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  • Showing only topics with the tag "gender". Back to normal view
    1. In lieu of the recent Gillette ad, and seeing as the conversation around it has stirred the pot quite a bit, I wanted to propose a conversation where we start from the very beginning: Without yet...

      In lieu of the recent Gillette ad, and seeing as the conversation around it has stirred the pot quite a bit, I wanted to propose a conversation where we start from the very beginning:

      Without yet talking about subsets, variants, or interpretations of masculinity/femininity (toxic or otherwise). How do you define it for yourself: what makes you masculine or feminine, or what parts of you would you describe as such, do you feel that those things go as universal descriptors or are they specific to your case?

      There may also be some deeper questions in here about where you think you gained this conception (your family? your immediate circle of contacts? Role models?) or who you think best embodies your ideal definition of your gender.

      24 votes
    2. “There are no girls on the internet” is one of the “rules of the internet” of the olden times. It was a tongue-in-cheek saying that meant two things. The first interpretation is that women don’t...

      “There are no girls on the internet” is one of the “rules of the internet” of the olden times. It was a tongue-in-cheek saying that meant two things. The first interpretation is that women don’t hang out on online forums because only loser guys do that. This obviously wasn’t totally true, but it felt true because of the second interpretation: gender doesn’t really exist on the internet, or at least it didn’t back then. Someone posting on IRC or 4Chan could be male, female, black, white, or any combination or race or gender, but you wouldn’t know that. Your post just existed in a void, completely separate from your social identity. While sexism and racism existed, someone wouldn’t be discriminated against on those grounds, because on the internet there are no girls. Only people.

      People who brought up their gender were accused of being attention seekers who couldn’t get by on their own merits. This was probably just a shitty excuse to justify harassment (ie tits or gtfo), but there might have been some truth to the idea that your gender and race have no effect on the legitimacy of your opinion.

      Today on the internet, a the “rule” “there are no girls on the internet” is completely done away with. Not only is the social makeup of the internet much more diverse today, all of the major networking sites have profiles on which you can proudly display your gender, race, sexuality, etc.

      I only just now came to realize this difference as I was reading some threads that posted statements like “as a gay man” or “as a girl who...”. These kinds of statements used to attract ridicule, but are now accepted as the norm.

      I’m not sure if this is an improvement or not. I do think it’s an improvement that harassment is no longer tolerated, but I struggle with the concept that it’s okay to that someone’s race/gender/etc can legitimize a claim, but it is not okay to think that it could deligitimize someone’s claim.

      Again, I want to add a disclaimer that I do not think it is or ever was good to harass people, or to discriminate based on identity. I just want to start a conversation about how the internet has changed in this respect, and whether or not online discourse has been hurt by this change.

      58 votes
    3. So I've been wrestling with this idea for a long time. I get that the idea behind being transgendered* is that you don't feel like you were born into a body of the correct sex. You were born male...

      So I've been wrestling with this idea for a long time.

      I get that the idea behind being transgendered* is that you don't feel like you were born into a body of the correct sex. You were born male but feel like a woman, or you were born female but feel like a man, and all that. That part I get. I obviously don't "get it" at the level that someone who has that issue would get it, but I know how wonky the mind can be and it doesn't strike me as too hard to believe that this is a thing that happens.

      Simultaneously, I see that people of a more progressive mindset are enthusiastic about eliminating gender norms and stereotypes. Women aren't constrained to the kitchen, and men are perfectly fine being stay-at-home dads. All of this I vehemently agree with.

      However, I notice a very foundational contradiction when I read or hear about how transgendered people came to realize that they identify as the opposite gender. Pretty much all of the time, I hear them say things like, "I was born a male, but I always enjoyed playing with dolls and wearing dresses," or, "I was born a female, but I always enjoyed rough-housing and trucks," or whatever. Granted, I don't frequently seek these stories out, but whenever I come across them, they follow that general format.

      What I don't understand is how you can believe that gender norms are completely arbitrary while simultaneously using those norms as evidence that you were born into the wrong sex. It seems to me that believing in the superficiality of gender norms should automatically render the concept of being transgendered redundant. After all, if being a man or woman isn't determined by the things society socializes us to believe, how would you possibly have any indication that your body has the wrong sex? What would having the "wrong sex" even mean if gender norms are disregarded? If being a man or woman isn't determined by your actions or preferences in life, what left is there to define the genders except your biological sex?

      Surely there must be a concept or aspect to this whole thing that I'm missing, because it's hard to believe that such a widespread and vocal social movement has been made out of such a paradox. If anyone has some clarifying information, I'd appreciate it.

      *I know "transgendered" isn't the preferred term, but it's clear in meaning and the preferred term is just going to change again soon anyway. So no offense meant by using it.

      EDIT: It has since been made known to me that "transgender" itself suffices as an adjective, so my terminology was off on a grammatical basis. For posterity, though, I'll leave the submission as-is.

      15 votes
    4. I thought about posting this as a comment in the other active pronoun conversation but I didn't want to derail it with a tangent. For starters I should make it clear I believe honoring someone's...

      I thought about posting this as a comment in the other active pronoun conversation but I didn't want to derail it with a tangent. For starters I should make it clear I believe honoring someone's pronoun preferences is a matter of basic decency and respect. Conversely, insisting on using a different word when you know someone doesn't like it is, frankly, a jerk move. It's being antagonistic for no good reason.

      That said, an acquaintance recently informed me that her 4-year-old prefers to use the pronoun "they." I have to admit something about this situation doesn't sit right with me. I'm also the parent of a 4-year-old, and it's clear to me that kids that age aren't developmentally equipped to make an informed decision about gender identity.

      I can't help but feel like the parents are putting words in their kid's mouth, projecting a non-binary assumption onto a minor who lacks the cognitive and emotional maturity to manage it in any meaningful way. Saddling a preschooler with that kind of baggage just strikes me as irresponsible parenting.

      I'm not saying there should be some kind of hard-line age of consent, just that four is too young. One ought to be far enough along developmentally to come to one's own conclusions about pronouns and gender presentation.

      Apologies if I'm strawmanning, but I guess the argument could be made that all kids should be referred to as "they" — by default — until they reach an appropriate age to choose their own gender identities. I can sympathize with that as a goal, but it strikes me as unrealistic. I don't think society would ever be able to attain that kind of widespread change.

      I'm curious what my fellow tilders think about this subject. (FWIW, I am referring to this kid as "they" and keeping my objections to myself, apart from this discussion.)

      11 votes
    5. In light of @Deimos mentioning that we have a lot of "favorite" topics going around, how about something a little meatier? I've seen it a few times already around threads that someone uses the...

      In light of @Deimos mentioning that we have a lot of "favorite" topics going around, how about something a little meatier?

      I've seen it a few times already around threads that someone uses the word "guy" to refer to a poster and the response is "I'm not a guy". I'm not trying to invalidate this stance, but rather make this argument in the same way I argued for a singular "they". Consider the following:

      • the plural form, "you guys" is already neutered. I can walk up to a group of women and ask "How're you guys doing?" and it doesn't draw any ire
      • we've similarly neutered "dude" in both the singular and plural, but it's especially casual and almost familiar
      • "gal" sounds like something out of the forties, "girl" is diminutive, and "person" is clinical / formal
      • we don't have another common, non-gendered, non-specific term that fits the "sounds right" criteria and fits in the environment like the one we have (wherein users are getting to know each other and don't know exactly how to address one another).

      I realize that this is probably masculine-normative and therefore problematic, but my main goal here is to stimulate discussion on a meatier topic (gender) without having it be an incredibly serious topic.

      [EDIT]

      I want to clarify a few things, as this reads a lot more trolly than it did 6 hours ago.

      generalizing "guy" is a sexist idea because it attempts to make the masculine the generic (what I called "masculine-normativity" above). However, there isn't a term that adequately replaces "guy" but is neutered (@Algernon_Asimov brought up that "dude" fits, but is as more casual than "guy" than "person" is more formal). [Edit edit: I'm an idiot. They pointed out that "dude" as I had defined it earlier in my post would work just as well, but they did not agree that it has been neutered]

      Instead of bringing this up as purely a matter of diction, I set myself up as an antagonist to see what would happen. And for this I apologize.

      That said, I feel like there is some good discussion here and do not want to call making the thread a mistake. More that mistakes were made in the manner of its posting.

      43 votes