Page 8 | How is it "gender critical" to impose rigid binary social categories based on sex?

(1000 Posts)
CuriousPanda Tue 13-Jul-21 21:07:04

For most of history, the whole point of feminism was to oppse sex-based segregation and restrictions that were imposed by patriarchal society.

So I don't see how supporting strict gender categories, and simply calling them "sex-based" instead, in any way leans itself to "gender abolition".

One might get impression that "gender" is simply being used to mean trans people existing, and "gender abolition" simply means restricting trans people from being able to transition and use different gender labels. And basically nothing else.

With "sex-based rules and restrictions" being basically just gender roles but trans-proofed.

OP’s posts: |
Helleofabore Wed 14-Jul-21 09:04:51

Another wonderful thread. Thank you for starting it OP.

I did wonder just what you were basing your posts on as they come across rather like the usual prejudiced posts of people who actually have very little knowledge about what we discuss here outside what they gleen from other, ill-informed people. We see plenty of it. The aspersions that are actually incorrect, the simplistic, mantra-derived answers that certainly highlight the complete lack of evidenced thinking.

The hyperbole and the arguments that come from believing poorly written pieces by self-appointed thought leaders who are, at best, perhaps social media 'influencers'.

Anyone who presents us Montgomerie as an appeal to authority, is someone who spends far too much time allowing others to think for them. And again, we have seen quite a few this year who then also post articles or studies that don't really say what they think they say, or where a further well evidenced rebuttal has shown that article to be actually incorrect.

But, you started a thread, and it is not a new interpretation. Many of us have seen it all before. Whatever your intention was, whatever many of us clearly suspect was your intention, what you have achieved again is another thread for readers who are perhaps new to this subject to gather their own thoughts. To get a much greater understanding of why people feel that women's rights are under threat and the deep ramifications of being manipulated by superficial and simplistic mantras being used instead of clear evidence and studies.

As they read, they again see the logical and well thought out posts, the quick of the mark and ill-considered attempts to 'gotcha' that are eventually shown as being as empty as they always were.

Because as a pp mentioned up thread. The argument isn't actually with feminists, it is with material reality.

And when people are shown to not be able to accept material reality without having first to twist it to suit their purpose or to heavily filter it, it is shown that material reality still persists as it was. Now, of course the understanding of material reality grows as more evidence is amassed. But, it doesn't change to suit those who wish to deny it.

So, thank you CuriousPanda.

NecessaryScene Wed 14-Jul-21 09:06:28

The title of the thread makes quite a good summary of the GC position actually.

Being gender critical means NOT imposing rigid binary social categories based on sex.

But to make sure you don't that, you have to know what sex is in the first place. It allows you to monitor whether it's happening. Can't spot sexism without knowing what sex is.

And it allows you to put in compensatory mechanisms - for example, men winning all the sport because of their different bodies. Denying sex leads to a rigid binary social category - "only men are competitive in sport".

We eliminate the rigid binary social category by having a sports classification for female people. Then BOTH sexes can participate fully in competitive sport.

merrymouse Wed 14-Jul-21 09:12:21

I'd just love to hear the good faith argument.

On this website people regularly present good faith opposing arguments on a wide variety of controversial topics, so what is the good faith argument that explains why sex can be ignored in legislation and policy or why referring to sex should be taboo?

If this is all there is (a series of arguments that collapse on contact with the reality that sex has real and important consequences), why are so many political parties in thrall to the dogma? Looking at what the OP has presented, the only conclusion can be straightforward sexism.

More than anything I want to know how it's possible to breeze onto this website, somehow ignoring the conception and pregnancy menus, and argue that sex has no consequence. Do people really believe in the stork and mulberry bushes?

Shedbuilder Wed 14-Jul-21 09:14:02

Nicely put, Necessary.

And thanks, OP, for giving us all the opportunity to demonstrate how rational and progressive we are when compared to those who think that boys who like dolls must be girls and that putting on a frock and lipstick makes a man a woman.

Siblingquandary Wed 14-Jul-21 09:32:43

Have only read OP's posts.

They very much smack of 'I don't see colour man'

A well-meaning attitude that I grew out of years ago when I listened to people with more experience than me.

Tal45 Wed 14-Jul-21 10:17:58

People need to stop worrying about what gender they are IMO. As the WHO says, 'Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed.' Socially constructed basically means it is made up by people. Gender does not exist beyond society saying it does, what other animal has a gender? has a gender identity?

Gender identity has become the latest trend - think Punk, Goth, Emo - now we have Non binary. None of them really mean anything they are just people (particularly teenagers) trying to make sense of themselves, fit in and find a tribe in a world that they might really be struggling with, particularly if they have asd.

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chickenyhead Wed 14-Jul-21 10:38:09

Tal45

People need to stop worrying about what gender they are IMO. As the WHO says, 'Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed.' Socially constructed basically means it is made up by people. Gender does not exist beyond society saying it does, what other animal has a gender? has a gender identity?

Gender identity has become the latest trend - think Punk, Goth, Emo - now we have Non binary. None of them really mean anything they are just people (particularly teenagers) trying to make sense of themselves, fit in and find a tribe in a world that they might really be struggling with, particularly if they have asd.

I'm not sure the problem is how GC feminists identify (they don't).

Rather it is the exploitation of this gender identity, by sex offenders, exhibitionist, voyeurs, women haters and others.

ScreamingMeMe Wed 14-Jul-21 10:39:37

Faceicle

Just once, I'd like someone to accurately assess what our radical feminist arguments are and address them. Just once.

Same, same.

Call yourself what you wish as long as when material reality matters it can be legally defined, clearly and specifically. Call yourself what you wish as long as doing so doesn’t mean you expect the rest of society to be coerced to dismiss material reality in doing so.

This!

BreatheAndFocus Wed 14-Jul-21 10:53:55

But you are forced to call yourself "woman". Even though many trans men nd non-binary people do not want to use that label

No, I’m not forced at all, Curious Panda any more than I’m forced to call myself a human being. I’m a woman because that’s the name for an adult human female. It’s not a judgement on me. It’s just what I am.

Non-binary people also have a sex. They might not want to refer to it but they have one. Trans men, if they’re genuinely suffering from dysphoria, might wish to alter their presentation and even have surgery. That’s fine and up to them. I’m not going to stand there and point at them and draw attention to their sex if it causes them upset, but their Sex remains the same: female.Their gender presentation can change, but their sex is immutable.

The idea that one’s sex somehow dictates how one should dress/act is a conservative and regressive idea, and I’m bloody astounded that it seems so popular after I thought it had disappeared decades ago. Somebody can be female and never wear a dress or skirt, have short hair - whatever they choose. GC critical people disavow all those gender stereotypes. Men can cry and be sensitive, men can wear make-up, women can shave their heads, not wear make-up, etc etc.

‘Woman’ isn’t a gender label. You do seem confused and I say that in a nice way not to be snarky. I suspect you’re young? Look at people in the 1980s. We were so free to wear wtf we wanted. My male friends commonly wore eyeliner, Annie Lennox wore suits, Boy George wore dresses, I dressed in trousers and bought my clothes from Top Man.

Now I look on Twitter and I genuinely pity young people today. I see an intelligent 19 year old telling me he’s NB because he sometimes wears make up, I see a 16 year old girl thinking that wearing a lacy bra under a plaid shirt makes her “as queer as fuck” (her words). It’s just so very sad. How did we go so backwards? Why the actual fuck are these young people putting themselves into such regressive boxes? I could weep.

Abhannmor Wed 14-Jul-21 10:55:17

I've read a lot of feminist authors since 1971. But I must have missed the part about liberation or equality being achieved by allowing men into women's spaces. Anyway you are needed on the thread about that bloke in Toronto who sexually assaulted a 6 year old boy. Unkind people think the crime should not be recorded as being perpetrated by a woman because he is obviously a man. Go over there and tell them off!

thinkingaboutLangCleg Wed 14-Jul-21 11:02:01

I had previously read on these boards that people were saying it was compelled speech/language for someone to be obliged to use female pronouns for a trans woman who still had male genitalia

But that is compelled language, Suggestions.

Maria Maclachlan was ordered by the judge to call her attackers "she", though I'm pretty sure any 60-year-old woman would know whether the person who knocked them down was male or female.

Rape survivors are also being ordered by judges to call their rapists "she" in court.

Those are just the worst cases. 'Compelled speech' is when anyone is ordered to say something they know is not true.

Blibbyblobby Wed 14-Jul-21 11:05:11

But you are forced to call yourself "woman". Even though many trans men nd non-binary people do not want to use that label

I’m forced to call myself “woman” in the same way I’m forced to call myself “bipedal”, because it’s the word for an aspect of my body.

It is gender ideology that overloaded the word Woman with a load of social crap in order to justify its assertion that some female people are not “women” and some male people are.

Let go of that crap, OP, and you will find your problem with the idea of yourself as a woman goes away, replaced by much healthier feminist anger at the society that constructed all that crap and socialisation around the simple fact of sex in the first place.

TalkingOutYerArse Wed 14-Jul-21 11:20:49

Helleofabore

Another wonderful thread. Thank you for starting it OP.

I did wonder just what you were basing your posts on as they come across rather like the usual prejudiced posts of people who actually have very little knowledge about what we discuss here outside what they gleen from other, ill-informed people. We see plenty of it. The aspersions that are actually incorrect, the simplistic, mantra-derived answers that certainly highlight the complete lack of evidenced thinking.

The hyperbole and the arguments that come from believing poorly written pieces by self-appointed thought leaders who are, at best, perhaps social media 'influencers'.

Anyone who presents us Montgomerie as an appeal to authority, is someone who spends far too much time allowing others to think for them. And again, we have seen quite a few this year who then also post articles or studies that don't really say what they think they say, or where a further well evidenced rebuttal has shown that article to be actually incorrect.

But, you started a thread, and it is not a new interpretation. Many of us have seen it all before. Whatever your intention was, whatever many of us clearly suspect was your intention, what you have achieved again is another thread for readers who are perhaps new to this subject to gather their own thoughts. To get a much greater understanding of why people feel that women's rights are under threat and the deep ramifications of being manipulated by superficial and simplistic mantras being used instead of clear evidence and studies.

As they read, they again see the logical and well thought out posts, the quick of the mark and ill-considered attempts to 'gotcha' that are eventually shown as being as empty as they always were.

Because as a pp mentioned up thread. The argument isn't actually with feminists, it is with material reality.

And when people are shown to not be able to accept material reality without having first to twist it to suit their purpose or to heavily filter it, it is shown that material reality still persists as it was. Now, of course the understanding of material reality grows as more evidence is amassed. But, it doesn't change to suit those who wish to deny it.

So, thank you CuriousPanda.

Excellent post.

OP, give it up. The mental gymnastics you display to try and validate everything you say must be very exhausting.

suggestionsplease1 Wed 14-Jul-21 12:16:08

I think I'm beginning to get some clarification on the possible mindset here.

So, for trans - related issues, especially those situations where a person is considering transitioning, then sex is the only thing that is relevant to GC feminists - because after all, gendered behaviour is not really a thing - after all, what is it to be a man or a woman - either sex is perfectly capable of any characteristics and stereotypically feminine or masculine behaviour? Which is why GC feminists consider there is such a problem with identifying as the opposite sex or transitioning - because what's the point in swapping genitals when there absolutely nothing else that distinguishes a sense of what it is to be a man or a woman?

However, when it comes to things like access to spaces, GC feminists DO believe in gender over and above sex and whatever is between the legs, because they note that there IS more to it than genitals actually; there are characteristics and behaviours that seems to be associated with particular sexes, and it is important to recognise that and maintain separate spaces and treatment at times.

I think there's a bit of a consistency failure between the positions.

As a bit of an add on from this what do people think about the studies on rhesus monkey toy preference (they were given plush toys and wheeled toys to play with where "Male monkeys, like boys, showed consistent and strong preferences for wheeled toys, while female monkeys, like girls, showed greater variability in preferences"

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2583786/

That seems to be gendered behaviour that hasn't arise from culture, socialisation or prior experience.

To me it seems to suggest that there could well be biological underpinnings to gendered behaviour. And that doesn't mean it's an absolute thing, of course on an individual level there is variety of interest, expression and behaviour.

But it does seem like trends might be present, and these could possibly help explain why trans people have a sense that they are the opposite sex - especially in the light of all the studies showing that trans identifying appear to have brain structures and functioning more closely resembling the sex they identify with than their natal sex.

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180524112351.htm

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 14-Jul-21 12:21:54

Oh bloody hell, the rhesus monkeys again, and that transgender brainscan paper all in one patronising post. Where's my bingo card...?

ScreamingMeMe Wed 14-Jul-21 12:28:08

🤦‍♀️

midgemagneto Wed 14-Jul-21 12:28:52

There is a grey area that goes divide feminists as to the way to treat people who have surgically transistioned

This is usually disregarded as it's rather rare

Many are much more comfortable with fully operated trans people. Although if male socialisation is strongly evident, that comfort often vanished . Because you don't get to lose your height snd weigh advantage, so a transitioned male is still capable of being quite threatening / intimidating

Funnily enough the few fully transitioned people I have come across don't tend to be the ones pushing the full acceptance no question line

Many are not comfortable. This group often includes people who have suffered a lot of abuse , where the male figure is of itself triggering , and people from some religious backgrounds

DickKerrLadies Wed 14-Jul-21 12:29:54

That seems to be gendered behaviour that hasn't arise from culture, socialisation or prior experience.

Apart from the culture, socialisation or prior experience that meant that the researchers felt that 'wheeled toys' were boy toys in the first place.

FloralBunting Wed 14-Jul-21 12:32:47

It's not a case of what is the point of swapping genitals. It is not possible to swap genitals.

Sex is immutable.

Feminists have been challenging assumptions about gendered behaviour for a long time. We acknowledge it exists. We believe it is based in arbitrary stereotypes and should not be used to force people into boxes based on their sex.

However, given that sex exists and has consequences, those few occasions where it is relevant to maintain privacy, dignity or safety should be respected.

None of this is contradictory. But then, I'm talking to someone who, if I recall aright, has told lesbians they need to shh about exclusive same sex attraction, so I have no expectation that you will understand the concept of boundaries.

allmywhat Wed 14-Jul-21 12:33:18

However, when it comes to things like access to spaces, GC feminists DO believe in gender over and above sex and whatever is between the legs, because they note that there IS more to it than genitals actually; there are characteristics and behaviours that seems to be associated with particular sexes,

The part of feminist analysis you seem to be missing is a concept called patriarchy. I’m not sure how you missed this... can I suggest reading more (a lot more) before you post?

Obviously there’s more to it than genitals. Not all men are rapists and flashers. Socialisation plays a role. It’s clearly quite possible for men to grow up to be decent human beings, because some of them do.

But we live in a culture that encourages male aggression, entitlement and male exploitation of women. So women need separate spaces to be free from bigger, stronger, aggressive men who feel entitled to abuse and exploit us.

And until we don’t live in a patriarchy any more, women will continue to need those safe spaces, and allowing men to enter those spaces is putting out a red carpet for the abusers.

Stroopwaffle5000 Wed 14-Jul-21 12:39:25

Ohpulltheotherone

OP you can call yourself whatever you like, you can identify with whatever socially constructed gender you like - of a fluid mix of any of them i fact.

Honestly go for it. You can “feel” anyway you like and you can present any way you like.

But you cannot claim to change sex. And sex is what defines the rights and laws and legalities.

So if you are biologically a woman you will require female focused health care - ie smear tests, monograms, contraception etc etc.
Identifying with the male gender as a biological woman is fine but it doesn’t change the health care you will need.

That’s the difference isn’t it.

Gender critical means we don’t want to be defined by gender - that labels don’t need to exist.

But sex and gender are not the same thing.

So whilst I reject the idea of society placing traits upon me based on my female appearance, I appreciate that I am a woman biologically and that makes me different to biological male.

Gender can’t replace biological sex.

You can’t change biology.

You can identify as female if you wish but you are not female by nature / biology / actual literal physiology / your internal and external body parts and therefore will be restricted in the extent of how much you can “live” as a woman.

I don’t know why gender labels are such a big deal to people who say labelling is restrictive? It’s literally a contradiction isn’t it?

God I’m too old for this argument


This! Perfect explanation 👏

OP you sound very confused by sex and gender and this thread is making me feel like banging my head against a wall! I've had more sensible conversations with my 7 year old!

merrymouse Wed 14-Jul-21 12:48:00

But it does seem like trends might be present, and these could possibly help explain why trans people have a sense that they are the opposite sex

I think you are confused. Women are generally shorter than men. Using your logic that would indicate that tall women are male. Obviously that is not true because sex is not determined by height.

We could argue all day about what behaviours are in the normal range for men and women, but people who you outside the expected range just indicate that the expectation was wrong, not that sex doesn’t exist.

For comparison if England had won on Sunday, it would not have been evidence that the players weren’t English.

McCanne Wed 14-Jul-21 14:50:14

Feminism wasn't about opposing sex segregation. What?

McCanne Wed 14-Jul-21 14:52:03

Already been said but feminist gender criticism is more about gender abolition. Just worth repeating. It's not sex critical, it's not sex abolition.

suggestionsplease1 Wed 14-Jul-21 14:56:04

DickKerrLadies

*That seems to be gendered behaviour that hasn't arise from culture, socialisation or prior experience.*

Apart from the culture, socialisation or prior experience that meant that the researchers felt that 'wheeled toys' were boy toys in the first place.

Well in a way that doesn't really matter though does it? It's not like the subjects of the research were aware of this in such a way that it could influence their behaviour.

And additionally, it kind of doesn't matter what toys were chosen - just that there were 2 distinct types of toy, and there was play preference along sex lines.

The problem for GC feminists is not just the direction the difference takes; it's the fact that there is any difference at all.

Why would other male and female primates play differently with any novel play objects they are given when they haven't been socialised to play differently with them?

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