gender

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lolziest part is somehow trusting their other two kids to keep the secret

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 24 May 2011 21:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

kids are weirdly obsessed with gender and gender rules--im sure most of that derives from still learning how to "perform" their particular gender. I can't help but think the parents in this story are doing their kids a diservice, getting along and coping with the BS of society is an important skill in its own right, so raising kids as if they live in a gender utopia is maybe not such great parenting.

sometimes, though, it's good parenting to allow your kids to express themselves in abnormal ways (w/r/t gender, sexual orientation, race, or whatever) even to the point where they risk getting ostracized and picked upon by other kids (or even adults). no matter how old you are, the price of being confident and having a strong sense of self is confrontation, and it's more worthwhile to learn how to face or defuse confrontation than it is to avoid it altogether at the expense of your individuality. mind you, I'm not saying parents should put their kids in controversial places merely for the sake of generating controversy, which is often the way it works when the media gets involved in people's personal lives.

gtforia estfufan (unregistered), Tuesday, 24 May 2011 21:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

thing is: how did this become "news" in the first place? like, did they call the paper and say "you know we'd just like to put this out there" or what?

cop a cute abdomen (gbx), Tuesday, 24 May 2011 21:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah i get you, and i think i agree. surely that can be done in a way that says "be whoever or whatever you want" but also "this is how society may react, and how closed minded people are, and perhaps here's how to try and get along with them."

ryan, Tuesday, 24 May 2011 21:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...
8 months pass...

This post continues from here, emil.y's Feminist Theiry & "Women's Issues" Discussion Thread. I'm jumping threads because I felt like my interest in discussing the biological basis of what we perceive as "gender" was not really appropriate for that thread. Anyone who's interested in that topic(hey, surfing!) or who would simply like to discuss gender in a differently framed space (ENBB, VegemiteGrrl, aimless, anyone) is welcome to join me here.

More to come...

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh, right. Frame it as "discuss gender without those pesky feminists distracting us with their facts" = really not classy way to do this.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

*sigh*

max buzzword (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

WCC, come on, surely you can see that Con is taking his subject of interest here also not to derail the previous thread.

Flag post? I hardly knew her! (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

xposts

Um I totally intend to be all up in this thread with feminist facts FWIW and I don't think Contenderizer is against that?

I read this as the other thread has gravitated (that's probably the wrong word but y'know) towards talking about social constructs and privilige and I felt the same, like I would be having a separate conversation at the same table if I talked about biological sex and constructing a working model of the relationship between the body, the brain and the mind's sex / gender uh.. stuff... so moving this conversation seems OK to me?

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh, right. Frame it as "discuss gender without those pesky feminists distracting us with their facts" = really not classy way to do this.

it's framed as a open discussion of gender, WCC, that's all. and i'm only attempting to move a certain portion of the discussion because i felt as though i was intruding into the other thread by constantly bringing up the stuff i wanted to talk about. i didn't want to be a irritant or a boor. beyond that, a few other people had mentioned feeling nervous abt bringing up their viewpoints in that thread, so i hoped that this might provide a more comfortable space for them.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

but hey, we're off to the races...

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

That "differently framed space" crack was pretty dumb, you have to admit. I think the initial post was judgier than it had to be under the circumstances. But I'm interested to see what's discussed here, because this kind of reading material is stuff I'm prob never going to tackle on my own!

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's not the reviving of the thread, or the addressing of the topic, it's the "hey! List of ppl who clashed w WCC & Laurel on the other thread, we got a new clubhouse here!" that irks.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

So... WCC lent me this book called "Delusions of Gender", I can't copy-paste every paragraph because boring, illegal and tl;dr, but I want to talk about it LOTS. It is very interesting and stuffed with proper citations. I'm only a chapter in but would highly recommend.

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

WCC, perhaps this is in deference to your 'owning' the other thread and ppl not feeling comfortable about contradicting or disagreeing w/you there or even commenting questioningly. I certainly don't; it's been made clear that ppl of my accidental stripe are suspect.

le ralliement du doute et de l'erreur (Michael White), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think one of the more interesting books i've read on gender and biological determinism is "Demonic Males"-- it cries out for a feminist critique, however.

http://www.amazon.com/Demonic-Males-Origins-Human-Violence/dp/0395877431/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329339100&sr=8-1

ryan, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't "own" the other thread. I didn't even start it.

And that "Demonic Males" although I read it, was picked apart pretty thoroughly by other primate scientists so I don't think much "feminist" critique is needed.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

so, the first thing i wanna do is to restate my take on gender and biology from that previous thread, as i'd like to know what others think:

gender's odd. it's clearly a cultural construct, both in a hazy, general sense that exists outside any specific individual and in the various ways we all individually (re)construct & perceive it. but that's not all it is. unlike "race", there's a substantial biological component to gender, at least to the extent that sex and gender are related. of course, we can only understand what "biological gender" might mean at several levels of remove, as filtered through a thicket of complex inherited constructions from which we can't even sensibly hope to extricate our perspectives.

speaking personally and not necessarily scientifically, it seems to me that biological gender probably does in certain respects "drive" human behavior and that these drivings do sometimes correspond at least partially with the dubious cultural constructs we've inherited. men, for example, seem in general to be more openly and aggressively violent than women, to the extent that male violence is a serious problem the world over. the fact that male violence has been a problem in every society and historic epoch i know of suggests to me that it probably has at least some basis in human biology.

with that in mind, it doesn't seem unreasonable to suppose that the relationship between testosterone and male competition might have something to do with this, as competition often expresses itself in aggression, and aggression in turn in violence. this is not to say that men are intractably violent, of course, or that women can't be violent themselves...

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh and if you're going to trot out the tired old "feminists be making men all suspect bcuz they'd like them to acknowledge privilege" wow you are really taking the retro thing a bit far there.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

Just from the PW review of that book, ryan, I will certainly not be reading it.

In their analysis, patriotism breeds aggression, yet, from an evolutionary standpoint, they reject the presumed inevitability of male violence and male dominance over women.

How enlightened and helpful of them. I'm so glad they took that first step toward actually doing something about a culture of rape and violence--they rejected its inevitability!

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 20:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

ah. well i read it a long time ago and it popped into my head on the "gender/biology" question. im not intending to defend it. not helpful bringing it up here, i guess.

ryan, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

That "differently framed space" crack was pretty dumb, you have to admit. I think the initial post was judgier than it had to be under the circumstances. But I'm interested to see what's discussed here, because this kind of reading material is stuff I'm prob never going to tackle on my own!

― one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:39 PM (18 minutes ago) Bookmark

It's not the reviving of the thread, or the addressing of the topic, it's the "hey! List of ppl who clashed w WCC & Laurel on the other thread, we got a new clubhouse here!" that irks.

― White Chocolate Cheesecake, Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:40 PM (16 minutes ago) Bookmark

okay, that's fair. guilty as charged. i was feeling a bit shut out in that last thread (and perhaps prickly in response) and i got the feeling that at least a few others were on the same page. could have been a bit more politic about it itt, though.

anyway, i don't in any way mean to frame this thread as "not feminist". my hope was that it would feel like a free and open space to all, including WCC & laurel & anyone else.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

in the terms of this thread id argue simply that nothing is really anything until it's interpreted as such, and i think that even includes how we respond to our own hormonal states.

ryan, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

in that there is no real direct through-line from hormonal and/or biological states to behavior.

ryan, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

contdzr: In your whole 2nd paragraph, I feel like you could remove "male" from "male violence" and you'd be closer to the truth?

In partic, this statement: "the fact that male violence has been a problem in every society and historic epoch i know of suggests to me that it probably has at least some basis in human biology." That's not science! That's your assumption from a general knowledge of history! I don't know if you're right or wrong, but gbx made some pretty fact-filled posts to the oth thread about how from a medical standpoint he wasn't going along with any kind of hormone-driven assumptions about violence or anything else.

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

gender is weird in that there's the sex<->gender link at one level, the internal psychological self-image, the perception of others, and then the entire idea of "traditional gender roles" or even gender roles at all, in that you probably should be able to decide what aspects and roles you apply to your life(style)

and about eighty other angles, really

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

And that "Demonic Males" although I read it, was picked apart pretty thoroughly by other primate scientists so I don't think much "feminist" critique is needed.

― White Chocolate Cheesecake, Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:56 PM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark

curious abt this. i read a good deal about it at the time, and it seemed to be fairly well-received, at least in mainstream circles at the time of publication. and criticism isn't necessarily negation, right? always meant to read it, tbh.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

Laurel, can we at least assume that being born male in a society with customs that perpetuate male violence mean there's a relation, even if it's not directly a result of the organism, but rather the perceived gender role of the organism?

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh and if you're going to trot out the tired old "feminists be making men all suspect bcuz they'd like them to acknowledge privilege" wow you are really taking the retro thing a bit far there.

are you replying to a post that hasn't even been made?

radiant silverfish (diamonddave85), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

In their analysis, patriotism breeds aggression, yet, from an evolutionary standpoint, they reject the presumed inevitability of male violence and male dominance over women.

Huh? Patriotism is a relatively recent construct.

What if patriarchy was a very successful but increasingly less so human adaptation? Like, among all the other weird things in human evolution (and we above all species have had the most 'success' with cultural and social adaptation; we even eat in perhaps a highly unnatural way) like smaller jaws, etc..., we went through a period of endemic low-level violence that favored brutish males and now were still living through the genetic echo of that, even when it may or may not make much sense since anybody can sit in a control room and 'pilot' drones?

le ralliement du doute et de l'erreur (Michael White), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

That "shut out" that you felt on that thread? That's pretty much how I feel on ~the rest of the Internet~ where I get advertising choices based on my google searches that mark me as "male" and try to sell me Rogaine. That's how I feel when my Sys Admin says "you're not a girl, you're a geek" as if that's supposed to be a compliment.

If you, as a man, are made to feel little ~shut out~ by a feminist space, you should actually take a little moment on how you have the rest of the world to feel comfortable in, which is not a choice for gender non-conforming women like me.

Opinions on "biological gender" presented without science to back them up make me so angry that I want to show you all exactly how little testosterone has to do with violence. But I dont get to write it off my violence as "testosterone" when I get angry, I just get written off as "crazy woman" and penalized in ways that a man getting angry will never face.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

tbf the solution there is to stop society from accepting violence from any party, not to accept it from women, too

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

Laurel, can we at least assume that being born male in a society with customs that perpetuate male violence mean there's a relation, even if it's not directly a result of the organism, but rather the perceived gender role of the organism?

I don't know! But that's not what contend was asking, he is specifically talking about the likelihood of a link between masculine violence/aggression and testosterone...or something? If I'm parsing correctly.

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

@MW Replace 'genetic echo' with 'cultural echo' and I think you might have more of a point.

Also unknown as Zora (Surfing At Work), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

but gbx made some pretty fact-filled posts to the oth thread about how from a medical standpoint he wasn't going along with any kind of hormone-driven assumptions about violence or anything else.

Even if you ignore the fact that adolescent males are far more likely to kill, die or engage in anti-social bhaviors you haven't even looked at the (slightly, by comparison) bi-morphism of humans, meaning even if your aggressor is a woman, you have a statistical chance that, if you're a man, you outweigh her or are taller.

le ralliement du doute et de l'erreur (Michael White), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

in the terms of this thread id argue simply that nothing is really anything until it's interpreted as such, and i think that even includes how we respond to our own hormonal states.

...in that there is no real direct through-line from hormonal and/or biological states to behavior.

― ryan, Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:04 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark

sure, but we don't need a direct through-line of the "hormone Y causes behavior X" sort in order to reasonably suppose that human chemistry might have some kind of influence on human behavior, especially when considered in a general sense.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm not interested in explaining books to ppl who haven't read them. If you're so interested in gender, go read them yourself. I gotta get off this thread because this level of anger makes me feel violent and women are socialized to direct that violence / anger on themselves.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

...

wolf kabob (ENBB), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

@MW Replace 'genetic echo' with 'cultural echo' and I think you might have more of a point.

I am super curious about the effect of culture on human evolution. In aworld filled w/racism and the kind of sexism that leaves little girls out to die, the relationship is not tenuous in some cases, it's very direct. Thus I think genetic and cultural are intertwined.

le ralliement du doute et de l'erreur (Michael White), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

If you aren't interested in a thread, indeed, why stick around? It can be interesting to others who are interested in it, and I think Con has made a sensible decision to separate his interests from the former thread and place them here.

xxp

Flag post? I hardly knew her! (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

man, you can cut the sexual tension in here with a knife, amiright?

Unleash the Chang (he did what!) (Austerity Ponies), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

This biological underpinings of gender discussion is kind of one that involves actual science and not just how we feel about things? Maybe it should have a reading list? Because otherwise this convo is kind of weird.

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

in the terms of this thread id argue simply that nothing is really anything until it's interpreted as such

Mr Shakespear?

le ralliement du doute et de l'erreur (Michael White), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

the same society that is trying to tell WCC that her actions are untoward or that she's going to get male advertisements (which, I dunno, I get ads that seem more woman-targeted sometimes, advertising algorithms suck) is the one that told me as a kid that aggressively standing up to a bully was ok, I should be in the pursuing role in relationships, I should be protective of women in my life to an extent I wouldn't be for men, and that I am supposed to have interests or aspirations that I am not that into

Yet, as a white male, I can go up to people and they assume my privilege until I disavow enough of these and get a look of disgust or questioning? Do I lose some marginal amount of privilege, or is it just a stigma on top of that privilege?

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

man, you can cut the sexual tension in here with a knife

If there's one reason for sexual reproduction, it's 'tension'. It may be fucked to live and throw out lots of 'weirdos' but it's not as complacent nor as vulnerable as asexual reproduction. Hence us...

le ralliement du doute et de l'erreur (Michael White), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw I left the other threads because I felt I wasn't really contributing anything -- not everyone is an endless font of deep thought! And really, other than trying to root around for devil's advocacy or whatever, I've got nothing some days

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's worth pointing out that biodeterministic assertions that are necessarily rooted in some dichotomous Testosterone/Estrogen ish betray a fundamental and devastating, argument-wise, misapprehension of some basic endocrine stuff

― i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Tuesday, February 14, 2012 1:17 AM

in that: genotypically men and women are pumping out estrogens and androgens all the time, but at differing rates and compositions. this is largely (but not entirely) due to having different soft things making different hormonal stews; stews that, in XX/XY or XXY or XYY or w/e, are comprised of hormones shared and produced by literally (almost) everyone and that (surprise) can be chemically induced to act more like what we simplistically believe are their binaries.

which is to say: it might be very likely that if someone's hormonal ecosystem, with its v special concentration ratios, is experiencing a surfeit of testosterone, that that may predispose someone to aggression. or "aggression." and so sure XY "men" are more likely to roiling in that brew.

but that says nothing about the actual, root-causes of violence and violent behavior, what's doing the roiling. many ppl have a genetic predisposition to cancer (and these genes are often ~less~ subtle than the in-yr-face obviousness of X/Y phenotypic difference). and some of these people will, "inevitably," go on to develop cancer. but many of them dramatically increase their risk by engaging in behaviors and exposing themselves to risks (maybe unknowingly!) that also predispose to cancer. would we be right to demur on the topic of "bad behavior" or "social determinants" and make the genetic component the essential one, because it's more "science-y"? because that would be dumb.

so yeah ok i guess retrospectively males are pretty violent and sure if you take steroids (as a man or a woman) you're gonna be more hot-tempered than if you didn't. and criminals have excessive levels of testosterone or something (note the word "excessive"). big fucking deal! PCP, booze, and lust make all ppl violent and criminals also have "excessive levels" of drug addiction, mental illness, minority status, and connections to poverty.

tl;dr even pretending to get serious about the ~hormonal~ roots of gendered relations is roughly equivalent to phrenology, both scientifically and ethically

― i love pinfold cricket (gbx), Tuesday, February 14, 2012 1:46 AM

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

I kind of lost the plot after that tbh.

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Why do you keep assuming cis ppl're going to be confused

sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Friday, 4 April 2014 15:22 (6 months ago) Permalink

can you just put a blank space for people to write in whatever they want?

coops all on coops tbh (crüt), Friday, 4 April 2014 15:31 (6 months ago) Permalink

Our first "NOT AAALLLL CIS PEOPLE!!!!" comment. Yay!

Branwell Bell, Friday, 4 April 2014 15:33 (6 months ago) Permalink

Zing

sonic thedgehod (albvivertine), Friday, 4 April 2014 15:37 (6 months ago) Permalink

Omg, my co- worker who did not even bother coming to the meeting about re-doing the questions is fighting me on this and directing me to census categories. I suspect religious grounds are behind that. Nnnnnggggg. 20 emails and counting.

Crut - that would be great but would cause us probs with auto-categorizing the data.

ljubljana, Friday, 4 April 2014 16:08 (6 months ago) Permalink

Everyone agreed yesterday to change the question, bar the co-worker who skipped the meeting. We just needed to sort out wording. Today no-one except me is responding to her emails saying we mustn't add any other options. Her reasons: (bear in mind we are asking parents as well as children about their gender):

Again, I think g3ender should be m@le/fem@le. If there is a consensus to have third option, which I d0n't think there is, then the third opti0n should just be blank. I don't think w3 are in a position to get into terminology that is p0tentially confus1ng (children aren't usually transg3nd3r and p@rents don't necessarily choose a different g3nder for young childr3n). It becomes too pol1tical as well.

I responded to that by saying I disagree but would go along with the results of a vote, so please let's have show of hands. No-one responded, and the person trying to get the new questionnaire together has now asked our supervisor to decide. I think I know which way it'll go, unfortunately. I could still be wrong.

ljubljana, Friday, 4 April 2014 21:31 (6 months ago) Permalink


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