroom/changing room thing has been discussed to death on the internet and off. Basically, there hasn’t being a single reported incident I’m aware of of a man trying to pretend to be female in order to lech in the women’s room. In any case, you’re not asked for ID when you go in, so you could (in theory) drag up to get in regardless of what your birth certificate says. On the other hand, public hostility to transwomen puts them in the dangerous position of either having to use the men’s room and risk assault (or worse), use the women’s room and face nasty accusations, or use neither and have their out-of-the-house activities severely restricted.
    2), 3) is a subset. Professional sports already have very contentious restrictions on suspected trans* and intersex athletes. There have been some nasty cases requiring full exams and even hormone therapy. These issues apply regardless of birth certificate details, and the sporting bodies have to deal with them as best they can (often, not very well). Martial arts in particular will have occasional problems with sick fucks who like to beat people up regardless of gender and sex, and must and do have mechanisms wihtin the sport to reduce or remove the impact of such people.

  28. says

    Thank you stripeycat. Good points.

    With the bathroom thing, yes, a pervert could dress up and go in there regardless on what their ID says. However, as far as I know they could get in legal trouble for doing that. Having an ID changed makes it ok. But as you say there are no reported incidents of this happening so maybe it’s not the big issue I thought it may be.

    Besides, it’s not like we can disallow the changing of IDs because of the perverts, the TG people deserve to be treated fairly regardless of the pervs.

    I know this is an issue in sports. There was an MMA fighter who was born male who had a full sex change, and then went into women’s MMA and got 4 first round knock outs. I believe that this person is genuinly a TG, but they still have the build of a male, fighting females. Though I suppose that sports should deal with this issue on their own while legislation treats people fairly regardless of what conundrums the sporting industry has to deal with.

    Thanks again for your polite tone.

  29. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh my god, this is ridiculously stupid.

    32 philisyssis

    With the bathroom thing, yes, a pervert could dress up and go in there regardless on what their ID says. However, as far as I know they could get in legal trouble for doing that. Having an ID changed makes it ok. But as you say there are no reported incidents of this happening so maybe it’s not the big issue I thought it may be.

    So, they go in, use the bathroom and leave – No fucking problem. If they go in there to commit a crime, like peaking or raping or harassing, there’s security, laws and police to handle that problem. Cis men that want to go into a woman’s bathroom for such reasons already fucking do. Especially considering our macho patriarchal society no CIS man is going to turn in his “man card” to do this and being declared F on your birth certificate is no protection from the law. Not to mention the ridicule and effect it would have on their everyday lives. This isn’t some fucking walk in the park. They would be marked F on every piece of paper, unable to legally marry a woman in most states and would become a target like transgender people actually are. FFS, did you actually think this shit though at all?

    Thanks again for your polite tone.

    Fuck you. Your comment was ignorant and transphobic. It’s the same old shit society beats down every fucking day. Go do some fucking reading and thinking. We’re not obligated to hold your hand and it’s obscene for you to make that demand on anyone, especially a trans* person which there are plenty of here. If you’re that stupid and care more about tone than people, I have no problem defending them vehemently and chasing you off. They need the safe space, and you’re just a waste of one currently.

    ————————————————————————–
    28
    Crip Dyke,

    I ♥ you and your comment so much. The ending made me literally lol.

  30. says

    philisyssis:

    If the things that I brought up aren’t even worth being discussed, please at least give me the courtesy of a polite explanation as to why

    Based on your posting history here, you don’t deserve such an explanation.
    What you really should do before expounding on things you know nothing about is to educate yourself on such topics. Also, think about the things you write.
    F’r instance:

    I can identify with the need for changing genders on identification, but a lot of people don’t realize how it can be abused.

    Oh, it can be abused? How? In what ways? Not speculative fear mongering and transphobia. Rather, you need to look for evidence that this is the case. Go forth and seek.

    What’s stopping a guy from changing the sex on his birth certificate in order to legally use women’s washrooms, participate in women’s sports, and worst of all, enter MMA competitions where he can now legally beat on women?

    This is a genuine fear? Really? Based on what? Do you have evidence that this is a problem? How significant a problem? Go forth and educate thyself. When you come back, my response shall be: even if it is a big problem (which I don’t believe it is), it doesn’t trump equality for trans* individuals.

    I’m not agreeing with what Chris is promoting, but it’s not as black and white an issue as either side thinks it is.

    The levels of transphobia that you injected to the dialogue certainly didn’t add any nuance.

  31. says

    philisyssis:

    Thanks again for your polite tone.

    You’ve commented here long enough-sadly-to know that this is a rude blog. When people like you post the shit you’ve done, you should expect that politeness will go out the door.

    Also, civility is overrated.
    Look at your original comment in this thread. You didn’t use any harsh language, sure. But you loaded it with transphobia. Instead of doing research yourself to determine if your beliefs are actually true or not, you perpetuated vicious lies about trans* individuals.

    That is far more uncivil than this:
    Fuck off.

  32. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    philisyssis @ #32: You’re referring to Fallon Fox. And no, her (please use the proper pronoun for her) body is not at all like a cis man’s. HRT changes a great deal about your body, including where and how you develop fat and muscle. And the assumption that she went through transition, after already being in MMA for some time before that, to “beat on women” makes zero sense. Changing your entire life, opening yourself up for harassment and abuse, for a fetish? Also, why on earth is she only suspect as some kind of fetishist because she is trans, unlike literally every other MMA fighter out there? The idea that trans women are predators is a vicious and transphobic myth.

  33. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @JAL, #33:

    I live to serve.

  34. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I live to serve…man

    I live to serve man …cooked

    I live to serve man cooked …carrots

    I live to serve man … with… cooked carrots.

  35. says

    Phylissis
    You appear to have some very peculiar ideas about ‘build’. Fallon Fox, like her opponents, is built like a featherweight martial artists. She has won fights by KO and lost fights that way as well. In the cases where she won, she was apparently better than her opponent, while in the cases where she lost she wasn’t. This is how combative sports work. If you don’t approve of combative sports for this reason, that’s another matter, but knock it off with this bullshit, kay?

  36. anuran says

    Look, by the standards of today’s Republican Party he is a moderate.

    A moderate Republican from when you and I were growing up is now a slightly-left-of-center Democrat.

    The policies of Conservative Republicans from twenty or thirty years ago are those of today’s Centrist Democrats (Hillary Clinton, Barrack Obama) except on matters of sexual orientation

    A Liberal from the same time is “Loony Left” today.

    Seen from today’s vantage Nixon was the last Liberal in the White House. Reagan was uncomfortably Left-leaning. Eisenhower was a Communist. And present-day Conservatives are frank, unapologetic Fascists.

    It really is that simple.

  37. oursally says

    Dear Phylissis, obviously I don’t know which “restroom” you normally use. So, in case you don’t know; women don’t pee in public as men do, in women’s toilets they have little cabins with lockable doors, so they can be private. It is not acceptable to climb up and peep over the top of these little walls, whatever it says on one’s ID. As a matter of fact there’s not much to see from above, because women sit down to pee. So that’s one little phobia debunked.

  38. doublereed says

    Christie’s main claim to fame is yelling at teachers. Yes, because if anything, teachers are just too damn respected in this country. And he’s still incredibly popular. Should make you sick.

    And transphobia is a perfectly moderate republican position.

  39. abewoelk says

    Purely as a matter of taxonomy, is a person’s gender identity objective or subjective? By which I mean, is a person’s gender identity whatever that person believes himself or herself to be? If, after having considered myself to be male all my life, tomorrow morning I woke up and decided for whatever reason that going forward I’m female, am I now female for no reason other than that I think I am?

    I think it’s objective simply because language is only useful if it has objective meaning. If everyone gets to define male and female for themselves, then those words have no meaning. If the answer is that it’s objective, then requiring surgery goes too far, but simply allowing people to call themselves whatever they like doesn’t go far enough. So perhaps Christie draws the line in the wrong place, but that doesn’t mean there’s no line at all, though I will candidly admit I’m not sure where to draw it either.

    And I seriously doubt that anyone takes seriously the idea that gender is meaningless. That’s the reason why, even in the most feminist of societies, the Dallas Cowboys and their cheerleaders don’t use the same shower room. It’s possible to acknowledge that in situations in which nudity or partial nudity will happen, a lot of people have a comfort level with their own gender that they don’t have with the opposite sex, and that there is nothing per se bad about having such a comfort level.

  40. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Purely as a matter of taxonomy, is a vehicle’s automobile identity objective or subjective?

    For instance, those land-speed record cars that use jet engines or rockets and have only 3 wheels – are they cars?

    Great Gods of Jibber-Jabber, language no longer exists!

    By which I mean, is a vehicle’s automobile identity whatever that owner believes it to be?

    If the owner points at the Blue Flame and calls it a car, what do I do? All conversation will stop! There will be no possible recourse but to conduct an internal investigation of said vehicle and admonish the owner for any misrepresentation according to the dictionary definition, except we then have to figure out which dictionary and whether the fact that some have ICE clauses and most don’t means anything for classifying this vehicle, which I’m sure will be a completely objective exercise…after which we can publicly demonize the owner for causing such linguistic confusion, regardless of whether it turns out that the blue flame is or isn’t a car.

    If, after having considered my vehicle to be a school bus all my life, tomorrow morning I woke up and decided for whatever reason that going forward I’m calling it a city bus, is it now a city bus for no reason other than that I think it is?

    Wait, what? We were talking about cars and now we’re talking about school buses!

    I thought you said words needed to have objective meanings? Gender ID has an objective meaning and it relates to **gender** not **sex**. Yet here you are completely changing the subject and pretending you’re going on with the same subject.

    Do we call you a liar or just incompetent?

    But as to your point, well, provide a single real-life example of this happening or we’ll just consider it the set up for a bad slash-fix.

    I think it’s objective simply because language is only useful if it has objective meaning. If everyone gets to define male and female for themselves, then those words have no meaning.

    Bullshit. Read something about the nature of language and you’ll find that we do decide for ourselves the meanings of words, BUT we decide them in a social context. You determine your meaning of the word “context” through how it is used by others. You judge whether or not you have a successful understanding by whether or not, when needing to act in a manner that depends on that understanding, your actions conform to expectations.

    Language is socially constructed. It is neither objective nor is it some nihilistic, freestyle scat, a la Ella. Through tone of voice I can make a word mean the exact opposite of its dictionary meaning and be perfectly well understood…yet no one looks to add a definition to the dictionary because of my facetiousness. Context can clearly cause additional definitions to be required. Context may require a word to be understood as a verb or a noun, depending on use (e.g. jump). In these cases, dictionaries leap to create the necessary definitions and distinctions. Objectively, it’s clear that the word I use facetiously does have this additional meaning it can communicate. Subjectively, we decide that **this contextual meaning** is different than **other contextual meanings** and decline to expand the dictionary. But it’s not as simple as avoiding violation of grammar rules.

    One can have a TV set – meaning one object.

    One can win a tennis set – meaning a group of intangible objects known as “games”.

    One can win a tennis set – meaning a group of tangible objects known as “trading cards”.

    In poetry, part of the point is the the objective definition cannot be selected for every word in every poem. In many cases, the suitability of multiple definitions and the resulting confusion (and, hopefully, thought) is a necessary part of the poem.

    And, finally, ***why are you trying to use the objectivity or non-objectivity of language to make a statement about the objectivity or non-objectivity of something described with language?*** The symbol is not the thing, McFly: otherwise all maps would be actual size.

    So, to sum up: You have no fucking clue how language works, and language isn’t what it describes except you never seem to even consider that it isn’t, and your argument from ignorance is totes important in deciding the rights of people other than you.

    A brilliant contribution to the discussion so far.

    If the answer is that it’s objective, then requiring surgery goes too far,

    Um, do you mean if it’s subjective? Because if it’s objective then you can’t say that surgery goes “too far” until you determine the objective definition of gender identity. Since you’ve admitted you don’t know the definition, how are you making this judgement at all? Subjectively? Now your words have no meaning to me: thanks a lot!

    Do you **enjoy** being incoherent?

    And further, “too far”. Are we talking about genital appendage length here? Growing it out a couple inches through hormone therapy is just far enough, but building a thick 7″er is going too far? What, precisely, is the distance you’re measuring and does your statement then need to switch if you’re speaking about MtF people?

    Do you **enjoy** being incoherent while being prudishly vague about anything to do with sex?

    Is that your kink?

    “ooh, baby, press that thing right up against my doohickie! Please! I so believe that if I happen to be mammalian it would trigger action potentials!”

    but simply allowing people to call themselves whatever they like doesn’t go far enough.

    Wait, what?
    Let’s review.
    1. You think language is objective, and as a result think that gender identity must be objective because even though gender ID isn’t language, it is a thing pointed to by language, and if we can represent something with a symbol, then the thing must necessarily have all the qualities of the symbol itself, in this case objectivity.
    2. You think requiring surgery goes “too far” on some scale for some purpose, which one would presume relates back to the law on criteria for amended vital records.
    3. You think that you can find, on the same scale, “allowing people to call themselves whatever they like doesn’t go far enough.”
    4. What the hell does the free speech to say, “I am a woman,” “I am a man,” or “I am neither a man nor a woman,” have to do with amending vital records. Was there something in this law that specified that after the amendment was granted, freedom of speech ended?
    5. Even if forced surgery is on the same scale with freedom of speech, how do we determine what else is on this scale and where? Is required STD education on there somewhere? Does one end of the scale give me the power to determine your gender? Because if ti does, I’m inventing a new one: the PRATT gender.
    6. You believe objective gender ID exists and believe that because of its objectivity it forbids forced surgery but requires free speech in relation to gender – at least, probably something more free even than that.
    7. This all relates to the law for amending vital records.
    8. Therefore, if I apply for an amended vital record in NJ, I can call you a prat and you have no recourse unless and until you apply to amend your own vital records.

    Ah, the logic of gender logicalism! Fuck those stupid trannies, they don’t make sense at all. It’s the people who have never questioned the relationship between sex and gender that really know what gender and/or sex are all about!

    So perhaps Christie draws the line in the wrong place, but that doesn’t mean there’s no line at all,

    Ah, so you don’t disagree that Christie is being a jerk, you just disagree with all the people on this thread who disagree with Christie, who, even though none have said there’s no line must all be implying that there’s no line, because we believe in the existence of legislation that must necessarily establish criteria and draw lines.

    Science!

    though I will candidly admit I’m not sure where to draw it either.

    once again, I’m ignorant, therefore limits must be placed on the rights of others…and since I have no interest in actually extinguishing my ignorance, whatever people in power decide is good for the powerless is good enough for me.

    But, y’know, the important thing is that you’ve found a way to feel superior to both sides.

  41. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    abewoelk: Yes, the individual in question has the final say on what their gender is. Please stop using bathroom/locker room panic as some kind of gotcha, it is incredibly bigoted and also, as has been pointed out, has never actually happened. Trans* people of all body types deserve equal access to the facilities that cis people of their gender can take for granted. Trans* women in the women’s locker room are women. If you had your way, it sounds like you’d have trans* women forced to go to the men’s, and trans* men in the women’s.

    Actual people’s lived experience trumps your desire for easy language, as well. Yes, it might be a bit harder for you to wrap your head around the fact that you may have to respect other people’s agency and identity in terms of gender. But that’s really pretty much nothing compared to what us trans* people have to deal with, so suck it the fuck up.

    On your original point, the vast majority of people who are trans* have known for a long time, and very very slowly come out about it. Some people, myself for example, previously identified as cis, and were surprised to find out that their gender was in fact fluid over time. (I still didn’t tell anyone for months and months once I realized the W tickybox was not in fact truthful anymore.) So this “but I could claim to be a woman for some nefarious purpose tomorrow, and then I’d get that respected and somehow that is terrible!” claim is… disingenuous at best, shitty and flippant to those of us who have lived through that coming out. (Also those who did not live through it, which also happens a lot.)

    This might blow your mind some more: there are people who don’t identify as men OR women, and that is in fact their right, and not a bad thing. So please don’t reduce everything to your extremely narrow binary.

    So yes, your understanding of the biologically essentialist gender binary, enforced by random outsiders on people who actually are better positioned to discern what gender they are, is in fact meaningless. This is your problem, not ours. Enforcing unwanted, serious surgery to make other people comfortable is barbaric in the extreme. You don’t get to draw the line.

  42. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Abewoelk:

    Are you this dishonest in person, or is this something you save for Pharyngula?

  43. David Marjanović says

    accredited doctors and scientists and not sociologists

    How do you define “science” so that sociology doesn’t count?

    language is only useful if it has objective meaning

    Beautiful.

  44. abewoelk says

    Yes, words do have to have objective meaning, otherwise it’s impossible to have a conversation because nobody will know in advance what anyone else means by any given word. Humpty Dumpty may have been able to get away with saying that words mean whatever he wants them to mean, but that’s only because he was in Wonderland. In the real world, we can quibble about what is the meaning of gender identity, and all permutations thereof, but that it has an objective meaning isn’t up for debate: It does. Usually demagogues try to get away with winning the argument by re-defining words to suit their ideology; y’all are doing the mirror image of that by trying to get away with winning the argument by making words (or at least this word) meaningless.

    And that’s why you shouldn’t count on your social views prevailing any time soon. Feminism comes in many different flavors, and the particular flavor most often found here is the extremist fringe of the extremist fringe. If y’all were Muslim, you’d be Taliban; if Christian, you’d be Reconstructionist. In reality, you’re not any of those, you’re simply nuts. Being called a bigot here is like being called an anti-Semite for opposing the Israeli government’s policies toward the Palestinians; no need to pay any attention since it’s so completely at variance with reality.

    Back to the main point of this thread, I do think Christie’s a jerk; he’s a schoolyard bully who grew up to be Governor of New Jersey, and if New Jersey is lucky, the bridge scandal may blow up and end his tenure there. I’m just not sure that bigotry is the only possible reason for not supporting that particular piece of legislation. Most of you, however, do, because you accept as an article of faith that people of good will can’t possibly come to different conclusions than you do.

  45. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @David M:

    Beautiful

    I ♥ you.

  46. A. Noyd says

    Actually, if the Cabbagehead thread demonstrates anything, it’s that there’s great utility in refusing to use words the way others do or explain what you mean by them: you never have to face the fact that you’re a delusional ignoramus.

  47. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Yes, words do have to have objective meaning, otherwise it’s impossible to have a conversation because nobody will know in advance what anyone else means by any given word.

    If words did not have objective meaning, telepathy-into-the-future wouldn’t exist.

    Checkmate, CripDykeists!

    y’all are doing the mirror image of that by trying to get away with winning the argument by making words (or at least this word) meaningless.

    When you use words, you don’t want me to understand you.

    Checkmate, CripDykeists!

    And that’s why you shouldn’t count on your social views prevailing any time soon. Feminism comes in many different flavors, and the particular flavor most often found here is the extremist fringe of the extremist fringe. If y’all were Muslim, you’d be Taliban;

    Words are but shadows on the wall of the cave projected by the really-real words, but you insist that a wide body of evidence, analysis, and peer-reviewed research show language is a social endeavor where words acquire their meanings by social agreements that can never be fully objective laws and will indeed change over time.

    Believing this makes you the Taliban!

    Checkmate, CripDykeists!

    I’m just not sure that bigotry is the only possible reason for not supporting that particular piece of legislation. Most of you, however, do, because you accept as an article of faith that people of good will can’t possibly come to different conclusions than you do.

    When it has been demonstrated with evidence that prejudice motivates political oppression of trans people and that other asserted motivations have been disproven, conceding that there may be other as yet undocumented reasons for opposing a revenue-neutral measure but noting that Christie attempts to provide none leaves you with no reason to discount the null hypothesis.

    But the null hypothesis is for sissies!

    Checkmate, CripDykeists!

    ===================

    Ah, it’s so good to have folk like abewoelk around. Whetstones can be expensive.

  48. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    abewoelk: So, in the face of concrete answers, many of them, to your stupid “questions”, you’re just going to throw a whiny tantrum about how we’re some how the Taliban for pointing out what is, in fact becoming mainstream about basic human rights. Oh, I see.

  49. chigau (違う) says

    abewoelk #48

    Feminism comes in many different flavors, and the particular flavor most often found here is the extremist fringe of the extremist fringe.

    hahahahahah
    *gasp*
    heh

  50. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    meta:
    Re: Let’s discriminate against a whole set of people because, ZOMG, MMA!”
     
    IDK…maybe the world would be OK if people weren’t paid* to beat on each other for sport?
    /meta
     
    *or even allowed.

  51. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    Antiochus Epiphanes: Humans are allowed to beat on each other for sexy fun.

    /will not keep up that meta argument.

  52. David Marjanović says

    Yes, words do have to have objective meaning, otherwise it’s impossible to have a conversation because nobody will know in advance what anyone else means by any given word.

    That’s not true, and you know it.

    I even gave you an example to kickstart your memory.

  53. stevem says

    abewoelk:
    “…words have objective meaning…”. How about asking the OED what a “dictionary” is? They’ll say, “a dictionary is descriptive, not prescriptive.” That is, a book that is a description of how people use these word, what these words mean to them, it does not declare how these words must be used. The OED (the word standard of dictionaries!) says word definitions are SUBjective, not OBjective. You seem to have a misapprehension of what linguistics is.

  54. abewoelk says

    David, that individuals have different opinions about what is beautiful doesn’t change that it’s an objective question of fact whether Person X believes Object Y to be beautiful. Likewise, the word “opinion” has an objective definition — it’s a matter of objective fact that the speaker’s opinion is that X is true. (Whether X actually is true is a separate question.) You’re equivocating on the word objective; words like “beautiful” and “opinion” describe categories, and as descriptions of categories they have objective definitions. That doesn’t mean an individual opinion or attraction or belief that something is beautiful is objectively true or false.

    I haven’t read the actual New Jersey bill, so I have no opinion on whether it is good policy or whether I would have signed it had I been governor. I’m sure that anti-transgender animus does motivate some, and maybe even most, of the people who opposed it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean every argument against it is founded on prejudice. I have an acquaintance who opposes gay marriage because he opposes marriage, and in his opinion, the fewer people who marry, the better. I think that’s a dumb argument, but it’s not a homophobic argument, at least not on its face. Maybe Christie simply thinks that changing one’s legal status as it relates to a fundamental part of one’s identity requires more than that person’s say-so. If that is his view, even if you think it’s wrong, that’s not a view based on prejudice.

    All of us are products of our past, and view the world through our own set of unique experiences. I have just as much right to my perceptions based on my experiences as the rest of you do to yours. None of us has perfect perception, and each of us has blind spots. You might try being a little more magnanimous toward people who don’t see the world the same way you do.

  55. abewoelk says

    At stevem, you are correct in the sense that if everyone decided tomorrow that “cigar” means “a pig with wings” then, since that would be the newly-understood meaning of the word, it would become the definition. So to that extent, yes, language is subjective. And there are plenty of words that have far different meanings today than they used to. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.

    “Gender identity” is not a term that had an understood definition for a long time and society has changed. “Gender identity” is a term that the overwhelming majority of the population understands to mean one thing, and most of the commenters here want to mean something different. And because y’all haven’t been successful in getting the rest of the world to understand the word to have the meaning you want, you’re settling for the next best thing, which is to claim it has no meaning at all. In poker, that’s called stacking the deck.

  56. A. Noyd says

    Words might, at best, have intersubjective meaning, but they do not have objective meaning. Meaning is something human minds make, after all, not something that exists in the world independent of minds. And calling the flavor of feminists here “the extremist fringe of the extremist fringe” is a brilliant illustration of the inherent relativity of word meanings. What is extreme to a reactionary, dick-clenching misogynist might sound charitably lenient to someone chronically victimized by misogyny.

  57. says

    abewoelk

    Maybe Christie simply thinks that changing one’s legal status as it relates to a fundamental part of one’s identity requires more than that person’s say-so.

    It is in many cases useful that the law should record fundamental parts of one’s identity, but it is entirely unclear to me why you seem to believe that the law should be able to dictate fundamental parts of one’s identity, nor is there any reason save bigotry to assume that you have the right to dictate aspects of other people’s fundamental identity. If you want to know about someone’s fundamental identity, their say-so is the best and indeed only possible evidence thereof. Therefore, if your goal is to record such, it would do best to ask person whose fundamental identity it is. I am far and away a better judge of my fundamental identity than anyone outside my head could possibly be, and the same is true for the several billion people who aren’t me.

  58. abewoelk says

    A. Noyd, words are things we use to describe objects and activities so that other people will know what we’re talking about, and even if the words as words are subject to subjective meaning, the physical objects and activities they describe aren’t. When I say azalea, my husband knows I’m talking about the plant in the front yard rather than the one in the back yard (if I meant the one in the back yard, I would say rhododendron). It’s true that way back when, when plants were being named, whoever decided to call them azalea and rhododendron could have called them pork and beans instead, but once they got the names that they did, those names carry objective meaning with them.

    And that’s the reason that I can’t subjectively decide that my fundamental identity is the pope, any more than I can decide that my gender identity is anything other than what it actually is. Because “pope” and “gender identity” have definitions that are already taken.

    The larger issue hovering over all of that is that there are 300 million people in this country give or take, and the law simply can’t treat everyone as an individual snowflake. Laws can’t be written as if outliers are the majority, and I say that as someone who has often been an outlier myself. Outliers should be accommodated to the extent that it’s feasible to do so, but part of living in community means that there will be times in which every individual can’t be accommodated.

  59. vaiyt says

    And that’s the reason that I can’t subjectively decide that my fundamental identity is the pope, any more than I can decide that my gender identity is anything other than what it actually is.

    Who died and made you the authority to decide what gender identity “actually is”?

  60. A. Noyd says

    abewoelk (#63)

    even if the words as words are subject to subjective meaning, the physical objects and activities they describe aren’t. … once [rhododendrons and azaleas] got the names that they did, those names carry objective meaning with them

    You have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. The names neither exist nor carry any meaning outside your heads. Same for the distinctions made by the words. Other languages use different words and have different criteria of categorization. For instance, a Japanese person might use “tsutsuji” for both plants. And no language names the physical objects themselves because to do so would require, at minimum, as many words as there are plants. “Azalea” is an arbitrary word for an arbitrary category of plants.

    To make matters absurd, you’re giving the word “objective” itself a peculiar definition which is somehow, in your mind, compatible with being “subject to subjective meaning.” And yet, you say:

    And that’s the reason that I can’t subjectively decide that my fundamental identity is the pope, any more than I can decide that my gender identity is anything other than what it actually is. Because “pope” and “gender identity” have definitions that are already taken.

    Yes, that’s why dictionaries only ever have one definition per word and thesauruses don’t exist. Oh, wait. No.

    That you can’t necessarily get other people to acknowledge your own definition belongs to a word doesn’t mean word meanings are objective. Furthermore, mutual understanding does not require words have objective meanings. The word “pope” illustrates this quite well. Catholics* and non-Catholics do not agree over the meaning of the word. The Catholic definition of “pope” might be “infallible mouthpiece of god” while non-Catholics conceive of a “pope” as “the person that Catholics believe is the infallible mouthpiece of god.” In other words, the authority implied to Catholics by the word is not recognized by others. If you gave a Mormon a Catholic’s definition of “pope,” they would probably say you were talking about their Prophet, while atheists would only recognize it as the belief of certain theists.

    Laws can’t be written as if outliers are the majority

    First off, transpeople are made outliers by discriminatory laws and prejudiced beliefs used against them. Whatever differences are there between cis and trans, we can decide to give them as little moral weight as we now give the differences between right-handedness and left-handedness. Second, if you were at all honest, you’d say “as if outliers are as important as the majority.” But then you might have to admit that laws absolutely can be written that way. In fact, they should be written such that nobody is made an outlier. It would be simple and universally accommodating to make the law say that the individual is the ultimate authority on what gender they are. (Not necessarily easy, no. But only because of assholes like you.)

    ………
    *Not all Catholics, but let’s speak generally for the sake of simplicity.

  61. echidna says

    Laws can’t be written as if outliers are the majority, and I say that as someone who has often been an outlier myself. Outliers should be accommodated to the extent that it’s feasible to do so, but part of living in community means that there will be times in which every individual can’t be accommodated.

    You clearly aren’t a systems thinker, nor are many legislators, for that matter. Engineers and computer scientists working on critical systems (military, heavy industry, medical applications) spend a good deal of their time considering and catering for outliers. It can be done, and once you get into the habit of considering more than one or two cases, it’s not that hard.

  62. says

    abewoelk
    1. You’re still talking shit
    There’s a science called libguistics and you have no fucking clue about it. You’re blathering bullshit like a creationist who talks evolution
    2. You are a nasty and disgusting person. Laws that recognise that a person’s gender identity can only be determined by themselves isn’t a special super duper law for non-cis people. Cis people simply have the luck that this is in line with the identity they were assigned at birth.
    3. Who died and made you arbiter of a person’s gender identity?

  63. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    In the schools around here, a student’s racial identity is determined by whatever the parents enter on the registration form. That is the law.

    I say you cannot require a person to claim an identity that will bring harm to them, based on the fifth amendment.

    If someone believes they are the pope, they probably are going to get treated the same way the pope would be treated, were he to show up in the wrong place in heavy disguise … so they are functionally the pope.

  64. Nick Gotts says

    “Gender identity” is a term that the overwhelming majority of the population understands to mean one thing, and most of the commenters here want to mean something different. And because y’all haven’t been successful in getting the rest of the world to understand the word to have the meaning you want, you’re settling for the next best thing, which is to claim it has no meaning at all – abewoelk@60

    It’s very telling that you have to brazenly lie in your attempt to support your case. There are two outright lies in that short extract. No-one has said “gender identity” does not have a meaning, and the meaning used here is that which most people who would use the term at all understand. Here is how the wikipedia article on gender identity begins:

    Gender identity is a person’s private sense, and subjective experience, of their own gender.

    The article goes on to note that it was originally a medical term, “used to explain sex reassignment surgery to the public”, and then entered the vernacular, with the meaning given above. It is you who want to change its meaning to “the gender a person was assigned at birth”, or “the gender others currently assign to a person”. There’s a perfectly good term for that: assigned gender.

  65. abewoelk says

    Nick, what’s telling is that you can’t content yourself to explain why you think I’m wrong without also making me out to be a bad person. According to you, there are two kinds of people in this world; those who see things your way, and those who are dishonest jerks. And that says more about you than it does about me.

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    According to you, there are two kinds of people in this world; those who see things your way, and those who are dishonest jerks. And that says more about you than it does about me.

    Well, quit being a dishonest know-it-all jerk. Until you can admit you are wrong, there is no point in you saying anything period. Because you are often WRONG.

  67. abewoelk says

    Nerd, I’m wrong often enough, and have no problem admitting it. I just haven’t read anything here to persuade me that I’m wrong about anything we’ve been talking about.

    Echidna, you’re right, I’m not a systems analyst. I am, however, a retired elected official, so I know a thing or two about making policy, and a lot of the time it really is impossible to make someone happy without making someone else unhappy. Sometimes the best you can do is to spread the misery around. Listing one’s gender identity on a birth certificate probably isn’t the best example because there really isn’t any tangible harm to anyone else, and the sole concern is withdefinitions and line drawing. But that’s not always true. Outliers should be treated with respect and accommodated when it’s feasible to do so, but sometimes it really isn’t. And sometimes we have outliers because of nature and not because of arbitrary or discriminatory intent.

  68. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Small point of order: An azalea is a Rhododendron, abewoelk. You and your husband have an intersubjective agreement that Rhododendron refers only to the Rhododendron in your back yard.

  69. David Marjanović says

    It’s true that way back when, when plants were being named, whoever decided to call them azalea and rhododendron could have called them pork and beans instead, but once they got the names that they did, those names carry objective meaning with them.

    Wow.

    First, common names are such a mess that biologists introduced their own nomenclature in the 1750s. Indeed, Azalea and Rhododendron originally belong to that nomenclature.

    Second, the way such names work is that the name of each species is tied to a particular specimen in a particular collection*. But “species” is not defined. For this reason, you get what zoologists call subjective synonyms. Here’s how they try to deal with this.

    * Except when it’s not. But those exceptions are all grandfathered in.

  70. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I just haven’t read anything here to persuade me that I’m wrong about anything we’ve been talking about.

    Since, as a liberturd you are never wrong, I fail to see the evidence you admit you are wrong when you are wrong.

  71. Nick Gotts says

    According to you, there are two kinds of people in this world; those who see things your way, and those who are dishonest jerks. – abewoelk@74

    No, there is no-one else who sees everything my way, and many of those I disagree with on many things are honest, but some, like you, are not. I note that you can’t actually defend the statements you made, and since both are readily shown to be false, and the argument here has gone on quite long enough for you to have discovered their falsity if you were interested in the truth, it’s reasonable for me to characterise them as lies.

  72. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Unbound #2

    Remember that a moderate Republican of today would have been an extremist shit-bag 30 years ago. Both parties have shifted to the right a lot.

    I don’t think that’s true. 30 years ago it would have been normal to have been a transphobic shit bag. It would also have been normal to have been homophobic, misogynistic and abelist. I don’t think the Republicans have gotten further right, I think they’ve stayed exactly where they were and society has gotten more progressive, at least in regards to these specific issues.

    The Democrats are a bit different. They’re certainly further right in regards to their foreign policy now than they were thrity years ago, but I don’t really know enough to comment on other areas. On equality issues such as those mentioned above I think they’ve mostly moved with the times, without ever getting too far ahead of the times, if you know what I mean. In step with majority opinion, rather than a trailblazer. But at least they’re not outright regressive on such issues, like the Republicans.

  73. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Reading philisyssis’ shit at #13 nearly gave me a fucking aneurysm. Because people are going to put up with all the shit trans people get just to use a woman’s bathroom (why do these people always assume men are going to use this to get into women’s bathrooms, but never vice versa? Stupid gender essentialism). Just have a fucking unisex toilet and get it over with.

    The only problem I can see is that sex information given on ID is usually there for identification purposes. So it’s going to create a problem if you identify as a woman and your driver’s license has an “F” on there, but physically are a 6’4″pre-op man. My solution would be to have two separate categories on ID; “Sex”, options being “M”, “F”, and “I” (intersex), and “Gender”, options being “M”, “F”, and “N” (none, or neutral). That however would only really apply if you were able to do this on any and all forms of ID, which I believe you should but currently you can’t; and I can’t ever see it being a problem on a birth cert.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that people need to start making a distinction between sex and gender rather than pretending that the one always matches the other, and that our documentation needs to reflect this.

    I’m aware that I’m treading on dangerous ground here and am stuffed full of cis privilege, so feel free to shoot me down if I’ve said something stupid.

  74. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Abewoelk is illustrating my point beautifully, especially at #43. Abewoelk clearly has no fucking idea of the distinction between sex and gender.

    And Abe, since language is constructed, i.e. made up by people, how can it be objective? Genuine question.

  75. says

    Giliell:

    You’re clueless. Get some basic understanding in linguistics, sociology, everything and then don’t bother to come back

    Oh I heartily second this notion. I’d love if abewoelk never returned. I’m sure the role of bigoted, racist, asshole will be filled soon enough.

    ****

    abewoelk the asshole, racist bigoted shithead:

    Feminism comes in many different flavors, and the particular flavor most often found here is the extremist fringe of the extremist fringe. If y’all were Muslim, you’d be Taliban; if Christian, you’d be Reconstructionist. In reality, you’re not any of those, you’re simply nuts.

    Yeah, you’re making a lot of sense O Great Doucheking. Comparing people who call you bigoted–BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU SAY–with people who use violence as their means to achieve a goal.
    Oh wait, we’re nothing like the Taliban or Christian reconstructionists. By and large, the commentariat advocates non-violent solutions to the complex problems in our world today. Sometimes that includes using ::gasp:: words that People. Don’t. Like. Apparently when you’re (as in YOU, Captain Bigot) called words that you don’t like, you become an ever greater assclam.
    Why *do* you keep returning to Pharyngula?

  76. A. Noyd says

    abewoelk (#74)

    I just haven’t read anything here to persuade me that I’m wrong about anything we’ve been talking about.

    You seem to read quite selectively and have low comprehension for the stuff you do read. (You did read my #66, right?) So many people telling you “that’s not how language works” in a community with several linguists and translators should give you pause. You want deference for your “expertise” as a former elected official, but give none of it to people with linguistic training and experience. And just look at your response to Nick Gotts’ #70. He showed you how you’re wrong using a source and you chose to cry about his low opinion of you rather than acknowledge it. People with no problem admitting when they’re wrong don’t do that.

    I am, however, a retired elected official, so I know a thing or two about making policy, and a lot of the time it really is impossible to make someone happy without making someone else unhappy.

    See, no one here thinks that it’s going to make asshole bigots like yourself happy to allow transpeople legal self-determination. But we also don’t think everyone’s happiness is of equal merit. It’s good to make bigots cry. It’s bad to cater to them. Bigot tears aren’t a measure of anything besides re-electability, but re-electability has no place in a moral argument.

    And sometimes we have outliers because of nature and not because of arbitrary or discriminatory intent.

    So make a case for transpeople being outliers by nature. But take into account what I said in #66 and be sure to explain how trans-ness differs fundamentally from handed-ness. Then explain how being such outliers justifies not accommodating trnaspeople with changes that you admit do not offer “any tangible harm to anyone else.”

  77. abewoelk says

    No, Tony, you absolutely do not believe in nonviolent solutions. If you ever actually got the legislature to pass your economic or social version of utopia, compliance would be coerced by government agents at gunpoint, just like every other law is. What do you think happens when people don’t obey laws; the state just goes away and leaves them alone? What happens when someone doesn’t want to pay taxes at the rate you think they should, the IRS just says okey-dokey? Any time you turn any solution over to government, you have almost by definition made it a violent solution, because non-compliance is greeted with fines, prison, and unpleasant visits from the police. The only people who truly are non-violent are the libertarians (who also happen to be nuts, but that’s a separate question).

    I’m not inclined to take anything you say seriously anyway because you can’t even get a simple thing right like whether or not I’m a racist. I’m not, for reasons I’ve already explained, but whatever. (Words have objective meaning, and all that.) The truthful answer to your question about why I come back is that this place is a train wreck I can’t look away from. I’ve actually tried not reading it because it interferes with what would be more productive uses of my time, but I don’t know where else to go for the bat-shit craziness that I consistently find here. Plus the pure entertainment of the overreactions; I’ve never known any group of people more prone to fly into a rage over nothing than a lot of the commenters here. I once made a completely innocuous throwaway comment just as a test and had six people calling me vicious names within the hour. So that’s why; not only are you entertaining, but you’re addictively so. That’s probably not the answer you were looking for, but don’t ask questions if you don’t want answers.

  78. abewoelk says

    A. Noyd, transpeople are outliers because they are a tiny minority of the population. Most people see themselves as one gender or the other and have no issues with being one gender or the other. That doesn’t make a transperson’s experience less real; it does mean that they have to compete with limited resources because, unlike the opinions of some here, resources aren’t unlimited and they do have to be divvied up.

    I did read your post 66, and I just went back now and re-read it. I think to the extent linguists (and you) disagree with me it’s because of an equivocation on the word “objective” and because we’re mostly talking about two different things. It’s like a middle school math teacher telling the class that a triangle has 180 degrees, only to have someone pipe up and say “what about riemannian geometry”. Well, under riemannian geometry, a triangle doesn’t have 180 degrees, but since the teacher was talking about euclidian geometry, that’s irrelvant. Surely you would agree with me that if I send you to the store for an apple, and you come back witha gallon of milk, the problem isn’t that language isn’t objective, right? And that’s really what our disagreement boils down to: Language is objective if we’re talking about what I was originally talking about. It’s subjective if you change the subject and talk about something else.

  79. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Thumper (and, not incidentally, abewoelk)

    Since in most cases ID is used without panty checks or karyotyping, I have a radical idea:

    Why not put a picture on the ID and leave sex and gender out of it? Do the general public need to know what’s in my pants? Why?

    Do they need to know my thoughts about myself? Why?

  80. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Most people see themselves as one gender or the other and have no issues with being one gender or the other.

    Most trans* people see themselves as one gender or another and have no issues with being the gender they are. The fact that you imply otherwise shows that you don’t know what you’re talking about on trans issues.

    That doesn’t make a transperson’s experience less real; it does mean that they have to compete with limited resources because, unlike the opinions of some here, resources aren’t unlimited and they do have to be divvied up.

    Fs and Ms are in short supply in government? The quick and easy solution to that is to conserve your Fs and Ms by putting fewer on documents.

    Whooppee! Resources saved!

    I must be a genius or something.

    I think to the extent linguists (and you) disagree with me it’s because of an equivocation on the word “objective”

    Right. We think that “objective” means

    of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind

    Since by definition language requires mind to exist (shapes like letters and ideograms and hieroglyphs can all exist, but without mind they are not language), language is not objective.

    You think objective means

    I can, using language, tell you something that you can then interpret wrongly.

    You think the possibility for error proves objectivity. Because you don’t see any difference between nihilistic language-denial and subjective, social construction of language. But you’re the nihilist here. You deny the human capacities and contributions of every other person on the planet.

    Seriously, your functional definition of “objective” is language-means-what-I-say-it-means.

    You are Humpty Dumpty. Look:

    Surely you would agree with me that if I send you to the store for an apple, and you come back with a gallon of milk, the problem isn’t that language isn’t objective, right?

    You think that was problem with language? How do you know? Maybe language functioned just fine and the person forgot?

    ah, but the point of your little exercise is that the person is WRONG. And if they don’t’ agree with you on the meaning, that means you’re objective and they are wrong. Because wrong.

    Something can be a subjective question and still have a wrong answer.
    Q: What color is that flower?
    A: ideological.

    See?

    What you’re missing here is not merely the nature of language and the ability to logically separate the language from the object discussed, but an appreciation of sex and gender, any knowledge about trans* lives, and an analysis that shows that treating people fairly reduces resources.

    Without those things, none of what you say has any value to the discussion at all.

  81. says

    abewoelk: I have read of your sad plight, and have been moved, almost to tears.

    The truthful answer to your question about why I come back is that this place is a train wreck I can’t look away from. I’ve actually tried not reading it because it interferes with what would be more productive uses of my time, but I don’t know where else to go for the bat-shit craziness that I consistently find here.

    Oh, no! We have been disrupting abewoelk’s productivity! You have more important things to do! But we have been too…interesting and entertaining.

    I want to help. I really do. And I think I can.

    You are now banned. Fly free! Accomplish great things! Troll elsewhere!

    We’ll miss you. Well, probably not, but I thought you might need a little esteem-builder as a farewell.

  82. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Ah, PZ, what am I going to do without abewoelk?

    Homework?

  83. A. Noyd says

    Crip Dyke (#87)

    You are Humpty Dumpty.

    No kidding. Lewis Carroll couldn’t have done better than this bit from his #85: “And that’s really what our disagreement boils down to: Language is objective if we’re talking about what I was originally talking about. It’s subjective if you change the subject and talk about something else.”

    But him and his evasiveness and his retreats into word salad are gone for good now, so hurrah for that. I just though I’d share this bit from Judge Kern’s ruling in Oklahoma overturning the ban on gays marrying:

    Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed. It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights.

    (Found via Dispatches.)

  84. Nepenthe says

    I’m still trying to figure out why I have to have an F or an M on my driver’s license and birth certificate to begin with.

  85. says

    Nepenthe:

    I’m still trying to figure out why I have to have an F or an M on my driver’s license and birth certificate to begin with.

    So people will know how to pigeonhole you, of course.

  86. Nepenthe says

    @Caine

    Those would have to be very large pigeonholes….

    I think I’ve discovered the origin of the myth of the Roc.

  87. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Nepenthe, and, well, everyone.

    the thing that still blows my mind is using the scarcity of resources as a reason not to record a legal sex on legal documents that comports with gender ID.

    Really? Scarcity is a reason why – if you’re going to dole out Ms and Fs at all – that some people can’t swap a letter?

    Truly mind-boggling, the NJ government running out of Ms and Fs.