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The Gender Debate

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Antinark
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#1

Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:34 PM

The headlines say it all:

Jail guard undergoes sex reassignment procedure.

Transsexual Miss Universe Contestant

Transsexual Priest ordained by Bishop

More and more the Western world is being confronted with evolving role of gender in society. In a contemporary age where years of societal indoctrination and physical development can be undone with an increasingly common surgical procedure, one must ask if it is time to completely reevaluate the definition of gender itself.

That is to say, what makes a man a man and a woman a woman? Is this something decided by nature, society or the individual? And furthermore, how does our gender define our role in society... if at all?

It is a highly politicized debate that turns off many at it's very utterance. I can't tell you how many liberal arts courses i've taken with staunch feminist professors who like to boil every debate down to an issue of gender. As hard to swallow as their rhetoric is I've come to realize that there is definitely a hint of gender politics in every social issue. One of the first distinctions we make as children is that between men and women, and the axiomatic difference between the sexes must in some way impact on all our future decision making.

I'll hold off on my own opinion of the matter for now. But I'm curious to hear yours.

Robinski
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#2

Posted 15 May 2012 - 06:58 PM

I'm sure I'll have much more to say on this later (I'm really interested in this sort of stuff about "the Patriachy" and the issue of casual misogyny in society etc.) but I'd just like to point something out at this early point before people throw around words they don't know the proper meaning of, at least in this context.

"Sex" is biological i.e. what you physically are: your physical body and all that entails. It's pretty clear cut.

"Gender" is how you define yourself culturally and deals with things that are masculine and feminine. It can be defined personally (at least, I think so) and is no where near as black-and-white as defining one's sex.

Chunkyman
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#3

Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:24 PM

That sex-change stuff disgusts me, but people should be free to do it nontheless.

I'm a bit old fashioned myself, preferring a societal distinction between the roles of males and females. It annoys me to see guys acting like [non-politically correct word], men should act manly. I'm okay with tomboy-ish women, but butch women creep me out.

Tyler
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#4

Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:47 PM

Be who you wan to be. Technological advancements have continued to expand our limits and liberate those who felt wrong with themselves simply because of the arbitrary sex selection of nature. I'm all for it, and I hope people realize what it means to some of these people to feel right with heir bodies.

Robinski
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#5

Posted 15 May 2012 - 07:56 PM

QUOTE (Tyler @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 19:47)
I'm all for it, and I hope people realize what it means to some of these people to feel right with heir bodies.

See, this is something I don't think I'll ever to be able to empathise with. When I look in the mirror, that's me. I might not look exactly how I'd like to all of the time, but it's me I'm looking at. Some people feel they were born in the wrong body and simply don't have that. The idea is just so alien to me that I don't think I'll ever be able to truly comprehend it. It must be heartbreaking and so hard to live with. I don't know how anyone could morally oppose trying to fix that problem, at least on a personal level.

Also, seeing as we don't seem to have a dedicated line of discussion yet, I'm just gonna leave this here and see what's made of it.
user posted image

Given the context I think it's rather obvious.

Antinark
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#6

Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:33 PM

QUOTE (Chunkyman @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 15:24)
That sex-change stuff disgusts me, but people should be free to do it nontheless.

I'm a bit old fashioned myself, preferring a societal distinction between the roles of males and females. It annoys me to see guys acting like [non-politically correct word], men should act manly. I'm okay with tomboy-ish women, but butch women creep me out.

I have a few friends that have gone through sex reassignment procedures. Surprisingly I know more people born as women who have come to identify as men than the other way around.

I will always advocate for the rights of individuals to define themselves openly, however I do feel like the prevalence of sex reassignment surgery is part of a larger gender disease endemic to our society. That is to say that I feel we live in a sad world when people are made to feel so uncomfortable in their own bodies that they feel like they must physically alter themselves to be who they want to be. Our society assigns us a gender at birth and places an enormous amount of pressure upon us to fulfill the roles of said gender. I often wonder that if children were allowed to choose their own gender, would men who identify as women still feel the need to anatomically alter themselves in order to "complete' themselves?

Robinski laid out the differences between the terms "sex" and "gender", and often times I feel like it is a lack of distinction between these concepts that creates conflict in our society.

Many who go through sex assignment surgery feel like they can't be a woman until they have a woman's body, or vice versa. Then there are men and women who cross dress but still identify as their birth sex. I also read recently that some countries are now allowing trans-persons to identify their sex as "other" on their passports in order to avoid humiliating interrogation at customs and borders. Given the variety of "gender bending" that exists, I feel like the traditional notions of man and woman are starting to erode. Is it possible that society is now starting to recognize a third gender? What about a fourth, a fifth and so on?

Where do hermaphrodites fit in? They are neither anatomically male or female, yet they are almost always pushed into accepting either a male or female gender. What about eunichs?





El_Diablo
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#7

Posted 15 May 2012 - 09:55 PM

QUOTE (Antinark @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 11:34)
what makes a man a man and a woman a woman?

as human beings there is no right or wrong answer.

as long as someone is not doing harm to others, they can live their life however they choose or feel.
if someone is born a man but feels like a woman and decides to change (or vise versa), then their gender is whatever they want it to be. if they want to live as a specific gender, follow the cues, use the correct public restroom, and date the "opposite" sex then they are allowed to and we must refer to them as they want to be referred to.

we are not just animals anymore. clearly we possess something that most animals do not; we are not slaves to our primal instincts.
so nature is irrelevant in this case.
just because nature physically gave you a penis or a vagina doesn't mean it necessarily gave you the mental or emotional faculties to match that.

if you feel like you're trapped in the wrong body and not attracted to the sex that you're "supposed" to be attracted to, then you have every right (as an adult) to change your gender identity. you have the right to pursue a life that makes you happy instead of feeling trapped and miserable.

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#8

Posted 16 May 2012 - 02:44 AM

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 21:55)
as long as someone is not doing harm to others, they can live their life however they choose or feel.


Why? I could easily say that harm is being done to children who are exposed to people who have a different sexual nature than what society has traditionally accepted as "right". Then my representative can pass laws that outlaw such behavior. This is for the sake of the weak who cannot protect themselves from sexual deviants. Who ultimately gets to decide what is socially "right" and "wrong" and thus legal and illegal. That is the real issue. My view is to each his own but within a certain limit. That is also most peoples view but where is the line drawn? Who gets to draw it? More subjective questions than there are objective answers.

Irviding
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#9

Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:05 AM

Good point, jeebus. I think the argument against what you're saying (I assume you're playing devil's advocate) is that it's simply a matter of, with what you suggest hypothetically, imposing your values on others. In the case of diablo's hypothetical, you're not imposing your views on anyone. You're simply allowing people to act as they so desire. It doesn't matter if others in society balk at them for that. No values are being imposed nor are morals imposed. You're simply allowing people to do as they wish.

Antinark
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#10

Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:29 AM

QUOTE (Jeeebuuus @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 22:44)
QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 21:55)
as long as someone is not doing harm to others, they can live their life however they choose or feel.


Why? I could easily say that harm is being done to children who are exposed to people who have a different sexual nature than what society has traditionally accepted as "right". Then my representative can pass laws that outlaw such behavior. This is for the sake of the weak who cannot protect themselves from sexual deviants. Who ultimately gets to decide what is socially "right" and "wrong" and thus legal and illegal. That is the real issue. My view is to each his own but within a certain limit. That is also most peoples view but where is the line drawn? Who gets to draw it? More subjective questions than there are objective answers.

I think the issue is that sexual identity is too often roped in with sexual attraction, and the two are not mutually inclusive. More often than not people let fear and ignorance dictate their morals, and that leaves us open to exploitation by what Robinski has referred to as a paternalistic system.

In the western world the hierarchy of power is still very much: Straight Men > Straight Women > Gay Men > Gay Women > Trans Identified

So yes if you have straight men (straight white men usually) dictating sexual policy for Trans Identified people than of course we will always be viewing the latter as a sexual deviant.

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#11

Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:36 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, May 16 2012, 03:05)
You're simply allowing people to act as they so desire. It doesn't matter if others in society balk at them for that. No values are being imposed nor are morals imposed. You're simply allowing people to do as they wish.

Kind of. I don't advocate conformity for the sake of safety or the continuation of the collective stability. That is the stereotypical 1950's conservatism, Leave it to Beaver, don't show a toilet, backwards Romney trickle down, coke and excess, wait what am I talking about? Oh. Nothing is black and white no matter how hard they try to present it to you. All I'm saying the gender/sex issue and the homosexual reality is very old, very deep, and not going to be presented in an intelligent manner by your average media whore. This is like religion. It can go on and on in its complexity and diversity. It is as old as any human discussion and therefore will not be adequately resolved. f*ck.

Antinark
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#12

Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:53 AM

QUOTE (Jeeebuuus @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 23:36)
QUOTE (Irviding @ Wednesday, May 16 2012, 03:05)
You're simply allowing people to act as they so desire. It doesn't matter if others in society balk at them for that. No values are being imposed nor are morals imposed. You're simply allowing people to do as they wish.

Kind of. I don't advocate conformity for the sake of safety or the continuation of the collective stability. That is the stereotypical 1950's conservatism, Leave it to Beaver, don't show a toilet, backwards Romney trickle down, coke and excess, wait what am I talking about? Oh. Nothing is black and white no matter how hard they try to present it to you. All I'm saying the gender/sex issue and the homosexual reality is very old, very deep, and not going to be presented in an intelligent manner by your average media whore. This is like religion. It can go on and on in its complexity and diversity. It is as old as any human discussion and therefore will not be adequately resolved. f*ck.

I've never seen cynicism presented so comically.

El_Diablo
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#13

Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:48 AM

QUOTE (Jeeebuuus @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 19:44)
I could easily say that harm is being done to children who are exposed to people who have a different sexual nature than what society has traditionally accepted as "right".

yeah, sure, you could say that.
but you'd have an awfully hard time proving it.

you can say whatever you want.
doesn't make it right.

QUOTE
Who ultimately gets to decide what is socially "right" and "wrong" and thus legal and illegal.


no one person gets to decide.
society decides at large.

transgender people have by and large become accepted by society.
and as such, the law has begun to reflect this attitude.

in most (civilized) places it is illegal to discriminate based on gender and/or sexual orientation.

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#14

Posted 16 May 2012 - 05:06 AM

QUOTE (El_Diablo @ Wednesday, May 16 2012, 04:48)
you can say whatever you want.
doesn't make it right.

QUOTE
Who ultimately gets to decide what is socially "right" and "wrong" and thus legal and illegal.


no one person gets to decide.
society decides at large.


You mean "right". I agree. It was presented more rhetorically.

The second part I can see two sides. Yes, in one sense we all "chose" laws which our representatives put into effect which might reflect the "moral majority", in this case. The other way I look at it conflicts with my first statement. If we by and large agree that legal "rights" are not presented to a certain sect of the population, homosexual marriage as an example, then it can be an injustice, which I think it is. Then that would mean that the "majority" are not in step with what is "right" and therefore are not a decent measure on what is objectionably "correct". It is not therefore "right" and "wrong" "technically", but a matter of opinion, which is as most of us agree are like assholes.

El_Diablo
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#15

Posted 16 May 2012 - 07:40 AM

QUOTE (Jeeebuuus @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 22:06)
If we by and large agree that legal "rights" are not presented to a certain sect of the population, homosexual marriage as an example, then it can be an injustice, which I think it is. Then that would mean that the "majority" are not in step with what is "right" and therefore are not a decent measure on what is objectionably "correct".

the majority is rarely right.

a majority of people wanted to keep slaves.
but eventually they come around.

ultimately society has to decide these things collectively.
and society eventually comes out on the right side of justice assuming it is not suppressed under some kind of hyper-fascist dictatorship. like North Korea.

but usually, always, society will work these things out correctly.
we didn't get as far as we have (as a species) on intolerance alone.

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#16

Posted 16 May 2012 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE (Robinski @ Wednesday, May 16 2012, 05:56)
QUOTE (Tyler @ Tuesday, May 15 2012, 19:47)
I'm all for it, and I hope people realize what it means to some of these people to feel right with heir bodies.

See, this is something I don't think I'll ever to be able to empathise with. When I look in the mirror, that's me. I might not look exactly how I'd like to all of the time, but it's me I'm looking at. Some people feel they were born in the wrong body and simply don't have that. The idea is just so alien to me that I don't think I'll ever be able to truly comprehend it. It must be heartbreaking and so hard to live with. I don't know how anyone could morally oppose trying to fix that problem, at least on a personal level.

I'm baffled as to why they put so much importance on their physical sex. In my experience, you can be as feminine or as masculine as you like whatever your birth sex is, and nobody really bats an eyelid.

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#17

Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:21 PM

I have found that sexism is pretty much a one way street. It's the office worker women who are the worst, brothers. You know, Ms Mary Smith who pouts in the mirror and says to herself "I am important" in the morning. Then they go on to talk about sexism in the work place, move on to relationship trouble and comment, "Well, that's your typical man, isn't it?".

Equality? What the f*ck's equality? We're not equal, we're not the same. We'll see who wants equality when WW3 starts and they are conscripted. c*nts.

Robinski
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#18

Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (RearNaked @ Monday, Jun 25 2012, 21:21)
I have found that sexism is pretty much a one way street.  It's the office worker women who are the worst, brothers.  You know, Ms Mary Smith who pouts in the mirror and says to herself "I am important" in the morning.  Then they go on to talk about sexism in the work place, move on to relationship trouble and comment, "Well, that's your typical man, isn't it?".

Equality?  What the f*ck's equality?  We're not equal, we're not the same. We'll see who wants equality when WW3 starts and they are conscripted.  c*nts.

If by "one way street" you mean you being prejudiced against women, then yeah I guess that's true.

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#19

Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:38 PM

By one way street I mean that only one group can use it. Like the race card. A big deal is only made of sexism if it's a female or transsexual female complaining about it.

There's a transsexual 'woman' I work with, and she doesn't seem to know that I'm aware of her penis. Last week she was saying how terrible it must be to be trapped in the 'wrong' body. I was like "Transsexuals are disgusting, a smack in the face of nature. If I ever find out anyone I know is a transsexual, I will kill them on the spot."

Needless to say, I was disciplined for sexism by my male boss.

It's ridiculous. I was once kicked out of a club for laughing at a transsexual! I only get funny looks when I laugh at disabled people, I was escorted from a strip club for fighting with strippers in a strip club, but literally thrown out for LAUGHING at a transsexual.

Sexism is a lot of sh*t. An excuse to keep the man down.

Robinski
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#20

Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (RearNaked @ Monday, Jul 2 2012, 22:38)
By one way street I mean that only one group can use it. Like the race card. A big deal is only made of sexism if it's a female or transsexual female complaining about it.

There's a transsexual 'woman' I work with, and she doesn't seem to know that I'm aware of her penis. Last week she was saying how terrible it must be to be trapped in the 'wrong' body. I was like "Transsexuals are disgusting, a smack in the face of nature. If I ever find out anyone I know is a transsexual, I will kill them on the spot."

Needless to say, I was disciplined for sexism by my male boss.

It's ridiculous. I was once kicked out of a club for laughing at a transsexual! I only get funny looks when I laugh at disabled people, I was escorted from a strip club for fighting with strippers in a strip club, but literally thrown out for LAUGHING at a transsexual.

Sexism is a lot of sh*t. An excuse to keep the man down.

Well f*ck me. I know this section of the forum asks for posts to have some proper content in them, but all I can say is that I wouldn't even know where to begin with this post, or where to get the amount of effort it would need to properly address all its hate and ignorance of privilege.

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#21

Posted 02 July 2012 - 11:16 PM

What hate, what ignorance? Son, I don't hate anyone. I've been surrounded by a platoon of men who wanted to end me, and I don't even hate them. Infact, I get a great big hard-on when I think about that day!

You can try to be as politically, socially and maybe even grammatically correct as you like, but you probably don't have a clue what it feels like to be running around with hard wood, covered in blood (yours, your buddies, theirs, who knows?) brain , bone, flesh and semen. You don't know, do you, you young schmuck?

El_Diablo
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#22

Posted 02 July 2012 - 11:48 PM

QUOTE (RearNaked @ Monday, Jul 2 2012, 15:38)
A big deal is only made of sexism if it's a female or transsexual female complaining about it.

ok well this statement is obviously false.

if you think transgender men are the only ones who cause a controversy in the workplace then you're sorely ignorant of the issue at large.

QUOTE
I was like "Transsexuals are disgusting, a smack in the face of nature. If I ever find out anyone I know is a transsexual, I will kill them on the spot."

Needless to say, I was disciplined for sexism by my male boss.

well of course.
what did you expect?

were you joking?
if so, then you were asking to be disciplined. you just said that you already knew this person was a transexual. if you were making a joke then you knew that they would be offended and most likely not get the joke.

were you serious?
if so then you're just a sad human being.

either way you did something stupid.
don't blame your boss or society or the tranny for your stupid action.

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#23

Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:04 AM

Of course it was a joke. I don't open throats for stuff like that, cuz. I don't care, pretty much, what anyone does. Provided it doesn't involve me, of course.

I didn't choose to be white or born in this country. I didn't even choose to be a man. I'm not patriotic, I'm not at all proud to be white or a male. I don't like it when people complain about so-called immigrants. I'm a quiet, pretty good, grounded gangster who dabbles in some dark humour and a little violence here and there.

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#24

Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:12 AM

ok so either way you opened your mouth with the intention of being abrasive and knowing full-well that the person you were addressing would likely be offended. don't go blaming society or anyone/thing else for the outcome. that was your poor choice.

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#25

Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:21 AM

How is it that you know why I said what I said, what tone I used and how I knew how the transsexual would react? Also, who said I'm blaming anyone for anything?

You seem to be getting quite upset. Perhaps we should agree to disagree, call it quits, etc, etc.

El_Diablo
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#26

Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:58 AM

who's upset? not me.
we're just having a discussion.

you just got finished accusing me of assuming things I couldn't know about your tone or demeanor.
now you're assuming things that you couldn't know about mine sigh.gif

do you really not get it?
QUOTE (RearNaked @ Monday, Jul 2 2012, 17:21)
How is it that you know why I said what I said, what tone I used and how I knew how the transsexual would react?

this is totally missing the point.

you knew this person was a transexual.
you must know that being a transexual is unlike being any other class of minority. for a variety of reasons.

and when you decided to crack wise, your choice of words included "a smack in the face of nature" and "I will kill them on the spot."
I don't care how you said it. did you honestly believe they would just chuckle along with you? or know that you were joking?
the only way I can see that happening is if the tranny was also your best friend and knew you very personally and knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that you were only kidding.

I don't see how you can possibly be surprised at being disciplined.
you said this in the workplace. not at the bar during happy hour.

QUOTE
who said I'm blaming anyone for anything?

you did.

you said:
"I was disciplined for sexism by my male boss. It's ridiculous. Sexism is a lot of sh*t. An excuse to keep the man down."

that's you making excuses and not blaming yourself for your blunder.

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#27

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:11 PM

People have the right to do whatever the hell they want with their bodies, as Tyler said, it is important, at least to most people, to be comfortable with their bodies.

You own your life and body and you decide what to make out of it.

Same thing applies with homosexual marriage, if two consenting adults want to make a lifetime commitment of love to each other, it should be celebrated, not outlawed.




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