all 25 comments

[–]DistantGlimmer 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I do it when arguing with TRA-types just to specify that I am talking about biology and not gender roles like 'Ok, you don't"identify as a man but you're still biologically male." and then you have to often bring up masculine socialization which is a separate thing from being biologically male even though it is something universal to the male experience.

[–]CatbugMods allow rape victim blaming in this sub :) 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Blind belief in gendered stereotypes and lady-brains.
In the old sub we spent a lot of time differentiating man and male despite them being the same thing because so many users couldn’t tolerate being called a man. It fed the idea that male and man mean different things.

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

It gets all confusing. 🤷‍♀️ Biologically male/man is redundant, but it just feels weird to refer to myself as male when is sort of an abstraction because I can’t fulfill that reproductive role and I’m not perceived that way or have parts that males have.

[–]peakingatthemomentTranssexual (natal male), HSTS 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Also, like what Catbug said, a lot of trans people feels like it’s misgendering so the sub doesn’t really allow it so those people will participate. It’s a compromise.

[–]MezozoicGaygay male 3 insightful - 4 fun3 insightful - 3 fun4 insightful - 4 fun -  (1 child)

In many non-English languages, only words for sex exist and no words for gender or gender roles, or synonymous for "male/female" have negative connotations or used only when speaking about animals (in my native language saying "male human" or "female human" is serious offense and counting almost like you are calling that person "cattle"). Many languages are gendered, some have no pronouns, some have only neutral pronouns. And so on.

So for non-English speaker all this gender ideology (and especially non-binary pronouns and people) is very confusing, and it is hard to follow which word mean what, especially when those words are changed in gender theory to mean something different than those people learned at English lessons, or when those words meaning are some alien concepts to their native language, and they can't find point of reference in their language to understand what exactly is meant there.

And even many native English speakers are confused, as whole life gender and sex, man and male, woman and female, were used interchangibly, and only in last few decades they start meaning something different, and majority of people are not aware about that at all, so when they are "peaking" and coming to GC side, or have a friend who transitions and coming to TQ side - they are unaware of all those changes to language, and they are confused for some time, until they get used to new meanings.

[–]SnowAssMan[S] 2 insightful - 3 fun2 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

I too am bilingual & have noticed that in a lot of other languages feminine means female, or they only have 1 word that is used for both feminine & female. In those languages it would make sense to say "biologically feminine", because there is no other way of saying it, but in English thankfully we have words to differentiate female from feminine. I doubt native English-speakers are making redundant statements for the sake non-native speakers.

[–]transwomanHesitantly QT? 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (13 children)

I think the problem derives from the complicated historical connection between sex and gender, and it's relation to sex-based oppression.

Some people use male and man interchangeably, some people use male as an adjective and man as a noun, some people use then both as a noun where male refers to biological/physical characteristics and where man refers to social/cultural ideas that are extrapolated from said biological characteristics.

I personally strongly support a sex/gender distinction:

1) Sex: Male/female, which can be used as both an adjective (i.e. male/female-bodied) or as a noun (i.e. I am a male/female).

2) Gender: Man/woman, which are exclusively used as nouns (i.e. I am a man/woman).

[–]SnowAssMan[S] 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (12 children)

That's another thing people keep saying, that man & woman are genders. But the genders are called masculinity & femininity, not man & woman, seeing as the definition of man is just 'adult human male', & woman is 'adult human female'. Therefore man & woman are just nouns for male & female respectively when talking specifically about adults.

"Female adult" isn't a social construct, while everything that is a gendered social construct falls under femininity.

[–]transwomanHesitantly QT? 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (11 children)

I could point to the same dictionary which says that trans women are simply "women who were assigned the male sex at birth". But that would be fallacious by nature, wouldn't it? This reminds me of, "My dictionary says that marriage is a union between a man a woman, therefore, homosexual marriage shouldn't be allowed," or " The Bible says God exists, therefore, he exists".

This idea that the genders are masculinity and femininity is false. Man and woman are genders. Masculinity and femininity (these, alongside personal Identity) are core to the ideas of man and woman, in the sense that their social usage (which is far more valuable to look at than the Great Holy Dictionary for meanings of words) has evolved historically and culturally speaking.

[–]SnowAssMan[S] 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (10 children)

I could point to the same dictionary which says that trans women are simply "women who were assigned the male sex at birth"

Really? What dictionary is that? I've checked several dictionaries & haven't come across that definition yet.

This idea that the genders are masculinity and femininity is false. Man and woman are genders

This idea that the genders are man & woman is false. Masculinity & femininity are genders.

The dictionary isn't equivalent to the Bible. The "social usage" of 'woman' reflects the dictionary definition, otherwise we wouldn't use/make words like "two spirit", "ladyboy", or "trans-woman". Gender is a social construct, right? Therefore femininity is gender & adult human female i.e. 'woman' isn't a gender since it's not a social construct.

sex & gender = male or female & masculinity & femininity respectively. Before claiming that woman is gender, you'd first have to replace the definition of woman with the definition of femininity. Woman is synonymous with female (just specifically regarding human adults). Woman is not synonymous with femininity.

[–]transwomanHesitantly QT? 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (9 children)

Really? What dictionary is that? I've checked several dictionaries & haven't come across that definition yet.

Merriam-Webster defines "trans woman" as "a transgender woman : a woman who was identified as male at birth"

The difference between our lines of reasoning here, however, is that I don't blindly prescribe to this definition I've provided simply based on the fact that its written in the dictionary.

The dictionary isn't equivalent to the Bible. The "social usage" of 'woman' reflects the dictionary definition

I did not say the dictionary itself is equivalent to the Bible. The issue is the manner by which you are using the dictionary. Your argument prescriptively rests upon the dictionary, just as religious individuals might use the Bible to justify what is truth, and just as homophobic individuals use different forms of the definition of "marriage" to argue against the legalization of homosexual marriage. It is completely fallacious reasoning. The entire line of reasoning falls apart as soon as one provides even just a single instance of a dictionary definition differing from the definition it depends on. It also falls apart on its own, given that the dictionary is not always reflective of reality. To vest one's worldview in the dictionary definitions of words (or any specific text, for that matter) is to erase all nuance of social and cultural context which significantly influences how we use and apply meanings to words and ideas.

we wouldn't use/make words like "two spirit", "ladyboy", or "trans-woman"

"Two spirit" and "ladyboy" are terms reflective of variance in gender expression (albeit even that is an oversimplification, especially for the former). While this is an aspect of gender in the expressive sense, it is not reflective of gender as a whole. We can have words denoting variant forms of gender expression, while also "woman" not meaning "adult human female". They aren't somehow mutually exclusive ideas.

"Trans woman" is a descriptive term for a woman who is transgender. Trans is the short form of transgender. Transgender is an adjective to describe a person with a gender identity (outside of gender expression) which is not typically associated with their sex (i.e. 'woman' is typically associated with 'female', 'man' is typically associated with 'male'). Therefore, a trans woman is a woman of the male sex. That's it, it's pretty simple.

Gender is a social construct, right? Therefore femininity is gender & adult human female i.e. 'woman' isn't a gender since it's not a social construct.

This is a non-sequitur. How does gender being a social construct make woman suddenly mean "adult human female". All you've done thus far is say The Great Holy Dictionary is truth, and therefore your argument is valid.

There are two aspects to the socially constructed concept of gender:

1) Gender expression: Masculinity and femininity. You're not wrong to say that masculinity and femininity play a role into the concept of gender, but they themselves are not genders. They are behaviors, traits, and characteristics typically perceived to be associated with one gender or another. When a GNC woman goes about her day, someone might mistakenly refer to her as a man (based on gender expression). This is not reflective of her gender identity nor her sex in any fashion.

2) Gender identity: Man, woman, or whatever else. This is the internal sense of one's gender. It is who one is, regardless of one's sex or gender expression. One could identify as pickle or ice cream genders outside of their sex, and outside of how they dress.

Ideally, we should seek to eradicate masculinity and femininity (I think we agree with this notion). Ultimately, this will leave gender identity in its place.

[–]SnowAssMan[S] 5 insightful - 3 fun5 insightful - 2 fun6 insightful - 3 fun -  (8 children)

If the definition of woman isn't "adult human female", then what is the definition of woman? Where is the definition of women ever reflective of your definition of gender?

Gender is a social construct: true or false?

You can't admonish my citation of the dictionary only to draw from nothing but your own imagination. Just do a search for the word gender on the femininity Wikipedia page if you don't believe me.

Looking at feminist theory femininity refers to what girls are inculcated with via socialisation, as well as "expression". A butch lesbian may not be described as feminine colloquially, but she was socialised into femininity. That's sort of what Simone de Beauvoir meant when she said women are made. Femininity refers to the way in which anyone born female is culturally conditioned. Femininity doesn't just refer to the superficial.

So feminist literature recognises that 'woman' is a combination of both sex & gender, female & feminine, the former causing the latter. So even if you add more complexity & sources other than the dictionary, gender still ends up being femininity, not 'woman'.

[–]transwomanHesitantly QT? 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (7 children)

If the definition of woman isn't "adult human female", then what is the definition of woman?

I already defined it. Gender is based in two things: expression (cultural) and identity (personal). In the social context, "woman" is directly defined/associated with femininity. Eliminating this cultural demand for specific expression leaves gender identity alone, still separate from sex. In essence, "woman" would be purely based as a personal identity, rather than a mandated expression we are socialized to adopt.

Gender is a social construct: true or false?

I already answered this as well. By outlining gender as being partly expression and partly identity, I'm directly implying that it is a social construction.

gender still ends up being femininity, not 'woman'.

We analyze the historical and cultural understanding of gender to determine its usage and its meaning. Historically, gender is a combination of both gender expression and identity. If gender expression (and hence socialization) is the problem you are saying we must address, we are in agreement. What will remain after eradicating the expectation of specific gender expression, however, is gender identity.

[–]SnowAssMan[S] 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (6 children)

So the dictionary, Wikipedia, Simone de Beauvoir et al are all trumped by something you pulled out of your arse?

I already defined [woman]

Firstly, no you didn't, secondly, I don't want you to define it. It's no one's personal prerogative to define words. There needs to be a consensus. Ad libbed definitions have no legitimacy & therefore no value.

Gender identity is a social identity, not a personal identity & that's not something I made up, just google: "social identity vs personal identity".

Gender is the name of women's sex-based oppression. Sex is the cause, gender is the effect.

Gender is an invention by patriarchal society to oppress women. It's a stock-personality of stereotypes that anyone born female is conditioned to embody from birth & enforced via pressure to conform & social backlash for non-conformity. Gender is class. It's not a spirit that is biased in favour of inhabiting female bodies, but sometimes gets it wrong.

It's feminism's aim to rid our culture of gender (so that people aren't separated into two different classes based on something as arbitrary as sex differences), so that there is no other difference between men & women other than sex. You claim that in such a post-gender world gender would still exist as some nebulous, non-specific, undefinable entity.

[–]transwomanHesitantly QT? 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

So the dictionary, Wikipedia, Simone de Beauvoir et al are all trumped by something you pulled out of your arse?

I’m going to split my response up into a couple of sections, and the longer sections will have a TLDR at the end because I realized that I wrote way too much in response to a few of your points.

Dictionary, Wikipedia

As mentioned earlier, Merriam-Webster defines “trans woman” as a woman; however, this doesn’t actually matter, as the dictionary is not something to be used prescriptively. Words are defined by the socio-cultural context by which they are used. Similarly, to say a woman is an “adult human female” because “the dictionary says so” is fallacious reasoning by the nature of how the usage of grammar in the prescriptive sense functions linguistically speaking.

Wikipedia works in an identical fashion as any dictionary. Wikipedia cannot be used prescriptively. Wikipedia also defines “trans woman” as a woman. This does not prove that trans women are indeed women, as that argument would be logically fallacious; likewise, pointing to Wikipedia which states that a woman is an “adult human female” as evidence that this is the case is also fallacious.

TLDR: Prescriptive use of a dictionary (including Wikipedia) is a logically fallacious line of reasoning, and therefore holds no value when discussing the descriptive use of words.

Simone de Beauvoir

As for Simone de Beauvoir, her perspective on gender identity and the acceptance of transgender individuals can only be concluded in terms of inductive reasoning. This reasoning can go both ways, but neither argument for or against her alleged support of transgender people can be concluded with absolutely certainty; unless, of course, the scientific community has created a way to bring back people from the dead, in which case we could ask Beauvoir directly. That being said, here is my inductive understanding of Beauvoir’s writings:

Beauvoir would have no issue with transgender people adopting the social roles of the gender they identify with, and, effectively, becoming said gender; this is seen through her claims that there is no biological basis to being one gender or another, her writings expressing how the freedom of natal girls/women is restricted by the social role of “woman”, which is imposed on them by society, and her expressive support for the idea that males and females are socialized differently in a gendered society.

Beauvoir would likely support trans women adopting the social role of “woman” (and therefore, becoming a woman) because (1) males are not socialized to regard womanhood in a positive light (and therefore, the desire trans women have to become women does not stem from societal demand), (2) she argues that gender is not confined to any kind of biological reality (and therefore, the desire trans women have to become women have nothing to do with their state of being male), and (3) if transcendence from gendered norms is the end goal that Beauvoir desired, she would have no issue with trans women becoming women (as the desire to do so stems from the unrestricted freedom that males have and are socialized to hold, based on the previous two points).

Beauvoir would also likely support trans men adopting the social role of “man” (and therefore, becoming a man) because (1) she regards femininity as a restrictive force leading natal girls/women to be unable to pursue personal freedom, (2) Beauvoir often regarded female masculinity as a more fulfilling means to achieving personal freedom compared to female femininity (as femininity is imposed upon females by gendered society), and (3) if transcendence from gendered norms is the end goal that Beauvoir desires, she would have no issue with trans men becoming men (as the desire to do so stems from the need to break from restrictive femininity and pursue masculinity, which is the more fulfilling role in this gendered society).

TLDR: It can be inductively reasoned that Beauvoir would support the validity of transgender women and transgender men because of her belief that there is no biological basis to being one gender or another, her argument that males and females are socialized differently by a gendered society, and her writings which argue that that socio-cultural demand for females to conform to femininity leads them to be incapable of pursuing personal freedoms and fulfilling life.

Definition of “Gender”

The definition of gender as being a socio-cultural norms (gender expression) and social/gender identity is not something that was created out of thin air. It is a phenomenon that regards the socio-cultural and historical conceptual understanding of gender as the means that defines it. It is descriptive of what gender is, rather than prescriptive.

As for evidence that gender is a combination of gender expression and gender identity, we can look at the mass social movements that are happening right now. In the US, we have Black Lives Matter protests advocating for police/prison reform, legal protections for women, and social acceptance of trans people as the gender they identify as. This movement is unprecedented. Never before have we seen such widespread support of trans people in protests and in mainstream culture. We are seeing a massive shift in language while we are simultaneously questioning our understanding of gender conceptually speaking. Give it maybe a decade at most, and it is highly probably that will see dictionary definitions like “adult human female” be changed to reflect the reality of what gender descriptively is in the social context: expression, and identity. We’ve already seen a shift in language for definitions like “trans woman” and “trans man” so it doesn’t appear as if it will be much longer before the dictionary definitions don’t reflect the argument you’ve made thus far.

TLDR: Gender is partly expression and partly identity. We see this in the historical and socio-cultural usage of gender as a means to oppress females, but also a cultural phenomenon and means of social identification. That being said, we are seeing a upward trend in support of this idea, and affirmation of transgender people as the gender they identify as (and therefore are).

It's feminism's aim to rid our culture of gender

Absolutely, it certainly is. Therefore, we should eliminate the social demand to adopt the social role of one gender or another, and accept transgender people as their gender, as their acceptance is one of the primary steps we can take to eradicate gendered norms, expectations, and demands.

You claim that in such a post-gender world gender would still exist as some nebulous, non-specific, undefinable entity.

A postgenderist society would not come into fruition until gender identity is also abandoned due to its unpragmatic nature, which can only occur with the eradication of societal demands of conformity to certain gender expression. That being said, the most efficient manner to eliminate mandated gender expression is to accept transgender people, as their accept directly implies that there is no biological or societal objective truth to gender. It is simply a nonsensical idea used to oppress females, but by accepting trans people, we are removing that motive that is induced by gender in its current state. With that all being said, I’d much rather live in a purely gender-identity-based society where people have the personal freedom to pursue the gender they most identify with rather than one than forces conformity based on arbitrary expression, most prevalent in harming females.

[–]SnowAssMan[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

The dictionary bit was just a repeat of what you said before. I already know you reject all sources in favour of whatever springs to your mind. Where are your sources? (btw, no one was asking for the definition of trans-woman, but woman, how many more times???)

Your whole bit on Beauvoir was just you confusing GNC with being trans, even though those are usually opposites. You simply conclude that since Beauvoir is pro GNC she must be pro-trans. Non-sequitur. In fact, quite the reverse can be deduced. If you view a trans-woman as a man then they are GNC, but as soon as you view them through the transgender lens, as their preferred sex, they are gender conforming. Gender conformity is not something any feminist advocates for.

This is exactly like taking to an MRA, they do the exact same thing. If you give them a source they just pretend the source says the exact opposite of what it actually says.

From The Second Sex: "Woman is determined not by her hormones or by mysterious instincts, but by the manner in which her body and her relation to the world are modified through the action of others than herself. The abyss that separates the adolescent boy and girl has been deliberately widened between them since earliest childhood; later on, woman could not be other than what she was made, and that past was bound to shadow her for life"

Transcribed from an interview with Beauvoir: "That formula (One is not born but made a woman) is the basis of all my theories & it's meaning is very simple: that being a woman is not a natural fact. It's a result of a certain history. There is no biological or psychological destiny that defines a woman as such. She is the product of a history, of civilisation, first of all, which has resulted in her current status. And secondary for each individual woman of her personal history in particular, that of her childhood. This determines her as a woman, creates in her something which is not at all innate, or an essence, something which has been called the "eternal feminine", or femininity. The more we study the psychology of children the deeper we delve, the more evident it becomes that baby girls are manufactured to become women. Long before a child is conscious, the way it is breastfed, or held, or rocked etc. inscribes in its body what might later appear a destiny"

To sum up, what we think of 'woman' is femininity, & femininity is a form of brainwashing of anyone female via socialisation. That's what gender identity actually is i.e. an actual identity, not a wish. Go on, interpret the polar opposite from the text.

Where is your super long nothing-burger section avoiding giving a straight definition of 'woman'?

it is highly probably that will see dictionary definitions like “adult human female” be changed to

To what? To what??? Spit it out already! Or don't you know? Why do you take issue with 'adult human female' as a definition, when there is no alternative?

Men breaking gender norms helps rid the world of gender, but men overcompensating with stereotypical hyper-femininity in order to pass as women is an obstacle to ridding the world of gender. Transgenderism isn't gender critical, it's sex critical. Sex is literally the only thing transgenderism challenges & you make no mention of it in your entire novella!

The social majority within the trans-movement are all binary trans people, specifically trans-women, specifically gender conforming trans-women. The road to gender abolition is in the opposite direction.

If trans people just accepted the sex that they are & never medically or legally transitioned, if they just resolved to be their GNC selves, would that help & hinder the feminist movement's drive to abolish gender?

[–]catoborosnonbinary 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I prefer to use female/male to refer only to biological sex, but I recognise that female/male are often used to refer to gender. For example, female/male on identity documents is a social sex (i.e. gender), because if you can change it with a legal document, it is a social construct. Female/male are also more convenient because they do not connote age like woman/girl or man/boy.

Language is messy and our dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive. There are experts, but no authorities, on the meanings of words, which emerge from use.

[–]Jizera 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The words man and woman denote a human male and female respectively, the same as the words stallion and mare denote a horse male and female. An individual producing sperms is a male and those producing eggs is female. Therefore if they try to include some people who produce eggs into the man category they include them also in the male category. There is no difference between meanings of of the words man and human male, they are synonyms. You can't say that a man is not a male. Just opposite, if you say somebody is a a human and a male you say he is a man. There are no men producing eggs and no women producing sperms.

[–]bald-janitor 1 insightful - 3 fun1 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 3 fun -  (1 child)

Okay snowassman

[–]SnowAssMan[S] 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

Okay what?

[–]emptiedriver 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I mean, that's the whole argument, right? If you believe "trans women are women" or that you can identify as a man, then no, biological is not the entire story. If you are GC, sure it's covered in the original word, but if you are having a conversation with people who are adopting a new worldview you will sometimes need to be clear, and you can either use their vocabulary ("cis") or an emphasizing adjective like natal or biological.