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Transgenders?

Irishpenguin

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Okay so here's the deal. I have recently ran into a couple of Transgender people, and the concept is kind of confusing to me. They were both biologically females but wanted to be treated as Males (Called Him/he and what not). I went along with it because, well I didn't see a reason specifically not to. Though the more I think about it, the more odd it seems to me.

Apparently the goal of it is to feel more like yourself and become the gender that you "Feel like". It's as if you were born into the wrong body to express who you really are. And this is where I get frustrated at it. Because personally I've never sat around and thought "Man, I really FEEL like a dude right now, like wow this is a real feeling that I'm actively having, it's so real and sooooo...feelinglystrong-ish" ......Yeah I haven't had any of that.

I'm guessing that gender roles and the way society looks at you has something to do with it? But that just seems dumb to me. The whole point of being transgender seems to be to express yourself better. But if this feeling of expression is founded off of a bunch of gender roles and Archetypes that society has made, doesn't it just seem like a trade off of one Archetype for another? Instead of a true expression and growth upon who you think you are, you just cast yourself into this pre-fit mold that you think fits better than the other mold you were born in. When in reality you should just be bursting through that shit and getting clay everywhere for the janitors to clean up while they eat all the damn cheeto's.

Personally I keep going along with the transgenders I'm meeting, they are pretty cool people. But it isn't because I specifically approve and understand what they are doing, it's more of me just not caring AT FUCKING ALL about what they want to be looked at as. So I end up just rolling with it, even though I have no fucking understanding of it.

And so these are my thoughts. I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on this entire concept for me to see if I could gain a better understanding of it and why it actually seems to help people (since it does seem to be very effective for some people)

*Side thoughts* I truly think if I was born as a girl instead of a boy I would be remarkably the same....except I'd have a bunch of creepy Fedora-Trench-coats trying to get into my pants on the daily :facepalm:
 

Jennywocky

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Well, one issue is that "transgender" is an umbrella term, and the word can be applied to many types of gender variant people... especially nowadays... anywhere from transsexuals and drag queens to gender fucks and asexuals and transvestites and guys who wear fingernail polish and girls with butch haircuts. So there is no "one" way of explaining it. They're all different.

Welcome to the gender smorgasbord, isn't the world a wonderfully diverse place?

Yes, some of what you're saying are some of the points of contention that come up. Even transsexuals, who seem to offend some people simply by 'crossing the gender divide' via body change, are in a way just affirming the binary themselves. The questions you raise are good ones.

I'll just say I consider much of the gender-variant community to be a matter of self-expression; you find out that you're more comfortable presenting in a particular way, and it happens to run against the current gender norm. That's all. Things have changed a lot in the last half-century or so in terms of what is socially allowable in regards to gender expression, paralleling the actual shift in social gender roles of men and women in the west. However, considering our hang-up over same-sex marriage as well as homophobic tendencies (expressed by how men can be freaked out on a personal level by transvestites and transsexuals), it seems that it's not yet an anything-goes playing field.

I also think sometimes the statements transgender people make are still in response to feeling a need to "justify" themselves, since the culture has been aggressive in the past against those who don't fit easily into the gender boxes. So when someone says they are just doing what they are doing because they "feel like a guy" or "feel like a woman," that's the best way they can come up with to summarize why they do what they do, and they also phrase it that way to give themselves a sense of legitimacy... which in an accepting culture wouldn't even be necessary.

I would state that transsexuals are a little different; the condition is called Gender Dysphoria and seems to be an intrinsic sense of mismatched body and not necessarily focused on the social roles per se. (IOW, just liberating oneself to do what one desires regardless of cultural expectation will not resolve the emotional distress; the 'wrongness' of self goes far deeper and doesn't seem resolvable by conventional therapeutic means.)

i think it's pretty cool that even not knowing much about it, you just are basically good with people just being themselves regardless of the conventions. Pretty much that seems to be what anyone wants, and if more of the culture were that way, a lot of these issues and social distress would be non-issues. Why should anyone care about how anyone else wants to present themselves?
 

EyeSeeCold

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I was going to ask the same thing, but later thought it was probably a dumb question. :confused:


One thing that does make sense to me if it's accurate, is that for public service and government purposes there's a need to identify with the binary, and so one side feels more right than the other. Still though it doesn't explain the embracing of stereotypes.
 

Jennywocky

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One thing that does make sense to me if it's accurate, is that for public service and government purposes there's a need to identify with the binary, and so one side feels more right than the other. Still though it doesn't explain the embracing of stereotypes.
Well, remember that these stereotypes are essentially a social language, and feelings are amorphous on their own.

When we are born, we learn the verbal language of our culture in order to give voice to amorphous thoughts, and the language gives form and restrictions to those ideas even in the process of making them manifest; it makes sense that people embrace the social cues around them, stereotypical and restrictive as they might be at times, to give voice to their internal feelings. They are signifiers of an internal state, expressed in a way that the people around them can perceive and grasp.
 

Absurdity

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I think it is pretty cool and I respect people who are purposefully ambiguous with respect to their gender. Takes some balls (heh).

I guess this is because I look at it as a political act of disruption via self-expression, staying in line with Judith Butler's assertion that gender is not something you possess but something you do by means of various sorts of signaling (clothing, mannerisms, speech, etc.). That sort of thing fascinates me to no end. These folks are pretty interesting in that respect, especially more militant folks that re-appropriate previously offensives slurs like "faggot" and "dike."

Personally I had a friend who was born a girl but for all intents and purposes was a guy. Probably one of the most awesome people I've ever met.
 

Irishpenguin

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That actually did help out a bit, confirmed some things as well it seems. It does kinda make sense, since even I will admit that there are subtle ways in how I view Males and females differently (i.e. being more prone to talking about emotional stuff to females rather that males) So in a sense, I can understand it a little, it just seems like it should be so unnecessary, but I guess as of this point in time in the world, it does have it's place and is necessary for some .

I brought up this other thought while hanging out with one of the transgenders, and I think I almost offender her/him. But it just seems that even once a person (lets say girl) has told me she wants to be seen as a guy, I can try my damnest to treat and think of her like I would treat and think of a guy, but asking me to treat you as a guy when physically everything about you states otherwise is basically asking me to alter a lot of my sub-conscience thoughts specifically for you. And honestly I'm fine with that part, but it's gonna take some time, like, a lot of time, that crap can't just change overnight. And a lot of time would have to be spent with and around that person getting to the point where my brain just adjusts to it. So it's all fine and dandy when you are making a new friend that could and probably will adapt to you eventually. But it seems kind of useless to say it to large crowds of people when meeting them (aside from letting a possible-future-friend know bluntly at first meeting) since there is no way they would be able to adjust their inner stereotypes and profiles so suddenly, even if they wanted to.

This all just seems to really add up to that we need to suck less as a culture(s) and not have so many underlying judgements. bluh
 

Jennywocky

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So in a sense, I can understand it a little, it just seems like it should be so unnecessary, but I guess as of this point in time in the world, it does have it's place and is necessary for some .
Yeah, it depends on the person and their needs, including what type of thing they are dealing with.

I brought up this other thought while hanging out with one of the transgenders, and I think I almost offender her/him. But it just seems that even once a person (lets say girl) has told me she wants to be seen as a guy, I can try my damnest to treat and think of her like I would treat and think of a guy, but asking me to treat you as a guy when physically everything about you states otherwise is basically asking me to alter a lot of my sub-conscience thoughts specifically for you. And honestly I'm fine with that part, but it's gonna take some time, like, a lot of time, that crap can't just change overnight. And a lot of time would have to be spent with and around that person getting to the point where my brain just adjusts to it. So it's all fine and dandy when you are making a new friend that could and probably will adapt to you eventually. But it seems kind of useless to say it to large crowds of people when meeting them (aside from letting a possible-future-friend know bluntly at first meeting) since there is no way they would be able to adjust their inner stereotypes and profiles so suddenly, even if they wanted to.
I think that's a pretty realistic way to look at it. Like you said, especially if you are conditioned to view someone a particular way, and/or especially if the visual cues run contrary to how they would like to be seen, it would take time for a person to adjust and learn to treat someone the way they'd like to be treated. I think it is complicated by how critical society has been until recently, and especially if you're dealing with someone who has felt dismissed/disenfranchised by culture; they would like the affirmation and might be more sensitive to mistakes. But it's very realistic for the process to take time.

So basically it's like a two-way street. The one person is relearning how to relate to the trans person, and meanwhile the trans person needs to be patient and really see someone's intentions more than whether or not they make mistakes. It would be a shame to lose a supportive individual simply because one was being too demanding or having unrealistic expectations. I think it's great you're willing to try. That's about all anyone could ask, IMO.

This all just seems to really add up to that we need to suck less as a culture(s) and not have so many underlying judgements. bluh
That too. It's partly a problem because of how critical the culture has been in the past.
 

Hadoblado

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This all just seems to really add up to that we need to suck less as a culture(s) and not have so many underlying judgements. bluh
+1
 

defghi

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So transgenders think of themselves the way that they think people of the other gender think of themselves?

But they're really just as clueless as everyone else, why the desire to categorize themselves as something that they don't even know anything about?

So, how would I know if I were a transgender? I have no clue what it's like to be a "female", maybe I actually am a woman trapped in a man's body. And what do I gain from this? It wouldn't actually change myself at all, but I'd get to demand that other people treat me like a lady or something? Sounds silly.
 

crippli

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But they're really just as clueless as everyone else, why the desire to categorize themselves as something that they don't even know anything about?
Please speak for yourself. Even if you are clueless, it doesn't follow that everyone else is.

There are two types of people. Those who change the world, and those who let the world change them.

Regardless, who is transgendered will depend on what time perspective one view things, and how much one value the original thought. Or worship those with the power to change reality. In reality, everyone is transgendered. As reality is transformation. It is the man/woman idea that are constructs. Idealized roles. Fail to realize this and you will be more a pawn then an influence on change. Change will happen regardless.

Short skirts and gladiator shoes. A good example of powerful forces that have transformed masculinity into femininity.
If you would like a challenge you can turn it around again.
 

defghi

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Please speak for yourself. Even if you are clueless, it doesn't follow that everyone else is.
Everyone else is just as clueless about my view of myself as I am of theirs. Perhaps you misunderstood me. In other words, the transgender has no objective basis to say which gender they "should" be, having never been anything other than themselves at any point in their life.
 

crippli

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Everyone else is just as clueless about my view of myself as I am of theirs. Perhaps you misunderstood me. In other words, the transgender has no objective basis to say which gender they "should" be, having never been anything other than themselves at any point in their life.
Perhaps. I agree with that point. It's just that most everyone will have an opinion of the sex of the infant. Are there anyone who wait until the child is old enough to decide themselves? So most(all) people are defined by others(and some will be more influential again), and are happy with it.

Gender isn't objective. It is subjective, a role one play. Some will not be able to do both, others will, and some will do non. Depends how defined and rebellious one is. Sex is different, and since female/male are offsets from the base human. One will have characteristics from both. To find out which is more dominant I would think the individual in question would be best qualified. Humans are primitive compared to many other spices, that can change sex at will. Science have improved. So the dormant breast on males can develop fully and produce milk and other pleasures. Clitoris grow into a penis. Etc. The problem is chromosome instructions that make some features develop, and some things not.

In general when hormones set in, most will become slaves to the hormones, and do what the hormones tell them to do. Some are not affected much, and will be able to transform, do the other role etc. At least, that is my theory.
 

Agent Intellect

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There is an objective measure of "gender" from a biological sense. A case study shows that there are deep-seated ways that people feel about their own gender:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Reimer

There is also evidence abound that there is a biological aspect involved in gender identity variance:



And psychological studies to support the idea of gender identity:


But perhaps this is most concise:

[BIMG]http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/1600-Genderbread-Person.jpg[/BIMG]
 

Reluctantly

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Everyone else is just as clueless about my view of myself as I am of theirs. Perhaps you misunderstood me. In other words, the transgender has no objective basis to say which gender they "should" be, having never been anything other than themselves at any point in their life.
Let's see, so according to you, if we've never been anything other than ourselves, we can't know ourselves.


Troll harder. And "gender roles" are not equivalent to "gender identity"; so you can take your shitty gaslighting argument and put it back up your ass where it belongs for all eternity.
 

defghi

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Let's see, so according to you, if we've never been anything other than ourselves, we can't know ourselves.


Troll harder. And "gender roles" are not equivalent to "gender identity"; so you can take your shitty gaslighting argument and put it back up your ass where it belongs for all eternity.
No, it would follow that we can only know ourselves.

I'm not sure what I did to make you so upset but I'm sorry for whatever it was.
 

Hawkeye

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No, it would follow that we can only know ourselves.

I'm not sure what I did to make you so upset but I'm sorry for whatever it was.
I can see where you're coming from, but it is a rhetorical statement.
 

Jennywocky

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No, it would follow that we can only know ourselves.
That statement is rather contradictory; yes, we can only know our own experience, yet at the same time we have no way to describe our experience (by setting up distinctions) unless we compare it to something else. There can be no distinction where there is no "other" involved. And if there are points of alignment, then the "other" might actually not be "other" at all. And in a sense we don't even really know ourselves; we're constantly on a voyage of discovery as we are placed in new situations and also mature as people, reacting in ways we might not have anticipated at an earlier stage. ("The heart has reasons that reason cannot know." ~Pascal)

Your comments before came off as dismissive, without considering that even without having a very specific experience, the process of feedback loops with others who have had the experience as well as observation can help one tringulate what such an experience might be like and how one's own personal experience compares. No, it cannot be verified 100%, but certainly enough to either align with or diverge from. Even the act of posting on a web forum and trying to communicate is assuming there is commonality of experience or that such connections/alignments can be found even if we can only "really know ourselves."
 

defghi

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That statement is rather contradictory; yes, we can only know our own experience, yet at the same time we have no way to describe our experience (by setting up distinctions) unless we compare it to something else. There can be no distinction where there is no "other" involved. And if there are points of alignment, then the "other" might actually not be "other" at all. And in a sense we don't even really know ourselves; we're constantly on a voyage of discovery as we are placed in new situations and also mature as people, reacting in ways we might not have anticipated at an earlier stage. ("The heart has reasons that reason cannot know." ~Pascal)

Your comments before came off as dismissive, without considering that even without having a very specific experience, the process of feedback loops with others who have had the experience as well as observation can help one tringulate what such an experience might be like and how one's own personal experience compares. No, it cannot be verified 100%, but certainly enough to either align with or diverge from. Even the act of posting on a web forum and trying to communicate is assuming there is commonality of experience or that such connections/alignments can be found even if we can only "really know ourselves."
That was pretty much my question, what is the point of reference by which we judge our gender? Your second paragraph approaches it: I can understand finding relatable experiences and even fitting into specific categories, but in this case we're not comparing mental states, we're classifying ourselves as having a mental state similar to that of a range of people who share physical characteristics. What is the difference, for example, from saying that I, despite having light hair, feel like a person who has darker hair color?

I'm sorry if I came across as dismissive; that surprises me since I was almost entirely asking questions. I did say I thought it was silly, maybe that's what caused so much ire. How silly.
 

Jennywocky

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That was pretty much my question, what is the point of reference by which we judge our gender? Your second paragraph approaches it: I can understand finding relatable experiences and even fitting into specific categories, but in this case we're not comparing mental states, we're classifying ourselves as having a mental state similar to that of a range of people who share physical characteristics. What is the difference, for example, from saying that I, despite having light hair, feel like a person who has darker hair color?
Yup. I do think gender is different, though, because certain biological processes and differences give rise to certain mentalities and experiences and expectations that can be common within a culture.

And a lot of things that pass for relational life is dependent on certain kinds of experiences and emotional states and perspectives being transferable among people, whether from bio sources or shared experiences. Like I suggested, the entire narrative media [film, novel, music] would not exist if this wasn't true.

A lot of our identity comes not just with sensing our own internal states, likes, and dislike, but comparing them to the states, likes, and dislikes of others. So it only makes sense.

I'm sorry if I came across as dismissive; that surprises me since I was almost entirely asking questions. I did say I thought it was silly, maybe that's what caused so much ire. How silly.
Well, for some people it's their identity, so it's like saying their religious values are silly, or their family is silly, or their children are ridiculous, or some other kind of comment. *shrug* I think in lieu of other personally feeling about it, the word "silly" kind of colored the entire text block.

I can tell from the last few rounds of conversation that you didn't mean it the way that it initially sounded.
 

Reluctantly

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That was pretty much my question, what is the point of reference by which we judge our gender? Your second paragraph approaches it: I can understand finding relatable experiences and even fitting into specific categories, but in this case we're not comparing mental states, we're classifying ourselves as having a mental state similar to that of a range of people who share physical characteristics. What is the difference, for example, from saying that I, despite having light hair, feel like a person who has darker hair color?
Okay...let's say you put a cat in a duck suit and treat it like a duck and the cat learns to be a duck well. Is it a duck or a cat? You tell me.

No, it would follow that we can only know ourselves.

I'm not sure what I did to make you so upset but I'm sorry for whatever it was.
I'm not upset. I just don't think you understand that there's a difference between "acting" like something and "being" something. Fake it till you make it doesn't work in that case because there's still something wrong or off; you can call it "nature" if you want, but through experience (which involves other people) we can learn our natures. Actually, it's probably by trying to go against our natures and finding the experience unpleasant, even when we are good at it, that we learn what it is; because those that never try to go against who they are don't really know if what they are is a role or what let's them "be".

You sound like you are in the latter. And that's fine, but don't assume everyone else must be the same.

**Jung's idea of the persona follows these same ideas, incidentally. People who try to personify themselves as something they are not innately end up with complexes that agitate them and other people.**

Besides, it doesn't follow that we can only know ourselves because it's through other people that we have "objective" data/experiences to know ourselves from. You're making bold statements and positing them as true and that's what is silly.
 

defghi

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Okay...let's say you put a cat in a duck suit and treat it like a duck and the cat learns to be a duck well. Is it a duck or a cat? You tell me.
It is itself, as are the rest of us. You could ask the catduck, but it doesn't know anything more than I do.


I'm not upset. I just don't think you understand that there's a difference between "acting" like something and "being" something. Fake it till you make it doesn't work in that case; you can call it "nature" if you want, but through experience (which involves other people) we can learn our natures. Actually, it's probably by trying to go against our natures and finding the experience unpleasant, even when we are good at it, that we learn what it is; because those that never try to go against who they are don't really know if what they are is a role or what let's them "be".

You sound like you are in the latter. And that's fine, but don't assume everyone else must be the same.

**Jung's idea of the persona follows these same ideas, incidentally. People who try to personify themselves as something they are not innately end up with complexes that agitate them and other people.**

Besides, it doesn't follow that we can only know ourselves because it's through other people that we have "objective" data/experiences to know ourselves from. You're making bold statements and positing them as true and that's what silly.
Watch where you point those you's. I never said anything about acting vs being. I never called it nature. In fact, I don't think I actually said or thought a single thing that you have ascribed to me in your posts. Why am I even replying. byebye
 

Reluctantly

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@defghi

It is itself, as are the rest of us. You could ask the catduck, but it doesn't know anything more than I do.
Again, silly. You posit that it can't know itself more than you do.

Watch where you point those you's. I never said anything about acting vs being. I never called it nature. In fact, I don't think I actually said or thought a single thing that you have ascribed to me in your posts. Why am I even replying. byebye
And I never said you said any of that...by "you" calling it nature, I meant that you could call it that, not that you did...christ. Why don't you just respond to the argument and stop assuming strawmen?

This post
Reluctantly said:
I'm not upset. I just don't think you understand that there's a difference between "acting" like something and "being" something. Fake it till you make it doesn't work in that case; you can call it "nature" if you want, but through experience (which involves other people) we can learn our natures. Actually, it's probably by trying to go against our natures and finding the experience unpleasant, even when we are good at it, that we learn what it is; because those that never try to go against who they are don't really know if what they are is a role or what let's them "be".
contradicts

defghi said:
Everyone else is just as clueless about my view of myself as I am of theirs. Perhaps you misunderstood me. In other words, the transgender has no objective basis to say which gender they "should" be, having never been anything other than themselves at any point in their life.
I'm saying that we can know ourselves by learning about ourselves, which doesn't even have to involve knowing other people. You, on the other hand, seem to say that we can't know ourselves, unless we can actually be other people, which we can't.

Then, if you still believe the above, tell me how your argument deals with mine.
 

defghi

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You posit that it can't know itself more than you do.


You, on the other hand, seem to say that we can't know ourselves, unless we can actually be other people, which we can't.
Watch it!
 

nil

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transgenders are people. maybe better people than most other people.
 
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