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Debates Forum

  1. 05 Aug '17 18:38 / 4 edits
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/transgender-rules-reform-gender-dysphoria-changes-2004-gender-recognition-self-identify-a7855381.html

    "People to be allowed to pick their own gender without doctor's diagnosis, under Government plans.
    The transitioning process will be streamlined to remove bureaucracy."
    --Jon Stone (23 July 2017)

    "The Government is planning to reform gender identity rules to make it
    easier for people to choose their own gender in law.

    Under plans being considered by ministers, adults will be able to change
    their birth certificates at will without a doctor’s diagnosis, while non-binary
    gender people will be able to record their gender as “X”.
    Changes to the law will be consulted on and will ultimately be included
    in a planned Gender Recognition Bill, set to be published in the autumn.

    Under current laws – established in 2004 – a person who wishes to
    transition must apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. This requires
    a doctor's diagnosis of gender dysphoria and that someone spend two
    years of living as a member of the opposite gender.

    The reforms were recommended by Parliament’s Women and Equalities
    Committee last year, which said that they were key to trans people
    being “treated equally and fairly”."

    "Suzanna Hopwood, a member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group,
    said: “It’s vital that this reform removes the requirements for medical
    evidence and an intrusive interview panel, and finally allows all trans people to
    have their gender legally recognised through a simple administrative process.”

    Equalities minister Justine Greening said: “This Government is committed
    to building an inclusive society that works for everyone, no matter what
    their gender or sexuality, and today we’re taking the next step forward.
    We will build on the significant progress we have made over the last
    50 years, tackling some of the historic prejudices that still persist in our
    laws and giving LGBT people a real say on the issues affecting them.”"

    I have noticed that the 'libertarian' American writers here apparently oppose the (dreaded)
    State having much, if any, power or influence in nearly all matters of an individual's identity
    (such as religious beliefs) or family life (such as the education and health care of children).
    But many, if not most, of these 'libertarian' writers (who tend to have conservative beliefs
    about gender identity and roles) apparently believe that the State should have the power
    to assign a legal gender to every person at birth, which that person cannot change afterward.
  2. Subscriber mchill
    cryptogram
    05 Aug '17 20:31
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/transgender-rules-reform-gender-dysphoria-changes-2004-gender-recognition-self-identify-a7855381.html

    "People to be allowed to pick their own gender without doctor's diagnosis, under Government plans.
    The transitioning process will be streamlined to remove bureaucracy."
    --Jon Stone (23 July 2017)

    "The ...[text shortened]... r
    to assign a legal gender to every person at birth, which that person cannot change afterward.
    I admire Suzanna Hopwood's sincere desire to be more sensitive to the LBGT community, however choosing one's gender with less government over site is a big step toward altering one's identity with less government over site. This could have legal consequences since one's gender is a major factor in one's legal identity. I would be very careful about how this is done.
  3. 05 Aug '17 20:51 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @mchill
    I admire Suzanna Hopwood's sincere desire to be more sensitive to the LBGT community, however choosing one's gender with less government over site is a big step toward altering one's identity with less government over site. This could have legal consequences since one's gender is a major factor in one's legal identity. I would be very careful about how this is done.
    What would justify government oversight or control over everyone's gender identity?

    To put this issue into 'libertarian' terms:
    Should every individual have the right to decide one's own gender identity or should
    the state have the power to decide it for everyone?

    Why should a government official be more qualified to arbitrate the nuances of an individual's gender identity?

    I can understand that the government may like to put some conditions upon a person's right to choose one's gender.
    In the case of a minor (not of legal adult age), a person may be expected to show that
    one's mature enough to understand the consequences of choosing a new gender identity.
    And, as in other matters, mentally ill people may be legally constrained in what they choose.
  4. Standard member caissad4
    Child of the Novelty
    05 Aug '17 20:57
    Originally posted by @mchill
    I admire Suzanna Hopwood's sincere desire to be more sensitive to the LBGT community, however choosing one's gender with less government over site is a big step toward altering one's identity with less government over site. This could have legal consequences since one's gender is a major factor in one's legal identity. I would be very careful about how this is done.
    Please do not take offense but those of us in the "gender imperfect" community hear this rhetoric regularly. First off, these changes have little to nothing to do with anyone besides ourselves. To hear such concern is not only puzzling, but hypocritical. To hear such "concern" for our well being while society treats us like 2nd class citizens is a good example of this.
    "I don't know what was like to be a black in the South in the 1950's but I do know what it is like to be treated as one." ( My own quote in the book, "Chess Bitch" by Jennifer Shahade)
  5. 05 Aug '17 21:02 / 4 edits
    In the USA, there's much controversy over transgender people being allowed to use the
    public bathrooms of their choice. One solution would be to have unisex public bathrooms.

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/scientists-have-revealed-why-women-take-longer-in-the-bathroom-than-men/news-story/97a6c7f9497ebb2672be832183851f6b

    "Scientists have revealed why women take longer in the bathroom than men"

    Why are the queues for women's bathrooms usually longer than those for men's bathrooms?
    1) For the same amount of floor space, men's bathrooms can accommodate more users
    than women's bathrooms. Urinals require less space than stalls.
    2) Females need to remove more clothing to relieve themselves. Males can just 'unzip and go'.

    For reducing queuing times, the ideal solution (mathematically) would be unisex bathrooms.

    Now I suspect that some Americans would object on the grounds that females would be
    at much more risk of being sexually assaulted by males in unisex public bathrooms.
    I don't know of any data about this happening in the places where there are such bathrooms.
    And everyone should be taught that sexual assault's wrong no matter where it takes place.
  6. 05 Aug '17 21:05
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    In the USA, there's much controversy over transgender people being allowed to use the public bathrooms of their choice. One solution would be to have unisex public bathrooms.
    I would propose two alternative for public bathrooms:
    One for standing activities. One for sitting activities. Regardless of sex/gender.

    (Btw - Why is it called bathrooms? How is the bathing activity done?)
  7. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    06 Aug '17 04:19
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/transgender-rules-reform-gender-dysphoria-changes-2004-gender-recognition-self-identify-a7855381.html

    "People to be allowed to pick their own gender without doctor's diagnosis, under Government plans.
    The transitioning process will be streamlined to remove bureaucracy."
    --Jon Stone (23 July 2017)

    "The ...[text shortened]... r
    to assign a legal gender to every person at birth, which that person cannot change afterward.
    Your gender should not be the concern of the goobermint.

    Problem solved.

    *applause* Thank you, thank you *takes a bow* thank you.
  8. Subscriber mchill
    cryptogram
    06 Aug '17 06:04
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    What would justify government oversight or control over everyone's gender identity?

    To put this issue into 'libertarian' terms:
    Should every individual have the right to decide one's own gender identity or should
    the state have the power to decide it for everyone?

    Why should a government official be more qualified to arbitrate the nuances of an ...[text shortened]... .
    And, as in other matters, mentally ill people may be legally constrained in what they choose.
    What would justify government oversight or control over everyone's gender identity?


    It's not necessary for government to "control" one's gender identity, but it is however necessary for government to correctly identify one's citizens. With little Government over site it is possible for example for a thief or fraudster to change their gender in the public records in conjunction with forged identity documents to escape capture. I have no problem with someone wishing to change their gender, but I do have a problem with less than accurate identify documentation. This can have serious legal consequences.
  9. 06 Aug '17 18:32
    I have noticed that the 'libertarian' American writers here apparently oppose the (dreaded)
    State having much, if any, power or influence in nearly all matters of an individual's identity
    (such as religious beliefs) or family life (such as the education and health care of children).
    But many, if not most, of these 'libertarian' writers (who tend to have conservative beliefs
    about gender identi ...[text shortened]... r
    to assign a legal gender to every person at birth, which that person cannot change afterward.[/b]
    And, if you'll permit me, this is halfway to the crux of the matter. I think what's said here is true with regard to 'libertarians from the right.' They don't want government redistributing their money while they're content when the government regulates the bathroom usage of other people. (My question on the bathroom issue is how does this get enforced? Are the penis police to be stationed outside?)
    The other half, let's call it 'from the left,' objects to the government's influence on the subject of gender identification - that should be left to the individual - but thinks its fine to tell a private businessman/woman that they have no say in which wedding they will cater and which they will not.
    All these different arguments come with their self-serving bullet points.
    None ever address where they 'rationally' draw the line between the coercion of the state and the 'autonomy' of the person.
    So, finally, there comes the question: what, exactly, is a right?
  10. 06 Aug '17 19:24
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/06/transgender-bathroom-bill-texas-christians-lgbt-rights

    "Transgender 'bathroom bill' leaves Texas Christians deeply divided.
    A bill that aims to restrict transgender people’s access to restrooms has split
    progressive and conservative faith groups in an increasingly diverse state."

    "A bathroom bill failed to pass during the Texas legislature’s regular session earlier this
    year but the Republican governor, Greg Abbott, called a 30-day special session and
    placed the matter on the agenda. The Senate has green-lit a bill requiring transgender
    people in government buildings including schools to use facilities in line with the sex
    designation as stated on official ID, such as a birth certificate."

    "Liberal church leaders rallied against the bill on Tuesday, at an inter-faith event outside
    the capitol building in Austin. Two days later, religious conservatives gathered on the
    same steps to demand the bill’s passage.

    “I think personally that much of this is a backlash against the growing acceptance of
    lesbian and gay people, and specifically marriage equality and that transgender people
    are seen as a minority that they can now attack,” Cazares-Thomas said."

    I have noticed that some writers here apparently feel that it's safer to vent their bigotry
    explicitly against transgender people rather than gay /. lesbian / bisexual people.

    "An economic boycott struck North Carolina when it passed a similar law in 2016, only
    to partially repeal it this year. Texas’ plans have attracted opposition from a host of big
    businesses and police chiefs, while the Episcopal Church could move its 2018 General
    Convention out of Austin if a bathroom bill becomes law."

    "Bathroom bill supporters describe the law as vital for the protection of women and children.
    Placards were handed out on Thursday with hashtag slogans calling for “Daughters over Dollars”
    and “Privacy over Predators”.

    A similar fear-mongering playbook from Welch and others prompted the resounding
    defeat of an anti-discrimination ordinance by Houston voters in 2015, though there is no
    evidence that such ordinances increase sexual assaults in restrooms – which are of
    course illegal under existing laws. There is, by contrast, evidence that many transgender
    people are traumatised and endangered by victimization and harassment."

    "Ethan Avanzino leads the transgender council at Cathedral of Hope. The 28-year-old
    is a transgender man who transitioned two years ago. Changing the gender marker on
    official documents is a complex process in Texas, requiring a court order. ...
    Avanzino has testified in front of Senate committees and met with legislators.
    “They’re often confused by me because I look and sound just like every other dude,” he said.
    “I still question whether they fully understand what it means to be transgender, and if they do
    understand then they’re just totally freaked out by the concept of it and don’t want us to exist."

    Many people seem 'totally freaked out' by transgender people and prefer that they would disappear.
    And if transgender people cannot be quite driven into extinction, these bigots apparently
    want transgender people's lives to be made as miserable as possible.
  11. 06 Aug '17 19:38
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/nov/30/brain-sex-men-from-mars-women-venus-not-so-says-new-study

    "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus? New brain study says not
    Authors say scans show need to think beyond an individual’s sex as each brain has
    unique “mosaic” of sex-based features plus some common to both sexes."

    There is no sharp division between male and female brains, according to researchers
    who found that we are all a mixture instead.

    Scientists analysed brain scans of more than 1400 men and women and found that while
    some features are more common in one sex than the other, each person’s brain has a
    unique “mosaic” of these features, as well as others seen commonly in both.

    “What we show is that there are multiple ways to be male and female, there is not one way,
    and most of these ways are completely overlapping,” said Daphna Joel, a psychology
    professor who led the study at Tel-Aviv University."

    "“Sex affects the brain but how it affects the brain depends on other factors. The effects
    of sex can be different and even opposite under different conditions. This is why you can
    be highly masculine on one feature but highly feminine on another feature,” she added.
    According to Joel, the study should prompt people, and society at large, to think far
    beyond a person’s sex. “We have to treat each person according to what he or she is
    and not according to the form of their genitals,” she said."

    "Heidi Johansen-Berg, professor of cognitive neuroscience at Oxford University, said the
    results are interesting, but not surprising. “The main point they’re making is that unlike
    genitalia, you can’t perfectly categorise brains as being either male or female, but I’m
    not sure anybody would have thought you could,” she said.

    "What they show, which is interesting, is that although there are some brain characteristics that are a
    bit more common in males, and others that are a bit more common in females, we are all a mixture of these.
    There are very few people at the male / female extreme ends on any feature, and, where
    we are on the male-female axis will vary for different features. We are all a mixture,” she said."

    Michael Bloomfield, a psychiatrist at University College London, said that while the study
    found no evidence for a female or male type of brain, we need a more nuanced
    understanding of similarities and differences in brain structure between the sexes."
  12. 06 Aug '17 19:51 / 1 edit
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/dec/01/brain-sex-many-ways-to-be-male-and-female

    "It's time to celebrate the fact that there are many ways to be male and female.
    Research published yesterday, showing that brains don’t come in male and female
    forms, fits with what we know about gendered behavior."

    "The research was inspired by a study with rats by Tracey Shors and colleagues,
    published in the Journal of Neuroscience. She found that just fifteen minutes of stress
    can change the “sex” of some features of the brain from the “male” to “female” form, or
    from the “female” to “male” form. From this and dozens of similar studies – involving
    different experiences and brain features – two important principles emerged.

    First, a brain feature that is typical in females in one condition (a stress experience, say)
    may be what is typical in males under other conditions, and vice versa. And second,
    these interactions between sex and environment may be different for different brain
    features, cells, and regions. For example, lab rats that have enjoyed a peaceful, stress-free
    life show a sex difference in the density of the ‘top end’ dendritic spines (these transmit
    electrical signals to the neuron cell body) in one region of the hippocampus.
    (The female dendritic spines are denser.) But look at the same brain region in a group of
    rats who have been stressed for just fifteen minutes, and now the dendritic spines of the
    male rats are bushy, like those of unstressed female rats. Conversely, the “top end”
    dendritic spines of stressed female rats become less dense, like those of unstressed male rats.
    In other words, brief stress exposure reverses the “sex difference” for that particular brain
    characteristic. However, this same brief stress has a different effect on the “bottom end”
    dendrites of these same neurons. Here, male and female dendritic spines are identical,
    so long as those rats have lived a stress-free life. But what happens if the rats are stressed?
    There’s no effect on “bottom end” dendritic spines in females, but their density increases
    in males, resulting in a sex difference.

    Imagine, then, these sex-by-environment interactions affecting many different features of
    every brain, from utero onwards. With each experience, some brain features change
    their form, others do not, giving rise to unique combinations of forms. Not a “male brain”,
    or a “female brain”, but a shifting “mosaic” of features, some more common in females
    compared to males, some more common in males compared to females, and some
    common in both.

    This is exactly what the new study found for the first time, with colleagues from Tel Aviv University,
    the Max Planck Institute, and the University of Zurich. They tested this prediction by analyzing
    magnetic resonance images, which directly capture structural properties of the brain,
    from more than 1,400 human brains from four large data-sets. They identified in each
    data set the regions showing the largest differences between women and men.
    Next, they defined a “male-end” (males more prevalent than females) zone and a “female-end”
    (females more prevalent than males) zone for each of these regions, based on the range
    of scores of the most extreme third of men and women, respectively. They found that
    between 23% and 53% of individuals (depending on the sample) had brains with both
    “male-end” and “female-end” features. In contrast, the percentage of people with only
    “female-end” or only “male-end” brain features was small, ranging from zero to 8%.
    Where this differs to past research is that it looks for the first time at whether or not sex
    differences “add up” in a consistent way. While future studies should investigate whether
    there is internal consistency in additional types of data, such as histological measures,
    this study of structural sex differences found that these do not combine consistently to
    create two categories of brains or a male-female continuum of brains."

    "That brains don’t come in two forms fits with what we know about gendered behaviour.
    With academics and commentators often arguing over the origins and size of sex differences,
    an important observation by psychologist Janet Spence is often overlooked. This is that
    correlations between “masculine” traits are weak or non-existent; so too for “feminine” traits .
    Having one doesn’t imply you have another. For example, being gentle doesn’t imply
    that one is also dependent. So do sex differences “add up” in a consistent way to create
    two types of humans, or, like the brain, create “mosaics” of personality traits, attitudes,
    interests, and behaviours, some more common in males, others more common in females?

    The new PNAS study investigated this in over 5500 youth from three datasets.
    Most differences between females and males are small, but this study looked only at
    the largest differences (for example, worries about weight was the personal attribute
    showing the largest difference, with about 80% chance of correctly guessing someone’s
    sex on the basis of being above or below average concern; while for sex-stereotyped activities,
    the largest difference was in the use of cosmetics, for which the chance of guessing sex
    on the basis of their use was above 90% ). Even looking only at such behaviours, between
    55% and 70% of people had a “mosaic” of gender characteristics, compared to less than
    one per cent who had only “masculine” or only “feminine” characteristics.

    This makes the notion of female and male natures as unintelligible as that of female and male brains.
    Which of the many mosaics that males display should be considered the male nature?
    Is it a profile of pure masculinity that appears to barely exist in reality?

    Or is it time to let go of binary thinking and celebrate the fact that there are many
    different ways to be male, to be female, to be human?

    We can see social issues more clearly when we stop viewing them through the distorting
    lens of sex categories, and start fully appreciating human variability and diversity."

    I expect that many, if not most men, have long been culturally conditioned to regard themselves
    as naturally superior to women, which means that these men are eager to believe that
    they must be fundamentally very different--including in the brain--from women.
    So I suspect that these (typically insecure) men feel threatened by scientific studies that
    fail to bolster their sexist prejudices, and most of them will hasten to reject this study.
  13. 06 Aug '17 20:26
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/04/male-female-brains-same-but-people-all-different

    "Male and female brains are the same, but people are all different – and that gives me hope.
    A new study has given credence to the idea that gender is more cultural than biological."
    --Deborah Orr

    "A study led by Daphna Joel at Tel Aviv university has shown that there’s really not much
    in the way of difference between male brains and female brains. There are features that are
    more prevalent in the brains of women and features that are more prevalent in the brains of men.
    But human brains tend to have a highly individual mix of such characteristics.

    Interestingly, while hardly anyone has anything like the full set of mostly male features or
    the full set of mostly female features, by no means everyone with a significant collection of
    “female end” features is female, and vice versa. What’s more, many of these characteristics aren’t fixed.
    Environment and experience also play their part in shaping the brain, increasing its individuality."

    "Making a big deal out of biological gender is maybe just the most basic way we have of saying:
    “You’re like me. And you’re not.”"

    'The findings of this research will not surprise feminists, who have long argued that gender
    is a complex socially conditioned performance that seeks to create inherent-seeming differences
    in the characters of men and women, where none exist. Yet feminism itself, of course,
    seeks to assemble a group of like minds, sometimes even preferring to gather those like minds
    in safe spaces, free from the outbursts of wrong-minded heretics. It’s all very difficult."

    "It’s notable, of course, that the fundamentalist group that worries the world most at the moment,
    Islamic State, seeks both to deny education to women and glorify war for men.
    It seeks also to eradicate individuality, by lionising those who are prepared to eradicate
    themselves as long as they can kill others in the process. I suppose Isis’s obsession
    with “othering” can be seen as a consequence of its members feeling that, as Muslims,
    they are “othered” themselves. It’s how they justify their cruelty to themselves anyway,
    and how they recruit."

    Now Deborah Orr (a white Englishwoman) implicitly criticizes White Feminism.
    Anyone knowledgeable about feminist theory should know that White Feminism may
    be defined as feminism that denies or ignores intersectionality.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_feminism

    "White feminism is a form of feminism that focuses on the struggles of white women while failing
    to address the distinct forms of oppression and faced by women of colour and women lacking other privileges."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality

    "Intersectionality proposes that all aspects of one's identity need to be examined as simultaneously
    interacting with each other and affecting one's privilege and perception in society, and
    that these facets of identity cannot simply be observed separately.[6] As such, intersectionality
    is not simply a view of personal identity, but rather an overarching analysis of power hierarchies
    present within identities.[6] The framework of intersectionality also provides an insight
    into how multiple systems of oppression interrelate and are interactive."

    "That’s why, in feminism, the idea of intersectionality is so important. It helps people to
    focus on difference rather than similarity, to understand that a marginal issue for one
    person is an important issue for another, to understand that something one person takes
    for granted is something another person can’t allow themselves even to dream of.
    A feminism that claims to speak for all women speaks only for the voices who dominate."
    Women, their brains, their environments, their experiences, are as broad as humanity."
    --Deborah Orr

    Brava to Deborah Orr for embracing intersectionality, which repudiates White Feminism!
    "A feminism that claims to speak for all women speaks only for the voices who dominate"
    (to quote Deborah Orr) is the racist White Feminism to which Suzianne blindly describes.
  14. 06 Aug '17 20:55 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @stevemcc
    And, if you'll permit me, this is halfway to the crux of the matter. I think what's said here is true with regard to 'libertarians from the right.' They don't want government redistributing their money while they're content when the government regulates the bathroom usage of other people. (My question on the bathroom issue is how does this get enforced? Ar ...[text shortened]... he 'autonomy' of the person.
    So, finally, there comes the question: what, exactly, is a right?
    "The other half, let's call it 'from the left,' - that should be left to the individual - but thinks
    its fine to tell a private objects to the government's influence on the subject of gender identification
    businessman/woman that they have no say in which wedding they will cater and which they will not."
    --Stevemcc

    Wajoma "objects to the government's [control] on the subject of gender identification", and
    Wajoma's would not describe himself as a 'leftist', as Stevemcc apparently would believe.

    Stevemcc seems not to comprehend the legal of 'invidious discrimiination' or perhaps
    he believes that civil rights laws should offer no protection against it.
    Does Stevemcc believe that a private business (restaurant, hotel, or hospital) should
    have the right to refuse service to all non-white people just because they are not white?
  15. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    06 Aug '17 20:59
    What does "choosing one's own gender" mean?