Gender Identity

Discussion in 'Corner Coffee' started by Jb85, 13th Sep 2019.

  1. Panda

    Panda TowersStreet Member

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    Sex IS male and female. Gender does not align with sex, but rather characteristics that society says men and women should have. The Oxford definition of gender states:
    Here is a journal on the importance of differences with sex vs gender.

    I hadn't even directed my original comment at anybody, but here is one of your comments I found ignorant:
    It's unfair to disregard a newer social movement as "a load of tosh". LGBTQ+ and gender identities have always existed, and in some places are still criminalised. People's identities do not affect you, but why should outdated beliefs affect other people? A lot of people dealing with their identity seek medical help and therapy. It's not just "tosh", it's psychological and it's good that people aren't hiding about it anymore.

    A little contradictory to the above quote, but I digress. Generally, there is "male", "female" or "other". There aren't millions of different genders like people on the internet will have you believe.


    And times change.

    I'm unsure how it's ignorant to see comments insisting that gender and sex are the same (see above) or calling it "tosh" and disagreeing with it. I also think it's ignorant to disregard modern technology (mobile phones particularly) just because it's not what elder people have been used to.


    This one is always an interesting debate when hearing it from all sides. My University changed some toilets to be gender-neutral and received lots of praise. However, some were soon reverted back, which caused backlash. In the end, there were male, female and unisex bathrooms.


    There's a prevalent assumption that non-conforming gender identity people are making ridiculous demands for the world to use all sorts of pronouns, the call to end the "cis straight white male" and that's just not true. If you sit down and speak to anyone who's non-binary, they'll ask to call them "they/them" and their preferred gender-neutral name. What is difficult about allowing people to do what makes them happy whilst having zero effect on other people?
     
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  2. Trooper

    Trooper TowersStreet Member

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    I'm pretty sure sex and gender were synonyms when I was a kid. A form asked either sex or gender but never both. There were always girly-boys and boyish-girls which suggests to me that the gender roles which have been enforced in the past were a crude way of divvying out jobs and responsibilities before individualism became so prominent.

    Maybe the sex/gender thing is 'tosh', or bunk, like History, but it seems to be the next step toward a semblance of sanity and so, for me, it's only the militant attitude which states that gender fluidity is a natural fact the way the gender binary was assumed to be a natural fact that is the problem. Personally, I think it is more likely to be a matter of temperament. Males are more likely to have certain traits, women are more likely to have others. Societal pressures encourage a person to allow these innate traits to develop or they encourage the person to squash them down and develop traits that will be more 'beneficial' to them.

    However, in the age of the internet, I do think that there are a lot of people who rail against and blame 'societal pressure' because they themselves have failed and are failing to do what they really want to do. Again, when I was a kid, the idea of being a TV presenter or film reviewer was an implausible aspiration but then YouTube came along and people make decent money doing just that. How much money does Shawn Sanbrooke make doing what he loves? I don't know but it's probably more than nothing, which is what he would have gotten at any other time in bunk, especially before roller coasters were invented.

    Discovering and being yourself is more possible today than ever before - some people even manage to monetise it. The word 'identity' seems to be at the core of this issue. I think this distinction between sex and gender is more of a placeholder term until we eventually accept that anyone can do anything but probably should do what they feel inescapably drawn toward. We'll just get into more and more niche versions of this argument otherwise where you don't belong unless you fit the stereotype and persist and are accepted or give up. Point is, gender identity does not seem to be the brass tacks of this argument. It seems to me to be an argument about individuality vs conformity and personal good vs collective good and that's not something we're going to solve any time soon, if ever. It's a bit like a proxy war.
     
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  3. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    If you had of read all my comments then you would have perhaps understood that My knowledge of the subject is minimal hence wanting to be educated about it. Thanks for your links they are a good read and proved useful. You would have also understood that I am not against this but do struggle to understand how someone can not see themselves as one of the other. To me this is nothing to do with LGBT. I understand that totally. I am really struggling to understand though how or why you would not want to indenting yourself as male or female.

    I guess this is the whole point isn’t it.... culturally this is not the norm and it is educating people like myself to understand this.

    I hope no offence has been caused. I actually started this topic with an off the cuff comment to cause a debate and further personal education. Through this forum I have learnt a lot already.
     
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  4. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    That's irrelevant to the point in question. The issue and debate is around new definitions beyond science. It is a social issue.
     
  5. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    The question is what does society see gender as....

    And clearly from this forum alone there is a huge divide in people’s view.

    Personally mine is mixed - but I do have the view that you can’t not have a gender. I do agree though that these days there is more than just male or female
     
  6. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    Precisely, but you raised the point of biology. That may become or perhaps is becoming less relevant.

    It is the same as the Christian definition of marriage is union between a man and a woman. That definition remains, but there is now legal recognition of it being also between two people of the same sex/gender. It also appears to becoming more widely accepted socially.

    I'm saying that there is little difference to this debate.
     
  7. Matt878787

    Matt878787 TowersStreet Member

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    Isn’t she at least 2 million years old? Not sure about the vaginal anatomy of a crab monster but she must be due by now
     
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  8. Panda

    Panda TowersStreet Member

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    I guess the more I wrote, the less I wanted it to be entirely directed at particular individuals.

    Not understanding is fine! It's like many things in life, it's difficult to have a true grasp on things unless you've been directly impacted or seen implications yourself. I'm simply a female bisexual, but having an open environment like a University, LGBTQ+ and Drag communities really opened me up to issues I didn't even know existed.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  9. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    No worries, any time ;-)

    To save a double post

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07nlcc3

    Interesting
     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2019
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  10. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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  11. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    I like your post but this stuck out to me. Who says individualism is more prominent now than before and who was enforcing gender roles? I think this is a bit of a simplified way to look at the past.

    On the whole the reason women were largely around the household and men did (some often proper nasty) jobs was probably because of biology.. Only women can get pregnant and are biologically shown to be more emotionally tuned-in for bringing up families etc, and men on the whole developed better physical skills for tough work.

    It certainly doesnt mean that men could never be in touch with emotion, or that women weren't capable of doing work. But it all has a foundation in some natural biology. For that reason it was a tradition that mostly worked in everybody's favour, men and women. I dont see it as a symbol of anything bad, although it's true there was a lot of ignorance when it came to people that didnt fit the tradition. Today the kinds of jobs people have to do are very different.

    Equal opportunity for everyone regardless of their gender is a brilliant thing and today there's a lot more of it than there's ever been. But when people complain how unfair everything is because most the FTSE 100 CEOs are male, I dont quite get it.

    I dont know any males who would realistically want to be a FTSE 100 CEO, that is seriously pushing to the furthest extreme —youre asking people to give up their entire lives pretty much to run a huge business and turn into a tough, corporate nut. Hardly a cross section of average 'society'! The obsession with measuring more women in higher ranking business positions seems to ignore one of the hardest and most important jobs on the planet, and that's bringing up a family!

    We should all have the same opportunities, but not be surprised when the outcome is tilted one way or another.

    I know what you mean, but you can also be paid to sit on your bum all day playing video games as well, I dont think this is one of today's societies greatest achievements...!
     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2019
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  12. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    TakeYourMedicine, I love a lot of your input on this forum, but for a young guy, sometimes your views seem a little rooted in the era of theme parks you're fascinated by. I agree; life as a FTSE 100 CEO is probably miserable, essentially rooted only in money and corporate nonsense, and absolutely nothing I'd want to do myself. However, as absurd as this sounds, the fact that no women are there is concerning. All it demonstrates is how hard it's been for women to be taken seriously over the past century, and continue to be in some sectors. If women want to participate at the top of the financial tree, then they should be able to, without people assuming that they could instead of say, "bringing up a family"... Something which itself seen as a dated pursuit, and one in which men and women increasingly tend to participate equally, rather than being tailored to gender roles.

    Often, people who choose to identify as "they" are consciously making an attempt to reject these old modes and stereotypes. It's interesting hearing the input of @Crawleyboy01 earlier in the thread. I'd suspect his daughter is doing just that. Of course, there's also an element of being a teen brat about it, and yes, some people never outgrow that. Some of those people are prominent activists! But to a lot of young people, the world feels hopeless and spinning out of control. They're trying to reimagine something different. I work in a traditionally very progressive industry, and even I share much of the cynicism about 'cancel culture' and hectoring people that @Rick expressed. But I'd say that the majority of hearts are more than in the right place as far as this change goes, radical as it might seem.
     
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  13. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Well I wouldnt say that my views are stuck in the past, Ive probably learnt from and spoken to far more people of my generation (and younger) than with older generations about this kind of thing. I don't know, I dont pretend to know everything and cant speak on behalf of anyone else but I feel like youre kind of dismissing what I mean.

    My post was more about the past than the present day, which is why I mentioned about more equal opportunity today (a great thing that contributes a lot more to the world). But its easy to demonise the past as gender roles being "forced" on people, when really it was more of a convenience and worked in everyone's favour for the most part.

    Such roles are very different today like you say. And Im not trying to dismiss real examples of unfairness and sexism.

    I guess all I can add is, when I was growing up, I wasnt too interested in a lot of traditionally male things but I respected it and didnt learn to hate it, and was grateful for other opportunities. The mix did me some good! There were thankfully no identity politics blogs and other dodgy stuff then that in my opinion just promises people an answer by joining in with another ideological crowd
     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2019
  14. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    I just think you need to be wary of donning rose-tinted glasses. Sure, gender roles in the past were 'convenient' for people, and I don't even think gender needs to be so radically deconstructed as proposed by those on the fringes of these debates. But 'convenience' doesn't always equate to happiness or comfort. Do you not think it's better that men can now talk about their mental health, with less fear of being demonised based on their expectations as 'providers', the 'strong, silent' type, etc? Is it not better that women are able to talk more openly about their experiences in regard to sexual assault or being made to feel uncomfortable, without being labelled a 'slut', or so forth? And that men, who have perhaps not always met the standard, can hopefully reflect on that too?

    These are obviously quite broad examples, and we're moving away from the point of the thread, but to some people, a reimagination or a rejection of gender is an obvious next step as a result of these developments.
     
  15. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Of course I think its better and its all part of the shared struggle of, well, being alive I guess! We're all in it together in some way.
     
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  16. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    I agree, and I think we need to hold on this thought more than ever, as it's being lost, especially with corporations seeking to divide and rule based on identity, in order to flog us crap. I maintain that we typically have more in common than we do apart. On the other hand...

    I think this is unfair and well, yes, privileged. It's tempting to completely dismiss identity politics, but as @Panda highlighted earlier in the thread, it's difficult to imagine the challenges of different lived experiences, as were are not able to experience them ourselves. 'Identity politics blogs' and such have given people, people not much like you, a safe forum in order to express their anxieties and concerns. Saying that, online discourse is absolutely exhausting, and ego is ego. Although saying that, this thread has been good!
     
    Last edited: 17th Sep 2019
  17. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    Growing up as a gay person yet feeling alienated by the 'LGBT' crowd taught me a lot about this though. A lot of organised group-identities promising answers to young people (who are often struggling), but really just pushing an agenda. The hypocrisy of defining yourself so much by something that youre telling others not to define you by.

    I think on that level it just divides people further. Wraps a false bubble around you and tells you who to blame for your problems, rather than really bring people together or confront challenges. If this was another country where there was a systemic problem then it would be a differnt story.

    It's all quite different to getting real personal understanding and learning from individuals, which I have lots of time for. Maybe the blogs youre thinking about are different and pushing less of an agenda but on the whole I feel quite odd about it. The media love it, virtuously parading what some LGBT campaigner might think as if all gay people think the same way.

    I feel like after struggling when I was young I can now live my life well enough, embrace who I am and get along fine. But I know others who started out in same situation to me and took the identity politics path, who became very difficult people and now (ironically) find it very hard to get along with others outside their 'bubble' who might think or behave differently.

    Now I will never know what its like to live with gender dysphoria, but I imagine its very difficult and a personal struggle learning to cope with it. But I can also imagine it leading vulnerable people to more false offers of hope and false answers, as well as some self-entitled social media 'influencers' making it fashionable to define yourself a certain way.
     
    Last edited: 18th Sep 2019
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  18. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Fair play, @TakeYourMedicine, I have also lost a couple of friends in the 'wokeness wars' in the past few years. I actually think theme park discussion forums are a non-representative reflection of the wider world, as we're already all here as we're very much defined by at least one passion. I agree that, sometimes, people can create a whole new set of boundaries in attempting to define themselves so explicitly. One of the best books on this, and still underrated despite its relevance, is Kwame Appiah's 'The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity', which is a very humane plea for more fluid identities with none of the trappings you refer to. But as I said, I also think it's important to appreciate the perspective of people on the fringes of society, and books and documentaries are often a much better approach to that than Twitter, which is inherently divisional. I sometimes wish I didn't so often have to fight this inherited urge to wonder why people have to make such a fuss, but then, I have also unfortunately seen people exploit these anxieties for personal gain.
     
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  19. OilyWater

    OilyWater TowersStreet Member

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    All I wanted to do was chat about roller coasters and look what happened! :D Just joking, its not often that this subject gets good air time online without it derailing so I appreciate it
     
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  20. Tim

    Tim TowersStreet Member

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    Indeed, I've always loved coming on here to see subjects like this debated properly. Personally I feel it's because Theme Park fans have a hobby that's tied into a very specific real place. You can't be annonymas like the rest of the internet when there's a fair chance you'll meet the people you are debating with.
    Either that or TowersStreet has and continues to be insanely luck with it's members :p

    Anyway I wanted to throw my thoughts into this topic because I feel there's a mix up between 3 different terms. Sex, Gender/Sexuality and Interests.

    Sex is biological. It's not binary but neither is it open ended (for now at least). The simplist way to think of it is as a slider. From the moment of your conception the slider is pushed one way or the other. No one ends up 100% male or female but you will be near the end of one of the sides. There are of course incredibly rare cases where the slider doesn't get that initial push and someone is born who can't identify as male or female but this is a medical abnormality and not what I think this debate is really about.

    Gender / Sexuality are what you and others perceive yourself as. As far as I'm concerned you can identify as whatever best suits you.

    Finnaly there are your interests. These are what really define you as a person. Interests quite often get mixed with the sex and gender debate because girls like some things and boys like others.

    The trouble with terms like non-binary is it combines elements of all 3. It's a gender term that implies you arn't male or female and have no masculine or feminine interests.
     
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