Page 3 | Can someone please explain... (trans)

(1000 Posts)
WednesdayAllTheWay Sat 12-Dec-20 12:56:10

So I've been trying to follow this trans situation for a while but now having skin in the game in the form of a child (and also noting through work how more and more people are identifying as the opposite gender) I need to understand it better.
Feel slightly embarrassed asking but:
1. How exactly do the words sex and gender differ in this area?
2. What reasons do trans people give for wanting to change their physical bodies? As in what do people believe they will get from this that they couldn't get in the body they were born with?
3. What are children being taught at school about this?
Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
MichelleofzeResistance Sun 13-Dec-20 09:52:28

For example, you will often hear people talk about the "gender pay gap" so in that example "gender" means physical sex".

Yes. This coyness over using the word sex has led to the confusion that now messes with women's equality. The pay gap disadvantages all biological adult females as a class, not people who choose feminine expression. To try and obscure that in an attempt to make sex unfixed and a matter of choice and so conflate gender into vanishing sex to reduce the distress of a very small proportion of the population harms the entire class of female people, which is after all half the human race.

This is ideology; a choice of belief. It is not fact, and should not be presented as fact, and it becomes offensive when it is done so because in the example as above: it is harmful to half the human race who are disadvantaged by the fixed reality of their birth sex and cannot just identify out of these issues.

MichelleofzeResistance Sun 13-Dec-20 09:59:29

Telling someone that what they are experiencing isn't what they are experiencing is kind of the definition of gaslighting.

Ok. What I am experiencing, and have experienced all my life, is that biological sex is a fixed fact of reality, and my identity is based entirely on the fact of my biological sex. I am experiencing distress and oppression from claims that in fact this doesn't exist, and attempts to remove language that allows my identity to be based in my sex for the convenience of those of the other sex. Who appear to want to make choices that benefit them without concern for what those choices do to me. I am not, for example, willing to be called a 'cervix haver', or that 'c**' word that implies I somehow identify with restrictive, oppressive, toxic gender stereotypes and have willingly embraced my own oppression.

I am also experiencing distress and exclusion from resources that I need to be female only, and cannot access when made mixed sex.

I'm very happy to listen to your experience, your belief system and to support its freedom of expression alongside other different belief systems and other people's needs being met in the way they need too . That's how religious and cultural tolerance works.

MichelleofzeResistance Sun 13-Dec-20 10:06:48

All the moralities tell them that it is the duty of women, and all the current sentimentalities that it is their nature, to live for others; to make complete abnegation of themselves, and to have no life but in their affections.

Brilliantly put. And very much exactly what gender stereotypes do to female humans.

Please note too, the extreme difference in the above, and in the embraced expression of feminine through clothes, appearance, bodily aspects and language choices. It is only female humans that get stuck with the above regardless of whether they do feminine expression or not. Because it's a sex based thing affecting a sex class; not a choice.

WednesdayAllTheWay Sun 13-Dec-20 11:41:31

@Alethiometrical
Wow. shock

OP’s posts: |
WednesdayAllTheWay Sun 13-Dec-20 11:50:32

@Positrans
Ok thanks for the explanations.
So do you dispute the figures above suggesting only a tiny minority of trans people experience gender dysphoria?
And regarding the example about women shaving off a beard, of course I agree that most women will do that, but I would also suggest this is because we have been socially conditioned to view body or facial hair as shameful and disgusting. Most women shave their under arm hair which is a normal feature on a woman, for the same reason. Social constructed views are not innate, but you seem to be suggesting that trans people feel their bodies don't fit in an innate way. Is that right, and if so, what makes you sure?
And finally, you seem to be disagreeing with the WHO definition of sex quoted above. Why?

OP’s posts: |
HecatesCatsInXmasHats Sun 13-Dec-20 11:54:14

Positrans on a separate thread you talked about 'gender identity' and that's morphed since then into 'sex identity.' Can you explain what a 'sex identity' feels like. I don't believe we really got anywhere with gender identity last time. I want to understand why your sex identity is that of the opposite sex and how you know it to be so?

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Alethiometrical Sun 13-Dec-20 12:55:31

Another example is the term "gender identity" which is actually much closer in meaning to "sex identity". It's confusion over the latter which leads some people to assume that being trans has everything to do with gender stereotypes, whereas of course, it doesn't. Some trans girls for example are tomboys (I was one myself) but they still identify as female

This is bollocks.

Sex is not an "internal feeling" and it is an identity only insofar as culture has conditioned us to think that our sex determines how we should behave.

I do not 'identify' as a woman; I simply am one. And I have no 'gender identity.'

Why would I identify with a system which oppresses me?

According to evolutionary biologist, Dr Emma Hilton, sex is determined by whether we carry large gametes (which make ova) or small gametes (which make sperm). This is beyond/underneath even genes & chromosomes.

This aspect of our bodies is immutable; we are a sexually dimorphic species - we reproduce sexually.

Alethiometrical Sun 13-Dec-20 12:56:21

John Stuart Mill is an intellectual hero of mine - the clarity & precision with which he analyses human society still rings true.

Alethiometrical Sun 13-Dec-20 13:01:15

harms the entire class of female people, which is after all half the human race

@MichelleofzeResistance good point - although... I recently read that female humans now constitute slightly less than 50% of the human ace because <drumroll> femicide - the termination of female-sexed foetuses in utero, or the infanticide of infant girls.

Huh, why couldn't they just identify out of being killed, eh?

Transactivism is such a white privileged first world politics.

MrGHardy Sun 13-Dec-20 15:39:16

@NancyDrawed

Hah, the fact alone that the definition of gender has to be more than twice as long as that for sex says everything.

TalkingtoLangClegintheDark Sun 13-Dec-20 15:52:21

If your sex identity is female, but you have physical masculinities typical of boys

So what I’m reading here is “if you wish you were female but you’re actually male” - is that it, Positrans?

TyroTerf Sun 13-Dec-20 20:26:15

Can you explain what a 'sex identity' feels like.

Does it even make sense to talk about what an identity feels like?

In my experience the bit where feeling comes in is the stab of irritation or discomfort when someone inadvertently denies or undermines one of the labels that's important to the individual.

As for sex identity, yes, this makes sense: when you're reading about males and females you mentally insert yourself into the appropriate class based on your sex. That's it.

PosiTrans' logic train falls over at the claim to a female identity in a masculine body though (and more the flip: technically referring to a feminine identity in a male body).

Because some of us are accurately placing ourselves in the female category - based on biology - and some of us are erroneously placing ourselves in that category based on gender: the conflation of female and feminine.

TheClitterati Sun 13-Dec-20 21:42:49

https://sexandgenderintro.com/

Good explanation of the basics here

Positrans Sun 13-Dec-20 21:49:55

"The pay gap disadvantages all biological adult females as a class, not people who choose feminine expression."

It also disadvantages trans women who pass. Trans women who don't pass are already disadvantaged of course (the unemployment rate is much higher in trans people than the population at large).

"my identity is based entirely on the fact of my biological sex. I am experiencing distress and oppression from claims that in fact this doesn't exist"

I've never met a trans person who says sex doesn't exist. I'm happy to confirm, as a trans woman, that sex is very real. I will add though, that it's not a simple binary, but something much more nuanced an complex.

"that 'c*' word that implies I somehow identify with restrictive, oppressive, toxic gender stereotypes and have willingly embraced my own oppression."*

Don't worry - that's not what the unmentionable word actually means. The butchest lesbian and the most feminine gay man can both come under the category of that word, because it doesn't refer to your behaviour, it refers to your sex identity and how it realtes to the sex you were assigned at birth.

"Ok thanks for the explanations."

You're welcome.

"So do you dispute the figures above suggesting only a tiny minority of trans people experience gender dysphoria?"

I would need to see the source before commenting. It certainly doesn't correlate with my experience meeting large numbers of trans people, almost all of whom experience gender dysphoria, most of them so severe that they had to go through transition to alleviate it. Not all of them though - I know 2 who haven't had gender dysphoria. Both do have gender euphoria though which essentially means they start from a different point rather than being qualitatively different to trans people with gender dysphoria.

" I would also suggest this is because we have been socially conditioned to view body or facial hair as shameful and disgusting."

What about men with breasts? I think it's more to do with the fact that humans are social animals and we don't generally want to be too different from the people we identify with.

"And finally, you seem to be disagreeing with the WHO definition of sex quoted above. Why?"

I would merely would point out that it's a very simplistic definition. The truth is a lot more complex. The relationship between sex chromosomes, genitalia, and gender identity is complex, and not fully understood. There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex. Furthermore, even if such tests existed, it would be unconscionable to use the pretext of science to enact policies that overrule the lived experience of people’s own gender identities.

"on a separate thread you talked about 'gender identity' and that's morphed since then into 'sex identity.' Can you explain what a 'sex identity' feels like."

Nothing has morphed - I merely explained that the term "gender identity" is actually closer in meaning to "sex identity". Normally I don't have to mention this, but on this forum, I have noticed a tendency to apply a strict binary to the terminology that is somewhat at odds with common usage.

I mentioned somewhere else that you can't explain what a sex identity feels like to someone who doesn't have one for the same reason you can't explain what red looks like to person who was born blind.

"I do not 'identify' as a woman; I simply am one. And I have no 'gender identity.' "

There's nothing wrong with that - I accept your experience without question and do not doubt that it is true.

"So what I’m reading here is “if you wish you were female but you’re actually male” - is that it, Positrans?"

Not quite. As you can see above, I use definitions of male and female that are not derived from a simple binary concept.

"some of us are accurately placing ourselves in the female category - based on biology - and some of us are erroneously placing ourselves in that category based on gender: the conflation of female and feminine."

The broad consensus in scientific circles is that gender identity is biological in origin. And as I've mentioned above, it's not about behavioural femininity or masculinity. I'm not very feminine and I was a tomboy growing up, but my identity from a very young age was clearly female and has never deviated from that.

HecatesCatsInXmasHats Sun 13-Dec-20 21:57:17

^I mentioned somewhere else that you can't explain what a sex identity feels like to someone who doesn't have one for the same reason you can't explain what red looks like to person who was born blin^d

Well that's handy and a tad offensive. Would you mind giving it a go? How do you know you're female?

OldCrone Sun 13-Dec-20 22:06:19

The butchest lesbian and the most feminine gay man can both come under the category of that word, because it doesn't refer to your behaviour, it refers to your sex identity and how it realtes to the sex you were assigned at birth.

But some of us find the c-word offensive. How about not using it because we don't want to be called that? It seems that trans people can demand their chosen pronouns from everyone else, and demand that we don't call them by their dead names. Why should trans people have that privilege if the rest of us can't?

I mentioned somewhere else that you can't explain what a sex identity feels like to someone who doesn't have one for the same reason you can't explain what red looks like to person who was born blind.

You seem to be acknowledging here that some of us don't have a 'sex identity', so obviously for those of us who don't (which is probably most people) it's inappropriate to use the c-word for us as it 'refers' to our 'sex identity' (which we don't have). It's inappropriate and offensive. Please stop using it.

gardenbird48 Sun 13-Dec-20 22:30:37

So how does your ‘femaleness’ manifest please Posit?

My femaleness manifests in my chromosomes determining that my body is designed to produce eggs and then to support a pregnancy and sustain the resulting baby (in the event of a successful carrying to term and then a live birth that I also survive obviously) .

What about you? What evidence have you found in your life that equates in any way to my experience?

Alethiometrical Sun 13-Dec-20 23:09:59

There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex.

This statement just shows how inaccurate your ideas are.

Alethiometrical Sun 13-Dec-20 23:12:13

The broad consensus in scientific circles is that gender identity is biological in origin.

Could you cite your sources, please? I work in a university and hang out with quite a few biologists. They would laugh out loud at your statement.

334bu Sun 13-Dec-20 23:32:27

*Both do have gender euphoria though which essentially means they start from a different point rather than being qualitatively different to trans people with gender dysphoria*

Forgive my ignorance but what on earth does this mean? Are you really suggesting that people suffering from an acute aversion to their own bodies because it doesn't align with their inner sense of sel, are the same as people who derive sexual pleasure from identifying with another sex group?

Italiangreyhound Mon 14-Dec-20 03:22:01

@WednesdayAllTheWay
"... now having skin in the game in the form of a child..."

You know there is a section on Mumsnet for LGBT children, don't you. It's under Being a parent.

TalkingtoLangClegintheDark Mon 14-Dec-20 08:02:05

As you can see above, I use definitions of male and female that are not derived from a simple binary concept.

So now you’re saying that words mean whatever you want them to mean?

I call bullshit on this argument. Deliberate bullshit designed to advance a simply untenable position.

You, and every other human being alive, were formed from the union of one female gamete and one male one.

That’s it. That’s all there are. Two. No more, no less. A binary, which the existence of people with DSDs does nothing to disprove; they do not constitute or belong to a “third sex” and it is deeply offensive to them to suggest they do.

A binary which the existence of people who wish, however ardently, that they were the opposite sex also does nothing to disprove.

Without commonly agreed meanings, words serve no function. I challenge you to provide your “definition” of the words male and female that is accurate, non-circular and comprehensible.

A similar definition of the word woman while you’re at it would be good too.

TalkingtoLangClegintheDark Mon 14-Dec-20 08:05:02

Are you really suggesting that people suffering from an acute aversion to their own bodies because it doesn't align with their inner sense of sel, are the same as people who derive sexual pleasure from identifying with another sex group?

It’s gobsmacking, isn’t it 334bu.

nauticant Mon 14-Dec-20 08:07:44

A suggestion OP. If you read any of the posts on this thread and find them to be describing things that don't seem to make sense or are incomprehensible feel free to assume that they're actually wrong rather than assuming that there's some profound complexity you don't understand.

TyroTerf Mon 14-Dec-20 10:05:15

There are no genetic tests that can unambiguously determine gender, or even sex.

This one always cracks me up.

Most of us don't need genetic testing to determine our sex. The proof of mine's at school at the moment. Conceived, gestated, and birthed myself. Unequivocal proof of my being female. By the same token, the person who provided the sperm is without doubt male.

Because that's what male and female mean.

Whatever identity Positrans and others may have, the name for that identity is not female. Because female refers to a reproductive sex class.

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