Gender [split]

What can I say? It doesn't fit above, put it here. Also the location of board rules/info.
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Gender [split]

Post by OTʜᴇB » Wed 12 Oct 2016, 19:54

Is it appropriate to bring the genders thing in here? I just had a discussion with someone that went full tumblr.

Basically, he said they now identified as gender-less. I'm perfectly fine with that, then politely explain how I use pronouns to refer to sexes instead of genders as it is a really easy way of avoiding any gender mismatch problems and makes the internet a better place... and then I receive a 12 page shit-storm about how I'm "being disrespectful of their identity" and am "selfish". Do pronouns have any history of ever being considered offensive? How would I convey my point as solidly as possible so I can get on with my life? - as funny as his fallacy filled arguments were.

I'm not going to change the way I approach an entire part of speech, just because some people on the internet get annoyed by it. How can I have him accept how I use the language I speak, in the same way I am accepting what gender he wants to use?
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Ahzoh » Wed 12 Oct 2016, 20:02

OTʜᴇB wrote:How can I have him accept how I use the language I speak, in the same way I am accepting what gender he wants to use?
You can't. Not with people like them.
Also one's gender identity is not something you can decide and switch between on a whim, so anyone who does legitimately come to the conclusion of what they believe their gender is likely isn't one to "go full tumblr" like what you describe.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by OTʜᴇB » Wed 12 Oct 2016, 20:05

Ahzoh wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote:How can I have him accept how I use the language I speak, in the same way I am accepting what gender he wants to use?
You can't. Not with people like them.
Fair enough. What's funnier is that we used to gain great amusement at some of the particularly stupid things people like that had said.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Ahzoh » Wed 12 Oct 2016, 20:05

I edited my comment above.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Egerius » Wed 12 Oct 2016, 20:12

People always find shit to be annoyed by.
Now they bring up issues some of us (i.e. I) don't even understand.
Let's not let that seep into here, or we'll see things turning youtube.
On a related note, I suggested using reduced forms of the original, Old English pronouns on the IRC chat... Not the most-welcome suggestion.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Ebon » Wed 12 Oct 2016, 20:14

OTʜᴇB wrote:Is it appropriate to bring the genders thing in here? I just had a discussion with someone that went full tumblr.

Basically, he said they now identified as gender-less. I'm perfectly fine with that, then politely explain how I use pronouns to refer to sexes instead of genders as it is a really easy way of avoiding any gender mismatch problems and makes the internet a better place... and then I receive a 12 page shit-storm about how I'm "being disrespectful of their identity" and am "selfish". Do pronouns have any history of ever being considered offensive? How would I convey my point as solidly as possible so I can get on with my life? - as funny as his fallacy filled arguments were.

I'm not going to change the way I approach an entire part of speech, just because some people on the internet get annoyed by it. How can I have him accept how I use the language I speak, in the same way I am accepting what gender he wants to use?
It's not necessarily that your acquaintance thought pronouns were offensive. Beind addressed with wrong pronouns can cause dysphoria, even if they know you don't mean to refer to their gender. (Not to mention that being reminded of their sex can, well, also cause dysphoria...)

Or maybe not. Really hard to say without knowing them or what they wrote.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by OTʜᴇB » Wed 12 Oct 2016, 21:14

Ebon wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote:Is it appropriate to bring the genders thing in here? I just had a discussion with someone that went full tumblr.

Basically, he said they now identified as gender-less. I'm perfectly fine with that, then politely explain how I use pronouns to refer to sexes instead of genders as it is a really easy way of avoiding any gender mismatch problems and makes the internet a better place... and then I receive a 12 page shit-storm about how I'm "being disrespectful of their identity" and am "selfish". Do pronouns have any history of ever being considered offensive? How would I convey my point as solidly as possible so I can get on with my life? - as funny as his fallacy filled arguments were.

I'm not going to change the way I approach an entire part of speech, just because some people on the internet get annoyed by it. How can I have him accept how I use the language I speak, in the same way I am accepting what gender he wants to use?
It's not necessarily that your acquaintance thought pronouns were offensive. Beind addressed with wrong pronouns can cause dysphoria, even if they know you don't mean to refer to their gender. (Not to mention that being reminded of their sex can, well, also cause dysphoria...)

Or maybe not. Really hard to say without knowing them or what they wrote.
He's not one to get dysphoric about his sex, but I understand what you mean. This is like the "being offended" and "feeling offended" thing all over again.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Micamo » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 01:33

OTʜᴇB wrote:Is it appropriate to bring the genders thing in here? I just had a discussion with someone that went full tumblr.

Basically, he said they now identified as gender-less. I'm perfectly fine with that, then politely explain how I use pronouns to refer to sexes instead of genders as it is a really easy way of avoiding any gender mismatch problems and makes the internet a better place... and then I receive a 12 page shit-storm about how I'm "being disrespectful of their identity" and am "selfish". Do pronouns have any history of ever being considered offensive? How would I convey my point as solidly as possible so I can get on with my life? - as funny as his fallacy filled arguments were.

I'm not going to change the way I approach an entire part of speech, just because some people on the internet get annoyed by it. How can I have him accept how I use the language I speak, in the same way I am accepting what gender he wants to use?
Okay, this thing where you think correct pronouns don't matter? This is a privilege you have from being cisgendered. It costs you nothing to refer to them with the correct pronouns and will greatly improve their quality of life.

Also, you don't get to arbitrarily define your words to mean whatever you want them to mean. That's just not how language works. The meaning of your words depends on how other people interpret them, not on how you intend them to be interpreted. If someone is telling you that your use of words is hurting them, listen.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Sḿtuval » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 01:43

I wouldn't go so far as to use the word privilege but I agree. Think of it this way: what if someone consistently used the wrong pronoun to refer to you? I most certainly never want to be referred to as "she" since I'm a guy, and although I'm not transgender, I'd guess that most people whether cis or trans feel the same way about their gender.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 02:32

Micamo wrote:
OTʜᴇB wrote:Is it appropriate to bring the genders thing in here? I just had a discussion with someone that went full tumblr.

Basically, he said they now identified as gender-less. I'm perfectly fine with that, then politely explain how I use pronouns to refer to sexes instead of genders as it is a really easy way of avoiding any gender mismatch problems and makes the internet a better place... and then I receive a 12 page shit-storm about how I'm "being disrespectful of their identity" and am "selfish". Do pronouns have any history of ever being considered offensive? How would I convey my point as solidly as possible so I can get on with my life? - as funny as his fallacy filled arguments were.

I'm not going to change the way I approach an entire part of speech, just because some people on the internet get annoyed by it. How can I have him accept how I use the language I speak, in the same way I am accepting what gender he wants to use?
Okay, this thing where you think correct pronouns don't matter? This is a privilege you have from being cisgendered. It costs you nothing to refer to them with the correct pronouns and will greatly improve their quality of life.
On this, I agree quite strongly.

Some words are simply not worth getting into a froth over. This (pronouns) comes down to simple respect of an individual from another with whom there is a friendship or acquaintance: if we're in regular (informal) communication, and if you inform me what pronoun you prefer, I'm more than happy to use it! On the flip side, don't get bent out of shape if, for example on a forum such as this, I forget. A gentle reminder will suffice! Also, a random participant in a random forum doesn't get this kind of consideration from me. I'm with OTʜᴇB on this one: pronouns, in English, are best used to refer to the two basic sexes. All the wonderful variation of gender is really beside the point.
Also, you don't get to arbitrarily define your words to mean whatever you want them to mean.
Unfortunately, in this day and age, too many people try it. You see it on social media all the time. As with words like "idiot" and "crazy" over in the other thread. At best, those are terribly mild reproaches, having nothing at all to do with the mental status of any single person or group of people.
That's just not how language works. The meaning of your words depends on how other people interpret them, not on how you intend them to be interpreted.
It is a two way street, language. If I use a word, and someone becomes offended, then perhaps it would behoove if the offended party would seek clarification rather than go off in an injured huff. This exact thing happened to two people very dear to me recently. They both speak closely related languages, in addition to English. One used a particular word to describe the other, and the other took offense and went off in a huff. It turns out the word in question means "dizzy" in one language, but something not very nice in the native language of the other. Given the context of the conversation, it should have been clear which meaning to take. Communication would have been key there.
If someone is telling you that your use of words is hurting them, listen.
Yep! Let's just not forget that communication is a two way street. You might be assigning a harmful meaning to a word when that word is not normally used in a harmful fashion. So yes, tell someone when their words seem hurtful to you; yes, the other person should listen. But also, you need to listen to that person as well: talk about why this is hurtful to you; listen to the other person's explanation and understanding of the word. There could be multiple meanings at play. And lastly, individuals who do have quirks regarding certain words oughtn't expect everyone else to change their language habits just to suit.

Unless the context of the exchange is pretty clearly negative, chances are very good that no harm is intended, that the word is regularly innocuous and that the whole situation is a misunderstanding that can be cleared up by both sides communicating effectively.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Micamo » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 02:46

Except this isn't a case of OtheB using the wrong pronoun in honest error and his friend flying off the handle. This is their agender friend explaining their correct pronouns to them, then OtheB's outright refusal to use those pronouns after being corrected. They're obviously the one in error here and their agender friend had every right to be pissed.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Chagen » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 03:44

Micamo wrote: Okay, this thing where you think correct pronouns don't matter? This is a privilege you have from being cisgendered. It costs you nothing to refer to them with the correct pronouns and will greatly improve their quality of life.

Also, you don't get to arbitrarily define your words to mean whatever you want them to mean. That's just not how language works. The meaning of your words depends on how other people interpret them, not on how you intend them to be interpreted. If someone is telling you that your use of words is hurting them, listen.
We do have to, however, accept that pronouns are a closed class in English and thus we have an innate repulsion towards new ones.

Also, to be completely honest, most of these new-fangled Tumblr pronouns sound stupid as fuck anyway. Nor do I believe that so-called "non-gender binary" people actually exist. Such a thing never existed even in medical literature until less than a decade ago and I'm pretty sure 95% of these special snowflakes on Tumblr are privileged white girls coming up with shit to make themselves not so incredibly boring. Same thing as that racist/transphobic as hell "trans-ethnic" or "trans-species" crap going on a while back.

Not to mention these people get in the way of queer activism (no I am not using our ludicrously long abbreviation) by butting into discussions on queer issues that actually matter like gay/bi/trans issues and demanding everyone take them seriously.

I am especially embittered about this as a bi person, as bi people are thrown to the side while our queer allies spend every second placating all these special snowflakes. Then again I am a heavily heteroromantic bisexual, so it's not like other queer people like me much anyway.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 03:45

Micamo wrote:Except this isn't a case of OtheB using the wrong pronoun in honest error and his friend flying off the handle. This is their agender friend explaining their correct pronouns to them, then OtheB's outright refusal to use those pronouns after being corrected. They're obviously the one in error here and their agender friend had every right to be pissed.
I wasn't aware this person was a friend, and it wasn't clear from what I read. Well then, this goes back to the respect for a person with whom you have a friendly relationship. Generally speaking, I still side with OTʜᴇB on this issue: pronouns refer to the two basic sexes, not the natural or chosen or imposed or shifted gender identity of a person. But it is disrespectful, if this other person is a friend, to completely disregard ids choice of pronoun. Were I OTʜᴇB, I'd respect my friend's choice over the way I normally use language.

On the other hand, respect also goes both ways. This friend, if friend id be, needs also to respect OTʜᴇB's use of his own language.

The long and the short of it is this: you don't have a God given right to the pronoun of your choice. You can certainly make your choice known: after that, be happy when friends respect this choice and address you accordingly; respect those for whom their language does not work this way. "Respect" is not what happens when you force the rest of the world to comply with your own wishes. Respect between mature friends sometimes results in not getting your own way.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Ælfwine » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 06:12

I prefer a Pro-Drop approach to pronouns. That way nobody's feelings get hurt.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Ebon » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 07:36

elemtilas wrote:
Micamo wrote:Except this isn't a case of OtheB using the wrong pronoun in honest error and his friend flying off the handle. This is their agender friend explaining their correct pronouns to them, then OtheB's outright refusal to use those pronouns after being corrected. They're obviously the one in error here and their agender friend had every right to be pissed.
I wasn't aware this person was a friend, and it wasn't clear from what I read. Well then, this goes back to the respect for a person with whom you have a friendly relationship. Generally speaking, I still side with OTʜᴇB on this issue: pronouns refer to the two basic sexes, not the natural or chosen or imposed or shifted gender identity of a person. But it is disrespectful, if this other person is a friend, to completely disregard ids choice of pronoun. Were I OTʜᴇB, I'd respect my friend's choice over the way I normally use language.

On the other hand, respect also goes both ways. This friend, if friend id be, needs also to respect OTʜᴇB's use of his own language.

The long and the short of it is this: you don't have a God given right to the pronoun of your choice. You can certainly make your choice known: after that, be happy when friends respect this choice and address you accordingly; respect those for whom their language does not work this way. "Respect" is not what happens when you force the rest of the world to comply with your own wishes. Respect between mature friends sometimes results in not getting your own way.
It's true you don't have a right to be referred to with a specific pronoun, yes.

On the other hand, I'm not sure you really understand that dysphoria isn't just "being mildly upset". Dysphoria hurts. It can hurt really, really badly.

And while it isn't an issue for me, I would not stick around someone who's unwilling to even try not to hurt me. So yes, sure, you have a right to call people wrong pronouns. But you don't get to demand that people like it, are happy with it or won't resent you for it. If someone ends up ditching you because you repeatedly and willingly hurt them, you don't get to demand they come back and suffer silently.

(Note that I'm not only talking about OTʜᴇB's friend here.)
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by gestaltist » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 08:54

I am confused by this whole conversation, to be honest. What does "agendered" even mean? Should I refer to such a person as "it"? I can understand the situation where somebody has a male body but feels they are a female or vice versa: the sexes are rooted in biology, and things can go this way or the other during the formation of the foetus. But how does one become "agendered" other than making an (honestly dubious) decision? I can understand dysphoria in the former person. In the latter, not so much. I am happy to hear a reasonable explanation of how this works, and why I should treat it as a genuine problem and not a delusion.

On a related note: if somebody has paranoid delusions, and others tell him they are not true, they are definitely causing dysphoria. Are they in the wrong, though? Is it objectively wrong to make somebody feel ill-at-ease? I don't know.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Ebon » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 09:58

Agender (commonly) means feeling dysphoric to both sexes, and to both social roles. Neither shoe fits, so to speak. Nor does any kind of third shoe. YMMV. Dysphoria varies even between people of the same gender.

And why should you treat it as a delusion? Why say "I know your lived experience better than you?" What does that gain you or anyone else?
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Micamo » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 10:19

elemtilas wrote:The long and the short of it is this: you don't have a God given right to the pronoun of your choice. You can certainly make your choice known: after that, be happy when friends respect this choice and address you accordingly; respect those for whom their language does not work this way. "Respect" is not what happens when you force the rest of the world to comply with your own wishes. Respect between mature friends sometimes results in not getting your own way.
"Could you please stop pissing on my head?"
"Hey now, respect goes both ways. I have the right to piss wherever I want, and you need to respect that."
"..."
gestaltist wrote:I am confused by this whole conversation, to be honest. What does "agendered" even mean? Should I refer to such a person as "it"? I can understand the situation where somebody has a male body but feels they are a female or vice versa: the sexes are rooted in biology, and things can go this way or the other during the formation of the foetus. But how does one become "agendered" other than making an (honestly dubious) decision? I can understand dysphoria in the former person. In the latter, not so much.
You'd be better off asking an agendered person, but as I don't know of any in this community I'll try to do the best I can. Agender just means that a person does not have a gender. The reasons they feel this way vary greatly as the gender experience is very complicated and deeply personal. While I don't identify as agender myself, I have strong sympathies toward those who do: Personally, my reason is that I'm strongly averse to my human body and wish that I could upload myself onto the internet, or into some robot body. I wouldn't miss my sex organs or my bodily features that outwardly display myself as female. However, I'm not uncomfortable with someone using "she" to refer to me, and that's fine.

Some agendered people use "it" as their pronoun, some use "they", some prefer a new pronoun they've coined themselves. It's possible that agendered people have paradigmatic differences in their neurochemistry that make them different from cis people in an objectively verifiable way, just like binary trans people do. The research to investigate this just hasn't been done. And even if there isn't one, why does that matter?

Your gender is a lot like your sexuality: The only person who really knows what it is is you, and nobody can contradict you on that. How would you feel if someone walked up to you and demanded that you prove to them that you're straight, or that you're a man, and refused to believe you until you provided said proof? Furthermore, the only person who is really affected by your gender and sexual identity is you. You can really hurt someone by denying it or demanding proof, and it costs you nothing to say "sure, okay." Why wouldn't you?
I am happy to hear a reasonable explanation of how this works, and why I should treat is as a genuine problem and not a delusion.

On a related note: if somebody has paranoid delusions, and others tell him they are not true, they are definitely causing dysphoria. Are they in the wrong, though? Is it objectively wrong to make somebody feel ill-at-ease? I don't know.
Please please please do not compare gender identity with paranoid delusions. This is a very commonly held belief that is used to forcibly institutionalize non-cisgendered people and attempt to "treat" their gender identity as if it were an illness, which is extremely abusive and traumatic. Non-cis people literally die because of this. Dismissing someone's gender identity as delusion is an abuse of psychology and science in order to justify bigotry, a modern drapetophobia.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by Xonen » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 11:25

Chagen wrote:Nor do I believe that so-called "non-gender binary" people actually exist.
what
Such a thing never existed even in medical literature until less than a decade ago
False.
and I'm pretty sure 95% of these special snowflakes on Tumblr are privileged white girls coming up with shit to make themselves not so incredibly boring.
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Re: The Majestic 4th Conversation Thread

Post by gestaltist » Thu 13 Oct 2016, 11:49

Ebon wrote:Agender (commonly) means feeling dysphoric to both sexes, and to both social roles. Neither shoe fits, so to speak. YMMV. Dysphoria varies even between people of the same gender.
Thanks for the explanation. Shouldn't this be something that is kind of constant, though? From OTheB's post, it looked like his friend randomly decided one day that they were agendered...
And why should you treat it as a delusion? Why say "I know your lived experience better than you?" What does that gain you or anyone else?
Well, that's some very hard questions, right there. If I know my friend is suicidal, do I tell them "You know better than me how you feel. Wanna kill yourself, go right ahead."? If somebody is hearing voices - should I just accept that or tell them they are not real? What if they feel they are worthless and I value them. Should I accept their self-assessment or tell them they are important to me? I'm not trying to be contrary here. I honestly don't know where we should draw the line, and I don't think there's an easy answer for that.
Micamo wrote: "Could you please stop pissing on my head?"
"Hey now, respect goes both ways. I have the right to piss wherever I want, and you need to respect that."
"..."
That's not quite the same. I have never seen anyone piss on anyone's head, whereas using personal pronouns is simply how you use the language. It doesn't require much willpower to not piss on a person. It requires a lot of conscious effort to not use a part of speech you've been trained to use in a certain way your whole life. Unfair comparison.
Some agendered people use "it" as their pronoun, some use "they", some prefer a new pronoun they've coined themselves. It's possible that agendered people have paradigmatic differences in their neurochemistry that make them different from cis people in an objectively verifiable way, just like binary trans people do. The research to investigate this just hasn't been done. And even if there isn't one, why does that matter?

Well, we need to base our judgments on something, right? Might as well be science. The premise that everybody has a right to their internal experience being respected isn't universally accepted. How do we decide what basis for moral judgments is valid? I am inclined to a "live and let live" attitude, but not everybody is.
Your gender is a lot like your sexuality: The only person who really knows what it is is you, and nobody can contradict you on that. How would you feel if someone walked up to you and demanded that you prove to them that you're straight, or that you're a man, and refused to believe you until you provided said proof? Furthermore, the only person who is really affected by your gender and sexual identity is you. You can really hurt someone by denying it or demanding proof, and it costs you nothing to say "sure, okay." Why wouldn't you?
Thanks for the explanation. I would like to point out, though, it's one thing to accept that someone feels a certain way about themselves (I have no problem with that). But redesigning my whole speech is a huge effort. I feel like I deserve having a "huge" reason if somebody demands it from me. So yes, I would like to know if they ask it because it is deeply rooted in their identity, or if it's some kind of attention seeking behavior - or something else.
Please please please do not compare gender identity with paranoid delusions. This is a very commonly held belief that is used to forcibly institutionalize non-cisgendered people and attempt to "treat" their gender identity as if it were an illness, which is extremely abusive and traumatic. Non-cis people literally die because of this. Dismissing someone's gender identity as delusion is an abuse of psychology and science in order to justify bigotry, a modern drapetophobia.
That feels like a little bit of a strawman argument. I used paranoia as an example. People think different things - are they always right? Again: see my response to Ebon. I sincerely hope you never actually thought I would be for forcible institutionalization of anyone... The fact that some bigoted idiots do it shouldn't preclude us from discussing if it's reasonable for people to demand from us that we redesign our basic speech patterns for them - which is what this discussion is about.

On a related note, I hate the term "cis" and "cisgendered" - when somebody refers to me as "cis," I feel like they are consciously creating a barrier between us. I'm different than them because I'm "cis." Since we argue that people have a right to ask others to stop using hurtful terms, I would like to ask you to never refer to me as "cis" or any of the related terms because I find them hurtful. Thanks.
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