Jump to content

Absent an absolute authority, who is to say what anything is.


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Obehave said:

In your mind is it possible for anyone to disagree with your position while you feel they have considered your position with empathy and nuance?

Yes, of course.

1 hour ago, Obehave said:

  I believe I have considered your position with empathy and nuance and I still believe your position is wrong.

A man who identifies as a woman is still a man who identifies as a woman, so I still see that man as a man.  With empathy I can believe that man really wants to be identified as a woman, but my empathy does not cause me to agree with him.

That's fine.

For me, if a man identified as a woman and kindly requested that I use she/her pronouns, I would:

1- Understand that "identifying as a woman" is a statement about how she sees herself on the inside, and isn't a statement about the biological features of her body.

2- Out of common decency, I would endeavor to use her preferred pronouns when referring to her.

3- Would recognize that whether she is a woman depends on the definition of "woman" we are using. According to an outwardly definition, she is "really" a man. According to an inwardly definition, she is "really" a woman. Regardless, these are just words in a language that is continuing to evolve. The point is to understand the speaker, not to argue about whether somebody's usage of the language conforms to the One True Definition of this or that word, much less insist that she is using a definition different than the one she is clearly using.

4- I don't know if there is anything here to disagree about.

As an example, if you said you were a child of God, I would try to understand what you meant by that, would try to be respectful about such a personal belief, and otherwise wouldn't give it much thought. But if somebody came along and said "I am a child of God" was:

  1. insidious Orwellian doublespeak intended to undermine civilization
  2. factually wrong given what "child" actually means
  3. something that must be resisted
  4. a phrase used by people who think "child" means anything and everything that anybody wants it to mean and is an existential threat to the English language
  5. something that must be mocked with a tedious set of memes about how stupid it is to think "child" means anything you want it to mean, then...

I would point out that in all likelihood, this person hasn't really looked at the "I am a child of God" issue with empathy and nuance. The asinine response proves it. 

1 hour ago, Obehave said:

Can't we all just get along regardless of whether or not we believe someone is right or wrong?  The fact that I can see people who are wrong on many issues doesn't mean I don't love those people. We're all wrong about something, I think.

I totally agree.

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, Analytics said:

For me, if a man identified as a woman and kindly requested that I use she/her pronouns, I would:

1- Understand that "identifying as a woman" is a statement about how she sees herself on the inside, and isn't a statement about the biological features of her body.

2- Out of common decency, I would endeavor to use her preferred pronouns when referring to her.

3- Would recognize that whether she is a woman depends on the definition of "woman" we are using. According to an outwardly definition, she is "really" a man. According to an inwardly definition, she is "really" a woman. Regardless, these are just words in a language that is continuing to evolve. The point is to understand the speaker, not to argue about whether somebody's usage of the language conforms to the One True Definition of this or that word, much less insist that she is using a definition different than the one she is clearly using.

4- I don't know if there is anything here to disagree about.

As an example, if you said you were a child of God, I would try to understand what you meant by that, would try to be respectful about such a personal belief, and otherwise wouldn't give it much thought. But if somebody came along and said "I am a child of God" was:

  1. insidious Orwellian doublespeak intended to undermine civilization
  2. factually wrong given what "child" actually means
  3. something that must be resisted
  4. a phrase used by people who think "child" means anything and everything that anybody wants it to mean and is an existential threat to the English language
  5. something that must be mocked with a tedious set of memes about how stupid it is to think "child" means anything you want it to mean, then...

I would point out that in all likelihood, this person hasn't really looked at the "I am a child of God" issue with empathy and nuance. The asinine response proves it. 

I totally agree.

You started by saying "For me" (referring to yourself in your words).  I am aware of no problem for you doing whatever you think you should do.  

I would not do what you would do, though, and I don't think you should have any problem with me doing something different than you.

You can do your own thing, whatever you think you should do, and I will do whatever I think I should do. 

Deal?  Or would you rather try to get me to become like you?  To think like you, and act like you?  As long as you don't try that, I don't think we will have any problems even though we may not agree with each other.

I do enjoy talking about what I think and why I think what I do, though, sometimes.  Would you feel threatened by me openly trying to share what I think with you?  If you would then I would try to not speak directly to you while sharing what I think. 

Link to comment
45 minutes ago, Analytics said:

1- Understand that "identifying as a woman" is a statement about how she sees herself on the inside, and isn't a statement about the biological features of her

And not a statement about me (or any other person she is talking to) either, imo.

Edited by Calm
Link to comment
1 hour ago, Analytics said:

Could you elaborate? For example, the first definition I offered was this:

  • Sex refers to a person's biological status and is typically assigned at birth, usually on the basis of external anatomy. Sex is typically categorized as male, female or intersex.

How, specifically, does that sow confusion and falsehood? Do you disagree and think the word "sex" doesn't pertain to biological status, isn't assigned at birth, and isn't usually made on the bases of external anatomy?

Conflating "sex" and "gender" and "gender identity" is the source of confusion and falsehood.  Equivocations and prevarications and re-definitions and politically-driven neologisms on a grand scale.

Moreover, the "assigned at birth" thing is, in my view, quite misleading.  Sex is not "assigned" by a doctor or a nurse.  Sex is a matter of biology that medical personnel can objectively and correctly identify virtually all the time.  And yet "assigned at birth" makes it sound like a person's sex is arbitrarily chosen by the attending physician.

Lia Thomas is not a woman, but by conflating "sex" with "gender identity," he has joined the UPenn women's swim team and decimated all of his female competitors.  He does this not by virtue of his "own internal sense of self and their gender," but by literally claiming to be a woman.

If I have an "internal sense of self" whereby I "identify" as a five-year-old girl, or as a six-foot-five tall Chinese woman, or as a wolf, or as a space alien, and if I harbor these false notions as being between me, myself and I, then we would not be having this discussion.  I am deluding myself.  I am lying to myself.  I am speaking untruths to myself.  But nobody else is being impacted, so "no harm, no foul."  

However, if and when I demand, by threats of legal punishment, by threated or actualized injury to reputation or profession, by social coercion/bullying, that others set aside what they understand to be reality and accept / ratify / endorse / celebrate my falsehoods, then there's a big problem.  Once I start to coerce people into saying things they may not want to say, or agreeing to things they do not want to agree with, there's a problem.

This is what you and yours are doing.  Your side is trying, with some success, to coerce others to affirm or acquiesce to manifest falsehoods.

1 hour ago, Analytics said:

It seems to be really, really, important to you for "my side" to be unwilling to answer questions about this.

I think the near-constant evasions are illuminating.  I think many of the folks on your side are, frankly, scared.  Scared of the woke mob that shouts down anyone asking - or answering - reasonable questions about recent trends in radically re-defining terms.

For example, I found this YouTube video from Blair White (a transgender "YouTuber and political commentator"), regarding Matt Walsh's "What is a Woman?" documentary, to be insightful:

She makes some pretty good points/observations:

At 2:16: "So the first interview of the movie is with 'Gender Affirming Therapist' Gert Comfrey. And wow.  Was it a way to start off the movie just displaying the absolute cringe.  First off, the concept of a 'gender affirming therapist' is inherently bad.  The idea that her mission is stated right in the title, to 'affirm' the gender of the client, rather than apply necessary and healthy pushback to these ideas before someone makes the ultimate decision to transition, which is in many ways, as we always say, irreversible.  The fact that she goes into it saying she is there to affirm your gender is a problem.  Matt then asks her the question that is the title of the film, 'What is a woman?'  And she has absolutely no response, other than she can't answer that.  Seems to me, if you are a 'gender affirming therapist,' you should know what a woman is.  I don't know how anyone sitting there presenting as 100% female can really utter those words without feeling incredibly stupid.  But she did it.  And also, the argument there is that you have to be a women to know what a woman is.  It's like, do you have to be a dog to know what a dog is?"

At 4:49: "He {Matt Walsh} then goes on and asks random people on the street what a woman is, and it's actually shocking how noone can answer it.  And I understand the film has a bias, and so perhaps if someone gave a really good answer, they might not show it.  That's obviously a possibility. ... However, it still is very telling how many interviews with people were in this film, {and} that such an innocuous, basic question has people feeling nervous and scared.  And like, they can't answer it, or they have no idea.  ... But watching people stumble over the answer and being scared to answer.  There's one group of women in particular that were interviewed that were very nervous about answering at all.  They had nothing to say.  And it was so telling about how you just know that they inherently know that the question is a landmine, and that depending on your answer you could literally have your life ruined for answering that way on camera.  They inherently know, whether or not they are steeped in trans discourse or knowledgeable about the subject, they inherently know that what was previously such an innocuous question is now this ideological battlefield for which you have to be on the right side or your life is over.  Because that's the point we're at.  It's not about what anyone actually believes.  It's about going with the crowd, going with the bullies, and just saying what they want you to say to get by, and to hope you live your life unscathed."

---

This seems . . . apt.  Accurate.  This seems to really be what your side is doing, or trying to do.  Your side is not really trying to persudje.  It is instead trying to coerce and bully.  To shame and humiliate.  Even to the point of using the force of law.

1 hour ago, Analytics said:

What I see is that you are unwilling to listen to any answer that is given or to appreciate any nuance that may actually exist.

Funny, then, that I am continuing to interact with you and yours.

Sometimes I think you conflate listening with agreeing.  I think I have a pretty good track record with the former, but the extent of the latter is entirely up to me.  

1 hour ago, Analytics said:

All "me and mine" are suggesting is that we try to have empathy for each other and treat each other with respect. And that is what you are resisting.

Nothing advances a conversation better then imputing denigrations and bad motives onto the other guy.  

</sarcasm>

You are just proving my point here.  That is not "all" that your side is doing.  And again, disagreement is not disrespect.  Nor is disagreement equivalent to lacking empathy.

1 hour ago, Analytics said:

Personally, I don't really care. Presuming Ms. Dolezal was honest about the way in which she is "black" (i.e. if she honestly disclosed that she was born in Montana to white parents of European descent, but self-identifies as black), then I don't care if she applies for the scholarship or not. 

The law cares, though.  And people who don't like being coerced into mouthing falsehoods and things they disagree with care.

Outta time.  More later.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment
3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Should we as a society let Lia Thomas, a biological male, compete in women's sports?  With all the biological advantages he has?  Should UPenn require his teammates to share a locker room with him?

This question isn't in the purview of "we as a society." The people who govern these sports leagues should make these decisions. 

In Olympic swimming, transgender women may not compete with women unless they completed their transition by the age of 12. In USA swimming, the rules depend on whether someone is competing at an elite level. If she is, then "to determine a transgender swimmer’s eligibility at the elite level, a three-person panel of independent medical experts will determine whether the swimmer’s prior physical development as a man gives the athlete a competitive advantage over her cisgender female competitors. The swimmer also must show the concentration of testosterone in her blood has been less than 5 nanomoles per liter continuously for at least 36 months." 

I'm exceedingly comfortable allowing these organizations to figure this stuff out, and don't see why it is something that "we as a society" should get worked up about.

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Should we as a society let incarcerated biological males who "identify" as women be transferred to women's prisons?

In general, sticking a transgender woman into a prison full of men, including many who are violent and/or sex offenders, seems extremely dangerous and misguided. This country incarcerates far too many people, and the entire system should be reformed. How transgender (and intersex) people should be incarcerated should be handled on on a case-by-case basis.

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

And how, as a legal matter, can we stop at gender?  There does not seem to be any limiting principle.  Can a fifteen year old "identify" as a 25-year-old and, on that basis, buy and consumer alcohol?  If not, why not?

Regarding laws dealing with sex and gender, we should recognize that not everybody neatly and accurately fits into the broad-brush categories of being biologically male or biologically female. Furthermore, laws should recognize that depending on the situation, somebody's gender identity might be more pertinent than their biological sex. Laws are in fact evolving to deal with these realities.

Some people are objectively intersex--they aren't 100% male or 100% female. That complexity is biological fact. However, that type of complexity doesn't exist with whether you are a human, how old you are, etc. 

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Can a person of northern European extraction "identify" as a Native American when applying for scholarships earmarked for Native American applicants?  If not, why not?

As long as he is being honest about his ancestry, yes. Lying about your ancestry would be fraud.

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

Can a person "identify" as the biological child of a billionaire and then, at the billionaire's death, claim an inheritance?  If not, why not?

That would depend on whether or not the billionaire put the child in his will.

3 hours ago, smac97 said:

There are all sorts of things in play here, far more than individuals and their subjective feelings.  When these false notions regarding "identity" intersect with the law, then the consequences become much more serious, and it becomes more difficult to simply wave these consequences away as being somebody else's problem.

Reducing the complexities of gender identity to mere "subjective feelings" is ignoring the reality of the issue. Nobody is arguing that "subjective feelings" trump everything else. This is a straw man.

Link to comment
10 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Conflating "sex" and "gender" and "gender identity" is the source of confusion and falsehood. 

That is exactly what you are doing! I have repeatedly provided a link that provides specific definitions of "sex", "gender", and "gender identity" so that these terms will not be conflated, and I've been careful to be consistent with how I use those terms. The reason that your favorite question (what is a woman?) is ambiguous and flawed is because it conflates these terms.

Link to comment
9 minutes ago, Analytics said:

That is exactly what you are doing! I have repeatedly provided a link that provides specific definitions of "sex", "gender", and "gender identity" so that these terms will not be conflated, and I've been careful to be consistent with how I use those terms. The reason that your favorite question (what is a woman?) is ambiguous and flawed is because it conflates these terms.

Sex is determined by someone's biological body, whether male or female.  Do you agree? 

If a person's biological body is male then what logical justification would there be for him (a male pronoun) to think he is female (a female pronoun)?  I would say that even if he feels like he is female, he is wrong, and his body proves it. 

Link to comment
22 minutes ago, Analytics said:

That is exactly what you are doing! I have repeatedly provided a link that provides specific definitions of "sex", "gender", and "gender identity" so that these terms will not be conflated, and I've been careful to be consistent with how I use those terms. The reason that your favorite question (what is a woman?) is ambiguous and flawed is because it conflates these terms.

No, I'm not.

"What is a woman?" has become a necessary inquiry because your side of this debate is conflating things.  "Trans women are women."  "Men can menstruate."  "Women can have penises."  "A woman is anyone who identifies as a woman."

These absurdities are trading on equivocation.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

No, I'm not.

"What is a woman?" has become a necessary inquiry because your side of this debate is conflating things.  "Trans women are women."  "Men can menstruate."  "Women can have penises."  "A woman is anyone who identifies as a woman."

These absurdities are trading on equivocation.

Thanks,

-Smac

The church teaches sex/gender are eternal. What is the eternal definition of a woman? Is it the evolved mammary glands? The ovaries? The womb? Do these things have meaning in the eternities? Genuine question. Please provide the definitive eternal definition of the word “woman” please.  

Link to comment
11 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

The church teaches sex/gender are eternal. What is the eternal definition of a woman? Is it the evolved mammary glands? The ovaries? The womb? Do these things have meaning in the eternities? Genuine question. Please provide the definitive eternal definition of the word “woman” please.  

A woman is a biologically mature version of a baby born with a female body.  In the Church we use the term "young woman" or YW to refer to a female between the age of 12 and 18, dropping the term "young" when she becomes 18. 

At that point she is still considered to be young when compared to an older woman, but we feel the need to draw the line somewhere.,

Link to comment
1 hour ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

The church teaches sex/gender are eternal. What is the eternal definition of a woman? Is it the evolved mammary glands? The ovaries? The womb? Do these things have meaning in the eternities? Genuine question. Please provide the definitive eternal definition of the word “woman” please.  

You beat me to the question, lol. 

Link to comment
1 minute ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

When I contemplate what it means for me to be a man, I come up blank every single time. “What does salt taste like?” to borrow words from BKP. 

And what is sad is that even if you CAN define the word, you are still talking about WORDS and not "reality" whatever that means anyway!!

Squiggles on a page are nothing but squiggles.

Now if you are putting forth a "paradigm" /theory ABOUT alleged reality that's fine, but how is it tested?

Sciencific paradigms get tested by the scientific method which at least tells us that more than one person agrees that the recipe for the cookies actually turns out a cookie, and not a rock.

But religious paradigms that tell you what the meaning of life is FOR YOU, that's all you've got.

Now when 15 million people tell you that God told them the BOM DOES give meaning to their lives you have real "evidence"!

But even then, the stuff in the book did not have to actually happen- ALL you have is that 15 million people said it gave them meaning to their lives.

So the answer you get is not about history or "facts" other than the FACT that 15 million have a "testimony"

Is that evidence of something?   Dang RIGHT it is!!  Better yet is when you are among the 15 million who have meaning in their lives that they have never had before.

Link to comment
17 hours ago, Obehave said:

You can do your own thing, whatever you think you should do, and I will do whatever I think I should do. 

Deal?

Deal.

17 hours ago, Obehave said:

  Or would you rather try to get me to become like you?  To think like you, and act like you?  As long as you don't try that, I don't think we will have any problems even though we may not agree with each other.

I do enjoy talking about what I think and why I think what I do, though, sometimes. 

I have a pretty thick skin, and prefer living in a heterogeneous society. You be you.

Link to comment
16 hours ago, smac97 said:

No, I'm not.

Yes, you are.

16 hours ago, smac97 said:

"What is a woman?" has become a necessary inquiry because your side of this debate is conflating things.  "Trans women are women."  "Men can menstruate."  "Women can have penises."  "A woman is anyone who identifies as a woman."

You are the one who keeps saying "Trans women are women."  "Men can menstruate."  "Women can have penises."  "A woman is anyone who identifies as a woman." Over and over and over and over again. They aren't my words. They are your words. You are the one using them in a manner that is both an equivocation and a straw man.

16 hours ago, smac97 said:

These absurdities are trading on equivocation.

And you are the one doing the trading.

Link to comment
16 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

When I contemplate what it means for me to be a man, I come up blank every single time. “What does salt taste like?” to borrow words from BKP. 

I'd say that's more of a problem of description than ontology. We may not be able to describe what salt tastes like, but we know that there is a distinctive "salty" taste that certainly exists, though it fails of description. In the case of salt, we know it exists through contrast with other flavors: there are things that do not taste "salty" against which we can compare the taste of "salt." Since I don't have any other way of living, if I were to draw a blank on what it means to be a man, that is due to a failure of contrast. A fish surrounded by water and all that. 

Regarding the "eternal definition of a woman," I don't know. Given that our primordial nature is uncreated and thus possesses innate characteristics, I would assume that some characteristics code to male and others to female, but what those are I don't know. I am confident, based on neuroscientific research, that there exist differences in cognitive processes between the sexes which could be involved.  It seems likely that our premortal spirit bodies had recognizable sex. Beyond that is pure speculation.

Edited by OGHoosier
Link to comment
30 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

I'd say that's more of a problem of description than ontology. We may not be able to describe what salt tastes like, but we know that there is a distinctive "salty" taste that certainly exists, though it fails of description.

We know there is a difference but it fails easy description. Hence SMAC’s and other conservatives “gotcha” question of what is a woman is disengenious grand standing. 

30 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

In the case of salt, we know it exists through contrast with other flavors: there are things that do not taste "salty" against which we can compare the taste of "salt." Since I don't have any other way of living, if I were to draw a blank on what it means to be a man, that is due to a failure of contrast. A fish surrounded by water and all that. 

Indeed we have contrast. I have always felt like a man (boy) but can’t describe it. My Aunt (born biologically male) knew from a young age that she was female. After serving a mission, having six kids and surviving suicide attempts, she transitioned and lives as a woman. If I can’t even begin to define what it means for me to be male, how can I tell her she is not a woman?

30 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

Regarding the "eternal definition of a woman," I don't know.
 

If I don’t know is the best answer that is available (and I belief it is), it seems like the ultimate in hubris to pass judgement on those that have a different life experience than my own. 

30 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

Given that our primordial nature is uncreated and thus possesses innate characteristics, I would assume that some characteristics code to male and others to female, but what those are I don't know. I am confident, based on neuroscientific research, that differences in cognitive processes between the sexes which could be involved.  It seems likely that our premortal spirit bodies had recognizable sex. Beyond that is pure speculation.

Average sex differences don’t translate well into individual experience. 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, Analytics said:

Yes, you are.

No, I'm not.

2 hours ago, Analytics said:

You are the one who keeps saying "Trans women are women."  "Men can menstruate."  "Women can have penises."  "A woman is anyone who identifies as a woman." Over and over and over and over again. They aren't my words. They are your words. You are the one using them in a manner that is both an equivocation and a straw man.

Not so.  I did not originate any of these statements.  They are all coming from your side of the debate.

"Trans women are women."  385K results on Google.

"Men can menstruate."

Quote

FLASHBACK: Just Three Years Ago, A Bill Maher Panel Ridiculed The Idea That Leftists Claim ‘Men Can Menstruate’

HBO host Bill Maher and guest panelists laughed at Dennis Prager’s claims that leftists say “men can menstruate” in a 2019 episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

“To say that men can menstruate is a lie and that is now what is said,” Prager began. “Check it out, folks. Anyone who says men cannot menstruate is considered transphobic.”

“I missed this whole story,” Maher replied. The host argued a “very small percentage” of people are making these arguments.

Prager argued that biological men are being allowed to compete against women and dominate the sports and are being labeled as women. Maher argued that his framing is “nonsense,” since the issue at stake is biological men participating and dominating women’s athletics, not on whether men can menstruate.

Prager said a men’s room at the University of Berkeley provided tampon dispensers, to which Maher said the men ... were asked to get their girlfriend a tampon. Universities, in fact, were placing tampons in men’s bathrooms intended for biological women that identify as men as early as 2017.

In 2018, a British school district approved new sex education lessons that included teaching children as young as 8-years-old that “all genders” can menstruate. The report given to teachers stated “Trans boys and men and non-binary people may have periods.”

...

Daily Wire podcast host Matt Walsh asked a “non-binary” couple to define the term “woman” on a January episode of Dr. Phil. After they decline to answer, the host argued that proponents of transgender ideology cannot define basic terms such as “man” and “woman.”

The “Matt Walsh Show” host told Fox News’ Jesse Watters that gender ideology “collapses right in front of you” due to the inability to answer basic questions and definitions on gender.

“They can’t answer. They can make the claim, they can make the assertion, but they can’t explain it,” he said in March. “Just like they can say ‘trans women are women.’ Well, what does that mean? What exactly is a woman? They can’t answer that either.”

What is now stated as a matter of fact was, just a few years ago, scoffed at as being absurd.

"Women can have penises."

Quote

'JK Rowling is wrong - a woman CAN have a penis' says Labour's Stella Creasy as she recalls being threatened with gang rape when she was a student

  • Stella Creasy said women can have penises when asked how to define the word 
  • While recognising it exists, the MP said the issue does not stop at biological sex
  • Labour's Creasy said she has been called 'a bad feminist' for her views on trans 

Labour MP Stella Creasy has said a woman can have a penis and that author JK Rowling is wrong as she recalled being threatened with gang rape at university.

The MP for Walthamstow said she has been told she is a 'bad feminist' for disagreeing with the world-renowned Harry Potter author who has voiced concerns that biological women were being put at risk in favour of trans rights.

In an interview with the Telegraph to discuss her revelation this month that she had been threatened with gang rape at university, the mother-of-two shared her views on how the word woman should be defined.

She told the newspaper: 'Do I think some women were born with penises? Yes. But they are now women and I respect that.'

Ms Creasy said she disagrees with the Harry Potter author, adding: 'JK Rowling doesn't support self-identification whereas I do. Of course biological sex is real - it's just not the end of the conversation.

'I am somebody who would say that a trans woman is an adult human female.'

Again: "I am somebody who would say that a trans woman is an adult human female."  

This is the sort of equivocation and conflation that is problematic.

"A woman is anyone who identifies as a woman."

This fellow, Patrick R. Grzanka, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality at the University of Tennessee’s flagship campus in Knoxville.  

Matt Walsh: You want to answer questions about 'Women's Studies,' and so shouldn't the first answer you should be able to provide is what exactly is a woman?
Grzanka: Well, for me it's actually a really simple answer, and that's a person who identifies as a woman.
Walsh: But what are they identifying as?
Grzanka: As a woman.
Walsh: But what is that?
Grzanka: As a woman.
Walsh: Do you know what a circular definition is?
Grzanka: I do.
Walsh: It's sort of like what you're doing right now.  "A woman is a woman."
Grzanka: Mm-hmm.  Because you're seeking what we would call in my field of work an essentialist definition of gender.  I think it sounds like you would like me to give you a set of biological or cultural characteristics that are associated with with one gender or the other.
Walsh: I'm not seeking any type of definition.  I'm just seeking a definition.
Grzanka: Yeah, and I gave you one. 

This is the sort of equivocation and doublespeak and conflation I am addressing.

And note here that what Prof. Grzanka is saying is reflected quite clearly in one of the memes I posted (and which you characterize as "bigoted") :

Screen-Shot-2022-06-10-at-7.51.41-AM.png 

And I again note that in all your posts you have not answered the question "What is a woman?"  I think it is because answering that question is, for people like you, dangerous.  So you instead lash out and say that anyone asking it is a bigot and/or stupid and/or lacking in empathy and compassion.  That's pretty standard fare these days.  Insults in lieu of substance.

2 hours ago, Analytics said:
Quote

These absurdities are trading on equivocation.

And you are the one doing the trading.

I am the one resisting the very equivocation that you and yours are trying to foist onto society.

There are only two sexes.  That's it.  Biological sex is not a spectrum.  

People like Susannah Temko and Emily Quinn are exceptions that prove the rule.  This article, by Andrè Van Mol, MD, does a good job of addressing intersex persons:

Quote

Intro to Intersex
Intersex is a colloquialism for what is more formally titled Disorders of Sex Development (DSD). Per psychiatrist Karl Benzio in an article published in Today’s Christian Doctor in 2015: “Intersex – People who have anatomy that is not considered typically male or female or have anatomy not matching their genetic sex of XX or XY. Most come to medical attention because healthcare professionals or parents notice something unusual about their bodies or puberty or fertility isn’t normal, but some are not known until death/autopsy.”

The term intersex leans to the ideological, and clarity is needed here. A DSD consistently means a definable, objective underlying medical problem. We should not conflate a condition with an identity. California’s 2019 Assembly Bill 201 makes precisely that type of error in section 2295(a)(2): “Intersex people are a part of the fabric of our state’s diversity to be celebrated, rather than an aberration to be corrected.” That is both a straw argument and misdirection because a medical condition is something one has, not who one is. Celebrate the person, yes, and recognize that person’s disorder of sex development, which may or may not need correcting.

Sex
Sex is objective, identifiable and immutable biology, thus within the realm of science. Biological sex is established at conception, declared in utero, and recognized or not at birth. Every nucleated cell in our bodies has a sex. There are only two gametes, sperm and egg, that participate in the generation of new life. There is no third gamete active in that process. Sex differences are real and of consequence. More than 6,500 shared genes are expressed differently in human males and females. These differences impact our brains; organ systems; propensity for developing certain diseases; differing responses to drugs, toxins and pain; contrasting cognitive and emotional processes; behavior; and more. To offer one example, sotalol has triple the likelihood of provoking torsades de pointes in women compared to men. Sex matters.

"We should not conflate a condition with an identity.

Yes. Yes.  But your side of the debate wants to do exactly that: conflate a "condition" (intersex, gender dysphoria, etc.) with "an identity."

"Sex is objective, identifiable and immutable biology, thus within the realm of science. Biological sex is established at conception, declared in utero, and recognized or not at birth.

I have long lost count of how many times I've heard the "assigned at birth" thing.  You even included it in your "definitions" of "sex" and "gender identity" (as an aside, I note that you did not provide a source for these supposed definitions). 

I was not "assigned" my brown eyes.  I was not "assigned" my weight at birth.  And I was not "assigned" my sex by Dr. Heder (the OB who delivered me in a tiny hospital in Kahuku, Hawaii way back in the day).  And yet your side of the debate insist that sex is something that is "assigned."

"Every nucleated cell in our bodies has a sex. There are only two gametes, sperm and egg, that participate in the generation of new life. There is no third gamete active in that process."  

Lia Thomas is a biological male, a man.  He is not a biological female, a woman.  And yet he is being treated as if he is a biological woman.  And he is being so treated because your side of the debate is conflating and equivocating.  Your side hugely equivocates in your use of the word "woman."  You are trading on fabricated ambiguities that arise when you want to say that "woman" can refer to either an adult biological female or anyone who "identifies" as a woman.

"More than 6,500 shared genes are expressed differently in human males and females. These differences impact our brains; organ systems; propensity for developing certain diseases; differing responses to drugs, toxins and pain; contrasting cognitive and emotional processes; behavior; and more. ... Sex matters."

Yes, it does.  it matters a lot.  

Quote

Gender
Gender is an engineered term that reportedly debuted in the academic literature in 1955 in an article addressing “hermaphroditism” (as it was then known) by psychiatrist Dr. John Money of John Hopkins University. (Dr. Money would go down in ignominy with time, but I digress.) Gender identity refers to self-perception and feelings that are subjective and prone to change. Gender is most often used as a sex stereotype. My point is this: nouns have gender; people have a sex.

Hoo, boy!  I sure like the calm clarity and accuracy of this statement (which you will no doubt condemn as "bigoted" and lacking in "empathy").

Conflation of biological sex with "self-perception and feelings that are subjective and prone to change" is a very serious issue, IMO.

Quote

Intersex, Round Two
The nomenclature “intersex” acknowledges something between two sexes and not a third sex. The term is intersex and not “extrasex,” therefore acknowledging the binary nature of human sex. Biological sex rarely may be phenotypically unclear in a given individual, but this does not represent a third one.

Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright rejects the “sex is a spectrum” mantra with clear reasoning: “a spectrum implies a continuous distribution, and maybe even an amodal one (one in which no specific outcome is more likely than others). Biological sex in humans, however, is clear-cut over 99.98 percent of the time.” Dr. Wright continues, “any method exhibiting a predictive accuracy of over 99.98 percent would place it among the most precise methods in all the life sciences. We revise medical care practices and change world economic plans on far lower confidence than that.”

 "The term is intersex and not 'extrasex,' therefore acknowledging the binary nature of human sex."

Once more, with feeling: "{T}he binary nature of human sex."

In your (noticeably unsourced) definition of "sex" you suggest that "{s}ex is typically categorized as male, female or intersex."  That is simply not so.  "Intersex" is not a sex.  Humans are bipedal hominids.  And yet some folks would point us to someone like Frank Lentini and deny the categorization of humans as bipedal hominids because some are born with three legs, or one leg, or no leg at all.  This is equivocation and obfuscation, and it is what you and yours are doing when you point to people like Susannah Temko and Emily Quinn.

Your side of the debate insists that "sex is a spectrum."  812,000 hits on Google

Back to the article by Dr. Van Mol:

Quote

Intersex/DSD is Not Gender Dysphoria or Trans-identification
Intersex is not a subjective ideation. There is always an objective underlying medical origin. The DSM-5 Gender Dysphoria criteria states: “Specify if: With a disorder of sex development (e.g., a congenital adrenogenital disorder such as 255.2 [E25.0] congenital adrenal hyperplasia or 259.50 [E34.50] androgen insensitivity syndrome).” Intersex is what they mean, and it is different than gender dysphoria.

"Intersex ... is different than gender dysphoria."  And yet your side of the debate conflates and equivocates.  Discussion of so-called "gender identity" almost inevitably triggers references to intersex persons.

Quote

Intersex/DSD is Rare
Wildly inflated claims of the prevalence of DSD are common, but untrue. Dr. Leonard Sax exposed the source of some of this in his article, “How common is intersex.” Dr. Sax writes that Anne Fausto-Sterling asserted in her 2000 book Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality that intersex totaled 1.7 percent of human births. However, Sax shows that she included in her calculations common conditions having nothing to do with DSD. Dr. Sax notes that congenital adrenal hyperplasia and complete androgen insensitivity syndrome are the most common DSDs, which is in keeping with the previously stated DSM-5 Gender Dysphoria specification. Dr. Sax concludes that DSD/Intersex, “far from being ‘a fairly common phenomenon,’ is actually a rare event, occurring in fewer than two out of every 10,000 births.”

Similarly, a 1992 Danish study found their rate of “testicular feminization syndrome” to be 1:20,400. A 2001 Dutch study stated their rate of androgen insensitivity syndrome “with molecular proof of the diagnosis is 1:99,000.”

And a 2016 Danish study examining all their known 46XY karyotype females (androgen insensitivity syndrome) born since 1960 found the prevalence at 6.4 per 100,000 live born females. Intersex/DSD is rare.

The number of humans born with something other than two legs is likewise small, and yet nobody points to that small number as a refutation of humans being bipedal hominids.  The exceptions do not swallow the rule.  That some people are born with one leg, or three, or no legs at all, does not upend the classification of humans as bipedal hominids.

The same goes with people who are intersex.  There are exceedingly rare instances of intersex persons, but that does not give rise to a third sex.

Also, the vast majority of people who are making claims akin to Lia Thomas and Caitlynn Jenner are not "intersex," but are instead members of one biological sex that "identify" as a member of the other sex.  And yet these same people demand that we conflate their gender dysphoria/identity with biological sex, and that we declare biological men like Lia Thomas and Caitlynn Jenner are women.  They do so by tacitly equivocating on the meaning of "woman."  And the only way to preserve that tacit equivocation is to A) refuse to answer "What is a woman," and B) accuse anyone who asks that question of being a bigot, of lacking empathy, etc.

Quote

Conclusion
A disorder of sex development/intersex uniformly signifies the presence of a definable, objective underlying medical problem. Intersex is a condition—something someone has—and neither an identity nor a third sex. DSD/intersex represent rare conditions requiring highly individualized therapeutic approaches and timelines, not a blanket one-size-fits-all prescription.

I think it is sort of repellant when folks arguing in favor of affirming gender dysphoria (and worse, mandating such affirmation) point to intersex persons.  This typifies the sort of conflation and equivocation I find problematic.

Here is the entire article by Colin Wright (referenced by Dr. Van Mol).  It's well worth a read: Sex Is Not a Spectrum

Some excerpts:

Quote

As more and more people refer to themselves as trans, nonbinary, and gender-non-conforming, activists have been adamantly pushing the narrative that our common understanding of males and females existing as real biological entities is obsolete. Instead of male and female, some argue there are only varying degrees of “male-ness” and “female-ness.” Because of this, they assert that segregating any space or sports using binary sex categories is illegitimate, since if no definitive line can be drawn who’s to say a purported “male” isn’t really female? Many even go so far as to claim that we should let people decide for themselves what sex they are, as though this were a matter of personal choice.

"More and more people."  Yep.  This clearly has a significant "social contagion" dimension.  

Quote

The view that sex is a spectrum is no longer confined to university humanities departments and hermetic internet communities. It has now made considerable inroads into mainstream culture, thanks in part to a highly sympathetic media environment. Even prestigious scientific journals such as Nature have given space to authors who argue that “the idea of two sexes is simplistic” and that “biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.” Another Nature editorial insisted that attempts to classify an individual’s sex using any combination of anatomy and genetics “has no basis in science.” A recent book, The Spectrum of Sex: The Science of Male, Female, and Intersex, argues this position from cover to cover. Its publisher, a Canadian academic press, gushes that “this transformative guide completely breaks down our current understanding of biological sex.”

And I think that breakdown is based on sociopolitical ideologies and pressures, and not much on science and reality.  

A person who genuinely and sincerely thinks and "feels" that he is Napoleon Bonaparte should not be mistreated.  He has a mental health condition that merits attention and treatment, and compassion and patience and empathy.  But I think one thing he does not need is broad societal affirmation of that belief/feeling.  Certainly individuals can choose to go along this fellow's "identity," but it becomes quite dangerous to the fabric of society and individual liberties if and when people around him are required to affirm that identity.  And yet that is precisely what your side of the debate is trying to do.

Quote

In February of 2020 I co-authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed on this subject, entitled The Dangerous Denial of Sex. Along with my co-author, developmental biologist Emma Hilton, I highlighted the harms that sex-spectrum pseudoscience can impose on vulnerable groups, including children, women, gay men, and lesbians. Since we were confined to a newspaper op-ed format, Dr. Hilton and I had scant space to explore in detail the actual science of biological sex and the pseudoscience of sex spectrum ideology. That is the subject of this essay.

The article goes on to address the basics of the "sex is a spectrum" idea (the existence of intersex persons, overlapping secondary sex characteristics, "Genderbread Person," etc.).

Quote

This way of thinking about biological sex is now frequently presented to children in school using such cartoon illustrations as The Genderbread Person (shown below). In the purple box labeled “Biological Sex,” you’ll notice the terms “male” and “female” are not used. Instead, terms denoting the idea of sex as a continuous variable—“male-ness” and “female-ness”—are chosen.

Classic equivocation.  "Biological sex" is no longer "male" and "female," but is instead "male-ness" and "female-ness."

Quote

Many of the traits listed as defining one’s degree of male-ness and female-ness are secondary sex organs and characteristics: genital morphology, body shape, voice pitch, and body hair. Conspicuously absent from this chart is any mention of primary sex organs (gonads, i.e. ovaries and testes in the case of females and males, respectively) or the typical functions associated with sex, such as menstruation in females and ejaculation in males. There is also no mention of eggs or sperm (produced by ovaries and testes, respectively).

f3c6cc11-5238-4901-bb78-6f6797da6811_840

Ya gotta wonder why discussions of "Biological Sex" are deliberately omitting references to ovaries, testes, eggs, sperm, etc.

It's almost as if your side of the debate wants to obscure and circumvent these things.  It's almost as if your side of the debate wants to subordinate and ignore "biological sex" and instead focus on newly-minted ideas about "gender identity" and "gender expression."  It's as if you want the meaning of "woman" to be, well, whatever you and yours want it to be (as evidenced, inter alia, by your suggestion that biological sex is "assigned").

Quote

Both of these arguments—the argument from intersex conditions and the argument from secondary sex organs/characteristics—follow from fundamental misunderstandings about the nature of biological sex, which is connected to the distinct type of gametes (sex cells) that an organism produces. As a broad concept, males are the sex that produce small gametes (sperm) and females produce large gametes (ova). There are no intermediate gametes, which is why there is no spectrum of sex. Biological sex in humans is a binary system.

"Biological sex in humans is a binary system."

And yet your side of the debate argues that "sex is a spectrum," that biological males are "women," that men can menstruate, that women can have penises, and so on.

Quote

It is crucial to note, however, that the sex of individuals within a species isn’t based on whether an individual can actually produce certain gametes at any given moment. Pre-pubertal males don’t produce sperm, and some infertile adults of both sexes never produce gametes due to various infertility issues. Yet it would be incorrect to say that these individuals do not have a discernible sex, as an individual’s biological sex corresponds to one of two distinct types of evolved reproductive anatomy (i.e. ovaries or testes) that develop for the production of sperm or ova, regardless of their past, present, or future functionality. In humans, and transgender and so-called “non-binary” people are no exception, this reproductive anatomy is unambiguously male or female over 99.98 percent of the time.

The binary distinction between ovaries and testes as the criterion determining an individual’s sex is not arbitrary, nor unique to humans. The evolutionary function of ovaries and testes is to produce either eggs or sperm, respectively, which must be combined for sexual reproduction to take place. If that didn’t happen, there would be no humans. While this knowledge may have been cutting edge science in the 1660s, it’s odd that we should suddenly treat it as controversial in 2020.

"The binary distinction between ovaries and testes as the criterion determining an individual’s sex is not arbitrary."

And yet here you are, telling us that "sex" is something that is merely "assigned" by a doctor.

Quote

That above-cited 99.98 percent figure falls short of 100 percent because of the roughly 0.02 percent who are intersex. (The actual figure is estimated to be about 0.018 percent.) But the claim that intersex conditions support the sex spectrum model conflates the statement “there are only two sexes” (true) with “every human can be unambiguously categorized as either male or female” (false). The existence of only two sexes does not mean sex is never ambiguous. But intersex individuals do not demonstrate that sex is a spectrum. Just because sex may be ambiguous for some does not mean it’s ambiguous (and, as some commentators would extrapolate, arbitrary) for all.

By way of analogy: We flip a coin to randomize a binary decision because a coin has only two faces: heads and tails. But a coin also has an edge, and about one in 6,000 (0.0166 percent) throws (with a nickel) will land on it. This is roughly the same likelihood of being born with an intersex condition. Almost every coin flip will be either heads or tails, and those heads and tails do not come in degrees or mixtures. That’s because heads and tails are qualitatively different and mutually exclusive outcomes. The existence of edge cases does not change this fact. Heads and tails, despite the existence of the edge, remain discrete outcomes.

Excellent analogy, this.

Quote

Likewise, the outcomes of sex development in humans are almost always unambiguously male or female. The development of ovaries vs testes, and thus females and males, are also qualitatively different outcomes that for the vast majority of humans are mutually exclusive and do not come in mixtures or degrees. Males and females, despite the existence of intersex conditions, remain discrete outcomes.

Yep.

Quote

The existence of intersex conditions is frequently brought up in an attempt to blur the line between male and female when arguing for the inclusion of trans women in female sports and other contexts. But transgenderism has absolutely nothing to do with being intersex. For the vast majority of individuals claiming either trans or non-binary identities, their sex is not in question. Primary sex organs, not identity, determines one’s sex.

Yep.  This should be axiomatic, but we are living in strange times.  Even Caitlynn Jenner admitted this in the past:

Macdonald (quoting from Jenner's book) : "I am firmly on the side of womanhood now, but I am not a woman, nor will I ever be."  Three sentences later, "I use the women's restroom because I am a woman.  I changed my gender on my birth certificate to female because I am a woman."  So there's a little confusion there, right?
Jenner: Not for me.  What's wrong with that?

This is interesting to me in two ways:

First, Caitlyn Jenner seems to genuinely not comprehend the contradition between saying "I am not a woman, nor will I ever be" and then, a few sentences later, saying "I am a woman."

Second, the above YouTube video of this interview has a rather jarring cut right after Jenner says "What's wrong with that."  I thought that was strange, since the cut omits some of the further discussion of the point Macdonald was making.  And I couldn't find the full interview on YouTube, so I had to go over to Vimeo, which has it here.  At the 24:25 mark:

Macdonald (quoting from Jenner's book) : "I am firmly on the side of womanhood now, but I am not a woman, nor will I ever be."  Three sentences later, "I use the women's restroom because I am a woman.  I changed my gender on my birth certificate to female because I am a woman."  So there's a little confusion there, right?
Jenner: Not for me.  What's wrong with that?
Macdonald: Well, here it says "I am not a woman," and here it says "I am a woman."
Jenner: Well, okay.  "I am a woman."  Okay.  That.  Um, I, my journey to womanhood was different.  I always had this woman that lived deep down inside.  But I don't, I never, I am very comfortable with the word "trans woman," because my experience was very different.  I didn't grow up dating guys, you know, being around all the girls.  I was on the other side of the fence.  I will never have a period, I'll never birth a child.  {I} raised a lot of kids, but never actually birthed one.  I honestly have always felt like I don't want to put women down.  I love women.  I don't want to put women down thinking, okay, now all of the sudden, yes, I am this woman.  I'm a trans woman, okay?  My experience was different.  I can go to the women's restroom, I can enjoy all the things of womanhood, dress and be comfortable, and be comfortable with myself.  But it's almost like finally I got to the point in my life this little Caitlynn who's lived inside of me all my life, okay?  And had to hide and sneak around and do all this sort of stuff..."

As you can see, Jenner's explanation is not a model of clarity.  However, she does seem to concede that there is a ontological distinction between a "woman" and a "trans woman."  They are not the same.  They are not interchangeable.  Moreover, Jenner points to the source of that distinction: biology.  "I will never have a period, I'll never birth a child."

Notwithstanding what Jenner said in the above interview (which aired in 2017, and so presumably was recorded around that time), she had previously accepted a "Woman of the Year" award from a women's magazine.

Are you seriously going to say that this is not equivocation?  

Also, consider Jenner's statement that he "changed {his} gender on {his} birth certificate to female."  This is, to me, fascinating.  He is not claiming that he was female when he was born, but he altered the factual statement on his birth certificate anyway. 

Are we also prepared to let people change other factually-correct statements on birth certificates? 

Can a person change her date of birth if she "identifies" as ten years younger than her chronological age?  If not, why not?

How about the place of birth?  If I "identify" as Scottish Citizen, can I change my birth certificate so that it states I was born in Inverness?  If not, why not?

What about my mother?  If I "identify" as the son of, say, Audrey Hepburn, can I change my birth certificate so that it states that?  If not, why not?

I am quite sincere in posing these questions.  They are not rhetorical.  I would really like an answer to them.

I am not, however, presenting these questions primarily to you, Roger, as I think I can anticipate your response (something along the lines of me being stupid, ignorant, bigoted, etc.).  As for other participants, though, I would like to hear from you.

Back to the "Sex is Not a Spectrum" article:

Quote

In regard to the argument from secondary sex organs/characteristics, the primary flaw is that it confuses cause and effect. Remember, secondary sex characteristics are anatomies that differentiate during puberty. In females, these include (among others) the development of breasts, wider hips, and a tendency for fat to store around the hips and buttocks. In males, secondary sex characteristics include deeper voices, taller average height, facial hair, broader shoulders, increased musculature, and fat distributed more around the midsection. However, these secondary sex characteristics—while plain to the eye, and inseparable from the way most laypeople think about men and women—do not actually define one’s biological sex. Rather, these traits typically develop as a consequence of one’s sex, via differences in the hormonal milieu produced during puberty by either testes or ovaries.

The different developmental trajectories of males and females are themselves a product of millions of years of natural selection, since secondary sex characteristics will contribute to evolutionary fitness in males and females in different ways. Females with narrower hips had more trouble delivering large-headed children, and so those with larger hips had an evolutionary advantage. This wasn’t relevant to males, however, which is one reason why their bodies tend to look different. But that doesn’t mean that a person’s hips—or any of their secondary sex characteristics, including beards and breasts—define their sex biologically. These traits, while having evolved due to sex-specific selection pressures, are completely irrelevant when it comes to defining one’s biological sex.

Caitlyn Jenner has undergone some medical procedures to imitate female secondary sex characteristics.  And she dresses in ways typically associated with women.

But none of this makes Jenner a woman.

Quote

Analogies help, so let me offer another one. Bikers ride motorcycles, and cyclists ride bicycles. While these two vehicles share many similarities (two wheels, handlebars, seats, spokes, etc.), they differ in at least one fundamental way. Motorcycles are powered by engines and fuel, while bicycles are powered by pedaling legs. Whether someone is a biker or a cyclist depends entirely on the binary criterion of whether they are riding a motorcycle or a bicycle. This is the primary characteristic that defines bikers and cyclists. However, there are also many secondary characteristics associated with bikers and cyclists. Bikers, for instance, are more likely to wear leather jackets, jeans, and bandanas. Cyclists are more likely to wear skin-tight spandex. Bikers wear heavy helmets that contain the entire head and include a face-shield. Cyclists typically wear lightweight helmets that cover only the top of their heads.

Many of the secondary characteristics of bikers and cyclists are not arbitrary or coincidental. Like male and female secondary sex characteristics, we can map the utility of biker and cyclist secondary characteristics to their primary characteristics. Bikers wear tough clothes because they travel at higher speeds, which necessitate protective clothing in case of an accident and to mitigate windchill. Cyclists, on the other hand, exert great physical effort pedaling their entire body weight plus the weight of their vehicle, which necessitates lighter, breathable, wind-breaking clothing and protective gear. Given cyclists’ slower crash speeds, the trade-off in favor of less protective gear is worthwhile.

But a person riding a motorcycle wearing a spandex suit and lighter helmet doesn’t become a cyclist (or less of a biker) because they share these secondary traits more commonly associated with cyclists. And a person riding a bicycle wearing jeans and a leather jacket doesn’t become a biker (or less of a cyclist) by sharing secondary traits more typical of bikers. Just as these secondary traits do not define bikers and cyclists, secondary sex characteristics do not define males and females.

Great analogy, this.

The article is really good, but too long to quote further.  Definitely worth a read.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
Link to comment
23 hours ago, Obehave said:
Quote

You are adamantly unwilling to look at these issues with empathy and nuance, and insist that the phrase "gender identity" must have precisely the same definition as  "biological sex." You deliberately equivocate between these words and ideas, and use that equivocation as the basis for your "astute" memes. In reality, your "astute" memes are bigoted.  

In your mind is it possible for anyone to disagree with your position while you feel they have considered your position with empathy and nuance?  I believe I have considered your position with empathy and nuance and I still believe your position is wrong.

Same here.  "Bigotry" is "stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own."  I'm quite willing to listen to and interact with Analytics and those whose sociopolitical ideologies align with his.  I reject the notion that I stubbornly and completely fail to tolerate his views.  But because I disagree with his views, he accuses me of bigotry.

23 hours ago, Obehave said:

A man who identifies as a woman is still a man who identifies as a woman, so I still see that man as a man.  With empathy I can believe that man really wants to be identified as a woman, but my empathy does not cause me to agree with him.

Can't we all just get along regardless of whether or not we believe someone is right or wrong?  The fact that I can see people who are wrong on many issues doesn't mean I don't love those people. We're all wrong about something, I think.

Honestly, I think many folks on the other side of this debate cannot "get along" with people who disagree with them.  It's their way or the highway.  If you disagree with Analytics, you are stupid and/or ignorant ("an exceedingly superficial understanding of the issues"), "mocking," "bigoted," "disrespectful," "hypocritical" (boy, that was a weird one), and so on.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Link to comment
1 hour ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Hence SMAC’s and other conservatives “gotcha” question of what is a woman is disengenious grand standing. 

It's hardly disingenuous grandstanding. We know there's a difference. Men and women exist, so there is something that constitutes "man" and "woman". This dilemma is best highlighted by Iain McGilchrist's conception of the divide between right and left brain. The right operates holistically, it is capable of acknowledging large-scale realities without exhaustive theories of classification or causation, it can operate in the presence of intuitive and interpretive ambiguity. The left brain is methodical, procedural, and detail-oriented, operating like the living manifestation of a proof. Western culture has elevated left-brain proceduralism above its proper role as the means to the right-brain end, which leads us to lose the forest of reality for the trees. Man and women mean something, no matter how many ways in which one can differ from the Platonic form.

 

Quote

Indeed we have contrast. I have always felt like a man (boy) but can’t describe it. My Aunt (born biologically male) knew from a young age that she was female. After serving a mission, having six kids and surviving suicide attempts, she transitioned and lives as a woman. If I can’t even begin to define what it means for me to be male, how can I tell her she is not a woman?

Contrast with what? As near as I can tell none of us have lived outside of our own heads. If we are to have that contrast, then it must be in relation to something outside of our introspection. What is it then - what is your external referent - what is a woman? A state of mind?

Commonsense epistemology and its traveling partner phenomenal conservatism - the best account of human knowledge by my reckoning - teach that all things are based on "seemings" - things seem a certain way to us, and that gives us reason to believe they are that way in the absence of well-founded defeaters. What constitutes a well-founded defeater is, by nature, paradigm dependent. The paradigm question is "what is a woman." If "biological female" is inherent in that definition, then no, biological males cannot be women, and no seeming will overcome that. If "biological female" is not part of that definition, then a seeming could overcome that. Which means that the question MUST be answered if you have interest in interpersonal conduct being based on truth - what is a woman? 

Quote

If I don’t know is the best answer that is available (and I belief it is), it seems like the ultimate in hubris to pass judgement on those that have a different life experience than my own. 

This would be true if we did not have the belief that our spirits and bodies are built in each other's image and are both sexed. I don't need to know the initial causes of a phenomenon (say, proto-sex a la Gregory Smith) to know what it now is (sex).

I retain the right to make statements about truth without kneeling before the moral imprecation of "judgement," which we all do and inevitably must as part of human cognitive structure. The admonition has always been to judge righteously, not be studiously opinionless.

Quote

Average sex differences don’t translate well into individual experience. 

And yet they exist. 

Edited by OGHoosier
Link to comment
3 hours ago, Analytics said:

Would you say Susannah Temko is a woman? How about Emily Quinn

If a so-called "intersex" person has a combination of all of the biological organs that biologically distinguish a man from a woman, and all of the biological organs they have are fully functioning, then I would say they are both men and women, or at least their bodies show they are both.  I believe their spirit is either one or the other, male or female, but if their bodies can fully function as both men and women biologically, including sexually, then I feel as if I would have no other logical choice but to say they are both.

If, however, one can fully function only as a man, or only as a woman, then I would say their biological and sexual identity should be based on how their bodies function biologically and sexually. 

For example, if a person's body can biologically generate sperm and has eggs which that body can self-fertilize, AND a womb in which to carry those eggs to full term, then I feel as if I have no other logical choice but to say that is both a man and a woman.

Now, regarding those 2 "people" you specifically mentioned, I don't really know.  They appear to be women, from what I can tell, but I'm not a doctor and I'm not able to give them a certified physical examination.

Edited by Obehave
Link to comment
7 minutes ago, Obehave said:

I believe their spirit is either one or the other, male or female, but if their bodies can fully function as both men and women biologically, including sexually, then I feel as if I would have no other logical choice but to say they are both.

I'm open to the idea that their spirits might be intersex as well. At least, I'm not aware of a precedent which would decisively rule it out.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...