Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum << Prev Page of 8 Next >>
Topic: Bruce/Caitlyn (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Steve De Young
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2454
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 8:31am | IP Logged | 1  

Traditionally, women are imagined to "think differently" because they are seen as being more at the mercy of their hormones than are men. But that cannot be the case in a "transgender," can it? Not before treatment, anyway.
---------------------------------
This is exactly my issue with the transgender narrative. It seems to require acceptance of stereotypical gender identities that I thought we had moved past as a culture. When I was a kid, if a girl liked wearing pants more than dresses, playing sports, and action figures more than dolls, she was a 'Tomboy', and that was perfectly fine. Nobody thought she was a man trapped in a woman's body. Femininity was broad enough to include being a tomboy. And I believe the reverse should also be true. If a little boy wants to play with dolls, help mom around the house, and dance around in a tutu, more power to him, it doesn't mean he's got a female brain.

That Vanity Fair photo shoot, and all the other photos, reminded me of Drag Queens. It isn't a man trying to appear as a woman, its a man trying to appear like a stereotypical fantasy version of a woman. Its completely glamourized and fetishized. If that's what you want to do, hey, go ahead and do it. But the narrative that underlies it, that certain feelings are 'man feelings' and certain feelings are 'woman feelings' and that a given person can identify what the other gender's feelings are is regressive.

Let me give a couple examples. If a young overweight girl comes to me and says she hates her body and doesn't feel at home in it and she wants to be skinny, I don't conclude that she's a skinny person trapped in a fat body and encourage her to go get drastic surgeries, take medications, or starve herself to get skinny. I tell her that we're all different and can all be beautiful if we love and accept ourselves including our bodies.

Or as another example, a lot of teenage white males identify strongly with (a stereotyped) version of Black culture. They have no more idea what its like to actually be Black in this country than Jenner does what its like to be a woman in this country. But they identify more with their perception of Black culture than with the culture of their parents. Should they be encouraged to go and have their skin chemically darkened and have plastic surgery to become the Black person they feel they are? Of course not. They need to be taught to love and be who they are, and then engage with culture from that basis.

(Note: I am aware of the relatively rare circumstance of people being born intersexed, etc. that's another issue and what I'm saying doesn't apply in those cases.)
Back to Top profile | search
 
Mark Haslett
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4375
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 8:32am | IP Logged | 2  

JB: Traditionally, women are imagined to "think differently" because they are seen as being more at the mercy of their hormones than are men. But that cannot be the case in a "transgender," can it? Not before treatment, anyway.

**

There is lots of data, but not a scientific consensus about the real or imagined ways women and men have different brains and different thinking. Those who say there is a difference see it as something set in place before birth and not something that's changeable.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian Miller
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 24229
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 3  

Let people be and do whatever they want, as long as nobody gets hurt. But the sideshow surrounding Jenner, and some of the choices he seems to be making -- this is bread and circuses.

************

Exactly.

IMO, this is all nothing but publicity-seeking from Jenner. I may have misunderstood, but isn't he still attracted to women? If so, then he gets to have his cake and eat it, too. "Hey, I'm a woman trapped in a man's body. Hey, I still love the ladies, tho. And I'm not going to have the surgery to become a woman, after all." He's, admittedly, always done whatever he can to stay in the spotlight and I don't see this as being any different.

Now, if I'm misremembering, then, of course, my theory goes to pot.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Mark Haslett
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4375
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 8:46am | IP Logged | 4  


Steve: (Note: I am aware of the relatively rare circumstance of people being born intersexed, etc. that's another issue and what I'm saying doesn't apply in those cases.)

**

It is exactly these cases that get to the heart of it. When a child is born with both equipment doctors have to choose a gender blindly-- and sometimes they choose right, resulting in children who identify completely with their physical gender. But sometimes they choose wrong, resulting in a person who feels inside they are simply not the gender they've been assigned.

This says absolutely nothing about their "stereotypical gender identity". Such people may still be Tomboys or feminine, or gay in respect to their "inner" gender. But they simply know inside which gender thinks the way they do.

It's one thing to say men and women simply do not think differently. But saying they do is not automatically signing on for all stereotypical gender identities. Tomboys and transgender people are apples and oranges.
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 105868
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 8:48am | IP Logged | 5  

JB: Traditionally, women are imagined to "think differently" because they are seen as being more at the mercy of their hormones than are men. But that cannot be the case in a "transgender," can it? Not before treatment, anyway.

**

There is lots of data, but not a scientific consensus about the real or imagined ways women and men have different brains and different thinking. Those who say there is a difference see it as something set in place before birth and not something that's changeable.

••

No question that men and women have different brains! Physically, a woman has more in common with another woman, and a man with another man, than the sexes do with each other.

But we're not talking about men and women, here, really. We're talking about something... else. Something that is both, and neither. And that's where it gets tricky.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Steve De Young
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 April 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 2454
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 9:03am | IP Logged | 6  

It is exactly these cases that get to the heart of it.
----------------------------------
Except that the majority of transgender people were not born intersexed. Hence my differentiation. If Jenner had been born a hermaphrodite and had a gender chosen for him by the doctor or his parents and he identified with the other, that would be one situation.

When someone born in one gender decides that certain feelings they have do not belong to their own gender, but to the other, we have a different issue.

To put a finer point on it, who says that the feelings Jenner has aren't perfectly acceptable feelings for a male? Who says those are 'female feelings'? And vice versa, who decides what feelings are acceptable for males to feel? I believe that those lines are being drawn in a regressive way, according to outmoded ideas of gender roles.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Bill Pope
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 30 May 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 21
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 9:16am | IP Logged | 7  

"As I think I have made clear many times, my whole "philosophy" comes down to Consenting Adults. Let people be and do whatever they want, as long as nobody gets hurt. But the sideshow surrounding Jenner, and some of the choices he seems to be making -- this is bread and circuses."

Agreed!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brian J Nelson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 August 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 365
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 11:42am | IP Logged | 8  

"This is exactly my issue with the transgender narrative. It seems to require acceptance of stereotypical gender identities that I thought we had moved past as a culture. "

This is a very typical thought process from people who have no real experience or understanding for what it is like to be transgendered. People tend to identify only from their own perspective or thoughts which is overly limiting since it doesn't provide for the capabilities of others that go beyond such factors. 

I have several transgendered friends, and I have had many conversations with them. I cannot say I fully "get it". We decided after several attempts that it was very similar to trying to describe "red" to someone born blind. There just isn't a starting point. Luckily, they still love me and we have had many more conversations since and will likely continue to do so.  I am not speaking on behalf of those that are transgendered, I am only sharing how I understood the answers when I asked many of the same questions.

"Here's a question: if one is, for instance, a "woman trapped in the body of a man," how would one know? Not having at any time been a woman, what is the frame of reference?"

I asked this, or something similar, several times. Likely I will ask it several more. So what was shared with me was that you don't just flip a switch and figure it out.  It starts with the general feeling that something isn't right. It was once described as waking up in a strange place. You are there, everything seems okay, but it isn't "right". The fog hasn't lifted yet, though, and so it doesn't make sense yet. Your mind hasn't processed to put things back into a frame of what should be "right". 

Now imagine, if you will, that fog never going away. Nothing seems to be right. You poke and prod at it. You test. You experiment.  Sometimes, some things seem more right than other things. So we test more. Eventually, a puzzle piece is found that lifts a bit of that fog. This allows for another and then another until finally things seem like they are where they are supposed to be. It is that "feeling" that lead many to say that they have always been a man or a woman trapped, because the door is finally open and what wasn't right now feels that it is.

It is traditional stereotypes that have kept so many from finding this for so long. We for some time have been taught not to play, or "test", outside of societal norms. But, with the younger generation, there is more acceptance to do so. Children are encouraged to "play" or "test" how they want at an earlier age and those forcing norms on them are the "bullies". As bulliness is now frowned upon in increasing factors, younger people are finding the things that lift that fog earlier. 




Edited by Brian J Nelson on 08 June 2015 at 11:45am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Mark Haslett
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4375
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 12:38pm | IP Logged | 9  

JB: No question that men and women have different brains! Physically, a woman has more in common with another woman, and a man with another man, than the sexes do with each other.

But we're not talking about men and women, here, really. We're talking about something... else. Something that is both, and neither. And that's where it gets tricky.

**
Yes, but if one accepts that men and women think differently, it's easy to imagine the process that leads to this mental difference might occasionally do it in a mis-matched way. Science has not (to my knowledge) located a hypothetical "hormonal wash" which sets the mind to one gender bias or the other, but such a thing would fit the puzzle pieces together.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Andrew W. Farago
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 July 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3890
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 10  

Go with a simple "good for her," and leave it at that.
Back to Top profile | search | www | email
 
Charles Valderrama
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2901
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 3:18pm | IP Logged | 11  

JB, you stated best how I feel on this subject when you wrote, "Here's a question: if one is, for instance, a "woman trapped in the body of a man," how would one know? Not having at any time been a woman, what is the frame of reference?"

I'm all for people being comfortable and living however they need to live, but I can't understand how one can feel like a woman without having those hormones, etc inside…. what
IS the frame of reference?? His mom?

-C!


Edited by Charles Valderrama on 08 June 2015 at 3:19pm
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Brian J Nelson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 August 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 365
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 3:20pm | IP Logged | 12  

If you have that question, you should be asking someone who is transgendered. An in depth conversation is the only way to understand.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Ray Brady
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3616
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 6:55pm | IP Logged | 13  

"Here is a key question for me:  What is the harm in identifying a person by whatever gender they identify as?  If a person with two X chromosomes and a vagina has a male gender identity, what is the harm in us (the public) viewing and treating that person as a man?"

-----

If everyone behaved themselves, there wouldn't be any. Unfortunately, the government does need to make some decisions about what kind of behavior is acceptable, and there will always be people eager to abuse those decisions.

It's probably the most obvious complication, but consider competitive sports. What do you do if a biological man wants to compete in the Olympics as a woman? Should the IOC be legally obligated to permit it?

People tend to trivialize the bathroom argument, but there is a real consideration in environments like public locker rooms. Should biological women be expected to welcome biological men into shared showers? If so, what is the potential for abuse by non-transgendered men?
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Mike Benson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 04 January 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 445
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 7:26pm | IP Logged | 14  

People tend to trivialize the bathroom argument, but there is a real consideration in environments like public locker rooms. Should biological women be expected to welcome biological men into shared showers? If so, what is the potential for abuse by non-transgendered men?

*******

Kaitlyn isn't the first transgendered person on the planet. And how many accounts of such abuses have you heard? Necessary accommodations for transgendered individuals are already a reality in many public places and workspaces. Often as simple as creating a single user, gender neutral restroom.

I'm a gay man. Should I have my own showers in a locker room so that the heteros don't get uncomfortable? Despite what the pornographers would have you believe, I'm really just there to shower.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Paul Kimball
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1570
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 7:56pm | IP Logged | 15  

Traditionally, women are imagined to "think differently" because they are
seen as being more at the mercy of their hormones than are men. But that
cannot be the case in a "transgender," can it? Not before treatment, anyway.


#######
I wonder if women are imagined to "think differently" because we live in a
world where normally men have the advantages and hence male is the
default "normal" and everything else is different.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Neil Lindholm
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 January 2005
Location: Macau
Posts: 4080
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 8:46pm | IP Logged | 16  

Good article in the New York Times.

What Makes a Woman?
Back to Top profile | search | email
 
Mark Haslett
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4375
Posted: 08 June 2015 at 11:08pm | IP Logged | 17  

Good article in the New York Times. What Makes a Woman?

**

Her points make a good case for the experience of women as a collective -- but her specific objections to Jenner could be leveled at my young daughter. My daughter has not shared any of the bruises and pains of womanhood-- is she not female?

The intrinsic nature of this male/female brain question is about the fundamental level of experience. If male and female minds work exactly the same, then this gender-bending stuff is nonsense. But if they truly look out through their visual receptors and perceive time and space in a slightly different, but equally valid way then it would explain a lot. Men and women obviously experience most things in the same general way. We function in the same society with more or less the same agreed upon rules. But if there is a subtle difference and it made you feel insane because you could not make your mind think the way others of your gender do-- and could only too easily think the way the other gender does... It would be a relief to finally admit you were trapped in the wrong body. (Of course, then your troubles would be far from over.)
Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 105868
Posted: 09 June 2015 at 6:05am | IP Logged | 18  

Her points make a good case for the experience of women as a collective -- but her specific objections to Jenner could be leveled at my young daughter. My daughter has not shared any of the bruises and pains of womanhood-- is she not female?

••

If she wasn't born in a female body, no. But I suspect she was.

This is the real starting point of this discussion: being born male or female, physically, sets up a series of parameters. Those parameters are not really altered if the male puts on a dress and declares himself to be a woman. (I have grown tired of transvestites being called "she.")

As so often happens in our Society, the pendulum has swung, and as it usually does it has swung further in one direction than the other. Thus, in the last hundred years or so, we have gone from being incredibly narrow and restrictive in matters sexual -- incarcerating homosexuals, for instance -- to stretching perhaps a little too far to be "all encompassing."

I understand the biological processes that can happen in utero, which are considered by some to be the cause of "transgender" individuals, but, as some have noted, the jury is still out on whether this creates a genuine condition or a mental illness.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Roy Johnson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 May 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 1303
Posted: 09 June 2015 at 6:06am | IP Logged | 19  

Jon Stewart's perspective is interesting: 
http://imgur.com/gallery/RJP1U

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 105868
Posted: 09 June 2015 at 6:21am | IP Logged | 20  

As it currrently stands, we don't have enough scientific knowledge to truly understand what causes people to be transgender or how it works.

What we do know is that it's a very difficult experience for those people, there's a lot of social stigma around it and many resort to suicide. So it's best to be respectful - live and let live.

••

A REALLY hard question, then: Many people are tortured and driven by a desire to have sex with children. Our society frowns on this, and such people are considered mentally ill. We do not accommodate them, we do not respect them.

How is being "transgender" different? Given all the twists and turns that have happened in our general understanding of how the brain and mind work -- still a work in progress -- how difficult is it to imagine a future in which it will be determined without doubt that "transgender" is, indeed, a mental illness? How will we feel about all those people who, instead of actually helping them, we encouraged in a program of self-mutilation?

This is a long, long road, and so far we have taken barely a single step upon it. (Christine Jorgenson was half a century ago. How much has changed?)

Back to Top profile | search
 
Paul Simpson Simpson
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 07 April 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 934
Posted: 09 June 2015 at 7:03am | IP Logged | 21  

I wonder if women are imagined to "think differently" because we live in a 
world where normally men have the advantages and hence male is the 
default "normal" and everything else is different.
**********************
There is no imagination involved.Women think differently because they are women.Why do women only commit around 10% of all murders and a infinitesimal number of serial killings.Sounds like there is a big difference.Yes this is only one example,but it is a pretty big one.



Edited by Paul Simpson Simpson on 09 June 2015 at 7:12am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Sofer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 925
Posted: 09 June 2015 at 8:15am | IP Logged | 22  

Tangentially, as to the bathroom issue: I'm a guy, and when I go to the bathroom, I don't pay extra attention to anything except the reason I'm there. There are stalls to preserve privacy so that nobody has to (or gets to) observe closely. What, then, the difference if a restroom is unisex? I have NO interest in watching someone pee, regardless of of gender.

As to locker rooms - that's a separate incident, regarding showering. But even so - when I've showered with other men, I haven't made it a point of staring. As was noted, this is the situation for gays. If it turns out we CAN mature a bit, then there should be no problem with unisex public showers. One might see something, but one should try not to look, and everyone could be happy about it. It's a big step, I know, but if humanity could grow up a little bit, it wouldn't be cataclysmic.

And in the end, I don't care if someone feels like a man or like a woman - safe options are available now, and will continue to progress and advance in the future. I just have no interest in having it waved in front of me as a dramatic statement for a cause. Go ahead and be homosexual, or transgender, or even transvestite - as long as you aren't hurting anyone, that's great. But I don't need to hear about it constantly!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Eric Ladd
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 August 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 2791
Posted: 09 June 2015 at 9:27am | IP Logged | 23  

The bathroom issue is a non-issue. There are numerous countries with unisex bathrooms and years of experience under their belts.
Back to Top profile | search | email
 
Mark Haslett
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4375
Posted: 09 June 2015 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 24  

A REALLY hard question, then: Many people are tortured and driven by a desire to have sex with children. Our society frowns on this, and such people are considered mentally ill. We do not accommodate them, we do not respect them.

How is being "transgender" different? Given all the twists and turns that have happened in our general understanding of how the brain and mind work -- still a work in progress -- how difficult is it to imagine a future in which it will be determined without doubt that "transgender" is, indeed, a mental illness?

**

How is it similar? It seems to me like comparing a stop sign to the U.S. Constitution. They're both written symbols of law, but one is a single instance and the other is an entire system. Transgender is not a particular desire to do something that's forbidden. If we accept the idea that men and women think differently, then being transgender is having an inescapable point of view which determines how you think-- about every single thing you experience in your whole life-- and is yet at odds with your own body. It is not a single passion that blocks out other things. It is the context for all thought, all experience, from the most fundamental to the most complex.

Gender is more like the operating system of a computer -- functioning properly, Macs and PCs do the same things only differently. Transgender is like realizing you have a Dell PC laptop with Mac guts. Realizing the condition exists is difficult, but once it's recognized everything functions fine-- the metaphoric computer may have been a lousy Mac, but it's a fine PC.

Criminal sexual deviation is more like a computer virus, impairing, interrupting and distorting proper computing until the system can no longer function.

*edit to include more context to the quote of John's question.

Edited by Mark Haslett on 09 June 2015 at 10:50am
Back to Top profile | search
 
Mark Haslett
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4375
Posted: 09 June 2015 at 9:50am | IP Logged | 25  

It should be noted that, within the transgender science and community, it is recognized that there are variations. There are many people who become convinced they are transgender and are yet unable to convince the people who work in this field (the doctors and counselors) that this condition is more than a strange conviction.

In other words, there is a system (I don't think anyone believes it's a perfect one) used to separate transgender people from people who simply believe they are transgender.
Back to Top profile | search
 

<< Prev Page of 8 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You can vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login