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"Science-conforming" pronouns

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"Science-conforming" pronouns
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MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 880Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post "Science-conforming" pronouns

One of the cultural issues of the day appear to be the acceptance of transgender individuals and what to accept when it comes to this issue, with a multitude of opinion from the pleas of acceptance, to their rejection, to the boogeyman of "state-enforced pronouns" to people exposing it for the fear-mongering it was.

If you have had any interest in this social issue, you may have heard the argument that people should use "man" and "he" with trans-women/"woman" and "she" with trans-men because the words are "science-conforming".

Before I shared mine, I thought I would ask your thoughts and opinions.
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Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:25 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 159Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

I was under the impression that we were referring to people as boys and girls long before science had much to say on the subject, so I'm not really sure what science those terms are supposed to be conforming to.
Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:25 pm
MarsCydoniaUser avatarPosts: 880Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:15 pm

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

psikhrangkur wrote:I was under the impression that we were referring to people as boys and girls long before science had much to say on the subject, so I'm not really sure what science those terms are supposed to be conforming to.

I've actually encountered "homogametic is female and thus inexorably "she" and heterogametic is male and thus inexorably "he".
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Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:44 pm
psikhrangkurPosts: 159Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

MarsCydonia wrote:
psikhrangkur wrote:I was under the impression that we were referring to people as boys and girls long before science had much to say on the subject, so I'm not really sure what science those terms are supposed to be conforming to.

I've actually encountered "homogametic is female and thus inexorably "she" and heterogametic is male and thus inexorably "he".


That sounds to me like someone watering down scientific jargon to fit a narrative. Not that I'm an expert.
Wed Nov 21, 2018 9:10 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2648Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

MarsCydonia wrote:If you have had any interest in this social issue, you may have heard the argument that people should use "man" and "he" with trans-women/"woman" and "she" with trans-men because the words are "science-conforming".

Before I shared mine, I thought I would ask your thoughts and opinions.



I've never heard that, and it sounds unlikely to be a shoe that fits all.
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Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:53 am
SparhafocPosts: 2648Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

psikhrangkur wrote:That sounds to me like someone watering down scientific jargon to fit a narrative. Not that I'm an expert.


Seems less about science and more about grammar to me.

It's just a reiteration of the same notions always espoused, whether it's about boobs and willies, or ova and sperm; the argument in all its forms erroneously conflates biological sex and gender.

Biologically speaking, the vast majority of people are either a male or a female - with just a few people having some physically indeterminate traits - but gender isn't just what bits you have, and is assuredly not some Platonic category hanging around waiting to be applied scientifically.

One thing I always find amusing is how quickly the people who make such arguments show themselves to be profoundly limited in outlook - culturally provincial. Here in Thailand, there are more than 10 categories of gender relatively frequently acknowledged and used - not just lady-boys (i.e. gay male transvestites/transgenders) but also Toms and Cherries (to use a rough translation) which are gay female transvestites, and cutesy females who like gay men. In fact, it's nearly impossible to get a handle on some of these categories.... have a pic which aspires to clarify this! :)

Image

Suffice it to say that binary may frequently exist in the biological realm but it says nothing whatsoever about how many categories of gender there must then necessarily be, and semantic arguments are invariably fucking stupid arguments wholly lacking in any relevant understanding - rather, just a pseudo-respectable front for prejudice.
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Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:10 am
psikhrangkurPosts: 159Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

I'm not entirely sure we disagree. When I said that it seems to me as if someone is watering down scientific jargon to fit a narrative, what I meant was that, from what I could find, the words "heterogametic" and "homogametic" don't translate to male/female as they seem to be claiming in MarCydonia's explanation of the argument they were presented, that this is essentially an oversimplification of the terms. The sources I've found suggest that whether or not "heterogametic" correlates to male or female has a lot to do with the species being examined, but even if we just grant them that we're talking about humans and therefore "heterogametic" would translate to male, from what I can find there are still greater issues involved such as Klinefelter Syndrome.

I think that they're forcing the terms to fit, for the sake of their narrative. Everything I've found on the topic suggests that it's far more complex than what they've conveyed in their argument, and in that sense, it seems as though their argument has little to do with the actual science. You'd probably know more about all that than I would, though.

Also, I've been trying desperately for a while now to make sense of that picture, and I can't, and I find that deeply frustrating.
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:45 am
SparhafocPosts: 2648Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

psikhrangkur wrote:I'm not entirely sure we disagree. When I said that it seems to me as if someone is watering down scientific jargon to fit a narrative, what I meant was that, from what I could find, the words "heterogametic" and "homogametic" don't translate to male/female as they seem to be claiming in MarCydonia's explanation of the argument they were presented, that this is essentially an oversimplification of the terms. The sources I've found suggest that whether or not "heterogametic" correlates to male or female has a lot to do with the species being examined, but even if we just grant them that we're talking about humans and therefore "heterogametic" would translate to male, from what I can find there are still greater issues involved such as Klinefelter Syndrome.


Indeed, I wasn't strictly disagreeing, just expanding and forwarding a different approach. I genuinely think most of the discussion on this topic is semantic and lazy rather than rigorous or scientific.

With respect to the terms used, they do represent a valid biological/typological distinction between male and female in species which exhibit a distinction in the sex chromosomes, but as you say, between different species it may be the male or female which is homogametic or heterogametic. Obviously, in humans, females are homogametic possessing two X chromosomes.


psikhrangkur wrote:I think that they're forcing the terms to fit, for the sake of their narrative. Everything I've found on the topic suggests that it's far more complex than what they've conveyed in their argument, and in that sense, it seems as though their argument has little to do with the actual science. You'd probably know more about all that than I would, though.


I think the best way of framing it is that gender is a predominantly socio-cultural and has only the most tenuous links to biological sex. So perhaps in our culture women traditionally performed a particular suite of tasks, took on particular roles, or exhibited certain behaviors which became associated with them, then were later misconstrued and socially reinforced as being quintessentially female tasks, roles and behaviors, whereas there is no actual biological predilection for them, just contingent social history and traditions.

I saw a good example of this today. On the BBC news website, it was considered story-worthy to have an article about a female brick-layer, as if it's breaking some kind of new ground in terms of gender perception. However, here in Thailand there are approximately equal male and female construction workers and apparently this has been the case basically forever, so a story about a female brick-layer would be a bit redundant.


psikhrangkur wrote:Also, I've been trying desperately for a while now to make sense of that picture, and I can't, and I find that deeply frustrating.


Good luck! I've lived here for 16 years and I'm a trained anthropologist, and it's still mostly beyond my comprehension! :D
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Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:13 am
psikhrangkurPosts: 159Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

Oh. Gotcha.

Sparhafoc wrote:
psikhrangkur wrote:Also, I've been trying desperately for a while now to make sense of that picture, and I can't, and I find that deeply frustrating.


Good luck! I've lived here for 16 years and I'm a trained anthropologist, and it's still mostly beyond my comprehension! :D


If nothing else, looking at that picture makes me think that, as far as gender roles go, I might have always assumed them to be, for lack of a better word, reciprocal? If I understand that picture at all, it suggests that several of those roles play out in such a way where they're feeling or giving something to another role that isn't necessarily reciprocated? I never even considered that gender roles could actually play out in such a manner. It's kind of bizarre to me.
Last edited by psikhrangkur on Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:50 pm
SparhafocPosts: 2648Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

psikhrangkur wrote:If nothing else, looking at that picture makes me think that, as far as gender roles go, I might have always them to be, for lack of a better role, reciprocal? If I understand that picture at all, it suggests that several of those roles play out in such a way where they're feeling or giving something to another role that isn't necessarily reciprocated? I never even considered that gender roles could actually play out in such a manner. It's kind of bizarre to me.



That is absolutely correct. Or at least, not usually reciprocal. But Thailand's a bit odd in many ways, and romance isn't always the point of a relationship.

Funnily, I saw a couple tonight that would be a Tom and a Dee according to the picture... and they looked EXACTLY like their archetype picture! :D
"a reprehensible human being"
Beliefs are, by definition, things we don't know to be true.
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:08 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3505Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

MarsCydonia wrote:One of the cultural issues of the day appear to be the acceptance of transgender individuals and what to accept when it comes to this issue, with a multitude of opinion from the pleas of acceptance, to their rejection, to the boogeyman of "state-enforced pronouns" to people exposing it for the fear-mongering it was.

If you have had any interest in this social issue, you may have heard the argument that people should use "man" and "he" with trans-women/"woman" and "she" with trans-men because the words are "science-conforming".

Before I shared mine, I thought I would ask your thoughts and opinions.


Since I will never take the time to inspect someone's genitals or take blood to test their chronozones, even if "he" or "she" actually mapped to bio-sex men or women, I would still use whatever pronouns the person I am talking to prefers. Much like if I meet a person and they say their name is David. I am not going to ask for their ID or birth certificate to confirm if that is true.

The truly funny thing about this is that for the most part, the people screeching about it being unscientific to call a trans-women she are the same people that deny climate change and evolution.
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psikhrangkurPosts: 159Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: "Science-conforming" pronouns

Even if we assume for the sake of argument that this type of argument is absolutely correct and infallible, to be honest I might still ignore it. As far as I'm concerned, the purpose of communication is mutually beneficial cooperation, and I can't imagine that I would spend a great deal of time talking to someone when it seems as though said cooperation is untenable. Perhaps if I were close friends with someone, then I might start arguing with them about something like this?
Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:24 pm
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