all 9 comments

[–]anfd 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The muddle with sex and gender would seem to be at the bottom of it, resulting in the Trojan horse tactic of trying to sell you one (sex) when it's actually the other (gender).

Poor understanding of the relevant science as well as of the "probabilistic" nature of biological definitions is probably a factor. It's just so much easier to go by the immediately apparent surface phenomena — "if it looks and acts like a woman (whatever that means), it is a woman". Within discourses heavy on the autonomy of the individual it's easy to go along with pure subjectivism as well, "if you feel like it, you are it".

I think there's some research on people's poor intuitive understanding of likelihoods like "80% certainty". I think this was on some relatively recent episode of Sean Carroll's Mindscape podcast, but I cannot remember which episode (sorry!!). But if something had an 80% certainly attached to it and it doesn't happen after all, people will tell you, "but you said it's going to happen", because they took "80% certainty" to mean "almost guaranteed".

Intuitively people seem to understand 0% and 100% likelihoods, as well as fifty-fifty, the latter meaning, "it might happen or it might not". But that's it. It wouldn't be surprising if this kind of intuition would apply to category definitions as well.

So if you've got the kind of definitions as you do in biology, where there's always corner cases (like easily result from atypical development in complex systems), then that kind of definitions would appear to be invalid, because either something is X, or it isn't. If not all women have XX, then the XX definition of a woman must be invalid, even if it applies to 99% of the cases. Definition falsified!

This is to take a charitable view on the confusion. No doubt some people are fanning the confusion because it works for them.

[–]SharpTomorrow 10 insightful - 2 fun10 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

Of course it's horseshit. "Neovaginas" aren't ovulating, that's certain, and "neopenises" don't produce sperm. Nobody has changed sex, having the appearance of a female isn't being a female. That sophistry embraced by the media has lasted long enough.

[–]MarkTwainiac 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

LOL, I get your point, but vaginas don't ovulate, either - only ovaries do. Nor do penises produce sperm - they're the delivery vehicles for sperm; the testes are the production plant.

[–]firebird 8 insightful - 2 fun8 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Well, there are people who genuinely believe that the medical field is very close to being able to change people's sex. And believing things is more important than thinking rationally and trying to figure out what the best course of action is for everyone involved, so to me it isn't that weird that it's phrased the way it is.

[–]MarkTwainiac 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Sex = male/female. Gender = masculine/feminine.

That's how it's always been until very recently.

The use of gender as a substitute for sex in the Anglophone world is a new development. And it's come about precisely for the purpose of muddying the waters and changing the convo away from what second-wave feminism focused on: sexism, sex-stereotypes, sex discrimination, sex roles, sexual violence, sexual harassment, sexual politics, sexual liberation, sex-specific health services, safe spaces for the female sex, etc.

[–]jelliknight 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

You are correct. If you read it as "Male to Feminine" and "Female to Masculine" its a little more accurate.

[–]SharpTomorrow 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It's not accurate, it's sophistic.

[–]PassionateIntensity 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I agree the terminology isn't accurate but we're banned from using GC phrases like TIM/TIF most places. MTF/FTM are more clear than transwoman/man if you're talking to someone not familiar with the lingo. They often assume transwoman especially if there's a space, is a woman...who's trans (ie, a transman).

[–]DifferentAirGC 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Sometimes I use MTT/FTT (male to trans, female to trans).