Well, here it is again. I'll be using another article to help illustrate my points. The article is quite good despite it listing off almost NONE OF ITS SOURCES. Terrible journalist. But it still says what it needs to. Article is here.
I'm going to list some quotes from the article that I felt were especially powerful, although I still would like it if people would read the whole thing first. I relate very strongly with the kids in this article.
Also, I'd like this to partly discuss what mental health is and the ethics of gender, sex, social behavior, and so on. Why are things that we don't understand so uncomfortable? Why do we feel the need to have categories and definite boundaries for things which are more nebulous and unbounded? Why is it that people are so quick and to comment decidedly on these issues despite lacking any objective evidence or authority? And of course, make sure to critically examine your presumptions before jumping in.
This topic, gender issues and transgendered issues, are pretty hot topics, especially as they intersect with child rearing and raising. Everyone seems to have very formed and unwavering opinions about this based on their own experience. They automatically want their children to adopt their values and reasonings and I think are afraid to have humility or doubt with such activities - no one wants to raise their children in the wrong way (related video - it's okay, and likely better in the end, to deviate). I think, if they examine them closer, they'll find their opinions didn't actually have a good foundation of evidence and justification to rest on.
So. What IS so bad about a boy wearing a dress?
When I was a young boy, I was very soft spoken and shy, very feminine in the activities that I enjoyed doing. As I grew older I was given chances to be more dominant, something that I grew to enjoy. Authority was a natural fit for me both in relationships and otherwise throughout middle school and onwards. During this period of time I was unquestionably straight, but definitely had a sensitive side that I had learned was considered weakness in a man. So for the most part I fit myself into the male gender binary in every way I could.
Drugs and alcohol brought out my other characteristics, though. While drunk for the first time it became very obvious that I was in fact bisexual. I reassessed a lot of things after that. I had to come to terms with being a unique person in a way I hadn't before.
For the most part though I still very much enjoy living out the traits that are generally considered masculine. I love being a guy. However, I've seen many men struggle with how unmanly they are. I have friends who look up to me as an ideal for how they wish they had the will to act, stoic and proud and confident. They will never be that, because they aren't. And when I come to think of it, I would rather be valued for my noble qualities in and of themselves, rather than having it viewed as a successful conformity to traditional masculinity. I enjoy being open about my atypical man side, such as my love for writing poetry or making art.
I think that there are some things that will always be a certain way between men and women simply due to biology, but it is so base and underlying compared to most of what we consider gender stereotypes that it isn't even worth mentioning for this discussion. I've met people like you, Beany, who are robbed of being able to call themselves men comfortably because they have come to terms with not identifying with a stereotype. Then I've met people who insist on being called men while hating themselves for not being manly at all.
It's all coming apart though. The dominant hetero males who convinced the world that all men should be like them no longer hold that sway. Gender binaries are breaking down. One major thing that still needs to change is that women need to stop being told that they should be attracted to only a specific type of man. I think many men feel enslaved to a stereotype, feel convinced that they must be strong and proud and dominant in order to make a woman happy. If women feel pressured to look a certain way by society, men feel just as pressured to act a certain way.
Last edited by Apostate; 08-08-2012 at 06:39 PM.
It is human nature to be uncomfortable concerning topics we don't understand. Why would we not be. Have you ever been in any type of meeting where people are spewing off random subjects and you don't have a clue what they are saying? You play conservative. Same as any type of change, people are uncomfortable with change if they are satisfied with the status quo.
I'm not too bothered by the subject, as kids will be kids. Who here acts the same as they were a kid? It is important though to play the cards you are dealt well. Everyone has weaknesses, and if I have learnt anything over the last few years, it's that 'weaknesses' in a personality are very hard to overcome. What is significantly easier though is amplifying one's strengths, and letting others cover for your weaknesses, and vice versa.
Ramsay Sound Pack
I dig your directionless fury.
I'd say a significant amount of sexual repression in America is due to the Puritans and other similar movements. Seeing things in black and white seems to be a consistent flaw in most societies, regardless of the topic. In my mind sexuality is pretty clearly a spectrum, but that idea makes most people uncomfortable because it requires self-reflection. At the heart of it, that's probably what bothers people about little boys wearing dresses. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with doing that, the only reason anyone cares is because it goes against the social norm. If all social constructs can be actively challenged or reversed, people who lack a true sense of identity become extremely uncomfortable.
For me transgender operations are a more murky issue, my gut reaction is to assume that some kind of psychological trauma induced the desire for a sex change. That may not be fair and I'm sure chemical imbalances can readily explain most behavior or urges, I just find the concept of having a sex-change very difficult to understand. It's essentially a cosmetic surgery that has chemical ramifications and I just don't see how you could evaluate whether or not someone is pursuing a sex-change for reasons that are beneficial to their mental health.
Apostate and I had a discussion about this the other day over Skype.
Basically, I don't think gender roles should be enforced by society, I think kids should be raised to enjoy whatever they happen to enjoy (even if that is skirts - Oh my, I can see the faces of the Christian parents now).
However, I think gender roles exist in nature for obvious reasons, so people are going to be more inclined towards one or the other in the end. The male is typically the dominant/authority figure and the female is typically the supporter/nurturer type. It definitely isn't ALWAYS this way (nor does it have to be), this is just the way nature expresses itself in my experience.
There is nothing wrong with a boy wearing a dress.
...and so I do affirm.
in my anecdotal travels, strong dominant women have really severe daddy issues. obviously this is a gross generalization, but something i have found prevalent.One major thing that still needs to change is that women need to stop being told that they should be attracted to only a specific type of man. I think many men feel enslaved to a stereotype, feel convinced that they must be strong and proud and dominant in order to make a woman happy. If women feel pressured to look a certain way by society, men feel just as pressured to act a certain way.
also, strong dominant men are attractive to women on a primordial level. they can protect the family and be good fathers and providers. this is more anthropology then sociology.
The interesting thing is when I try an think about it with an open mind an the best interest of everybody I agree that it is alright. But when you actually see cross-dressers I get the sickest feeling in my stomach. It has to do with the way we have been raised to think for our entire lives.
Now don't get me wrong. Some cross dressers look wicked. An that is mostly because they are girly looking men to begin with. But raising your children to stay inside the genderbox might be safe for them to begin with. People are disgusting an their is nothing worse than being look down upon an being viewed as a bad influence on the other children. This is something that will never change. Sometimes it blows my mind how closed minded an selfish people can be. I had a conversation with my friend the other day about gay marriages. He doesn't support it because he doesn't want to see two men getting married. That is all.
Last edited by KingSaber; 08-09-2012 at 10:46 PM.
Well, just because someone is transgendered doesn't mean they can't be ugly. It's probably only the ugly ones that stand out to you as being transgendered anyway. It's a lot of confirmation bias and stuff that's really hard to notice. The best you can do is try to treat everyone as an individual.
What annoys me about the transgender community is their ridiculous crusade against certain English words and arbitrary conclusions on (and faux serious discussions about) what is and isn't "offensive". Yeah, English doesn't have any gender-neutral singular personal pronouns. Big deal. I didn't invent the language, and I'm not bending it to the will of a bunch of prissy idiots who think they own a language just because they speak it. The amount of whining I see over semantics that don't matter is astounding. People just love to feel like a victim.
I'd sing you a song, but
I'm just a little hoarse.
Most of those features only develop after puberty. If trans people are allowed to take blockers before they transition, they transition can be very 'seamless' for lack of a better word. As it is, many transgendered folk aren't allowed to go through any transitioning procedures until 18, which just makes things much worse for them.
I'd totally date a trans chick if she fit all of my other relationship criteria. I don't care what's between her legs, or what was ten years ago.
the fundamental problem with transgender is that regardless of you want people to see in you, they will see what they see.
this is just a general problem with any sort of identity crisis.
there is what a person wants/wishes/aspires to be, and then there is what they actually are. when there is a realization that these two dont align in some big and fundamental way there is a crisis.
now, when someone has a gender identity crisis, they need to realize that there is a chance that regardless of how many pills they take and surgeries they get, they will always look like a dude.(or chick).
i think modern medicine has done alot of good. but it also attempts to bail us out far too often. these people dont learn to deal or cope with their issues. they simply take these pills and get a surgery and expect to suddenly have a healty body image.
please dont miss understand, im not saying that being transgendered is a bad thing, or that every single one of them is miserable. im saying that these people dont always realize that they will never be percieved by their peers as a (wo)man, and thus should learn to create a self image that isnt based upon how people see them. better to be an effeminate man whos accepted hes a fruitbag then a 6'4" 200 pound "chick" with a square jaw who cries out in disgust when people notice that hes pretty obviously a dude (or formerly was)
One day you will actually be able to change sexes. Like in 300 years. (:
I think you underestimate how early children know they are transgendered which is typically much earlier than people realize their sexual orientation. Yes, teens might be stupid but many of these children know much earlier than that and I think it's overly damaging to be so condescending. Pay attention to the pronouns the children ask to be called in the article I linked.. most of them wanted to be identified either with no gender or the gender that corresponds to their biological sex. It's very possible none of those children would grow up to be transgendered. Had one of the children asked to be called by an opposite pronoun, it's very likely they would have grown up to be transgendered.
So, really, is it just so hard to be kind to that 200 pound chick with a square jaw and refer to her as a girl?