Author Topic: I'm a woman and you're all scientists  (Read 5722 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline GodSlayer

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 12566
I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« on: December 13, 2016, 03:44:08 PM »
gender _politics_ are off-topic in this thread. no moralizing, only hypothesis construction/deconstruction.

this is a philosophy/taxonomy/linguistics topic... gender philosophy


Suppose I say/allege/conjecture/propose to you: "I'm a woman" -- what does that mean? As a scientist and a linguist, how can you falsify or confirm my hypothesis?



I was in a conversation about kinks earlier and this topic crossed my mind, and I noticed that I've never found a satisfactory answer to this, though I try to ask smart/thoughtful people about it. Then I wondered if I'd ever really tried a deep dive on it, or whether I just mention it in passing and no one really has the time to think it through and give the answer. So, here I put it to you, to be the academic and discover what it is that makes me a woman.


you know it when you see it? If you show me things, apples and pears, apples and pears in rectums on pornhub, apples and pears in rectums on wikipedia illustrating medical encyclopedia entries, I think I could tell you not only whether or not it's porn, but why I'm saying what I'm saying. likewise mp3s and windchimes and bird calls, I could say why something is or isn't music, if it's true that 'I know it when I hear it', all I have to do is synthesize my knowings into a working hypothesis! So, hopefully no one has the 'I know it when I see it' smoke grenade to offer for this quandary. Though I doubt you do (after all, that seems to immediately welcome the bigoted observations/judgements that people of concern for these issues wish to invalidate, so clearly that cuts no ice). But, if you think that's the case, you can still play science with me and articulate the hypothesis with its list of things you would need to see to know based on the collection of data of things you have seen and thereby known gender by virtue of.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 04:02:52 PM by GodSlayer »
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline daniel1948

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3972
  • Cat Lovers Against the Bomb
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 05:22:16 PM »
When I saw the thread title, I thought to myself, "Gosh, GodSlayer sure looks like a guy in the pictures on the What Do We Look Like thread."

I'm not sure it's even possible to discuss the subject of gender without touching on gender politics, since some people consider themselves to not be the gender associated with the physiology they were born with. But if you mean strictly physiological gender, I think the only way to tell is by looking at the physiology, since some individuals have a very androgynous appearance, and some people who appear very masculine or very feminine are actually the other gender. Some popular movies have made hay with this by including a character who appears to be other than his or her actual gender.

Conclusion: Other than a physical examination, I don't think there's any way to answer the question. Or else the answer is like the answer to the race question on another thread: You are a woman if you consider yourself a woman. I don't think there's any good science establishing differences between the genders other than physiology and/or culture.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online superdave

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4665
  • My name is not dave.
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 05:52:01 PM »
The way I think about it, gender is a collection of traits, none of which is is sufficient by itself to establish gender, but taken as a sum, establish whether a person is male or female.  This of course breaks down at edge cases, and I honestly don't personally know how to handle those yet. For example a person who identifies as a woman with no other obvious feminine traits, and no lifestyle choices that are more typical of women than men.  I'd have a hard time accepting that person as female, but I'd be open to it.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 05:54:58 PM by superdave »

Online Andrew Clunn

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 14813
  • Aspiring Super Villain
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 06:23:03 PM »
I fall back on a blatant argument from authority on this one.  I simply consult the oracle:

(click to show/hide)
You want data?  My pie charts are made with a secret family recipe, my relationship charts stay committed even through tough times, and my line charts will get get high as fuck!

Offline GodSlayer

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 12566
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2016, 01:42:36 PM »
When I saw the thread title, I thought to myself, "Gosh, GodSlayer sure looks like a guy in the pictures on the What Do We Look Like thread."

insert 'don't assume my gender' memes :P

I'm not sure it's even possible to discuss the subject of gender without touching on gender politics, since some people consider themselves to not be the gender associated with the physiology they were born with.

that's still just philosophy.
I'm not talking about drivers licencing and segregated toilets and gyms and pro sports

Conclusion: Other than a physical examination, I don't think there's any way to answer the question.

that conclusion, of course, is its own answer, one some people might disagree with, but what matters is that it's a position/conclusion/hypothesis, it gives us something to put in a dictionary so that our sounds are words.

Or else the answer is like the answer to the race question on another thread: You are a woman if you consider yourself a woman. I don't think there's any good science establishing differences between the genders other than physiology and/or culture.

I'm happy to hear a hypothesis like that proposed here, too, so long as it's not circular -- 'you're a woman if you c_some sort of explanation goes here_'. Otherwise you may as well declare yourself or your race or your gender or all three things to be flableflorf.

never heard of flableflorf? a flableflorf is just anyone that considers themselves or a part of themselves to be a flableflorf. ...and no communication of ideas was achieved that day.
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline GodSlayer

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 12566
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 01:43:36 PM »
I fall back on a blatant argument from authority on this one.  I simply consult the oracle:

(click to show/hide)

good thing for urls, I thought that was from Storm from x-men or sumn
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline Morvis13

  • Big Ol' Goober
  • Planetary Skeptic
  • *
  • Posts: 21855
  • Natural Source of Paranoia
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 03:17:24 PM »
You claim to be a woman therefore you are in your mind. Not in mine. My thinking and definition of terms shouldn't matter to you if you are confident in your claim. Now if you said you are a book then I might question you to define what you mean by that but then on a philosophical scale I'd still have to accept you think you are a book. From a society scale we've polarized our genders by plumbing but that isn't exactly correct. In the end it is what you think you are that really should count.

Did that answer your question?
Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Morvis' Law: Anything that does go wrong is my fault.

Offline GodSlayer

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 12566
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 05:28:19 PM »
You claim to be a woman therefore you are in your mind. Not in mine.

I am what?

if I claim to be a scientist, a. I am saying something / the noises that come out of my face mean something. b. it's possible for me to be right or wrong, c. it's possible in principle for others to know if I'm right or wrong, d. you can explain to another person who doesn't know what a scientist is what it means for me to say I am one, whether or not I am.

what about when I claim to be a woman?

Did that answer your question?

if you can use a synonym to tell me what you understand me to believe I am with my assertion, then you did. or even if you can only say 'you're speaking gibberish to me, I have no idea what you're claiming or asserting', that also answers my question.

My thinking and definition of terms shouldn't matter to you if you are confident in your claim.

in that case, I'm a scientist and I'm your father.
why should my confidence/pathology matter? no matter how mentally ill I am, I never become your father, just like the guy in the asylum never becomes Jesus Christ.

being confident that I am doesn't mean I am. but more to the point, what is the am? with Jesus and your father, and with the scientist, we can answer it, we can hypothesize observations to make or questions to ask to confirm or falsify the claim. But for all my attempts to talk about this with people who seem to think they have deep progressive thoughts on the matter, I've never found anyone about to do the same for the woman claim
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 05:35:07 PM by GodSlayer »
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline daniel1948

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3972
  • Cat Lovers Against the Bomb
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 07:33:48 PM »

Suppose I say/allege/conjecture/propose to you: "I'm a woman" -- what does that mean? As a scientist and a linguist, how can you falsify or confirm my hypothesis?


I think maybe the problem I'm having here is that if we want to be rigorous, you need to define "woman." What it means to be a woman or to say you are a woman depends on your definition of "woman." Most people probably define "woman" by the genitalia. But some people have other definitions, perhaps based on something about the psyche.

So before anybody can falsify or confirm your hypothesis, there has to be a definition of "woman." And we are not going to get a universally-accepted definition. Some people will say you are a women if you have female genitalia, some will say you are a women if you were born with female genitalia, and some will say you are a woman if you feel that you are a woman. This list is likely not exhaustive.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline GodSlayer

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 12566
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 08:18:48 PM »
I think maybe the problem I'm having here is that if we want to be rigorous, you need to define "woman."

So before anybody can falsify or confirm your hypothesis, there has to be a definition of "woman."

that statement suggests you don't have one, which means you have no business using the sound/collection of letters as though it's a word in your vocabulary.

if it's a word, then you can ask me whatever you like, according to your existing definition.

And we are not going to get a universally-accepted definition

well, that's pretty much the whole point of philosophical arguments, coming to a conclusion that any reasonable person ought to agree with. we can't universally find reasonable people, but that's neither here nor there.

Most people probably define "woman" by the genitalia. But some people have other definitions, perhaps based on something about the psyche.

exactly. maybe most people do, but in the past 20 years or so there has been an increasing push for something other than that, so it seems reasonable to take some time to discuss it. likewise the whole 'atheists are agnostics' thing...whoever is right, whatever the word for this or that should be, we should be able to come to a reasonable conclusion about it. what 'most' people happen to _currently_ believe isn't really all that important.
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline Morvis13

  • Big Ol' Goober
  • Planetary Skeptic
  • *
  • Posts: 21855
  • Natural Source of Paranoia
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2016, 09:27:41 PM »
I guess the problem stems from definition. First we have to agree to speak english and use accepted norms for words.
In that case you have claimed to be an adult human female. By adult we define that as over the age of 18.
Human seems obvious of the species homo sapien distinguished from other animals by a superior intellect and capable of articulate speech. If we go by the dictionary then female would be able to bear offspring by the production of ova germinated by male sperm.

Now as a scientist that is a person that studies natural and/or physical sciences. So even a high school student taking a science class is studying and can be classified as a scientist.

as for being my father I would have to be your direct biological offspring from a specimen of female as defined above. It would be impossible for you to be my father or anyones father if you were a female. (if we go by the dictionary).
Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Morvis' Law: Anything that does go wrong is my fault.

Offline Johnny Slick

  • "Goddammit, Slick."
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 11719
  • Fake Ass Skeptic
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2016, 09:58:11 PM »
Ok you're a woman. It's no skin off my back if you want to self identify as female.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline GodSlayer

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 12566
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2016, 01:12:32 AM »
Ok you're a woman. It's no skin off my back if you want to self identify as female.

did you just call me female? how rude! possibly.
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline GodSlayer

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 12566
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2016, 01:15:08 AM »
I guess the problem stems from definition. First we have to agree to speak english and use accepted norms for words.

sure, but just as we used to call people computers, until those electronic computing machines were invented, maybe what we used to call or not call woman also needs to change.
Quote from: Nietzsche
the inequality of rights is essential to the existence of any rights at all.--A right is a privilege.
Quote from: Ligotti
One cringes to hear scientists cooing over the universe or any part thereof like schoolgirls over-heated by their first crush.

Offline Morvis13

  • Big Ol' Goober
  • Planetary Skeptic
  • *
  • Posts: 21855
  • Natural Source of Paranoia
Re: I'm a woman and you're all scientists
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2016, 08:38:09 AM »
I guess the problem stems from definition. First we have to agree to speak english and use accepted norms for words.

sure, but just as we used to call people computers, until those electronic computing machines were invented, maybe what we used to call or not call woman also needs to change.

Is that what we are arguing? I agree. All definition should be fluid and change over time. That doesn't make you any less a woman now.
Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
Morvis' Law: Anything that does go wrong is my fault.

 

personate-rain
personate-rain