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Birth.Movies.Death top editor Devin Faraci steps down after sexual assault accusation

Faraci, in happier times
Faraci, in happier times

After that now infamous tape of Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women’s private parts came out on Friday, film critic Devin Faraci — a self-described feminist and one of the more aggressive opponents of GamerGate — took to Twitter to excoriate Trump’s abominable remarks.

Then this happened:

devin faraci ✔ @devincf The most telling thing about the Trump tape? He wasn't talking with his best friends. He was boasting to a TV host. Follow INVISIGOTH @spacecrone @devincf quick question: do you remember grabbing me by the pussy and bragging to our friends about it, telling them to smell your fingers? 1:04 PM - 9 Oct 2016

In a series of tweets, @spacecrone told the whole story:

INVISIGOTH @spacecrone @devincf I've been forced to think about you a lot since these trump tapes came out. 1:05 PM - 9 Oct 2016 138 138 Retweets 405 405 likes Follow INVISIGOTH @spacecrone sitting here trying to remember if a man had ever grabbed me by the vagina against my will and, well, yes, a popular Twitter feminist! 1:09 PM - 9 Oct 2016 222 222 Retweets 428 428 likes Follow INVISIGOTH @spacecrone Literally stuck his hands down my pants at a bar while I told him to stop, then told our friends he had 'fingerbanged me'

The accusation stopped Faraci in his tracks. He didn’t quite admit that it was true, but he also kind of did. And he asked for forgiveness for something he said he couldn’t remember doing.

faraci4

This was on Sunday. Today, Faraci resigned as Editor-In-Chief of Birth.Movies.Death, saying:

This weekend allegations were made about my past behavior. Because I take these types of claims seriously I feel my only honorable course of action is to step down from my position as Editor-in-Chief of Birth.Movies.Death. I will use the coming weeks and months to work on becoming a better person who is, I hope, worthy of the trust and loyalty of my friends and readers.

He still hasn’t quite admitted to anything, but @spacecrone says she’s heartened that Faraci seems sincere in his contrition.

“I am really happy that it sounds like Devin is interested in getting help about this, and I’m open to any accountability processing that might be part of his treatment,” she told Variety.

I really hope this can be a moment of self-interrogation for all of us, myself included, about the ways we might use positions of power to silence people, and the ways we all turn away from things that might seem a little too complicated to deal with.

Faraci’s alleged assault is more proof (as if we needed any) that being on the “right side” on the issues — in Faraci’s case, taking on GamerGaters, calling for greater representation of women in the movie business, and so forth — does not automatically make you a good person. (Hugo Schwyzer, anyone?)

As it turns out (as it so often turns out) plenty of people — and not just GamerGaters — have been pointing out seriously assholish language (and behavior) from Faraci for some time. In the wake of @spacecrone’s accusation, writer and Bibliodaze co-editor @Ceilidhann set forth some of her issues with Faraci on Twitter:

(By “this site” she means Twitter.)

Naturally, the Gamergaters, have seized on Faraci’s alleged sexual assault as an excuse to attack, well, the same women they always attack.

Because of course.

H/T — The Daily Dot, NYMag, GamerGhazi

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Handsome "Punkle Stan" Jack

@Lyzzy

Alright, I think I getcha.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ handsome jack & lyzzy

“The personal is political” was quite a common phrase here back in the day, especially in more radical circles.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Alan

Yeah, but : If you believe that women are pressured by a patriarchal society to perform heterosexuality for the benefit of men/ hegemonial masculinity (leading to lots of regret, suffering, vague or missing consent etc) you’d be very likely to abhor the idea of using a similar dynamic to urge people to perform another kind of sexuality. This fine line between helping people deconstruct binaries and pressure them to have sex with you is one that (among others) a lot of transgender activist have to walk regarding cis lesbians — or bi folks who are new to the concept of us.

Dalillama
Dalillama
4 years ago

@Handsome Jack

3) Bisexuality and pansexuality are the same things with different names.

I have always personally tended towards this position, and use the terms interchangeably to describe myself.

The only people I’ve ever seen suggest that bisexuality is just being attracted to men or women only are non-bi people, whether straight or gay or even pan.

I’ve only encountered one, personally, and they said some other things that made me go to transphobia as an explanation.
@Flight of the Wombat

Dalillama, are you saying that you personally feel that the term “pansexual” is bi erasure?

No, I think that that position is a bit silly, (see my response to Jack above). I was merely cataloguing various positions I’m aware of.

@Lyzzy

Philosophically, I have a huge problem with the notion of straight and gay but people seem much to invested in it to break away from that and thus shouldn’t be criticized for their choices.

Strikes me as kind of like the folks who want to abolish gender entirely; regardless of how one feels about it philosophically, neither sexual orientation nor gender are going anywhere and we have to allow for that.

I have trouble understanding that. Does it mean it lowers your attractions political impact because the word pan is not widely known / otherwise powerless?

Hell if I know; I’ve never been able to make sense of their position, but I’ve seen it on a few blogs and tumblrs.

Non-transphobic reasons I could think of for not wanting to date non-binaries would be the ostracism they usually face, preferring a less complicated gender in a lover or liking polar gender interactions.

I suppose that the last one falls under the umbrella of orientation generally, but the first two hit a nerve for me on the ‘not transphobic’ front.

I really hope I don’t offend you

Nah, you’re good.

Although I’ll admit that it was nice getting a few quys sceptic of their heterosexuality /heteronormativity before I could finally have gender affirming surgery.

I find the conflation of heterosexuality and heteronormativity there quite suspect; it’s entirely possible to be one but not the other. And, while I am amused when I cause people to question their sexual orientation (gay men, straight men, lesbians and straight women alike at this point), I acknowledge that they actually have such orientations.

This fine line between helping people deconstruct binaries and pressure them to have sex with you is one that (among others) a lot of transgender activist have to walk regarding cis lesbians —

Yeah, that’s a very fraught area right there.

or bi folks who are new to the concept of us.

But on my view, bisexuals basically have no damn excuse.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Dali

I practice, I am extremely leery of dating cis men at this point in my life, but that has nothing to do with who I’m attracted to

Makes sense

I am amused when I cause people to question their sexual orientation

Thanks for that, btw 😛

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Dalillama

Strikes me as kind of like the folks who want to abolish gender entirely;

Yup, that would be nice.

neither sexual orientation nor gender are going anywhere and we have to allow for that.

Not with a bang, that’s for sure. But maybe society will become more flexible so a gender-agnostic position will become more liveable in the near future.

I find the conflation of heterosexuality and heteronormativity there quite suspect; it’s entirely possible to be one but not the other.

True, but a lot of my male lovers seemed to struggle on both fronts. Switching back and forth between “I guess im not totally straight anymore” and “Wow, you really changed my understanding of women”. I suspect that this is because the concepts blend into each other.

I acknowledge that they actually have such orientations.

Me too. It’s them who notice the incongruencies and address those questions at me. I can only offer my insights into gender and be honest. But just as I won’t attack someones sexuality I won’t reaffirm it.

Yeah, that’s a very fraught area right there.

Sure is. The ethical challenges of dating as a transgender person who doesn’t like to hurt people can be quite hard. So glad I manage to make people happy too …

But on my view, bisexuals basically have no damn excuse.

How so?

Diptych
Diptych
4 years ago

@Dalillama

I’ve encountered people who identify themselves as bisexual and mean that e.g. they’re attracted to men and nonbinary people but not women.

Can confirm – I’ve met folks who use this definition. Another definition I’ve seen argued, and which I think makes enough sense that I’m happy to use it for myself (it’ll do, y’know), is that if we take “bi” to mean “two”, then, fine – I’m attracted to folks who are the same gender to me, and also to folks who aren’t the same gender as me. That’s two groups!

And we now have the technological capacity to actually keep track of all those variables on a patient-specific basis, which, outside emergency situations such as Lyzzy is discussing, should remove the need to make any assumptions at all. So long as you’re going to your doctor/clinic, they can* have all your specific information at their fingertips.

*In principle. In practice there are a variety of issues, but they are mostly resolvable as part of the massive reform U.S. healthcare needs anyway

Agreed, totally. And, yeah, if someone tried to claim “we have to misgender our patients because the clinic’s so dreadfully underfunded”, I’d boot them into next week, cartoon style.

@Lyzzy

I meant that expecting people to overcome their social conditioning and actually love/have sex with people of all genders because their usual boundaries are very likely a social construct is considered beyond the pale for most activists. Although I’ll admit that it was nice getting a few quys sceptic of their heterosexuality /heteronormativity before I could finally have gender affirming surgery.

Sometimes I wonder if orientation should be something we only define retroactively. We reach the end of our lives, go over the records, tot up all the people we were attracted to, and calculate what our sexuality was. Then they can include it as a footnote in our obituary.

Re: big intersex discussion. Okay! So I’ve had interesting conversations with friends, speculating about a possible connection between both intersex and trans status and chimerism, vanishing twins, and other factors I don’t have enough education in biology to speak knowledgeably about. (I hasten to add that my friends were pontificating on their own experiences – we weren’t just, y’know, shootin’ the breeze about strangers’ bits.)

Keeping that in mind, as things stand generally, the term “hermaphrodite” is considered inappropriate to describe humans, due to significant and traumatic historical misuse, but is still used to describe other animals that use a different system of reproduction than ours. But, the thing about the legendary Hermaphroditus is that he was originally a man, was magically merged with another person (the nymph Salmacis), and became a new person with a new sexual configuration.

You can see how the legend aligns with my friends’ theories – enough that, being classicists, they thought “hermaphrodite” was quite a fitting term. Naturally, that’s just their particular viewpoint, and the term’s generally considered passe for entirely legitimate reasons – plus, hey, they could be all wrong, and trans and intersex phenomena have nothing to do with twins or chimerism after all. But, the legend certainly describes human experience better than it describes the kind of critters that are still called hermaphrodites. They don’t adhere to the human “can impregnate/can birth” binary, but not doing so is their normal – it’s not any kind of exception or rarity, like Hermaphroditus was. If anything, it’s just the bad old scientific misuse of the term being perpetuated, just ’cause trees and sea slugs can’t complain about it being both historically and literarily inappropriate.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Diptych
Thanks for the story. And of course also for the link, @Skiriki

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

I meant that expecting people to overcome their social conditioning and actually love/have sex with people of all genders because their usual boundaries are very likely a social construct is considered beyond the pale for most activists.

Yeah, because telling folks that they must have sex with some person/class of people, or else they are [insert some negative opinion about them] is, in fact, beyond the pale.

It would be nice if sexuality didn’t exist. But it does exist and it has real impacts on people. Expecting someone to overcome that = expecting them to have sex with people to whom they are not attracted = trying to require them to have some kind of “approved” sex = not okay.

We can address the social construct of sexuality, and work to overcome and get rid of it, without putting expectations onto the sex lives of individuals. Maybe later generations will have it better than we do wrt sexuality, but it’s not okay to tell anyone that they have to have sex with some person/group of people, or else we’re going to think less of them.

I also have to say that I’m not convinced that sexuality is entirely a social construct in the same way I’m not convinced that gender is entirely a social construct, and for the same reasons. If it were, then non-straight people wouldn’t exist. I mean, full stop. For hundreds of years everyone in Western society was socialized to be straight, and yet somehow non-straight people came out of that? Not sure how that’s supposed to work.

The social aspect of sexuality and the innate aspect are elided, which is not legit, and it would be great if that social aspect went away and people were no longer expected to perform sexuality. But once the performance of sexuality is gone, is innate sexuality gone? Are people just universally attracted to everyone at that point? I have to say that I don’t think it will work that way. I’m willing to be wrong on this, but I can’t come up with an explanation for why some people were socialized to be straight and yet are not straight without resorting to some innate characteristic that is much stronger than socialization.

Dalillama
Dalillama
4 years ago

@Axe For you, anytime 🙂 XO
@Lyzzy

True, but a lot of my male lovers seemed to struggle on both fronts. Switching back and forth between “I guess im not totally straight anymore” and “Wow, you really changed my understanding of women”. I suspect that this is because the concepts blend into each other.

I suspect they’re just not very good at analysing the distinction.

How so?

As I see it, people who are exclusively straight or exclusively gay may well have a sexuality that requires a particular set of genitalia in order to activate their sex drive. Bisexuals clearly do not*, as they are already established to be attracted to people with different genital configurations. In which case, taking issue with a partner’s trans* status, regardless of the state of their genitals, strikes me as rank transphobia.

@Diptych

plus, hey, they could be all wrong, and trans and intersex phenomena have nothing to do with twins or chimerism after all.

Given what I know of the current state of scientific knowledge on the topic, it seems vanishingly unlikely that there is a connection.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Would it be anyone be willing to give me their impressions about how I view sex and gender? I’m working on my commenting rules for my blog (I’m a bit intimidated by the moral and ethical realities of planning to teach about aggression on the internet) and this would be a good time. I start with the rules I need for me as half of the ideas going in and this could be useful. One involves not getting overtly analytical of what people express without good reason. I don’t want to be threatening to people who are used to being analyzed in bad ways.

Would anyone prefer that I do not? If that is the case I don’t mind. I know that I have made some people uncomfortable from time to time and I accept that. I do get casual with the science on brains and human behavior, and sometimes too casual. Having an element of casualness is a habit because I’m used to conceptually disassembling myself as an object and the associated knowledge has been useful in things like arguments. But it’s a useful thing if I train it properly and I want to be entertaining on my blog.

I do try to have means of learning how to strip bias from the picture, but I would understand any skepticism. It’s a process of thinking about how the science combines with the people I interact with that I developed because of my “morally obsessional nature”. I have to account for human-“average”, human-tourette’s syndrome, human-adhd, human-ocd as entirely separate filters for interacting with the world outside of references or journal articles.

I want to make sure that the ideas about sex and gender that I have been tested so they can be at their best with respect to things like implicit bias and keeping it under tight control.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

Yeah, because telling folks that they must have sex with some person/class of people, or else they are [insert some negative opinion about them] is, in fact, beyond the pale.

Obviously, yes. That’s the hard and easy to spot line. The tricky one is how you can fight for your identity as a woman when doing that will very likely cause people to get shaky in their belief of whether or not they could have sex with you. I don’t want to regurgitate TERF views on that part but the problem is one that one must address. Also, there’s people who will follow their usual routines for dating so you think you have enthusiastic consent. Right up to the point where they tense up and stop you, horrified (or leave after the fact, or express their doubts and grief later etc). One logical problem with informed consent is that people can hardly be expected to think trough experiences that are completely new and frankly alien. In short: You have to be a hell of a lot more careful to get the same level of protection for the other party — or you can just make it way easier for them and perform binarity.

Expecting someone to overcome that = expecting them to have sex with people to whom they are not attracted = trying to require them to have some kind of “approved” sex = not okay.

I’m very sorry that my post can be read that way. I seem to have mixed two thoughts: Regrets about basically being seen as a monster / adopting that perspective as a possible outcome to minimize damage and trying to outline strategies for dating while in this condition. I don’t want to defend neglecting / muddying consent nor pressuring people into sex. Those are abhorrent, like I thought I wrote.

We can address the social construct of sexuality, and work to overcome and get rid of it, without putting expectations onto the sex lives of individuals.

I really think that this clear distinction fails in practice. Addressing transphobia will invariably lead to some people feeling guilt and acting on that instead of reflecting. Consent culture can mitigate the danger to acceptable levels but it cannot get rid of it. And yes, under feminist perspectives of enthusiastic consent, this problem is solved. Still it feels quite risky under a conseqentialist analysis.

I also have to say that I’m not convinced that sexuality is entirely a social construct in the same way I’m not convinced that gender is entirely a social construct, and for the same reasons. If it were, then non-straight people wouldn’t exist.

Social control is neither total (we aren’t a hivemind) nor unambigious. Still I also don’t believe attraction is only socially imbued. That’s not what socially constructed means, according to my understanding.

I mean, full stop. For hundreds of years everyone in Western society was socialized to be straight, and yet somehow non-straight people came out of that? Not sure how that’s supposed to work.

Societies perspective on acceptable sexuality was never a flat univocal command but changed with rulers and economic pressures. Foucault has a nice book on this.

The social aspect of sexuality and the innate aspect are elided, which is not legit, and it would be great if that social aspect went away and people were no longer expected to perform sexuality.

Considering the extent that people copy each others behavior, it’s hard to imagine a future where a social aspect does not exist. Still, in a world with laxer societal standards I would expect to see a lot more bi/pan pairings and a lot more polys.

I’m willing to be wrong on this, but I can’t come up with an explanation for why some people were socialized to be straight and yet are not straight without resorting to some innate characteristic that is much stronger than socialization.

The problem with that would be the antithesis of your initial question: Why would anyone let their sexuality be socially influenced then?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Also, there’s people who will follow their usual routines for dating so you think you have enthusiastic consent. Right up to the point where they tense up and stop you, horrified (or leave after the fact, or express their doubts and grief later etc).

I’m not going to deny that this is a thing, and I’m not going to deny that it feels really shitty and alienating when it happens to you. Pressuring people to have sex or else [we think less of them] is not the solution. I’ve been in the position of thinking everything was fine only to run into a sudden and unexpected wall of Not Fine, even though I appear to be cis; although this is an experience that more or less likely to occur given a person’s characteristics, it can happen to anyone.

I seem to have mixed two thoughts: Regrets about basically being seen as a monster / adopting that perspective as a possible outcome to minimize damage and trying to outline strategies for dating while in this condition.

You’re not a monster and I’m sorry you’ve ever been perceived as one. I don’t know how to interpret the rest of this in light of the original statement, which was about “expecting people to overcome their social conditioning and actually love/have sex with people of all genders because their usual boundaries are very likely a social construct”. It’s that word expect that is pinging my spider sense right now. There’s no way to expect someone to do something without being (or worse, performing) disappointment when they don’t do it. That is a form of pressure, and pressure in a sexual sphere gives me weird and unpleasant reactions.

People have bad reasons to refuse sex sometimes, transphobic and homophobic and fatphobic, and all kinds of really shitty reasons. But I’m never going to think its okay to expect them to have sex anyway, no matter how shitty their reason might be. People can refuse sex for any reason and that reason needs to be respected, even if it’s a morally reprehensible one.

Social control is neither total (we aren’t a hivemind) nor unambigious. Still I also don’t believe attraction is only socially imbued. That’s not what socially constructed means, according to my understanding.

“Social construction” is a very imperfect idea in its current form, particularly with respect to gender. I’m using the term because it’s an easy shorthand that everyone here will understand, not because I’m in love with it. Imbuing characteristics is one aspect of social construction, not the totality of it, and I’m not claiming that it is; I’m actually sort of trying to debunk it. IMHO the social construction model is at its best when framing the way people interact with one another, and the way people perform something (in this case gender). It’s useful for describing how race can be a real thing despite having no biological basis whatsoever. It’s at its worst when it drills down into gender and sexual essentialism, and it does this a lot.

The problem with that would be the antithesis of your initial question: Why would anyone let their sexuality be socially influenced then?

Nobody “lets” themselves be socially influenced.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Lyzzy
I’m only getting into this to say:

Regrets about basically being seen as a monster

I’m so sorry you had to go thru that. Hugs and/or love if you want <3

@Dali
Gorgeous, darlin! Oh, and check your email 😉

Joekster-betas bearded, sheeple shamed, dragons derailed. Reasonable rates.
Joekster-betas bearded, sheeple shamed, dragons derailed. Reasonable rates.
4 years ago

Fascinating discussion. I feel like I have to go through this thread and look up every fourth word (sort of like the first time I went through my pathology texts in med school), but that’s good too.

Unfortunately, I just worked nine hours and only saw 11 patients thanks to bloody inefficient paper charts (seriously, wasn’t Obamacare supposed to fix that?), so my brains too fuzzy to actually elucidate rational questions or comments.

I’m going to sleep. After I skype with the smarter Dr. Joekster. Because she (very definitely identifies as female) is much more important than sleep.

See you all tomorrow.

Joekster-betas bearded, sheeple shamed, dragons derailed. Reasonable rates.
Joekster-betas bearded, sheeple shamed, dragons derailed. Reasonable rates.
4 years ago

Missed edit window: make that like my first pass through my physiology textbook. I in no way meant to imply that transsexualism is pathology. That was just the toughest class I took in med school.

Sorry if that offended anyone.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Policy of Madness

Pressuring people to have sex or else [we think less of them] is not the solution

Yes. Like I’ve been saying since the beginning. Maybe you got hung up on the “getting guys sceptical” part? (i.e letting them explore on their own terms just what their attraction to me would change for them, after full disclosure and trying to get them as prepared as I could) It was supposed to be sorta-humorous contrast. Kinda subversive. Probably way to vile in that context. Sorry.

You’re not a monster and I’m sorry you’ve ever been perceived as one. I don’t know how to interpret the rest of this in light of the original statement, which was about “expecting people to overcome their social conditioning and actually love/have sex with people of all genders because their usual boundaries are very likely a social construct”.

Which I described as “likely not the best of ideas” of the people to did it (refering to political lesbianism) and beyond the pale..which I also reiterated a lot now.

But I’m never going to think its okay to expect them to have sex anyway, no matter how shitty their reason might be.

I agree a 100%. This was also always my policy. Same thing for swallowing regret over rejection, not being hung up etc. I’m afraid you misunderstood me somewhere.

IMHO the social construction model is at its best when framing the way people interact with one another, and the way people perform something (in this case gender). It’s useful for describing how race can be a real thing despite having no biological basis whatsoever. It’s at its worst when it drills down into gender and sexual essentialism, and it does this a lot.

Hm. Ideology and social construction where very powerful tools for me to understand just how I could’ve been willfully ignorant enough to try to go trough with being a boy all the time, overperforming masculinity above and beyond what was required to not provoke a negative reaction, at some point living in an elaborate fantasy world where it would hurt less yet still not daring to question the validity of my gender until I practically stumbled upon contrafactual information. And yes, I did allow myself to be influenced. I made some conscious choices along the way to believe what others told me and to do as they said. I wanted to belong to be good and thought it was the right thing to do — and I really don’t believe I’m the only human who does.

Still, peoples sexualities are valid even if they are based on words,narratives, expectations or lack of experience. One can offer bits and pieces to help people free themselves of problematic beliefs and explore but that process is limited by the autonomy of the subject. Disregarding that autonomy is psychological violence, disregarding it to pressure subjects into sex is rape. Both are horrible, reprehensible and wrong.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Axecalibur
Thank you <3

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Brony

I would love to do some hermeneutics but I think the caffeine has finally run it’s course and I will drift to sleep in about an hour or so (0500 in Germany). I’d have more time tomorrow though if you want to. Want to share a link?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

Maybe you got hung up on the “getting guys sceptical” part?

No, I got hung up on the “expect” part.

I’m afraid you misunderstood me somewhere.

I must have, and I apologize.

Ideology and social construction where very powerful tools for me

I’m glad you never ran into the gender essentialist core of the social construction of gender, because it’s there and it’s ugly. As an undergraduate I had a very unpleasant semester of a grad student trying to hammer gender essentialism into me under the guise of the social construction of gender. For years I thought he just had social construction wrong, but then I read more about it and I realize now that he had it entirely correct, and the idea is deeply flawed.

Probably not fatally so, but I have not been able to reconcile that for myself yet. It’s not like the social construction model is entirely without value, and its usefulness in so many contexts makes me think that it can probably be saved if I work on it enough.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

I must have, and I apologize.

Okay, I’m glad that’s over but I can understand your concern.

I’m glad you never ran into the gender essentialist core of the social construction of gender, because it’s there and it’s ugly.

I can vaguely recall something like that from way back but it’s faint. Can you give me a pointer? Was it about TERFS thinking that it was the mens plot to dominate women?

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Lyzzy
There is no hurry. I find “necroposting” a strange thing having been a big forum user. I tend toward the longer slower conversation. I mostly had to learn to communicate in text walls to deal with trolls.

Hermeneutics is a good word here. I do not have a specific link in mind, it depends on the subject. Quite a few of the concepts being discussed above tend to shatter into a whole bunch of things when I interact with them. “Social influence” for example.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Brony

So…I would somehow use the search function to comb the forum for your posts and try to get an interpretation of your views then post it here? I mostly lurked so far…

Dalillama
Dalillama
4 years ago

@Lyzzy

I seem to have mixed two thoughts: Regrets about basically being seen as a monster / adopting that perspective as a possible outcome to minimize damage and trying to outline strategies for dating while in this condition.

Reasons why I have become very picky about my partners. I have not had that experience yet, and I should like to avoid it. My sympathies tgat you have.

@Axe
Received and replied 😉

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Lyzzy
Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. The intention is to post something later if no one has any objections. It helps to get my thoughts in order if I know people are ok with it.

If that sounds strange I understand. It’s a consequence of the social overload I usually feel.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Brony

Ah, sorry, I really should call it a night already. I’m looking forward to your post but can only react if it happens before I need to sleep regularly again (the day after is the first part of the paramedic exam).

I think I can empathize with your desire to ask permission.

@Dalillama
Thanks. Luckily the memory has gotten a lot less painful already.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

I can vaguely recall something like that from way back but it’s faint. Can you give me a pointer? Was it about TERFS thinking that it was the mens plot to dominate women?

The social construction paradigm of gender says that gender has no innate connection to a person’s body. Gender is a social construct and a social construct only. By this I mean it is a set of social experiences, expectations, performances, benefits and drawbacks, with the only connection to a person’s physical existence being the fact that people treat you differently based on how you look and the way that your looks fit into people’s perceptions of how you should be treated.

There is a deep, unpleasant gender essentialism in that. By disengaging sex and gender, feminism could say that yes, obviously female people are physically different from male people (sex as biology), but that doesn’t mean that women are any different from men (gender as social construction). What defines “a woman” is not anything physical inside her, but simply how she experiences the world. There is, in other words, an essential experience of being a woman that all women experience, and only women experience. That’s what makes a woman a woman: that experience of being a woman.

How conveeeeenient that this essential womanly experience is the cis woman experience! This is one of the bases of TERF, of course. But if we try to work around that, and try to incorporate the trans experience into the essential womanly experience, we find that it becomes impossible. Trans women don’t grow up the same way cis women do. There’s no essential set of experiences there that turns children into women … unless we branch away from the social construct and concede some kind of innate personal experience of gender that is independent of the social experience of gender. There’s no way for the social construct model to wiggle out of this.

There’s another problem: what I think of as the recruitment problem. The social construct model of sexuality has this same issue, only in spades: that gay people only turn gay because someone socialized them into it. That gays recruit children to be gay, in other words, because all children could be straight if only they were socialized correctly and kept away from those wily gay people. The social construction model of gender doesn’t have this on the same scale, but it’s still an issue. If we agree that gender is entirely social in nature, then we have to agree that trans men could have been women if they’d only been socialized correctly. So the answer is to keep trans people buried under rocks so that the next generation won’t get any wrong ideas, and we should also treat trans people very poorly to get them to give up on this lark of theirs.

I just flatly spit on that. So I have to kind of spit on the social construct model, too. The one leads inevitably to the other.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@brony
Social overload…thanks, I never had a word for that before. Can that sometimes trigger sensory overload? I know highly social situations are when I typically get sensory overloaded, and I sometimes wonder if it’s just the extra processing of sensory information or if the social part plays a role.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Policy of Madness

Ah, now I understand. I’m not sure if we ever had the same definition social construction (the one I’m used to is a lot less strong and incorporates more discourse theory but I *could* also been mistaken). I agree with your conclusion and would like to add to the discussion but I really have to sleep now so I hope I’ll see you folks sometime tomorrow.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@kupo

Social overload…thanks, I never had a word for that before. Can that sometimes trigger sensory overload? I know highly social situations are when I typically get sensory overloaded, and I sometimes wonder if it’s just the extra processing of sensory information or if the social part plays a role.

This will depend on keeping some of the words a bit fluid between us. Feel free to ask me to expand on anything. The short answer is yes, the long answer depends on where your diversity lies. While I have a social overload, it is a different specific example in a common category with what people on the autism spectrum feel.

When you say “sensory” that to me refers to the incoming information represented by the five traditional senses plus some other things we don’t normally think about like “sense of gravity/momentum”. That can be grouped into a collection of signals called “exteroception“, outside world senses coming in.

There is also interoception, the feelings coming from the inside of the body. These are associated with the “feelings of emotion” as well as the part of your memory and experience associated with your inner physical and metabolic world. There are feelings associated with exteroception as well, but it’s the difference between the feel of cold metal, and the sudden physical and metabolic shift that occurs when it touches you unexpectedly.

Both of those are involved in constructing our reality, and social symbols involve both of them. My sensory overload has interoceptive qualities and manifests in things like this (but if I take my time to think about things I get different experience from most people as well, I’m pattern sensitive in particular ways). The urges associated with TS have a very social aspect. I can break it down into much more detail but that is the most relevant to your comment that I can strip myself from.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

I agree with your conclusion and would like to add to the discussion but I really have to sleep now so I hope I’ll see you folks sometime tomorrow.

Good night.

http://i.imgur.com/iOzmso0.gif

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Policy of Madness

The way I understand it was about this:

There once was a more natural / a lot less cultural spectrum of sexuality in humans a lot more like bonobos than other great apes. We basically really enjoyed sex with each other for fun, did not have clear-cut distinctions between heterosexuality, homosexuality and tended more towards non-monogamous behavior. One big problem with this was sexually transmitted diseases that became more relevant as there was more of us on one spot, another was the rise of privately owned property which led to struggles regarding the kids born. The situation reached a turning point in the west around the time of the industrial revolution and early capitalism as the economic mode of production required people to divide their life into work and recreation with the latter being devalued. This is the basis for modern sexism and monogamous marriage as we know it . Also, the control of sexuality shifted from behavior-critic to identity-critic as the norm was more and more naturalized, slowly but surely leading to the invention and pathologicalisation of “the homosexual” whereas before their had only been “unnatural urges” (in every man while womens sexuality wasn’t taken as serious). With further development of the economy and collapse of the surrounding intellectual framework and the subsequent struggles of the marginalized the control became less coarse and individuals began to be accepted even if they where unable to perform a “normal” sexuality under the increasing scrutiny of science. Still, the default mode of speaking about sexuality is predisposing an innate one that must only be discovered (if heterosexuality proves unsatisfying), regardless of the persisting stigma in lots of places. Thus, a lot of people are regularly surprised of the ranges of people they are attracted to if they feel under less pressure to perform heteronormativity.

Gender should be parallel to that with phenomenology gradually giving way to ideology as making/keeping the heteronormativity naturalized became more and more important.

Gender is a social construct and a social construct only. By this I mean it is a set of social experiences, expectations, performances, benefits and drawbacks, with the only connection to a person’s physical existence being the fact that people treat you differently based on how you look and the way that your looks fit into people’s perceptions of how you should be treated.

This must be bogus. Even trans girls under lots of pressure to perform gender will concede that their body does not allow to them to fill that role and be in line with the naturalistic narrative. I’ve always understood “socially constructed” as “the primary factor for the form and thus the reason for a lot of the content of the fact being social” not “Society being the only reason for the fact”.

By disengaging sex and gender, feminism could say that yes, obviously female people are physically different from male people (sex as biology)

I’m sceptical on that point, but let’s put that aside for a moment.

There is, in other words, an essential experience of being a woman that all women experience, and only women experience. That’s what makes a woman a woman: that experience of being a woman.

I remember that part of radical feminism (after biology steeped in male superiority was rightfully considered dodgy) yet fail to grasp why there should be exactly one (the probably white, able, cis, hetero… woman) womanhood instead of multiples in any scenario that is not a world wide totalitarian state with social control higher than in the wildest dystopian novel.

But if we try to work around that, and try to incorporate the trans experience into the essential womanly experience, we find that it becomes impossible. Trans women don’t grow up the same way cis women do.

Neither do cis women of different ethnicities, cultures, classes etc. Some women never suffer much from the power structure, others suffer a lot.

There’s no essential set of experiences there that turns children into women

Well, there’s the ongoing act of being seen as progressively more of one and aligning ones self perception with that fact, internalizing the role in a society that manages contradictions by letting them be embodied in individuals. This hinges on a mostly constant personal identity that is linked to the perception of our genitals at birth by peoples name and by performing a gender role.

The social construct model of sexuality has this same issue, only in spades: that gay people only turn gay because someone socialized them into it.

I would consider this true if “gay” means that they identify as such because this seems like their best choice in the circumstances they are in. It’s wrong if it means attraction or behavior.

If we agree that gender is entirely social in nature, then we have to agree that trans men could have been women if they’d only been socialized correctly.

I can think of scenarios where I could have lived as a guy and be sorta happy. If only men where allowed to have testosterone blockers and preferably female hormone levels. If only gender did not prescribe certain organs. It’s this combination of gender, biology and identity that creates the hard problems. There’s no innate reason for me to be a girl (I do see myself as non-binary but not that strongly since it’s not very common terminology and of limited analytical use anyhow), most of it is a role to interact with others in a world that mostly sees gender trough the lens of an ideological two-gender system.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

The way I understand it was about this:

There once was a more natural / a lot less cultural spectrum of sexuality in humans a lot more like bonobos than other great apes. [etc]

I’ve never seen any evidence that this was ever the case, unless one goes back to literally the great-ape ancestors of humans and maybe not even then. It’s always struck me as the lefty equivalent of evo-psyche. Evo-psyche goes back to the chimpanzees rather than the bonobos, but neither species are human ancestors and there’s no reason to think that early human behavior followed either of those models.

The best we can do to model early human behavior is to look at current human hunter-gatherer cultures. Although these cultures tend toward the egalitarian, they are not unrecognizable. It’s also the case that monogamy is a thing in the animal kingdom, and even amongst animals like bonobos and baboons, which are not monogamous animals, individual animals often prefer to mate with individual others and will do so much more often than they mate with others in the groups. Monogamy can arise for reasons other than the conscious realization that STDs are a thing.

By disengaging sex and gender, feminism could say that yes, obviously female people are physically different from male people (sex as biology)

I’m sceptical on that point, but let’s put that aside for a moment.

I am incredibly skeptical on that point. It actually made me feel icky to type out a biological binary that way.

I remember that part of radical feminism

That is NOT a principle of radical feminism. It’s a principle of TERF, but TERFs are not the universe of radical feminism. It’s also the case that a significant number of liberal feminists hold the same or an equivalent idea.

yet fail to grasp why there should be exactly one (the probably white, able, cis, hetero… woman) womanhood instead of multiples in any scenario that is not a world wide totalitarian state with social control higher than in the wildest dystopian novel.

Because if you don’t have this principle, it’s difficult to maintain a sex/gender dichotomy. I don’t have time to go into it now, but I will later if I remember.

I would consider this true if “gay” means that they identify as such because this seems like their best choice in the circumstances they are in. It’s wrong if it means attraction or behavior.

Aha, but if attraction and behavior are determined socially rather than intrinsically, then it’s valid. “Determined” is too strong a word for the reality IMHO – influenced, yes – but if sexuality is a social construct then determined is the right word.

Joekster-betas bearded, sheeple shamed, dragons derailed. Reasonable rates.
Joekster-betas bearded, sheeple shamed, dragons derailed. Reasonable rates.
4 years ago

@Lyzzy, PoM: Just wanted to say, I’m reading this discussion, and it’s giving me a great deal to think about. Thank you.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

I’ve never seen any evidence that this was ever the case, unless one goes back to literally the great-ape ancestors of humans and maybe not even then.

I don’t have any good evidence to back it up either. It makes sense to me because of the gist of the kinsey reports, some other stuff on human sexuality and — well, because it seems to model the experiences of the people I’m around.

It’s always struck me as the lefty equivalent of evo-psyche.

I don’t want to drag politics into it but I can understand the necessity of a counter-narrative to the all-to-present evo-psyche one. It’s conjecture anyhow.

The best we can do to model early human behavior is to look at current human hunter-gatherer cultures.

I generally agree but we have to account for the fact that our data is sparse, our interpretation slanted towards our culture and we may be missing stuff. Also, we are looking at tribes limited in size. They might thus not be the best model.

Although these cultures tend toward the egalitarian, they are not unrecognizable.

True. Sometimes there’s more equality, sometimes the women are more in charge, often the men, etc. Sexuality sometimes is a bit different from ours but (as far as I understand) usually adapts to ensure the tribes survival.

It’s also the case that monogamy is a thing in the animal kingdom, and even amongst animals like bonobos and baboons, which are not monogamous animals, individual animals often prefer to mate with individual others and will do so much more often than they mate with others in the groups.

Yes, it’s an evolutionary strategy amongst others. Bonds exist and may be stronger or weaker. Monogamy in it’s current form in humans is still a very recent invention.

Monogamy can arise for reasons other than the conscious realization that STDs are a thing.

Yes, it also can minimize strife, it makes more sense when there’s economical inequality and there’s probably other reasons. Still, our ancestors where not nuclear families of the modern type.

That is NOT a principle of radical feminism. It’s a principle of TERF, but TERFs are not the universe of radical feminism.

Right, ok.

Aha, but if attraction and behavior are determined socially rather than intrinsically, then it’s valid. “Determined” is too strong a word for the reality IMHO – influenced, yes – but if sexuality is a social construct then determined is the right word.

Yes, I do think we use that word differently. Wikipedia (for lack of another common source) seems to back up both definitions as common (yours being radical constructivism). I would call sexuality “a purely ideological / medially mediated phenomenon” or somesuch if I believed that people wouldn’t be attracted to each other without being told to.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

To quote myself (tacky):

Because if you don’t have this principle, it’s difficult to maintain a sex/gender dichotomy. I don’t have time to go into it now, but I will later if I remember.

It’s later and I remembered. tl;dr:

Historically, women were considered inferior to men in all ways, and for reasons that are innate to women. It’s gender-essentialist, that all women are a certain way for determinate reasons, and those reasons were believed to be biological. It’s indisputable that when you look at a (cis) woman (cis being the only acknowledged kind of woman) and a (cis) man and compared them, the woman looks different from the man. So in the absence of any acknowledgement of non-cis persons, “woman” and “man” are determined by simple biology, and they correspond exactly with the usual physiological appearance of female and male. This biological difference was claimed to be the reason why women are inferior to men, and since biology is immutable, the inferior nature of women was also immutable.

(I’m glossing a bit here, obviously. Christianity has its own version of why women are inferior to men that doesn’t necessarily invoke biology, and there were other views as well. I’m talking about the Enlightenment-style elevation of biology over all else, which is the context in which the sex/gender dichotomy was constructed.)

The division of “woman” into “biologically female” and “socially a woman” came about in direct response to this view. Again, if we do not acknowledge non-cis people, it’s indisputable that female-bodied people are physically different from male-bodied people. However, the sex/gender dichotomy says that this doesn’t mean that a woman’s biology renders her innately anything social in nature, and “social” is defined to include effectively everything other than a person’s physical existence in space. Women as nurturers? Social. Women as not political animals, rightly restricted to the domestic sphere? Social. Women as unsuited for the business world? Social. On and on. Everything is socially determined, other than a person’s raw physical shape, and possibly-physically-influenced factors like intelligence (but only if we can prove them to be physical rather than socially constructed).

However, we still want to define certain people as women! Before we can say that women are an oppressed group, we need to define them as a group. We need to be able to say that some individuals are women, and some individuals are not, in order to determine who is where in the social order we want to rearrange. We need our in-group and our out-group before we can really address what is wrong with the way our in-group is handled by society.

This is where the concept comes in, that there is a single feminine experience that all women experience and only women experience. It’s a requirement to define who is called “a woman” when physical shape is excluded from the definition. If we include physical shape, you see, then we are mixing up our sex and our gender. You can’t say that a woman is someone who was born with a certain physical characteristic, although you can say that a woman is someone who is treated a particular way … which will be based on certain physical characteristics.

However, any definition that includes trans people is going to either capture some trans men or exclude some trans women, and sometimes both … unless it resorts to some innate characteristic. If our definition of a woman is “anyone who identifies as a woman,” then we start having to ask ourselves why some people feel like they are women and others do not, when these identifications do not align very well with the social experience a person has of being a particular gender in the world. And if we acknowledge some intrinsic inner trait that makes a woman a woman, regardless of what physical shape she had when she was born, we have to ask ourselves what that trait is, and, most importantly, why that trait is not considered to be “biological sex”.

Why do we consider the shape of a person’s genitals to be their “sex” and the shape of their brains to be something other than sex? Why do we categorize sex in this manner, rather than some other manner? Definitions are normative. We don’t usually think of them that way, but they are. When I define “sex” in a particular manner, I’m implying that that is the correct way to do it, and making an implicit argument to this end. I’m implying that there is no additional characteristic that ought to be included in the definition, and that no characteristics are included that ought not to be.

Definitions are (wait for it) socially constructed. There’s no reason to define “biological sex” in the way we do, except for that our society does it that way. So now our line between gender as a social construct and sex as a biological fact is gone. If we want to maintain our dichotomy, we have to define “woman” in a way that excludes all possible biological implications … and the reason we want this dichotomy is to reject the previous Enlightenment paradigm.

Therefore, there has to be a single, entirely social way to define who is a woman and who is not. Our dichotomy is at risk if we include anything intrinsic rather than experiential, and our ability to do activism is at risk if we are unable to even define what a woman is.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Thank you for this conversation, everyone. It’s wonderful to read.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

Thanks for the refreshing summery @Policy of Madness. I’ve been mostly a pragmatist so far and have seen that exact in-group-definition as primarily annoying gatekeeping politics, but I see the way in which the definition is lacking. In pragmatic activism, I’m quite content with “people who have some plausible claim of oppression by the dominant gender aspects of ideology and have demonstrated an ongoing tendency not to betray other victims” instead of “women” with the specifics of “plausible” handled mostly by free and fair discourse. It’s not quite as catchy tough.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
4 years ago

In pragmatic activism, I’m quite content with “people who have some plausible claim of oppression by the dominant gender aspects of ideology and have demonstrated an ongoing tendency not to betray other victims” instead of “women” with the specifics of “plausible” handled mostly by free and fair discourse. It’s not quite as catchy tough.

Are you saying that you define women in this way, or that people (not necessarily all women or only women) who are defined in this way are the subjects of your activism?

Also, I’ve typed quite a lot here and I’m interested in how you are defining and viewing these things.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

First thanks to anyone willing to read. The last time some of you saw me address sex and gender I could have done a better job about it (Recent Milo thread). I actually have a more nuanced view of sex and gender than that, but it was good for me because I got a better feel for where I am weak.

A specific question is difficult. “Am I full of shit?” is too broad. I guess a general idea of what someone thinks of my general approach to sex and gender is more accurate because while I use the words I have my own appreciation and experience of them that tends to get complicated in ways I’m still trying to figure out.

Sex: First I am what gets called male most of the time. I really like the idea of a desexed language, the reality is just a bit challenging. I am thinking actively about it though. And I functionally have a concept of male and female that is not very dependent on the words.

I’m far more interested in the social phenomena that get tied to male and female, and are independent of “sex”. Which means I’m likely to have neglected something in how what gets called “sex” is experienced more broadly.

The existence of female masculine people with me in the TS group, and some psychology of my own that seem to deviate from “male/masculine” historical stereotypes is important to how I think about things. I want to be more useful here and be able to use male and female in ways that don’t ignore the diversity because I think the language will evolve more smoothly (I’m open to criticism/suggestions).

Gender: I was screwing this one up in places and I’m working on the details, here is where I am at with how I believe I was/am wrong as of now. I think I’m conflating “gender” and “gender associated behavior”. I was seeing gender as “social phenomena historically associated with the words “male” and “female”, and said to be done by people who were “masculine men” and “feminine women”. Those categories are important to me and have biased my focus. Reading the comments of people in that Milo thread started me thinking about this.

I am now seeing gender as more related to a virtual version of body anatomy in the mind, and how that virtual body relates to one’s self. I’m trying to get a better fix on “gender associated behaviors” for reasons that are both polite and useful.

I may also be useful to other here. What I can offer are ways that brain science concepts and lived experience interact. I’m not an expert and so I am open to getting very specific about these things. I am not appreciating something important about gender, but I do know about things that I can relate to sex and gender. The way they seem to relate to human experience in general could be useful to people that also think about how these things relate to “sex” and “gender”. Some things I think about a lot while reading references and journals:
* An altered relationship with one’s body on a fundamental cognitive level.
*Language phenomena (I respect language sensitivity).
*Social behavior stereotypically associated with male/masculine stereotype in male and female people.
*Genetic and non-genetic inheritance, and knowledge about how they get interpreted.
*Changes in hormone/metabolism phenomena.
*Rule-based brain processes and social phenomena (I respect social sensitivities). The stereotypical physical (copropraxia), verbal (coprolalia), psychological (social OCDs, social urges related to social boundaries) and other interesting phenomena are typically fascinating to society at large. We get stuck in fundamental processes of mind, of course we are interesting. I’m willing to help if others are interested in things related to how social rules and social senses might be related to things they are interested in(I try to do lots of bias check there, lying to myself would be really horrible). It’s splits through experience and psychology in interesting ways (sexual phenomena too, I do not bring up these things without good reason due to general topic sensitivities).
*Lots and lots of anatomical changes. That scares lots of people. I tend to think it’s neto and lots of fun. I think a lot about how to be appropriate here.

I can also work ADHD, OCD, autism and some other things in there because being able to understand myself fundamentally requires trying to understand other people.
So if anyone has any comments I would be grateful. And if anyone has any questions I am willing to answer as best as I can. I will try to avoid being analytical of others as much as possible because I’m working on that boundary in some ways. That is a reason why I like to strip science from things related to me. It lets me find little things that might be helpful to others without directly analyzing them. It’s a hard skill to master but it is one I practice.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Brony
1)that’s a pretty substantial wall of text. Verbosity ain’t a prollem on its own. It’s a wall of text, and, after 800+ words, I have no idea what you’re asking. Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be less an idea being expressed so much as every idea. Simplify. What are you looking for?

2)I’ve mentioned here before (months ago) that I don’t understand ‘respect’ as a concept or a feeling. It doesn’t click for me. I usually get what people mean by it, but I’m completely stumped here. You use the term 2x, in that you respect both ‘language and social sensitivities’. Just to help me understand, what do you mean by this? Entirely my failure, but I’d appreciate a clarification 🙂

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@Policy of Madness

Are you saying that you define women in this way, or that people (not necessarily all women or only women) who are defined in this way are the subjects of your activism?

The latter (for feminism, intersectionality is important of course). Regarding women, I mostly use it descriptively (i.e I usually work with self-definition as a concept, being much more wary of excluding people than of overgeneralizing the term). In everyday speech, I sometimes use labels like “feminine” / “genderneutral” “functional masculine” people as broad categorisations of present gender role aspects and abstract constructs like “gynemorph” to describe body groups (not neccesary functional). Regarding myself, I find it hard to reconcile the label women with either biology or sociology, and am wary of constant self identification for other reasons, so I’m usually somewhere between demi-girl and sometimes more of an androgyne / genderneutral person. Anything more masculine is out because the memories usually cause too much stress and the word caries enough ideas about superiority to be icky when applied to myself.

Regarding the rest of your text, I agree on the history, am also quite wary of the normative aspects of biology and would hasten to add that superiority today is more often based on hegemonic masculinity which can include women. Classic biological sexism happens too and the combination (allowing women to succeed as “one of the boys” / by not being “like other girls” then tearing her down for biology if she gets to uppity) is terrifying to watch. So is being able and sometimes being urged to resist by masculinity-type behavior, but that comes down to tactics.

We’re in agreement on the ideological foundations.

Again, if we do not acknowledge non-cis people, it’s indisputable that female-bodied people are physically different from male-bodied people.

I believe this to be the usual mix of tautology (people who are in group A have characteristics necessary for fulfilling the definitions for membership in group A) and a lot of heuristics with way to many socially constructed parts. Acceptable for quick assessment but not something I’d want to use for refined speech most of the time.

I’m a bit at odds with the rigor seemingly required on the philosophical part of womanhood and would prefer a softer approach as I find the requirement for exact definition to be politically motivated and at odds with reality. In my view, there’s more of a spectrum of inevitability in being and being perceived as a certain gender — but I really have to run now or I’ll miss my exam, so catch you later

@Brony
Sorry, I lost the time, will comment later.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Axecalibur
I apologize, I think I got a little carried away. I feel pretty strongly about this and it’s been difficult figuring out how to express this. I think defensiveness led me to put a lot more than was necessary up there.

I am looking for impressions about how accurate my views of sex and gender are. I’ve always been hesitant about injecting my own ideas about this and I want to get better at it.

For me “sex” is basically anatomy. Things like “male” and “female” are dispensable.

“Gender” was a fuzzy collection of gender associated behaviors and associated human instinct as it relates to social behavior. I got the impression that this was wrong because gender is actually the part of ourselves that those behaviors and instincts are connected to. I’m hoping I’m on the right track.

@Lyzzy
My apologies for the previous comment. I hope what I said to Axecalibur works for you too.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

I meant this to be in the previous comment.
@Axecalibur
By “respect” I mean “sensitive to how others want to be interacted with”, in this case language use/interaction and other social issues that might be related to how a person talks about brain science. I don’t want to be like Sam Harris for example. I think that was defensive.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Brony
Fair enough.
I’d check out PoM’s innumerable comments on sex as more than just one’s jibbly bits. Their’s is the best rundown of the term I’ve come across. Still working out if there’s a way to concisely and effectively refer to the jibblies, but that’s far less important

For gender, I see it as an umbrella term for ‘gender identity’ (‘associated human instict’, I presume) and ‘gender expression’ (I assume that’s congruent to ‘gender associated behaviors’). Even that’s probably not good enough, but it helps me to view them as separate phenomena with separate terms but under the same roof

Another question of semantics, I’m afraid: what is meant by “‘male’ and ‘female’ are dispensable”?

ETA:
“I don’t wanna be like Sam Harris” is a pretty smart goal. Just in general 🙂

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Axecalibur

Another question of semantics, I’m afraid: what is meant by “‘male’ and ‘female’ are dispensable”?

Owch. That is a rather critical omission. They are dispensable as words. The people and things in culture that are associated with them are more important. They are still important to many people though. They will be around for a bit. I mostly focus on aggressive and irrational uses of them.

More replies later. I want to process replies more than respond to them quickly. I have to be slower and more deliberate in my thinking in situations like this.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Brony
K

I want to process replies more than respond to them quickly. I have to be slower and more deliberate in my thinking in situations like this

Good call and good luck 🙂

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

There is one other observation though. Even after 20 years I’m still learning things about my reactions that are difficult. I think I can see that i came in here feeling like a fight might happen, so I started adding things to what I was saying as kind of “preemptive shield”. That’s a little concerning to realize.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
4 years ago

@ Brony

Ok, first of all, you seem very abstract about the whole concept and anxious about maybe hurting people, but you probably know that. For what it’s worth, I’m fine and no apologies are necessary. If you want to, I can complain explicitly should I feel hurt by something you write so you don’t have to worry as much.Your experiences seem similar to some of mine and three other trans women I know. Of course that doesn’t mean you must be trans but I think looking in the ways that gender and being neuroatypical (if it’s an ok label to use) intersect might be beneficial to both of us.

I’ve gotten a bit concerned on your plan of learning gender roles for reasons of politeness as well as usefulness. Please be aware of your feelings during that and don’t be dishonest to yourself just for the entitled expectations of others.

Regarding sex you seem to understand it as a cultural concept avoiding the sex/gender dichotomy outlined above. I didn’t get what you meant about “functional concept” of sex. At other places, you seem to follow the traditional “gender follows sex” model of society. I would think that a descriptive and critical approach to sex works well to not get tangled up too much in it. I also appreciate you wanting to be more inclusive and use the words “male” and “female” like they where commonly understood to be a cultural thing. I’m afraid this will backfire in most social settings though as it will sound exactly like believing in the usual “gender follows sex”-belief to outside observers. I’ve found that being precise in ones terminology works better.

As an intermittent analytical approach, you might find this 4-factor model useful:

1) sex. It’s mostly given but need not be harmonic (i.e there can be conflicts in the body like with intersexuals or some transsexuals prefered-hormone-level-of-brainhormones). An individuals understanding of this is usually based on gender and it gets categorized as either “male” or “female” at birth. Other sexes are mostly not recognized
2) gender: The social aspect: Norms, attitudes, stereotypes, looks, stories etc about the two recognized sexes.
3) gender performance: The acts of a person playing the role of their gender (conforming to a variety of sometimes conflicting expectations, or not conforming)
4) gender identity: An individuals own feelings about their gender. Mostly believed to be a free choice, but practically often dependent on gender and aspirations of the individual in regard to reactions to their gender performance.

Like I said, I would be curious if you had any ideas on the “neuroqueer” (feel free to substitute labels) part i.e. the intersection of neuroatypicality and gender. Also, I would be very curious of your perception of hormones/metabolism.

If you’re interested, we could also talk taboo sex/anatomy stuff by email or via etherpad.

Herbert
Herbert
4 years ago

I’m new to this space but I drunkenly groped a girl at a party years ago and I’m just now realizing how this is a serious crime due to all of this DJT coverage. What can I do? We didn’t even know each other so I can’t apologize and I feel awful. I gave some money to RAIN but I feel that isn’t enough.