Some of us think gender shouldn’t necessarily be tied to the body one was born in or currently inhabits (that is, gender != sex).
Is there a concept of age that is separate from the number of years the body has physically been in existence?
Don’t we sometimes say of an adult “he has the emotional development of a 5 year old”?
What would happen if, as with gender, we bifurcated the terms for physical vs mental age?
And yet we cannot lie about it much for long. As if there's a hidden clock somewhere, related to rotating around the sun but barely not. Perhaps those in the future will develop a biological clock, but then we go back to the old question of whether this dutch man is wanted less because of age. Is age just the number on his government ID card?
Why can one fudge age, but only a little?
In ~1950 the government gave all the women also an ID to vote, and the age was self reported because the official records were a mess (most of the records were only the baptism date keep by the church).
Many of the old women subtracted 5 or 10 years from their real age :).
But that's not what you meant, right? You meant: what benefits would we get from having more complex "age" machinery in every database? Well, the complexity can be an advantage in itself. Much employment for highly paid database specialists, and many (small?) opportunities for blackhat mischief by leveraging people's assumptions that one "age" is the other "age".
The size of the electorate would shrink sharply.
I only hope that the discussion of this silly claim results in more people gaining greater understanding of transgender issues.
Although many states will amend drivers licenses so that sex is recorded as the subject’s gender .
Worldwide average life expectancy at birth is ~70 years.
Instead, read one of the many, many articles on this topic. Written by trans people or trans-friendly people who specifically do want to educate strangers.
Here's a "Q&A as a trans advocate’s nuanced perspective on Trans 101 questions." - http://www.transadvocate.com/a-trans-advocates-perspective-o...
Here's a recent blog post on trans advocacy which gives "definitions that are in common use among people that seriously study gender" - https://freethoughtblogs.com/pervertjustice/2018/10/13/andy-...
There are blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and more.
Like one trans woman I used to play video games with told me she wanted breasts, vocal cord surgery, BUT didn't want to change her other genitals. In her words "[my penis] is one of the few parts of my body I'm comfortable with"! Before I talked to her, i always assumed trans wanted to obtain ALL changes associated with their desired gender!
If you don't even care enough to read the basics, why should they think that you care enough to really understand them?
And there are writings from untold thousands of trans people, with different views, so it's not like reading will only give you generalizations. You'll get thousands of specifics.
From the Miles Davis album A Tribute to Jack Johnson:
> "I'm Jack Johnson, heavyweight champion of the world. I'm black. They never let me forget it. I'm black all right. I'll never let them forget it."
Otherwise you're the stereotype of an English speaker going to a foreign country and insisting that people can understand you if you JUST TALK LOUDER.
You don't even seem to be doing the equivalent of picking up a tourist book containing a few phrases to say.
All sorts of interesting research has been done:
Imagine that you were to wake up and find yourself in the body of the opposite gender, yet with your sense of attraction and your personal identity unchanged. Wouldn't many of your mannerisms seem awkward to you and to others? Would others be willing to accept your
assertion of a gender that was at odds with your appearance? Would you?
> But, as soon they let cut themselves up and are heavily medicated, I begin to sense that they have trouble accepting themselves as who they are.
It doesn't get talked about much, but many of the treatments are painful, inconvenient, have difficult side effects, and do not always yield results which satisfy the subject. That people are willing to go through them nevertheless says a lot.
I've always understood such drastic moves as acts of desperation. My point is that I want to understand what causes such desparation. I suspect that what you call gender dysphoria isn't the prime cause. But I can't know for sure without talking and learning about personal/individual experiences of trans people.
However laudable, is that not an ethic rather than an objective assessment? I don't see why that should make us doubt the voices of trans individuals as they describe their situation, even if we might wish for them to achieve self-acceptance.
> I suspect that what you call gender dysphoria isn't the prime cause.
That's not my terminology; it belongs to the medical establishment.
It seems to me like you have idiosyncratic experiences, which are perhaps very interesting, but may not apply well to the lives of trans people.
The statistics are high enough that you definitely know someone who is trans. They just can't tell you.
The situation is directly analogous to that of closeted gays. The more trans people who come out, the easier it will be for individuals and for society at large to accept them. But many of those in the vanguard will pay a terrible price.
> It's mind-boggling to me, really.
I felt similarly about concept of homosexuality as a teenager back in the late 1980s. When I found out that a musical hero of mine (Bob Mould) was gay, I thought hard about the issue. What was it like to be gay? Could I be gay? What does it feel like to be attracted to someone of the same sex? It was a worthwhile exercise, regardless of the conclusion.
You may not know any Nobel Prize winners, but there sure are a lot of books about them you could read, which would give an idea of what's going on their heads.
>Sex is mechanical
Male species use sperm to impregnate female eggs
>Gender is a social construct
What do you consider "Manly" or "Feminine"?
I really dislike that 99% of all conversations would end if people just phrased it like this. Since a lot of trans people just want to be treated as a member of the opposite gender.
"Age" is also very much a construct since I could use different calendars and have different birthdays to mark my age.
But your cells definitely have a limited lifespan which is what most people care about when they talk about age.
Fluid gender (identity; ascribed gender is externally imposed and to the extent it is or is not fluid, that's on society not the person to whom gender is ascribed) is an aspect of some people's gender identity, it is not something people (at least, many people) believe is inherent with all gender identity. Many trans people have as fixed an identity as the most cisnormative people believe all gender is, it's just not a cisgender identity.
> Is it a necessity?
For some, not for others.
> Then why adopt distinct male or female features, genitalia which do not work as intended?
There's a number of reasons (including the way society ascribes gender and mitigating the clash between ascribed gender and gender identity), which vary from individual to individual. But, also, that description of genitalia is the opposite of reality—for people that choose to change their genitalia, it is specifically because the new ones work more as intended by them than the old ones, not that they “do not work as intended”.
> Sadly, I don't know any trans person to ask them how they feel and why they feel that way, in person.
Happily, there's lots of information publicly available from trans people addressing those issues in every kind of media so that you don't need to rely on pestering people face to face to explain their gender identity and feelings surrounding it to you, which lots of people don't like to do.
Someone who tells everyone else to shut up is nowhere near a new kind of person.