Open Thread – Episode 21.25: Matt & Jen


Happy Pride Week!

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Comments

  1. Murat says

    Chuck from Honolulu again… I wonder if this time he will openly label himself as a “Jehova’s witness” or keep beating around the bush as he did many times before.

  2. says

    I tried sending a long intro email twice the last couple weeks, added NPR once to title & AETV to the second one, but still got returned. I really wanted to set up a time to possibly call in while Matt or Jen or Tracie are on, but can’t seem to get through… I am a recent deconverted to atheist, and am pretty sure my story as why I deconverted would be really interesting to them & the viewers. Hope to hear back soon 👍

  3. Marcel says

    Chuck had me laughing out loud when he stated that the surface of the sun is literally on fire!

  4. Zachery Chapman says

    Murat, I apologize if I did not express myself as well as I could have.

    I will say that there are a lot of ideas that are generally considered to be true that can not be expressed simply, especially to someone with little or no knowledge about the subject.

    Einstein’s field equations, for example.

    The fact that an idea is complex does not mean that it is false or that it’s proponent is practicing “mental gymnastics.”

  5. Mobius says

    Concerning fusion…

    The Sun “burns” (that is, fuses to helium) about 4 million tons of hydrogen every second. While at first glance this looks like the Sun would have long ago used up its hydrogen, if one actually cranks the numbers, in 4.5 billion years the Sun has only gone through about 1/2 of its hydrogen. The Sun is really Really REALLY big.

  6. Zerbe says

    I feel that young children who are not sexually mature should not be allowed to go into whatever bathroom that they choose.

  7. philhoenig says

    To add to what Mobius said, fusion is far more efficient than oxidation. (The famous E = mc^2 means that you get a lot of energy from a little mass.) In the late 19th Century, the arch-physicist Lord Kelvin refused to believe in an Old Earth despite the findings of biologists and geologists because there was (at the time) no known way the Sun could have enough fuel to burn so hot for such a long time.

  8. Patrick Finger says

    Great first conversation with Mitch. Would love to see more people calling the show with such an open mind.

  9. Jordan Gardner says

    I grew up LDS, My family still devoutly believe it. I really wish more mormons called In so you guys could see how they speak. There are lots of mannerisms and phrases mormons repeat and recite when the talk about religion, but what else could you expect with such indoctrination

  10. David McDonald says

    Does anyone have a link to the brain study Jen was talking about? Would love to read it 🙂

  11. Nick Baynes says

    The whole creepy dude/transgendered bathroom issue always confused me. All it really shows is that they have so little reason to actually ban it that they are grasping at straws. Even if the bill did get passed and transgendered people had to use the bathroom for their biological gender, the creepy dude can still get in just like he can now because if he is convincing now, he will be just as convincing then. Not to mention, if someone is that determined to mess with people in a bathroom, a law isn’t going to stop him. I mean, hello, he is already breaking the sexual harassment laws, which if caught, is going to screw his life up completely anyway, so what is one more?

  12. Bret Frost says

    The Sun is a candle in space. It is as big as the moon because when there is an eclipse the moon covers it. The earth is flat ’cause if it was round all the water would drip down into space. The Sun orbits the earth as everyone can see it moving across the sky. If it weren’t so bright you could see the man in a chariot dragging it. The ‘education’ of some folk is staggering. But all this has nothing to do with the existence of god.

  13. dexdex says

    I was confused a bit by a point in the discussion with Chuck: what’s the difference between burning and fusion? They both produce another chemical, and release energy. Is it just that there’s Oxygen/Carbon/Nitrogen involved that creates the distinction?

  14. William Boller says

    What a great show! Thanks Jen & Matt. Former COC conservative / young earther / homophobe here. It has been a trip but honestly, my life has way more meaning than it ever did before. I knew what was morally right long ago but thanks for some guidance in this touchy subject area.

  15. taintedbloop says

    That last guy was so funny. Matt backed him into a corner using his own logic and when asked the final question that isnt faith not a way to get to the truth, he says no. Also when he said he just has to rely on faith, jen throws her hands up because of course as we all know when any religious person says that, they have conceded the argument and are essentially saying “yeah everything you said makes sense but my church tells me its a virtue to believe anyways, despite all that “reasoning” mumbo jumbo,

  16. bujesus says

    “Chuck from Honolulu” sounds a lot like a troll who often calls in with ridiculous statements. You can recognise him from his cackle of a laugh. On a previous call, he said that the universe doesn’t make any sense because oxygen doesn’t get destroyed in a fire. Anyone else remember him?

  17. Yaddith says

    My response to men who think they are women and women who think they are men is the same as my response to religious people: Believe what you like, but do not expect me to validate your fantasy.

  18. Monocle Smile says

    @Yaddith
    My response to that is “Fine, but you will justifiably be treated like an asshole…because you are an asshole.”

  19. Murat says

    Mmmm, I’d certainly like to see more of Yaddith and MS clashing on that topic. Tho irrelevant to theism, the way we apply logic to such issues are always intriguing.

  20. Leo K says

    @Yaddith #9 – I would use the word validate, but I’m in accord with the overall sentiment of the statement. I wouldn’t ask a person to twist their lifestyles for my beliefs, and as such, I wouldn’t expect others to conform to my beliefs either. That being said, there are a few legislators out there that are making it difficult so some to live out their lives all because they feel icky about the lifestyle they’ve chosen. This whole trans issue is bringing to the surface a world that full of subjective ick and unfortunately, people’s lives are being severely (and potentially punitively) affected by it. Curious to see how this will play out in the years to come.

    – As for the religious part of this comment section, I’m curious if Mitch from Kansas put any effort into research the various studies done on the human mind and who is can and often will, trick a person into seeing/hearing/believing one thing, when the opposite is actually true. He’s a prime candidate for a marathon run of Brain Games series, at least one or two TED talks on a brain deception (Scott Fraser & Elizabeth Loftus come to mind), Social Engineering, and countless other programs on how our brain not only works, but how it can fail us. Only mentioning this, because during his call, he talked about having and being in a certain feeling during certain conditions, and at least twice that I counted, having perfect memory of that moment. I personally no longer rely on my memory being a accurate representation of what took place, but a malleable substance that can become corrupted with time. This is not to say that I do or do not believe certain things to be true, but merely require far more evidence than before to buy into its authenticity. This harken back to Matt’s frequent questioning of “What evidence do you have for your beliefs”, and with the inability to solely rely on feelings, memories, or thoughts for evidence towards a belief, the answer to Matt’s question becomes a stumbling block for most theist.

    – I have nothing to add to Chuck’s phone call outside of I LOVED Matt’s Twilight-Zone reference.

    – Skipped through Zack’s call, can’t stand woo speak.

    – David, too many pauses… tangents… trailing off… zzz…

  21. Haidar says

    Hello Mr. Matt
    Regarding the alleged divine sense in 1.13……we can ask the believers…why this divine sense is always coming in accordance with the previous indoctrination in a specific society……I live in a place filled with divine senses….but they are always consistent with the available tenet and doctrine…..so they are more likely to be delusional…..
    I hope I could talk with you sir one day….
    Regards

  22. einyv says

    Zack, Matt has clearly showed your position on divine sense is absurd no matter how much you try to still believe in it. Deep down you realize that. Many times through the call you could hear it in your voice when Matt stumped you or you realized he was right but you did not want to admit it.

    Chuck–Why do you bother giving him air time with his nonsense. I am pretty sure he is a troll.

  23. t90bb says

    solid if not good show……

    Zach is hanging on to theism by his fingernails…..I do not know if he will ever have the courage to fully embrace his blind spots that allows him to maintain his “faith”

    Chuck…..one of the few idiots so stupid that he laughs at his own arguments when he makes them. Probably has some mental disabilities

    David….loves to make assertions w/o proof

  24. says

    So let me get this straight:

    The sun doesn’t have enough mass to be a nuclear fusion device for 4.5 billion years, but it does have enough mass to be a burning hydrogen/oxygen candle for 4.5 billion years.

  25. Paige Galaxy says

    Umm, the sun is composed of the elements hydrogen and helium. It burns using a nuclear fusion process, combining hydrogen into helium. It’s nothing like a burning candle. This is elementary science.

  26. Justin says

    @ Bujesus

    Yes, Chuck is a repeat troll caller with the hyena laugh that continues to call in each week with a different ridiculous statement. One week he called in to talk about how pearl harbor was an inside job. We complained enough in the comments that Russell has refused to take his calls, but I guess Matt forgot about him.

  27. Yaddith says

    Monocle Smile: So refusing to validate someone’s fantasy equals assholiness? I don’t buy it.

    Leo K: Personally, I don’t care how icky someone’s lifestyle might seem to me, so long as they keep it legal. I’m a live and let live guy, but men don’t belong in the women’s room and women do not belong in the men’s room, so I have no problem with a bathroom bill.

  28. says

    Yaddith, the issue is not with people being in error regarding what their body is like. No one is thinking, “I have a penis”, and then walking into a restroom, unzipping, standing in front of a urinal and then peeing in their pants because they think they have a penis, followed by wondering how that keeps happening. They’re well aware of their body. The issue is that in early childhood, the imprinting processes that are occurring that determine things like what characteristics a person finds attractive, their self-image with regard to things like gender roles, who close kin are, and so on, can result in imprinting that can be considered problematic with respect to certain goals.

    Obviously, evolution has no intent, but imprinting processes resulting in individuals that were more reproductively effective were selected for. From this assumed goal, processes like metabolic ‘errors’ that kill people early in life can be said to have gone ‘wrong’, as can a person who had an imprinting process result in them being attracted to others of the same sex, or who are unwilling to have children. Likewise, if you assume a goal of getting along socially to be your measure, anything that causes problems for that can be said to have gone ‘wrong’, even if what is causing problems is something like being so friendly that a lot of people assume it is a false front.

    In this regard, an imprinting process on something that is on such a deep level of a person that results in the person having a gender role that does not match the sex of their phenotype has gone ‘wrong’. This is as it results in a person who is deeply distressed over having a body that does not correspond to what the imprinting process has determined that their body should be like, or who is being treated according to roles that match the gender role they imprinted with. Once such an imprinting process has occurred, it is no longer possible for a person to change it, no matter how distressing they find the situation. Nor is it currently possible for people to replace their body with one that matches what the imprinting process determined should be the ‘right’ one. The closest that can currently be done is to make some surface alterations to mimic the sex that the imprinting process imprinted with, and many people in that situation accept that as the nearest that they can reach.

    Unless you have a goal of enforcing gender roles, another person’s gender imprinting shouldn’t be a problem for you. One thing that can be done by people is to decouple sex and gender, and treat others according to the gender role that they have imprinted with, rather than treating them how you think a person with their body ‘should’ act like and be treated like. People aren’t failing to understand reality when they do so. If someone gets ovarian cancer, they’re not asking doctors to not recognize that because they prefer to be socially treated according to the gender role of a man.

    Objections such as, “but why treat them socially as a man when they’re biologically female” contain an implicit assumption that there is some objective standard of how to socially treat males vs how to treat females. There isn’t one. The physical differences do warrant consideration, just as do the physical differences of a tall person vs a short one. But just as you can address the physical effects of someone’s height without treating them with a different social role, you can address someone’s sex without treating them with a different social role. The roles are a social construct, and vary between societies. However, with the nature of the imprinting processes, people get stuck imprinting based on the roles that they encounter.

    Most people are already treating others based on such social roles, and in the majority of cases, where a person’s gender is the one traditionally matched to their sex, this is uncontroversial. Anyone insisting on referring to someone who is biologically male and has imprinted with the gender role that traditionally has been considered male as “she” and “ma’am” and otherwise treating them according to the gender role of a woman would be considered to be non-sociable. The same would be the case for doing the reverse with a biologically female person who has imprinted with the gender role traditionally matched to a female body. The person doing that would be considered very rude.

    And it’s no less non-sociable behavior when a person’s gender role is one that has traditionally been assigned to people with the phenotype of the other sex, and someone insists on using another gender role for them. It may be slightly more work to keep track of such variations from the norm, but no more so than if you encountered someone androgynous, or even who strongly appeared to be a different sex than they are. If someone biologically male happens to have a voice that sounds stereotypically feminine, and has other salient features that strongly make them seem female, would you insist on calling them a woman, or mentally mark them as an outlier and treat them according to the gender role of a man, as they request?

    If so, it shouldn’t be any more difficult to do the same for someone who is biologically female and asking to be treated according to the gender role of a man, or who is biologically male and asking to be treated according to the gender role of a woman. If you think that it is more difficult, or should be treated differently, then it would seem that you’re making a judgment on how males and females ‘should’ act and be treated like socially, based solely on their sex. If so, why?

  29. Les Black says

    Yaddith, did you even bother to listen to the show? Just exactly how would one enforce such a law? Who gets to monitor genitalia at the restroom door? Let me tell you something: The first narrow minded, soft headed biggot who asks me to show him my dick (or, much worse, asks one of my children to prove their sex) is getting an ass whipping.

  30. Jeff Day says

    I would like to make a comment about the show over a week ago. As someone who is not an Atheist or currently and active Christian I find that the hosts of The Atheist Experience are just as guilty when it comes to cherry picking from the Bible that Christians do. When they bring up the subject of slavery, they alway seem to bring up Exodus chapter 21. Let’s be honest, the book of Exodus is all about slavery. They shouldn’t only choose Exodus chapter 21. The hosts should also bring up how Jacob in Genesis was a slave and and Joseph who was sold into Egypt was also a slave. There are many flaws that I see with both Atheists and Christians. When Atheists talk about how immoral God is when it comes to slavery, there are other places in the Bible where God is moral and saves people from slavery. The hosts of The Atheist Experience should also have a problem with people in the Bible who sold themselves into slavery in order to pay off debts or provide for their families.

  31. Murat says

    @Les Black #20
    Well, there’s enough material to roast Yaddith with. But he does have a point: If restrooms are STILL categorized by sex or gender (two concepts that have become wildly different only recently) then any idea on who should use which is as valid as the next one.

    I think this is one issue that better be solved thru interior architecture: If all restrooms get restorated in a way to provide individuals relatively more closeted space for whatever they do (more like a row of phone booths than locker rooms with a common area, with spaces including the sinks, like those unisex ones in planes) then the gender divide would cease to be an issue for this topic.

    Also, I believe such a worldwide restoration movement would help make all restrooms more hygyenic.

  32. Yaddith says

    Les Black: Yes, I did listen to the show. Does that mean I have to agree with everything the hosts have to say? How would the law be enforced? I suppose the same way most laws are enforced, by social pressure and voluntary compliance.

    Jared: I am a naturally obliging person. If a man said, “I feel like a woman, so please address me as such,” I am sure I would agree to do so. But if he said, “I am a woman,” as I have seen several do on television, I am not so sure I would be willing to address him as such. I do not believe in feeding people’s delusions. If someone said, “I am a dog,” would I be socially obligated to call him Fido?

  33. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Jared #19 (to Yaddith):

    Unless you have a goal of enforcing gender roles, another person’s gender imprinting shouldn’t be a problem for you.
    […]
    it would seem that you’re making a judgment on how males and females ‘should’ act and be treated like socially, based solely on their sex. If so, why?

    This.
     
     
    Article: Washington Post – How the bathroom became a political battleground for civil rights

    A transgender bathroom bill would not be raised in some rural parts of Africa or Asia, where there aren’t public bathrooms and where outdoor lavatories are part of the norm. A bathroom bill wouldn’t be raised in some parts of Europe where restrooms are unisex.
    […]
    Until the mid-19th century, all bathroom facilities were outhouses. They were meant for one occupant at a time, so no gender specifications were needed. It wasn’t until the 1870s rise of post-cholera sanitation awareness that the United States began to see widespread indoor plumbing and, thus, the invention of the modern public bathroom.
     
    About the same time, the Industrial Revolution meant that women, who had previously been expected to remain homebound, began to enter public space via the workforce. They toiled in factories and office buildings, and this rattled people — the idea that women were invading what had always been the domain of men.
     
    The solution to this problem was architectural. Building designers developed ladies-only reading rooms in libraries, ladies-only hotel lobbies, train cars, banking lines.
    […]
    In some ways these spaces were a feminist triumph, allowing women safe spaces separate from male onlookers. But the language surrounding their invention didn’t come across as liberating so much as it came across as male lawmakers fretting about what women could or could not handle. They could not, it seems, handle being near men.
    […]
    When public bathrooms first came into existence, [Erika Rappaport, historian of gender] says, wealthy people protested them, fearing the unseemly mingling of classes. In the 1980s, […] straight people sharing restrooms with gay ones. And, of course, the segregated bathroom was the loathsome hallmark of the Jim Crow South
    […]
    Each of these separations was couched in terms of public interest: protecting women. Protecting health. Protecting the natural orders of biology and society. In her history of public toilets, sociologist Barbara Penner writes: “The fact that bathroom segregation changes according to the ruling political regime underscores that there’s nothing ‘natural’ about it.”

  34. indianajones says

    @Yadith
    ‘might seem to me, so long as they keep it legal.’
    For realsies? Under this standard, just about anything can be accepted. And has been. And this has badnesses associated with it.

  35. Les Black says

    Yaddith@#22
    “Social pressure and voluntary compliance”. What a crock. Setting aside how such social forces can do just as much harm as good, if they were all that was required then there’d be no need for a law. Laws are only fashioned when other social forces are deemed inadequate. Again, I ask you, if someone decided that they suspected someone of the wrong gender was breaking such a law and was using the “wrong” restroom, and reports this activity, how would the law be enforced? Will people, including kids, be asked to drop their pants? Will cops be asked to look at people’s privates? Seriously? This law is a joke at best, and will result in more abuse and humiliation than it will ever alleviate. As Jen points out, there are already laws on the books prohibiting sexual harrasment and assault, which, as a matter of fact, are perpetrated much more by cis folks than trans. This new law is nothing more than the manufacture of another imaginary moral problem by religious zealots who, finding themselves losing the fight for gay rights, had to make up another ridiculous cause to keep their pinheaded followers worked up into a righteous lather.

  36. Kylidronil says

    I felt real empathy for Mitch. A genuine person genuinely struggling with this stuff, I’ve never been put in a position in my life where I was forced to fight such a battle. And the courage to reach out beyond any comfort zone you were raised to rely on, is really brave and inspiring. I wish you good luck with your family and everything. These are the kind of calls I watch this show for

  37. RationalismRules says

    @Yaddith

    I’m a live and let live guy, but men don’t belong in the women’s room and women do not belong in the men’s room, so I have no problem with a bathroom bill.

    My response to people who lay down arbitrary dicta about the world is the same as my response to religious people: Believe what you like, but do not expect me to validate your presupp bullshit.

    Every human being urinates and defecates. Why is it so terribly important to separate those humans who have an external urination apparatus from those who don’t? What is so sacred about this act of waste elimination?

  38. says

    Yaddith, the usage of the terms isn’t always clear. As Murat mentioned, widespread public distinction between biological sex and imprinted genders is a recent thing, and in public use there isn’t a clear standardization of terms yet. For instance, a person might use ‘woman’ as the term for gender and ‘female’ as the term for sex. Unless explicitly stated, this often isn’t going to be obvious that such a distinction is being drawn by the term a person chooses to use. This is further complicated by related disagreements on usage of terms coming from other perspectives, such as people who consider ‘female’ to be a negative way to refer to someone with a 46,XX karyotype, preferring the usage of ‘woman’ for that.

    This current lack of standardization definitely makes communication on the issue more difficult. This is in addition to any possible confusion from the speaker themselves in what is involved in the distinction between their gender and their sex. I have encountered people who are openly gay who were still clearly confused about their own sexuality and struggled to articulate it. Regardless of their confusion and difficulties with articulation, they did realize that they were gay. Likewise, there are people who are trans who have similar difficulties expressing themselves, but who can still tell you what biological sex they are.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people have difficulty articulating their thoughts to others in areas where someone else hasn’t laid the conceptual framework down for them. One thing that helps is to view things as charitably as possible where you can, or give some credit that if a person doesn’t seem to be making sense, it’s more likely a communication issue. I can’t tell you how many apparent disagreements have vanished when I have clearly laid out definitions of terms, premises that underlie an idea, or made explicit the values that are in competition.

    Values differences tend to be the hardest to resolve, but even those can clear up quickly in some cases, like if they’re an instrumental value towards another value, and you can show whether or not they actually result in the more terminal value being realized. Sometimes you have to do some real digging to uncover the true points of disagreement, but it’s better than wasting time when the real argument to be had is a foundational premise of what the argument started on. In the case of some random person on TV, you generally won’t be able to clear up anything with them, but it’s not unlikely that they are aware of what their body actually is, and wouldn’t cost you anything to presume so.

    As far as someone saying that they’re a dog and asking to you to call them ‘Fido’, it’s unlikely that they would think they are a literally a dog. Imprinting processes could have a person who interprets a dog as a social role identify with that. That would be even more problematic for them than imprinting with a gender role traditionally assigned to another sex. A big additional difficulty is that dogs are incapable of interacting on a human level, and any attempt to adopt a social role that they identify as a dog’s would be a distant emulation at best, and would have no analogous aspects in almost any context you put it in, such as if they were an employee, coworker, or student.

    But, they would still realize that they are biologically human, though they may have some confused talk of having a dog ‘soul’ or something like that. Unless they encounter someone who is willing to treat them as a pet and provide for them, or end up on some sort of disability, then they will need to provide for themselves. To that extent, they would need to interact on a human level in those contexts in order to get by.

    Regardless, just as you wouldn’t consider a biologically female person with ovarian cancer as a if they were biologically male and ignore the cancer, you wouldn’t consider a biologically human person as if they were biologically a dog and ignore the fact that they can interact on a human level where a dog can’t. It doesn’t really matter if someone wants to be called Fido or Fred, so that part shouldn’t be much of an issue. But, being human, they’ll be able to understand that it’s impossible to fully map a dog’s capacities and how they’re treated in response to those capacities over to a human, though they will likely appreciate any gesture at approximating it. Those people are in a really unfortunate position with no possibility of resolution, even if we did have the technology to give them a dog body.

  39. Yaddith says

    Les Black: I don’t think we are in any danger of having Privates Police in every restroom. How could a policeman determine someone’s sex? Well, they could ask politely. Most people are quite honest about such things. Also, in the case of adults, they could be asked for identification. I don’t know about other states, but in Texas the driver’s license has a male or female designation. That seems a lot less drastic measure than asking someone to drop their drawers.

    RationalismRules: Sure, social norms are always subject to change, but at present we generally have men’s rooms and women’s rooms, and it seems agreeable to most people.

    Jared: Calling someone by a dog’s name because they have embraced their inner dogginess is a lot farther down the road to Wooville than I am willing to travel.

  40. Murat says

    On a different note, I couldn’t help myself hammer at Sam Harris regarding one of the recent outsurfacings of what I see as one of his very twisted and dangerous remarks and I’d be more than happy if anyone here agreed (or, provided a sane ground to not agree) with me on that:

    https://twitter.com/MURATMIHCIOGLU/status/879676628384849920

    https://twitter.com/MURATMIHCIOGLU/status/879317090188099584

    https://twitter.com/MURATMIHCIOGLU/status/879316306750734340

  41. Leo K says

    @Yaddith #18
    I’m in agreement with cross with the separate of sexes in public restrooms, but I’m not entirely sure a law is required to enforce it. Then again, I’m looking at this from a Libertarian leaning view point, that more (and often restrictive) laws then to make things worse. Laws are always seem favorable to the populous until its used against them. Simple solution to this issue, but one that will incur a cost to come businesses, is to have a gender neutral restroom. They can simply take the slot allotted for the ‘family restroom’ and open it up for others to use. Doesn’t address the issue, but does pacify the folks on either end of the argument for a bit until society finds a more ideal solution.

    @Jared #19
    Dude, that’s a bit deep for a simple comment about where one should pee. It took several reads to follow your imprint logic, even then, I’m not entirely sure what your point was. No disrespect, but seriously sometimes a simply statement like what Yaddith said, “let and let live”, is more effective that nearly a thousand word essay on how gender identity is rooted into the genetic makeup of an individual force to live in a society created and governed by others who do not share that particular view point. Just a thought for a civil discussion board on an atheist website.

    @Yaddith #22
    Agree, there has to be a limit to where this whole gender self-identification goes. I’m perfectly fine with fully grown adults dressing up in animal costumes and grinding themselves silly at furry conventions, but don’t expect me to play nice with your fantasy in public or at the workplace. This of course is with respect to the extremes in society.
    As for those who choose to live a different gender lifestyle, they at least are attempting to play within the rules their current society has deemed more acceptable for their elected gender role. They are not trying to stand out, but blend into a gender identity that best suites their inner self. In this scenario, I don’t see an issue with folks using what ever restroom them deem appropriate. From my experience, most transgender folks are just like everyone else, fluids come in, fluids need to go out, the only difference is the process in which some might need to undergo in order to accomplish the task.

    @Yaddith #28
    My Florida license and CCW permit have a gender identifier, and would be an easier solution for law enforcement to identify someone’s general characteristics. Does get a little dicier when someone is in transition, since some states wont change the sex on the license until the transition is complete, and for some, that could take years depending on their financial situation. Then there are those who identify with the opposite sex, but prefer to keep the bits they were born with. So, while gender identification on a license is one way to identify someone, it does have its flaws in some situations.
    I still see the solution to this problem as being something more of a private one versus a public one, in other words, people versus police.

    Simple scenario one might find themselves in is an urgent need to use the rest room, say after eating bad chili from your local greasy spoon. If for what ever reason the restroom from one gender is occupied in in accessible (for what ever reason), and a person elects to enter the restroom of the opposite sex to avoid soiling themselves in public (which I witness first hand), then under the bathroom bill, they’ve broken the law and are subject to whatever punitive measure(s) that law entails. But then you say, they seriously can’t fault that person? What were they suppose to do, poop all over themselves?. As benign and justified as their reasons might have been, they still broke the law, and if you allow that person to slide, then what was the point of the law to begin with.

    Our books a filled with stupid laws, mostly because the majority our our elective officials are too lazy and incompetent to read through existing laws, let alone enforce them. It’s far more easier to make things worse by creating a new (hot button) bill/law that will address an immediate need, when an existing law already covered it or could have been amended to address the new need. One simply has to Google “Everyday laws people break and not even know it” to find countless examples of this. Just a thought.

  42. Murat says

    I think another side to the argument about restrooms is whether they are “really” intended only for urination and defecation.

    Maybe, though not officially stated anywhere, in the public mind they are kind of like “meeting points” for people who share the same gender identity. Spots where one is guaranteed to exchange some small talk about the “other” gender(s), temporarily or routinely.

    Someone who would oppose to them being unisex (or, open to more than one gender identity, while remaining for two sexes) could come up with an argument based on this aspect of the thing.

    Is “I need to powder my nose” a signal to another female in the group to meet up in the ladies’ room to talk in private about something the men better not hear? Are restrooms the only places to provide people with that kind of a “secure” area for certain talks? Are they, in practice and to a certain degree, “gender rooms”?

    For I am kind of germophobic, all my life I’ve avoided using shared spaces for urination, defecation, shaving etc. However, it’s inevitable. There were a few times when I had good reason to avoid the only available public restrooms for nothing about them seemed right, but I just had to. And you know, especially when it’s kind of an intestinal emergency or something, people do not like certain noises and smells to reach out to those who are (at least in theory) possible or actual lovers, sex partners, etc. So, I wonder if the application of restroom facilities for offices (where you share space with the same people for months, years, decades) and “temporary” common spaces (stations, airplanes etc.) could reasonably be different.

    Movies by Paul Verhoeven are particulary notable in terms of making use of restrooms as places way beyond “where we urinate and defecate”. I can’t tell off the top of my head if he embedded them into scripts as the ideal locations for certain one-on-one talks, or if they just happened to be written that way. The scene in RoboCop where the rookie is talking behind the CEO’s back, not acknowledging he also is in the men’s room, in one of the cabins, hearing… Showgirls, where the highest tension and teasing is seen between the leads… Also, I think the very first time a “unisex locker room” was portrayed in mainstream (?) cinema was in Starship Troopers… Was a big leap in its day.

    Well, I don’t know… Are these locations in fact really more than what meets the eye? Unnamed or temporary “gender clubs” for many?

    It can be argued if such a role for any space is necessary or not, but that perspective might be a gamechanger for those willing to keep them the way they commonly are.

  43. Les Black says

    Yaddith@28.
    Wow. The cop could ask? Dude, the whole point of transgenderism is that the trans person believes they are truly are of another gender, regardless of their anatomy. Yes, I too think most people are basically honest, and when asked by a cop or anyone else their gender, they will say what they believe. What if the cop isn’t satisfied with their response? Now we’re right back where we started, aren’t we?

    As for ID, lots of folks, including nearly all CHILDREN, don’t carry an ID.

    But even when the use of an ID is possible, once again, are you seriously asking cops to judge who should be scrutinized for gender and who should be asked to submit ID to prove it? In a bathroom? Oh yeah, that’s gonna work out just fine.

  44. RationalismRules says

    @Yaddith

    Sure, social norms are always subject to change, but at present we generally have men’s rooms and women’s rooms, and it seems agreeable to most people.

    Well since it’s just a social norm that ‘seems agreeable to most people’, as opposed to an issue of genuine social importance, why then would you want to enshrine it in law?

    More importantly, why base this legislated separation solely on physical genitalia? As I experience it, this agreeable social norm is about separating men from women, not separating penises from vaginas. It seems to me that if you’re going to have separate toilets, someone who lives their life as a woman should use the women’s toilets, regardless of whether their pee-tube is an innie or an outie. Surely forcing someone who lives as a male to use the women’s toilets, for the sole reason that they weren’t born with a penis, is far more likely to cause an uncomfortable situation than simply letting them use the toilet that they ‘fit’ with.

    BTW, I note that you are pulling the old presupp scam: make your big claim, provide exactly zero reasoning to back it up (easily done, just state it as if it’s some kind of natural law) then sit back and attempt to shoot down counter-arguments, while continuing to provide no substantive case for your own position. Would you accept those bullshit tactics from a god-botherer? If not, why are trying it out on us? If you have a case to make, make it. So far all you have offered are your Very Important Opinions™.

  45. Murat says

    I wonder how much more heated an argument would be going on if there was a bill proposing theists and atheists to use different public restrooms.

  46. Leo K says

    @Murat #35
    In the bible belt, that would mean long lines of folks praying their bladders wont fail them as they wait in line to use the restroom.

  47. Murat says

    @Leo K #36
    Or, a means of ambush to observe who will choose the atheists’ restroom so as to kick the hell out of them!

  48. Monocle Smile says

    @Leo K
    Personally, I’m extremely glad Jared went into a lengthy exposition. People like Yaddith (who has done this in the past) often hide behind willful ignorance when making statements that lean transphobic. They pretend to not understand anything about how gender works or how sex and gender are different. Jared’s post now kills that poor excuse.

    @Jared
    Thus far, I have greatly appreciated your contributions to the blog and I hope you stay for some time.

    @Les Black

    This new law is nothing more than the manufacture of another imaginary moral problem by religious zealots who, finding themselves losing the fight for gay rights, had to make up another ridiculous cause to keep their pinheaded followers worked up into a righteous lather.

    Nailed it.

  49. Monocle Smile says

    Chuck is a troll, or at least should be treated like one. There’s no point in talking with that dude.

    Zack’s brain is fucked. He needs to unfuck it by putting down the bad philosophy books and picking up a science book…and letting go of his beliefs emotionally. He wants to nuke anything resembling knowledge and methods of acquiring knowledge so he can feel “justified.” It’s a nihilistic appeal to solipsism.

  50. says

    Yaddith, it’s not about woo. Yes, a person who has imprinted something like a dog as their social role or whatever similar imprinting may occur is likely to have difficulty understanding what has occurred, and may come up with and embrace confused woo explanations such as having a dog ‘soul’. But, their confusion on the matter doesn’t invalidate their situation any more than confused religious explanations for morality invalidate morality.

    You shouldn’t just accept a woo explanation for something, but for the sake of positive social interaction, you should still acknowledge their situation and where you can, treat people as they want to be treated. If you have one friend who is very touchy feely and another who generally doesn’t like physical contact, you might give the one a hug when you meet them, and the other you would just come up to and give a verbal greeting, even if they both offer woo explanations for why they prefer different levels of contact. You shouldn’t accept their explanations, and there isn’t any problem in pointing out the errors, but that doesn’t mean not respecting their preferences.

    Obviously, if someone is very demanding, you wouldn’t be obliged to obey them because they prefer to be treated that way. Where their requests are fair, there is no problem, and where they become too demanding, you can always let them know that such requests are not something you are willing to do. Personally, I consider a name request such as ‘Fido’ as a trivial thing, just like if someone asked to be called ‘Fred’, ‘Fugu’, ‘Fiona’, or ‘Fixer’. It’s not any more of a burden for me, and yet it makes them happier. I prefer those sorts of pro-social interactions to ones that are non-sociable, especially in situations where the difference is no more burdensome.



    Leo K, the mentions of imprinting are not about the genetics of a person. While a person’s genetics can make the outcomes of imprinting more or less likely to happen in certain ways, the imprinting process is something that happens as a result of interactions with the environment. A really simple example historically is that when ducklings hatch, they have an imprinting process of their own by which most will imprint on their mother, and then follow the mother around.

    This process doesn’t always go ‘right’, and ducklings can imprint on other things in their environment instead. In the wild, this will often be fatal. But, humans have controlled the environments of ducklings in such a way as the natural pattern-matching process that usually determines what the mother is, instead causes them to imprint on other things, which they then treat as if it were their mother. Once such an imprinting process is complete, it cannot be undone. Similar ‘errors’ can occur in humans as our developing brains determine what we find attractive in mates, or what we adopt as a gender role, or who our close kin are, and so on.

    The point in laying all the details out is often there is misunderstanding of what is going on, and a better understanding will result in people being able to better address a topic. It’s often not clear to what extent people share relevant background knowledge that conclusions are reliant upon. When you have disputes about issues such as this, where a lot of people aren’t familiar with what causes a person to be trans, simply stating the conclusions without showing how you got there is usually unhelpful.

    If it seemed that everyone shared the foundational knowledge, then I wouldn’t bother to lay it all out. But, the very fact that people are questioning and disputing the conclusions indicates that there must be some underlying disagreement. I make an estimate of what level of detail I will need to go into to reach the same page as others participating in the discussion, and then go to that level. Based on people making statements that a person who is trans does not recognize their own biology, that was my estimate for how detailed I needed to go. Any time there is a dispute, I prefer to go into detail, rather than simply saying something like, “Just do this”, or “Nope, you’re wrong. That is just how it is.” Even if I am right, it makes for a poor discussion.

  51. Leo K says

    @Jared –
    Can I have some sources to your imprinting argument? I’m interesting in learning more about this, but my Google-foo seems failing me right now, or what key words I can use in Google Scholarly to find the right articles/studies.

    As for the level of details you choose to go into your postings, while a length analysis is appreciate, you can not overlook the audience you expressing your views to. The language used during one’s arguments will determine how effective it might be to the greater audience. I understand that complicate topics requires a through examination, but one always has to take into the consideration the target audience. You might be the most learned individual on a particular subject, but if your intended audience can follow your argument for or against a topic, then what good was accomplished.

    A recent example of this is our recent presidential election, politically speaking we had a well groomed politician against someone who wasn’t. One clearly was able to answer the questions using all the correct political jargon and tactics, while the other simply spoke from the hip. One was well spoken and articulate, the other wasn’t. Whose message ultimately resonated with the greater populous? Why simple statements like “nope, you’re wrong” doesn’t begin to address any argument, what style of message do you think will resonate? An argument that short yet precise, or one that requires multiple readings to get the complete picture? This reminds me of a recent VOX video I watched: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qfI3DZmmQw&quot; Scientists really aren’t the best champions of climate science. Not exactly about gender imprinting, but the overall message of scientist losing the argument because of technical speak is.

    Just an observation from countless of online articles and postings I read, and dozens of essays and presentations I’ve written over the years. Sometimes keeping it super simple works the best.

  52. humanityissanity says

    I think it’s very possible that any sexuality other than hetrosexuality could be an abnormality and i don’t mean anything bad by saying that. People are born with all sorts of abnormality’s that are basically a non issue these day . What is wrong with saying certain things are naturally occurring abnormality’s , without people thinking it has to have a bad connotation attached. People that are born without a limb have an abnormality but we obviously wouldn’t consider them any less than any other person.

    If we just look at one of the many varied sexuality’s with objectophiles most people i’m sure would say that is very likely an abnormality .But you’d probably be hard put to find people that are against someone having a life long relationship with a piece of the Berlin Wall, which has happened . Society obviously finds certain sexuality’s perfectly acceptable while others are correctly criminal offences.

    I can understand the reluctance of someone in say the Gay community to even consider this to be a possibility .I’m pro Gay rights and Pro Gay marriage but i do think political correctness has gone overboard these days to the point people are terrified of confronting and talking about issues fairly and honestly, for fear of being called racist or bigoted.

    I just don’t see how we get to pick choose what’s so called normal and whats an abnormality without actually honestly knowing the truth and finding all the answers. It just seems a little dishonest to say we understand one sexuality while at the same time admitting to not having much clue about many others. But then it seems people have a propensity to pretend to understand things long before they actually do.

    Hopefully these thoughts wont offend anyone because they certainly aren’t intended to.

  53. humanityissanity says

    If you done an experiment and made an easy to solve crossword puzzle, but sneak in one small unsolvable word that appears extremely easy to solve . I wonder if religious people would have a higher propensity than atheists to shoehorn in letters that fit and look like they could be a word. And would one group have a higher propensity to leave the last word unsolved.

  54. Monocle Smile says

    @Leo K
    There’s a point lurking in there somewhere, but this blog isn’t infested with a bunch of slobbering dumbasses. Yaddith is perfectly capable of understanding everything in Jared’s post; he just has a history of refusing to engage honestly on the topic.

    Yes, sometimes scientists aren’t the best communicators. That analogy was much better than the first one. Donald Trump’s message resonated with people not because his communication tactics were more effective, but because this country is full of ignorant, gullible shitpiles. Trump and Clinton could switch communication styles and the election outcome would have been the same.

  55. Murat says

    How do you guys think the separation of sexes in the world of sports should be like, with regards to the new gender identities?

    Long ago I had on mind why the hell there were two different classifications for men and women in chess tournaments. Seemed like an insult to female intelligence. However, a professional chess player I knew explained to me that, there also is quite a physical energy loss (sweating, weight loss, etc) observed during the games, hence, classification by gender was a must. Otherwise, especially at the high levels where really long and tiring matches were taking place, no woman could defeat a man.

    Given that, for sports, the difference of physical stamina and power between avarage man and woman draws the line, trans gender people of male origin can not ever claim a place in a women’s team. Or, the other way round, a woman who went through surgery to gain the male genital may practically still want to play for a women’s team.

    I’m not aware if such issues were brought up by trans genders in professional sports. All I’ve so far heard were problems or outcomings of are gay men and women who normally keep their places in the relative teams.

    But something in me says that, the multiple gender revolution / movement is likely to bring up demands for 3rd or 4th or 5th classifications for some sports that so far have only two.

  56. indianajones says

    Murat. I am not sure I like your professional chess players reasoning about physical emergy loss. ie Giving Birth something something….

  57. Murat says

    @indianajones #45

    So, you think the gender-based classification that’s been ongoing in the world of professional chess for many many decades is flawed?

  58. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #44:

    I’m not aware if such issues were brought up by trans genders in professional sports.

    That is trivially googlable.
     
    Article: Washington Post – Do transgender athletes have an unfair advantage at the Olympics?

    The first-ever study of transgender athletes showed that the hormone therapy that facilitates male-to-female transition does more than just suppress testosterone. Published [in 2015], the study showed that as testosterone levels approach female norms, trans women experience a decrease in muscle mass, bone density and other physical characteristics.
     
    “Together these changes lead to a loss of speed, strength and endurance — all key components of athleticism,” the study’s author, Joanna Harper, wrote in The Washington Post.
     
    Harper, who is chief medical physicist at Oregon’s Providence Portland Medical Center, a trans athlete and a participant in the [2016 International Olympic Committee] meeting that overhauled the trans guidelines, explained to me that “it’s not the anatomy that matters, it’s the hormones.” After a year of hormone therapy, for example, female trans distance runners completely lose their speed advantage over cisgender women.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Transgender people in sports, Notable Athletes

  59. Lino Ciaralli says

    Matt I just tuned into this episode after about a year’s hiatus from the show. I have to say, you’re looking absolutely fantastic! It appears you’ve dropped quite a bit of weight, and I’m hoping that’s for good reasons and not stress or illness.

    This was a very interesting episode. I commonly run into individuals who aren’t capable of making logical arguments, and it’s frustrating to say the least.

    All the best to you and yours. Glad to see the show still running strong!

  60. Murat says

    @SkyCaptain #47

    Thanks. But what I meant was if they were having arguments (with federations) over which gender classification they should compete in. Googlable, too, of course. I just don’t recall having read of such debates.

  61. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #48:

    Given that, for sports, the difference of physical stamina and power between avarage man and woman draws the line, trans gender people of male origin can not ever claim a place in a women’s team.

    I meant that it is unsound yet common rhetoric in the athletic ‘controversey’ stories. MMA’s Fallon Fox in 2013, for example.

  62. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    So, you think the gender-based classification that’s been ongoing in the world of professional chess for many many decades is flawed?

    I’m giving you an irritated sideways look right now, and I think you know exactly why.

  63. Murat says

    @MS #50

    Umm, because it’s your favorite look?

    I just didn’t understand what indianajones meant in #45. Is / was there a better explanation to why chess tournaments have not always been unisex?

  64. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    Please tell me this isn’t sealioning.
    The glaringly obvious answer is “rampant sexism.” It doesn’t surprise me in the least that chess is rife with it.

  65. Murat says

    @MS #52

    Oh, I’m not too sure about that. Of course, for starters there were (still are) higher percentages of men involved in chess than women, and they might have set the rules for related federations in their favor. But if it was just about rampant sexism, you’d expect things to change in the 60s.

    But no, even in the heyday of the game when Bobby Fischer started a wave of popularity, genders competed in different categories.

    I just googled a bit on whether the gender segregation is still a thing for pro chess, and some info suggests it’s getting more loose. Some masters’s tournaments welcome women, it seems.

    But I don’t think that particular explanation was made up or just a pretext for sexism, I believe it holds water. Physical stamina can not be totally irrelevant for high level chess games. This aspect of the game was also why Bobby Fischer was working out, exercising also physically while preparing for tournaments: http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/pawnsacrifice/ftnss.jpg

  66. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    /Blog ate my comment, retrying with links redirected via a shortener.
     
    @Murat #44:

    a professional chess player I knew explained to me that, there also is quite a physical energy loss (sweating, weight loss, etc) observed during the games

    Stress, not calories.
     
    Article: Stack Exchange – Does playing chess burn as many calories as running?

    People have used chess as a model for studying stress responses and therefore have done a detailed metabolic analysis [of 20 male chess competitors of national and
    international level].
    […]
    These are comparable to light physical activity (desk work, etc.), and not even close to jogging

     
    And from the full text of that research…
     
    Article:: The stress of chess players as a model to study the effects of psychological stimuli on physiological responses (2008, pdf):

    Interestingly, the two oxidation curves (lipid and carbohydrate) crossed each other 25 min after the start of the contest.
    […]
    It is not clear why there could be a switch in substrate oxidation during a lasting mental challenge. Numerous studies have shown that different kinds of stressors (examination, environmental stressors, and laboratory-based stressors) may influence metabolism and the concentration of lipids in blood.
    […]
    Moderate physical exercise is generally associated with the preponderant utilization of lipids, whereas acute and intensive physical exercises are under carbohydrate metabolism. The shift in substrate oxidation has been described as the “crossover concept” and depends on the relative intensity of the exercise and therefore on the endurance training of the subjects.
    […]
    Another interesting feature in this context is that training (endurance training?) of the subject could influence substrate oxidation during a mental challenge. One could therefore speculate that specific training could be designed for chess players. However, to validate such a new approach, further investigations are required.
     
    In summary, we herein described an interesting real-life stressor that seems to be a useful stress model in that it had significant effects on heart rate variability and metabolism.

  67. says

    Leo K, I’ve got another long message for you. For some basics on imprinting, an initial source you can read would be the Wikipedia article, which I’ll link to. There are quite a lot of articles you can read on imprinting, in humans and in animals. The experimental studies are on animals, with birds being commonly studied. For humans, you’ll see observational studies, due to the ethical concerns with intentionally manipulating imprinting, which could result in difficulties for the individuals being so experimented on. Search terms obviously include “imprinting”, and you can pair that with terms like “sexual”, “mate”, or “gender”. You’ll see a lot of articles on “genomic imprinting”, and you can disregard those, as that is an unrelated process in this context.

    Something that is related, as mentioned in the Wikipedia article, is the ‘critical period’. This is the period during which abilities can develop with the correct environmental exposures, and after the period has elapsed, it becomes more difficult or impossible for those abilities to be developed. As far as articles you can look into regarding human studies, you can go back to early studies involving intersex people up to more recent studies that indicate that things like hormone exposure in the pre-natal environment seem to have a strong effect on priming someone towards particular gender identities or sexual orientations. There are many more articles on the effects of imprinting on mate choice.

    One thing to note is that elements of what an individual absorbs as part of their gender role will depend on the culture around them. Also, not everyone gravitates strongly to the common gender roles overall, and even in the many that do, there can be a lot of variation in which elements of each gender they might adopt, even though by and large they adopt most elements traditionally considered a part of their gender. In that way, it’s not dissimilar to the biological variations in traits. At the end of this message, I’ll include a few links to various sources.

    As far as communication, I prefer not to try and appeal a fully-general audience. If it seems that a person is not comprehending something, my response will depend on a few different things, including what the issue seems to be. If it appears as a simple lack of background information, then I will try to fill that in enough that the topic can be addressed. As long as the conversation is not requiring a fully detailed explanation, this isn’t generally a problem. If it did, attempting that would take far too much time, perhaps years, depending on the topic.

    If it appears that they are incapable of comprehending the discussion, I might try to address it on a superficial level and break it down into baby steps to see if they can at least glean enough for a vague gist of things. If that seems beyond what they can comprehend as well, or if they’re disputing it despite not understanding what they think they may be disputing, and there isn’t a wider audience who may understand, then I wouldn’t continue that discussion.

    There are a lot of people who will take a position based on what they see as most of their in-group believing, or those they consider their authorities, even if the authorities have no expertise on the subject. Even where a person might be able to grasp a topic, they may avoid actually going to a direct evidential level if they think that it’s something already decided by their in-group. They may parrot arguments they’ve heard back at you, but don’t understand those arguments in detail and can’t handle foundational objections or examples where the information seems to conflict with other information. To them, it’s more a matter of supporting the rallying cries and such of their group.

    This is a simplification of that sort of thing, but that’s where a scientist expecting people to respond to the hard data would hit problems. In areas where the findings of a scientist don’t happen to clash with politics, most people would see the scientist as a general authority not in conflict with their in-group, and just accept the conclusions without bothering to look at the data.

    Another thing to consider is that the people don’t respond much to reason can still often be swayed, but perhaps not directly. You make your arguments to those who have the intelligence and honesty to grasp the arguments, even if they’re politically uncomfortable for them, and over time, they chew over the arguments trying to find flaws, see that they hold up, and change their minds. As they change their minds, you have others who know them as being on their ‘side’ who will see that. They’ll want to know what swayed the person, and actually give it real thought at that point. Some may change their minds based on seeing others do so. This can cascade, and over time, as it becomes the majority position, a lot of people will be swayed by that alone.

    I’ve had discussions with people who initially took a creationist position, who after discussing it and them seeing that the objections to evolution that they had been provided were not holding up, and that the very concept that they had been told was evolution was actually a straw man, changed their position on that, even though they had not left their religion. Perhaps they might have done that later, but I didn’t keep up with them. They were definitely above-average intelligence to begin with, though, and were honest in their communication style, so they were the type of person I find most productive to have such disagreements with.

    As for a few links on imprinting:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprinting_(psychology)
    http://jamanetwork.com/journals/archneurpsyc/article-abstract/652391
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01067668?LI=true
    http://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/05/08/135244
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evo.12226/full
    https://academic.oup.com/beheco/article/24/4/842/220309/An-experimental-test-of-the-Westermarck-effect-sex

  68. indianajones says

    @Murat. Based on the reasoning as espoused by your chess playing acquaintance? Yes.

  69. Murat says

    What I find intriguing about gender-related segregation on different issues are the possible chain reactions.

    Might help recalling this remark by Yaddith, which had ignited counter-arguments:

    My response to men who think they are women and women who think they are men is the same as my response to religious people: Believe what you like, but do not expect me to validate your fantasy.

    Bruce Jenner, without going through any kind of surgery for sex change, claimed the female gender identity and asks to be called Caitly Marie Jenner. So, from what I understand the problem regarding restrooms to be about, she is a vivid example. Regardless of their biological features, people who truly claim that gender identity demand / prefer to use ladies’ room, not men’s rooms, right?

    Though justice and laws sometimes point to different solutions, the way I understand they work, one having the legal backing for using one gender’s public restrooms may support one’s case to demand the same gender category for the classification under which they could do sports.

    As was noted by Les Black, I, too, think that the current objection to transgenders’ rights for using their choice of restrooms is one fabricated to serve the agenda of certain zealots.

    However, I don’t think that the solution to such issues could be too simple or isolated. The restroom thing might be of symbolic importance regarding which gender individuals prefer regarding every other thing. Otherwise, lawsuits of various kinds may follow up. A women’s team may well object to see a player like Caitlyn Jenner in the opposing side with the claim of unjust gender determination, and in her defense she may rightfully ask how come she couldn’t play tennis as a woman if she was legally backed to carry this gender identity and use ladies’ rooms.

    The major question is if gender is really “relevant” for modern society in terms of one’s rights and responsibilities, and if so, which areas are exempt from gender-free ruling.

  70. Leo K says

    @Monocle Smile #43
    My presidential example was a loose one, but I mainly wanted to emphasis the difference in style and content of the speakers, one more refined (or well scripted) while the other was more colloquial (and shooting from the hip). Despite their stark difference, the less refined simple speak resonated more with the general populous than the former. Despite his numerous flaws, the man knew his audience and knew how to get his message across. BUT, after that example, I was reminded of the VOX video, and decided to include it in my response.
    AND, as for Yaddith, I still relatively new, and as such, I’m still learning the various personalities that post to this site.

    @Murat 44
    With regards to the separation of sexes in sports, I’m in accord with several statements Joe Rogan has offered to this topic. There is a clear distinction the way males and females are genetically built and structured. A significant difference in which muscles are more prominent and more easily enhanced in the different sexes. For this reason, your average female is often times at a disadvantage to your average male. That being said, I do not see a reason for a sex based barrier to exist within all sports. Your chess example (not sure if I would call chess a sport) is a good one, but the first example that came to mind was that female NASCAR driver. I would Google her name, but I honestly dont care to, but I know there’s at least one out there. With respect to the sport that opts to become gender neutral, I can see where they might take the Special Forces/Navy Seals approach: here are the set of standards we use to qualify someone, if you can meet them, then you can play.

  71. Murat says

    @Leo K #57

    I agree that the standards for qualification provide a practical solution – BUT that applies only to determine who is physically “adequate” to be in the game, and does not answer the question of “overqualification”, which is not an issue for special forces / navy seals, but one for the world of sports.

    Should Caitly Jenner be allowed to compete in women’s tennis? The answer to this depends more on the consent of her RIVALS. Because, regardless of which gender Caitly Jenner feels to belong, the other side will still be playing against someone who has the physical advantages of a man.

    I’m not aware if such demands by transgender individuals of male physical features are a thing. The aim of the example is to demonstrate that the claim of belonging to a certain gender may provide one victory in a certain context while coming with extra baggage in other walks of life.

    I understand that banning transgender individuals from ladies’ rooms is quite likely to be the extension of a very conservative agenda, but there may as well be cases where a judge could rightfully deny certain citizens this right depending on their declared preference of gender in other areas such as sports or job contracts, where the previously selected gender is still providing certain advantages.

    Laws should not be forcing one to stick with their gender of birth, but they can rightfully ask for consistency in gender-related matters.

  72. RationalismRules says

    @Murat

    Should Caitly[n] Jenner be allowed to compete in women’s tennis? The answer to this depends more on the consent of her RIVALS. Because, regardless of which gender Caitly[n] Jenner feels to belong, the other side will still be playing against someone who has the physical advantages of a man.

    You appear to be posing a question about fairness and then proposing that it be left up to (potentially) uninformed people to decide on the issue. No, the answer should not depend on the consent of her rivals. It should depend on evidence – the sort of evidence considered by the Olympic governing bodies in making their decision. Leaving it up to a group of people who don’t necessarily have the information needed to make an informed rational choice but may simply be arguing from their preconceptions is not a way to ensure a fair outcome.

    [Speaking of arguing from preconceptions rather than evidence, that is exactly what you are doing in this scenario. In post #47 Sky Captain gave you the information that hormone therapy removes testosterone-related advantages over a relatively short period of time. Your latest scenario ignores this and continues to assume that Jenner retains ‘the physical advantages of a man’]

  73. Vivec says

    I think there may be a bit of equivocation going on when it comes to the word “fair”, given that it can mean both “Not unreasonable/deceptive” or “Equally balanced”

    If I challenge my 6’3″ athletic friend to a game of basketball knowing that he’ll destroy me at it, It’s possible for it to be fair in the former sense – I’m going into it informed and expecting to lose – but not in the latter sense.

  74. Murat says

    @Rationalism Rules #59

    What hormone therapy? In the case of Caitlyn Jenner, it’s just someone who was born as a male and then declared to embrace the female gender without undergoing any surgery or chemically infused metabolical changes. This is what I know her conditions to be, and if there is an update about this, you can just consider the question within the limits of that description, meaning, any “biologically male” person prefering to be treated as a female.

  75. Vivec says

    Caitlyn Jenner has been on hormone therapy for a while. The Vanity Fair cover she was on was already several months into her HRT.

    According to ABC

    Jenner says he has undergone cosmetic facial surgeries over the years and took the female hormone estrogen for five years in the late 1980s. Jenner has been back on hormones for the past year and a half.

  76. Murat says

    @Vivec #62

    Oh, ok. I didn’t know that. Then she is not the correct model for the question I was posing there.

  77. Murat says

    @Vivec #60

    That’s a good point. As an average, men are physically stronger than women but that doesn’t mean that every single male is stronger than every single female. For example in the world of soccer, it’s much more probable than in other sports for a weakling to rank higher than a powerful athlete. Talent is less dependent on stamina than, say, in basketball. There are people who just walk on the field for 85 minutes and use the other 5 so well that they become the heroes of the day.

    So, it’s safe to assume that there are many female soccer players who are physically stronger than many male soccer players. There is practically no reason not to have unisex soccer teams. A unisex league would put more on the table in terms of entertainment and competition.

    I hope this happens someday.

  78. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    You seem to be extremely poorly informed on this topic when lots of the information is readily available. Why is that?

    In most sports, the men/women distinction is a guideline, not an absolute rule. In American football, we have some female kickers at the high school level and we just had one offered a college scholarship recently.

    Female soccer athletes are generally slower than male soccer athletes at the professional and college levels. There’s less of a difference in high school.

    I’m mostly baffled by your posts. I’m wondering what you’re trying to accomplish.

  79. Murat says

    @MS #66

    The topic of “segregation with regards to new definitions of gender” is a fresh one abundant with uncharted territories. What is buffling is to see hints of approach suggesting everything is set, the rules are rooted in ancient history, there is nothing to discover or discuss, etc.

    Soccer athletes being slower as an outcome of gender is irrelevant to the idea of having unisex soccer teams, because as I explained, the game is not dependant solely on speed or stamina, and it’s probably the most suitable team sport for a unisex league.

    I’m trying to accomplish world peace. But that’s not always relevant with what I write here.

  80. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    The topic of “segregation with regards to new definitions of gender” is a fresh one abundant with uncharted territories. What is buffling is to see hints of approach suggesting everything is set, the rules are rooted in ancient history, there is nothing to discover or discuss, etc

    No, it’s just that myself and the others are informed and we know that despite “uncharted territory,” it’s being figured out by people who know what they’re doing. The sky is not falling. Also, I’m somebody who initiates “discussion” only after I’ve taken the time to educate myself on the topic.

    Soccer athletes being slower as an outcome of gender is irrelevant to the idea of having unisex soccer teams, because as I explained, the game is not dependant solely on speed or stamina, and it’s probably the most suitable team sport for a unisex league

    Uh, have you ever played soccer? At the high school level, I’ve gotten smoked by girls before, and I’m a large (for a soccer player), fairly fast athlete. There are co-ed leagues going all the way through college, though not at the varsity level. But the athletic differences at the professional level are magnified.

    Let’s try this. In American sports, I do not believe there are any hard rules prohibiting women from competing in leagues that are currently all male. The gendered labels are used to describe composition, not restrictions.

  81. Murat says

    @RationalismRules #59

    I wouldn’t call performers of a sport “uninformed people” on the subject of having a consent or expressing an idea regarding whom they are playing against. Such a cast system and a theoretical reality where the actual players are bound by unquestinable authority is never healthy. “Evidence” is not isolated to laboratory conditions. In such cases it’s quite an ampirical thing that better not be quickly dismissed by supposing other participants of the game would “argue from their preconceptions”.

  82. Murat says

    No, it’s just that myself and the others are informed and we know that despite “uncharted territory,” it’s being figured out by people who know what they’re doing.

    Come on, MS… You’re distancing yourself from skeptical thinking and walking on the tiny fence that’s between us and the “fallacy from arguent of authority” here. These are thing that affect social life. You can’t simply be thinking some people in white shirts will conduct experiments on hormone levels in advanced labs and then come up with the correct answers regarding gender roles in public. Just watch the first few seconds of this without taking it too seriously an attack on your intellectual integrity, which I respect despite the fact that you’re usually on a high horse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fdjf4lMmiiI

    But the athletic differences at the professional level are magnified.

    How do you expect this to affect a unisex team when the rival is also unisex?

    Sincerely,
    – The Uninformed

  83. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    These are thing that affect social life. You can’t simply be thinking some people in white shirts will conduct experiments on hormone levels in advanced labs and then come up with the correct answers regarding gender roles in public

    What the fuck? So your whole spiel about sports was just a non sequitur? Because as far as I’m concerned, how sports leagues are determined has fuck all to do with “gender roles in public.”

    Also, given your brazen dismissal of Sky Captain’s posts (by ignoring them completely), you appear to be someone who is not only uninformed, but has no desire to even BE informed. I can’t understand that mindset. Until you fix that, I’m not discussing this with you.

  84. Murat says

    It’s in #56 that I explained how anything gender-related may create chain reactions in practical applications of rights, responsibilities and legal issues.

  85. Monocle Smile says

    Yes, #56 is where you ignored Sky Captain’s #47.
    For some reason, you don’t seem to understand that gender separations in different areas are done for different reasons. Bathrooms have historically been separated for much different reasons than sports leagues. Thus, one is hardly likely to affect the other. Now, both are involved in the general social issue of recognizing transgenderism, but that’s really it…and co-ed sports leagues are only tangentially related to the topic.

    How is this a problem for you, personally? You talk about these things as if your personal life will be negatively affected. At least, that’s the impression I’m getting.

  86. ironchops says

    I am from Virginia and watched my North Carolinian neighbors go through the bathroom brawl (aka House Bill 2) and I agree with Jen when she sarcastically said (paraphrased) “what a great use of tax money”. I saw that law cost the state a pile of money (millions) and the loss of NCAA basketball (which they had for so long) when businesses pulled out of the state, and for such a stupid reason. They have since revised the bill enough, to pull the teeth out and essentially nullify it, in order to re-attract businesses back they lost. I find it unfortunate that Texas is going down this same rabbit hole. This whole bathroom thing has gotten so stupid. As Matt said, we already have laws about assaults and inappropriate sexual misconduct in public and I just don’t see the need for any additional legislation on the matter. It will be interesting to see how it all works out and sad if it passes.

    On the faith argument: We need to understand which of the wildly differing definitions for the word are we using in order to eliminate the equivocating that happens mid argument, just like we need to define which of the thousands of gods one may be talking about, otherwise we are just whipping a dead horse.

  87. Murat says

    Yes, #56 is where you ignored Sky Captain’s #47

    As you could have noticed, I thanked Sky Captain for his input in #48 while noting that I was questioning something different there, and he further elaborated in #49.

    How is this a problem for you, personally? You talk about these things as if your personal life will be negatively affected. At least, that’s the impression I’m getting.

    Which of my remarks gave you that absurd impression? On the contrary, in the few personally relative lines, I stated that I’m someone who avoids using public restrooms. Even if I had an “argument from ick” or some other weird objection, it wouldn’t be of the kind to target any particular gender identity.

    Why is it so hard for you to understand that the only reason someone, informed or not, may be writing thoughts or trivia about an issue under the thread of one particular episode can simply be the obvious, crystal clear, giant fact that the issue in question was brought up and discussed by the hosts in that very episode?

  88. Murat says

    @Ironchops #74

    As Matt said, we already have laws about assaults and inappropriate sexual misconduct in public and I just don’t see the need for any additional legislation on the matter.

    Exactly.
    Plus, as I stated in #21:

    I think this is one issue that better be solved thru interior architecture: If all restrooms get restorated in a way to provide individuals relatively more closeted space for whatever they do (more like a row of phone booths than locker rooms with a common area, with spaces including the sinks, like those unisex ones in planes) then the gender divide would cease to be an issue for this topic.

    The answers to such “problems”, if there are any, lie not in such “rabbit holes” but in the application of much more practical solutions.

  89. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    It’s mostly the gross lack of understanding that’s getting to me, because I figured you for someone who did a bit more legwork.
    Here’s one instance of having a incorrect understanding:

    Though justice and laws sometimes point to different solutions, the way I understand they work, one having the legal backing for using one gender’s public restrooms may support one’s case to demand the same gender category for the classification under which they could do sports

    I have absolutely no clue how you draw a connection here. Why would you ever think that bathroom separation and sports league classification are linked by law? And why wouldn’t you try to figure this out beforehand?
    Here’s another one:

    These are thing that affect social life. You can’t simply be thinking some people in white shirts will conduct experiments on hormone levels in advanced labs and then come up with the correct answers regarding gender roles in public

    This reads like you’re either ignoring or dismissing Sky Captain’s information on a whim.
    A third one:

    What hormone therapy? In the case of Caitlyn Jenner, it’s just someone who was born as a male and then declared to embrace the female gender without undergoing any surgery or chemically infused metabolical changes

    This one is embarrassingly wrong, IMO. You wanted to have this discussion, and in your shoes, I would have double-checked everything before posting. Furthermore, when I indicate that you’re uninformed and there’s progress being made on this front and the sky is not in fact falling, you accuse me of “distancing myself from skeptical thinking” and then ridicule me despite getting a number of things completely wrong. What exactly am I supposed to take away from this? I mean, you could have just decided to start posting despite having loads of misconceptions, but that does seem to be out of character for you.

  90. Murat says

    It’s mostly the gross lack of understanding that’s getting to me, because I figured you for someone who did a bit more legwork.

    This time, I have not. I failed. You can flunk me out.

    This one is embarrassingly wrong, IMO. You wanted to have this discussion, and in your shoes, I would have double-checked everything before posting.

    I was intending to discuss the situation of individuals who were keeping their genitalia as they were, while adopting the gender identity of the opposite sex. I thought Caitlyn Jenner was one such person. A podcast where I recently listened to Bill Burr and his wife discuss Jenner’s “coming out” had made me think she was biologically male and was demanding to be perceived and treated as a female.
    I was wrong not in the validity of the question I was posing, but in the seleciton of the example I was giving. I apologize to you and to others for failing to do the relative search that you deem necessary. I could have double checked before placing her name as the correct example. But I don’t agree with you on the remark that this one was “embarrassingly” wrong because the question I was posing is still valid as there are many people who are (or, ask to be) labeled transgender while keping their genitalia as they naturally were. In short: I am not embarrassed at all.
    But I’ll give it to you that I would definitely be embarrassed if I had made this mistake in an academical paper or something!

    I have absolutely no clue how you draw a connection here. Why would you ever think that bathroom separation and sports league classification are linked by law? And why wouldn’t you try to figure this out beforehand?

    I believe that the spirit of justice embedded into various laws not only allow but also force any sane judge to draw the connection. What makes you think they aren’t linked? People state their gender on many different platforms and for various paperwork. Have you seen Ms. Doubtfire?
    I acknowledge that one may need to change their gender group. I stated I would respect that and also I would expect laws to be in line with such demands. However, I see a problem with individuals being (theoretically) able to declare different genders for different occasions. The examples from sports were intended to arouse the question whether one could obtain the gender of one sex in some parts of daily life (i.e. public restrooms) while being categorized under the other for different fields (job, sports, etc.). And I insist this question is totally relevant with the topic. You can even create a huge sub-topic under the title “Gender Consistency With Regards to Legal Practices and Limitations”.
    As to why I would try to figure this out beforehand… Simply because I am not you, because I indulge myself with different aspect of issues than you do.
    Therefore, don’t be so amazed the next time you find me pondering about stuff that don’t seem notable to you.

  91. says

    So, my last comment has been awaiting moderation for awhile, due to including some links. So here’s a version with the links edited. Just run a search and replace to replace any ‘^’ with ‘.’. Hopefully this will go through:

    Leo K, another long post, but for some basics on imprinting, an initial source you can read would be the Wikipedia article, which I’ll link to. There are quite a lot of articles you can read on imprinting, in humans and in animals. The experimental studies are on animals, with birds being commonly studied. For humans, you’ll see observational studies, due to the ethical concerns with intentionally manipulating imprinting, which could result in difficulties for the individuals being so experimented on. Search terms obviously include “imprinting”, and you can pair that with terms like “sexual”, “mate”, or “gender”. You’ll see a lot of articles on “genomic imprinting”, and you can disregard those, as that is an unrelated process in this context.

    Something that is related, as mentioned in the Wikipedia article, is the ‘critical period’. This is the period during which abilities can develop with the correct environmental exposures, and after the period has elapsed, it becomes more difficult or impossible for those abilities to be developed. As far as articles you can look into regarding human studies, you can go back to early studies involving intersex people up to more recent studies that indicate that things like hormone exposure in the pre-natal environment seem to have a strong effect on priming someone towards particular gender identities or sexual orientations. There are many more articles on the effects of imprinting on mate choice.

    One thing to note is that elements of what an individual absorbs as part of their gender role will depend on the culture around them. Also, not everyone gravitates strongly to the common gender roles overall, and even in the many that do, there can be a lot of variation in which elements of each gender they might adopt, even though by and large they adopt most elements traditionally considered a part of their gender. In that way, it’s not dissimilar to the biological variations in traits. At the end of this message, I’ll include a few links to various sources.

    As far as communication, I prefer not to try and appeal a fully-general audience. If it seems that a person is not comprehending something, my response will depend on a few different things, including what the issue seems to be. If it appears as a simple lack of background information, then I will try to fill that in enough that the topic can be addressed. As long as the conversation is not requiring a fully detailed explanation, this isn’t generally a problem. If it did, attempting that would take far too much time, perhaps years, depending on the topic.

    If it appears that they are incapable of comprehending the discussion, I might try to address it on a superficial level and break it down into baby steps to see if they can at least glean enough for a vague gist of things. If that seems beyond what they can comprehend as well, or if they’re disputing it despite not understanding what they think they may be disputing, and there isn’t a wider audience who may understand, then I wouldn’t continue that discussion.

    There are a lot of people who will take a position based on what they see as most of their in-group believing, or those they consider their authorities, even if the authorities have no expertise on the subject. Even where a person might be able to grasp a topic, they may avoid actually going to a direct evidential level if they think that it’s something already decided by their in-group. They may parrot arguments they’ve heard back at you, but don’t understand those arguments in detail and can’t handle foundational objections or examples where the information seems to conflict with other information. To them, it’s more a matter of supporting the rallying cries and such of their group.

    This is a simplification of that sort of thing, but that’s where a scientist expecting people to respond to the hard data would hit problems. In areas where the findings of a scientist don’t happen to clash with politics, most people would see the scientist as a general authority not in conflict with their in-group, and just accept the conclusions without bothering to look at the data.

    Another thing to consider is that the people don’t respond much to reason can still often be swayed, but perhaps not directly. You make your arguments to those who have the intelligence and honesty to grasp the arguments, even if they’re politically uncomfortable for them, and over time, they chew over the arguments trying to find flaws, see that they hold up, and change their minds. As they change their minds, you have others who know them as being on their ‘side’ who will see that. They’ll want to know what swayed the person, and actually give it real thought at that point. Some may change their minds based on seeing others do so. This can cascade, and over time, as it becomes the majority position, a lot of people will be swayed by that alone.

    I’ve had discussions with people who initially took a creationist position, who after discussing it and them seeing that the objections to evolution that they had been provided were not holding up, and that the very concept that they had been told was evolution was actually a straw man, changed their position on that, even though they had not left their religion. Perhaps they might have done that later, but I didn’t keep up with them. They were definitely above-average intelligence to begin with, though, and were honest in their communication style, so they were the type of person I find most productive to have such disagreements with.

    As for a few links on imprinting:

    en^wikipedia^org/wiki/Imprinting_(psychology)
    jamanetwork^com/journals/archneurpsyc/article-abstract/652391
    link^springer^com/article/10^1007%2FBF01067668?LI=true
    www^biorxiv^org/content/early/2017/05/08/135244
    onlinelibrary^wiley^com/doi/10^1111/evo^12226/full
    academic^oup^com/beheco/article/24/4/842/220309/An-experimental-test-of-the-Westermarck-effect-sex

  92. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    Okay, thanks for admitting some wrongness.
    I still have things to pick at.

    But I don’t agree with you on the remark that this one was “embarrassingly” wrong because the question I was posing is still valid as there are many people who are (or, ask to be) labeled transgender while keping their genitalia as they naturally were

    It wasn’t just being wrong…it was being wrong AND your overall point being rendered moot by Sky Captain’s #47. Seriously, I don’t even think you read it despite thanking Sky Captain. The solution is obvious.

    I believe that the spirit of justice embedded into various laws not only allow but also force any sane judge to draw the connection. What makes you think they aren’t linked?

    Null hypothesis: there’s no link unless you demonstrate a link.
    I guess I need to restate the case, because you apparently missed this the first time.
    http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/story/female-kicker-from-arizona-awarded-college-football-scholarship-041317
    In American sports at least (and I really don’t give a flying fuck if Europe is different), there’s no hard boundary. Women can be on men’s teams if they can hack it. This doesn’t go the other way (although perhaps if the skill level is equivalent, the question could be raised) for the same reason we don’t let 22 year old soccer players into U15 leagues.
    Why you think the legal system would even get involved if there are no hard, defined boundaries here?

    People state their gender on many different platforms and for various paperwork

    And outside of demographics surveys and effects from systemic sexism (in the case of job applications, for instance), these statements are typically of little consequence.

  93. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Jared #79:

    my last comment has been awaiting moderation for awhile, due to including some links.

    Three or fewer links will get through without moderation. Although occasionally the comment form seems to choke when submitting certain urls.

  94. Murat says

    @MS #80
    There is no miscommunication or neglection of information between me and Sky Captain regarding #47, #48 and #49.
    I can’t see what part of that exchange you are focusing on to demonstrate an alleged and permanent flaw regarding my line of thinking. He did, in two separate posts, answer part of the questions on my mind. I received and processed the answer.

    Females being able to contest in whichever team or classification is one thing, declaring one’s gender as x, y or z for whatever reason or for whichever paperwork (including sports-related ones) is another.

    And, whether a gender should be assigned to an individual officially is a totally different question.

    As for the other thing about laws and what I happened to label as “gender consistency”:

    In Israel, both men and women are obliged to serve for the armed forces for a certain period. But that’s an exception. For many other countries where military service is mandatory, it is so only for men. Hence, military service is one major gender-related obligation for many people in this world.

    In Turkey, until not too long ago, gay men were regarded to be incompatible with the needs of the army. If you could convince the recruiting MD officer that you were gay, they would pardon you. It is known that they could even ask the person to show a photo featuring himself in sexual relationship with another man so as to prove he was gay.

    Yes, yess, I fuckin’ know that the practice in the USA is currently not mandatory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United_States

    Hooray! Therefore, MS won’t give flying fuck… It’s out of his realm… But, hey, who knows: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/30/bring-back-military-draft

    The bottom line is: In the eyes of any official body, gender MAY matter. There may be things you are entitled to if you have one certain gender identity. Different advantages and disadvantages may come along with your gender. For a fact, women have the upper hand in divorce deals as laws regarding matrimony and the ending of it have their roots in traditional perceptions of gender roles.

    If you can’t think of any such cases where one has an “official” gender that could affect two different aspects of their lives in different ways, then, it’s already dumb to have bills regarding who could use which toilet. It just doesn’t matter and you’re practically living in a unisex public domain.

    But if it DOES, for example if WW3 breaks out tomorrow and suddenly the US government begins to draft young men, then one can contest to not being eligible based on the fact that he had adopted the female gender in spite of physically keeping male genitalia and he can prove this by having witnesses to testify he has been using the ladis’ room for the past year already.

    MS, I swear that I know that you crave less hypothetical, more down-to-earth, daily life examples to the point I am trying to make, but this is what my weary mind has come up with at the moment. If you have started to catch a glimpse of where I was coming from, just blink your eyes. If not, I may take the liberty to better express myself not today but later.

  95. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    I believe I’ve understood for a while where you’re “coming from.” The issue is that I disagree that there’s any cause for concern for any of the topics you’ve raised. You seem to think that there are no solutions or that there’s some sort of “danger” to even coming up with a solution. That’s Chicken Little thinking. If and when gender or transgender conflicts become a problem for a certain application, we’ll deal with it on a case by case basis and it will be okay. The sky is NOT falling, as I’ve now said three times.

    MS, I swear that I know that you crave less hypothetical, more down-to-earth, daily life examples to the point I am trying to make, but this is what my weary mind has come up with at the moment

    Maybe the dearth of real-world examples (that aren’t already being handled and have clear solutions) should tell you something.

  96. Murat says

    @MS
    I don’t understand why and in the light of which remark you think I implied a falling sky, some sort of danger or lack of solutions. May you be mistaking some of Yaddith’s or someone else’s posts for mine?

    Of course such issues will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Things take time. That was exactly part of what I meant in #69.

    I rest my case that the best solutions to any problems involving TG agendas can be much more practically solved by thinking out of the box, by focusing not on gender but on the application of existing laws & general principles (#74) or by re-designing circumstances (#21) etc.

  97. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Murat #82:

    the fact that he had adopted the female gender in spite of physically keeping male genitalia and he can prove this by having witnesses to testify he has been using the ladies’ room

    *headdesk*

  98. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    Tell me something. Here’s a quote from you:

    What I find intriguing about gender-related segregation on different issues are the possible chain reactions.

    Though justice and laws sometimes point to different solutions, the way I understand they work, one having the legal backing for using one gender’s public restrooms may support one’s case to demand the same gender category for the classification under which they could do sports

    This reads like a thinly-veiled “let’s not rock the boat even a little because it might capsize.” It seems like an intro to slippery slope arguments. I don’t know how else to read it, largely because your understanding of the law is incorrect.

  99. RationalismRules says

    @Murat
    #69

    I wouldn’t call performers of a sport “uninformed people” on the subject of having a consent or expressing an idea regarding whom they are playing against. Such a cast system and a theoretical reality where the actual players are bound by unquestinable authority is never healthy.

    Firstly I said “(potentially) uninformed”. ‘Potentially’ tells you that I am not assuming that none of them possesses information on the subject. However, the fact that someone participates in a particular sport (your sole criterion) does not confer on them any knowledge whatsoever about physical criteria in a transgender individual (strength stamina etc.), which is precisely the point under consideration.

    Secondly, this is not a ‘consent’ issue. At the level we are discussing, sport is a societal issue, not a private members club. ‘We don’t want to play with you’ is not a fair and equitable way of determining who is permitted to participate in a competitive sport. (Hint: participants do not own their sport).

    “Evidence” is not isolated to laboratory conditions. In such cases it’s quite an ampirical thing that better not be quickly dismissed by supposing other participants of the game would “argue from their preconceptions”.

    I said nothing about laboratories or white coats, or whatever other stereotypes you want to build your strawman out of. I said ‘evidence’. ‘Empirical’ means ‘verifiable by observation or experience’, or, to put it in terms that I already put it in, ‘evidence’.

    I think the more interesting questions in sport are those relating to where and why lines are drawn at all.
    If it’s legitimate to separate men and women because (on average) the male physiology confers an advantage, then why is it not equally legitimate to separate, say, taller people from shorter people in sports like basketball and tennis where greater height is advantageous, or gymnastics where lesser height is advantageous? Ultimately, any point of division is largely arbitrary. Male/female used to be an easily assessed arbitrary point of division in sports, now it is becoming (slightly) more complex.

  100. Leo K says

    @Jared #79
    Thank you for the additional explanation and links to follow up on. I’ll take a look at a few of those over the weekend. As for the suggested Google search terms, those will definitely have to wait until I get home, since I don’t want to trigger any hits on my company’s firewall/web filter with some of the key words you recommended. Damn thing is really sensitive, and it doesn’t take much to get a warning banner to pop up.

    You make your arguments to those who have the intelligence and honesty to grasp the arguments, even if they’re politically uncomfortable for them, and over time, they chew over the arguments trying to find flaws, see that they hold up, and change their minds.

    I like the way you phrased that.
    Completely off subject, this has been one of my hangups with the Atheist Experience in large. While a few of you guys offered me an insight to the show’s existence the first time I popped up on this site, I’m still baffled by the level of effort some of the hosts put into some of the calls. Some, like Tracy and Phil will continue the conversation, despite an obvious troll-ish behavior on the caller’s part. This confuses me, since at the first sign of willful ignorance, I will simply drop the conversation and more on, not too dissimilar to Matt’s and Russell’s itchy call disconnect finger. I simply have better things to do with my time than argue with a wall.

  101. Yaddith says

    Sorry that I haven’t posted any comments in the last couple of days, but the store where I work takes inventory at the end of June, so I have had to work extra hours.

    RationalismRules #34: You called me out on the fact that I did not explain my reasons for favoring the bathroom bill. Fair enough. Here goes: My concern is that lobbying by the transgender folks and their allies will eventually succeed in eroding the sexual segregation of restrooms and locker rooms to the point that straight male predators will have social and legal cover to invade women’s facilities for their own nefarious purposes. As some have correctly pointed out on this blog, most people do not associate urinating and defecating with sexuality, but unfortunately that is not the case with some sexual predators. I reside in Texas, and it seems that hardly a month goes by here without some news report that another pervert has been arrested for planting a camera in a women’s restroom so he can spy on women peeing. In the interest of public safety, I would prefer to maintain the sexual segregation of toilet and changing facilities.

    No doubt some will say that my fears are overblown, but I would rather be safe than sorry. Anyway, those are my thoughts. Like them or loathe them, but don’t say you didn’t ask for them!

    Jared #27 & #40: I must admit that I often find discussions about gender and sex confusing, especially because some people use the word “gender” as a synonym for “sex,” whereas some others do not. But none of that stuff really matters to me. It is enough to realize that sexuality is a strange and powerful thing. No one has a choice about his or her sexual inclinations, so one cannot reasonably be praised or blamed for them. Note that I said “inclinations,” not “actions.” Obviously, if someone lusts after children, that person has a moral and legal obligation not to act on those inclinations.

    I certainly agree that personal contact and communication can easily clear up many misconceptions. Even though I am largely asocial, I usually get along with most people on a personal level. I make an effort to try to “treat people as they want to be treated,” but obviously there are limits beyond which I am not prepared to go. For example, sometimes a Christian, seeing that I appear to be a decent person, will assume that I am also a Christian (all decent people must be Christian, right?), and will ask me to join him in prayer. That’s not going to happen!

    I will be too busy to post for a while, so if you have any questions about my opinions, I suggest that you address them to Monocle Smile. He appears to believe that he knows more about how and what I think than I do.

  102. RationalismRules says

    @Leo K #88

    I’m still baffled by the level of effort some of the hosts put into some of the calls. Some, like Tracy and Phil will continue the conversation, despite an obvious troll-ish behavior on the caller’s part. This confuses me, since at the first sign of willful ignorance, I will simply drop the conversation and more on, not too dissimilar to Matt’s and Russell’s itchy call disconnect finger. I simply have better things to do with my time than argue with a wall.

    The difference is that their conversation is being listened to by many more people than the single individual they are in discussion with. Their ultimate goal is not necessarily to convince that one caller, but to expose the caller’s flawed thinking to the other viewers. With a changing/growing audience it’s reasonable to assume that for any given caller there will be some viewers who haven’t heard those particular arguments countered, even if the caller is a lost cause.

    [BTW, if you’re in argument with someone, it’s most likely that neither of you will change your position, because of the ‘backfire effect’]

  103. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    If it’s legitimate to separate men and women because (on average) the male physiology confers an advantage, then why is it not equally legitimate to separate, say, taller people from shorter people in sports like basketball and tennis where greater height is advantageous, or gymnastics where lesser height is advantageous?

    Let me first say that this is one of those gray areas where I feel that I don’t know what to do when it comes to trans people and sex / gender segregated sports, and I’m just guessing, and I try not to make any proclamations. I have been told by reliable sources, particular bloggers here on FTB, that trans people on proper hormone treatments generally don’t have a physical advantage, on average, compared to non-trans people of the same gender. Not sure if that’s true.

    Let me add this though: To answer your question here: There might be a particular need for a women-only league, but not a short-people-only league, because historically and currently, women are a socially marginalized group, but short people are not (at least not in the same ballpark). Dare I say, giving women their own group can be be thought of as a kind of affirmative action.

    PS: Some sports are segregated in the way that you suggest for other physical characteristics. Boxing and other combat martial contests are usually split into weight classes.

    I just don’t have a particularly strong interest in the topic of traditional sports, and how traditional sports should be segregated to ensure fairness, and that’s probably part of why I don’t have any firm beliefs or conclusions on this sort of thing. I do find the discussion and details interesting though.

    PPS: [Joke:] Whereas, maybe we need to put the Koreans in a different league for competitive video games, aka esports, because the Koreans dominate the west so strongly, and it’s just not fair for the western players. This is definitely a conversation that needs to be had, and the conversation has been ongoing for years in League Of Legends, and I definitely have personal emotional stakes in that conversation, and I find the whole discussion very interesting.

    Did I mention that I actually own a SKT T1 t-shirt? I do.

  104. Monocle Smile says

    @EL
    You’re a LoL person? The bass player from my old band is one of the top 10 coaches currently and was, for a hot second, the best Sejuani player in North America. He’s married to a radiologist and former surgeon, so I guess he needs hobbies 😛

    I’m a Starcraft II player myself. Not highly ranked, but I punch above my weight class. The Korean thing is indeed ridiculous, but at least SC2 has a few new North American hopefuls now. Anaheim’s only like 35 minutes away, so I wanted to go to BlizzCon this year, but tickets sold out stupidly fast and are like $500 on ebay. Gamers, man.

  105. StonedRanger says

    So, Im not an expert on transsexualism by any means. But I keep seeing people say that men are just declaring they are women and keeping their genitals. Transitioning is a process. The beginning of that process is declaring that you are no identifying as the sex you have lived your whole life. Then there is counseling, hormones to take, more counseling. It can take years for some to get to the point where they are able to have or even afford the surgery necessary to complete the transition. Yaddith, if you are worried about cis men who commit the crime of putting cameras in ladies bathrooms/changing rooms, perhaps you should worry about the cis men who do this more than trans people who are not guilty of this crap at all. Your reasoning is poor. How do you make the leap from someone who not only identifies as female but is going through the process of transitioning to female, who more than likely has no sexual interest in females of any age, to some creepy sexual cis male predator who just says they are female for the purpose of committing sex crimes? There is nothing remotely between the two that is comparable, except for maybe some genitalia. You don’t see the difference? Please give some evidence to show that letting people pee or eliminate other bodily waste in the restroom of their choice will actually cause harm. If you cant, then maybe you need to rethink your position. NO ONE is saying let any person who just says any old thing about who they are be allowed access to anyone. That’s something you’ve made up in your own mind that just isn’t so.

  106. Vivec says

    I don’t understand Yaddith’s argument at all. Even if you let trans women into womens restrooms, putting in cameras or peeping would still be illegal. They’re two entirely separate laws, and you can change one without suddenly making it legal to peep on people.

  107. RationalismRules says

    @Yaddith #89
    Your argument falls apart at the first step:

    lobbying by the transgender folks and their allies will eventually succeed in eroding the sexual segregation of restrooms and locker rooms

    If unisex facilities are the concern, then your ‘solution’ pushes towards the result you are afraid of, rather than away from it. If it was simply accepted that trans folk use the facilities that match their gender identity, why would they need to push for removal of gender segregation? ‘Bathroom bills’ force trans people into a position where they have no choice but to lobby for unisex toilets in order to regain their human dignity. The ‘problem’ is being created by the legislation, not solved by it.
     
    I expect you’ll be revising your position now.

  108. Murat says

    @MS #86

    This reads like a thinly-veiled “let’s not rock the boat even a little because it might capsize.” It seems like an intro to slippery slope arguments. I don’t know how else to read it, largely because your understanding of the law is incorrect.

    It is not. It seems so to you because, exactly as you put it, “you do not know how else to read it”. You may, in time, learn to.
    Mine was a perfectly sound point of curiosity, and not a judgment or part of an insidious or sinister plot to lure anyone into the “other” side of a false dicothomy on gender perceptions that you automatically refer to when you see any remarks that do not fit into your exact perception of the topic.
    You may have had argments with people who don’t speak their minds on certain issues, but it’s not safe or gentle to assume any different kind of reasoning or question as a dishonest one just because you have that history.

  109. Murat says

    @EL #91

    Let me add this though: To answer your question here: There might be a particular need for a women-only league, but not a short-people-only league, because historically and currently, women are a socially marginalized group, but short people are not (at least not in the same ballpark).

    There already is such a segregation for some contact sports like boxing. Heavy weight and light weight are categories that are based on very similar, measurable features and they practically bring with a platform that is more fair than, say, one that depends solely on gender.

  110. Murat says

    @Yaddith #89

    I will be too busy to post for a while, so if you have any questions about my opinions, I suggest that you address them to Monocle Smile. He appears to believe that he knows more about how and what I think than I do.

    You’re neither special, nor alone on that one.

  111. Murat says

    @Leo K #88

    Some, like Tracy and Phil will continue the conversation, despite an obvious troll-ish behavior on the caller’s part. This confuses me, since at the first sign of willful ignorance, I will simply drop the conversation and more on, not too dissimilar to Matt’s and Russell’s itchy call disconnect finger. I simply have better things to do with my time than argue with a wall.

    A few times in the past, they explained why being not too trigger happy might be better: It can expose the wall as being one, for starters.
    More importantly, while talking to some callers, they are actually challenging the minds of third parties who live with very similar assumptions or attitudes, but don’t bother to call an atheist show.
    I rate Russell as the host who is best at determining when to end a call or to take it or not at all. Matt sometimes overdoes it.

  112. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    Mine was a perfectly sound point of curiosity, and not a judgment or part of an insidious or sinister plot to lure anyone into the “other” side of a false dicothomy on gender perceptions that you automatically refer to when you see any remarks that do not fit into your exact perception of the topic

    It was your posts combined with the lack of understanding that raised my hackles. I apologize, but this was out of character for you. I deal with loads of people who love their dog-whistle bullshit and employ sealioning, so I find myself forced to look deeper into things like this. I hate having to dig like this, by the way.

    Yaddith is different. This was evident in the past, but he’s not even trying at all to have a discussion or engage on the topic. That last post contains some of the laziest thinking possible.

  113. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat

    You may have had argments with people who don’t speak their minds on certain issues, but it’s not safe or gentle to assume any different kind of reasoning or question as a dishonest one just because you have that history.

    I believe this is entirely true. I’ve been operating on a hair trigger for a bit, and I should work on that.

  114. Murat says

    @Rationalism Rules #87

    Male/female used to be an easily assessed arbitrary point of division in sports, now it is becoming (slightly) more complex.

    I fully agree with you on that, also for beyond the subject of sports. What I find pretentious is how some people approach the topic as if there is nothing “complex” about it.
    As for the earlier paragraphs of that same post, I will try to get back to you in detail when I have more time, because it might take some time to explain the difference we seem to have on the issue (and definition) of “consent” the way I used it.

  115. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Aside: a reminder of the human beings under discussion.
     
    Article: National Transgender Discrimination Survey Findings (2014, pdf)

    With over 6,000 respondents, the NTDS is the largest survey of transgender and gender non-conforming adults to date.

     

    – Family chose not to speak/spend time with them: 57%
    – Harassed or bullied at school (any level): 50-54%
    – Experienced discrimination or harassment at work: 50-59%
    – Doctor or health care provider refused to treat them: 60%
    – Suffered physical or sexual violence: at work: 64-65%; at school (any level): 63-78%
    – Disrespected or harassed by law enforcement officers: 57-61%
    – Suffered physical or sexual violence: By law enforcement officers: 60-70%
    – Experienced homelessness: 69%
     
    Overall, the most striking finding of our analysis was the exceptionally high prevalence of lifetime suicide attempts [41%] reported by NTDS respondents across all demographics and experiences. Based on prior research and the findings of this report, we find that mental health factors and experiences of harassment, discrimination, violence and rejection may interact to produce a marked vulnerability to suicidal behavior in transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

     
    Incidentally, June was LGBTQ Pride Month, which witnessed particularly high levels of anti-trans harassment on social media this year – even from the L’s, G’s, and B’s.

  116. Murat says

    @RationalismRules #87

    Firstly I said “(potentially) uninformed”. ‘Potentially’ tells you that I am not assuming that none of them possesses information on the subject. However, the fact that someone participates in a particular sport (your sole criterion) does not confer on them any knowledge whatsoever about physical criteria in a transgender individual (strength stamina etc.), which is precisely the point under consideration.

    *
    When you’re saying “information on the subject”, you talk as if the subject is to biologically determine one’s gender.
    Nope.
    The subject in this particular argument is the determination of one’s gender classification with regards to a certain GAME the nature of which another player has a right to comment on.
    So, even though many tennis players may be totally clueless on how sex change operations are made or what the hormone levels should be like for average female or male, NONE of them can be “potentionally uninformed” on the subject of who should play the game under what division.
    See, we have not one but TWO issues here that overlap each other:
    1) Gender determination
    2) The nature of a game
    Player X, who is a TG person of male origin, may well be fit to play one sport as a woman, but not another as one. Because not all sports have the same kind of nature. Respect for LGBTI and respect for the nature of the game need be taken into consideration equally. And the way to do this is to not let scientists / medical examiners be the sole decision makers, but to involve the people of the related sports into the process.
    *

    Secondly, this is not a ‘consent’ issue. At the level we are discussing, sport is a societal issue, not a private members club. ‘We don’t want to play with you’ is not a fair and equitable way of determining who is permitted to participate in a competitive sport. (Hint: participants do not own their sport).

    *
    Right.
    “We don’t want to play with you” is not a fair and equitable way.
    But, “Dude, believe me, no matter what your hormone levels are, you in no way fit in the women’s league with regards to THIS sport!” is another remark which CAN be aimed at one particular TG person while not to another.
    Saying “We don’t want TG people participating in this sport!” would be in line with things like hate speech and race segregation, which I suppose what you are making a case against, while “TG are welcome to enrich the game but we think that Player X, who is a TG of male origin, does not particularly belong in the women’s division despite her current hormone levels” should be something people who are supposed to play against her could feel free to say.
    If not, while trying to overcome one certain oppression or discrimination, we can pave the road to another.
    Participants do (or at least should) own their sport to a certain point. Same goes for any profession or field of interest. This is exactly the spirit of having a “guild”.
    In addition to this, I find it a bit weird to call sports a “societal” issue while denying the most embedded part of the society, the players themselves, a say in related matters.
    Practicing athletes are known to be not too keen on embracing changes to the rules of games where at best a commitee of veterans, as part of a federation or another governing body, want to impose new measures.
    Sports is a very important field in which progress, equality and justice can find voice through highly visual moments of physical action. (This is also why Escape to Victory is among my favorite WW2 movies. Anyway…) But the introduction of new criteria should always seek for the APPROVAL and CONSENT of related parties of the “society” that makes sports a “societal” issue.
    If not, sports can easily BACKFIRE on such issues.
    *
    Within the past quarter century, European soccer underwent quite a change in terms of who is on the field: Today, on the highest level, players of African and Latin American origin dominate the game. The more metropolitan a city is, the more Arabs, Brazilians, Nigerians etc. are likely to be playing for its top clubs. It’s not only that some kind of biological or ethnic advantage finally broke its way into the game: Especially in the case of Norhtern Africans, it is more about people from the periphery, the projects, bothering to struggle in that world while the “privileged white” do not have to bet on their sportive skills to maintain the good life.
    While this change was going on, clubs of some smaller cities began to lose audience. Were some people no longer attached to their teams because the players had different skin colors than the common folk? If so, was that the only issue?
    It was only a few club representatives who dared to speak their mind at the expense of being tagged racist or something. “The club identities are wearing off” they said. It was not different ethnicities, but the pace and method of their introduction to the local league that was causing a problem.
    How?
    Think of a European town known for its coal mines. For the past century, the local founders of the club had sweated off in the mines during week days and played joyfully under the sun on Sundays. The emblem of the club has their most ancient digging tools right on top of a football. The town equals the club in every sense. It’s their history, their way of living, their means of taking revenge from the rich, etc.
    In time, North Africans (Tunisians, Algerians) got settled there and began to work in the mines. If not the discriminated first, the second generation of those immigrants made it also into the team, now sharing the same spirit, voting for the left, speaking the language as their first etc.
    But then, by the 90s, even the “pace of change” got changed:
    The club just had to remain in the game against their competition. And one day, spectators noticed that NONE of the players on the field had any roots, history or whatsoever with the town. They were ALL professionals fom out of the country, drafted to help the club rank higher. There were no Brazilians among the miners, but there were 4 among the 11 players.
    You can argue that even this misproportion was “inevitable” and that nothing tragic happened in the end, that people just got adapted to how things now work in the world of soccer.
    Yeah. That’s one way of looking at it.
    But some clubs with rich histories got shut down. Because their existence no longer mattered for whom they used to play for. The bond of identity was broken due to the speed of the change.
    If the voice some dared raise (despite the obvious “racist” tag awaiting them) could have been heard for what it truly was, what they called “club identity” could have been better preserved.
    Oh, there also WAS racism. There still is. There even are Italian clubs the fans of which show bananas to their very own African players and call them monkeys. But that’s ANOTHER issue.
    What the defenders of the idea of a “club identity” had on mind was not racism at all: It was a demand to consider the spirit of clubs and what it meant for the majority of the spectators WHILE going through the change, preferably by having more control over the pace of it.
    Alas, the two got equivocated…
    *
    Back to the example of tennis:
    My claim is that, PLAYERS should have a SAY on the gender classification of their opponent with regards to the NATURE of the game.
    You say, NO. You claim that the determination of one’s gender is a SEPARATE issue, that it should be dealt with only by those mastering the related science, and to be DECLARED to anyone in any sports community.
    *
    The following is a scenario that I wrote just to make my point a more vivid one:
    *
    You may have heard of this guy: https://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/gameofthrones/images/b/be/Gregor_Clegane_4x07.jpg/revision/20140707234842 His name is Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, he is a 6′ 9″ tall professional sportsman from Iceland. He is known to be one of the strongest men on earth and he also played Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. “The Mountain” in Game of Thrones.
    *
    And this is Jessica, a young woman of my imagination: https://img.promgirl.com/_img/PGPRODUCTS/1477855/1000/red-dress-DQ-9247-a.jpg She is a heterosexual, very feminine and slender person. She is a tennis player aiming high, and yes, she was also the prom queen at her high school!
    *
    For Jessica’s father was a friend of Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, a “friendly match” intended solely for brief entertainment purposes was arranged on Jessica’s 18th birthday. One was phsically strong and huge, the other more experienced in tennis, so, the fun thing ended in a draw.
    *
    In the 5 years that followed, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson began to feel more like a woman.
    Through a process which was not easy at all, he embraced what was once the opposite gender and also underwent surgery and hormone therapy.
    We do not know why, nor can we judge, but possibly as part of the gender change, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (who now uses the name Julietta Björnsson) no longer participates in the World’s Strongest Viking competition held in Norway (where he had once beaten a 1000-year-old record set by Orm Storolfsson, by carrying a 33 ft long log of 1,430 lb for five steps) and is spending her time playing tennis. She aims high, too. She recently became a pro.
    *
    In the light of YOUR criteria, the gender division under which Julietta Björnsson will be able to play professional tennis depends SOLELY on the decision of those who run a scientific process to determine her current physical strength, stamina and hormone levels.
    In the light of YOUR criteria, right after playing against the (now professional) tennis player Björnsson for world women’s championship, the slender Jessica could be tagged a discriminative and conservative bitch for saying the following:
    “I totally disapprove the federation’s decision of allowing Björnsson into the female division. Five years ago, when he was a man, I had played against him. You know what was different now? Nothing!… With regards to playing tennis, our dear friend Julietta Björnsson is STILL a male, if you ask me… I respect the scientific results that have lead the commitee to come up with this decision, however, I can’t help but agree with the fans who have been objecting to this from the start… As you know, while climbing up to this finale, I also played against another TG person of male origin, and that was fine because nothing about her was in severe contradiction with the aesthetics, balance and overall nature of this game and this gender division… However, Björnsson STILL has the obvious features of a MAN with regards to THIS SPORT that I believe I should have a say in as a devout pro… I know that things are changing and that, for many, now GENDER IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT and I respect that in many walks of life… But, with all my honesty, I still can not read this new approach as “gender is JUST a social construct”… I belive there STILL is something INNATE with it, at least in the case of SOME trans gender people like my dear friend Björnsson… And that’s becasue… Jeez… You SAW IT, damn it…. You all saw it!… She literally WASTED me there on the court!… The bone structure, the weight, the height… Don’t fuckin’ pretend what I went through to get this fuckin’ throphy was NORMAL or FAIR!… I don’t care how the federation will react to this, but today I got the title by winning against a MAN, not against a woman… Maybe not always, but sometimes… Ouch… Yes, sometimes it takes a player to know what the game is about!… It really does!”

  117. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    You drunk? That was quite the rant.
    For years, a number of people have accused Serena Williams of being male. No irony or sarcasm. They think she is too powerful and aggressive to be a woman. They are fuckheads, but those comments are out there. If any of them came from opposing players, should they be taken any more seriously? I don’t really think so.

  118. Murat says

    @SM #107
    This is about whether people practicing one sport are entitled to have a say on issues that overlap their field or not. I say they should be.
    They may not always have the most correct idea, but nor can medical examiners, because the issue is not limited to the area of medicine.
    Doping in sports is a hot topic with many subcategories, and in the case of a particular TG person, having started her life with a male body can easily be claimed to provide a really huge and ongoing advantage, regardless of any hormone levels she currently has.
    Yesterday I talked with an MD regarding the TG agenda in sports. He said the criteria (which was also mentioned in some posts here) is not an iron clad, nor thorough one, that there are many other factors (such as bone structure) the advantages or disadvantages of which can not practically wear off at any phase, regardless of any treatment.
    He also opposed to my idea of having a unisex league for soccer, said it could never be the same level of risk to place male and female players on the same field in a contact sport.
    *
    I believe that the PUBLIC OPINION, be it constructed more by fuckeads or of progressive intellectuals, MATTERS in the end.
    And to gain the public, you need to at least have the consent and companionship of certain related groups while following a progressive agenda that will in the end serve humanity, freedom, equality, tolerance and world peace.
    If you move along without caring to build up the sufficient dose of CONSENT along the way, you may even end up on WORSE grounds.
    Donald Trump happens.

  119. Monocle Smile says

    @Murat
    Still drunk? Because that was another barely coherent rant and now you appear to be making shit up and spouting random nonsense. I call bullshit on you talking to an “MD” about the “TG agenda.” Also, repeatedly saying “TG agenda” like “gay agenda” makes me clench my fists.

  120. Yaddith says

    StonedRanger #94 & RationalismRules #96: For the record, I do not believe that the transgender folks are a danger to anyone, and I have never suggested that they are. The problem is that if you give biological men access to women’s facilities, you give it to all of them–the harmful and the harmless alike.

  121. RationalismRules says

    @Murat #106
    Sheesh! You wrote that humongous post, just to rebut a position that I don’t hold, and have never argued for.

    This line sums it up:

    And the way to do this is to not let scientists / medical examiners be the sole decision makers, but to involve the people of the related sports into the process.

    I’ve never argued that scientists / medical examiners be the sole decision makers, or that sports people be excluded from the process. All I said was that the decision should be based on evidence, as opposed to “the consent of her RIVALS” which is what you proposed in post #58.

    Of course knowledge of the sport in question is equally important to the decision as understanding trans physiology. However, simply competing in a sport doesn’t necessarily accord you the kind of knowledge of that sport that is relevant to this issue, in the same way that being trans doesn’t necessarily qualify you as knowledgeable on trans physiology. Such a decision should be made by gathering together people with expertise in these areas, NOT by simply leaving it up to the RIVALS to decide. So, sports people who have evidence-based expertise in the area – eg. sports physiologists, also perhaps coaches. “I play this sport” is not sufficient.

    You seem to think it’s very important for decisions on sports be made according to the will of the (potentially uninformed**) people.
    I think this decision is far too important for that, and should be made by informed representatives.

    [**you don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word ‘uninformed’. Saying “NONE of them can be “potentionally [sic] uninformed” on the subject” is akin to saying my 86-year-old grandfather, who drives his ancient Austin to and from the shops once a week, cannot be uninformed on whether driverless cars are safe enough for the roads, because ….he drives!]

    In a democratic system we acknowledge that we are not all experts on every issue, and we do not have time to become experts on every issue, and ‘the will of the people’ does not necessarily lead to the best outcome for a society when the people are not sufficiently informed. So we appoint ‘representatives’, who we expect to inform themselves sufficiently in order to make good decisions on our behalf. This is also the function of a sporting governing body – to represent the participants.

    (If you need an example to see why this is important, look at Brexit – the decision to leave Europe is universally acknowledged to be a bad one, but it came about because the representatives, specifically their prime minister David Cameron, abnegated their responsibility to make an informed decision on behalf of the people, and instead put it to a referendum, where a tiny majority of the people, swayed by lies and prejudice, made a decision which will adversely affect that country for decades)

    You are arguing passionately, not for a decision made on the basis of the best available factual information, but made on the basis of.. what?.. nothing, it seems. At best, uninformed opinion based on popularity.
    The word for uninformed opinions, whether or not they are popularly held, is ‘prejudice’.
    The word for decisions made on the basis of something other than factual information is ‘irrational’.

  122. Murat says

    @RationalismRules #131
    Actually, I don’t think we are holding opposite ideas, nor gravely apart positions.
    But I disagree with you on some issues:

    [**you don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word ‘uninformed’. Saying “NONE of them can be “potentionally [sic] uninformed” on the subject” is akin to saying my 86-year-old grandfather, who drives his ancient Austin to and from the shops once a week, cannot be uninformed on whether driverless cars are safe enough for the roads, because ….he drives!]

    Well, if he’s in the same traffic with any driverless cars, and is witnessing anything particularly different with the way they affect his and other drivers’ responses, or, is at least able to notice difference in details on the synchornization of human-led vehicles and those on auto-pilot… Well… Regardless of his age and the shortness of time and the monotony of the route he is on… I’d say he can not practically be “uninformed” in the empirical sense of the word. You could even argue his perspective to have more value than that of someone who works on developing the technology without personally driving any vehicles in daily life.

    (If you need an example to see why this is important, look at Brexit – the decision to leave Europe is universally acknowledged to be a bad one, but it came about because the representatives, specifically their prime minister David Cameron, abnegated their responsibility to make an informed decision on behalf of the people, and instead put it to a referendum, where a tiny majority of the people, swayed by lies and prejudice, made a decision which will adversely affect that country for decades)

    This is not much different than my example on how and why Trump became the president of the USA.
    The question is, WHY they abnegated their responsibility to make an informed decision on behalf of the people.
    My response to this is that, certain demographics in any society fail to catch up with up-to-date information. And I’m not just targeting hillbillies here: Many young people who voted for Brexit later said they were not even aware the UK was part of the EU, that their daily lives were not providing them the kind of awareness on how the outcomes would affect the country AND themselves.
    So, why was there even a referendum about that?
    Because the progressive people who knew better than the rest were unfortunately failing to gather up consent and companionship from all parties. And politics, which, in a democracy, inevitably depend on majority vote, can not afford to have too huge a gap between the perception of one group and the agenda of the other.
    *
    In many parts of the world, anything about the LGBTI is seen as a fancy extension of some “liberal agenda”. I’d personally label the topic as part of a civil rights movement, and I don’t think one needs to be a liberal or something in today’s world to acknowledge the rights of any certain group.
    However, a great deal of the guys chewing tobacco and wearing cowboy hats (along with many concealed “Breivik”s) see it as the spear of the “liberal agenda”.
    And, perception is reality.
    If you don’t care to change the perception as much as you care to change the injustice of the status quo…
    Then, at a point, you look back and sadly notice that the “posse” after you is outnumbering your “followers”.
    That’s how I basically explain the “surprises” of Trump and Brexit.
    They are a result of 86-year-old grandpas striking back furiously, waving their walking sticks at the youth, taking revenge from the “system” for ignoring their views on the safety of driverless cars.

  123. shockdoc says

    Just want to reach out to Mitch…if he stumbles on this and, and tell him he’s DEFINITELY not alone. I have TONS of former LDS friends who, like myself, came to the conclusion that Mormonism specifically and religion in general, doesn’t make sense in any logical way. The absolute best day of my life was when I expressed my doubts to my beautiful wife and she, surprisingly told me how relieved she was as she had serious doubts as well. We’ve now transitioned, happily, to atheism. As far as family goes. we still aren’t “out” to most of them but we are little by little getting there and so far nobody had disowned us (although my elderly parents likely would be EXTREMELY upset if they knew). Hang in there and do what’s best for you but know that there are far more people, likely many in your own ward, who feel the same way you do but won’t really admit it to others, and maybe not even to themselves. Good luck, bro! 🙂

  124. steele says

    @MS #61

    MS says:

    Donald Trump’s message resonated with people not because his communication tactics were more effective, but because this country is full of ignorant, gullible shitpiles.

    Your butthurt aside MS, Trump’s communication tactics were highly effective, you just didn’t appreciate them because you are a radical leftist interwebz anti-theist hack. Just clearing any confusion you might have.

  125. Monocle Smile says

    I’m not about to take criticism like that seriously when it comes from a degenerate trolling fuck who revels in the suffering of others and worships horrific monsters.

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