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nonmerci

Is it valid or transphobic?

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Hi everyone!

I don't think that my gender is meaningful when it comes to my personality. I know for sure I am a cisgendered woman : I won't use anything than "she", I feel at ease with my gender Identity (though I won't descirve myself as a feminine woman at all). However, if I had to list the things that affect my personality or way of living, my gender is at the bottom of the list. I even think there would not be a lot of difference if I was a guy. In other words : I think myself (and of other people) as a person and not as a woman (or a man too for others).

My problem is : it makes me feel very transphobic. I had a hard time understood transgendered people (though now I think I do for trans men and trans women, for agendered it's more complicated because before I discover transgenre, I never thought that people are identifying themselves to their gender; sorry, I don't mean to be rude or offense anyone; I know there is a lot of trans and non-binary people here).

 

Now, I've learned that some aro doesn't mention their sexual orientation because they don't think it is relevant. I think that's a bit how I feel about my gender : I know I am a woman, but I don't think it is worth mentionning nor a big part of my Identity.

 

But I know gender is very important for trans people, who suffers from people who think gender is not big deal (I would never say that to invalidate their feelings, their distress is real and that for them it is a big part of their identity).

 

So my question is : am I valid in my way of feeling things, or am I just a cis that doesn't understand anything and is transphobic?

 

EDIT : it seems I failed to post anonymously. I thought I just had to sign in anonymously but it seems I was wrong, my bad.

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You don't have to understand or empathize with people to respect them, so as long as you respect how others feel, you're not at all transphobic/transmisic. 

I have a friend (also a cis woman) who has said almost exactly the same thing as you. She doesn't really view her gender as something that defines her at all. She's content with the gender she was assigned at birth and she doesn't think about being a woman explicitly, really, ever.

 

I think it's also worth mentioning that some trans and non-binary folks feel that way too - that gender just isn't a concept they really care about or that affects them (I've heard some agender people and quoigender people say these kinds of things, for example, as well as binary trans folks and others under the big umbrella).

 

Really, the best thing you can do is just nod and accept people's experiences, even if you don't understand them. Maybe you'll understand in the future, maybe not ever, but just because you don't doesn't mean you're doing us harm. :) 

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It's perfectly fine if you don't care about your own gender. Some trans peoples dont either. As said above, you don't have to understand someone to respect them ^^ 

 

 

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From what I've seen, it seems like people of all genders can vary on a spectrum from nonchalant to impassioned about their gender. 

It may also be that, as a cis person who has never dealt with gender-transitioning, your gender simply doesn't feel all that tangible in your daily life. It's different for people who risk being called by the wrong pronouns, may have to deal with outright transphobia, etc etc. For myself, as a nonbinary person, I'm not walking around all the time shouting that I'm nonbinary and I often don't really think about it, but it becomes very 'real' when I see hate crimes in the news or something. 

TLDR : I didn't see any transphobic sentiments in your post and your viewpoint makes a fair bit of sense. 

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I feel similar. Gender is not particularly important to me so I have a hard time relating to people who are concerned about it.

I wonder though if gender confidence (if that's a phrase) is something you don't notice when you have it. Like how people who have money don't think about money. Or someone who's white saying, I don't think about race.

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Thanks for all your responses. Sometimes Identity is so confusing, and I hate hurting people, so I wanted to be sure.

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On 6/22/2019 at 8:39 PM, nonmerci said:

I know I am a woman, but I don't think it is worth mentionning nor a big part of my Identity.

Though how do you know that? I only “know” that I’m a man in the sense that my biological sex seems to be male. Certainly I don’t feel an internal sense of gender.

On 6/22/2019 at 8:39 PM, nonmerci said:

So my question is : am I valid in my way of feeling things, or am I just a cis that doesn't understand anything and is transphobic?

Well, transgender theory is very complex and subtle, there are no authoritative sources, there are many inconsistencies how in different contexts the terms (male, female, etc.) are used and it is an extremely polarized issue.

 

If we only look at the Wikipedia situation:

Quote

Trans woman

A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a woman who was assigned male at birth. …

Quote

Woman

A woman is a female human being. …

Quote

Female

Female (♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ova (egg cells). Barring rare medical conditions, most female mammals, including female humans, have two X chromosomes. …

… something does not add up here.

 

Also, if the natal bureaucracy would have assigned “female” at birth to me, I would not feel like a trans man. I would just feel someone made an extremely obvious mistake here. Like if they spelled my family name in a wrong way.

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On 6/23/2019 at 8:54 PM, DeltaV said:

hough how do you know that? I only “know” that I’m a man in the sense that my biological sex seems to be male. Certainly I don’t feel an internal sense of gender.

Thinking about me as a man or a non binary person doesn't fit, so I assume I must be a woman. Maybe it wouldn't if I was born with a penis, but I'll never know.

 

On 6/23/2019 at 8:54 PM, DeltaV said:

 

If we only look at the Wikipedia situation

As far as I know, the Wikipedia articles were not write by the same person or at the same period. Plus words can have different meanings.

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On 6/25/2019 at 11:09 AM, nonmerci said:

As far as I know, the Wikipedia articles were not write by the same person or at the same period. Plus words can have different meanings.

Sure, the question would be what is the meaning of the word “woman” in the trans woman Wikipedia article?

 

I guess the progressive view only makes sense from a quasi-Cartesian perspective. The sense of gender would be roughly like one of Descartes’s “innate ideas”; the sex of the body – conceived as a machine anyway – negligible, arbitrary or obscure.

 

The traditional view, according to which biological sex is a real, objective property of each human individual as a whole, and gender refers to the social constructs based on biological sex, is more Aristotelian.

 

Now, I don’t obsess about this issue enough to start a fight about it. So you can dismiss this as concern trolling, if you want. But I wonder if the general population can ever be convinced of the progressive view?

 

If cuisine would be such a big issue as gender, would we want to define “cuisine” in a similar way, one that completely detaches it from what it is assumed to be about: food (cause food is also defined by its raw biological function – providing nourishment for humans)? And launch a skeptical attack on the concept of food?

 

dsc_0215.jpg

Japanese wax food display – an example of Japanese cuisine?

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I think we just should admit that both definitions are acceptable. People should be allowed to describe themselves because of gender or because of biology. Words are different meanings after all. I think this is good that woman and man too another meaning, but that it is wrong to do as if it was the only one.

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I can empathise with the OP.

I know I am male, but it's not a big part of my personal sense of self. The genitals are OK, and I enjoy the feeling of being sexually attracted to women. But I don't like the cultural values connected with masculinity: body-building, watching violent sports, guzzling beer or being a part of an all-male group. Most of my favourite friends were female, I always felt that women understand me better, though men usually have a better sense of humour!

 

You should not care if your ideas align with the "progressive" worldview or not, there are plenty of other philosophies you can choose from. And the current definition of gender as innate identity will go to the dustbin of history when we figure out neuropsychological engineering. In the future people will be able to enjoy any gender identity or sexual orientation they want. Imagine being able to become a lesbian as fashion statement.

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4 hours ago, Spacenik86 said:

But I don't like the cultural values connected with masculinity: body-building, watching violent sports, guzzling beer or being a part of an all-male group

Same but with feminity. For instance I don't wear make up and I don't get why woman do it. All the thing they do for their skin,  their hair... I don't have hours to waste with that. Enjoying mode or cute things too. I identify myself as a woman, but not a feminine woman. 😆

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1 hour ago, nonmerci said:

Same but with feminity. For instance I don't wear make up and I don't get why woman do it. All the thing they do for their skin,  their hair... I don't have hours to waste with that. Enjoying mode or cute things too. I identify myself as a woman, but not a feminine woman. 😆

 

I agree! I think that masculinity can be called "testosterone poisoning" (radical feminists already do), and so femininity is "oestrogen poisoning". I mostly prefer unisex people. We all were quite unisex as children. 8-year-old girls don't wear makeup or high heels, and 8-year-old boys don't practice body-building. or watch porn.

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About 8 years-old not watching porn, I won't be so sure : they start early now. I saw people claiming they already did at that age.

And funny thing : when I was eight, my family offered me make-up (something for kids, to have fun), and I liked it. Now, I wonder why, because nothing in the world could make me wear make-up. Think of all the money I am saving.

 

Kids express feminity or masculinity differently. Maybe society help : people offer dolls to their daugthers, mini cars to their sons. Toys are seen as masculine or feminine. I remember when I was a child and saw adds for toys. I didn't pay attention then, but now I see that some adds only have boys in them, or girls, depending on that.

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On 6/30/2019 at 11:09 PM, nonmerci said:

And funny thing : when I was eight, my family offered me make-up (something for kids, to have fun), and I liked it. Now, I wonder why, because nothing in the world could make me wear make-up. Think of all the money I am saving.

 

Kids express feminity or masculinity differently. Maybe society help : people offer dolls to their daugthers, mini cars to their sons. Toys are seen as masculine or feminine. I remember when I was a child and saw adds for toys. I didn't pay attention then, but now I see that some adds only have boys in them, or girls, depending on that.

 

Yes, masculinity and femininity exist before puberty because we are exposed to sex hormones in the prenatal period. But also remember that the toy industry promotes gender stereotypes quite vigorously. You don't see dolls that look like children, most dolls look like adult women, in fact quite provocative adult women.

 

Most children look up to adults, so if a girl sees her mother wearing a make-up, she wants to try it too. Still I don't think a lot of 8-year-old girls would bother to do make-up every day like feminine adults do.

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I’ve encountered your perspective a lot, and no, I don’t think it’s transphobic. I think it’s in a way a side effect of the “privilege” you have as a cis person that gender doesn’t have to be a deep existential consideration in your life. And that’s okay to have that viewpoint, so long as you try to understand that being trans is more than just a response to gender stereotypes. People will often say, “well, I don’t like makeup either, but that doesn’t make me a man!” as a way to try to discredit the experiences of trans people (not saying that’s what you’re doing I’m just making an example). But at its most basic level, being trans is about being uncomfortable with people perceiving you as the gender assigned to you at birth, and/or knowing on some ineffable level that you are a man/a woman/non-binary and that being perceived as such makes you content. I don’t speak for the trans community of course (no one does) but hopefully that helps you grasp the difference.

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41 minutes ago, treepod said:

But at its most basic level, being trans is about being uncomfortable with people perceiving you as the gender assigned to you at birth, and/or knowing on some ineffable level that you are a man/a woman/non-binary and that being perceived as such makes you content.

I can’t wrap my head around this “gender assigned at birth”.

 

Example:

 

Mary Read was born in Kingdom of England in 1685. Her mother had married a sailor and had a son.[1] After her husband disappeared at sea, Mary's mother became pregnant after an extramarital love affair. Read's mother attempted to hide the pregnancy by going to live with friends in the country. Shortly thereafter, her son died, and she gave birth to Mary. In financial distress, her mother decided to disguise Mary as her dead son, in order to receive monetary support from her late husband's mother. The grandmother was apparently fooled, and mother and daughter lived on the inheritance into Mary's teen years. Dressed as a boy, Read found work as a foot-boy, and, then, employment on a ship.

Without fixing the whole thing by biological sex, I don’t see how to make sense of the trans label when confronted with stories like this. Certainly, if Mary Read herself only reluctantly took part in this whole deception and it made her uncomfortable that people regarded her as a boy/man (male = the gender she was assigned to at birth), it does not feel right to call her a trans woman.

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12 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

Without fixing the whole thing by biological sex, I don’t see how to make sense of the trans label when confronted with stories like this. Certainly, if Mary Read herself reluctantly took part in this whole deception and it made her uncomfortable that people regarded her as a boy/man, it does not feel right to call her a trans woman.

“Male assigned at birth” is indeed more or less just a fancy way of saying “this person was raised as a boy.” However, in the case you mentioned, I don’t think she would be considered a trans woman because the term “male assigned at birth” really is referring to someone’s birth sex being “male,” but it’s just not usually considered accurate to say a trans woman “used to be a boy.” Hence we say a trans woman was assigned the male gender to express that the way she presented when she was younger was inconsistent with her actual identity. The case you mentioned sounds a lot more like that of David Reimer, who was raised as a girl after his genitals were accidentally ruined in an attempt to give him a circumcision. He experienced a great deal of trauma and pain from being forced into such a life without his knowledge, and the fact that he still insisted on being a boy is often cited as proof that gender is innate and not learned from society. He is not considered trans, but his case does offer some substance to the validity of trans people.

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39 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

that people regarded her as a boy/man (male = the gender she was assigned to at birth), it does not feel right to call her a trans woman.

The case of Mary Read isn't the norm, gender assigned at birth/assigned gender is a modern term that references the frequent modern concept of a doctor declaring a child's gender at birth, the parents agreeing with it, and then the child being raised as such. There can be another distinction made for children who are assigned intersex, and a few years past birth through means of surgery and other medical procedures are made to more closely align with one of the biological sexes. 

 

I see a few people mentioned children being unisexed - there is plenty of research that shows how children relate to gender and have some kind of understanding of it. This more recent study is small, but looks at how transgender children (having socially transitioned) perceive gender in comparison to their cisgender counterparts.Trans girls and cis girls held similar gendered preferences (Barbies and the color pink, essentially), and the same for trans boys and cis boys. I had a hard time finding studies that weren't behind pay-walls but I recommend looking into "gender constancy in children" and "gender preference in children" if you want to learn more. TLDR whatever gender is, people seem to connect to it pretty early and find it meaningful in their interactions, no matter how socially constructed certain aspects of it are. 

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18 hours ago, treepod said:

But at its most basic level, being trans is about being uncomfortable with people perceiving you as the gender assigned to you at birth

Hm, not so sure about that. Some trans peoples are perfectly fine with it, it don't bother them. They are not less trans.

 

It's about being a different gender than the one assigned to you at birth. Simple. (yes, even non binary peoples who partially identify as such )

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Cristal Gris said:

Hm, not so sure about that. Some trans peoples are perfectly fine with it, it don't bother them. They are not less trans.

 

It's about being a different gender than the one assigned to you at birth. Simple. (yes, even non binary peoples who partially identify as such )

 

 

That’s where the “and/or” and the second part of the statement (which you cut off) came in. I was trying to cover all the bases of different ways people know they’re trans, but it’s kinda hard to do without being long winded 

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32 minutes ago, treepod said:

That’s where the “and/or” and the second part of the statement (which you cut off) came in. I was trying to cover all the bases of different ways people know they’re trans, but it’s kinda hard to do without being long winded 

Alright

 

19 hours ago, treepod said:

and/or knowing on some ineffable level that you are a man/a woman/non-binary and that being perceived as such makes you content

It's still inaccurate. Some trans peoples don't give a shit about how they are perceived.

 

19 hours ago, treepod said:

I don’t speak for the trans community of course (no one does) but hopefully that helps you grasp the difference.

That, however, is right. And I (a trans person ) would suggest you to use that definition : "a person who don't Identity as their assigned gender at birth" . It's simple and inclusive.

 

Unless other trans peoples have an objection of course.

 

[edit : and when i say "objection" , i am talking about wording or something i may have overlooked. This is not an invitation to erase some  trans peoples ]

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38 minutes ago, Cristal Gris said:

a person who don't Identity as their assigned gender at birth

My only critique would be to slightly expand this to read “a person who doesn’t completely and exclusively identify as their assigned gender at birth”, to make it clear that (for example) bigender people who ID as both a boy and a girl and afab demigirls can ID as trans. 

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15 minutes ago, raavenb2619 said:

My only critique would be to slightly expand this to read “a person who doesn’t completely and exclusively identify as their assigned gender at birth”, to make it clear that (for example) bigender people who ID as both a boy and a girl and afab demigirls can ID as trans

Good point. I included them, but i realize it was not clear.

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