Author Topic: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"  (Read 5205 times)

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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #150 on: December 19, 2011, 02:32:18 PM »
You're still misreading me.  There are different respects with which "male" and "female" can be used.  I'm not saying transmen are not male and that transwomen are not female.  I'm not saying they are less male or female than cismen or ciswomen.  I'm simply saying that they are intending to change their gender to be different from the one they were born with.  A core part of each gender is reproductive ability and that is something that is currently impossible to attain.  Therefore they cannot fully attain what they intend to attain.

Offline goodthink

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #151 on: December 19, 2011, 03:16:14 PM »
You're still misreading me.  There are different respects with which "male" and "female" can be used.  I'm not saying transmen are not male and that transwomen are not female.  I'm not saying they are less male or female than cismen or ciswomen.  I'm simply saying that they are intending to change their gender to be different from the one they were born with.  A core part of each gender is reproductive ability and that is something that is currently impossible to attain.  Therefore they cannot fully attain what they intend to attain.


Don't take this wrong. But reading that kind of hit me a  certain way. It reads like you're rationalizing some kind of inequality that is based on something entirely irrelevant. Like, 'you can't let homosexuals raise kids they will make their kids homosexual'.


Your criteria is prone to changing as data changes. So like the above, at some point trans people may be fertile, and then what? It's ok?


I don't think so, not that I know your mind. But it would seem you'd have to find something that is wrong because you have some ill-defined ick factor at work at the edges.


Does that make sense?

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #152 on: December 19, 2011, 03:21:12 PM »
 Have you read any of my other posts in this thread?

Offline Natalie_B

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #153 on: December 19, 2011, 07:08:22 PM »
Oh, for heaven's sake...

Fertility is not a reasonable criterion to apply to human sex / gender, biology can't really help with sorting out social concepts and categories, even biologists know that all rules have exceptions ("X is always Y, except when it's not" being the classic biologist's adage), and fertility is not necessarily something trans people aspire towards having.

Here:

http://skepchick.org/2011/12/bilaterally-gynandromorphic-chickens-and-why-im-not-scientifically-male/

And btw, on that crazy ethics of disclosure thing, the Zinnia Jones video pretty much said everything. But one thing I thought silly was how people kept insisting "I'm not attracted to trans women". If you're not attracted to trans women, then the whole hypothetical would never happen, because you would never consent to sleeping with a trans woman in the first place. Obviously you MAY be attracted to a trans woman, and you're not comfortable with that. Or alternately: you're not attracted to trans women you know are trans. In which case, it's clearly an issue of your perceptions, not her body, and therefore your responsibility, not hers. Is it a courtesy to disclose? Yes. Is it wise and safer? Yes. But it's not an ethical imperative. As a general rule of thumb, I say pre-op people ought to disclose prior to sexual intimacy, and post-op people ought to disclose prior to emotional intimacy, but it's ultimately their own choice.

Now I have to go and re-sabotage my account.

P.S. I never intended news that I was splitting to get out. That was a private message to Beleth that he, for some reason, decided to go ahead and disclose, in violation of the forum's own rules. I wanted it to be quiet so that the inevitable volley of kick-her-while-she's-down shit-talking and "oh, that drama queen" stuff, as exemplified partly in this thread and elsewhere, wouldn't happen... and also so that it just wouldn't be a big deal in general. I apologize for the fact that it did end up becoming a public issue, despite my effort to keep it quiet. I perhaps could have been more explicit in telling Beleth to not say anything, or not have written him at all.

Thanks to everyone who had nice things to say about the podcast.
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Offline EmergentSystem

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #154 on: December 19, 2011, 07:29:35 PM »
Well, people are intuitive essentialist, and to dismiss the feelings of these people is usually just a fairly duche thing to do - but coming from someone who incessantly argues how important it is for other people to be sensitive when interacting with them, and how important it is to be empathetic and consider the viewpoints and emotions of others, it's just disgusting.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #155 on: December 19, 2011, 10:49:42 PM »
Welcome back, as always natalie. :) 

That is why I want to discuss a mental transition instead of a physical one.  Such a transition would allow for the full experience of a particular biological gender, the lack of which is what causes a desire to transition via SRS in the first place it seems.  I just don't think it's a stretch in any sense to say that the experience of a cismale/female is inherently different from a transmale/female.  It also seems that those experiences trans people have which are different tend to be different in a negative way based on their descriptions: pain in transitioning, lack of acceptance in the general public, indefinite treatments in order to keep one's hormones, and so on.  It seems to me like trans people don't really want to be trans, they want to be the gender they feel they were born as.

Nobody seems to be responding to this, which (please correct me if I'm mistaken) is EL's main point?

Why wouldn't a psychological transition be a wonderful option to have for those with TGism? Not that one kind of transition is better than the other--just that there seems to be some furor over the suggestion that a psychological transition would be a beneficial option to have.
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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #156 on: December 20, 2011, 12:49:50 AM »
I've tried to answer the question, but there's a lot I don't know about transgender issues. Speaking from my experience as a bisexual, who is perhaps more sensitive to the implications of these sorts of things, I have a pretty powerful "no" reaction to the question of "would I change my psychology to fit with what society deems acceptable" as it relates to me personally.

But like I said in the child-thread seaotter started that was tangentially related to this one, or whichever thread this discussion started in, I am not responsible for the way other people (the majority of Americans, as far as I know) feel about my sexuality. I do not and should not have to conform to their notions of "normalcy" - so long as I am not a danger to myself or others. If my bisexuality (and tomboy ways) make them uncomfortable, that's their problem not mine. I do recognize that my perspective is not the only perspective, and that there are individuals who would place the ideal of conforming with societal/cultural norms above individualistic notions of expression (such as tattooing, piercing, cross-dressing, and so on).

There are legitimate reasons to develop the proposed therapy, imo, just like there are legit reasons for therapy for gays who don't want to be gay. I don't know what to say beyond that. It's up to each individual who is dealing with this problem to decide what the best course is for them. I'll point out again, though, that there are trans individuals who are fine without SRS, and I suspect (though I'm not sure) that individuals who undergo SRS would still undergo SRS even if EL's hypothetical treatment were a reality. Because (and this is completely my opinion) I think that it's a decision based on what the individual thinks is best for them, not what their culture thinks is best, or what would make them "fit in" best.

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Offline hfleming

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #157 on: December 20, 2011, 06:24:32 AM »
You're still misreading me.  There are different respects with which "male" and "female" can be used.  I'm not saying transmen are not male and that transwomen are not female.  I'm not saying they are less male or female than cismen or ciswomen.  I'm simply saying that they are intending to change their gender to be different from the one they were born with.  A core part of each gender is reproductive ability and that is something that is currently impossible to attain.  Therefore they cannot fully attain what they intend to attain.

Don't take this wrong. But reading that kind of hit me a  certain way. It reads like you're rationalizing some kind of inequality that is based on something entirely irrelevant. Like, 'you can't let homosexuals raise kids they will make their kids homosexual'.

Your criteria is prone to changing as data changes. So like the above, at some point trans people may be fertile, and then what? It's ok?

Are you really arguing that a functioning reproductive system is entirely irrelevant to sex and gender or are you just being hyperbolic? Certainly its relevant, its just not necessary.

Fertility is not a reasonable criterion to apply to human sex / gender, biology can't really help with sorting out social concepts and categories, even biologists know that all rules have exceptions ("X is always Y, except when it's not" being the classic biologist's adage), and fertility is not necessarily something trans people aspire towards having.

I haven't seen anyone argue that fertility is a necessary trait, just that it's a trait.

There are too many strawmen set up against Eternally Learning. His question is simple and doesn't require being specified to transgender issues: Given a mind-body disconnect, if one could invasively and imperfectly make the body compatible with the mind or non-invasively and perfectly make the mind compatible with the body, then which would you choose? EL then stated that his suspicion is that people would rather go under the scalpel because they identify with their mind more than their body. He then raised questions of an implied philosophical dualism in that reasoning.

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #158 on: December 20, 2011, 08:36:27 AM »
I've tried to answer the question, but there's a lot I don't know about transgender issues. Speaking from my experience as a bisexual, who is perhaps more sensitive to the implications of these sorts of things, I have a pretty powerful "no" reaction to the question of "would I change my psychology to fit with what society deems acceptable" as it relates to me personally.

The underlined part is where I think I've been consistently misunderstood.  That's not what I'm saying at all.  Easier social acceptance may be a side-effect of the hypothetical mental transition, but the goal is not to be more accepted.  The goal is to create a more complete and less physically intense transition.  The "more complete" idea is also being misunderstood as a means of placing a value-judgement on physical transitioning.  The idea is that there simply are core and peripheral traits (physical and otherwise) which make up either gender and physical transitioning simply cannot attain all of them.  Not a value-judgement, not a subjective assessment of being "less" or "more" male or female, just a simple fact.  A mental transition would give a transperson just as much opportunity as a cisperson to have all the physical traits associated with their gender.


Fertility is not a reasonable criterion to apply to human sex / gender, biology can't really help with sorting out social concepts and categories, even biologists know that all rules have exceptions ("X is always Y, except when it's not" being the classic biologist's adage), and fertility is not necessarily something trans people aspire towards having.

I haven't seen anyone argue that fertility is a necessary trait, just that it's a trait.

There are too many strawmen set up against Eternally Learning. His question is simple and doesn't require being specified to transgender issues: Given a mind-body disconnect, if one could invasively and imperfectly make the body compatible with the mind or non-invasively and perfectly make the mind compatible with the body, then which would you choose? EL then stated that his suspicion is that people would rather go under the scalpel because they identify with their mind more than their body. He then raised questions of an implied philosophical dualism in that reasoning.

Thank you for that.  I think that accurately (and likely far more succinctly) sums up my thoughts on the matter.

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #159 on: December 20, 2011, 08:43:15 AM »
Is it as simple as if you like the mental you change the body and if you don't change the mental you? And of course this is hypothetical.
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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #160 on: December 20, 2011, 08:58:27 AM »
Is it as simple as if you like the mental you change the body and if you don't change the mental you? And of course this is hypothetical.

I think there are other factors at play here which would make it less simple.  For starters, I think the concept of gender dissociation necessitates that one feel out of sync with their body so I'm not sure how they'd have a preference over how they feel versus how they are.  Once we're all willing to even discuss the question though, I think that possible risks, side-effects during and after the transition, and/or its shortcomings would be the next thing to ponder.  Could a mental transition be complete?  Could it change other things besides the feeling of being one gender or another?  Are there physical components in the brain which determine one's mental gender which could not be changed?  I honestly don't know enough about neurology and how the sense of gender is created by the brain, but I think it'd be a hell of a lot of fun to discuss.

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #161 on: December 20, 2011, 02:00:12 PM »
Anyone wanna sum up the last 7 pages or so?

I really find this topic fascinating.  I wonder if there are any transgendered people who feel comfortable with their phenotypical sex and have an internal sense of their own gender that is dissociated from it.
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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #162 on: December 20, 2011, 02:44:29 PM »
Anyone wanna sum up the last 7 pages or so?

Reply#158?

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #163 on: December 24, 2011, 05:39:25 PM »
i split all the off-topic stuff to here. please keep this thread related to the interview and anything actually related to the interview. kthxbai.

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Offline Ralphy J

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Re: Natalie B's interview on "Godless Bitches"
« Reply #164 on: December 29, 2011, 02:55:56 PM »
I have a response for Eternally Learning; again I'm not sure about the previous few posts and what is on- or off- topic, I hope this is. Given EL's good faith discussion, EL's entitled to a response if interested. I've responded to a few sentences which I think are the substantive parts of the discussion and hope for some clarity between us, if not agreement. I respond both to some specific points but also to EL's more general question, about the possibility and desirability to bring minds in line with bodies rather than vice-versa.

***

[Transmen and transwomen] are intending to change their gender to be different from the one they were born with.  A core part of each gender is reproductive ability and that is something that is currently impossible to attain.  Therefore they cannot fully attain what they intend to attain.

S1) I believe this is correct.
S2) We might better say 'A core characteristic of each gender is reproductive ability, but reproductive ability is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition to be a man or a woman, even in the fullest sense'.
S3) I think you are mistaken about what 'they' intend to attain.

'Cis-' status is not an asymptote. There is no physiological trait which every person, and only those people, who are 'cis-' manifest; and which every person, and only those people, who are 'trans-', do not manifest (barring the neurological state which matches up with their dystonic experience of gender). If you had a big old box where you could filter every person through a 'trans' and 'cis' criterion you'd have two distinct populations, but they wouldn't be distinguished in the final instance on physiological facts (least of all reproductive ability). The -distribution- of physiological traits might be different between the populations, but there is no exclusive physiological marker. Do you disagree? If what I've just said is correct, then there are all kinds of bodies with all kinds of traits; it is not reasonable to assert that all those who are cis- are in possession of some material fact which all those who are trans- are not. It is thus possible that someone who is trans- satisfies more of your criterion for physical gender than someone who is cis-.

there simply are core and peripheral traits (physical and otherwise) which make up either gender and physical transitioning simply cannot attain all of them.  . . . A mental transition would give a transperson just as much opportunity as a cisperson to have all the physical traits associated with their gender.

S1) None of those traits in themselves are either necessary or sufficient to be either gender.
S1) 'Attaining all of those traits' is not a metric by which the success of transitioning is measured, and there is no reason for it to be.
S2) What if someone who is infertile desires to manifest a fertile body - would a mental transition to bring their mind in line with the facts of their infertile body be appropriate?

***

The question of altering minds to bring them in line with bodies instead of altering bodies to bring them in line with minds is an interesting one. However, as it currently stands, people can articulate their dissatisfactions and their desires with their bodies. If I want a tattoo, I can recognize that desire and pursue it.  I can articulate that and seek to remedy it as well. But what is the reverse scenario? Given Body X, how do you know what changes to make to the brain to bring it in line with that body? The hypothetical is too thin in detail to be evaluated - what specifically will be changed? If I experience significant dissonance about my physical sex, I feel you're going to have to determine where that dissonance comes from (whether bio-, psycho-, or social- causes) before endeavouring to mitigate that dissonance through neurological intervention.

 

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