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@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

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, February 15, 2012 1:05 PM (10 minutes ago) Bookmark

first part of that i disagree with. yes, violence has always been a problem. but males seem always (in every culture and throughout history) to be disproportionately responsible for extreme acts violence and aggression. regardless of how we interpret this fact, it remains a fact, and i don't see why we should sweep it under the table.

fwiw, i responded to GBX in that other thread. while testosterone might not be clearly linked to male violence, it is clearly linked to make competition and seems to be produced as a result of victory over other males. the competition in question is often aggressive and even violent, and from those few things it seems reasonable to at least keep the hypothesis on the table.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

^ when i say that, i mean scientifically linked.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

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.

yeah, this is in fact a very complex problem.

i think my take is simply this: "gender" and "biology" are entirely separate realms. they are absolutely irreducible to each other. incommensurable. just in the way your nervous systems only communicates with itself, gender and biology are closed off from one another. at best they are "environmental irritations" that are nevertheless folded into the self-referential processes at work in both.

in fact, and it sounds weird, but it's just as pertinent a question to ask how gender influences biology!

ryan, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

maybe men are just told their entire lives that they're more violent and the masculine culture reinforces that?

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

God these dicussions feel so depressing to me :/

Lindsay NAGL (Trayce), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

the natural correlary to that testosterone assertion, contendz, is that is that the social construct of masculinity is rooted in competition, aggression, and acts of violence. and that is ... to me, limiting, especially if we view gender as either dichotomized or (male-female) spectral.

"renegade" gnome (remy bean), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:27 (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, February 15, 2012 1:11 PM (12 minutes ago) Bookmark

hey look. it's possible that i felt shut out of the other thread for good reasons that i need to reflect on. and it's possible that i felt shut out due to interpersonal shit that isn't quite as politically clear-cut. or both. fwiw, it's possible that i did reflect in the manner you suggest and did this anyway. i humbly submit that i did.

i mean, i'd love to talk to someone about the science involved. that's a big part of why i brought this stuff up here.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

contend, you are normally so sensible and otm in my estimation that it's a crazy new world in which I have to stop myself from reflexively agreeing with you, but you have not brought any facts to this thread except your own wondering about stuff.

I'm not saying that wondering about stuff isn't great and good for discussions, but there is actual research in the area this thread purports to be about, and WCC and ryan and (hopefully!) zora and other people who're engaged with stuff like this right now, will drop some info and then we can look into the studies and critique them, maybe, and stuff like that.

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

That was a many-post xp in case that wasn't obvious.

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

So it's too simple to assume that gender isn't 'based' around ranges of phenotypes?

le ralliement du doute et de l'erreur (Michael White), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

I guess where I'm getting with this is: I think we can all agree that the gender norms and prescribed gender roles in society have a number of harmful effects, the most visible being male privilege -- that is where the feminism thread was going, and really I think that bring this discussion elsewhere is worthwhile as a big picture thing. Because the feminist discussion is supremely important in the ~now~.

But what about the long term? Is there any way we can get to a point where a lot of the baggage of supposed gender roles is dropped? At the biological base, we're stuck with only one sex being able to bear children. But the traditional mother/father roles are already being reevaluated, especially with marriage between any two consenting adults (and the assumed child-rearing privileges) becoming the norm.

Is gay marriage an automatic boon to the negatives of gender roles, in that it breaks them down?

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

I am learning new language recently and I'm super into the idea of performance, the performance of gender, and I thought plax/judith's post on the other thread was rly beautiful and visionary about where we could go with gender, if we made it happen.

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

:)

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

maybe men are just told their entire lives that they're more violent and the masculine culture reinforces that?

― valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:24 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

the natural correlary to that testosterone assertion, contendz, is that is that the social construct of masculinity is rooted in competition, aggression, and acts of violence. and that is ... to me, limiting, especially if we view gender as either dichotomized or (male-female) spectral.

― "renegade" gnome (remy bean), Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:27 PM (2 minutes ago) Bookmark

okay, that makes sense. but one of the things i found really interesting in that other thread was this quote brought up by La Lechera, from the book The First Sexual Revolution: Lust and Liberty In the 18th Century:

"Adulterers and prostitutes could be executed and women were agreed to be more libidinous than men – then in the 18th century attitudes to sex underwent an extraordinary change"

this is fascinating, not least because it contradicts what current western societies often try to tell us about the "natural" nature of human sexual roles, attitudes and behaviors. this supports the idea that gender is a cultural construct, and as such is as fluid as culture itself can be. but the "disproportionate" nature of male violence does not seem to be similarly fluid. instead, it seems to be pretty consistent throughout history and across cultures. that's why i've focused so much on it in both of these threads. it's an outlier. a special case.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

I feel like I'm venturing more into the ridiculous self-help dump thread with this, but I feel like discovering where we would optimally like to go with the future of these things and then shaping our dialogue to influence and persuade others in the world at large is more effective than squabbling over differences of definition

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

contenderizer, no one is arguing that males have been more violent historically or that current male culture is more violent, I think?

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:40 (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, February 15, 2012 1:04 PM (23 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this is interesting to me. i've always imagined i can feel hormonal influences at work in certain moments regarding certain desires/needs. but they are inchoate to the point where they don't actually mean anything at root, i'm realizing this more and more, and that that sort of libidinal energy is like low-level programming routinage that is used to effect/affect all sorts of behavior. i suspect that we channel so much of our biology through social/historical conditioning (which--isn't this biology anyway? neural pathways and such) that we confuse the constancy and power and "root-feeling" of hormonal influences with the root-feelings of directionality, binary thinking, etc, or that we do a lot of processing and channeling and "work" to get where we are wrt gender identities and such. i think my point is that male and female essentialism that appeals to the body and "biology" is funny and both true and false (though not in the way the two sides want it) because 1 the body is extremely multivalent (as gbx details v v wonderfully in one of these threads that inevitably contains 1,000 blathering contenderizer posts, wtf is up with that) and 2 the body is like literally a physical node for the larger cultural/social/historical body in which it exists as a cell.

so many xps

lil kink (Matt P), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

I am learning new language recently and I'm super into the idea of performance, the performance of gender, and I thought plax/judith's post on the other thread was rly beautiful and visionary about where we could go with gender, if we made it happen.

Am I wrong, or has Judith Butler really not been invoked yet on these threads?

jaymc, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

like, the constant circle jerk was "male culture is more violent, something something biology?" and then lots of debate on whether it's nature or nurture

who gives a fuck? the only thing to ask is whether this is a biology we can overcome, or if it in some way serves a purpose, and if it does, how we can work that to our means

Matt P, I kiss you, that is a good post

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

I give you this beautiful thing from the oth thread:

its just even with a both/and you're positing this distinction. as if the body ended at the surface of the skin, but the body leaves itself in traces, ruffled traces, the warm part on a sofa, the smell of someone sleeping. and in words, the sounds of voices in other rooms, the shape of handwriting. culture and nature are no more distinct than bodies and language. the difference between xx and xy. i mean where is it that these separate influences are being exerted. sexism is the description of a certain terrain maybe. not exactly a pre-coded set of tactics. new sexisms come into being all the time just as new feminisms come into being in order to combat them. new terrains and new means of navigating them. a set of survival strategies. it might be easier to just think of nature itself, how it is produced by culture. if we want to unhinge and dismantle patriarchy then we need to unhinge and dismantle the logics that produce it. the constant need to find a set of anteriors. bodies themselves are processes, movements, materials, sites of inscription. bodies are culture, not just because they are cultured but because the complexity of such assemblages is irreducible. fractures, continuities. its hard to understand where trans people would fit into a world in which gender can only be understood as a construct of culture or language or whatever. why the need to transition, to submit to these particular technologies of the body, vaginaplasty, testosterone injections, bilateral masectomy, brow shaping, etc etc. are these elaborate modes of gender performativity? that seems insulting somehow. how to disconnect these processes from learning how to walk like a woman, changing your name. moving. finding a space to transition. bodies are narrated and they narrate themselves.

― judith, Monday, February 13, 2012 8:41 PM

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

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, February 15, 2012 1:15 PM (26 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

like this is such a dumb post, what are u even trying to accomplish

lil kink (Matt P), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

judith's post invokes Gilles Deleuze and Genesis P. Orridge, and beauty

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

Matt, I don't kiss you but that was great. That's the kind of stuff I need.

one little aioli (Laurel), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

well, my point is that it seems reasonable, given what we know, to keep the idea that "biology influences behavior" on the table on the table where sex and gender are concerned.

i mean, it's sort of funny to contrast the strong ILX resistance to biological determinism where gender is concerned to the casual and even happy acceptance of it in the free will thread.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

( -- ( .) - ( .) / (am0n), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have no good reason other than prejudgement to believe that my encounters with aggression and competitiveness have been with people who are biologically predisposed to display these qualities.

gbx otm wrt phrenology. Laurel otm wrt reading list. And I empathise with WCC's frustration.

Unleash the Chang (he did what!) (Austerity Ponies), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

really hoping Genesis P. Orridge is not the model of gender relations/definitions of the future tbqh

max buzzword (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

that last one went to MH, and yeah, laurel OTM, that judith post was/is beautiful. thanks for reposting it here.

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's sort of funny to contrast the strong ILX resistance to biological determinism where gender is concerned to the casual and even happy acceptance of it in the free will thread.

I was totally shocked by that free will thread, mind done got boggled

max buzzword (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

Did anyone ever say there wasn't an influence though? I think that the shouting match in the other thread was one side going "behavior and roles do not have to be determined by biology" and the other side going "but biology influences behavior!!!"

influence and determination, and the male psyche

valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

I love that judith post.

Janet Snakehole (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

judith's post invokes Gilles Deleuze and Genesis P. Orridge, and beauty

― valleys of your mind (mh), woensdag 15 februari 2012 22:44 (6 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Flag post? I hardly knew her! (Le Bateau Ivre), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

I kind of figure that one error we heave tended to make in the 'scientific era' is one of conflating our social values w/norms. Perhaps trans ppl and queers and dumb jocks and beauty queens and smart jocks and nerds and quiet ppl and partiers and moralists and hedonists are all part of the human genome for friggin genetic adaptive reasons, even if they're not particularly well adapted to the era they live in - maybe they were once or that behavior was/is associated w/another adaptation that meant the difference between life and death for some geneaolgy.

le ralliement du doute et de l'erreur (Michael White), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have no good reason other than prejudgement to believe that my encounters with aggression and competitiveness have been with people who are biologically predisposed to display these qualities.

gbx otm wrt phrenology. Laurel otm wrt reading list. And I empathise with WCC's frustration.

― Unleash the Chang (he did what!) (Austerity Ponies), Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:45 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark

as far as any given instance of aggression goes, of course not. we know that insects can carry disease, but this doesn't mean that all disease is caused by insects.

like i said before, there's a clear, scientifically established connection between testosterone and competitive behavior in males. i don't claim to be an expert, but this is what i gather. and there's obvious connections between competition, aggression and violence. i honestly find it baffling that this argument would be objectionable to anyone, even if there were less scientific support for it. i simply do not understand what even might be objectionable about it. and even if i did, the argument has sufficient scientific and logical merit to at least be worthy of consideration, imo.

i'm honestly not trying to troll or ruffle feathers here...

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Did anyone ever say there wasn't an influence though? I think that the shouting match in the other thread was one side going "behavior and roles do not have to be determined by biology" and the other side going "but biology influences behavior!!!"

― valleys of your mind (mh), Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:48 PM (5 minutes ago) Bookmark

valuable distinction, but all i've ever talked about was influence, not straight-up determination. and the blowback has been severe. so, uh...

Little GTFO (contenderizer), Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:55 (2 years ago) Permalink


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