Can someone please explain?


I like to think of myself as an unequivocal supporter to the LGBTQIA community in their striving to be treated just the same as any other community, be accorded the same rights, and be free of discrimination and harassment. But I am also aware that I am not well versed in all the issues and nuances involved in that struggle and there is little real value that I can add to that discussion. Fortunately, there are other bloggers on FtB such as Crip Dyke who know much more about these issues so apart from giving general support, I tend to ‘stay in my own lane’ (as the kids say these days) and stick to topics that I know at least a little about or are greatly neglected by other FtB bloggers. In the greatly neglected category I mean, of course, cricket.

But there is something that puzzles me that maybe some blog readers can enlighten me about and maybe Crip Dyke may even think worthy of a post if it is not something blindingly obvious that I am missing.

The puzzle arose because, as those of you who read PZ’s blog will know, yesterday he announced that the blog The Atheist Experience (AXP) had strayed into dubious territory and had been suspended from the network. He gave the reason.

There are many things we will not tolerate on any of the blogs here: racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia are all grounds for ejection from the network. The ACA is guilty of the last.

So here’s what’s puzzling me. I do not follow AXP much (though I have seen some of their videos with Matt Dillahunty) and do not know exactly what happened but according to PZ’s post, they seemed to have a problem specifically with the transgender community but not apparently with the gay and lesbian community.

I would have expected that anyone who supported any one of the subgroups under the LGBTQIA umbrella would be accepting of all the other subgroups, because they all face a common adversary in those who discriminate against all those who do not fall under the gender—binary, heterosexual umbrella, though some are treated more harshly than others.

Of course, it is always possible to find distinctions on which to differentiate discrimination. It is the case that on other issues such as xenophobia, some people may view some immigrant minorities as ‘worthy’ and others as ‘unworthy’ and favor the former over the latter, so one cannot have a blanket expectation that people who accept one subgroup of minorities would be equally accepting of other minorities. Indeed, it is not uncommon for some immigrant communities to discriminate against other immigrant communities. But in that case, one can identify reasons for that discrimination such as race or nationality or politics or historical antipathies, factors that can arouse such great passion that they overcome the sense of solidarity that one might expect the different groups to have.

In this case too one might simply say that some people are comfortable accepting different sexual preferences but cannot accept nonconforming gender identity and presentation and that is just the way they are. But I find it hard to understand what factors exist that are so strong that they can overcome the natural desire for solidarity with all the communities under the LGBTQIA umbrella.

Comments

  1. EigenSprocketUK says

    I would have expected that anyone who supported any one of the subgroups under the LGBTQIA umbrella would be accepting of all the other subgroups

    You should expect that, of course. Be prepared often to be disappointed and occasionally to be flabbergasted.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    This seems to have a lot to do with sports-fanness, and a putative desire (mostly held by non-athlete cis-men) to “protect” female athletes from the alleged bodily superiority of transwomen: almost everything published by Hj Hornbeck over the last few months has focused on rebutting questionable physiological claims about this by a blogger apparently adopted by the current Atheist Community of Austin leadership.

    As one who knows nothing and cares less about sports (yes, even cricket), I don’t understand the passions this generates -- but I find it easy to believe a bunch of Texas cis-men could bend themselves all out of shape about it, and twice on Sunday.

  3. garnetstar says

    Yes, it is…..odd, to say the least. Jen Peeples, a longtime member of the ACA and host of the AXP, who is gay, stated that trans people are part of her community, and that she had to leave over the transphobia the ACA was now endorsing. That the ACA has started to exclude the trans members of the LGBT+ community doesn’t bode well for their future acceptance of the LGB members of it.

    If you’d like to hear what happened, PZ’s previous post (The Atheist Experience has started to drift from the FtB mission, or some such) has an interview with members who left the ACA over the transphobia, which is very informative.

    CripDyke also posted a very incisive and illuminating comment on that same post, analyzing the antifeminism that the ACA has displayed in this incident.

    So, perhaps the transphobia is not so odd, as exclusion of groups generally seems to be creeping into official ACA policy. And, I suppose we will see them further slipping into such attitudes.

  4. says

    @Mano:

    I’d be happy to chat some about this topic …(prepare for the extortion while I laugh evilly)… if you can help me understand dark matter a little better. It seems that a new study out of Case Western is getting some attention, not least at sciencemag.org, for “using humans as a detector” of Dark Matter.

    Now, I recognize that we don’t actually know what DM is yet, and Glenn Starkman and Jagjit Singh Sidhu are simply studying one particular model to determine its plausibility, but I was rather surprised that there might be any strikes that could/would injure or kill humans under any model of DM.

    I’ve heard that DM interacts “weakly” with normal matter, which, since that never seems to be explained, I took to mean that it’s spinless and (if I have the terminology correct) colorless. But I also seem to have assumed that direct collisions weren’t possible. I don’t know why I assumed that (and I don’t even know for sure that my supposition that DM is defined in significant part by being spinless and colorless), but it just seemed to go along with the idea of “weak” interactions. Smashing into normal matter at relativistic speeds and thereby releasing an incredible amount of energy into a small space doesn’t seem “weakly” interacting to me.

    Is there something significant that I’m missing? Is it about my woeful under education on the topic of chromodynamics? Something else?

    Any help you can give me is appreciated. Apparently these “humans as detectors” studies aren’t even new, since they had a researcher unaffiliated with the current study (Katherine Freese, of UofT Austin) with experience and expertise to comment on the Case Western study. Yet I would never have anticipated them from what little I knew about DM.

  5. says

    I have heard plenty of straight cis people claiming, “I’m okay with lesbians, but gay men are just gross,” or “I can understand gays and lesbians, but bisexual people are just perverts who will jump on anything that moves,” or “Sleeping with people of the same sex is okay, but changing one’s gender is just wrong.”

    Moreover, just because some person belongs to some minority group doesn’t guarantee that they will feel empathy also towards other minority groups. There are lesbians who are hostile towards trans women. There are gays who feel prejudice towards trans men. There exist TERFs who try to undermine the rights of trans women while totally failing to notice how by doing so they are hurting also cis women.

    Many people who belong to the LGBTQIA+ group feel solidarity also towards those who belong to a subgroup with some different letter. But this is not the case for everybody. You can find bigotry and prejudice everywhere.

  6. says

    I greatly appreciate Crip Dyke’s educational comments about this stuff.

    It seems to me (dialing my scope way back) that people are over-concerned regarding others’ sexuality. In general. Why? The only reason that would make any sense at all is if someone is concerned with someone else’s sexuality in order to police it for their own ends. But that doesn’t seem to rationally apply to someone on the internet worrying about what someone on some other part of the internet does. Since people can’t claim self-interest, then what’s left? Projection? It squicks me out? Whatever. It does not ever seem to fit with equality and allowing others to act according to their choice.

  7. says

    Pierce R. Butler@#2:
    This seems to have a lot to do with sports-fanness, and a putative desire (mostly held by non-athlete cis-men) to “protect” female athletes from the alleged bodily superiority of transwomen: almost everything published by Hj Hornbeck over the last few months has focused on rebutting questionable physiological claims about this by a blogger apparently adopted by the current Atheist Community of Austin leadership.

    Yes, but…
    Is their apparent concern really concern about sports, or is that just a plausible point of attack?

    If one were concerned about fairness in sports, I’d expect them to be more concerned about cheating/performance enhancing drugs than transpeople. After all, Lance Armstrong did more damage to cycling as a sport than every transperson ever has been capable of doing in the wildest fantasy scenarios.

    That said, that’s why I asked over at PZ’s place whether the women’s soccer team could beat the men’s. Isn’t the endgame here to move away from gendered sports entirely? I find it suspicious, in fact, that some popular sports (such as US football) are so dependent on male physical power that they inherently exclude everyone else.

    But, back to the central point: how can be we sure that their complaint is really about sports and not simply an excuse for expressing disgust/disdain/prejudice? The “bathroom controversy” seemed like another of those things, and I’ve heard less of it since it was deconstructed fairly effectively by organizations setting up gender neutral bathrooms, or by people pointing out that the real rape/bathroom molestation threat comes from republican politicians not from transpeople. When the sports fairness issue is thoroughly deconstructed will there be another front opened against transpeople, and another and another?

  8. Mano Singham says

    Crip Dyke @#4,

    It’s a deal! I will write something about what is going on with dark matter as soon as I can.

  9. Rob Grigjanis says

    CD @4:

    I’ve heard that DM interacts “weakly” with normal matter, which, since that never seems to be explained, I took to mean that it’s spinless and (if I have the terminology correct) colorless.

    The particles would be massive, and they wouldn’t interact electromagnetically (no electric charge) or via the strong force (no color charge). That’s about it, AFAIK. They could have spin. Don’t forget, neutrinos have spin (1/2), and they’re bloody hard to detect; they also are chargeless and colorless, as well as having really tiny masses. They’ve been mentioned as possible candidates for DM, but they couldn’t account for more than a small fraction, because reasons.

  10. says

    Marcus @#6

    The only reason that would make any sense at all is if someone is concerned with someone else’s sexuality in order to police it for their own ends. But that doesn’t seem to rationally apply to someone on the internet worrying about what someone on some other part of the internet does. Since people can’t claim self-interest

    I suspect that it’s possible to claim self-interest:

    “I don’t want to hear about or see other people engaging in sexual activities that I perceive as repulsive, because the sight disgusts me and makes me feel uncomfortable.”
    “I don’t want to encounter trans people, because they disgust me.”
    “I want all the women to wear feminine attire, because I like gawking at them and salivating over them. If instead there are more butch lesbians, genderqueers, and women in suits, then that’s a sight I no longer want to look at.”
    “I want all the people of my preferred gender to have the right amount of body fat and muscle mass so as to have the body shape that appeals to me, because I don’t like seeing photos of people that I perceive as unattractive.”*
    “I want to create a culture that slut-shames women, because this way it is easier for me to police my girlfriend’s behavior (she will be already indoctrinated and prone to accept my demands).”
    “I want to further patriarchy, because I enjoy policing women’s bodies, sexuality, and reproductive choices.”
    “I don’t want lesbians to exist, because that leaves me with fewer women to fuck.”
    “I want to create a culture in which women stay at home and make babies, because this way I have less competition at the workplace and I can make my wife financially dependent upon me, thus making it easier to control her.”
    And so on.

    It does not ever seem to fit with equality and allowing others to act according to their choice.

    A core characteristic of bigots is that they do not want equality, they do not want to let others act according to their choices.


    * I perceive muscular and masculine-looking women as really hot. Occasionally I masturbate while gawking at online photos of such women. In my search for images or videos of hot female body builders or athletes, I routinely come across heterosexual cis men who comment on how these women look ugly and are sexually unattractive. These men type their comments and suggest that the model in some photo ought to stop lifting weights and get a more “feminine” body shape instead: “Please change your body shape, because your current appearance is something I dislike.” I perceive such behavior as selfish and self-centered, these people don’t care what the body builder herself likes, they don’t care about other people’s preferences; instead they just try to police the entire female population in an attempt to force them to look so as to best appeal to a single guy’s individual preferences.

  11. Marshall says

    Marcus @#7:
    Isn’t the endgame here to move away from gendered sports entirely?

    I think the endgame is (or should be) to cluster the general population into categories of biological similitude such that skill is the determining factor in the outcome. The most obvious example of this is separating children into age groups, as teenagers will beat pre-schoolers at pretty much any sport you can come up with. Segregation by gender overlaps hugely with segregation by sex, and while sex is fuzzy at the boundaries, it is by and large a binomial distribution.

    I think the general question is, if you accept my premise for what the end game should be--how do we optimally segregate the population into groups of biological fairness, such that the number of groups isn’t too big (we obviously can’t make a group for every combination of height, weight, muscle mass, fast twitch fiber proportion, hormone balance, etc.) but also so that certain biological features don’t end up dominating?

  12. says

    Marcus @#7

    But, back to the central point: how can be we sure that their complaint is really about sports and not simply an excuse for expressing disgust/disdain/prejudice?

    Whenever some cis male starts talking about the fairness in women’s sports, I immediately default to assuming transphobia. The same guys don’t give a fuck when female athletes loudly complain about unfairly lower salary and various others problems they routinely face.
    Whenever some cis male starts talking about cis women getting raped in public restrooms by either trans women or cis men with wigs, I immediately default to assuming transphobia. The same guys don’t give a fuck when women complain about sexual harassment in the workplaces or during conferences, they protect rapists and question rape victims’ testimonies. If some person doesn’t express worry about women getting raped during conferences but does seem to worry about women getting raped in toilets, well, sorry, but I’ll just call that transphobia.

    I don’t believe that some guys are truly worried about female athletes or female rape victims. The wellbeing of all these women is simply used as a semi-transparent excuse for furthering transphobic fearmongering.

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    Marcus @6:

    Since people can’t claim self-interest, then what’s left?

    We’ve all been soaking in a culture which does police people’s sexuality. “Norms” have been long-established, and lots of folk respond negatively to what they’ve been taught are departures from them. It’s what a lot of humans do. Hostility to “the other” is one of our major failings as a species.

  14. says

    Andreas Avester@#10:
    “I don’t want to hear about or see other people engaging in sexual activities that I perceive as repulsive, because the sight disgusts me and makes me feel uncomfortable.”

    Yes, I’ve heard that argument. But it’s like saying “I don’t believe that pineapple is a valid pizza topping since it grosses me out, therefore nobody should be able to put pineapple on pizza.” I understand that there are some people who think that way, but it’s such a weak argument I’m surprised that they are willing to take it out in the light of day.

    [I perceive muscular and masculine-looking women as really hot I used to have my own issues with that, but I resolved them after some hard thinking brought on by the Michael Jackson video The way you make me feel -- I was simultaneously really turned on by the way the actress in it moves and looks, and also felt that she was pretty masculine-looking in a way. That cognitive dissonance led me to some very productive thought about what I find attractive and why. By the way, she’s really hot. 😉 And Michael is really creepy. The whole video is a shit-show except for how she walks, IMO, which is ooooh-la-la!]

  15. says

    Rob Grigjanis@#13:
    We’ve all been soaking in a culture which does police people’s sexuality. “Norms” have been long-established, and lots of folk respond negatively to what they’ve been taught are departures from them. It’s what a lot of humans do. Hostility to “the other” is one of our major failings as a species.

    Quoted for truth.

    It’s all so … unnecessary and counter-productive. It’s what happens when society uses fear to program people to behave in certain ways: they feel they always need something else/something new to be afraid of. “LEAD ME!” because thinking for oneself is so darned hard.

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    Marcus @14:

    Andreas Avester@#10:

    “I don’t want to hear about or see other people engaging in sexual activities that I perceive as repulsive, because the sight disgusts me and makes me feel uncomfortable.”

    Yes, I’ve heard that argument.

    What’s really weird about the argument is that lots of “normal” cis, straight folk engage in activities that a lot of other “normal” cis, straight folk would find equally, if not more, repulsive. There’s nowt as queer as folk.

  17. says

    Andreas Avester@#12:
    Whenever some cis male starts talking about cis women getting raped in public restrooms by either trans women or cis men with wigs, I immediately default to assuming transphobia.

    I assume it’s what psychologists call “projection” -- they’re trying to head off someone else doing what they’d want to do if they were that person.

  18. cartomancer says

    To explain gay people who have a problem with trans people, I think one has to look at the fact that a fair number of gay people see fixity of gender as an important part of their own sexual identity, and interpret trans individuals and gender-nonconforming individuals as some kind of attack on it.

    While many narrow-minded straight people might think that being attracted to members of your own gender is itself a gender-nonconforming behaviour, a lot of gay people don’t. Such people can be very critical of gender-nonconforming behaviour, because they place a great deal of stock by gender binaries, and don’t see their own behaviour as gender-nonconforming. There are plenty of gay men who react badly to effeminate gay men for instance. They find traditional gendered behaviour an important part of both identity and erotic imagination, and so take against it. I think it is more than possible to expand homosexuality into the category of gender-conforming behaviour, while remaining committed to the validity of gender binaries, and plenty of straight people do this too.

    Sadly it seems all too uncommon for people attacked by the same bigoted enemies to find common cause.

  19. Mobius says

    I am not sure what is happening with AXP and FtB. From my understanding, ACA (Atheist Community of Austin) has been taken over by supporters of Rationality Rules (RR) who has made some rather anti-trans statements. Several of the hosts of AXP have quit ACA (and thus quit AXP) in protest).

    AXP, to my knowledge, has not made any anti-trans statements and is pretty much supportive of the LGBTQ community. However, it has not made any disavowals of RR’s statements, and that seems to be a problem. Also, a lot of the posters on AXP Blog seem to come from the ACA’s anti-trans crowd. This also seems to be part of the problem.

    I have enjoyed watching AXP. I will miss the hosts that have left, particularly Tracie and Jen. I am sorry to see AXP caught up in the kerfuffle over the ACA.

  20. deepak shetty says

    because they all face a common adversary in those who discriminate against all those who do not fall under the gender—binary, heterosexual umbrella, though some are treated more harshly than others.

    Im not sure about AXP -- but from atleast what happened with Ophelia Benson (And people who supported her) -- I believe their stance is that some views, as related to the trans community are actively damaging/harming women and feminism and they are being asked to uncritically accept some viewpoints .
    Im guessing , Matt Dillahunty et al are in the group that think that such things can be discussed and debated ad infinitum and that one must leave all the emotions behind while dispassionately discussing , things that can make or break peoples lives -- even when we might not be qualified to do so.
    To be clear I dont agree with the above -- its my observation,

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    Marcus Ranum @ # 7: If one were concerned about fairness in sports…

    And also, of course, with ethics in gaming journalism!

    The present ACA leadership has apparently bounced partway down the slippery slope already. I really wish I could come up with examples of people doing that and then clawing their ways back up, but …

  22. says

    … which is of course not what the “cotton ceiling” actually was, but rather is the talking point TERFs love to spread to pretend that trans women are rapey men.

  23. says

    Marcus Ranum @#14

    But it’s like saying “I don’t believe that pineapple is a valid pizza topping since it grosses me out, therefore nobody should be able to put pineapple on pizza.” I understand that there are some people who think that way, but it’s such a weak argument I’m surprised that they are willing to take it out in the light of day.

    Well, I haven’t heard somebody claiming that pineapple pizza topping is “immoral” or “against the nature.” It seems that bigots are more interested in policing other people’s sex lives and bodies than they are in policing somebody else’s culinary preferences.

    [I perceive muscular and masculine-looking women as really hot I used to have my own issues with that

    Issues? Why?

    In my case, I’m more sexually attracted to masculine people, but the shape of somebody’s genitalia does not influence how attractive they are to me. Thus I find female athletes and body builders very sexy. To some extent, I also find stereotypically feminine women sexually attractive, but more masculine people just are more attractive for me. For example, I find deeper voices sexier. Same goes also for more masculine and angular face shapes. And muscular women are really hot in my eyes. I don’t draw any lines about what anatomical sex or gender identity I want a potential partner to have. If I find some individual person attractive, then that’s enough, and I don’t have to care about their gender.

    My own experience suggests that heterosexual men tend to not be picky. They will gladly jump on anything that even remotely resembles a human female. Despite my total lack of femininity, I don’t have problems finding heterosexual men who would be interested in sleeping with me. Sure, I have heard guys suggesting me that they would prefer if I put on a dress and behaved like a woman, but ultimately nobody has been adamant about it. Like I said, heterosexual men usually aren’t picky.

  24. says

    At least part of the issue is that it is apparently no longer acceptable in some quarters to have a civil discussion of differences of opinion or to accept apologies. It is now necessary in those quarters to completely demolish (reputation, career, etc.) any individual who holds a different opinion. De-platforming is part of that.

  25. ionopachys says

    To expand on cartomancer’s comment, upon a time male homosexuality was understood by many as being a woman trapped in a man’s body. Gay men were assumed to be fundamentally feminine. My earliest memory of a basically positive T.V. depiction of a gay man was Billy Crystal’s character on Soap, who was introduced preparing for a “sex-change” operation so he could be with his pro-athelete boyfriend. Getting the public to understand that sexuality and gender are two different things was a real struggle. Many older gay men suffered a lot of confused angst trying to reconcile being homosexual and not wanting to be a woman. And so, unfortunately, there developed in some parts community a resentment towards male to female transgenders. Hopefully younger generations will get past that.

    Also, a lot of gay men may feel the same sort of gut level “ickiness” towards female-to-male transgenders that straight men feel towards the reverse. It’s unfortunate that so many people aren’t willing to fight against such gut reactions.

  26. says

    @Marcus Ranum:

    Curiously enough, I was just discussing such a case in my most recent Pervert Justice post.

    @Everyone:

    So Mano & I have a deal, and I’ll be writing something soon on the topic of this OP. If anyone would like to see some additional questions addressed, please add them here so I can make sure I don’t miss them.

    One thing I won’t be addressing though is the specific details of what went down inside the ACA. Tracie Harris and Jen Peeples should be your primary sources there, with Phil Plait & John Iacoletti closely following behind. I’m not involved in the ACA (I’m not even in the same country right now), so I’m really not the best source on that.

    Anything else related to the OP that you want to hear about? Let me know and I’ll try to cover it.

  27. says

    @25 colinday the transphobe

    Correct. This does not happen in a general sense.

    Do you want to pretend “one is enough” and show an example of one trans woman being problematic? You can do that, but then I can show you lots and lots of examples of bad behavior from any sexuality and gender identity you like: claiming a whole demographic is responsible for one bad actor is bigotry as well as several logical fallacies.

    “You should think about your prejudices.” is NOT pressuring someone to sleep with them. You pretending it is is disingenuous and hatemongering. Everyone has the sacrosanct right to decline to sleep with any individual they choose, under any circumstances, and no trans woman claims otherwise. HOWEVER, if any person categorically says “I refuse to consider any as a potential partner, regardless of whether I may be otherwise attracted to them” then THAT is clear evidence of bigotry that needs to be unpacked, regardless of whether that demographic is trans women or Somalians or left-handed people or Zoroastrians or anything.

    It is the behavior of transphobes to pretend that the ‘cotton ceiling’ is a conspiracy to pressure lesbians into fucking a penis, when what it ACTUALLY was, was a single poorly-attended poorly-named workshop on how to deal with dating as a trans lesbian in an environment where “EW! TRANNIES GOT DICKS!!” is a common response thrown at the entire group, leaving them lonely and feeling unlovable.

    It is the behavior of transphobes, of course, to PREFER that trans women feel unlovable and unwantable, because you don’t want them in society at all.

  28. Mano Singham says

    ionopachys @#27,

    I saw the hilarious Soap when it first appeared on TV and thought I remembered the Billy Crystal character well as one of the first positive portrayals of a gay man. But recently, while on a small nostalgia trip, I watch the first season again and was surprised at the sex-change storyline that his character began with. I had completely forgotten about it over time.

  29. says

    Marcus Ranum@#28:
    Would you care to rephrase your question, or at least provide some specific references for the implicit assertions therein? It would be helpful if your rephrasing would be in some way related to my comment which you referenced.

  30. says

    @Bruce Lilly:

    Oooh! Can I help? Rather than explaining Marcus Ranum’s #28 directly, please permit me to aid in bridging any gaps of misunderstanding. I believe that Marcus Ranum, perhaps unjustifiably, does not take the substance of your comment seriously. Instead, he may believe that this is mere whining that simultaneously degrades others for sins of which they are not guilty.

    But there’s hope! You can clarify things so that no one here believes you are disingenuously belittling others actual concerns while demanding that you are treated with respect. I particularly like the part of your comment where you asked for “specific references”, as I know after reading your comment #26 that you are invested in empirical evidence and observable specifics rather than vague generalities that tar people with unrebuttably non-specific accusations.

    In the spirit of your dedication to a process which avoids such things, I’ve provided specific quotes from your #26 with suggestions for how you could convince others here that your concerns and genuine and well founded and not at all trolling.

    At least part of the issue is that it is apparently no longer acceptable in some quarters to have a civil discussion of differences of opinion or to accept apologies.

    Name one (1) “quarter” where it is not acceptable to have a civil discussion of differences of opinion.. Please support your assertion with examples where someone was punished for having a civil discussion wherein more than one opinion was expressed.

    Then Name one (1) “quarter” where it is not acceptable to accept an apology. Please support your assertions with examples where someone was punished for accepting an apology.

    It is now necessary in those quarters to completely demolish (reputation, career, etc.) any individual who holds a different opinion. De-platforming is part of that.

    Please name one (1) “quarter” that has never failed to seek the firing of a person who holds a different opinion, combined with an insistence that that person then be blackballed within that industry to prevent any continuation of the same career. Or, in lieu of that, you can name one (1) quarter where the only times that quarter failed to pursue firing and blackballing, the person responsible for the failure was somehow punished by the group for this failure.

  31. says

    > Name one (1) “quarter” where it is not acceptable to have a civil discussion of differences of opinion.

    I’ll give you a twofer: “identity politics” and the “regressive left”. An example involving both is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vln9D81eO60 where one party of the three involved repeatedly interrupts what would have otherwise been a civil discussion with violent outbursts consisting of ad hominems, whataboutisms, and non sequiturs, said interruptions based on a difference of opinion coupled with apparent inability to understand the topic of discussion. This is not limited to television; the same sort of things happen (multiplied with pile-ons, doxxing, etc.) on social media.

    > Then Name one (1) “quarter” where it is not acceptable to accept an apology.

    Consider Al Franken, who apologized for questionable behavior (and the apology was accepted by the other person involved), but who was nevertheless thrown under the bus despite his apology.

  32. says

    > Then Name one (1) “quarter” where it is not acceptable to accept an apology.
    Consider Al Franken, who apologized for questionable behavior (and the apology was accepted by the other person involved), but who was nevertheless thrown under the bus despite his apology.

    What? There is nothing in here about the person who accepted the apology being punished. You have said, and I quote,

    it is apparently no longer acceptable in some quarters … to accept apologies.

    A rapist who apologizes is still going to prison if convicted. Someone who engages in workplace sexual harassment (as Franken did) still may face workplace consequences even after apologizing.

    Neither of those truths have anything to do with whether accepting an apology has become unacceptable.

    Do you, in fact, have any examples of people being punished for accepting an apology? Or were you just making shit up? I’m very curious to know. I also have one other concern, but let’s address that one after this next quote:

    > Name one (1) “quarter” where it is not acceptable to have a civil discussion of differences of opinion.
    I’ll give you a twofer: “identity politics” and the “regressive left”. An example involving both is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vln9D81eO60 where one party of the three involved repeatedly interrupts what would have otherwise been a civil discussion with violent outbursts consisting of ad hominems, whataboutisms, and non sequiturs,

    First, you haven’t demonstrated the truth of your original claim at all. You have said that it is not acceptable to have a civil discussion. Where are people punished for having civil discussions? Not in this video. You specifically say that the bad treatment is because of

    a difference of opinion coupled with apparent inability to understand the topic of discussion

    So not even you believe that the bad behavior was due to some social group having determined that civil discussion is unacceptable.

    But further than that, you don’t seem to know the difference between “a quarter” and “an instance”. There are lots of specific cases in which people fail to behave civilly. That does not mean that civil behavior has become unacceptable among some significant group merely because it is civil behavior. Neither does a single instance of a person losing a job (Franken) prove that it is literally necessary to destroy someone’s career. There’s a difference between saying something happens sometimes and saying something necessarily happens all the time. Do you understand that difference? Because your assertion that a single example of someone losing a job offered in evidence that an entire “quarter” has made destroying careers “necessary” suggests that you do not.

    Having cleared up the difference between a specific case and an entire “quarter”, what is the group that has outlawed civility? Can you name one group that has done so?

    If you can, did they outlaw civility solely and/or specifically when differences of opinion exist? Or are you considering WWE cage matches places where civility have been outlawed, because I hate to break it to you but whatever social norms exist to forbid civility in WWE cage matches don’t have anything to do with differing opinions.

    So you have made specific claims, these are not merely that sometimes an apology isn’t enough to escape punishment, that has been true for thousands of years, if not for all of human existence. Nor are they merely that apologies are sometimes not accepted, No, you have claimed that some group (“quarter” to use your term) has made accepting apologies unacceptable according to that group’s norms.

    Do you have any evidence of that? If yes, what is the group? If you can name the group, can you provide compelling evidence that accepting apologies is actually socially forbidden? Or can you only show one or two instances where someone was criticized for accepting an apology that others think didn’t go far enough, while most of the time in the same social group apologies are routinely accepted?

    And do you have evidence that any group has created a social norm against civil discussion? If you do, can you prove that this norm was created to specifically address and apply to situations where differences of opinion exist?

    If not, why did you say,

    it is apparently no longer acceptable in some quarters to have a civil discussion of differences of opinion

    These are your words. If you have evidence that they are actually true, I’d be astonished. But I’m perfectly willing to read any evidence you do present.

  33. colinday says

    @abbeycadabra
    #30

    I don’t know the prevalence or degree of lesbians being pressured to sleep with transwomen (and I suspect that you don’t know, either). Nevertheless, I will not police lesbians. Also, there is still tension between the L and the GBT on what lesbians view as lack of support from gay men and the transing of gender-nonconforming girls.

  34. Holms says

    #19 Mobius
    From my understanding, ACA (Atheist Community of Austin) has been taken over by supporters of Rationality Rules (RR) who has made some rather anti-trans statements. Several of the hosts of AXP have quit ACA (and thus quit AXP) in protest).
    Sort of yes, and also no.
    The AXP show brought on as guest host Stephen Woodford, who produces a youtube show called Rationality Rules. Prior to his guest appearance there, he had produced a video discussing trans women competing in female sporting events and leagues. You can search for his videos if you wish to have his thought process from the source, but the short version is that he concluded it unfair to natal/genetic women if trans women joined their leagues.

    Then there was public outcry at his appearance on the show, and the show responded by distancing itself from him and apologised for having him on; but then they partially or fully retracted that apology and distancing (I’m not sure because I’ve not seen their revised statement). As a result of this retraction, FTB considers their efforts to distance themseves from Woodford / RR insufficient, and so now they are severing ties unilaterally and also Jen Peeples and Tracie Harris are leaving the show.

  35. says

    As a result of this retraction, FTB considers their efforts to distance themseves from Woodford / RR insufficient, and so now they are severing ties unilaterally and also Jen Peeples and Tracie Harris are leaving the show.

    This is terribly wrong. This does not explain how and why we at FtB made the decision to stop hosting the AXP blog.

    After the original statement critical of RR, there occurred a long series of interactions in which the ACA didn’t listen to its prominent feminists. These feminists included Jen Peeples and Tracie Harris who played a huge and dramatic role in opening the ACA and the AXP to women’s participation. Those feminists told the rest of the ACA that the organizations actions were unfriendly to them as both women and feminists, and that it was inappropriate for large numbers of men to tell women feminists assume that those men were the authorities on what was in the best interest of the women members of the ACA and/or what might make the ACA more feminist and more successful in championing women’s rights.

    Although the initial event which sparked the tumble of events did indeed involve RR and RR’s statements about trans* women in atheletics, what made the initial disagreement into a crisis (causing feminists to be voted off the ACA board and then resign from the organization entirely) was the variously chaotic, hostile, anti-trans, and sexist reactions of the ACA community to cis women feminists who were honestly doing what they felt to be best for women and everyone else in the ACA.

    I made the argument -- publicly, as it happens, but read by other FtB bloggers -- that we aren’t insiders to the ACA and it’s hard to make an uncomplicated case about continuing to host the AXP blog based on the back and forth on RR alone. However, I further argued, we know from the direct testimony of Jen and Tracie and Clare and others that the ACA has turned its back on the iconic women feminists that originally opened opportunity for women’s participation in the ACA and on air with the AXP. Given that, there seems to be a fundamental difference between the values of the ACA as expressed over the last few months in which maintaining relationships with people who have offered little to the ACA was more important than listening to women about feminism. Given that we have these differences in values, I concluded that we need not come to firm conclusions about how we feel about RR and the specifics of any public statements.

    I did not actually recommend breaking with the ACA, but others inside FtB appeared to agree that the details of specific statements about RR were entirely unnecessary to consider, as the process (testified to by Tracie, Jen, Clare, and others) was sufficient on its own to demonstrate that FtB has come to disagree on values and priorities.

    For utter clarity, nothing that I saw indicated that anyone based their recommendations to the group on the content of the public statements you mention.

    Your statement that

    As a result of this retraction, FTB considers their efforts to distance themseves from Woodford / RR insufficient,

    is false. It might be true of a single person here or there (I’m not sure), but it is categorically not true about FtB as a whole.

    and so now they are severing ties unilaterally

    And this is also categorically false -- not in the sense that we are not severing ties, but in that your “so now” is a claim of causation. We already know your causation claim must not be true because the fact that you’re alleging is the cause isn’t true, but worse it falsely gives the impression that we cared in any way about the “distance” between the ACA and RR.

    I don’t know where you came under the impression that what you said is true, but it isn’t.

    This decision was made in backchannel discussion and through private e-mails, influenced occasionally by public statements such as PZ’s post and the comment thread that followed it. However, even to the extent that decisions were so influenced, I’m not aware of any comment by any of us where we publicly stated the process by which any single one of us made any recommendation.

    If you’re going to make assertions about what other people believe, the least you can do is to limit yourself to what you can actually know by what was actually presented in public. If you’re going to make these claims, you really should go even further and quote the statements by FtB persons who participated in the decision making process in which they articulate their decision making process.

    Don’t have that? Then you’re making shit up. How about you don’t do that, maybe, please?

  36. Holms says

    #25 colinday
    So, no trans women ever demand that lesbians sleep with them?

    #30 abbeycadabra
    Correct. This does not happen in a general sense.

    Do you want to pretend “one is enough” and show an example of one trans woman being problematic? You can do that, but then I can show you lots and lots of examples of bad behavior from any sexuality and gender identity you like: claiming a whole demographic is responsible for one bad actor is bigotry as well as several logical fallacies.

    Deliberate dishonesty detected! Colinday made no such claim. Further, I understand the point you are making -- that lone incidents involving a member of a demographic do not indict the demographic -- but personally I try to make that point without making absolute statements. Such as:

    Everyone has the sacrosanct right to decline to sleep with any individual they choose, under any circumstances, and no trans woman claims otherwise.

    Really? None whatsoever?

  37. John Morales says

    [Mano, in case you were not aware, your name and your blog came up in the converse discussion over at Ophelia’s place.
    TLDR: You’re still respected, but worry was expressed]

    Holms, fun chatting over there, no? Entirely different places, I feel at home in both as do you and Colin. So we share that.

  38. John Morales says

    No worries, Holms. Figured Mano would eventually find out, but still thought it appropriate to mention. Didn’t want to be sneaky about it, either.

    (Or did you mean to refer to how I didn’t need to change personas for different places, since I don’t bother with one? If so, yeah. Cool indeed. Comfortable, too.)

  39. says

    @# 25

    So, no trans women ever demand that lesbians sleep with them?

    There is a huge difference between “inviting somebody to go on a date with you” versus “pressuring somebody to sleep with you.” People invite each other on dates all the time, and everybody can always simply refuse anybody else’s invitation. That’s how dating works.

    In general, trans people tend to be very careful with dating. Mostly because they fear for their own safety and don’t want to experience unpleasant word exchanges upon entering the bedroom and starting to take their clothes off. For example, I know a trans guy who was sexually attracted to men. In his online dating profile he called himself “gay” but his profile had prominently featured information about the fact that he was trans and that he haven’t had the bottom surgery. In gay bars he informed other guys about his anatomy pretty early on during the flirting stage. When possible, he preferred to seek men who called themselves “bisexual” rather than “gay,” although there were also plenty of men who called themselves “gay” while still being willing to hang out with a trans guy.

    The reality is that, in general, it’s trans people who are getting abused when it comes to dating. Often instead of being politely refused they will get beaten up. Claiming that trans people are out there to rape somebody is not only factually incorrect, it goes against the general trend, namely that trans people are more often the victims of violence rather than the abusers.

  40. Holms says

    “Um, cool” was in reference to your closing line as it seemed a bit of a non-sequitur.

  41. John Morales says

    Ah. A bit hyperbolic, but your clarification is appreciated.

    Still, it’s fun carrying on two simultaneous conversations in different places where the consensus on the issue at hand is diametrically opposed, no?

    (Wonders of cyberspace)

  42. says

    @#36:
    I never stated anything about a “person who accepted the apology being punished”; that is either a misunderstanding of what I in fact wrote, or a deliberate attempt to misconstrue what I wrote. The example should been sufficient to have clarified the point; I’ll try once more in detail with another example: a disabled elderly man was fired from UK retailer chain Asda last month for posting an excerpt of a Billy Connolly comedy routine on his personal social media account (he has since been reinstated after many complaints to the employer: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thefreethinker/2019/07/man-sacked-for-facebook-anti-religious-post-is-reinstated/). Apparently some co-workers were offended by the excerpt. Although he had apologized to his offended co-workers and removed the post, that was deemed (by regressive [over]reactionaries) to be insufficient; it was necessary to ruin the career (such as it was) of a disabled elderly man and drag his name through the press. If you fail to grasp the point that the issue I refer to is demonization (a practice employed by “identity politics” reactionaries across the political spectrum, and specifically by the regressive faction of the political left — these are the “social groups”), well beyond mere excoriation, even after a sincere apology had been given, then the problem is on your end of the conversation (and I use the term loosely, as ad hominems (“making shit up”, “you don’t seem to know”), strawmanning (“outlawed”), and non sequiurs (“WWE cage matches”) are not part of civil conversation; your use of ad hominens and strawmanning itself demonstrates my point about lack of civility; as to whether that’s due to “social norms” etc., I’ll leave you to answer your own questions with your specific reasons for uncivility).

  43. John Morales says

    [Bruce, you do amuse me. You don’t even get how much you don’t get CD, never mind who is being more civil. End result, you imagine you’re holding your own, which you are, but not in a sense you might find flattering.]

  44. Mano Singham says

    John @#41,

    Could you please give me a link to the post where I am mentioned? I went to Butterflies and Wheels and searched on my name but only got hits for posts that had my name, the latest being 2016. So I assume that my name came up in a comment thread to a post that the search engine does not probe.

  45. Rob Grigjanis says

    Years ago, I went to a pub with a friend; a woman born and raised in India, who had lived in Canada for a long time. We got talking to a young man; an Englishman of Indian descent. The question of identity came up, and the fellow said he considers himself a Brummie. My friend, who was never shy of expressing her firmly held beliefs, responded sternly “you are not a Brummie, you are a Punjabi!”.

    I was reminded of that incident when I read that thread at b&w.

  46. Owlmirror says

    A Google search of “Get the L out” generated a mere 9 billion hits.

    67,900 ≪ 9,000,000

    Kind of like the difference in order-of-magnitude between YEC and actual scientific ages of the Earth.

    One of those, http://www.gettheloutuk.com, mentions the “cotton ceiling” (lesbians being pressured to have sex with transwomen).

    They say that “Cotton ceiling=Rape”, but don’t define the term. Such use of jargon implies that they are only trying to speak to people who already part of their in-group. And it feels like fearmongering on the order of “BDS=Anti-Semitism”.

    So, no trans women ever demand that lesbians sleep with them?

    BDS-Fearmongerer might ask: “So, no BDS advocate ever attacked a Jew?”

    I don’t know the prevalence or degree of lesbians being pressured to sleep with transwomen […]. Nevertheless, I will not police lesbians.

    BDS-Fearmongerer: “I don’t know the prevalence or degree of Jews being attacked by BDS advocates. Nevertheless, I will not police Jews.”

  47. Owlmirror says

    A Google search of “Get the L out” generated a mere 9 billion hits.

    67,900 ≪ 9,000,000,000

    Whoops. Fixed that for me.

  48. Owlmirror says

    Also, there is still tension between the L and the GBT on what lesbians view as lack of support from gay men and the transing of gender-nonconforming girls.

    What the heck is “transing of gender-nonconforming girls”?

  49. says

    @Owlmirror:

    I think the 9 billion hits figure was generated by searching for those words without the quote marks. In other words, not searching for the exact phrase, just any document that includes each of those terms separately, somewhere.

    What the heck is “transing of gender-nonconforming girls”?

    I know, but I wish I didn’t. The grammar alone makes me regret ever having read the phrase.

  50. says

    Crip Dyke @#29

    If anyone would like to see some additional questions addressed, please add them here so I can make sure I don’t miss them.

    What are the differences in the kind of prejudice trans women face compared to trans men?

    Also, what the heck is “transing of gender-nonconforming girls”? (I have a suspicion that I might know what is meant with this, but I don’t know whether my guess is correct.)

  51. unit000 says

    Andreas Avester @ 58
    “Also, what the heck is “transing of gender-nonconforming girls”? (I have a suspicion that I might know what is meant with this, but I don’t know whether my guess is correct.)”

    I’m assuming that this is a reference to trans men. TERFs don’t usually have a great deal to say about trans men (I suspect they’d rather pretend they didn’t exist at all), but mutterings seemingly implying that all trans men are just butch lesbians (cos there are no gay trans men, obvs.) are something I’ve come across before.

  52. says

    @37 colinday the transphobe

    “Transing gender non-conforming girls” is another lie, and a heinous one, this one designed to paint the trans community as dangerous groomers, to plant the seed of thinking of them as pedophiles.

    Also, “Trans” as a verb -- DRINK!

    This is some hardcore bigotry here and it didn’t at all take long for the pretend civility to flutter away and be replaced with outright think-of-the-children hatred talking points.

  53. says

    @40 Holms

    Just fuck off. You got banned from Pharyngula for outright deliberate pervasive transphobia, we already KNOW you’re a hardcore hatemonger in this regard.

  54. says

    @58 Andreas

    TERF ideology defines trans women as dangerous invading predators, as not merely men but as men engaging in a sex act, who only with to enter women’s spaces to force sex on them. It defines trans men as confused, desperate girls deliberately led astray by ‘the trans cult’ to be turned into parodies of men.

    If you are paying attention, you will notice this assumes a priori that all AMAB people are predators and all AFAB people are helpless waifs in need of protection. It’s one of the big tells showing how TERFery is really based in traditional conservative sexism.

  55. unit000 says

    As an aside, I find it difficult to understand why people are failing to recognise the transphobic tropes that are deployed. We ought to recognise them. We’ve seen these tropes before.
    Consider:
    “Trans people are delusional” or “trans people are mentally ill” or “trans people are deviant sexual predators” or “trans people will turn your children trans”.
    These are the exact same things that were being said about lesbians and gay men (in particular) not that long ago. (Still are being said, but further away from polite public discourse in much of the West). It’s the exact same nasty fear and hatred of that which is different and outside one’s own experience.
    Ugh.

  56. Rob Grigjanis says

    unit000 @63: Over at B&W, you’ll also see the apparently much milder “trans folk are simply mistaken about who they are” (I suppose one could consider that a toned-down version of “delusional”). I’m not a transgender person, but I find that infuriating. And of course, that nonsense was also used against lesbians and gay men. They just needed someone to set them straight!

  57. colinday says

    @Owlmirror
    #53-56

    I’m getting about 9,170,000,000 results.

    As for transing of gender non-conforming girls, it’s encouraging girls who aren’t “feminine” to transition. Some lesbians view this as an attempt at lesbian erasure.

    @Crip Dyke

    “Transing” might not be the right verb.

  58. says

    … which is not a thing that happens, and “transing” is not a verb at all.
    but you knew that, what with the explicit hate and all.

  59. John Morales says

    colinday, I just pasted your claimed search term into Google — “Get the L out” — and it yielded “About 63,000 results (0.45 seconds)”. Of course, I did use the quotation marks in the search term.

    Your Google-fu is puny, I think. And Owlmirror is vindicated via empiricism.

  60. consciousness razor says

    I only got 53,900 results with quotes and 10 billion without. Searching for only “Get the” without quotes gives me 25.2 billion, and with quotes it yields only 2.2 billion. Strange.

    I have the Google-fu, but I know little of how the Google gnomes carry out their arduous task.

  61. deepak shetty says

    @colinday
    ” is usually exact phrase (loosely speaking)
    The is usually a stop word so is eliminated from most phrases and indices except in cases like “The Rock”
    Note also the total number of results is a probabilistic guesstimate -- Everyone knows you wont look beyond a few pages

  62. says

    I would have expected that anyone who supported any one of the subgroups under the LGBTQIA umbrella would be accepting of all the other subgroups

    Oh…boy. So many comments. There’s no way I can go through them all and no way I would be able to respond to anyone responding to me, but I do, as I have seen some others at least imply, that sexism plays a part in all of this.

    If we look back at the days when the lesbian and gay communities were not as accepted (and, honestly, these ideas still linger today), gay men were not accepted for being too feminine and women were not accepted for being too masculine. I cannot help but suspect that one thing that has helped with acceptance of these communities is that those stereotypes have somewhat faded. (Perhaps, too, they’ve been assisted by society accepting a broader range of what it means to be masculine and feminine. They’re not necessarily seen so much today as disrupting the gender binary. The transgender community, however, is still rocking that boat.

    One section of the LGBTQIA community I do have at least some familiarity with is the intersex community as my late wife was intersex. Sadly, I see the intersex community largely dismissed in these discussions when they are actually acknowledged. People who are intersex obviously really put a dent into the idea of a gender binary. But they get dismissed as mere exceptions to the rule (apparently, a few black swans don’t falsify the claim that “All swans are white” with the logic of the transphobes) as being just a small percentage of the population. It is perhaps even worse if the transphobes acknowledge that those of intersex being given unnecessary surgeries against their will in order to have them conform with the gender binary was and is wrong. That said, in a recent piece I saw (I don’t have the link handy right now), while not at all acknowledging such practices, the author suggested that the sex of someone who is intersex may just be harder to identify, or some shit like that, and so I shiver thinking they’d be supportive of such practices. That’s how transphobic they were. (It was on a conservative website, so I guess that’s not fully surprising.)

  63. colinday says

    @Everybody

    Yes, using the quotes makes a difference. I got 53,000 hits using “Get the L out”.

  64. John Morales says

    Deepak @69, Google is also a distributed asynchronous database, and also results are geolocated, and also, if you have anything like an trackable account or even a browsing history inferred from your previous searches and IP, then the results are tailored to your supposed predilections. Nothing like the old AltaVista.

    (But yeah, the point is pretty clear)

  65. John Morales says

    colinday @71, a little unsatisfying for me. On the right track, but.

    Do you thus concede the veracity of Owlmirror’s orders-of-magnitude point, which you have hitherto repudiated?

    (No pressure; and we all know the dictum ‘silence signifies assent’, no?)

  66. John Morales says

    Sure, Silentbob.

    About 1,100,000 results (0.32 seconds) is what I get.

    Over an order of magnitude greater.

    Huh. Sorta puts things into perspective.

  67. John Morales says

    [unwarranted, but… um, daring, perhaps]

    CD, I was interacting with Sastra over the other place.
    I am bewildered, for she was wise indeed, presumably still remains so.

    Did you peruse the exchanges? Any opinions of whatever sort?

    (As an inducement, your name came up, unsolicited, from her)

  68. says

    @John Morales:

    No, I didn’t peruse any exchanges. I was banned from commenting at B&W quite a while ago, long before Ophelia Benson left FtB. While that almost certainly does not block me from reading the site (that would take special tools which I imagine Benson probably doesn’t use, because very few sites ever use those tools), I take that as a statement that I am unwelcome. Boundaries are important to me, and I try not to go where I am unwelcome. While this may lead me to refrain from some things (like reading B&W) that might not actually be unwelcome, I’m a Crystal Clear Consent kinda gal, and I don’t perceive CCC for visiting B&W. Thus I choose not to.

    As for Sastra, I always liked Sastra and have been given no reason to change my mind. If you think Sastra would appreciate it, do pass on a happy hello.

  69. John Morales says

    Thank you, CD. Shame, because I think you would find it informative.

    Re your regards, I want to, but I don’t think it would be appropriate.

    (FWIW, I left enough hints there that she may check this thread out, should she care to. She’s surely smart enough)

  70. consciousness razor says

    Coming back to this bit from Marshall at #11, since it continues to bother me:

    I think the endgame is (or should be) to cluster the general population into categories of biological similitude such that skill is the determining factor in the outcome.
    […]
    I think the general question is, if you accept my premise for what the end game should be--how do we optimally segregate the population into groups of biological fairness, such that the number of groups isn’t too big (we obviously can’t make a group for every combination of height, weight, muscle mass, fast twitch fiber proportion, hormone balance, etc.) but also so that certain biological features don’t end up dominating?

    In the earlier pharyngula thread, I brought up Elo ratings systems (used most prominently in chess, but also in many other arenas … and of course different systems may be better in other cases). The TL;DR is that we already have that kind of thing, it is not a very mysterious recipe, and in fact it works very well.
    Given your proposal for what the goal should be [*], which I sort of agree with,[**] it doesn’t actually matter if it’s “biological.” What you want is people competing against others of a reasonably similar skill level, so the game will be fair and interesting and so on. For this purpose, all we need is a measure for the results, not to correlate that with a set (or sets) of biological features or whatever else.
    We shouldn’t confuse the two, not least because having such attributes (whatever they might be) doesn’t always translate into success; in many sports, it might not even do so a majority of the time. Consider how low batting averages are in baseball, for example; or take the percentage of shots that the very best basketball players will make. Or another example is how many times the world chess champion beats similarly-rated opponents. In any sport/game I can think of, success for the best players isn’t anywhere near 100%.
    In any case, that doesn’t pinpoint what we’re trying to do, which is to have a good valid way to create various tiers/levels/leagues/etc. (which can bring some problems of their own, but they’re less severe than segregation and perhaps not insurmountable anyway). After all, the problem at hand is more or less about determining skill level or success rate or something along those lines, no matter how that may come about, biologically or otherwise. We don’t need (for this purpose) to try to validate any such theories you or I might have about it. The goal was just to design systems or metrics that will suffice (by satisfying criteria like being clear, objective, fair, etc., as much as possible), not to give detailed explanations about human biology and sociology and so forth. If somebody else wants to study that, they certainly can, but that’s not the job here.
    Taking their arguments at face value, however ill-advised that may be, it seems that both sides on the trans people in sports “issue” have no apparent reason to disagree about this. So-called “radical feminists” don’t want segregation, for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, the other large group (I hesitate to call it the “trans-friendly” side, for fear of offending the precious snowflakes on the other), who have less traditional ideas about gender identity, also have no reason whatsoever to believe gender should be used as a proxy for how skilled a person is in this or that or the other thing. To me, it seems like there could be substantial agreement on it and we could actually make a lot of real progress on that front, while the battle lines (if we’re stuck with them) should be drawn someplace else where they would make some kind of sense … because the more I think about it, I honestly can’t make any fucking sense out of them now.
    [*] Since I brought up chess again, the goal is to win the game, or failing that to secure a draw instead of a loss. (Perhaps “don’t lose” sums it up well enough.) That’s the kind of thing we’re after here. The “endgame” refers somewhat vaguely to the last part of a game, which is not the same thing as the goal — there’s no prize for merely reaching that point, and little or no satisfaction if it’s not going the way you’d like.
    [**] That is, I agree with the operative part about skill, not so much the rest.

  71. brucegee1962 says

    I’d like to go back to the OP again and address Mano’s question again, as I think there’s a point here that hasn’t been discussed much. Specifically, I think that the conflict that is going on is in many ways more philosophical than just one of gut reactions or transphobia.
    I followed Ophelia here pretty closely before she left. Long before the subject of trans individuals ever came up, a belief that she returned to fairly frequently was that everything we consider to be “gender traits” are essentially culturally determined. As I interpret what she said, culture would be best if it could move towards eliminating all expectations for “how men should behave” or “how women should behave” — and if those expectations were removed, we would shortly see most perceived psychological differences between men and women fade away. Gender is a “performance” that we are programmed into by society at an early age, but we can use our wills to break that programming and choose how to behave regardless of the gender we were assigned.
    It’s easy to see how a trans person would interfere with that narrative, just by existing. They’re saying, “How can gender represent cultural programming, when I would have given anything to be happy with my assigned gender, but I never was? It’s not as if I chose to put myself in a despised minority! Gender is deeper than a programmed cultural performance, and my own life is proof!”
    But to have accepted that, Ophelia would have had to give up beliefs she had cherished for a long time. Personally, given the choice between standing up for an ideology and standing up for people, I choose the people. That’s why I stayed here rather than following her. But I can see where she was coming from.

  72. Holms says

    #60 abbeycadabra

    @37 colinday
    “Transing gender non-conforming girls” is another lie, and a heinous one, this one designed to paint the trans community as dangerous groomers, to plant the seed of thinking of them as pedophiles.

    That’s not even related to what it means. “Transing” as a verb is the notion that people are declared trans (possibly by themselves, or by other people) for being non-comformist in relation to the expectations placed on them due to their sex, especially when historical figures are retroactively claimed to be trans. Nothing to do with paedophilia there.

    Also, “Trans” as a verb — DRINK!

    Drink if you like, but just about anything can be verbed.
    #61

    Just fuck off. You got banned from Pharyngula for outright deliberate pervasive transphobia, we already KNOW you’re a hardcore hatemonger in this regard.

    No, and no I didn’t. Recall that if you are saying I did something deliberately then you are making a statement as to my state of mind, and you will be unsurprised to learn that I disagree with your assessment of my actions.

    Your next post is much the same and can be dismissed as easily.

    #81 brucegee

    It’s easy to see how a trans person would interfere with that narrative, just by existing. They’re saying, “How can gender represent cultural programming, when I would have given anything to be happy with my assigned gender, but I never was? It’s not as if I chose to put myself in a despised minority! Gender is deeper than a programmed cultural performance, and my own life is proof!”

    Although I’m not Ophelia of course, I think your summary of her position was quite accurate… until the portion I quote above. Your assertion that trans people interfere with the narrative you laid out makes the mistaken assumption that non-trans women and men are “happy with [their] assigned gender”. You are overlooking the fact that many women in particular are deeply unsatisfied with the gendered expectations placed on them, which is unsurprising given that the culturally expected niche for women is to be pretty and quiet so as to attract a husband, while men boldly do things; to be the homemaker financially dependent on the husband, the doer of chores, the wallflower, the secretary whose arse can be pinched by the boss etc. etc..

    I would estimate that the heavy preponderance of people of either sex are unhappy with the gendered expectations placed on them to some degree, with an emphasis on women given they got the short end of the stick; everyone is being nonconformist whenever they do something contrary to the male or female stereotype. “Unhappiness with their assigned gender” is not unique to trans people.

  73. says

    Abbeycadabra @#62

    TERF ideology defines trans women as dangerous invading predators, as not merely men but as men engaging in a sex act, who only with to enter women’s spaces to force sex on them. It defines trans men as confused, desperate girls deliberately led astray by ‘the trans cult’ to be turned into parodies of men.

    Wow, that’s a weird ideology.
    Some trans women are sexually attracted to men and have no interest in dating lesbians.
    Some trans men are sexually attracted to men. There’s no way they could have possibly been “confused lesbians” before transitioning.
    Now I’m starting to wonder whether TERFs understand even basic facts about transgender people.

    If you are paying attention, you will notice this assumes a priori that all . . . AFAB people are helpless waifs in need of protection.

    How can somebody possibly call themselves a feminist while simultaneously patronizing AFAB people and denying them the right to choose for themselves how they want to live? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

    brucegee1962 @#81

    Long before the subject of trans individuals ever came up, a belief that she returned to fairly frequently was that everything we consider to be “gender traits” are essentially culturally determined. As I interpret what she said, culture would be best if it could move towards eliminating all expectations for “how men should behave” or “how women should behave” — and if those expectations were removed, we would shortly see most perceived psychological differences between men and women fade away. Gender is a “performance” that we are programmed into by society at an early age, but we can use our wills to break that programming and choose how to behave regardless of the gender we were assigned.
    It’s easy to see how a trans person would interfere with that narrative, just by existing. They’re saying, “How can gender represent cultural programming, when I would have given anything to be happy with my assigned gender, but I never was? It’s not as if I chose to put myself in a despised minority! Gender is deeper than a programmed cultural performance, and my own life is proof!”

    I’m genderqueer. I was female assigned at birth, but I just never felt like a woman. I never really had a gender identity. Back when I was younger, for a long time I couldn’t understand why other people were so attached to their gender identities and why they so dutifully followed gender stereotypes. For example, first time I heard about PCOS, I was puzzled why some women were so upset and heartbroken about having to shave facial hair. If you have some unwanted body hair, you just shave it, why make such a fuss about it? I also struggled to understand why some men did stupid things in the name of manliness. Who cares? I just didn’t care, and I had to discuss the whole gender identity topic with other people before I finally understood that for them their gender identity is immensely important.

    I suspend my judgment about how much of differences in behavior between men and women are culturally determined rather than biologically determined. Humans cannot accurately untangle nature versus nurture, thus I prefer to suspend judgment. My guess is that probably both nature and nurture influence how people behave.

    Anyway, some of the quoted statements are things I agree with.

    everything we consider to be “gender traits” are essentially culturally determined

    Not “everything,” but a significant portion certainly is. For example, the fact that men wear pants and women wear dresses is culturally determined. There’s nothing natural about fashion rules. Same goes for gender-stereotypical behavior. There’s no reason why computer programming should be considered a manly job, there’s no reason for blue to be considered a manly color.

    culture would be best if it could move towards eliminating all expectations for “how men should behave” or “how women should behave”

    Yes, I agree. I’m okay with some kids playing with dolls while others play with cars. I’m okay with some people wearing dresses while others wear pants. I don’t want to eliminate all the differences between genders. I don’t ask for a world where cultural rules demanded uniformity. If some individual person has specific preferences, they should be free to pursue those. But the key point here is that anybody regardless of their anatomical sex should be free to express themselves in either a masculine or a feminine way in accordance with personal preferences. A male child should be allowed to play with dolls. An AMAB person should be allowed to wear dresses. Expectations for “how men should behave” or “how women should behave” are immensely harmful for genderqueer people like me, they are also harmful for transgender people. We get routinely punished for choosing to behave in ways that go against the existing gender stereotypes.

    if those expectations were removed, we would shortly see most perceived psychological differences between men and women fade away

    Maybe not most, but a significant portions, yes. As a child, I was punished for behaving in ways that weren’t sufficiently feminine. I was raised with the expectation that I will be the primary care giver for the babies I will someday have, I was expected to pick feminine hobbies, I was recommended to choose a female dominated profession, I was expected to be emotional and have high empathy. When male and female children are raised differently, of course it is bound to affect the outcomes in terms of psychological differences.

    Gender is a “performance” that we are programmed into by society at an early age, but we can use our wills to break that programming and choose how to behave regardless of the gender we were assigned.

    Yes, I was taught to act the “female performance.” When I decided to live as a guy in my early twenties, I had to intentionally relearn my mannerisms, I had to educate myself about male fashion, I had to use my will to break that programming and choose how to behave regardless of the gender I was assigned at birth. For example, at school I was taught to sit in a feminine pose with my knees together. I had to consciously relearn how to sit by reminding myself to take up more space until I got used to it and started sitting like a dude instinctively without conscious reminders.

    They’re saying, “How can gender represent cultural programming, when I would have given anything to be happy with my assigned gender, but I never was? It’s not as if I chose to put myself in a despised minority! Gender is deeper than a programmed cultural performance, and my own life is proof!”

    Personally, I see no clash between a feminist position that gender is a culturally determined performance and a transperson’s desire to act out the performance typically reserved for people who are born with different genitalia. That’s what’s called “individual preferences.” I chose to live as a guy. I prefer using male pronouns, I use a male name. I’m more comfortable living as a guy and I’m happier this way. Femininity never appealed to me, it clashed with my personality, my interests, my preferences. I’m more comfortable wearing male clothes and acting out the “male performance.” I even manipulate the visual appearance of my body so as to look more masculine (for example, I prefer clothing that visually flattens my chest). Those are all my individual preferences. Just like I should be free to live as a guy, a trans woman should be free to live as a woman. People have different personalities, varied preferences, how we look at ourselves differs for each person. If some person wants to live as a woman and feels like one, well, that’s her choice, and the rest of the society shouldn’t be policing the shape of her genitalia.

    My own (masculine) gender identity is somewhat weak, but I know that for many other people it’s a much more important aspect of their identity. I welcome diversity when it comes to gender identity and expression thereof. If a butch lesbian who visually looks like a dude tells me that she sees herself as a woman and wants to be treated as such, I will respect her preference. If some cis or trans woman wants to wear pink dresses, high heels, and make-up while choosing to be a stay-at-home mother, I will respect her lifestyle choice. There’s more than one way how to live as a woman or as a man. I welcome all the variety, and I respect each person’s individual preferences about how they want to live or what visual appearance they prefer for themselves. If gender is a culturally influenced performance, every person should be free to pick whichever performance they are more comfortable with. If genes determine or partially influence whether some individual person will gravitate towards a more masculine or a more feminine performance, that’s also fine with me. I’m pretty certain that my own preference for a more masculine lifestyle was genetically determined, because even as a child I was a tomboy and didn’t want to be feminine.

  74. John Morales says

    Andreas,

    Personally, I see no clash between a feminist position that gender is a culturally determined performance and a transperson’s desire to act out the performance typically reserved for people who are born with different genitalia.

    I’ve been in direct discussion with TERFs about this. Point being, for them, the gender is determined by the biological sex, and the correlation is 100% between the two.
    And that sex (and concomitant gender) is to be determined at birth, and forever more immutable. And they appeal to biology for that stance.

    (Or: as they see it, gender is the culturally-mediated expression of sex)

  75. colinday says

    @John Morales
    #73

    Do you thus concede the veracity of Owlmirror’s orders-of-magnitude point, which you have hitherto repudiated?

    Yes, I so repudiate.

  76. colinday says

    @John Morales
    #84

    The feminists I’ve read say that sex is not gender, and that we ought to separate them. Indeed, Janice Raymond wrote in The Transsexual Empire that gender nonconforming men could break down gender stereotypes by remaining gender nonconforming men.

  77. Jenora Feuer says

    A bit late entering, but back to the original post…

    I think some people are only happy if they have nice clear dividing lines and boxes to put people into. Some of that is part of human nature (we don’t have time to get to know everybody individually, and we are good at detecting patterns even if no patterns are present, so prejudices will tend to happen) but for some people the dividing lines they have settled on are treated as part of their identity, and any indication that the lines are put in the wrong place (or that there shouldn’t be lines at all) becomes a personal attack because it is saying that you are wrong.

    (brucegee1962 above made a similar albeit more specific comment.)

    But I think that for a lot of these people who are close to the boundary lines themselves or in different boxes depending on where the lines are put, policing the lines becomes much more personal. Some of them will adopt a ‘thus far, but no farther!’ approach. So gay men still infested with toxic masculinity can accept themselves, and can deal with lesbians because they’re not a threat, but they think that bisexual people are weak minded and indecisive, and trans people are a complete betrayal of the sacred compact of manhood.

    And then you get to the ‘taking resources’ argument, where people will argue, for example, that Asexual people aren’t really discriminated against and so they shouldn’t be taking attention away from the people who face real discrimination. (With the ‘like me!’ being an unsaid but plainly implied coda.) This is usually just a polite cover for the previous ‘thus far, but no farther’ argument.

    We can see this sort of thing everywhere. At least some of it is the same sort of thinking as early women who had successful careers but then ‘pulled up the ladder behind them’ and refused to help other women follow in their footsteps by reducing the toxicity of the work environment. “I had to go through all this, you should have to as well.” Or early people of colour. Or…

    Unfortunately, the number of people who will fight to make sure the rules include them and then not fight any further is large. And the number who will turn around and fight against expanding things more because that would make them less special is a significant subset of that.

  78. Rob Grigjanis says

    John @84:

    for them, the gender is determined by the biological sex, and the correlation is 100% between the two.

    After reading some posts and comments at B&W, I was puzzled briefly. Surely, I thought, there has to be something more than this. How could adults who haven’t been raised by wolves be so blindingly naïve and dogmatic? But no, that really seems to be their fundamental axiom. Do they really believe this, or is it a position they take for political reasons? Who knows, but intellectually, it’s as fragile as insisting that all Manchester United supporters must be born and raised in Manchester. The keenest fan I’ve met was from Singapore.

  79. Owlmirror says

    [dropping the GHits point]

    @colinday #65:

    As for transing of gender non-conforming girls, it’s encouraging girls who aren’t “feminine” to transition.

    Why is this bad? The followup says that this “erases lesbians”, but there is, as noted, there’s the sense that the girls in question are being patronized. “Poor little things, so easily confused and mislead.”

    Either they are actual cissexual lesbians, and can say “No thanks!” for themselves to reject such encouragement, or they’re trans men who could use the encouragement.

    It’s not impossible that a cissexual lesbian could be gaslit and manipulated through the course of hormone therapy and reassignment surgery, but it sounds a lot like some lurid narrative, like those that portrays lesbians as sexually voracious predators and manipulators who encourage girls who have any kind of problem with the men in their lives to believe that they are lesbians, and nothing else.

    Is this really what you, or anyone else, really believes actually happens on a regular basis?

  80. anat says

    Owlmirror, they are afraid that people who could live as non-conforming members of their assigned genders would be encouraged to transition ‘unnecessarily’. Which assumes sticking to one’s assigned gender for its own sake to be preferable to transitioning. IOW cissexism.

  81. Holms says

    I’ve been in direct discussion with TERFs about this. Point being, for them, the gender is determined by the biological sex, and the correlation is 100% between the two.

    Uh
    What does it say about your comprehension of what you have read, that I, a person whose point of view you are purportedly explaining, recognise nothing in your description of me?

  82. deepak shetty says

    @John Morales

    Point being, for them, the gender is determined by the biological sex

    I dont think that the above is an accurate summary of the people at B&W -- however this may be a conclusion they reach. Their stance(As I understand it) is that some ,perhaps most, of the things attributed to gender -e.g. Women are emotional , Men are logical -- men wear pants women wear skirts- should not belong in any Gender boundaries. In turn , if that were true then there would be no reason for anyone to “transition” because they could anyway do what they want without anyone to judge them for it. Hence if you take away all those gender things then the only thing that remains is the biological differences.
    I dont find some of their views consistent though
    For e.g. they seem to buy into Male = muscular and Female = less so as seen in their commentary about Rachel McKinnon McKinnon is one vivid example of a large, muscular trans woman who insists on competing against much smaller women , and is also a dedicated Twitter bully from http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2019/conditioning/ -- Im guessing here they will fallback to biology.

  83. brucegee1962 says

    @83 Andreas Avester

    I’m not sure how you reconcile this statement:

    I don’t want to eliminate all the differences between genders.

    with this one

    Expectations for “how men should behave” or “how women should behave” are immensely harmful for genderqueer people like me, they are also harmful for transgender people. We get routinely punished for choosing to behave in ways that go against the existing gender stereotypes.

    I mean, if something is harmful, why wouldn’t you want to eliminate it?
    I suppose, when you say

    everything we consider to be “gender traits” are essentially culturally determined

    Not “everything,” but a significant portion certainly is.

    You mean that the culturally determined parts can be discarded, but not the other ones. I’m not sure how to tell which is which, though. But my point is, if you could somehow manage to remove all or most culturally-determined gender expectations, how would it be even possible to express oneself as trans? In such a society, wouldn’t there stop being trans people?

    Here’s a thought experiment: a group of children are raised by robots on an alien planet, and are taught nothing at all about gender expectations or roles. (I’m actually working on an sf story with this premise.)

    Option 1: Without the Darwinian pressure that caused gender roles to develop on Earth, gender roles would never develop. Everybody would dress the same and be bisexual, falling in love or lust with people as individuals rather than sexes. Aside from a few unavoidable quirks (namely what goes where during hetero sex, the fact that you need a hetero hookup of some sort if you want kids, and who can give birth), nobody pays much attention to sex or gender at all. In such a scenario, nobody would be transgender, because there wouldn’t be a way to express it. If performative gender doesn’t exist, then you can’t feel like you were assigned the wrong one.

    Option 2: Due to a biological component of gender (probably some combination of testosterone/estrogen’s effect on the brain and the psychological effects of high-cost reproduction in terms of giving birth and nursing vs. low-cost sperm donation), people begin to recognize and expect psychological and performative gender differences within the first few generations of the society. In that scenario, we would expect a certain percentage of the population to identify more with the gender opposite to their sex, so trans people would still be a thing.

    Which one would happen? I have no idea. The more I look into this, the more convinced I am that we really understand diddly about causes of both sexual attraction and gender expression.

  84. anat says

    To brucegeee1962 @95:

    But my point is, if you could somehow manage to remove all or most culturally-determined gender expectations, how would it be even possible to express oneself as trans? In such a society, wouldn’t there stop being trans people?

    At the very minimum, one can wear a button or T-shirt or whatever that states ‘I am a man/woman/girl/boy/whatever-fits-better’ or ‘My pronouns are: ‘

    And of course the need for medical transition will still there.

  85. says

    brucegee1962 @#95

    I’m not sure how you reconcile this statement:

    I don’t want to eliminate all the differences between genders.

    with this one

    Expectations for “how men should behave” or “how women should behave” are immensely harmful for genderqueer people like me, they are also harmful for transgender people. We get routinely punished for choosing to behave in ways that go against the existing gender stereotypes.

    I don’t see any problem here. I envision a world in which some people use make-up, shave their legs, wear pink dresses, and have stereotypically feminine hobbies. Other people wear pants, abstain from make-up usage, and have stereotypically masculine hobbies. Some AFAB and AMAB people pick the feminine option, other AFAB and AMAB people pick the masculine option. Even if statistically more AFAB people preferred the feminine lifestyle and more AMAB people preferred the masculine lifestyle, that in itself would not be a problem. There is a problem only when a society rigidly enforces gender norms by forcing every AFAB person to adopt the feminine lifestyle and every AMAB person to adopt the masculine lifestyle.

    I don’t mind that gender norms exist. I dislike that they are rigidly enforced. If, instead, the same norms were treated as loose guidelines that anybody was free to follow or ignore according to personal preferences, then the existence of these norms per se would stop being a problem. I don’t mind the society offering loose guidelines to people. I only mind the society enforcing rigid norms.

    Guidelines are pretty much inevitable, because humans have a tendency to look around at how others behave. For example, where I live choirs are very popular, and a large part of school-age children attend weekly singing lessons in their school’s choir. Thus “school-age children should consider attending a choir” is a loose guideline. I don’t mind the existence of this particular guideline, because it was never rigidly enforced. Back when I was a child, I decided that singing isn’t for me, and nobody punished me for choosing to skip the choir. Contrast this one with gender norms, which are currently rigidly enforced. If some person fails to behave according to whatever norms that exist for the gender they got assigned at birth, this person will get punished. In my opinion, the existence of this punishment is the problem rather than the norm itself.

    Of course, a few norms are harmful per se, and those ought to be eliminated, for example “real men don’t cry” or “real men don’t ask for help” are harmful norms that should get eliminated. Contrast those with “men’s shirts have buttons on the right side” and “women’s blouses have buttons on the left side.” The latter norms are harmless in itself, thus I don’t mind their continued existence.

    Everybody would dress the same and be bisexual

    That’s impossible. People who are sexually attracted to only one sex perceive some types of human bodies as either attractive or non attractive. Non-bisexual people who are sexually attracted to women don’t care about whether some person wears a dress or pants, instead they care about whether that person has boobs, wide hips, and a vagina.

  86. says

    Jenora Feuer @#88

    But I think that for a lot of these people who are close to the boundary lines themselves or in different boxes depending on where the lines are put, policing the lines becomes much more personal. Some of them will adopt a ‘thus far, but no farther!’ approach.

    For me it was the exact opposite—realizing that I am close to the boundary lines themselves or in different boxes depending on where the lines are put resulted in me wishing for all the rigid lines to be discarded. Instead of rigid boxes and clear lines, I envision a spectrum with individual people fitting all over the place. For example, rigid boxes that offer as alternatives only “trans man,” “trans woman,” “cis man,” and “cis woman” fail to encompass all the agender, genderqueer and genderfluid people. Thus instead of these four boxes I’m seeing a spectrum with all sorts of individual situations.

  87. anat says

    Andreas Avester @98:

    Non-bisexual people who are sexually attracted to women don’t care about whether some person wears a dress or pants, instead they care about whether that person has boobs, wide hips, and a vagina.

    Depends. Some non-bisexual people care more about some aspects of the sex they are attracted to more than others. To the point that some become non-issues for that individual.

  88. consciousness razor says

    I don’t mind that gender norms exist. I dislike that they are rigidly enforced. If, instead, the same norms were treated as loose guidelines that anybody was free to follow or ignore according to personal preferences, then the existence of these norms per se would stop being a problem. I don’t mind the society offering loose guidelines to people. I only mind the society enforcing rigid norms.

    If what you want is a guideline that’s not guiding anything, that sounds like you don’t actually want it (whatever it is) to be a guideline. If things were the way you think they should be, there may still be some kind of phenomenon to point at, but it doesn’t act as a guide or isn’t treated like one.
    I know English isn’t your first language, so is that clear? It seems like the wrong word to use. If it were doing this guidance only “loosely,” as opposed to “rigidly,” it would still be doing the kind of thing that you’re apparently against. No?

  89. says

    @Holmes, #82 (quoting #61):

    You got banned from Pharyngula for outright deliberate pervasive transphobia, we already KNOW you’re a hardcore hatemonger in this regard.

    No, and no I didn’t. Recall that if you are saying I did something deliberately then you are making a statement as to my state of mind, and you will be unsurprised to learn that I disagree with your assessment of my actions.

    Well, this is an odd concern for you, given that in #38 of this very thread you asserted:

    As a result of this retraction, FTB considers their efforts to distance themseves from Woodford / RR insufficient, and so now they are severing ties unilaterally and also Jen Peeples and Tracie Harris are leaving the show.

    FtB is made up of people, including me. In #38 you are making a making a claim about psychological causation/thought process. Indeed you are making 2 of those claims in the same sentence, with your “as a result” and your “and so” being the clear indications of those 2 claims.

    Why would you make such claims about my state of mind when you could just ask me? Do you want us to conclude you’re dishonest in your concern about people making claims about others’ states of minds? What legitimate reason could you possibly have for arrogating yourself to make claims about my state of mind while disdaining others’ comments about your state of mind?

    …additionally…

    You got banned from Pharyngula for outright deliberate pervasive transphobia

    isn’t necessarily a state-of-mind claim. I have articulated many times in many threads that oppression such as racism can and should be identified without evidence of state of mind. I’ve drawn the distinction between racism and racial oppression.

    Consider the example of a white legislator in the USA who helps to pass a (not yet ratified) constitutional amendment restricting the electorate to whites only. Before we investigate, we can’t know if the legislator helped the proposed amendment pass because they hate people of other races or because they were bribed. Yet we can say that the proposed amendment is racist, and we can say that that because of the knowing nature and conscious choice involved that the legislator participated in this action “deliberately”.

    It is for this reason that I very carefully use racism and racial prejudice differently. A similar distinction can be drawn between the oppression of trans* persons and the subjective prejudice against trans* persons. Unfortunately, not everyone is the pedant that I am. (Ah, what a better world that would be!) Transphobia is thus used to indicate, at various times, one, the other, or both of these concepts.

    If “transphobia” is here used to mean “the oppression of trans* people”, then saying that you engaged in the oppression of trans* people, deliberately or otherwise, is not a state of mind claim. Of course, it still might be a claim about your state of mind, and in that case it was probably a bad claim for abbeycadabra to make (as it is generally bad policy for a number of reasons to tell others what they themselves are thinking), but I thought you should consider the possibility that it is not that.

    I hope this has been helpful, and I expect your apology for making claims about my state of mind to arrive in this thread very soon. An explanation for why you ever felt is was acceptable to make such a claim about me would also not be remiss.

  90. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr @101:

    If what you want is a guideline that’s not guiding anything…

    I’m not sure what you’re objecting to. Surely recipes can fall under the banner of “loose guidelines”. You decide what you want for dinner, then maybe pull out a recipe book, and, if you’re adventurous, improvise on the instructions, according to your personal preferences. But the instructions are certainly still guiding you.

    Don’t jazz covers of standards also treat the originals as loose guidelines?

  91. says

    @Consciousness Razor #101, responding to Andreas

    If what you want is a guideline that’s not guiding anything, that sounds like you don’t actually want it (whatever it is) to be a guideline. If things were the way you think they should be, there may still be some kind of phenomenon to point at, but it doesn’t act as a guide or isn’t treated like one.

    This is a familiar concept to me and to many trans* people. However, I agree that it can be expressed in a way that is confusing. If Andreas is indeed discussing the same phenomenon with which I am familiar, it can be rewritten as so:

    Many people are afraid that it is the intent that in “eliminating gender” trans* people would want to or indeed currently intend to eliminate choices that currently communicate gender. This is not the case. No one would be stopped from wearing barrettes or pomade or make up or cummerbunds or drop-pearl earrings. But no one would be forced to either. If, when we were truly free to express ourselves as we wish, people with one sex or another wore barrettes more often, we’d be free to notice and comment on that. Communication would not be impeded in any way.

    Further, if we found a constellation of these behavioral associations, we could even -- as a society -- find it convenient to use a short hand term for persons who tend to engage in many or all of the behaviors in a particular constellation. Such names might look linguistically like words naming genders do now. Such names could in theory even use words like “boy” or “woman” that are currently used to describe genders. However, they would not be genders as we currently understand them, because genders as we currently understand them are always coercive/compulsory.

    Thus “guidelines” might exist as to when to use the term “vruplnuton” to describe a person who might or might not fit in the “vruplnuton” group. But the guidelines wouldn’t constrain people who have not been labeled vruplnutons in the past, nor would they constrain those who have.

    They would be “guidelines” to word usage and not to behavior. The words in this case would be entirely post-facto descriptive.

    The unrealistic part of this is that individuals might become psychologically attached to group membership and thus take steps to ensure that they consistently display enough social signals that others will continue to think of them as “men” or “girls” or “vruplnutons”. It wouldn’t ever be possible to prevent all such individual attachments, but we could as a society create norms that strongly discourage both in-policing and out-policing.

    If I’m correct, this is the world that I think Andreas is attempting to describe. If it helps, this articulation has become popular in certain circles because of persistent “reverse racism”-type criticisms leveled by cis*-people that people who currently enjoy “being” (whatever that means to them, which might actually be closer to “belonging”) or “expressing” a certain gender would not be prohibited from being/expressing the things that they currently like being/expressing in a gender-liberated world.

    If there wasn’t pervasive, nonsensical fear-mongering from cis* people about how gender-liberation is simply taking away all the gender freedom in the world for everyone who isn’t trans, we wouldn’t be having that discussion at all.

    At root, this is about a failure of cis* people to imagine that freedom is, in fact, possible.

  92. Rob Grigjanis says

    CD @104:

    I agree that it can be expressed in a way that is confusing

    I didn’t see anything confusing in Andreas Avester’s comment #98, not if one reads past the paragraph cr quoted anyway. Maybe I’m missing something too subtle for me.

  93. says

    @Rob:

    Well, it seemed to confuse CR, so I’m just taking “can be expressed in a way that is confusing” as empirically established.

    Note further that I didn’t say that Andreas Avester was guilty of any particular lack of clarity. I, too, thought Andreas Avenster’s comment was perfectly clear, but I know from experience that my understanding of communication is not the one right way, so I tend towards non-judgementalism when communication goes awry somewhere between the beginning of language production and the conclusion of language reception.

  94. Rob Grigjanis says

    CD @106:

    I tend towards non-judgementalism when communication goes awry somewhere between the beginning of language production and the conclusion of language reception.

    Cranky old sod that I am, I tend towards judgmentalism when someone (cr) would rather cast doubt on a commenter’s proficiency at English than ask them for clarification.

  95. John Morales says

    Holms @92:

    What does it say about your comprehension of what you have read, that I, a person whose point of view you are purportedly explaining, recognise nothing in your description of me?

    It’s not an explanation of your personal point of view, it is a presentation of the synthesis of my perception of the consensus of your ilk; i.e. not of one particular individual’s viewpoint. You quoted it yourself: “discussion with TERFs “. You might be representative, but you are not the consensus.

    But I can quote you in particular on the subject of gender during that discussion:
    “Woman and man are words that denote someone’s sex, and not gender. because sex and gender are not the same thing. In fact, ‘denoting someone’s gender’ is somewhat nonsensical: we people have a sex, we do not actually have a gender. Gender is not a thing that is applicable to biological beings, it is applicable to other things which become associated with one sex or the other.”

  96. says

    @102 Crip Dyke

    I was referring to his behavior. I am not speculaiting on nor interested in the state of the plausibly rotted, dishonest, suppurating thing we must for lack of a better term call Holms’s “mind”.

    Him pretending otherwise was just another example of his ongoing dishonesty, it was a diversion tactic at best.

  97. says

    @102 Crip Dyke

    FWIW ‘Deliberately’ can be clearly inferred to an imperfect but high degree of accuracy in that Holms was WARNED, repeatedly, and engaged with those warnings, then persisted in the behavior that got him banned. Technically this might not be ‘deliberate’ but it does have to be either that or compulsive to a dangerous in-need-of-serious-medical-help extent.

  98. John Morales says

    abbeycadabra, I was there. He got so close on a previous thread, but he desisted (I like to think my heads-up was a factor), then he obstinately persevered on another thread. So yeah, ‘deliberate’ fits, whether the impetus was ego or righteousness.

    (When I was in that same position, a few years back, I prudently backed-off and exiled myself for many months. )

  99. says

    Before Holmes comes along, I think we should mention that he almost certainly doesn’t contest that his actions were deliberate. Instead he almost certainly contests that his actions were transphobic/cissexist.

    But that, again, is a factual question, not a question of intent, so I see no “speaking as if one knows another’s thoughts/state of mind” problem.

  100. Holms says

    #94 deepak shetty
    You begin with quite a good summary of the generally held position “over there”:
    Their stance(As I understand it) is that some ,perhaps most, of the things attributed to gender -e.g. Women are emotional , Men are logical — men wear pants women wear skirts- should not belong in any Gender boundaries. In turn , if that were true then there would be no reason for anyone to “transition” because they could anyway do what they want without anyone to judge them for it. Hence if you take away all those gender things then the only thing that remains is the biological differences.
    I would specify here that the “some, perhaps most of the things attributed to gender” are personality/behavioural traits, things that are of the mind; and you give some good examples of Such. These differences are very likely acculturated, rather than being physically innate. But then you say

    For e.g. they seem to buy into Male = muscular and Female = less so…

    Which is correct -- that physical difference does exist -- but does not contradict the previously stated observation of (mostly or entirely) acculturated traits, as this difference is part of human sexual dimorphism. It is well established that there is a statistically notable difference in size between the sexes, with males being larger than females in aggregate. The mean of the male population is larger than that of the female, as is the median, and the largest male is larger than the largest female.

    Those physical differences are very well established in medical science as having a biological origin, the behavioural ones are not.

  101. Holms says

    #95 brucegee

    Option 1: Without the Darwinian pressure that caused gender roles to develop on Earth, gender roles would never develop. Everybody would dress the same and be bisexual, falling in love or lust with people as individuals rather than sexes. …

    I agreed with and even enjoyed reading your thought process, but I will disagree on this one point: our predisposition to be attracted to one sex over the other appears to have some biological basis. If my surmise is true, then in your thought experiment, option 1 will come true with the exception that more people will be in heterosexual relationships than not… but there will be no social repercussion for not being heterosexual, as there is no social expectation of ‘real men bang hot chicks’ -- a man or woman can be attracted to men or women without ‘failing’ part of their social role.

    But of course, there is a long way to go before we can even pretend to claim that acculturation has been accounted for.

  102. Holms says

    #96 abbeycadabra
    Please point out my dishonesty and hate, with examples.
    ___

    #97 anat

    At the very minimum, one can wear a button or T-shirt or whatever that states ‘I am a man/woman/girl/boy/whatever-fits-better’ or ‘My pronouns are:

    But in such a society, where being male or female is connotation and (behavioural) expectation free, why would there be a need/desire to do any such thing? The words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ etc. would simply mean ‘person who is male/female’ with no additional baggage.

    And of course the need for medical transition will still there.

    But only for a subset of the population currently covered by the term ‘trans’: only those whose dissatisfaction is with their body rather than societal expectation, and thus only those requiring physical sex reassingment as remedy. At the very least, this means the word trans would be applicable to a smaller pool of people.
    ___

    #98 Andreas Avester

    I don’t mind that gender norms exist. I dislike that they are rigidly enforced. If, instead, the same norms were treated as loose guidelines that anybody was free to follow or ignore according to personal preferences, then the existence of these norms per se would stop being a problem. I don’t mind the society offering loose guidelines to people. I only mind the society enforcing rigid norms.

    I agree with consciousness razor on this -- if such guidelines exist but are not used as guidelines, they would not be guidelines per se but would simply be memories of a time when sex determined expectations placed on people for their sex. And over time, it would be forgotten. And so your earlier paragraph about mentioning ‘stereotypically female hobbies’ and so forth would face the same forgetfulness: if the stereotypes are not enforced, they will in time cease to be.

    A young boy could play with dolls free of conflict with expectations placed on him for his sex, because such expectations would not be placed on him in the first place; playing with dolls would cease to be associated with girls rather than boys. Likewise girls playing with meccano, climbing trees etc. etc. through the entire sordid list.

  103. John Morales says

    Holms:

    The words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ etc. would simply mean ‘person who is male/female’ with no additional baggage.

    To what supposed baggage do you refer? You yourself asserted:
    “Woman and man are words that denote someone’s sex, and not gender.”

    If they (currently?) only denote sex, then there is no baggage for people yet you write “playing with dolls would cease to be associated with girls rather than boys.

    Do you see the tension there?

    But fine, you accept gender roles exist for boys and for girls, whilst simultaneously holding that gender is inapplicable to biological beings.

    (There’s a psychological term for that stance)

  104. Holms says

    #102 Crip

    FtB is made up of people, including me. In #38 you are making a making a claim about psychological causation/thought process. Indeed you are making 2 of those claims in the same sentence, with your “as a result” and your “and so” being the clear indications of those 2 claims.

    Not at all related. abbeycadabra’s statement claimed that I was ‘deliberately transphobic’, a statement claiming to know that I was saying the things I said out of negative sentiment towards trans people, perhaps while twirling my moustache. The post I made regarding FTB severing ties with AXP did not claim such a thing, but rather stated a sequence of events with no speculation as to your emotions, hostility etc..
    Imagine a magnet sliding across a surface to stick to some metal. If I said that this happened “as a result” of magnetism, “and so now they” are held together by this force… is this a statement of mental state? No, despite using those words. I described (perhaps inaccurately) without speculating as to mental state, in much the same as I did regarding the FTB AXP events. Such terms are simply not necessarily indicative of mental state.

    Contrast this with abbeycadabra’s statements of my actions. Saying that I did something out of “deliberate” transphobia, and attributing hate to me, is a claim to know my mental status. Odd that you would be so coy about whether transphobia is necessarily a statement of my mental state, but leave out the attribution of hate to me that I also quoted. I guess I should have made a bigger deal of that portion.

    Now if you really want to take me to task regarding attributing mental status / thought process to someone, you should have gone after my post #40, which contains “Deliberate dishonesty detected!” with respect to abbeycadabra’s reply to colinday. In retrospect, I realise that I shuold have said “Deliberate dishonesty or accidental misread detected!” because who am I to say which of those was the cause of abbeycadabra’s misattributing something to colinday that he never claimed.

  105. says

    @Holms:

    But in such a society, where being male or female is connotation and (behavioural) expectation free, why would there be a need/desire to do any such thing? The words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ etc. would simply mean ‘person who is male/female’ with no additional baggage.

    No. No they wouldn’t.

    I mean, sure, they might end up meaning that, but we already have words for “male” and “female”, so there’s no reason to believe that if the words remained in the language that they wouldn’t mean something different, like “male person who recreationally wrestles cephalopods, but loses more often than not”.

    Just because there are no compulsory expectations doesn’t mean that there are no associations. Maybe the word “man” largely falls into disuse until a pop song comes along and uses it in a chorus because of the rhyme, and then people associate the word with people who share some qualities with the imaginary person described in that pop song. That would still be a gender liberated word and yet “man” might still communicate meaning other than “male human adult”. Heck, you’re assuming that “person” doesn’t include “space alien”, some of whom we might have met by the time we accomplish a gender-liberated world. If we’ve been able to establish communication with dolphins by then, we might use “man” to distinguish “intelligent earth creature who has reached sexual maturity, regardless of sex” and “woman” to indicate “intelligent space alien who has reached sexual maturity, regardless of sex”. You just don’t know.

    Ultimately, just because you think a word means something specific doesn’t mean that in some distant future where gender concepts have changed radically the future humans who live in that context will all unanimously agree on your meaning.

    Why does this matter to me? Because in the past you and/or people who have sided with you during disagreements over understandings of sex and gender as a part of discussions on FtB have said that “gender critical”/TERF definitions of the words “man” and “woman” are universal (and/or the only “correct” definitions). This is wrong. Those definitions are not universal and are not the only correct ones. This assumption that in some future where gender liberation has been achieved the definition could only be your definition appears to me to be a direct extension of this intellectual and linguistic chauvinism. It also plays directly into your misunderstanding of Andreas Avester, articulated here:

    I agree with consciousness razor on this — if such guidelines exist but are not used as guidelines, they would not be guidelines per se

    Then you didn’t read my extension helping to explain to CR what’s going on. The guidelines are here imagined to be guidelines for word usage, not guidelines for behavior. You perceive clearly (and correctly) that Andreas Avester doesn’t wish constraints on behavior, but your inability to imagine that people might use words to describe themselves or others in any way other than the way that you use words prevents you from considering Avester’s actual meaning (or at least what I think is clearly Avester’s meaning).

    Why not try reading other people’s writing without assuming first that all your word usages are correct and all other word usages are incorrect. It might help you a great deal.

  106. John Morales says

    Holms, appealing to your personal opinion? I accept it, but it’s only one of the facts at hand.

    Saying that I did something out of “deliberate” transphobia […]

    What you did was. despite pretty much literally everyone else (including the person who hosted your eructations) telling you you were being transphobic, petulantly persevere at doing what was being decried.

    Let’s compromise: you don’t personally don’t think you were being transphobic, and only everyone else did. Fair enough?

  107. John Morales says

    [erratum: entire phrase inadvertently elided, but what stands should suffice]

  108. says

    @Holms:

    So you’re not going to admit that you didn’t actually know the mental states of the persons who were involved in the decision to cease hosting the AXP blog on FtB? Why not?

    Contrast this with abbeycadabra’s statements of my actions. Saying that I did something out of “deliberate” transphobia, and attributing hate to me, is a claim to know my mental status. Odd that you would be so coy about whether transphobia is necessarily a statement of my mental state, but leave out the attribution of hate to me that I also quoted.

    Why did you ignore my explanation that acting out racism because of motives other than racial prejudice is still being racist? And that by analogy, acting out cissexism/transphobia out of motives other than anti-trans* prejudice is still being cissexist/transphobic?

    Lastly, why did you ignore abbeycadabra’s explicit statement:

    I was referring to [Holms] behavior. I am not speculaiting on nor interested in the state of the plausibly rotted, dishonest, suppurating thing we must for lack of a better term call Holms’s “mind”.

    Him pretending otherwise was just another example of his ongoing dishonesty, it was a diversion tactic at best.

    The disagreement over your “deliberate transphobia” doesn’t in any way appear to be a problem with abbeycadabra asserting knowledge of your state of mind. It appears to be a clash of differing definitions. This could have been easily cleared up by you, simply by reading what I wrote … or continuing on to #109 and reading abbeycadabra’s comment there.

    Ironically, while #109 puts to bed any possibility that you’re accurate in your interpretation of “deliberate transphobia” it does include what I consider an unambiguous assertion of your state of mind in the concluding sentence:

    Him pretending otherwise was just another example of his ongoing dishonesty

    You could certainly adequately and accurately criticize abbeycadabra for “state of mind” claims there.

    Nonetheless, I’m wondering why you appear to maintain that this is something wrong and/or bad and/or inadvisable (you can clarify if you wish) to do, when at the same time you felt no compunctions significant enough to stop you from asserting knowledge of my state of mind and the state of mind of others here at FtB in your #38.

    In light of your ongoing criticisms of others state-of-mind claims (criticisms with which I agree in principle and sometimes in fact, even if there’s at least one where I disagree on whether the only reasonable interpretation actually includes a state-of-mind claim) would you now be willing to admit that your state-of-mind claim in #38 was wrong of you to make? Will you apologize? Is there some non-obvious interpretation of your words that you believe you intended and you believe makes no state of mind claim?

    How are you going to handle this going forward, because as it stands it’s hurting your credibility significantly.

  109. John Morales says

    CD to Holms,

    Why not try reading other people’s writing without assuming first that all your word usages are correct and all other word usages are incorrect. It might help you a great deal.

    Been there, done that, over there. I suppose great minds think alike.

    Quick adumbration, for anyone who cares not to go there:

    Me: Sea Monster, you exemplify whereof I speak. To you, their [my pets] sex is their gender, and so you imagine they have a gender identity, contrary to my claim. No?

    Sea Monster: Where did I talk of gender?
    Their sex is their sex. And biological sex has a precise definition. The word “woman” has a precise definition built on blocks that include that definition.

    Me: Now, that is dogmatic. That most words change meanings over time is not in dispute, but the word ‘woman’ being subject to the same fate as other words is not to be contemplated. Perish the thought!

    PD: Words can change meanings, but the meaning of any word should be clear and coherent. Is there a clear and coherent definition of ‘woman’ (or ‘man’) that is not biologically based? If there is, I haven’t found it.

    Me: Apparently there is to at least some people, thus this Deep Rift.
    Again, words can have multiple senses.
    You seem to imagine that adding new senses to an existing term negates existing senses, but really, that typically takes many years. A bit like straight marriage proponents argued that marriage had an exact definition, and that widening it would somehow breach the natural order.

    Kinda petered out after that.

  110. Holms says

    #108 John Morales

    It’s not an explanation of your personal point of view, it is a presentation of the synthesis of my perception of the consensus of your ilk; i.e. not of one particular individual’s viewpoint. You quoted it yourself: “discussion with TERFs “. You might be representative, but you are not the consensus.

    Oh don’t be silly. You may be describing your perception of the aggregate of views over there, but my personal view is not so different that a description of the aggregate should differ so greatly from my own that I don’t recognise it.
    ___

    #109 abbeycadabra

    I was referring to his behavior. I am not speculaiting on nor interested in the state of the plausibly rotted, dishonest, suppurating thing we must for lack of a better term call Holms’s “mind”.

    Him pretending otherwise was just another example of his ongoing dishonesty, it was a diversion tactic at best.

    Internal contradictions highlighted: you claim to not speculate as to my state of mind, yet you also state that I am knowingly being deceitful. And let us not forget that you also called me hateful, which… is an emotion / mental state.
    ___

    #117 John Morales

    The words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ etc. would simply mean ‘person who is male/female’ with no additional baggage.

    To what supposed baggage do you refer? You yourself asserted:
    “Woman and man are words that denote someone’s sex, and not gender.”

    Yes, they denote sex, and the prevailing culture places expectations on people on the basis of their sex. The expectations originate not from the word selection we happen to use; selecting from ‘man’ / ‘male adult’ would not change the association of e.g. stoicism with maleness, nor would ‘woman’ / ‘female adult’ change the association of e.g. meekness with femaleness. The word is not the cause of gender.

    But fine, you accept gender roles exist for boys and for girls, whilst simultaneously holding that gender is inapplicable to biological beings.

    I’m not sure what I said that gave you this impression of my position, but perhaps a reword of that might clarify to some degree. Gender roles exist for boys and girls; these are far more likely cultural than biological in origin.

    Erode the acculturated expectations placed on people for their sex, then see what is left in the hypothetical future where such has been banished. Potentially we will find that there is no biological basis, or potentially we will find that there is a small difference between the sexes with respect to e.g. meekness/forthrightness, which served as the genesis of what was then enlarged over generations by social conditioning, snowball-rolling-downhill style.

    But there is a long way to go before those outcomes can be seen; until then, we attempt to dismantle the different behavioural expectations placed on people for being male/female.

  111. says

    @Holms:

    Gender roles exist for boys and girls; these are far more likely cultural than biological in origin.

    I don’t actually think I disagree with the substance of what you’re trying to say here, but it is worth remembering that things to which you allude obliquely, and Jenora Feuer in #88 articulates much more explicitly:

    (we don’t have time to get to know everybody individually, and we are good at detecting patterns even if no patterns are present, so prejudices will tend to happen)

    are almost certainly explainable to a some significant degree by biologically determined manners of functioning of the human brain. Similar to pareidolia (darn it, I can never spell that right without looking it up), the pattern seeking functions are going to create associations and stereotypes. But it takes culture to cement those associations and stereotypes, to give them the apparent (but false) validity they have, and to turn them into prescriptions rather than descriptions.

    Again, I think we’re in agreement on that, but it’s hard to tell without making explicit things that appear to be backgrounded in your comments.

  112. John Morales says

    Holms:

    Oh don’t be silly.

    I shan’t, nor was I. I quoted you directly, do you now dispute your stance as I quoted it?

    You seriously imagine saying you are representative of a group with a consensus entails that what I say of the consensus must equate to what I say about you? I am transparent to those with nous, but more opaque thereafter.

    But fine, you accept gender roles exist for boys and for girls, whilst simultaneously holding that gender is inapplicable to biological beings.

    I’m not sure what I said that gave you this impression of my position, but perhaps a reword of that might clarify to some degree. Gender roles exist for boys and girls; these are far more likely cultural than biological in origin.

    OK. Let’s do a bit of basic logic here:
    P1: Gender is not a thing that is applicable to biological beings
    P2: Gender roles exist for boys and girls
    [implicit] P3 boys and girls are biological beings
    therefore
    C1, from P1 and P3: Gender does not exist for boys and girls
    C2, from P1 and P2 and C1: For boys and girls, gender does not exist, but gender roles do exist

    (I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine to extend the logic chain)

  113. John Morales says

    [So careless! Otiose term, still correct, but the redundancy should be evident. Bah at myself]

  114. consciousness razor says

    Don’t jazz covers of standards also treat the originals as loose guidelines?

    Sort of … well, it depends. That’s not a good description of how jazz improvisation works, but sometimes that’s not completely the wrong way to put it.
    However, I should point out that, typically, the original versions themselves are improvised, because it’s not about (or not equivalent to) copying something with less than perfect fidelity, although that can happen in basically any type of musical performance, improvised or not.
    That also isn’t like genders or recipes in lots of other ways. If the proverbial guideline were supposed to be “Anything Goes,” but you’re ripping through “Giant Steps” instead, then in that case, the former is not the guideline for you, while the latter is.
    Somebody could try to convince you that it was supposed to be “Anything Goes,” but there is no guiding principle whatsoever which says that you ought to be playing that tune instead of “Giant Steps”…. Unless that was the gig, since the old sods in the audience wanted some swing music that they could dance to and feel young again. Maybe that was the gig. It could be. If it is, maybe the guiding principle here is simply that you shouldn’t fuck with the audience too much. But then we’re not referring to the same thing anymore.
    And, well, some people are into free jazz and so forth. They’re not doing covers of originals. They don’t have to play anything other than whatever they happen to be playing, possibly for the very first time or possibly not. That’s still different from “no guidelines,” because the music doesn’t need to be totally unplanned or unstructured or whatever, just “free” (as in freedom). These are subtle distinctions maybe, but sometimes we need that because there is no good substitute.
    Crip Dyke:

    They would be “guidelines” to word usage and not to behavior. The words in this case would be entirely post-facto descriptive.

    I didn’t get that impression. The discussion was about gender norms, and nothing suggests that it was restricted only to “norms” pertaining to language or word usage or something like that. Those aren’t the only norms (obviously not, when the topic is gender), so I didn’t assume that I should be interpreting it only with respect to that very small/restricted class of norms.
    Rob:

    Cranky old sod that I am, I tend towards judgmentalism when someone (cr) would rather cast doubt on a commenter’s proficiency at English than ask them for clarification.

    I think you just don’t like me, maybe for a lot of reasons that go way back and don’t matter now. And maybe you are a cranky old sod. It’s okay.

    My comment was pretty simple: if I was interpreting Andreas correctly, the word chosen didn’t really capture the right idea. It happens to the best of us. I thought that because it seemed to be going against what they were saying elsewhere. (I think that’s obvious, but I’m ready for surprises too.) So what I would do is try to pick a better word, because we have plenty of those and can always make more of them.

  115. John Morales says

    C’mon, Holms. What you’re saying is that gender roles are only applicable to non-gendered things. And that boys and girls have no gender whatsoever, even though they have gender roles.

    (Just admit it, your prevarication is painful to watch)

  116. Holms says

    #120 Crip Dyke

    But in such a society, where being male or female is connotation and (behavioural) expectation free, why would there be a need/desire to do any such thing? The words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ etc. would simply mean ‘person who is male/female’ with no additional baggage.

    No. No they wouldn’t.

    I mean, sure, they might end up meaning that, but we already have words for “male” and “female”, so there’s no reason to believe that if the words remained in the language that they wouldn’t mean something different, like “male person who recreationally wrestles cephalopods, but loses more often than not”. …

    Sure, no one really knows where the language will be in a highly speculative future, I was attempting to speak on the language an an ‘all else being equal’ sense, as if the modern english arrived at that hypothetical time frozen from change, and then began to change. Obviously that is of limited applicability, since the language would be undergoing natural change the entire time and could well be unrecognisable to us by that time. Hey, maybe the word denoting ‘male adult’ is no longer pronounced man but something more like zardhon and is written in a script that does not yet exist. Cool. Your useless point is well made.

    Though I am now left wondering, why not criticise the person I was was replying to -- anat at #97 -- for that same issue? A weird omission. Get on to it!

    Why does this matter to me? Because in the past you and/or people who have sided with you during disagreements over understandings of sex and gender as a part of discussions on FtB have said that “gender critical”/TERF definitions of the words “man” and “woman” are universal (and/or the only “correct” definitions). This is wrong.

    To my recollection, I have actually said that ‘man = adult male human’ and ‘woman = adult female human’ are the current meanings as determined by common use.

    Then you didn’t read my extension helping to explain to CR what’s going on.

    I read and disagreed with it without replying to it directly. Are you under the impression that everything I do not respond to is something that I read and agreed with, or didn’t read?

  117. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr @129:

    I think you just don’t like me

    No. I’ve had more vitriolic exchanges with friends and family than I’ve had with you. I often agree with you, but I tend not to respond unless I disagree. And yes, I am a cranky old sod.

  118. John Morales says

    To my recollection, I have actually said that ‘man = adult male human’ and ‘woman = adult female human’ are the current meanings as determined by common use.

    Heh. Naked argumentum ad antiquitatem, cf. my #124.

    (representative indeed)

  119. Holms says

    #121 John Morales

    What you did was. despite pretty much literally everyone else (including the person who hosted your eructations) telling you you were being transphobic, petulantly persevere at doing what was being decried.

    Let’s compromise: you don’t personally don’t think you were being transphobic, and only everyone else PZ and a a dozen or two participating individuals did. Fair enough?

    Accepted with amendment, though of course that count should be considered extremely rough. I am sure, for the sake of accuracy, you wouldn’t want to neglect that there were participants agreeing with me, right?
    ___

    #123 Crip

    So you’re not going to admit that you didn’t actually know the mental states of the persons who were involved in the decision to cease hosting the AXP blog on FtB? Why not?

    I can admit that freely, as I did not attribute mental states / emotions to you in the first place. I loosely described a sequence of events without stating whether the people involved were enraged at RR, hateful, etc.

    Why did you ignore my explanation that acting out racism because of motives other than racial prejudice is still being racist? And that by analogy, acting out cissexism/transphobia out of motives other than anti-trans* prejudice is still being cissexist/transphobic?

    Why can’t you acknowledge that these descriptors are not the same as what I highlighted in abbeycadabra’s posts? Recall that he or she did not merely use those words which imply fear or hate as a motive (*-phobia words), but outright stated that I was being intentionally deceitful and motivated by hate.
    ___

    #124 John Morales

    Been there, done that, over there. I suppose great minds think alike.

    Quick adumbration, for anyone who cares not to go there:
    […]
    Kinda petered out, after that.

    No it didn’t. There were substantive responses to your conversation, to which you did not reply.

  120. deepak shetty says

    @Holms

    Which is correct — that physical difference does exist — but does not contradict the previously stated observation of (mostly or entirely) acculturated traits, as this difference is part of human sexual dimorphism

    Sure physical difference do exist -- but they also contribute to the stereotype -- Man = muscular -- women not so. So the real life examples I have heard are “Amelie Mauresmo? Yuck.. Steffi Graf ooohhh”
    (Or Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova and so on )- and specifically for you Rachel McKinnon looks.

    Amelie’s/Serena’s looks should not count against their feminine-ness but Rachel’s should , right ? Hence inconsistent (among other examples)

  121. John Morales says

    [I do think it wonderful that a retired theoretical physicist has a personal blog wherein the humanities seem to be the focus. Nice!]

  122. John Morales says

    No it didn’t.

    Yeah, it did. Anyone can see for themselves.

    More to the point, I was most amused that every response to one of my rhetorical constructs there was misapprehended, by you no less than by others, though I deliberately left it hanging.
    Specifically:
    Me responding:

    Trans people already have exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else does.

    Heh. You do know I am familiar with posts here, I still read it in my spare time?

    But I will take you at your word. Let’s examine the coherence of your claim.

    If your objection is that only women should compete against women, and therefore trans women (being men) shouldn’t compete against women, it follows that trans men (being women) should be able to compete against women. Right?

    Every response to that, however indirect, imagined I had written that trans women should be able to compete with trans women. Almost like ideological cognitive blinkers were in place.

    (Hey, Holms, care to prove that claim incorrect? That should be revealing)

  123. Holms says

    #126 Crip Dyke

    Holms
    Gender roles exist for boys and girls; these are far more likely cultural than biological in origin.

    […]
    Again, I think we’re in agreement on that, but it’s hard to tell without making explicit things that appear to be backgrounded in your comments.

    I think it might be useful to reference a point made by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Not because he’s a guru on the subject or anything, but because of the parallel he draws here with respect to cultural pressure and expectation (I don’t know what the deal is with the text appearing now and then).

    The takeaway being, we can’t yet determine if there is a genetic disparity between the sexes being predisposed towards certain behaviours / personality traits professions and so forth, because the data is polluted with something we know exists: social pressure. We need to erode that first before we can reasonably study the possibility of behavioural trends being genetic.
    ___

    #127 John Morales

    You seriously imagine saying you are representative of a group with a consensus entails that what I say of the consensus must equate to what I say about you? I am transparent to those with nous, but more opaque thereafter.

    No, the equivalence need not be perfectly 1:1, but then I am not faulting you for falling short of perfection. If you look to my wording, you will see that I am saying that I do not even recognise what you are ascribing to the generalised B&W crowd, which includes myself. Surely I ought to see something of my viewpoint in your summary of views that includes mine…?

    But perhaps that phrasing was too oblique, so I will state it more bluntly: the summary of the B&W viewpoint you have presented here e.g. in comment #84 is inaccurate.

    OK. Let’s do a bit of basic logic here:
    P1: Gender is not a thing that is applicable to biological beings
    [etc.]

    There is an explanation of that over at B&W which might clarify; comment #68 in that thread. I’m not sure if you read it, because you bowed out of that topic in your next comment.
    ___

    #133 John Morales

    Heh. Naked argumentum ad antiquitatem, cf. my #124.

    Not at all, nor it is ad populum. Recall that this is a discussion the meaning of a word in a natural language, where the only thing to determine meaning is current common use. Natural language is a consensus by its very nature. Is every word meaning then a resort to the fallacy of tradition and/or popularity?

  124. John Morales says

    [Obs, I thought the issue lead to the concession that trans men are too buff for women’s competition but too feeble for men’s, but nobody actually parsed my actual writing correctly. Those cognitive blinkers at work]

  125. John Morales says

    Holms,

    Recall that this is a discussion the meaning of a word in a natural language

    What? No, as I made clear above, the issue at hand is the essence of woman, the concept itself. That’s leaving polysemy and literal usage aside, too.

    Is every word meaning then a resort to the fallacy of tradition and/or popularity?

    The map is not the territory, the referent is not that to which it refers, and the word ‘woman’ is not a woman. Duh.

    (It ain’t about the word itself!)

  126. John Morales says

    PS

    There is an explanation of that over at B&W which might clarify; comment #68 in that thread. I’m not sure if you read it, because you bowed out of that topic in your next comment.

    Did you read my comment #83 over there? It was the usual stuff, and I didn’t want to piss Ophelia off by dominating too much. Go figure, eh?

    (You seriously imagine I got there without reading #68? Heh)

  127. Holms says

    #136 deepak

    Sure physical difference do exist — but they also contribute to the stereotype — Man = muscular — women not so. So the real life examples I have heard are “Amelie Mauresmo? Yuck.. Steffi Graf ooohhh”

    Oh I see, by ‘muscular’ you meant ‘buff / well defined / heavily muscled’ but I took it to mean a more generic ‘larger / stronger’. In that instance that you quote, yes, the word muscular is a distraction and an unnecessary addition to the point being made with respect to McKinnon’s size being a product of developing as male. Same for Mouncey and a few others.
    ___

    #139 John Morales

    Yeah, it did. Anyone can see for themselves.

    And they will see that there was at least one substantive reply to your commentary with Sea Monster; to mine, you responded with “Holmes, [sic] enough for now, I think” with nothing further on that topic. Hence, that conversational topic did not peter out, you bowed out.

    More to the point, I was most amused that every response to one of my rhetorical constructs there was misapprehended, by you no less than by others, though I deliberately left it hanging.
    Specifically:
    […]

    If your objection is that only women should compete against women, and therefore trans women (being men) shouldn’t compete against women, it follows that trans men (being women) should be able to compete against women. Right?

    Every response to that, however indirect, imagined I had written that trans women should be able to compete with trans women. Almost like ideological cognitive blinkers were in place.

    I responded to a very similar query, which ran two comments prior to that one: “(Again with the trans women only; but if you have a prob with trans women, you have to have one with trans men, too. I mean, you wouldn’t want to be inconsistent, I get that)”.
    I considered this to be similar enough to the latter hypothetical that I thought an answer to the former would also serve to answer the latter. And of course your response was “Holmes, [sic] enough for now, I think”.

  128. John Morales says

    Thing is, Holms [unsic], others weighed in, too. Not just you. Or do you dispute that, too?

    (Why you seem to always imagine that when I talk of that place and its ethos, I talk about you?
    Perhaps you identify to that extent, no?)

  129. says

    @Holms:

    Though I am now left wondering, why not criticise the person I was was replying to — anat at #97 — for that same issue? A weird omission. Get on to it!

    At first I wrote,

    Apparently because I didn’t read anat carefully enough. Fair criticism.

    but then I went back and read #97. It turns out that there is no language indicating what the future definitions of the relevant words will be, and intact there’s an inclusion of a catchall that specifically nods to an epistemic humility that you didn’t show:

    ‘I am a man/woman/girl/boy/whatever-fits-better’

    But probably the biggest reason is that I think that you too rarely permit the validity of definitions other than the ones you intend. This is a subjective impression on my part. It isn’t necessarily objectively true, but the fact that it is my subjective impression does explain why I would be more willing and motivated to take the time to critique your (apparent) epistemic hubris than I might in others where I have less often (or never previously) believed a failure of communication to be attributable to such hubris.

    in the past you and/or people who have sided with you during disagreements over understandings of sex and gender as a part of discussions on FtB have said that “gender critical”/TERF definitions of the words “man” and “woman” are universal (and/or the only “correct” definitions). This is wrong.

    To my recollection, I have actually said that ‘man = adult male human’ and ‘woman = adult female human’ are the current meanings as determined by common use.

    Precisely my point. This is one definition of man and one definition of woman. These are not the definitions of man and woman. If you don’t allow for the existence of other definitions, then you will inevitably misunderstand some things that I write. Nor am I the only one you would inevitably misunderstand. The very necessity of asserting these definitions in your conversations is a direct result of the fact that other people are using the words differently, i.e. that other definitions exist.

    Claiming that these are “the” definitions is simply, factually wrong.

    Why did you ignore my explanation that acting out racism because of motives other than racial prejudice is still being racist? And that by analogy, acting out cissexism/transphobia out of motives other than anti-trans* prejudice is still being cissexist/transphobic?

    Why can’t you acknowledge that these descriptors are not the same as what I highlighted in abbeycadabra’s posts? Recall that he or she did not merely use those words which imply fear or hate as a motive (*-phobia words), but outright stated that I was being intentionally deceitful and motivated by hate.

    Ummmm, I actually did state that abbeycadabra made state-of-mind claims about you. It’s right there in my comment #123:

    You could certainly adequately and accurately criticize abbeycadabra for “state of mind” claims

    in other places. Just not the time she alleged that you were engaged in deliberate transphobia.

    As for that “deliberate transphobia” comment, I will not admit that was a state of mind claim because as I explained, “transphobia” has a definition that doesn’t have anything to do with state of mind, and instead is indicating the presence or absence of things which or people who contribute to the oppression of trans people. After I explained that, abbeycadabra specifically and explicitly confirmed that this is the interpretation that is correct.

    I am confident abbeycadabra engaged in state of mind claims about you -- and thus epistemic hubris -- but I am equally confident that that particular assertion does not qualify as such a claim.

    So you’re not going to admit that you didn’t actually know the mental states of the persons who were involved in the decision to cease hosting the AXP blog on FtB? Why not?

    I can admit that freely, as I did not attribute mental states / emotions to you in the first place. I loosely described a sequence of events without stating whether the people involved were enraged at RR, hateful, etc.

    Okay, since for me the primary issue is epistemic hubris -- asserting things for which you cannot possibly have sufficient evidence -- which includes but is not limited to (most) state-of-mind claims, let me slightly rephrase. You made causation claims. In context, I believe that state-of-mind claims are necessarily implied, but let’s ignore that for a moment.

    Then there was public outcry at his appearance on the show, and the show responded by distancing itself from him and apologised for having him on; but then they partially or fully retracted that apology and distancing (I’m not sure because I’ve not seen their revised statement). As a result of this retraction, FTB considers their efforts to distance themseves from Woodford / RR insufficient, and so now they are severing ties unilaterally and also Jen Peeples and Tracie Harris are leaving the show.

    Let’s break this down:

    As a result of this retraction, FTB considers their efforts to distance themseves from Woodford / RR insufficient

    How do you know that we at FtB were comparing the ACA’s perceived positions to those of RR, measuring the gap in some way, and using that measure of the gap for any purpose whatsoever? Alternatively, I suppose, you could assert the relevant difference that you intended to communicate in your statement is the gap between the content of the retraction and the content of the original apology. But isn’t it possible that the relevant gap was between the ACA’s position and the values of the participants in FtB? How did you exclude the possibility that we were comparing the ACA’s actions and perceived positions to our own values rather than to the values of RR? How do you know we didn’t consider the process by which the retraction came to be? And if we considered process rather than or in addition to final position, wouldn’t that falsify your assertion immediately? Did you take any care at all to exclude this possibility?

    The fact is, you couldn’t. Nor could you possibly have any evidence for the proposition that our decision making was based on an ACA/RR comparison or an apology/retraction comparison rather than an ACA/our values and morals position.

    Your assertion of causation is entirely without evidence, and with respect to me I can categorically say is entirely false. Not just partially false. Not a mere exaggeration of the importance of one factor or another.

    Categorically. False.

    Next up:

    and so now they are severing ties unilaterally

    Now you’re asserting that not only did we take the time to make an RR/ACA comparison, but that it was a result of that comparison specifically, not some other comparison, say my own comparison of their treatment of their most important and visible women feminist members to how I would want women feminists to be treated when arguing about feminism.

    While I’m not allowed to reveal backchannel communications of any particular member of FtB, and while only the vaguest generalizations about the kinds of discussions that took place are mutually considered ethical for me to make (in fact, I was probably pretty close to the line earlier, possibly even over it, and apologize to any other FtBer who feels I overstepped expected bounds of privacy: I will do better), I’m certainly clear on these facts:

    1. You weren’t involved in those conversations
    2. You had no ethical or legitimate access to these conversations. You are entirely unlikely to have any access to those conversations, and if you did it would only be because someone violated the FtB expectations of privacy,
    3. Whatever the actual conversations were, your characterization of them and your attribution of causation are decidedly wrong,
    4. As an individual, I can tell you very specifically that your description is not only false, but it falsely attributes a process of decision making to me via your assertions of causation that make me look bad.

    Further I’ve got opinions on a couple other relevant things:
    1. It’s extremely unlikely that there was such a privacy breach as mentioned in #2
    2. You are therefore extremely unlikely to have had any real access to the decision making process, and even if you did, you would only see what people shared in the backchannel, which is obviously only a minority of all the thoughts that people had,
    3. Given the limitations of using a minority of thoughts (those written) to characterize causation of decisions which may have had other thoughts contribute, even if you had access to the backchannel, asserting specific causation in the decision making process to a certain factor is likely to be reckless at best, absent multiple statements specifically stating “I make decision x for y reason” rather than, “considering everything everyone has said [which includes some articulations of y], I make decision x”

    I simply don’t believe you had access to the backchannel communications. Although you had access to one thing I wrote publicly in the ACA is drifting thread, I didn’t not make any specific decision on the disposition of the AXP blog in that thread, much less give a specific reason for that decision-which-did-not-exist. As far as I know, there is no statement anywhere -- including but not limited to every single place where you would have access -- that articulates that a comparison of the ACA’s statements to RR’s positions was the cause of, well, anything.

    The only reasonable conclusion, then, is that you made up those accusations of causation out of whole cloth.

    Without getting into any state-of-mind discussion, can you admit that you didn’t have evidence for your claims of causation and/or admit that you had unethical and unauthorized access to backchannel communications which might have provided some, but not sufficient, evidence for your claims? Will you apologize for either making shit up and/or any unethical and unauthorized access to backchannel communications?

  130. Holms says

    #141 John Morales

    [Obs, I thought the issue lead to the concession that trans men are too buff for women’s competition but too feeble for men’s, but nobody actually parsed my actual writing correctly. Those cognitive blinkers at work

    I don’t recall seeing anyone express or agree with the idea that trans men should not compete in male leagues. Do you have a citation?

    In fact if that was the case -- that we oppose both trans men’s inclusion in male leagues and trans women’s inclusion in female leagues -- why did you fault us for the ‘inconsistency’ of opposing trans women’s inclusion in female leagues but not opposing trans men’s inclusion in male leagues?

    #142

    What? No, as I made clear above, the issue at hand is the essence of woman, the concept itself. That’s leaving polysemy and literal usage aside, too.

    Oh is that what you thought I was talking about? Then the misapprehension is yours and not mine. Recall that you quoted my text: “To my recollection, I have actually said that ‘man = adult male human’ and ‘woman = adult female human’ are the *current meanings as determined by common use.*” Notice that the highlighted text makes plain that I was talking about the meanings of words. Notice also that that comment of mine was in reply to Crip Dyke saying ““gender critical”/TERF *definitions of the words* “man” and “woman” are universal (and/or the only “correct” definitions). This is wrong.” Again, the highlighted words make plain that we were talking about the meanings of words.

    So no, we were not talking about “the concept itself”; and you seem remarkably poor at remembering context.

    #143

    Did you read my comment #83 over there? It was the usual stuff, and I didn’t want to piss Ophelia off by dominating too much.

    I did, and as I noted it did not address the substantive replies to your conversation with Sea Monster. You bowed out of the topic.

  131. says

    we can’t yet determine if there is a genetic disparity between the sexes being predisposed towards certain behaviours / personality traits professions and so forth, because the data is polluted with something we know exists: social pressure. We need to erode that first before we can reasonably study the possibility of behavioural trends being genetic.

    We agree on this, though I think you may have missed my point.

    Regardless of whether genetic trends towards sexually divergent mean behaviors exist in humans, there does exist a genetic predisposition to find patterns in noise and apply them to novel situations without independently determining that the patterns do exist in those novel situations. Conclusions based on this misapplication of perceived patterns contribute to the construction of gender.

    Therefore, even if we eroded cultural pressures inducing sexually divergent mean behaviors, we would still have to carefully define what we mean by gender not having a genetic basis. Because even should we find zero direct genetic contribution to sexually divergent mean behaviors, the normal operation of human neurology, which is largely determined genetically, would still have played a role in the creation of gender though inducing false beliefs that preceded sexually divergent mean behaviors and made social pressure leading to those SDMBs possible.

    I know that this point may be irrelevant to most folks, who assume we’re only talking about direct genetic contributions to SDMBs and not indirect contributions through genetic contributions to how our brains literally come to understandings about the world when creating understandings about the world is a precondition to the existence of such things as stereotypes and genders. However, when people say that there is literally no genetic component to gender, I cringe. There is almost certainly a genetic contribution to gender at a more remote level since there are genetic components to how our brains reason and create meaning.

    Thus saying that there is no genetic contribution to gender or even saying that there is likely no genetic contribution to gender seems to me to be oversimplifying the human condition. In the manner that most people mean it, it’s probably true (at least in the 2nd, more epistemically humble incarnation). Nonetheless, I’m not interested in thinking of things only on the surface. The deeper meanings are important to me, and I thought I would bring up that there is, in fact, a relevant definitional issue as to the meaning of “genetic contribution to gender”.

  132. John Morales says

    Holms,

    I don’t recall seeing anyone express or agree with the idea that trans men should not compete in male leagues. Do you have a citation?

    My specific claim: “If your objection is that only women should compete against women, and therefore trans women (being men) shouldn’t compete against women, it follows that trans men (being women) should be able to compete against women. Right?”

    OK, good pickup.

    When I wrote @139: “Every response to that, however indirect, imagined I had written that trans women should be able to compete with trans women. Almost like ideological cognitive blinkers were in place.”, what I should have written is “Every response to that, however indirect, did not address the actual proposition about trans men competing with cis women.
    Almost like ideological cognitive blinkers were in place.”

    But remember this:
    [Obs, I thought the issue lead to the concession that trans men are too buff for women’s competition but too feeble for men’s, but nobody actually parsed my actual writing correctly. Those cognitive blinkers at work]

    That little trap was neer sprung, because nobody actually parsed my contention properly.

    (Those cognitive buffers again)

  133. John Morales says

    PS

    So no, we were not talking about “the concept itself”; and you seem remarkably poor at remembering context.

    That was part of the conversation there, if not here, and stands until deleted from the internet.

    (I used exactly the same phrase there, however disdainfully so. I made a point of it, even!)

  134. Holms says

    #145 John morales

    Thing is, Holms [unsic], others weighed in, too. Not just you. Or do you dispute that, too?

    The thing I disputed was your characterisation of the conversation “petering out”. It didn’t, you left it. You returned to the thread to compare google-fu, but not to that prior topic of conversation.

    Why you seem to always imagine that when I talk of that place and its ethos, I talk about you?

    I don’t.
    ___

    #146 Crip Dyke
    But probably the biggest reason is that I think that you too rarely permit the validity of definitions other than the ones you intend. […]
    Yes, okay, though it depends on the context, and sometimes changes of context aren’t clear. If we are talking about the meaning of the words ‘woman’ and ‘man’ as used to refer to people conversationally, I refer to the current most common use. Referring to someone as a man or woman will nearly universally be taken to mean ‘adult human [sex]’. Interestingly, the species meaning is relaxed for ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ -- those words are frequently used for our pets and the like. Whatever, beside the point.
    If we are talking more specifically about characteristics of the male or female body, or if I simply want to make clear that I am talking about the class defined by a sex, then I prefer to use ‘male’ and ‘female’ as they have a more biological connotation.

    Ummmm, I actually did state that abbeycadabra made state-of-mind claims about you. It’s right there in my comment #123:

    You could certainly adequately and accurately criticize abbeycadabra for “state of mind” claims

    in other places. Just not the time she alleged that you were engaged in deliberate transphobia.

    The post in which she “alleged that [I was] engaged in deliberate transphobia” also stated that I was a “hatemonger”. Regarding the former, we can agree on a compromise: I was engaged in conversation that others described as transphobic. Hopefully that sets that avenue to rest, if not completely satisfactorily. Hatemonger on the other hand seems less explicable in that manner, not to mention the claim that I am hateful (post #96) and dishonest (#96 and #109).
    And let us not forget perhaps the most obvious example, post #66, claiming that colinday “knew” the answer to ‘transing’, and further specifying that he is motivated by “explicit hate and all”. Face it, this is abbeycadabra’s M.O..

    The only reasonable conclusion, then, is that you made up those accusations of causation out of whole cloth.

    I will agree that my summary was hasty and based on deficient evidence: not only do I have a distant view in the first place, but also because I didn’t look into it much at all (see: hasty).

  135. Holms says

    #148 Crip Dyke

    Regardless of whether genetic trends towards sexually divergent mean behaviors exist in humans, there does exist a genetic predisposition to find patterns in noise and apply them to novel situations without independently determining that the patterns do exist in those novel situations. Conclusions based on this misapplication of perceived patterns contribute to the construction of gender.

    You’re correct to note that I left your point regarding pareidolia unadressed, and I mostly agree with it. It is true that people love seeing patterns in random and natural statistical variance; an example that unrelated to sex/gender would be the family of junk science linking birth month with life expectancy and similar rubbish.

    However, I don’t think addressing this tendency is all that fraught. A probe of the evidence shows that that particular branch of bullshit quickly reveals the incredibly low differences in birth month / lifespan relationships, which do not even come close to reaching statistical relevance. Those believers are relatively sidelined in my experience. So too with mean behaviours of the sexes: in the hypothetical future where cultural expectations have been eroded or eliminated, yes there will still be people making grand statements from tiny evidence, but in that relatively neutral cultural landscape, it will be just as easy to point to the scant evidence supporting “men are from mars, women are from venus” claims.

    Still something to watch out for, I agree, at present it seems quite difficult to probe the degree to which such indirect genetic causes impact / cause our gendered perceptions. It seems to me that first we need to greatly erode the cultural component of gender, next comes the hypothetical future in which we can investigate remnant sex based mean behaviours, and only once those are understood to a reasonable degree can we then look to the next hypothetical future in which we can investigate the even-further removed genetic components of gender.

    It will take a while; in the interim, I hope to attack the idea that behavioural differences are inherent to the sexes, and the idea that having the culturally “wrong” behaviours should be taken to indicate that someone has the wrong body for their personality.

  136. consciousness razor says

    Holms:

    Not at all, nor it is ad populum. Recall that this is a discussion the meaning of a word in a natural language, where the only thing to determine meaning is current common use. Natural language is a consensus by its very nature. Is every word meaning then a resort to the fallacy of tradition and/or popularity?

    The facts don’t support you. Maybe you were taught that — the claim has a teacherish sort of vibe — but I will take it upon myself to unteach it to you now.
    There’s no need for a common, general, consensus-determined meaning, when any two people use natural language to communicate with one another about whatever the fuck it may be. What is required is that those two have a shared understanding of a meaning/use, not that many others elsewhere also do so. All of those others may not even be privy to the conversation, and its meaning need not concern them. The two people could say “get out of my face; we’re talking here” and the consensus might just get bored and walk away eventually. Right?
    If you’ve ever understood an inside joke that someone tells, you might notice that the group on the “outside” can be much larger than those “inside.” Think about that for a moment, and maybe you’ll unteach yourself before I have the chance.
    Contrary to your claim above, this is one kind of situation where the larger, more common group which constitutes the “consensus” of all speakers of their natural language don’t know (much less determine) that meaning/use. There is no reason at all why they would need to, because they’re simply not involved. There is a meaning between the people on the “inside,” and that’s a case of natural language in action just like any other. It’s a tool that can be used, and if you merely use it differently than others do (perhaps many, many, many others), that’s still a use/meaning. It may be a weird and wild and wacky one, or maybe you just don’t like it. But despite all of that, the fact is nonetheless that it’s being used.
    So, your idea here is based on popularity. I suppose a misconception about language only constitutes a false premise, not necessarily invalid reasoning. How you came to it, I don’t know … that probably involved some kind of fallaciousness, but it’s hard to guess which kind.

  137. John Morales says

    Holms @151, it’s not like I’m bullshitting, never mind spinning. I’m being quite direct.

    This was your response there (straight copy-paste of your own coment) while quoting me:

    (Again with the trans women only; but if you have a prob with trans women, you have to have one with trans men, too. I mean, you wouldn’t want to be inconsistent, I get that)

    If we take issue with trans women competing against women, but do not take issue with trans men competing against men, it can’t be animus against them being trans otherwise it would be applied to both, as you note.

    Then, there was iknlast, responding to the same:

    Trans men can compete in sports against men without shoving aside men..

    Then, there was Sackbut, responding to the same:

    The very few instances I can recall of women wanting to compete in men’s tournaments have focused on whether the women were capable of being competitive, not on whether it was fair to the other competitors (other than in an “I don’t want to hurt a girl” sense).

  138. says

    @Holms:

    Yes, okay, though it depends on the context, and sometimes changes of context aren’t clear.

    The very fact that sometimes changes of context aren’t clear on its own constitutes an important reason for you to read others’ comments with the openness to multiple possible meanings that I advocate. I hope this doesn’t rudely belabor the point. I get that you’re conceding, at least to some extent, and we’re coming close to some common ground here. It’s just that I’m reacting to the word, “though” because it sounds like an excuse word. It may not be, but it sounded like one, so I thought I’d add some emphasis.

    If we are talking about the meaning of the words ‘woman’ and ‘man’ as used to refer to people conversationally, I refer to the current most common use. Referring to someone as a man or woman will nearly universally be taken to mean ‘adult human [sex]’.

    This might be true for you most often, but given your previously asserted definitions it seems unlikely to be true in all cases. For instance, is this the definition of “woman” you use when you use the phrase “trans woman”?

    But more important to me, I dislike societal assumptions that I know and/or should care about what’s in your pants. I don’t know if you have a dick, Holms. I don’t know if you have a vagina. And I don’t want to know. If you use a particular set of pronouns in reference to yourself, I’ll use them not because I think I’m making some statement about your genitals. I’ll use them because they’re linguistically convenient and your own use proves that those particular pronouns would not be disrespectful. Likewise if you call yourself a man or a woman. I really don’t fucking want to know about your genitals. And I don’t think about them. And during ordinary conversation I don’t think about any other persons’ genitals either. Even with public figures that are known to have children, I wasn’t there at a child’s birth. I haven’t done DNA tests. Those could be adopted kids. Sure, it’s unlikely that a woman would lie about giving birth to her kids. No, I don’t assume a woman is lying about giving birth to her kids. But the fact that a woman has kids does not on its own prove that she’s female according to one or another specific biological definition. And if I didn’t want to lie about someone, and if I believed that only biological females could be women, then I would have to investigate that woman’s genitals and/or chromosomes and/or whatever other biological characteristic was considered definitional in that context.

    Using woman as a synonym for “vagina haver” just gives people an excuse to investigate women’s genitals. I refuse to participate in that.

    So when you read me use the word “woman”, know that I am very, very specifically rejecting the definition “adult human female”. I will very, very specifically making no statement whatsoever about chromosomes, genitals, or “sex” in any sense.

    There is an incredibly high statistical correlation between the set of all adult female humans and the set of all adult women. And I have no problem saying things like, “pregnancy care is a women’s issue”. It is a women’s issue. The overwhelmingly disproportionate number of humans able to get pregnant are women. That is enough to make it a women’s issue. Making definitions of “woman” synonymous with “adult female human” are not only unnecessary to perform the feminist political advocacy we need, it makes investigating someone’s genitals a reasonable response when that person’s womanhood is questioned.

    No. Making genitals subject to public inquiry can only hurt all of us, including but not only women.

    But moreover, it’s important to note that this is not how things happen now. I’m sure that you, many times in your life, have referred to someone as a woman or a man without checking their genitals. While you may think that you were saying that person X was an adult human of a certain sex, if you have no evidence of biological sex and you did have evidence of gender expression and gender role, is that what you were in fact saying? If true, this seems another example of problematic behavior evidencing epistemic hubris. It also would, if true, be a deliberate choice to erase intersex people from the world, even if you had some definitional reason why you could exclude non-intersex trans persons from the equation. Do you really want to participate in the erasure of intersex persons? Do you realize that with your definition of “woman” that when ever you use that word in relation to a specific person you are declaring that person non-intersex? Is this actually what you intend? Because you can’t be intersex and be female, so under your definition you can’t be intersex and be a woman, and therefore any declaration of womanhood is a covert but absolute statement of non-intersexuality.

    For these reasons, I question whether you in fact use the definition as strictly as you assert do. (Of course, the accurate answer to the question might not be the one I expect, but I do question it.) In any case, however, I hope you can take this into account when reading my uses of “women” and “men” and similar terms. Assuming that I mean “adult human of [x] sex” will never give you the right interpretation of my words.

    I will agree that my summary was hasty and based on deficient evidence: not only do I have a distant view in the first place, but also because I didn’t look into it much at all (see: hasty).

    But will you actually apologize for that behavior and attempt to refrain?

    This is also something that I see from you quite often -- or, well, since I’m not going to go hunting down substantiating examples over a relatively minor point, something that I subjectively feel like I see from you quite often. I’ll say I was wrong if I think that I was -- not just that I was “hasty”, but that I was wrong. And I’m willing to say that in both factual and moral senses, when they are applicable.

    Do you believe that you were factually wrong, given what I’ve told you? If so, why not say so?

    Do you believe it is morally wrong to make up accounts of others’ decision making processes? If so, why not say so?

    Your behavior gives me the impression that you believe you cannot concede anything, because such concessions will be used against you. That might even be true in discussions with some people. But when you repeatedly call out abbeycadabra for wrong behavior that is closely analogous to your own behavior, and when you then have to be repeatedly shown, not once but two or three times, that your behavior was both wrong and analogous, and then you still can’t actually say, “I was wrong,” you lose credibility with me.

    Of course I keep in mind the possibility that you’re just scared of saying, “I was wrong. I’m sorry.” But I also have to keep in mind the possibilities that you are amoral, or that you are a moral hypocrite. I am far more generous in argument with people who show that they can recognize and own up to their own mistakes during ordinary conversation. If it takes no special effort or emphasis to get you to honestly consider the weaknesses, errors, and wrongs of your own statements, then I’ll add no special effort or emphasis.

    Maybe the refusal to concede anything helps you with other conversations, but in conversations with me, especially when I can be one-hundred percent certain about an issue (as I am with my own thought process on deciding what I thought FtB should do in relation to the AXP blog) this failing hurts your credibility with me immensely.

  139. Holms says

    #149 John Morales
    I don’t think it profitable to quote and compare wordings any more, it is becoming increasingly nested and worse: it is cross forum. Instead, I think I can easily summarise why there is a difference in the treatment on trans women in female leagues vs. trans men in male leagues.

    It comes down not to the fact that they are trans, but to sexual dimorphism. Male median size, mean size, and extreme size are all larger than the female equivalents. This makes for divergent results in the upper tiers of athletic competition; a quick glance through e.g. the 2016 Olympics results shows this nicely (sidebar links for specific event times and distances).

    Clearly, the advantage lies with the male body in these events. That is not to say that every man can run faster than every women or anything like that; as alluded to above, this only really becomes prominent in the upper tiers of a sport. In amateur / social leagues, it may not matter nearly as much (depending on the event). Anyway, I hope we can agree that developing as male gives an unearned advantage over those who develop as female in those events.

    Consequently, male-developed persons competing in a female league have an unearned advantaged in that league, while female-developed persons crossing into the male league have no such advantage. Hence the lack of opposition from B&W and other venues against trans men in male leagues.

  140. John Morales says

    Holms, you’re trying to retreat.

    I don’t think it profitable to quote and compare wordings any more, it is becoming increasingly nested and worse: it is cross forum.

    Well, all it can possibly do, at worst, is highlight inconsistencies.
    Certainly not profitable for you.

    Consequently, male-developed persons competing in a female league have an unearned advantaged in that league […]

    Those blinkers are sure opaque!

    Here is my actual proposition (to another, though a few of you responded to it, including you), as per #139:
    Me responding:

    Trans people already have exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else does.

    Heh. You do know I am familiar with posts here, I still read it in my spare time?
    But I will take you at your word. Let’s examine the coherence of your claim.
    If your objection is that only women should compete against women, and therefore trans women (being men) shouldn’t compete against women, it follows that trans men (being women) should be able to compete against women. Right?

    (I added emphasis, since it’s still at best subliminal for you)

    Again: not one person responded to that; the focus is clearly on trans women.

    (Remember how I said it was an unsprung trap? Do you wish for me to make it explicit, so that you get it? Hint: if trans men are too buff for women’s comp, and too feeble for men’s comp, how exactly do they have the same opportunities? I did then hint sport ruiles could be changed to reflect reality. Nobody picked up on that, but)

  141. Silentbob says

    @ 152 Holms

    I hope to attack the idea that behavioural differences are inherent to the sexes, and the idea that having the culturally “wrong” behaviours should be taken to indicate that someone has the wrong body for their personality.

    Is this seriously your understanding of what it is to be transgender?! Because that’s pathetic. This is like a creationist saying, “I hope to attack the evolutionist’s idea that a monkey can give birth to a man”.

    Holms, read stuff written by actual trans people if you want to understand them. Don’t get all your information from transphobic cranks, and then come onto a blog read by trans people, and spew such ignorant, patronising nonsense. You very obviously haven’t a clue.

  142. Holms says

    #153 CR

    The facts don’t support you. Maybe you were taught that — the claim has a teacherish sort of vibe — but I will take it upon myself to unteach it to you now. …

    You’re wrong. An in-group can use language to your hearts content, you can even have a private language used by yourself and only a selected friend. (I remember doing something similar in high school, when a friend and I wanted to talk about Warhammer 40K in a manner that kept others out, and did not sound like a conversation about WH40K.) Yet no matter how small the spread of this language might be, there needs to be a consensus amongst its participants as to what each word means or else there is no communication. If your language has a word, say krita, and you use it to mean A, but the person you are speaking to understands it to mean B, communication will not be accurate any time krita is used.

    This is because language is, at its heart, a consensus between participants -- no matter how many or how few -- for each and every word. (And then another consensus as to how each and every word is to be depicted as text.)

    When it comes to the words man and woman, a relatively small in-group is attempting to tell the out-group that the general consensus meanings are factually wrong! You can’t use them that way! and similar. That is the wrongheaded approach, not mine.

  143. Holms says

    Oops, the above post should begin “You’re at least partly wrong, or your explanation is incomplete.” That “You’re wrong.” opening was a prior version which was accidentally edited back.

  144. John Morales says

    Holms @159, I read your comment, and the association was inescapable:
    “When it comes to the words man and woman, a relatively small in-group is attempting to tell the out-group that the general consensus meanings are factually wrong! You can’t use them that way! and similar. That is the wrongheaded approach, not mine.”

    “When it comes to the word marriage, a relatively small in-group is attempting to tell the out-group that the general consensus meaning is factually wrong! You can’t use it that way! and similar. That is the wrongheaded approach, not mine.”

    (FWIW, enabling gay marriage here in Oz neither demolished nor diminished the institution of marriage; arguably, it strenghtened it, and at worst widened its scope)

  145. says

    Clearly, the advantage lies with the male body in these events.

    Assuming you are only discussing the events on that specific wikipedia page, then you have some good evidence. And if that’s how you intended your link to be used, I thank you and appreciate you being specific.

    However (without knowing anything about or commenting on any discussion happening on another site) I’ve noticed a hell of a lot of people who take the trans-exclusionary position to make such claims without reference to any specific sport. I continue to take the position that asserting that the male body has an advantage at the most elite levels in sports generally or in unspecified “sports” is wrong-headed in approach and very possibly factually wrong. There are sports where a small, lithe frame and/or lesser weight is an advantage. At best, then, the argument for male-bodied advantage is only relevant on a sport by sport basis. Even if it ends up being relevant to the discussion in more than half of all sports, it still must be made on that sport by sport basis.

    Moreover, we cannot assume that all of those advantages are sex-specific. That epistemic humility thing again: until we remove cultural pressures (and even fucking laws, for Freud’s sake) that discourage women participating in athletics and prioritizing the practice of athletic skills we won’t know exactly how much of any advantage in any specific sport is sex-specific and how much is related from drawing on a smaller talent pool, giving the relevant athletes fewer resources, allowing them to practice less often, and thus ultimately reducing the overall quality of the competition (which itself then keeps performances lower).

    Hence the lack of opposition from B&W and other venues against trans men in male leagues.

    Although I can’t speak to B&W specifically, in general this is not true. If this was really about sexually-divergent sport advantages and had nothing to do with trans*-ness, then for those sports in which having a smaller, more compact, or lighter body are an advantage would be subject to critique against FtM participation by the same people who now critique MtF participation in girls and women’s sports. Again, I can’t speak to B&W, but in discussions where I do participate, I do not see those concerns ever.

    MOREOVER, I do not see concerns expressed about the denial of FtM athletes participation where it occurs. If FtM athletes are presumed to have a disadvantage in running events and no particular advantage in wrestling events which are divided by weight class, and states like Texas exclude FtM athletes from these activities, then people whose concern was a general one about fair participation trans* athletes would be equally concerned with such denial of opportunity. It’s anecdotal, but I see no such concern.

    When you express exactly the same level of concern about the denial of FtM participation in men’s and boys’ events as you do about the inclusion of MtF athletes in women’s and girls’ events, then you’ll gain credibility with me. When the entire community currently advocating for MtF exclusion from women’s and girls’ events shows that same parity of concern, then the general arguments will gain credibility with me.

    Until then, the general “side” -- to the extent that it’s fair to judge individuals making these arguments together as a group -- demonstrates an indifference to (FtM) trans* exclusion and an opposition to (MtF) trans* inclusion. This combination makes hostility to trans people a reasonable hypothesis to consider, and constitutes real, credible evidence that the argument cannot “only” be about fairness. While it might be partly about fairness, this combination makes it hard to conclude that no other factors are at play.

    On a separate topic:

    I hope to attack the idea that behavioural differences are inherent to the sexes, and the idea that having the culturally “wrong” behaviours should be taken to indicate that someone has the wrong body for their personality.

    Yeah, while you’re not making claims about me specifically at this moment, you’ve made the claim in the past that I hold the bolded belief. I do not, and indeed have fought against it the times I’ve encountered it. I think it’s important that at some point you acknowledge this is not some generally held position of trans* advocates. Generally, we take the fact of “wrong” gender performance to indicate that the person engages in behaviors that society believes is wrong for that person’s gender. There are some further beliefs that follow directly from this, such as that a person will face criticism and/or harassment and is at heightened risk for violent victimization for this “wrong” gender performance. Empirically we know that sustained criticism and/or harassment, and or any violence at all can have a profound psychological impact, and this combined with the past conclusion means that people who “wrongly” perform gender are at significantly heightened risk of such psychological impacts. As a value, we believe that people don’t deserve criticism or harassment or violence for their gender performances. Therefore we conclude that people “wrongly” performing gender deserve help and support to counter any negative effects of a hostile social milieu. While it’s inevitable that in practice some people who are generally pro-trans, especially inexperienced, inexpert peers or family members, will give non-neutral advice about how best to deal with this hostile cultural climate, as a community we very strongly value self-determination, and encourage individuals to make their own decisions about whether to attempt to make the behaviors better conform to expectations, to act as without regard to those expectations, or to rebel and violate expectations even hard, even more often. All are valid responses to different contexts and different threats.

    Entirely separately, there are people who have conflicted relationships with their own bodies. Historically, sexist medical communities have predicated access to medical interventions that individuals might choose for themselves on conformance to sexist stereotypes. Some happened to match stereotypes, and got access to health care without being coerced into behavior that they would not choose for themselves. Others changed to match stereotypes in order to get access. Still others changed behaviors and yet were denied access (there were literally men doctors who said in so many words that they decided which MtF client candidates would be allowed access to surgery and hormones based on which of those candidates got the doctors’ dicks hard). Others did not change behaviors; many of this last group were denied access to medical interventions.

    There have been for many decades some few trans* persons willing to repeat the sexist criteria of these sexist doctors as if they were valid. Nonetheless, most trans persons resisted these sexist criteria that medial care would be based on gender performance, and indeed it is because of trans* activists, not non-trans* persons, feminist, medically-trained, or otherwise, that such gender-performance criteria have been dramatically reduced and in many countries almost eradicated. Promoting the idea that trans* people actually advocate that medical intervention should be provided on the basis of gender performance is not only wrong, it erases the feminist activism in which trans* people engaged for decades to end rather those past sexist practices. Trans* people who see you write things implying that trans* people advocate medical intervention on the basis of gender performance would be right to ask, “Where the fuck were you when we were risking our lives and access to health care in order to overturn the cis-imposed regime that did exactly that?” Basing access to health care on gender performance was always a cis idea, and to the extent that trans* people have ever adopted it, it has only been by those who felt that buying in to the system in power was the only way to get what they needed.

    If you happen to encounter an individual who espouses the idea you describe, feel free to criticize it and explain why it’s unjust. But to the extent that you assume that trans* people embrace this idea (and you’ve done this to me, I could link the thread if you like) you’re engaging in an incredibly insulting misrepresentation. Cis people were the ones who wanted medical interventions determined by gender performance. Trans* people put a stop to that in many places and are still fighting it around the world.

    And when we were accomplishing that, when I was fighting cissexist, sexist doctors predicating medical treatment on gender performance by working with direction action activists in the Lesbian Avengers, where the fuck were you? I fought that shit for 20 years before a combination of law school and dramatically diminished occurrence of this abominable practice meant that my opposition became more principle than practice most of the time. My first action against predicating medical treatment on gender performance occurred before I even came out and nearly 30 years ago in 1991. WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU?

    It’s easy for you to claim you’re against such cissexist standards now, when the fight in the most of the english-speaking world has either been won or has reached the point of inevitable victory. But where were you when it mattered? Where were you when this was the default practice of so-called gender clinics in the 70s and 80s? Where were you when it was the most common practice, but opposition was beginning to change a few clinics in the 90s? Where were you when we had momentum but the fight had not yet been won in the 2000s? Where were you when it was all cis medical providers advocating this gender-performance-test regime and nearly all trans* people fighting it?

    And you have the combination of ignorance and gall to suggest that what trans* people want is medical care to be recommended based on gender performance? Please.

    If you see specific evidence of advocacy of this idea, by a specific person, feel free to call them out. I’ll join you. But no more nebulous intimations or implicit premises that a regime of medical recommendations and/or interventions based on gender performance is somehow a part of of what trans* people are fighting for. And certainly don’t ascribe that belief to me as you have in the past. It’s bullshit, it’s insulting, and it’s time for that shit to stop.

  146. Holms says

    # Crip Dyke

    …Using woman as a synonym for “vagina haver” just gives people an excuse to investigate women’s genitals. I refuse to participate in that.

    So when you read me use the word “woman”, know that I am very, very specifically rejecting the definition “adult human female”. I will very, very specifically making no statement whatsoever about chromosomes, genitals, or “sex” in any sense.

    But the alternative is to use ‘woman’ to mean ‘person who matches / willingly embraces female cultural expectations’ or perhaps ‘person who considers themselves to be a woman’. The former I reject on the grounds that it necessarily requires and maintains cultural expectations placed on the sexes, the latter on the grounds that it is self referential and thus meaningless.

    However, the occasions where it is necessary to ascertain someone’s sex are rare: medical checkups, competitive leagues for sport, that sort of thing. Otherwise, there is no need for an ‘investigation’ as to the contents of someone’s pants before referring to them as a woman or man. If you meet someone, a cursory glance is almost always accurate -- a surmise on incomplete data is not a bad start. In those instances where the person says otherwise, I’m not particularly wedded to the idea of calling someone what I believe them to be over their protest, even if I privately think of them as man/woman.

    It also would, if true, be a deliberate choice to erase intersex people from the world,…

    This is a total aside that I’m not going to enlarge on, but I have seen increasing numbers of people intersexed people express displeasure at being co-opted into defenses of current gender / trans theory. I’m still acquainting myself with their arguments at this stage, but I think it worth pointing out that they are not unanimously on board with your view.

    (I don’t know the relative numbers though)

    I will agree that my summary was hasty and based on deficient evidence: not only do I have a distant view in the first place, but also because I didn’t look into it much at all (see: hasty).

    But will you actually apologize for that behavior and attempt to refrain?

    Regarding the FTB/AXP summary of events:
    No, I feel no remorse at this error and choose not to pretend that I do. Yes, I erred in my summary of the FTB/AXP events; I already strive to refrain from erring, but I did fall short of that goal.

    Regarding the ‘claims of mental status’ criticisms of abbeycadabra:
    I do not believe I erred regarding my characterisation of abbeycadabra’s posts, I gave what I consider to be my final post on that particular matter in #151. Perhaps you still disagree with me and consider our posts identical, or similar enough; in that case, you will probably consider me a hypocrite.

  147. says

    consciousness razor @#101

    If what you want is a guideline that’s not guiding anything, that sounds like you don’t actually want it (whatever it is) to be a guideline. . . If it were doing this guidance only “loosely,” as opposed to “rigidly,” it would still be doing the kind of thing that you’re apparently against. No?

    Whenever people don’t know what to do with their lives or how to act in some specific situation, they look around at what other people are doing in the same situation. Thus norms are born. Whenever the majority of people do something, it automatically becomes the default option, the norm.

    For example, there exists a dating etiquette that governs what people are expected to do before hopping into bed. There are ideas about what constitutes a “meal.” There are traditional cuisines which instruct people about what foods they are expected to consume at specific times of the day. There are norms about what kind of alcohol people usually consume in some specific type of social event. Fashion exists only because people tend to want to wear whatever clothing others around them are wearing. Even within subcultures, there exists uniformity, because people look at what their peers are doing and emulate them. There exist scripts for how a person is expected to lead their life—after finishing with their education, majority of people pick a monogamous lifestyle with marriage, and children. It’s not just gender norms that offer “the default option” and a number of scripts for men and women.

    Whenever a significant portion of the society chooses to do the same thing, it automatically becomes the default option and a script for others to follow. That’s just inevitable. This is how human societies work. I see no point opposing norms as such, because they will always exist. And they can occasionally be useful—if some person has no clue what to do with their life or how to act in some specific situation, following the default script is a pretty good idea. The existence of default scripts reduces confusion—if you have no clue what to do, just emulate other people around you.

    In my own life, whenever I was uncomfortable with the default option, I immediately knew it. For example, common dating scripts do not work for me, because I cannot flirt (I cannot decipher other people’s body language). I don’t like the taste of alcohol, so I don’t drink in social situations where everybody else around me is drinking. I never wanted marriage or children either. And all the default scripts for how an AFAB person is supposed to lead their life never appealed to me. I immediately knew that the default option wasn’t for me, which is why I sought alternatives. I don’t mind if there exists a default script for how an AFAB person is supposed to lead their life. I don’t mind if majority of AFAB people choose to follow this script. What bothered me was when people condemned and punished me for failing to follow the default script for AFAB people. The society didn’t want to give me the freedom to say, “The default AFAB script isn’t for me, I’ll do something different instead.”

    I’m not sure if I’m expressing myself clearly. It’s just that I see a huge difference between “recommendation” and “compulsory order.” If the society recommends me to behave as a woman while simultaneously allowing me to say “no thanks,” then I’m free to ignore the recommendation and live as I see fit instead. I don’t mind recommendations and suggestions exactly because I’m still free to refuse. On the other hand, if the society orders me to behave as a woman and punishes me for a failure to do so, then I get pissed off.

    Crip Dyke @#104

    Yes, what you explained is approximately what I had in mind. I guess your explanation was clearer.

    Holms @# 116

    A young boy could play with dolls free of conflict with expectations placed on him for his sex, because such expectations would not be placed on him in the first place; playing with dolls would cease to be associated with girls rather than boys. Likewise girls playing with meccano, climbing trees etc. etc. through the entire sordid list.

    Yes, some stereotypes are irrational and might as well disappear. For example, there is no reason why the color pink and dolls must be associated with girls and deemed unfit for boys. But this is not the case for everything typically associated with one or the other gender. For example, most women wear bras and like to visually emphasize their breasts. I, on the other hand, wear a binder that flattens my chest or at least clothing that visually de-emphasizes my breasts. Me wanting to have a flat chest isn’t just a matter of blindly following arbitrary cultural expectations, I flatten my chest, because I want my body to look like a man’s body.

  148. John Morales says

    Andreas,
    I’m not sure if I’m expressing myself clearly.

    Pellucid, you are. Seriously. You have a most excellent grasp of English. No worries.

  149. Silentbob says

    @ 163 Holms

    This is a total aside that I’m not going to enlarge on, but I have seen increasing numbers of people intersexed people express displeasure at being co-opted into defenses of current gender / trans theory. I’m still acquainting myself with their arguments at this stage, but I think it worth pointing out that they are not unanimously on board with your view.

    You make me laugh man. “I’m going to imply that intersex people don’t like being mentioned in the some breath as trans people while at the same time admitting I just made it up off the top of my head and can’t substantiate it in any way whatsoever”.

    Since you’re “acquainting” yourself with the arguments, here’s what actual intersex advocacy organisations say. Sorry to fuck up your transphobic bullshit with actual facts ‘n’ stuff mate.

    https://interactadvocates.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/LavLaw-Trans-and-Intersex-Fact-Sheet.pdf

    (You’re out of your depth. Seriously, stop talking about shit you don’t understand and listen to people who do.)

  150. deepak shetty says

    @Holms

    But the alternative is to use ‘woman’ to mean ‘person who matches / willingly embraces female cultural expectations’ or perhaps ‘person who considers themselves to be a woman’.

    Leaving aside the right /wrong , isn’t this what all of us actually do ?
    To my recollection I have not asked anyone to present me their genitalia OR checked their chromosomes OR asked them for their birth certificate. Have you ? If not why is it a problem ?

  151. anat says

    consciousness razor @129:

    Imagine a society where the vast majority of people who engage in behaviors A, B, and C are men, and the vast majority of people who engage in behaviors D, E, and F are women, but there are no negative consequences, whether legal, social, economical, or any other kind for breaking the common pattern, whether by adopting the entire set opposite to the typical pattern or by mixing and matching somehow. IN their upbringing children learn the common pattern, but if they don’t like it they chose otherwise for themselves.

  152. consciousness razor says

    Holms:

    Yet no matter how small the spread of this language might be, there needs to be a consensus amongst its participants as to what each word means or else there is no communication.

    But all this means is that you need at least two people participating in communication, who count as “the consensus,” in order for this to happen. We can count what that number is, how many people there are in the consensus, and the correct answer may be as small as two. In other cases, it may be many more, but there is communication either way, because two will suffice.
    However, the implication of your arguments has been that the consensus needs to be a much larger group than just two people talking…. It is instead something like “most English speakers” or a big enough proportion of them, when the language they’re using is English.
    If there are just two people, who use “man” and “woman” in a way which doesn’t line up with your notion of the consensus usage (as opposed to “the number of participants in that communication,” as you had claimed was actually necessary), then there is obviously still communication between those two people, just as I said. That’s just a plain old empirical fact, and you won’t derive a sound conclusion that turns it into a non-fact.
    So, your notion includes superfluous assumptions, more than what is necessary, about various other actors who are not participating in that communication (or to put it differently, they’re not parties to it). But you can only correctly say that there needs to be understanding among participants, because it’s not necessary for there to be such understanding among some other group of non-participants. The latter don’t need to understand shit about it, because the mutual understanding of the participants doesn’t depend on them (logically, physically or in any other way).
    ———
    Andreas Avester:

    Thus norms are born. Whenever the majority of people do something, it automatically becomes the default option, the norm.

    I understand, but that may just identify what’s typical or common or whatever. That’s still a long way from being a guideline, with all of the connotations that word tends to have. Even if it’s a very loose guideline (“this vague set of behaviors is usually what you should do, in this vague set of circumstances”), the idea is that it tells you something about what you should do.
    The thing is, I can point to tons of behaviors which merely happen a lot — they’re normal, typical, ordinary, common, widespread, and so on. But it wouldn’t be appropriate to conclude (from the fact that they’re “normal”) that this means they’re good behaviors or indicate how you should behave (i.e., that they’re “normative”). Describing it as a guideline can suggest the latter sort of idea, but as I’m sure you agree, that’s not always the right way to think about such things. And that’s where a lot of the harm comes in, as you’ve noted — people want to enforce it or treat it as normative, because they think it’s a good thing and not merely an ordinary thing.

  153. consciousness razor says

    Andreas Avester:
    I want to add that I didn’t mean to suggest there was anything wrong with your command of English. It’s impressive to me, since I can only barely scrape by in a couple of other languages, and I’m definitely not fluent in them. I was only worried that I wasn’t being clear enough, since the discussion was itself about language and connotations and so forth, so I might be carrying a lot of baggage or making hidden assumptions that you’re not. I think I was right, given the responses…. My earlier comment wasn’t very clear. Sorry about that.

  154. consciousness razor says

    Crip Dyke:
    I was going to auction it off and give the money to starving Malaysian children. Do you really want to deprive them of that? That’s cold.

  155. Holms says

    #157 John Morales

    Holms, you’re trying to retreat.
    […]
    Well, all it can possibly do, at worst, is highlight inconsistencies.
    Certainly not profitable for you.

    You mean like the discrepancy of yours that I highlighted in #147 (that is, your assumption that the B&W crowd was against trans men competing against men)?

    Anyway, as has been explained before… I agree that trans men are ‘too buff’ for the women’s competition, being that they take a heavy course of testosterone, but not that men being are ‘too feeble’ for the men’s. As I have pointed out before, the question of fairness is specifically tied to male development providing an unearned advantage over female development in competitions requiring high physicality. By contrast, a female-developed person stepping into the male league does so with an uphill battle to fight. The advantage only goes one way, so the objection only goes one way.
    ___

    #158 Silentbob

    Is this seriously your understanding of what it is to be transgender?! …

    More fool you for quoting a single sentence and faulting it for not being a complete exposition.

    Holms, read stuff written by actual trans people if you want to understand them.

    I have. Renee Richards comes to mind. Oh, did you think all trans people were unanimous on the issue of trans women in sport? Or did you simply dismiss the dissenters and forget about them?

    Don’t get all your information from transphobic cranks, and then come onto a blog read by trans people, and spew such ignorant, patronising nonsense. You very obviously haven’t a clue.

    Again, the question of unanimity amongst trans people arises. When you say ‘transphobic’, I read ‘person who disagrees with me on this issue (some of whom are transphobic)’.
    ___

    # Crip Dyke

    Assuming you are only discussing the events on that specific wikipedia page, then you have some good evidence. And if that’s how you intended your link to be used, I thank you and appreciate you being specific.

    There are plenty of other events, that is just a good starting point due to how tidily that page arranges a large number of direct comparisons. The same thought process applies to individual contests such as cycling, swimming, weightlifting, rowing, tennis, MMA… and also for team pursuits, like cricket, football of all kinds… The point being, no, that list is not the extent of what I am discussing.

    In those where physicality is not at play, there need not be a divided league for that reason. That said, there are sometimes reasons why a divided league is used in non-physical contests too, chess being a key example. However, I make no comment supporting or disagreeing with the reasoning employed for that division of leagues save that it makes for an interesting read; my argument is limited to physical sports.

    There are sports where a small, lithe frame and/or lesser weight is an advantage

    And what I find interesting about this is for some reason, we only see clashes over whether trans women want to enter sports where physicality is dominant, such as cycling. Why is there no outcry over trans women entering say, rythmic gymnastics? This can only be for two reasons: either trans women aren’t pushing for entry into the event, or they are but no one is objecting.
    The absence of outcry is instructive either way. Are trans women not interested in sports where their larger frames place them at a disadvantage? Or are they interested, but others aren’t raising alarm because their entry is not unfair?

    Whatever the reason, the outcry is centered on areas where physicality and therefore fairness between the sexes is an issue, and not where it is not. I and others of like mind are not making a generalised outcry of ‘ewww, trans people icky’ though it is often demonised that way. (I do not deny that such poeple exist however.)

    Moreover, we cannot assume that all of those advantages are sex-specific. That epistemic humility thing again: until we remove cultural pressures…

    Well. I wrote the preceding paragraph before reading further, and now I see you hit on the same point. Again, chess stands as an excellent example and I encourage you to read up on it. But as for your claim that we cannot know whether much of the male advantage is due to physicality… you’re wrong there. There is extensive research backing this up, and the consistency of track and field (etc.) events is also telling. There is a well known rule of thumb in these events: the male events will be 10% faster than the female.

    Not enough of a difference to justify segregation at casual events I agree, but definitely a major factor in professional / elite tiers of competition.

    MOREOVER, I do not see concerns expressed about the denial of FtM athletes participation where it occurs. If FtM athletes are presumed to have a disadvantage in running events and no particular advantage in wrestling events which are divided by weight class. …

    As I have stated to Morales, I have no objection with MtF joining male leagues, so this is not a point of contention between us. If you are faulting me for not boldly striding forth to do battle in the legal activist sphere, I can tell you upfront that I am no activist. I comment on blogs that are of interest to me, and arguing on topic X should not be taken to imply that I am an activist for X.

    Yeah, while you’re not making claims about me specifically at this moment, you’ve made the claim in the past that I hold the bolded belief. I do not, and indeed have fought against it the times I’ve encountered it. I think it’s important that at some point you acknowledge this is not some generally held position of trans* advocates. Generally, …

    Then we can put this one down as a another point of agreement between us. However, I disagree that ‘generally’ trans rights advocates agree on this point; I have not calculated the proportion, but there are plenty of people to whom my criticism applies.

    That said, if we agree on that point, there is no need for it to continue as a point of argument; it is good to discover that you are not one of them.

    My first action against predicating medical treatment on gender performance occurred before I even came out and nearly 30 years ago in 1991. WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU?

    In school, and see again the ‘not an activist’ bit.
    ___

    #166 Silentbob

    You make me laugh man. “I’m going to imply that intersex people don’t like being mentioned in the some breath as trans people while at the same time admitting I just made it up off the top of my head and can’t substantiate it in any way whatsoever”.

    Some errors. First, I did not imply, I explicitly stated it: I have seen that sentiment expressed by some portion of them. Second, I admitted no such thing, you inferred it. Incorrectly might I add, as I definitely did not invent it.
    ___

    #167 deepak shetty

    To my recollection I have not asked anyone to present me their genitalia OR checked their chromosomes OR asked them for their birth certificate. Have you ? If not why is it a problem ?

    In most situations it is not an issue. If I refer to someone as male and they disagree, I take the correction. Casual conversational use of pronouns doesn’t bother me. It only becomes an issue in certain areas where sex is actually relevant. Obviously the issue of sports has dominated this thread, but I’ve mentioned medical settings somewhere and there are also areas of government tracking of demographic statistics and such.

    I only stated the general use of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ denoting sex because that is what is broadly understood with those words.
    ___

    #169 CR

    If there are just two people, who use “man” and “woman” in a way which doesn’t line up with your notion of the consensus usage (as opposed to “the number of participants in that communication,” as you had claimed was actually necessary), then there is obviously still communication between those two people, just as I said.

    Yes, those two people can use whatever code they want to devise, but then the communication form they are using is not actually the english that I was talking about. I made no comment regarding limits on that tiny / local language, I spoke only of the meaning of words in the broader language. Go ahead and make a local variant of english in which ‘man’ means ‘the feeling you get when you look at a rainbow while the scent of rain is still in the air’, ‘woman’ means ‘person who is the political leader of a city’; change the words for ‘adult human male/female’ to flargon and bifforic.

    Change all the things! And then I will point out that these local variants do not match english common use. I’m not telling you not that smaller localisations don’t exist or that they are banned or whatever.

  156. John Morales says

    Holms,

    You mean like the discrepancy of yours that I highlighted in #147 (that is, your assumption that the B&W crowd was against trans men competing against men)?

    No. I mean like what I actually wrote, and quoted here multiple times, referred to it multiple times, alluded to it, you name it. I even made a point you’re cognigively blinkered:
    “If your objection is that only women should compete against women, and therefore trans women (being men) shouldn’t compete against women, it follows that trans men (being women) should be able to compete against women. Right?”

    It was never about “your assumption that the B&W crowd was against trans men competing against men”, it was about me trying to make a point, and not having that point be recognised no matter how much I hammer upon it. (e.g. #154).

    Can’t really put it much plainer than that. And you are not stupid. So.

  157. John Morales says

    [Context: TLDR the objections there at the time were made as if it were about fairness and equity on the basis of biological sex, so I went for the counter-example. Blind spot, but]

  158. John Morales says

    Hm. Let me break this down for you, though this is the umpteenth plus one time I’ve endeavoured to make my point perceptible to you:

    In your estimation, trans men are women and trans women are men. Right?
    And you say men should not compete against women, that being unfair and all. Right?
    So, trans men competing against women is, for you, the very same as women competing against women. Right?
    And you advocate for only women to compete against women, lest it be unfair. Right?
    So, you perforce advocate that trans men compete against cis women lest you be self-contradictory.
    Right?

  159. John Morales says

    [But it is fun to use your own axioms and inference rules and contrast them to your purported justifications. We’ll surely get there, if you persevere]

  160. consciousness razor says

    Holms:

    In those where physicality is not at play, there need not be a divided league for that reason. That said, there are sometimes reasons why a divided league is used in non-physical contests too, chess being a key example. However, I make no comment supporting or disagreeing with the reasoning employed for that division of leagues save that it makes for an interesting read; my argument is limited to physical sports.

    But the chess world isn’t segregated as most other sports are. Most things, up to the highest levels, are open to everyone. However, the reality is also that women are underrepresented (and generally outmatched) in chess, for a variety of social and historical reasons. Judit Pulgar is the only one so far to qualify for the world championship tournament (and only fairly recently, in 2005). Yet she did qualify, and she qualified simply by playing chess extremely well, not by proving she has the “right” genitalia to satisfy a bunch of assholes, because that would be nuts.
    She’s certainly not alone. Tons of great women chess players could kick my ass (and basically everyone’s ass) any day of the week, if given the chance. I’m sure Hou Yifan, a top-100 player who’s 25 years old, will only get better and better. It’s a very tough field at the top of course, but I won’t be too surprised if she’s a candidate for world champion in the years ahead. (She’s already a four-time women’s champion and could win more of those too.)
    Whatever happens, nobody is telling her that she can’t do it, because they have decided somehow that people of her gender aren’t allowed to do it. Because that’s just fucking evil, not to mention stupid. So, there is no good reason for them to be segregated, and that’s not how it works. Maybe you didn’t realize that, but it’s not “a divided league” as you said above…. So please don’t use it as your “key example” of anything, until you know what you’re talking about.
    As I mentioned before, there are special tournaments and titles and ratings and such for women, which help somewhat to correct the imbalance created by a fuckton of sexist history. It really isn’t equal yet, and I don’t want to give the impression that it’s perfect. But notice how this doesn’t mean that men and women don’t (or can’t) play each other. You just play chess well, which improves your rating, which generally means bigger prizes and better opponents to play against, which means fun for the whole family. That’s it. That’s pretty much the whole deal. Why wouldn’t that be the whole deal?
    If you’re genuinely worried about keeping things competitive and fair, when mixing together such a huge range of different skill levels – since the ratings are applied to literally everybody: children, adults, amateurs, pros, you name it – then don’t panic. You don’t need to make faulty assumptions about individuals because of the group you (or they) think they belong in, whether that’s gender or age or race or class or anything else. Why? Because you have something much better than that: a direct and no-bullshit measure of their performance in the form of their ratings. It’s useful and informative, as long as you’re not using a craptastic “metric” like gender in its place, which prevents certain people from playing against certain other people (thus preventing a meaningful comparison). So, smart people that they are, they let you play against anybody. Why wouldn’t they?

    Change all the things!

    Alright, maybe I will. You are conceding the point, without admitting it. I’ll let it drop there, since there are lots of things to change.

  161. deepak shetty says

    @Holms

    It only becomes an issue in certain areas where sex is actually relevant

    So some sport and some medicine are the only places you object to trans women being treated as women. Anything else ?

  162. consciousness razor says

    John Morales:
    Ouch, that looked painful for Sam Sevian. Number 8 in the US.

  163. consciousness razor says

    I mean, seriously…. She kept getting more and more space, while he couldn’t do anything useful, then all of a sudden the pawns start dropping. That’s how you do it.

  164. consciousness razor says

    Yes, they are human. I’m sure there will be controversy if someone ever makes a sentient AI, who wants to play in the human tournaments with all of their friends. Maybe some kind of “no sorcery allowed” rule would be okay, but I have no clue how that would work.

  165. says

    consciousness razor@#169

    The thing is, I can point to tons of behaviors which merely happen a lot — they’re normal, typical, ordinary, common, widespread, and so on. But it wouldn’t be appropriate to conclude (from the fact that they’re “normal”) that this means they’re good behaviors or indicate how you should behave (i.e., that they’re “normative”).

    Sure, a huge part of current gender stereotypes are extremely harmful for everybody regardless of the shape of their genitals or their gender identity. “Boys don’t cry,” “men don’t ask for help,” “women aren’t ambitious and shouldn’t pursue challenging careers,” “women aren’t interested in athletics,” “women should strive to have a beautiful body,” “all women want babies” are ideas that hurt everybody, and I want these ideas to disappear from our culture. I hope that someday it will happen. But even if that happened (and I sure hope it will happen), I just don’t believe that the current set of gender-related norms will be replaced by a vacuum and there will be a culture in which every person lives as if they were unisex. At the very least, people will still wear different underwear depending on the shape of their genitals and the amount of fat tissue on their chests. But even beyond that, I’m getting the impression that some people seem to enjoy the differences in typical gender expression in ways that seem harmless.* For example, I know women who are confident and have successful careers, but they still wear feminine fashion, because they just like it. If so, then they should be free to keep on wearing feminine clothing, and forcing some new unisex fashion rules upon the entire society would be unnecessary.

    And that’s where a lot of the harm comes in, as you’ve noted — people want to enforce it or treat it as normative, because they think it’s a good thing and not merely an ordinary thing.

    When close to 100% of the entire society follow some norm, then all the dissidents get punished for their deviant behavior. When maybe about 60% of the society follow the default norm, then the policing pretty much disappears and the default option is no longer enforced.

    For example, in the society where I live the default option is to have children inside the wedlock. Nonetheless, about 44% of all the children are born outside marriage. The end result is that nobody discriminates non-married parents, nobody even perceives it as odd, nobody pressures people to marry if they don’t want to do so. Marriage still remaining the default option means that people who plan having children often consider the possibility of getting married. Some decide to do so, others decide against it. Either way, marriage isn’t enforced upon anybody. Personally, I was born out of wedlock. In my entire live, nobody has ever discriminated me because of it.

    Anyway, in theory common behaviors that are harmless and not strictly enforced are possible.
    In practice, well, I know that often norms are both harmful and strictly enforced.

    ———
    *Personally, I’m genderqueer and bisexual. A world where all people lived as if they were unisex would be perfectly fine with me. But I keep on getting the impression that this is not the case for many other people who, unlike me, actually have gender identities and who enjoy participating in various forms of typical gender expression. As long as they do so in a harmless way, I won’t tell anybody else how to behave. For example, I won’t criticize anybody for wearing a dress and I won’t demand for some new unisex fashion. Simultaneously, I will criticize misogynists for making claims that “women are unsuited for athletics or challenging careers.” The former isn’t harmful for the society, while the latter is.

  166. John Morales says

    Holms, quoting me @135:

    Kinda petered out, after that.

    No it didn’t.

    Has it petered out yet?

  167. John Morales says

    Holms, need a pep talk? Sure.
    Come on, work with me here. Extend that inferential chain, use corollaries you yourself have stated. Don’t be intellectually shy!

    Anyway, lest it really peter out, let me proceed, though unfortunately prematurely skipping a conceptual which you yourself should be dealing with (i.e. not as much mental bang for you) but hey, there is slack — So, I got this much from you, so far:

    “I agree that trans men are ‘too buff’ for the women’s competition”, so that can be taken as a corollary for your world-view, no? Can function as a premise in further logical considerations?

    So we have trans men being too buff for women’s competition, but they are women in your estimation, and therefore will lose against men. Real men, that is, in your estimation.

    No?

  168. John Morales says

    [PS that was the first trap, and even though I told ya you still fell for it. Heh]

  169. John Morales says

    More button-pushing:
    “No it didn’t. There were substantive responses to your conversation, to which you did not reply.”

    Mmm-hmm. So I see.

  170. Holms says

    #176 John Morales

    Hm. Let me break this down for you, though this is the umpteenth plus one time I’ve endeavoured to make my point perceptible to you:

    Likewise, I have explained why the discrepancy exists, possibly twice in this very thread. But sure…

    In your estimation, trans men are women and trans women are men. Right?

    Trans men are of the female sex, trans women of the male.

    And you say men should not compete against women, that being unfair and all. Right?

    The male sex should not set foot in the league created for the female sex, in those sports where physicality and therefore sexual dimorphism is an issue. Right.

    So, trans men competing against women is, for you, the very same as women competing against women. Right?

    Wrong. Or, it depends. If the trans man has modified their body via hormone therapy, then they have taken a banned substance, testosterone. Without such physical transitioning, there is no need to leave the female league irrespective of whether the person identifies as a man, as personal identity does not change physicality.

    And you advocate for only women to compete against women, lest it be unfair. Right?

    Answered above, but hey why not another time for emphasis. In those sports or events where sexual dimorphism is an issue, with leagues created for the female sex, yes it is a matter of competitive fairness to exclude the male sex.

    So, you perforce advocate that trans men compete against cis women lest you be self-contradictory.
    Right?

    Wrong, as explained two steps above.

    #179 CR

    But the chess world isn’t segregated as most other sports are. Most things, up to the highest levels, are open to everyone. However, the reality is also that women are underrepresented (and generally outmatched) in chess, for a variety of social and historical reasons. Judit Pulgar is the only one so far to qualify for the world championship tournament (and only fairly recently, in 2005). Yet she did qualify, and she qualified simply by playing chess extremely well, not by proving she has the “right” genitalia to satisfy a bunch of assholes, because that would be nuts.

    Yes, and I agree with that approach: an open league (which for social rather than physical reasons is dominated by men) and a women’s league. What I have laid out above in reply to John is similar, though perhaps not very obviously so. The men’s league of say, the 100m sprint can be considered the open league, into which people born female can enter, while the reverse direction is closed.

    The rest of your post is not germane, but here’s a little tidbit for you: a friend of mine is going out with a women’s FIDE Master ranked player who has represented Australia (though I’d prefer not to identify her here), who can easily thrash me, and I used to go to this chess school taught by Alan Goldsmith. I do actually know something of the chess world.

    (No I’m not bragging about being good at chess, I grew to dislike it and have been shit at it ever since.)

  171. John Morales says

    Nice, Holms.

    OK. You claimed: “The male sex should not set foot in the league created for the female sex, in those sports where physicality and therefore sexual dimorphism is an issue.”

    So it depends on the actual sport, right? But only those which involve physicality.
    So, a contingent claim, not an absolute one.

    Very nuanced.

    (Also, any new league not specifically created for the female sex is therefore outside of your taboo, right? Not like this is an ad hoc qualification or anything)

    So, trans men competing against women is, for you, the very same as women competing against women. Right?

    Wrong. Or, it depends.

    Ah, it’s not a definitive take, yet again. OK.
    So, for you, sometimes, trans men competing against women is not actually women competing against women.

    Your criterion:

    If the trans man has modified their body via hormone therapy, then they have taken a banned substance, testosterone.

    Are they women, or are they not? Make up your mind.

    Wrong, as explained two steps above.

    Heh. Recall that this little conversational line was engendered by the claim someone made:
    “Trans people already have exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else does.”

    (Keep telling yourself that, it may help)

  172. Holms says

    #182 deepak shetty

    So some sport and some medicine are the only places you object to trans women being treated as women. Anything else ?

    This is difficult to answer in easily, as the word ‘trans’ is an umbrella term which covers: people that have physically transitioned, people that are mid transition, people that would like to transition but have yet to start, and people that have no desire to transition at all yet insist they are ____ sex regardless of that. To put it another way, there is not an easy, single meaning of the word trans, and the different populations within that term warrant different treatment in some areas and not in others.

    Since a thorough answer would be very long (and I have not fully worked out to my own satisfaction where my position even is in some instances), here is an answer that I will admit upfront is low in detail: Groups that wish to self-identify along the biological sex axis can do so, and should not be shut down / denied funding etc. on that basis. Prisons, under certain circumstances. Crime statistics, census data and similar should go by sex rather than identity, with additional data for those that have physically transitioned.

    Low detail, and all I can think of at the moment.
    ___

    #188 John Morales

    Has it petered out yet?

    It has now. I only corrected your description because you made it seem that all parties dropped that thread of the conversation, when you were the one that left questions to you unanswered.

    Not that I begrudge you spending your time as you see fit, you just seemed to let yourself off the hook a little.

  173. John Morales says

    Holms:

    It has now.

    Which means it had not then, right, else it would not be now.

    But sure. By your own claim, sometimes, trans men competing against women is not the same as women competing against women. But then, you think there are only men and only women.

    Happy to leave it here, Holms. You’re probably had enough head-ache for one day.

    Not that I begrudge you spending your time as you see fit, you just seemed to let yourself off the hook a little.

    Nah, I just didn’t want to spam there to get you to see the point where your mind dares not go.
    It’s taken a fair bit of hammering to get to this point. cf. my #154.

    (Unpleasant to realise your worldview is incoherent, I imagine)

  174. Holms says

    #193 John Morales

    So it depends on the actual sport, right? But only those which involve physicality.

    Ah, it’s not a definitive take, yet again. OK.

    Yes, which was pointed out early in this thread, and ages ago at B&W. The conversations were always around physicality and sexual dimorphism.

    So, for you, sometimes, trans men competing against women is not actually women competing against women.

    Say rather, sometimes the sex of a trans person is relevant, other times it is not.

    Are they women, or are they not? Make up your mind.

    In that case, the person in question is of the female sex but has taken a performance enhancing substance.

    “Trans people already have exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else does.”

    In that they are not banned from entering by being trans, contrary to what has been claimed by trans advocates on multiple occasions. Did you miss that that was what was being said? You even replied “You do know I am familiar with posts here, I still read it in my spare time?” But apparently you missed clarifications such as this one.

  175. Holms says

    (Unpleasant to realise your worldview is incoherent, I imagine)

    This comment is especially delicious, given that this entire line of conversation was due to your misunderstanding of my statement.

  176. John Morales says

    Holms, ah well, equines and hydration. Not like I have a stake in the matter.

    “Trans people already have exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else does.”

    In that they are not banned from entering by being trans, contrary to what has been claimed by trans advocates on multiple occasions.

    Perhaps, but if so, no thanks to you and your ilk — that is what you are railing against, you know? Y

    I mean, you like to think I misread you, but I don’t.

    Cis men are the buffest of the buff.
    Trans women are de-buffed men, who try to feminise themselves.
    Cis women are the weakest of the weak.
    Trans men are buffer than cis women, but feebler than trans women.

    That’s your ranking in the physicality stakes, no?

    (Tell me some more of how I misread you. 🙂 )

  177. John Morales says

    (Obs, that any halfway competent woman athlete will outcompete any regular joe schlob who is not an athlete at their sport(s) is not a consideration for you)

  178. John Morales says

    Oh well, the momentary rise in to-and-fro has subsided. Shame.

    In that they are not banned from entering by being trans, contrary to what has been claimed by trans advocates on multiple occasions.
    [later]
    In that case, the person in question is of the female sex but has taken a performance enhancing substance.

    So, trans men who have undergone hormone therapy can’t compete in sport of whatever sort, because part of their physical therapy entails enhancing their performance beyond that of mere cis women.

    How exactly does that mean they are not banned from entering?

  179. John Morales says

    PS
    Holmes, you earlier:

    I don’t recall seeing anyone express or agree with the idea that trans men should not compete in male leagues. Do you have a citation?

    Heh. An easy one, now, no clickety-clicking required. See above.

  180. John Morales says

    You mob (TERFs) imagine you’ve gone past this business of [∀ x, men are better at x than are women], but you except physical sports from that. Very feminist of you, indeed.

    (I notice these things)

  181. John Morales says

    PS Holms, have you ever watched Hell’s Kitchen? I have.

    Competitive cooking, very physical reality show, better than most by far. An art form, that is.

    Anyway, point being, women do no worse than men there. But it sure is physical and competitive.

    Now, you might argue whether lifting the very heaviest weight or whether being that almost-a-second better at running some distance is more representative of real-world activities than mere cooking. If you wanted to try to sustain a losing proposition, that is.

    (Yeah, I’m in a mood, and frustrated a bit how you aren’t squeaking nearly enough for my chompings. So, this is another tack, to try to engage you.

    Obs, telling you all this upfront, so I can’t be accused. You might consider it trolling you, if you wish — but then your troll-killing persona would emerge, no? You made that clear in a previous conversation. Go for it! Suck that deliciousness deeply!)

  182. Holms says

    John Morales

    Perhaps, but if so, no thanks to you and your ilk — that is what you are railing against, you know?

    Wrong. I for one oppose anyone trying to blanket ban trans people from sports, which is not a thing that arises from the gender critical position anyway. If you believe I or another B&W denizen has advocated for such, please point to it.
    (You won’t because you can’t.)

    Cis men are the buffest of the buff.
    Trans women are de-buffed men, who try to feminise themselves.
    Cis women are the weakest of the weak.
    Trans men are buffer than cis women, but feebler than trans women.

    I have stated that the male sex is generally larger and stronger than the female sex, but where have I stated any comparative strength between trans women and trans men? I distinctly recall saying that they can both compete in male leagues.

    (Tell me some more of how I misread you.

    As was already stated, the misread was that you did not realise my comment “Trans people already have exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else does” was to point out that trans women aren’t being barred from all sports as they like to pretend, only the female side of competition. You didn’t know the context of that comment because you don’t make a habit of reading B&W comments.

    (Obs, that any halfway competent woman athlete will outcompete any regular joe schlob who is not an athlete at their sport(s) is not a consideration for you)

    Yes it is. I have stated in this very thread the that sexual dimorphism needs to be taken on an aggregate basis rather than individual, so as to look at the mean, median and extremes of the statistics. I have also stated that there is plenty of overlap at amateur levels of sports, where entry can be lax. I have also stated that a female chess FIDE Master I know could crush me. I have made the same points in greater detail in other threads (except the chess master, that’s new to this thread), and have sated that the level of overlap between the sexes means an elite female athlete, or even a merely decent one, can beat plenty of men in her event.

    So, are you stating that I have not considered the subject of overlapping athleticism out of lazy ignorance of what I have said, or are you lying about it?

    So, trans men who have undergone hormone therapy can’t compete in sport of whatever sort, because part of their physical therapy entails enhancing their performance beyond that of mere cis women.

    Speaking of potential dishonesty, I have already stated at least twice in replying specifically to you in this thread, that I have no problem with trans men joining the male league. And I know you read those posts, because you replied to and even quoted from them.

    You mob (TERFs) imagine you’ve gone past this business of [∀ x, men are better at x than are women], but you except physical sports from that. Very feminist of you, indeed.

    Because physical sports are the subset of x where sexual dimorphism is a factor. Or do you doubt that that exists?

    (I notice these things)

    Maybe, but all I see here is evidence of you forgetting them afterward.

    Competitive cooking, very physical reality show, better than most by far. An art form, that is.

    Anyway, point being, women do no worse than men there. But it sure is physical and competitive.

    In a discussion of athletics pursuits, you turn to… cooking? Lol.

  183. consciousness razor says

    The rest of your post is not germane,

    How is it not germane? Consider an obviously stupid ranking like Morales mentioned in #198. Using a reasonable and accurate performance metric, instead of shit like that, is basically what the rest of my post was about. That’s the issue here, whether or not we’re talking about a sport that involves “physicality.”
    You’ve been going on and on about sexual dimorphism, but that tells us about our species or groups within it. It isn’t a good choice for measuring how well an individual performs, and it isn’t even an attempt to do anything like that. What you’ve got is precisely an attempt to avoid doing that kind of task and to come up with a substitute in the form of stereotyping. But we know empirically that this is not accurate or reliable; and you can’t even given a coherent reason why we should try to use it as a substitute, because a person isn’t a species or a subpopulation or a distribution or anything like that. It’s as if we needed a good yardstick, but you kept talking about the different types of yogurt. I don’t know what to tell you, but they’re just not the same fucking thing, Holms. How hard is it to see that?

  184. Holms says

    Sex is the source of a highly visible disparity within the species, so we divide athletics events and such along that axis. And, “What you’ve got is precisely an attempt to avoid doing that kind of task and to come up with a substitute in the form of stereotyping” -- are you suggesting that it is mere stereotyping which suggests that men are generally larger and stronger than women? Please don’t be that guy…

  185. consciousness razor says

    and you can’t even given a coherent reason why we should try to use it as a substitute, because a person isn’t a species or a subpopulation or a distribution or anything like that.

    Also because (it should go without saying) there was no need for a substitute in the first place. You can just determine, very directly and straightforwardly, how a person performs at whatever it may be. That was at least ostensibly what we wanted after all (not an excuse to engage in discrimination), and nothing worth keeping in our current institutions is preventing us from doing just that.

  186. consciousness razor says

    Holms #206: read my #207 which was cross-posted. You’re saying that this proxy works sometimes, although it is very flawed, and that explains why people (in some but not all cases) have chosen it, which has lead to where we are now. They may have thought it was good enough for them, but why not do the obvious and use an actual no-nonsense metric that isn’t so flawed?

  187. says

    Shorter Holmes: Look, in athletic events some people have bodies that give them natural advantages over other people. We should never allow any person to compete against another person over which they have one or more of those natural advantages.

    Rest of the universe: Um, wouldn’t that mean the death of sport entirely?

    SH: No, of course not! Don’t straw-man me! I’m talking about relevant differences. I’m talking about unfair differences. And as we all know, the only relevant, unfair differences are those that exist when an MtF trans* person competes in women’s leagues. Once we ban trans* people from women’s competitions, no natural advantages will exist. At least none worth talking about. I mean, I haven’t talked about any. I haven’t put forth any principles for determining which natural advantages are fair and which are unfair. I haven’t considered the possibility that other unfair natural advantages exist. And I certainly haven’t put forth any definitions of “fairness” as it applies to sport. Those things would imply that we do not know, a priori, that MtF people have many unfair natural advantages and that all other people have none. Such implication is inappropriate in this conversation. In fact, the implication that any person who is not an MtF trans* person has an unfair natural advantage is unfair to cis* people! And to intersex people, now that I think about it, who should never be lumped in with trans* people, but really shouldn’t be mentioned other than to say that they shouldn’t be mentioned, because there are no harms to intersex athletes relevant to this discussion, and discussing how intersex people have been treated in the name of rooting out unfair MtF natural advantages would be uncouth and inappropriate. The far better thing is to pretend that they do not exist.

    ROTU: But this isn’t about trans* people? No transmisogyny here?

    SH: Heavens forfend! This is about eliminating unfair natural advantages. It just happens to happen that the only unfair natural advantages which exist accrue to MtF trans* people. Get rid of the MtF trans* people, and the entire world revels in glorious, natural fairness.

    ROTU: Gotcha.

  188. says

    @Holms:

    Sex is the source of a highly visible disparity within the species, so we divide athletics events and such along that axis.

    Jesus’ Favorite Bunny Pearl!

    For Freud’s Sake, Holms, no. Just fucking no.

    We divide athletic events along such an axis because of sexism. Apparently being “gender critical” means forgetting that sexism exists, has existed, and dramatically shaped the current institutions of our societies, including those of sport.

  189. John Morales says

    Holms @204:

    So, trans men who have undergone hormone therapy can’t compete in sport of whatever sort, because part of their physical therapy entails enhancing their performance beyond that of mere cis women.

    Speaking of potential dishonesty, I have already stated at least twice in replying specifically to you in this thread, that I have no problem with trans men joining the male league. And I know you read those posts, because you replied to and even quoted from them.

    No problem with them joining, because they’re too enhanced to compete, is your stance.
    Remember, immediately before that quotation from me I had quoted from you:
    “In that case, the person in question is of the female sex but has taken a performance enhancing substance.” — i.e. can’t compete in WADA sanctioned sports.

    (What was that about “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else?”)

  190. John Morales says

    [grr — that one was worth fixing]

    So, trans men who have undergone hormone therapy can’t compete in sport of whatever sort, because part of their physical therapy entails enhancing their performance beyond that of mere cis women.

    Speaking of potential dishonesty, I have already stated at least twice in replying specifically to you in this thread, that I have no problem with trans men joining the male league. And I know you read those posts, because you replied to and even quoted from them.

    No problem with them joining, because they’re too enhanced to compete, is your stance.
    Remember, immediately before that quotation from me I had quoted from you:
    “In that case, the person in question is of the female sex but has taken a performance enhancing substance.” — i.e. can’t compete in WADA sanctioned sports.

    (What was that about “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else?”)

  191. Holms says

    #207 CR

    That was at least ostensibly what we wanted after all (not an excuse to engage in discrimination), and nothing worth keeping in our current institutions is preventing us from doing just that.

    A very large number of female athletes disagree with you on that one. Recall that having female inclusion in visible life was a battle in itself, and it was a battle for representation of those previously excluded on the basis of sex. If you are arguing for some kind of ELO system for e.g. running events, then you are arguing for women to be pushed down the competitive ranks and into the weeds (relative to elite competition).

    Sex is a component of full participation in public life, and sex segregation of sports helps combat that.
    ___

    #209 Crip
    I’m not even going to bother fisking that tendentious mess. Let’s just put a giant asterisk next to the whole thing, with “*Dubious characterisation, best ignored” at the bottom.

    We divide athletic events along such an axis because of sexism.

    Hah! Obviously and hilariously wrong. Creating sex segregation is the exact opposite -- it increases female visibility in sports. Abolishing such would decrease it.
    ___

    #211 John

    No problem with them joining, because they’re too enhanced to compete, is your stance.

    Against women, yes. Do read all the way through something before commenting please.

    (What was that about “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else?”)

    Yes, in that opposing MtF inclusion in women’s leagues does not entail barring them from sports altogether, as they frequently claim or imply. Again, this has been explained to you.

  192. Holms says

    Wow, me too.

    #211 John

    No problem with them joining, because they’re too enhanced to compete, is your stance.

    Against women, yes. Do read all the way through something before commenting please.

    (What was that about “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else?”)

    Yes, in that opposing MtF inclusion in women’s leagues does not entail barring them from sports altogether, as they frequently claim or imply. Again, this has been explained to you.

  193. John Morales says

    Holms:

    Sex is a component of full participation in public life, and sex segregation of sports helps combat that.

    I played social but very competitive Squash for many years — in a mixed league.

    (Not all sport is played at the elite level; the vast majority is not)

    Remember, immediately before that quotation from me I had quoted from you:
    “In that case, the person in question is of the female sex but has taken a performance enhancing substance.” — i.e. can’t compete in WADA sanctioned sports.

    (What was that about “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else?”)

    (What was that about “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else?”)

    Yes, in that opposing MtF inclusion in women’s leagues does not entail barring them from sports altogether, as they frequently claim or imply.

    There’s still that conceptual place you cannot visit. Evidently. My emphases must seem utterly arbitrary to you, a sign of my incomprehension. But I know better.

    Again: I was talking most explicitly about FtM, and there’s your response to that: it’s about MtF.

    (Because of course it is)

  194. John Morales says

    PS I suppose I should tie this loose thread:

    Against women, yes. Do read all the way through something before commenting please.

    But your basis was upon performance enhancers — which equally would bar them against men.
    And that’s most certainly not the basis for your objection the other way.

    (Almost like your objections were sui generis or something)

  195. Holms says

    (Not all sport is played at the elite level; the vast majority is not)

    Thank you for telling me things I’ve already stated… I guess?

    There’s still that conceptual place you cannot visit. Evidently. My emphases must seem utterly arbitrary to you, a sign of my incomprehension. But I know better.

    Your ‘blinkers’ are a product of your lack of comprehension. The comment “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else?” was stated in a particular context: it was part of a conversation regarding MtF athletes proclaiming that they were being banned from all sports, the rebuttal to this being that they do have the right to enter sports. Being denied entry to the female events is not at all a ban from all sports.

    Again: I was talking most explicitly about FtM, and there’s your response to that: it’s about MtF.

    Yeah, because the comment you quoted was stated in the context of FtM, and you took it out of that context and into the wrong one. Again, your failure.

  196. John Morales says

    Holms:

    Thank you for telling me things I’ve already stated… I guess?

    One more try: Your objection is based on an appeal to nature purely relating to elite athletes competing against each other in the one case, and on doping rules in the other.
    That’s on the record, of course.

    The comment “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else?” was stated in a particular context: it was part of a conversation regarding MtF athletes proclaiming that they were being banned from all sports, the rebuttal to this being that they do have the right to enter sports.

    So it’s not an objection towards transgender competitors in general, rather it’s particularly particular about some of them. Not a revelation, by now.

    Anyway, nope. It was a direct response to my claim “So? Maybe it can be revised again to allow trans people to participate.”, which was trans people’s ability to participate, not about a subset of them.

    Being denied entry to the female events is not at all a ban from all sports.

    Consider these two claims:
    A -- “exactly the same opportunity to participate in sports as everyone else”
    and
    B -- “exactly the same opportunity to participate in all sports as everyone else”

    Though you write as if it were A, you evince thinking in terms of B.

    Yeah, because the comment you quoted was stated in the context of FtM, and you took it out of that context and into the wrong one. Again, your failure.

    Failure to get through to you, indeed. Can’t expect miracles, but.

  197. consciousness razor says

    If you are arguing for some kind of ELO system for e.g. running events, then you are arguing for women to be pushed down the competitive ranks and into the weeds (relative to elite competition).

    You’re clearly not talking about an Elo system, which refers to ratings like those used in chess. That’s not at all the same idea as sports institutions organizing themselves to be non-segregated. Both are good ideas, but they’re two distinct ideas and not one, so don’t mix them up. (Also, Arpad Elo was the guy’s name. It’s not an acronym and shouldn’t be in all caps.)
    Anyway, nobody will be pushed anywhere. How well someone competes is totally unaffected (in absolute terms or in relative ones). What I just said could not be more obvious … they just play however well they play.
    You have no point here. You’re apparently just confused, so think a little more before you start complaining again. You may find that there’s nothing to complain about. Have you considered yet that you may be wrong and may have to change your mind? Or am I talking to a wall?

  198. Holms says

    #218 John

    One more try: Your objection is based on an appeal to nature purely relating to elite athletes competing against each other in the one case, and on doping rules in the other.

    Actually it’s based on competitive fairness and a desire for equal visibility to the sexes, which of course requires looking at multiple sources of unearned advantage.

    So it’s not an objection towards transgender competitors in general, rather it’s particularly particular about some of them. Not a revelation, by now.

    No, as has been explained at least three times now, it was a reply made in a specific context to a specific point. You are intentionally taking it out of context and shoehorning it into another. You are crowing over ‘discovering’ something obvious and therefore not much of a discovery: it makes less sense out of context.

    Anyway, nope. It was a direct response to my claim “So? Maybe it can be revised again to allow trans people to participate.”, which was trans people’s ability to participate, not about a subset of them.

    And note that your comment was in reply to “Elsewhere women’s sport was devised to overcome their dimorphic disadvantages and allow women to participate.” Highlights added to show that the conversation was specifically about trans women entering women’s sports; it was not a call to bar entry of trans people to sport in general.

    And so as already stated, my reply was a rebuttal to the assumption made by you that banning entry to the female league was a general ban.

    Thank you for highlighting that you were the source of that fuckup.

    Failure to get through to you, indeed. Can’t expect miracles, but.

    The majority of this conversation arose out of your misunderstanding of context, and your mistaken assumption detailed above.
    ___

    #219 CR

    You’re clearly not talking about an Elo system, which refers to ratings like those used in chess. That’s not at all the same idea as sports institutions organizing themselves to be non-segregated. Both are good ideas, but they’re two distinct ideas and not one, so don’t mix them up.

    I didn’t, I was wondering if you were suggesting that (or something similar to that) as a replacement for sex segregation in athletics.

    Also, Arpad Elo was the guy’s name. It’s not an acronym and shouldn’t be in all caps.

    True, I often forget that.

    Have you considered yet that you may be wrong and may have to change your mind?

    Yes, have you? /s
    Longer: my position is the result of a lengthy and continuous thought process, involving questioning my thought process along the way. I trust yours is too.
    The simple fact that people disagree is not evidence that the other person has not been thinking; and even if that was the case, there is always the possibility that the one not thinking was yourself. You don’t assume that about yourself, right? Of course not, because you are intimately aware that you have a thought process and that it seems sound to you. Please extend that same credit to others.

  199. says

    @Holms:

    I am no longer comfortable continuing this conversation here, but I would like to address your definitions of man and woman, and your defense of those definitions in the context of my critique that they provide justification for invading the bodily privacy of individuals. (I spoke only of women before, but the justification is no different logically when applied to men or others.)

    I’ll let you know when the post is up on Pervert Justice so you can respond then, if you wish.

  200. John Morales says

    Holms:

    And note that your comment was in reply to “Elsewhere women’s sport was devised to overcome their dimorphic disadvantages and allow women to participate.”

    Yeah, thus my response “So? Maybe it can be revised again to allow trans people to participate.”

    Again, an argument to tradition, but if sport could be changed to allow for women to participate back in the day, why can’t it be changed anew to allow trans people to participate in this day and age? Radical idea, I know…

    And so as already stated, my reply was a rebuttal to the assumption made by you that banning entry to the female league was a general ban.

    Dunno about you, but when I speak of trans people, I don’t exclude half of them thereby.

    (And neither of the words ‘man’ or ‘woman’ is any harder to type than is ‘people’)

  201. Holms says

    #221 Crip
    I have no issue with words having different meanings in alternate settings -- specialist jargon is made of this -- but when people say things like ‘lesbians can have penises’ and the like then there will be a collision between two competing meanings of the words being contested. Worse, this particular collision is not simply one of linguistics (though it includes that), it is one of framing systems of sex and gender. And as stated to CR, my arrival to my present opinion has been a long process. I have seen and considered your side before (including as laid out by yourself in previous arguments), I don’t see why you would expect another go around would be productive if it is much the same as what I have read, considered, and disagreed with in my previous encounters with it.
    ___

    #223 John

    Yeah, thus my response “So? Maybe it can be revised again to allow trans people to participate.”
    …but if sport could be changed to allow for women to participate back in the day, why can’t it be changed anew to allow trans people to participate in this day and age?

    Could do, but only to the detriment of competitive fairness and female visibility in sports. As has been laid out umpteen times already.

    Again, an argument to tradition,

    Have you forgotten what that is? An appeal to tradition requires ‘we do it this way because that’s the way it has always been done’ or similar. Please point to me using such an argument or admit that you are mistaken.

    Dunno about you, but when I speak of trans people, I don’t exclude half of them thereby.

    Really? You’ve never spoken about trans women or trans men separately from one another?? Incredible! As in, cannot be credited, because you absolutely have done so.

    Anyway, I have noticed that you usually retreat from an argument once your mistakes have had an airing. And, silence on any point remaining signifies assent, right?

  202. John Morales says

    Holms:

    Anyway, I have noticed that you usually retreat from an argument once your mistakes have had an airing. And, silence on any point remaining signifies assent, right?

    Anyway, that was a personal jab, not a continuation of the conversation.

    What you’ve noticed, eh? Your acumen is truly notable.

    As for your aping of my rhetorical flourishes, heh. You sure got me!

  203. Holms says

    Anyway, that was a personal jab, not a continuation of the conversation.

    Oh suuuure… it’s a completely new conversation because a new topic was introduced. Hey, whatever squirm you need to get out of your previous statement, right?
    As for “silence signifies assent”, you said it but I wonder if you believe it. You’ve been known to flip flop on this point before; strangely, it seems to turn based on whether you are saying it to someone else, or they are saying it to you. A coincidence I’m sure.

  204. xx says

    #225

    “I have no issue with words having different meanings in alternate settings — specialist jargon is made of this — but when people say things like ‘lesbians can have penises […] ’”

    It’s only when people decide to make gender-feels take precedence over material biological realty that the construction you wrote can happen.

    It, of course, is bullshit.

    A woman is an adult human female.
    Lesbianism is female same sex attraction.

    No male can be a lesbian, no matter how hard he feels that he is.

  205. Silentbob says

    @ ^

    It’s only when people decide to make gender-feels take precedence over material biological realty…

    Lol.
    Please O wise one, tell us more about this “realty” of which you speak.