This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.
Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.
We would like to avoid these negative dynamics. Accordingly, we ask that you do not use this thread for waging the Culture War. Examples of waging the Culture War:
Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.
Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.
Recruiting for a cause.
Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.
In general, you should argue to understand, not to win. This thread is not territory to be claimed by one group or another; indeed, the aim is to have many different viewpoints represented here. Thus, we also ask that you follow some guidelines:
Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.
Be as precise and charitable as you can. Don't paraphrase unflatteringly.
Don't imply that someone said something they did not say, even if you think it follows from what they said.
Write like everyone is reading and you want them to be included in the discussion.
On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.
Jump in the discussion.
No email address required.
As a trans woman, this post is like reading the world view of someone from a completely different civilisation. While I did grow up as a male, none of the points you mention about it hit close to home - I don't know how much of it is because I grew up outside of the Anglosphere, and because of my personal background. I was going to write a lengthy quote-by-quote reply, but I think it would suffice to say that all of your points would do as well to convince any pro-trans, liberal person as a trying to convince an atheist vegan to eat meat by invoking the Bible. It's not just the facts you mentioned that are dispute, but the very core values.
The transgender debate is tiresome at this point, but what draws my attention more is the gender essentialist arguments you mentioned, especially with regards to interactions between men and women. I've personally mostly grown up friends with women (although it has varied depending on the years), as they were a lot friendlier and I had more shared interests, and with none of the issues your described. I'm not even gay (I used to be 50-50 bisexual prior to transitioning, now it's about 95-5 in favor of men).
Would you rather your daughter go on a sleepover alone with a masculine lesbian friend, or a very feminine gay boy? What about a trans guy of the same age, vs. a trans girl, both being straight (i.e., the trans guy is attracted to women and the trans girl to men).
I have often been the only male in a group and this has not happened. If anything, I would be vastly more awkward in a traditionally masculine men-only group, due to having few interests in common, and I would be far more sexually attracted to them. When I was with a group of male friends and an attractive guy I had a crush on joined, I developed those behaviours you mention - white knighting, favouritism, always taking his side, etc. It has nothing to do with the sex of the person, and you should learn to deal with it rather than avoid the opposite sex altogether.
This just seems sad. Are you clearly not capable of having deep one-on-one time with a woman without it being potentially sexual? I'm sexually attracted to a lot of my male friends and I had to learn to resist the temptation, and was able to develop strong friendships with people I was attracted to regardless of their gender.
I've shared beds and hotel rooms with both men and women with no issue. I'm bi and could potentially have sex with anyone I spent the night with - should my boyfriend be anxious whenever I'm alone with literally anyone? Especially in my liberal circles, a lot of people are bi, or open-minded enough to have sex with a trans woman.
I was a feminine bisexual man and this was not my experience. If anything, women were even more interested in me, both sexually and as friends, once I became an adult. Flip it around - wouldn't you rather have your girlfriend be interested in the same masculine hobbies you have, than feminine ones you have 0 interest in? It's the same with women.
That I don't get. We gender people based on secondary sexual characteristics, not biological sex. If you see someone who looks like Hunter Schafer or Emma Ellingsen (https://aschehoug.no/media/catalog/author/e/m/emma_ellingsen_foto_jakob_landvik_mg_7819.jpg), your brain will go "she" and you will have to correct yourself. If you're meeting Emma at a restaurant and you say "I'm meeting a blond guy" to the waiter, do you think you'll be pointed in the right direction? If you're mugged by Buck Angel, are you going to point and yell "catch her, that woman robbed me!"? Even Ben Shapiro had to correct himself when he subconsciously referred to Hunter by she/her.
First, let me say that I appreciate you commenting, since so many posters here are conservative and/or rightist, so it's nice to also hear from people with a different perspective. That being said, I'm still going to disagree with you, since that's kind of the point of this place.
It sounds like you are a homosexual transsexual (HSTS) to use Blanchard's typology, which means you are quite different from autogynephiles like Contrapoints. I don't think your experiences are typical of trans-identified males in general.
No, we use those secondary sexual characteristics to attempt to infer biological sex, much like how you might infer that the person wearing a police uniform and driving a police car is, in fact, a police officer.
It's certainly possible to pretend to be something you're not, with various levels of success. Military imposters are virtually universally scorned for their duplicity. The same is true for race-fakers like Rachel Dolezal. I would put sex-fakers in the same category and afford them little sympathy.
Again, it's definitely possible to fake your sex, the same way I might be able to convince people that I'm a police officer or a Nigerian Prince. But of course that doesn't really prove anything more than the fact that people can be fooled.
Honestly the focus on appearance over substance sounds like a motte-and-bailey argument: the motte is that some people are so good at faking their sex they are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, and the bailey is that anyone who identifies as a woman becomes one.
Personally I don't think that transgender people are particularly good at faking their sex. Natalie Wynn still strikes me as a male despite the enormous amount of effort she puts into passing. Other people are even less succesfull.
To that point, it's funny that you mentioned Buck Angel: I like him a lot, but he vaguely passes as a male only if you limit yourself to looking at his highly-edited photos. In real life he's a 60-year-old, squeaky-voiced, 5'8" manlet. The idea that he could successfully rob anyone who couldn't be robbed by a woman is preposterous. Never mind the fact that he's just too nice to do something like that: he is, despite his gender identification, still very much female at heart. It's really weird to me that genderists champion him as the obvious example of a woman-who-has-become-a-man when, if you dive below the surface, he is not a typical male at all.
So put your cards on the table. Do you think that recognizing someone as a woman is contingent on them passing as one? If so, do you agree that it is more than fair to call obvious men like Lia Thomas, Rachel Levine, Emilia Decaudin, Jessica Yaniv, Alok Vaid Menon, etc. men?
Or do you think, according to the common leftist talking point, that a woman is everyone who says they are, regardless of how poorly they pass? If you belief the latter, it seems irrelevant that some transwomen might pass relatively well.
Thank you, I see a lot of posts about trans issues here but I don’t see many from actual trans people, so I thought it could be an interesting perspective.
I think there’s a few different clusters of trans women and more than just the two Blanchard identified. I don’t know if the so-called AGP types are the majority, or if they’re just more visible - something like 50% of transwomen identify as bisexual, from what I remember.
That’s a difference in values between us; you consider sex to be an important characteristic that carries with it a certain weight and thus should be truthfully communicated, while I think it’s an unfortunate holdover from our evolutionary history that has trapped people in roles they didn’t want, both biologically and socially. I recognise the usefulness of having police officers and military service members be correctly identified, but I think the sooner we make biological sex irrelevant, the better.
I don’t view my transition as “faking” being a woman. I’m taking medication that truly does give me female sexual secondary sexual characteristics, and even alters my neurochemistry to be closer to cis women’s. I think it would be accurate to describe me as chemically intersex - medically speaking, I need to be checked for both breast cancer and prostate cancer, for instance. Otherwise I don’t intentionally go about trying to be called a woman, although I’m happy if I do.
My mental concept of them is “men”, yes. But I respect non-passing trans women’s pronouns and gender identity out of kindness and empathy, in the same way I won’t call someone ugly or fat to their face because it’s insulting and unproductive, and there’s no benefit to drawing attention to that fact in most contexts. If prompted, I can give advice on how to pass better in the same way I’d give advice on how to lose weight.
I actually think that argument is much better for gender than it is for sex. Gender roles are in many, many ways entirely irrelevant in the modern world. Child rearing and housekeeping has gotten so efficient that it simply makes no sense to keep women in the kitchen, as the saying goes. Physical fighting and hunting is even worse, both have been effectively completely replaced and the obvious male optimisations towards it are pointless now. Instead, almost everyone is doing office or light physical work that can be done by both sexes, and that both sexes are clearly broadly unoptimised for.
A pet theory of mine is that a lot of the modern confusion around gender and sex stems from the fact that in the ancestral environment sex differences were just so obvious that there was no chance to become confused, so we didn't evolve to recognize our sex outside of them. If you go fight to protect your family because you're obviously much more physically capable than your sister, while your sister got pregnant at 14 from her husband, it really makes no sense whatsoever to ask "maybe I'm a woman?". I know the alleged trans identities of some older traditions, but they're almost exclusively weak submissive males that probably would have been killed or left to die being allowed to instead serve as prostitutes for the capable men, and they're deliberately kept apart and considered distinct from the women.
On the other hand sex: As another transhumanist, I don't mind eventually abolishing it! But the reality is, we can't. For the foreseeable future, you'll need a women to create a new human being. Insemination is not quite as far off, but still for the time being AFAIK only possible from male to female. Likewise, there are massive hormonal differences and otherwise between the sexes that make them very distinct across a wider range of attributes. Most notably the massive physical differences. If I want to date you, I want to know your sex, not your gender; If I'm working with you, I want to know neither. HRT can make you more similar to the other sex, but is still very crude and only includes a portion of the hormonal differences between the sexes.
And to go further, most trans people I've met or indirectly heard about quite frankly still make more sense to be grouped in with their sex than with their alleged gender. I don't know you and so don't take this personally, just talking from my own average experience. I'm usually respecting everyone's wishes in regard to pronouns and such and have no desire to insult anyone in person, but I'm being a bit candid since I want to be clear on my impressions.
Most MtFs have stereotypically male hobbies and jobs, male mannerisms and blatantly obviously male bodies. Joking about G.I.R.L.s in video games is only half a joke; MtFs are so ridiculously overrepresented in techie spaces that you will frequently run into places with more MtFs than cis women. They're much more similar to the typical shy male nerd than any women. MtFs are also very commonly hyper-sexual compared to women; physically speaking they look like someone wanted to turn a scarecrow into a blow-up sex doll. All the online "passing" MtFs I've seen do not pass anymore once you see their movements in a video or hear their voice. If you look up these " first female to do X" news where X is a super-stereotypical male job or hobby, it's extremely disproportionally an MtF.
FtMs on the other hand I've almost exclusively ran into thanks to my wife, since they are quite common in, you guessed, female-dominated fields like psychology. The two I've personally met and talked with could easily star as the main character of any female librarian anime (and in fact had similar jobs). They were less superficially female, but overall had a clearly quite sensitive feminine personalities. Physically speaking, they're tiny dorky guys with a silly sounding voice (and frankly Buck Angel is as well, not to mention Elliot Page!). They're not or minimally interested in any stereotypically male hobby. I don't know it personally for these two, but FtMs AFAIK have the typical lesbian dead bedroom issues as well.
These differences become most obvious once you see their behaviour around babies and small children that aren't theirs; MtFs are often entirely uninterested just like cis men, while FtMs are often actively thrilled like cis women.
It's clear to me that gender is the unfortunate evolutionary holdover that has become unnecessary, while sex is a basic biological category that we will not get rid off for the time being.
I don't buy this. If you look at the actual real work being done, most of the work that ends up providing food, shelter, tools, etc. is done by men. Men still do the policing and the fighting, women cops and soldiers are a joke.
Doing child rearing well is not that much more efficient. Running a household with multiple children is still a full-time job, and still done primarily by women, whether mom's or childcare workers. Institutional childcare for infants and toddlers, with moms working in an office is not actually an efficient situation. It's incredibly stressful for the parents and suboptimal for the kids. It would not be a thing without subsidies, affirmative action, and extensive propaganda.
Women's jobs tend to either be:
Caring directly for children and the infirm -- the same work women always did.
Bureaucratic make work
Work that is leveraging female sexuality -- I include in this almost all sales, marketing, baristas, waitresses, etc. Even for most office jobs, I believe that women's productivity is massively overrated and they are usually hired as affirmative action hires or as a perk for the productive male workers.
It's not a novelty of modernity that women can make money outside of the home. It is only in the late stage of civilizational degeneracy that women are allowed to work outside the home, and think that other things are more important than raising their own children. Historically, they would be working outside the home as dancers, geishas, actresses, socialites, prostitutes, etc.
What I think has changed is mass media and mass education. We are bombarded with fictional imagery of fighting women, working women, productive women in the office, bad-ass women, etc. so we ignore our own personal experiences, and instead take what we see in movies and on TV as the default. We are given years of schooling where what we believe is dictated by who can rewrite the textbooks, and not by a slowly evolved tradition that gets taught from parent to child.
But yes, the concept of "gender roles", that is, the idea that the cultural roles we associated with men and women are somehow separate from biological sex, is entirely novel. And it is wrong, it is an anti-concept. Societies have "sex roles", not "gender roles."
Context Copy link
Context Copy link
Context Copy link
Context Copy link
Context Copy link