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"I'm not my feelings"

(31 Posts)
ahumanfemale Thu 20-Feb-20 11:28:08

Came across this page in the book "Me and My Feelings" by Vanessa Green Allen.

It occurred to me that a clear way to undermine the trans and gender ideology heaped in kids is this. The example of reframing "I'm angry" to "I'm feeling angry" applied to gender is fabulous.

"I'm non-binary" to "I feel non-binary" is quite a marked change. Same with gender descriptors for sex, whether "matching" or different.

If kids are taught that their is a difference between feelings and who they actually are, then naturally there will be some critical thought re gender identities...

OP’s posts: |
Aesopfable Thu 20-Feb-20 11:33:29

You're not trying to apply logic and reason again are you? You know that is a transphobic hate incident. Actually it is probably 10000 hate incidents which makes it almost a hate crime.

CharlieParley Thu 20-Feb-20 11:55:11

Excellent point. I shall remember this.

womaninblue Thu 20-Feb-20 12:26:32

It's a fairly basic tenet of some psychotherapies, learning that feelings are not you and that you can change the way you feel. You don't have to identify with feelings.

I haven't had much contact with schools for 15 years. Are children being taught they are their feelings? We didn't get to have feelings at school in my day, we only had behaviour!

Catting Thu 20-Feb-20 12:28:41

This is an excellent way to frame it. And, once feeling have been removed, maybe a person is in a coma, what do we have left? Biology 🧬

BoxOfBabyCheeses Thu 20-Feb-20 12:56:55

This should definitely be taught in schools! Isn't it similar to a child acting naughty instead of being naughty?

Goosefoot Thu 20-Feb-20 13:09:07

I haven't had much contact with schools for 15 years. Are children being taught they are their feelings? We didn't get to have feelings at school in my day, we only had behaviour!

I think that at the moment there seems to be a lot of emphasis on validating the children's feelings. The days when parents used to ignore toddlers having tantrums are gone, now it's considered the thing to sit with them and make sure they feel "safe".

Last week in school a second grader that I tutor was running down the hall screaming "You don't understand me, none of you understand what I'm going through". She's a nice kid, bright, and she's learned all the language that is useful to her from the staff she sees about her issues.

I don't know that anyone tells them "You are your feelings" but I think that's very much what they come to understand.

Al1Langdownthecleghole Thu 20-Feb-20 13:18:55

It’s a very good point. And I feel invites further discussion and questioning in a way that I am makes more difficult.

Cwenthryth Thu 20-Feb-20 13:58:51

It's a fairly basic tenet of some psychotherapies, learning that feelings are not you and that you can change the way you feel. You don't have to identify with feelings.
Absolutely - learning about cognitive behavioural therapy techniques/principles around thoughts, feelings & beliefs, schema etc, has helped me hugely as an adult, I remember thinking I wish someone has taught me this as a child/teen, it would have saved so much pain and distress.

Durgasarrow Thu 20-Feb-20 14:02:25


ahumanfemale Thu 20-Feb-20 14:28:16

It's a fairly basic tenet of some psychotherapies, learning that feelings are not you and that you can change the way you feel. You don't have to identify with feelings.

It is, but it doesn't appear to be what most child psychotherapy services are doing if a child says they're the opposite sex.

OP’s posts: |
SapphosRock Thu 20-Feb-20 15:47:38

What about homosexual feelings? Should gay people accept they have these feelings but it doesn't make them homosexual?

Not convinced. Sorry OP.

midegbabe Thu 20-Feb-20 15:52:37

Homosexuality is a fact not a feeling. I understand it's measuresble.

But you are right, who determines what is fact and what is feeling ?

Michelleoftheresistance Thu 20-Feb-20 15:53:38

I have a stronger inner sense that I am actually massively overweight with all scales I stand on saying I'm five stone three.

I have a strong inner feeling that my leg belongs to someone else, with DNA tests demonstrating it is mine and part of the body I formed in utero.

I have a strong inner feeling that despite having incontrovertible female biology I'm male.

I am strongly sexually and emotionally attracted to female bodies, with definite physical signals concurrent with scientific measures of sexual arousal.

One of these things is not like the others.

WhyNotMe40 Thu 20-Feb-20 15:54:49

I think it's more comparable to say that a person feels attracted to same sex people. If they feel attracted to same sex people and never to opposite sex people, well then by definition they are homosexual.
However if a person says they feel they are the opposite sex, and they feel distress because they are now, then by definition they have gender dysphoria. It doesn't mean that they are the opposite sex.

SapphosRock Thu 20-Feb-20 16:01:14

Many people dispute that homosexuality is a fact. Julie Bindel, herself a lesbian, claims it is a choice.

I would say sexuality and gender identity are both fundamental aspects of a person they have very little control over. Feelings do shape and define these people, it's silly to suggest they can just be ignored.

Michelleoftheresistance Thu 20-Feb-20 16:02:01

It's the usual mix of what is in someone's power to control and what becomes unhelpful thinking.

I feel sexual attraction to men and to women but probably more to women - well it's your choice, you have a lifetime to work out whether at any one time you feel more bi or gay and what label you feel suits you best. Express your sexuality however you feel best.

I prefer androgynous to masculine expression of myself in clothes, hairstyle, the version of my name I prefer, the activities I enjoy, the friends I choose, the way I interact with people - again your choice, you have a lifetime to explore and how you feel at one point in your life may not be how you feel at another point in your life, express yourself however you are.

I am objectively and scientifically white/adult/male/human but feel I am in absolute reality green/four years old/female/furry and expect to be treated absolutely as I choose to see myself, with others ignoring the evidence of their eyes and their own personal beliefs, and letting me access places and resources reserved for the groups I have identified into (green culture groups/my local nursery/ single sex female changing rooms/ the vets) without anyone saying or doing anything that jars me out of my sense of self...….?

It's a bit different.

Michelleoftheresistance Thu 20-Feb-20 16:05:16

Of course homosexuality is a choice in that you can decide whether to or not to act on it. We have no way of knowing how many people in history were gay but stuck to unhappy straight lives as safer and easier, or plain never realised there were options to heterosexuality and having a partner you were fond of but never getting why the rest of the world seemed to be finding sex so amazing when to you it's just..... argh let's have another cup of tea.

Gender identity - everyone has one, express it any way you want, have fun with that, it'll evolve with culture, fashion, your tastes and your age.

Believing that you are in reality something that you objectively are not and expecting others to facilitate you in this? Not really healthy thinking. I think this is what the OP meant by not being your feelings.

SapphosRock Thu 20-Feb-20 16:12:57

My point is few gay people would be able to live a fulfilling and happy lives if they were unable to respond to their homosexual feelings. And they want these feelings validated by having gay equality - ie same sex marriage recognised.

Similarly people with strong feelings of gender dysphoria find peace and comfort in transitioning to the gender they identify with and seek validation via the GRA.

Al1Langdownthecleghole Thu 20-Feb-20 16:13:31

Isn't this the heart of gender / sex / sexuality?

Being sexually attracted to women doesn't make you Male.
Being good at science doesn't make you Male.
Having swishy hair doesn't make you female.
Not liking your body growing boobs, pubic hair and having a period once a month doesn't make you trans.

midegbabe Thu 20-Feb-20 16:20:20

I think you are pointing at another grey many people who identify as trans actually have long lasting gender dysmorphia that can only be fixed by transition and how much of that is triggered by their environment

it's not at all clear how much gender identity can exist outside of the society you are in. Homosexuality seems to be constant across a range of societies whereas transgender identity is not. It seems that in many cases the trans feeling is reaction to something external ( society) not internal

So whilst transition may be the best route for some people, really I feel it should be a last resort and much more effort should go into helping people grow through it

Cwenthryth Thu 20-Feb-20 17:44:05

I think “I feel angry/sad/frightened” etc is very different from “I feel gay”...... well actually that’s not what you mean is it, you mean “I experience sexual attraction towards people of the same sex as me”. That’s not just a emotion. I have met people actually who say they ‘feel’ gay - wish to fit in with the gay scene, enjoy the social side, culture, freedom to dress and act flamboyantly etc - but are actually heterosexual. Just because they ‘feel gay’ - feel happy when enacting gay stereotypes - doesn’t actually make them homosexual.

Saying that “I am not my feelings” and advocating that young people are educated in cognitive behavioural theory/similar to help them manage difficult emotions, thoughts, behaviours etc..... is very different from saying people can ignore their sexuality at will.

Michelleoftheresistance Thu 20-Feb-20 20:43:02

Similarly people with strong feelings of gender dysphoria find peace and comfort in transitioning to the gender they identify with

I don't think anyone has the faintest problem with this part.

It's when the demands start that female people may no longer have single sex spaces, or a same sex hcp, or do anything that in any way threatens personal validation at the expense of other people's rights, beliefs and needs, that there's a problem.

ahumanfemale Thu 20-Feb-20 23:28:24

Can people really consciously choose who they are sexually attracted to? I haven't been able to chose to be sexually attracted to someone, ever. I either was or I wasn't, that could be slow but in it an explosion, but it wasn't a choice. Choice only comes in for me when I've chosen not to act on it, which is different.

I don't just feel I'm attracted to someone, I am. It's a biological reality too - I bet if you measured my heart rate etc when I was in close proximity to someone I'm attracted to, it would be different than someone I just like. And, if I'm attracted only to women, that makes me a lesbian. I'm not feeling like I am a lesbian, it's a label applied as a byproduct of same sex attraction, which is uncontrollable.

I have heard the argument that you can think yourself (choose to be) a lesbian, but I don't believe it. If you're a heterosexual woman who finds you are also attracted to other women, then you're bi, not heterosexual - just like a lesbian who is attracted to men. And due in part to the impact of social conditioning, that can be something that doesn't manifest until later in life. So rather than choosing to be lesbian, women who "choose" to be attracted to other women are perhaps choosing to walk through a door they hadn't previously realised was open to them.

As for biological sex, may feel like I'm a man, but that cannot ever make me one. The label "man" is not a feeling (although there may be feelings associated with it), it's a biological fact. It's not retroactively applied depending on how I feel.

Non-binary (as one of the millions of gender identities, including the gender identity of man and woman, as based on stereotypes, not biology) are also not biological realities, they're based on feelings: labels applied to how someone subjectively measures themselves against what they interpret as societal norms.

In the case of gender dysphoria, the feeling of being aligned with the opposite sex may be very strong, but it couldn't even exist if your sex was determined by how you feel. It illustrates that saying "I am a woman" as a biological male is incorrect but "I feel like I'm a woman" could be a true statement. And someone easing that discomfort by having surgery to make the like the opposite sex isn't a lie. It's not saying they ARE the opposite sex.

The point of my initial post was really that we have kids going to therapists (or parents or teachers) saying "I am [opposite sex/gender identity]" and were there a strongly applied basis upon which to respond "You feel you're X" the situation would be very different than "Oh yes, you're a boy then" (in the case if girls. If children are trained to distinguish between feelings and facts then they have the opportunity to live a much more emotionally comfortable life with regard their own self-concept.

OP’s posts: |
Goosefoot Fri 21-Feb-20 14:06:22

Many people dispute that homosexuality is a fact. Julie Bindel, herself a lesbian, claims it is a choice.

Yes, I've met a fair number of lesbians who say that. No one really knows what lies behind what we call sexual orientation - it's not easily measurable, we don't have a good sense of biological causes, if it's the same for everyone. It's not a common concept across cultures, and there even seem to be a few that have no concept of all of even homosexual behaviour.

The best answer we can really give is, it seems complicated, and as much as we have something like an innate sexuality it is probably multi-faceted.

There has been a strong tendency among liberals and on the left,probably since the AIDS crises, to want to give a single clear narrative which claims to be known and objective, and to worry that acknowledging for the lack of knowledge on this will result in people coming to conclusions other than the ones people want. If people know it's complex, maybe they won't accept the idea that sexuality has an essentialist character.

We can see now though that this is an extremely bad habit that conditions people to accept other simplified or tweaked narratives in order to lead people to a pre-determined conclusion.

All your posts come across as suggesting you don't

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