I don't know ... sensitive


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Thread: I don't know ... sensitive

  1. #1

    I don't know ... sensitive

    There is a topic I have been wanting to discuss for a while, and tonight I'm here to do just that. I have touched on this before, but not so much in depth. I'm not sure this isn't writing-related, but we'll see.

    Last week I was in Chicago with two of my daughters and we were lucky enough to visit one of their cousins, my brother's son. We hadn't seen him in many years. He has a 12 year old daughter, the same age as some of my granddaughters, and there was a lot of talk about the fun of having daughters that age in the house. Then he asked a question that sent a bit of a ripple through the conversation and left me as the odd man out.

    He asked my girls if they were experiencing any issues with gender identity in their kids' schools, or was this just Chicago? He said his daughter's best friend has chosen a pronoun to be known by ("they") and becomes extremely upset if her parents use "she" or "her," instead of "they." She has also chosen another name for herself ("Cass") and won't allow anyone to call her by her given name, Rachel, or she gets angry. Then my youngest daughter, from Minneapolis, talked about a boy that has gone to school with my granddaughter since kindergarten as a girl. He wears dresses and has long hair. He is experimenting with makeup like other 12 year old girls and is invited on sleepovers with the girls. Heidi showed us a picture of five girls sitting together and I couldn't pick him out.

    I said I didn't care what kind of sexual activity a person wants to engage in during their life, but if a baby is born with boy-parts, he's a boy. Same for a girl. Sadly, my daughters took that as me being critical of the whole business, not being accepting or kind. So, of course, I tried to explain that I just didn't understand it, that I wasn't being critical at all, but you know what happens when you get defensive.

    So then tonight I was watching the news and there was this little blurb about people being able to go back and change their birth certificates to reflect the gender they believe they are, if the certificate had it wrong. That's when I decided to post here.

    In no way do I want to offend anyone. I am "old school," and just would like an explanation for what is going on with parents and young children these days. Is this a phase, or a real evolution process of gender identity going forward? I had heard a story years ago, of parents of a baby who told the interviewer that they were waiting for their child to grow up enough to tell them what gender he or she was.

    Are any of you parents of school-age children who are making these choices? What do you think? Nothing but love and compassion in this heart, by the way, and thank you for any response.

    Additional info: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24972420
    Last edited by SueC; June 25th, 2019 at 12:18 AM. Reason: additional info
    When the night has come
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  2. #2
    The modern thought is that gender and sexuality can be broken into 4 parts. No longer are boys simply attracted to girls, or vice versa. Instead, we have 4 dimensions along which any person may identify (select), and which may also change over time:

    Sex: refers to biological parts

    Gender: Socially constructed identity of man vs woman vs other, meaning expectations/roles/responsibilities/behaviors/relationships

    Physical attraction: the kinds of people who you are physically attracted to

    Emotional attraction: the kinds of people who you are emotionally attracted to


    So you can see that this creates some situations that "old school" people would find confusing. A person could be born with boy parts, but wants to wear dresses & makeup, is physically attracted to the muscular man-type body, but emotionally attracted to independent women types (ie a bi-sexual woman in a man's body). Or, a person could be born with girl parts, undergo a sex-change operation, and is now physically & emotionally attracted to women (used to be a lesbian cisgender woman but is now a straight transgender man?). Or, maybe a person has girl parts, identifies as a boy, and used to be attracted physically and emotionally to boys, but now is emotionally attracted to girls as well. Etc etc... As part of this, some people consider it offensive to use gendered pronouns to refer to a person who does not identify as that gender, imagine being constantly referred to as "he" when you are clearly a woman by the traditional definition.

    The feeling of being in the wrong body or growing up in the wrong gender construct is called (I think) gender dysphoria.

    Additionally, some people go further in their expression of self, and other expressions of dysphoria, by identifying as cross-species (otherkin: fox-kin, tree-kin, etc) or other non-human component.

    Personally I'm not sure if it's occurring due to a new, deeper understanding of humanity, or a lack of understanding of humanity

  3. #3
    Thankfully I live in one of those unenlightened and barbarous nations where there are still only two genders corresponding to biological sexes, and a small minority of gender-confused people who are clearly unwell and best directed to psychiatric treatment. I sincerely hope I will never live to see the minds of children in my country poisoned with this gender theory garbage, and I'll definitely suffer none of that crap in my family.

    I think it is absolutely wrong to humour the delusions of those unfortunates who genuinely suffer from this "gender dysphoria", and downright criminal to promote that or the idea that you can change your gender as fancy takes you as normal to young children. The incident that the OP describes is a shining example of the results. I think parents should take every effort to instill healthy gender identity in their children and instruct them into healthy gender roles, as opposed to accomodating whatever garbage their pinko teachers have been drumming into their heads lately.

    But what do I know, I'm just an ignorant hick from the ass end of Eastern Europe, which I guess by definition puts me only one step below a goose-stepping Nazi.

  4. #4
    Wɾʇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    I suppose difficulties set in when on one hand this is the view, but on the other, for better or worse the person in question simply doesn't feel, identify, or consider themselves the gender they're born as. If a baby is born with boy parts but a girls brain, what are they? Is a person their reproductive parts? Their brain? Something else? Their whole body? All of the above?

    I completely understand the confusion around this. It is a confusing issue and there's los of emotive debate which can easily make things worse imo. To your question:

    Is this a phase, or a real evolution process of gender identity going forward?
    I think it is part of societal evolution, like universal suffrage. If, for example, people are killing themselves because they don't feel accepted, then something ought to be done about that. But by the same token, anything new - new modes of thought, new expressions, new ideas - shouldn't be taken (or put forward) as a replacement for the old way but an addition to it. Issues tend to set in when one side wants to declare themselves the "correct" way, or wants to be seen as the one with the answer. Often there is no answer. Much better to have this sort of conversation.

    My daughters don't seem to have issues with identifying as girls but if they did I would support them - I'm kind of indifferent to how people want to term themselves. But - I expect I would also feel a sense of ... I dunno, bereavement, almost - at the passing of the child they were. But then again, chances are I am going to feel that anyway as they grow. It's a challenge for me, it's a challenge for them. I can try and keep things as they are or I can grow and change alongside them.

    As for those parents who were going to wait to tell their child what gender he was - I mean, that's up to them. And it's just one case - think about all the other parents who don't wait. If they can make that work for them, fine. Personally I couldn't, not because of some moral blocker but it's not my style and I just don't think I'd do a very good job of it. For me, knowing myself, I would take a steer from the child itself - do they act in a more feminine way, or a masculine one - and go from there. As it is, my childrens' reproductive parts and their brains seem to be the same and that's what I am used to. I like to think that if my daughters were more boyish or I had a son that was more girly, I would be used to that too.

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  5. #5
    I'm not sure I understand, either, mostly because I don't really believe in the idea of "male" or "female" brains. So it's hard for me to understand when someone says they were born with a male body (totally clear to me) but a female brain (what is a female brain?).

    That said, I don't think my inability to understand something should in any way trump someone else's experience. I don't understand advanced astrophysics, either, but that doesn't mean the subject doesn't exist!

    I'd be happy to see society as a whole easing off on gender distinctions (these stupid "gender reveal" parties people throw, having kids in kindergarten line up according to whether they're boys or girls, etc.) It feels like this would make it easier for someone who feels like their gender doesn't match, because there'd be less emphasis on gender altogether.

    Barring that, though? It's none of my business, really. It's a matter of common courtesy to refer to someone by the name they choose, so of course I do that. Pronouns? Same thing, although I REALLY hope we come up with something tidier than the singular they/them. It doesn't hurt me in any single way if someone wants me to treat them as members of a gender other than the one assigned at birth, so why on earth would I think it's my right to judge, get angry, or even comment on it? None of my business.

  6. #6
    I appreciate all of the insight. I knew if I brought it here, I would be able to get more of a sense of what is going on.

    From Bayview:
    It doesn't hurt me in any single way if someone wants me to treat them as members of a gender other than the one assigned at birth, so why on earth would I think it's my right to judge, get angry, or even comment on it? None of my business.
    It's the knowing, That's important. You can't take back all the times you referred to someone as a "he" when he preferred "she" or "they" if you weren't told, right? And wouldn't that be a transition? Wouldn't you want to understand why? Maybe not, but personally I like knowing motivations. It's just part of my makeup and I think it has to do with being a writer. How do we incorporate this into a story without knowing what's behind it?

    From CyberWar:
    I sincerely hope I will never live to see the minds of children in my country poisoned with this gender theory garbage, and I'll definitely suffer none of that crap in my family.
    What I do find troubling is the young children who seem to be expected (by parents) to make decisions on who they are. Most people have to go through years of trying to understand themselves, their own bodies, etc. before making decisions about who they are. Remember the teen years? Why has this changed? CyberWar, part of me thinks its "garbage," too. I've had four children and eleven grandchildren and all I can remember about my kids growing up is how much fun they could cram into a day. As they got older, they started coming into their own, but also discovering who they are and what they are capable of. Gender issues never came up, so I have no experience that would make me able to understand this new trend.

    From bdcharles:
    My daughters don't seem to have issues with identifying as girls but if they did I would support them - I'm kind of indifferent to how people want to term themselves. But - I expect I would also feel a sense of ... I dunno, bereavement, almost - at the passing of the child they were.
    Me too, bd. From what I can tell with the conversation with my family in Chicago, this issue came up out of the blue, with no indication (at least from his daughter's vantage point). It's almost like a trend, or a fad (attention-getter?) to suddenly get mad if your parents don't do what you want, like calling you by a different name than they gave you, to insist they refer to you as "they." And because this is coming from children, there is none of the maturity or understanding that comes with these requests. They are kids; they want what they want and that's it, and you expect that from kids.

    Thanks for a great discussion. It has helped.
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    No, I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  7. #7
    Sue

    This is an issue that goes beyond a discussion about gender as in transgender, or gender fluidity.

    Not to criticise you, just to give you something extra to think about, I would like to encourage you to read about intersex:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex

    And then look back at what you said about being born with female or male parts.
    Yes, on one end of the spectrum there are very male, and on the other end very female people, but there is a whole area in between.
    I am very happy with the changes in view about gender.


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  8. #8
    For 99 percent of people this is not a personal issue. I can see and identify a male and/or a female by their physical attributes. I can't tell what's in the their mind. There are very few crossovers. Most are either one or the other.

    That being said there are now those that claim many different identities, even some that are non-human. So question: if someone wishes to be identified as a rock, a dog, or a toaster, is that crossing a line? To not refer to them as they wish to be reffered to is now considered hate speech. Hate speech implies promoting hate. If I see an obvious human and they tell me they are not and insist they be reffered to as something else, am I a hater for not doing as they wish? If I tell you to refer to me as Lord Kevin, King of the known universe, and I am apparently absolutly convinced that that is what I am, is that crossing the line?
    Are you a hater if you don't do as I ask?

    ...
    I once knew a boy named Bobby. I call him a boy because he was born male, physically. That much was obvious. Mentally, I believe he was female. That became obvious after a short period of time. I was six, too.

    How did this manifest itself? Well, he didn't cross dress. This was a long time ago and such a thing was not acceptable for a 6 y.o.
    But he threw like a girl, spoke like a female (not with a high voice, but the way he worded things), his physical mannerisms were to the female side.

    It's strange, because most things are neutral, but Bobby was a girl. Everyone knew it.

    I don't think he wanted us to call him a girl. I don't think he was offended at all at being reffered to as a he, or a him. In fact, any mention of anything about his gender, or anything about him at all personally, and he let us know that he didn't like it.

    He was larger than average, and had a hard, practiced kick (literally, he would kick you with the toe of his cowboy boots; leg, nuts, stomach, one hard wallop. And if that wasn't enough, he'd do it again).

    I guess what I don't understand is the offense. If you are born a certain physical type- male, female, human- why take offence because someone refers to you by that? If you happen to be something different on the inside, so what? I suppose if someone said Hey, my name is now Barbara, I'd go with it. But I don't see the hate there when someone refers to your physical attributes. You're a whatever-you-are on the inside (if you say so) but you were still born with a physical body.

    Of course there are those that are trying to offend other people, but that is different. In general, for 99 percent of people, their gender is what it is: not an issue.
    Last edited by Kevin; June 25th, 2019 at 03:28 PM.

  9. #9
    I think this is a problem of not having warfare on our continent in a very, very long time. Kids no longer know what it means to be poor, hungry, to live with holes in their shoes because they can't afford anything better... It's funny how scrapping for survival, often not knowing where the next meal is coming from, seems to bring things into very sharp focus. Suddenly, there's no longer time for the genital equivalent of pointless navel-gazing. There's no longer all of this free time that kids seem to have, to vacuum up every harebrained experiment dreamed up by pop psychologists and sociologists, nor the copious amounts of free time that these internet-addicts spend inside their heads. Their damn brains aren't even completely developed until around the age of 28.

    Sorry... This whole fad of screwing around with one's gender and identity and dysphoria and screwing up LEGAL documents, when these kids are mostly in need of true psychotherapy. (Not the new age, feel-good, I'm okay you're okay crap, or, "Hey, man... Whatever you want to do! Groovy!")

    The whole thing makes me roll my eyes so hard, I think I see parts of my brain...
    Her: I love my computer! All of my friends are in there!
    Me: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about my freezer...
    Her: What?
    Me: What?

  10. #10
    I revise my previous statement. I've been enlightened, and after much thought, realized that I am, indeed, a toaster oven.
    Her: I love my computer! All of my friends are in there!
    Me: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about my freezer...
    Her: What?
    Me: What?

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