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Author Topic: WCDT: 2500-2504 (29 July- August 2, 2013) Weekly Comic Discussion Thread  (Read 83325 times)

wiserd

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He was comparing her to other inmates, I don't think he was saying that made her "less female".

He was suggesting that her non-conformity could be explained by viewing her relative to a different baseline.

I.E.
"Why are the the astronaut's bones more brittle than usual?" "That's normal for someone who has been in space so long."
"Why is Johnny so violent?" "That's common among kids that have been abused."
"Why is Jenny's hair blonde?" "That's normal for people from Sweden."

Etc.
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If 1 and 2 are true, it seems fair to question what is causing the outlier.
You questioned May's femininity because it didn't fit your model, instead of questioning whether your model of femininity is accurate. Why is this important? Because this way of thinking lies at the heart of sexism.

I am good at maths. From time to time, when I demonstrate this, I get patronising sexist jokes about having a "boy brain" (because "girls suck at maths, amirite?"). The tone of such jokes is often patronisingly positive, as if I should be grateful for being "upgraded" to the status of an honorary man. I am not a boy, so I can't have a boy-brain. I am a woman, so nothing I do can be unfeminine. Some of the things I do might not fit some stereotyped, sexist models of femininity, but that reflects on the models, and the people who adopt them, not on me.
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I am good at maths. From time to time, when I demonstrate this, I get patronising sexist jokes about having a "boy brain" (because "girls suck at maths, amirite?"). The tone of such jokes is often patronisingly positive, as if I should be grateful for being "upgraded" to the status of an honorary man. I am not a boy, so I can't have a boy-brain. I am a woman, so nothing I do can be unfeminine. Some of the things I do might not fit some stereotyped, sexist models of femininity, but that reflects on the models, and the people who adopt them, not on me.

"Cis folks - If you think "passing" is the highest compliment, if you think "I would have never known" are words of praise, I have news."

Yeah, it can be pretty sick how non-marginalized people think of others.
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wiserd

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I never claimed that the AIs were 'less than' anything.

You literally said "where the AIs are concerned" as if something inherently sexist and inappropriate was suddenly fine just because these people aren't human.

You seem to be (repeatedly) associating "being different" with "being inferior." I'm not.
Since clarification doesn't prevent you from making this assumption, I don't see how we can have a productive conversation on that point.

You're going to read what you choose to read, regardless of what I write.

I said; "Thus, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to play "one of these things is not like the other" where the AIs are concerned." 

Do you think that May's behavior is normative for the AIs we've seen so far?

Also, by what standard are you suddenly the arbiter of what's appropriate? This is fantastically presumptuous.

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Also QC isn't in friggin' Victorian England

If you can understand how the example applies to England, you will be better able to understand how it applies to QC.
Fish have no word for water. (They have no word for anything, of course, but that's beside the point.)

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"and the very fact that you would consider her being, in your eyes, "male-like"

You're missing the point where other anthro-PCs (and humans, for that matter) have adopted characteristics which were sterotypically gendered, sometimes strongly so.

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It's also worth noting that talking about how "PC" something is.. is generally a huge red flag going up.

I'm not a big fan of people who try and assert dominance or win arguments via fashionable language. I'm sure it's a useful ego-defensive strategy, though. But it rarely moves a conversation forward. It basically boils down to 'conversations are only relevant if conducted in my chosen language.'

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Since when do you have an urgent need for a predictive model on whether some woman is "really a guy", then?

1. Are you deliberately not understanding out of defensiveness? The comic itself introduced the question in regards to May complaining about not having genitalia, introducing strongly gendered anthro-pcs, etc.
 
2. The notion of trans-sexuality itself asserts that sex is relevant to either cultural interactions or personal identity. Otherwise, why would someone undergo surgery to become transsexual in spite of the associated stigma?

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You are clearly just making excuses for cisnormative sexism.

You are clearly just looking for a way to put me in a category where you can invalidate everything I say rather than considering the content of the statements.

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"because people in your group tend towards X, it is correct to assume you are also X

Again, you are not quoting me here. If you want to quote me, get a literal quote. You are doing very badly with paraphrase.

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It is more or less identical to saying that because in the U.S. black people are disproportionately put in prison that you're therefore justified in treating all people of that group as criminals.

No, it is not. At all. However it would be possible to note that the tradition of sagging a person's pants comes from a disproportionate number of African Americans being in the prison system, with that tradition bleeding over into the pop culture. It would also be relevant and informative (though perhaps not acceptable to you) to note someone's association or disassociation with certain trends commonly associated with poorer, urban African American  culture, including sagging, rap, AAVE, and similar associations with the norms of one culture or another.
 
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Even if you believe that it's inevitable that women will statistically end up different in such ways, then that still doesn't at all account for the fact that 100% of female characters wouldn't be like May as things stand. This betrays that fundamental misunderstanding of statistics. If you really understood that then there's no reason for her to be out of place at all, even when thinking of women in such a way. But no, even when talking about "statistics" you none-the-less revert back to "None of the women I know".

First off, I've taken advanced statistics so your statement comes across as rather desperate.
Second, I've already explicitly acknowledged (some of) the limitations of my sample. It's not random in various ways. I don't claim to be doing a survey with error bars. People do make inferences based on their personal experiences, while hopefully noting the limitations of those experiences. You've certainly done the first regarding your 'red flag' comment, after all.  You're welcome to judge yourself by the same standards that you're trying to use to judge me.
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 17:39 by wiserd »
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wiserd

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If 1 and 2 are true, it seems fair to question what is causing the outlier.
You questioned May's femininity because it didn't fit your model, instead of questioning whether your model of femininity is accurate.

Asked and answered. You are repeating an assertion that I've already addressed. Please re-read what I've written. Thanks.

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Why is this important? Because this way of thinking lies at the heart of sexism.

I am good at maths. From time to time, when I demonstrate this, I get patronising sexist jokes about having a "boy brain" (because "girls suck at maths, amirite?"). The tone of such jokes is often patronisingly positive, as if I should be grateful for being "upgraded" to the status of an honorary man. I am not a boy, so I can't have a boy-brain. I am a woman, so nothing I do can be unfeminine. Some of the things I do might not fit some stereotyped, sexist models of femininity, but that reflects on the models, and the people who adopt them, not on me.

While I don't go out of my way to insult anyone, I care more about if a model is true or predictive than whether it is sexist or not. I've had friends say that we have to assume that men and women are identical because any difference will be used to justify male privilege. While I sympathize wholeheartedly with this appeal to consequences, it's still ultimately fallacious.  It's not going to lead me to embrace anything that I believe that evidence suggests is false.

I am absolutely and perpetually open to arguments that any of my beliefs are non-predictive. Use of words like 'sexism' too frequently are methods by which people discard their capacity to think rationally.

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I am a woman, so nothing I do can be unfeminine.

I'm not going to get into the particulars regarding the patronization you've encountered.  I'm sure you've suffered and I sympathize with that. You should be able to do whatever you like without harassment. But from a strictly theoretical standpoint I truly don't see why one (or a constellation) of your abilities couldn't possibly be unusual for women but common for men. I don't really care very much how this difference is expressed (and the cause of the discrepancy isn't really the issue), so long as such trends can still be rationally discussed without a particular conclusion being religiously required, a priori.
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 16:56 by wiserd »
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Method of Madness

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2. The notion of trans-sexuality itself asserts that sex is relevant to either cultural interactions or personal identity. Otherwise, why would someone undergo surgery to become transsexual in spite of the associated stigma?
You really, really need to read this thread.
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At what point during toasting does the product go from heated bread, to light, brown, and burnt toast?

Quote from: Piet Hein
There's an art of knowing when,
Never try to guess.
Toast until it smokes and then,
Twenty seconds less.

Is everyone comfortable with the statement that Dickmouth Stinkface's behavior is a remarkable outlier on the distribution of observed behavior among women in the cultures people here are familiar with? (Almost as if she weren't an actual person but just a comic strip parody?)

If her conduct were common among men (it isn't among the ones I know) then would it necessarily be bad to speculate about whether she was mis-assigned?
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wiserd

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2. The notion of trans-sexuality itself asserts that sex is relevant to either cultural interactions or personal identity. Otherwise, why would someone undergo surgery to become transsexual in spite of the associated stigma?
You really, really need to read this thread.

Happy to. Any chance you have 3 or 4 favorite pages out of the 26 that are particularly poignant? Because otherwise that's a stack of homework you've just assigned, and there is, unfortunately, some other stuff I need to get done...
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 18:12 by wiserd »
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The key point I would call to your attention is that people don't "become" transsexual.
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wiserd

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The key point I would call to your attention is that people don't "become" transsexual.

Fairly put. I misspoke. I should have said something along the lines of "The notion of trans-sexuality itself asserts that sex is relevant to either cultural interactions or personal identity. Otherwise, why would someone undergo gender reassignment surgery (or HRT)  in spite of the associated stigma?"
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 19:37 by wiserd »
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Start from the beginning, read as much as you can, but please don't talk about the matter until you do. There's really no way we could answer your question better than that thread could. For that matter, the thread will let you know how misguided the question itself is.
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wiserd

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Start from the beginning, read as much as you can, but please don't talk about the matter until you do. There's really no way we could answer your question better than that thread could. For that matter, the thread will let you know how misguided the question itself is.

I read 2 pages. Nothing was particularly new and the text wasn't at all information dense. I saw the notion of strong vs. weak associations with gender identity brought up a few times, but never really brought to much of a conclusion except that 'people are different.' Okay, sure. But that says nothing about average tendencies. If there's something specific you want me to see, please post the specific text and I'll happily read it. In the meantime, I'm going to go back to having as much of an opinion as anyone else on this forum. And if that's unreasonable somehow, by all means, feel free to explain why. "Don't have an opinion till you've read the phone book" isn't something most folks would go for.

Best
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 21:01 by wiserd »
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Valdís

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The notion of trans-sexuality itself asserts that sex is relevant to either cultural interactions or personal identity. Otherwise, why would someone undergo surgery to become transsexual in spite of the associated stigma?
Fairly put. I misspoke. I should have said something along the lines of "Why would someone undergo gender reassignment surgery."

1) We are not a damn "notion", nor are we a political statement on gender roles. Stop treating us as such.

2) Sex is irrelevant. Surgery is irrelevant. Hormones are irrelevant. Being correctly read as female is irrelevant. I am a woman. I do not BUY my gender to meet the standards of others, I just am. Just like cis women.

3) Particular brain-mapping and structures associated with my gender do mean I feel better on correct hormones. The thoughts I have of surgery are largely as a result of damage done to me by testosterone poisoning in puberty etc., since those caused distinctive developments which my body would not have to endure if on the correct hormones from the start. In general it's a matter of making changes for a body you're more comfortable with as yourself.

This includes both people like me, who think about different genitalia quite a bit, and our siblings who decide it isn't for them. The latter can for example be because of not thinking it's good enough yet (personally I'd want buccal cells in use or such) or because it simply isn't part of their brain-mapping. If it isn't then it could be a big mistake to feel you have to do it anyway - and there is a lot of pressure on trans people to - since they're just women who happen to have penises or men who happen to have vaginas.

4) "Gender Reassignment Surgery" .. No. Just no. It has absolutely nothing to do with gender. It is genital reassignment. It only changes genitals. Which have nothing to do with what gender someone is. Nor are they some totality of "Sex", which is why I also oppose the use of 'SRS'. Especially with how shitty that non-distinction gets for non-Anglosphere people. We also don't "become" trans through surgery. We are.

5) "Cultural interactions" <- What is that even supposed to mean? It's due to our internal sense of self. Aside from those physical aspects of our own bodies to deal with the societal stuff is inflicted upon us. It is that "associated stigma" you mentioned. The systemic cissexism and cis supremacist attitudes, as well as internalizing them on our part. I'm not ashamed of being trans. It isn't something to be ashamed of. The very notion that it would be reeks of those very attitudes and I will have no part in it.

Sure, when someone misgenders me it hurts and it's something I'd seek to not have happen, but that doesn't mean conforming to any cisgender standards I would not personally feel comfortable with in the first place. Seeking approval from shitty cis people who don't respect me for who I am and want me to successfully "Hide away" my trans-ness is not something I am at all interested in.

There's a reason I said this earlier:

I am good at maths. From time to time, when I demonstrate this, I get patronising sexist jokes about having a "boy brain" (because "girls suck at maths, amirite?"). The tone of such jokes is often patronisingly positive, as if I should be grateful for being "upgraded" to the status of an honorary man. I am not a boy, so I can't have a boy-brain. I am a woman, so nothing I do can be unfeminine. Some of the things I do might not fit some stereotyped, sexist models of femininity, but that reflects on the models, and the people who adopt them, not on me.

"Cis folks - If you think "passing" is the highest compliment, if you think "I would have never known" are words of praise, I have news."

Yeah, it can be pretty sick how non-marginalized people think of others.

Saying I don't look "trans" is not a compliment. All it tells me is that the person has a fucked up denigrating view of what it means to be trans and that they think it's good to be invisible among cis people. On the other hand if they're non-shitty people, then saying it because I'd be a lot safer for not being easily visually identified as the group with the highest murder-victim rate around, which isn't so much complimenting me as it is pointing out how awful most people are and how I can't feel safe being myself.

It's nicer when people just say I'm pretty and leave it at that. :laugh:
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 20:42 by Valdís »
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Hail, thou who hast spoken! Hail, thou that knowest!
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Did people hear wiserd as meaning "She's so unladylike she can't be a REAL woman"?

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People are doing a good job at arguing without getting personal. Please keep it that way.
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« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 20:51 by Is it cold in here? »
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Akima

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But from a strictly theoretical standpoint I truly don't see why one (or a constellation) of your abilities couldn't possibly be unusual for women but common for men.
Even if that were true, it would still not make me a man, or reflect on my femininity except in other people's heads, and it certainly would not justify saying "Is it just me, or does Akima really not seem female?". That is the attitude of the "boy-brain" jokers. Regardless of disclaimers, there really isn't a good, or even neutral, way to tell any woman that she doesn't "seem female" based on anything about her, and I'm at a bit of a loss to understand any good reason for doing so.

I would argue that if a woman doesn't fit some model of "what women are", it reflects on the model, not on the woman. If the mismatch leads people to question the woman's status as a woman, it reflects on them, not on the woman. You appeal to the "predictive power" of your model, but I would ask why anyone needs a predictive model of what men and women are "really like" in any context other than biological or medical. Why do the "boy-brain" jokers need to predict my mathematical ability based on my sex? Why mention my sex at all, or deny my femaleness, when it is their model, and not I, that proved inadequate? Unless they are Eve-baiting sexist douchebags, that is.

Did people hear wiserd as meaning "She's so unladylike she can't be a REAL woman"?
Something along those lines, certainly. I am not sure what other conclusion I might have been expected to draw. As I have pointed out above, it is no different from saying "Akima is so good at maths, she can't be a REAL woman".
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wiserd

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1) We are not a damn "notion", nor are we a political statement on gender roles. Stop treating us as such.


I want you to be happy and comfortable, Valdis.

And I think this conversation has strayed a very long way from it's origin.

Every label is, in part, a category/construct/concept which attempts to have some predictive relevance to the material world.  Every publicly recognizable choice has social significance. I'm not giving anyone special treatment here. If you want me to not have any opinion about people's identities, you're welcome to return the favor and not have an opinion on anything anyone else says or does publicly. Ever. But nobody really manages that. The best we can really do is have opinions which are more-or-less accurate and compassionate.

I'm going to assume that a lot of what you've written isn't a response to me, because it doesn't seem related to what I've written. If it's just explaining your situation or venting, that's cool. But I want to correct any misunderstandings.

""Cultural interactions" <- What is that even supposed to mean? "

Gender identity ( or lack thereof ) involves intrapersonal and interpersonal interactions. (i.e. internal thoughts + doing stuff with other people.) I could have found a better term, but I've really spent far too much time on forums today, and haven't been proofreading what I write. (Obviously?) I can polish writing till it shines, but not on the fly.

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" It isn't something to be ashamed of.

I did not suggest trans-sexuality was something to be ashamed of. Can I assume you agree? I simply noted that people payed a high price in one way or another for expressing trans-identities. That's an expensive signal indicating that something is very important to them. You seem to agree... I think... 

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Saying I don't look "trans" is not a compliment.

Can we at least agree that this isn't a response to anything I've written? I'm not sure if you're venting a feeling on something unrelated to my post (all good if so) or if you've completely misunderstood what I've said and I need to correct the misinterpretation.
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Method of Madness

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I could be wrong (and Valdis already said it well, I thought), but it's not about expressing identity. It's about being who you are and feeling comfortable in your own skin. If one has to alter their body so their outside matches how they feel on the inside, then so be it.
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So far I don't like May. I think her character is designed to be that way. I bet she has some deeper rooted issues that she keeps hidden, covered up with the prickly coat that is her personality.

I can't say May is acting unladylike, as much as she is just being an ass. There are rude, unkind, and annoying people, and although experiences in their individual gender roles may affect their personalities, appearing more male or female does not do a great job of determining personality.

Just because she appears female doesn't mean she fits into any or all female stereotypes, just as Claire being trans makes no implications about her sexual preference, as it's only her form.

Maybe May's not actually female, or maybe she's been forced to believe she is, but none of that seems to matter as much as her wacky personality.
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wiserd

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But from a strictly theoretical standpoint I truly don't see why one (or a constellation) of your abilities couldn't possibly be unusual for women but common for men.
Even if that were true, it would still not make me a man, or reflect on my femininity except in other people's heads, and it certainly would not justify saying "Is it just me, or does Akima really not seem female?". That is the attitude of the "boy-brain" jokers. Regardless of disclaimers, there really isn't a good, or even neutral, way to tell any woman that she doesn't "seem female" based on anything about her, and I'm at a bit of a loss to understand any good reason for doing so.

Okay, just to be clear...
1. I didn't TELL anyone anything. I was discussing a character. There's a difference between not being able to say something to a person and not being allowed to think it about anyone.
2. Femininity is typically different from being biologically female. I can talk about feminine males and masculine females and people would know what I was talking about. They might consider what I said discourteous or obscene, but they probably wouldn't be outright confused. Heck, I bet if you did a motion capture of an individual you could tell their sex +50% of the time (especially within a culture), just from gestures and body language. College majors aren't divided evenly by gender, either.
3. What can be said directly to a person depends a lot on the person. I've dated girls who didn't mind calling themselves tomboys. (That's often been my preference. I love a girl who knows how to use a rapier and I'm not fond of shopping in groups as many women do.) My wife says she tends to be more masculine than most women in terms of her interests and doesn't really identify much with a particular gender, except that she wants kids. Gender identification describes a broad constellation of her behaviors and helps me understand her and others better. I've dated more than one woman with PCOS, her inclusive. PCOS involves having an elevated level of male hormones. This reinforces to me the notion that my sexual preferences have some kind of biological correlate related to a certain degree and type of masculinity (more masculine than most women, but less masculine than most men) but to female sex.

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I would argue that if a woman doesn't fit some model of "what women are", it reflects on the model, not on the woman.

At this point, we're repeating ourselves, so maybe this discussion won't be productive even with one more spin around the merry-go-round. But why isn't it possible for a particular behavior to be unusual for a woman but usual for a man? Why isn't it possible for the long tail of one bell curve to correspond to the median of another?

I mean, most dogs play fetch. Most cats don't. A friend of mine has a cat that likes to play fetch and is friendly. We joke that the cat is doglike or "is a dog." It's obviously a cat. Nobody questions the cat's status 'as a cat.'  But the comment succinctly expresses an idea; the cat is closer to a behavioral norm of a different species, in some way, than its own species.

The issue becomes even more difficult when behavior doesn't have a clear biological basis but norms associated with biologically influenced behavior seem to still exist, such as with AI.

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You appeal to the "predictive power" of your model, but I would ask why anyone needs a predictive model of what men and women are "really like" in any context other than biological or medical.

People interact socially, and some behaviors are clustered.

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Why do the "boy-brain" jokers need to predict my mathematical ability based on my sex?

I'm not here to explain their motivations. Their motivations are subjective and obscure to me. For all I know, they could be expressing pent up frustration that their girlfriends and wives aren't interested in their work. However some traits tend to cluster, so if you had several stereotypical male interests that might indicate other traits ( increased aspergers tendencies relative to females, decreased verbosity, increased likelihood of PCOS or elevated androgens, etc.)  At least it could allow succinct expression of those traits metaphorically (i.e. "That man acts like a puppy. I know he's NOT a puppy. But he acts puppy-like") even if there was no underlying biological correlate.

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Why mention my sex at all, or deny my femaleness, when it is their model, and not I, that proved inadequate? Unless they are Eve-baiting sexist douchebags, that is.

Unless I've misread what you've written or you've left things out it doesn't seem like they were calling you "inadequate" in any way.

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Did people hear wiserd as meaning "She's so unladylike she can't be a REAL woman"?
Something along those lines, certainly. I am not sure what other conclusion I might have been expected to draw. As I have pointed out above, it is no different from saying "Akima is so good at maths, she can't be a REAL woman".

You've misunderstood me, then. My point, simply put, is; "behavior which violates social norms is likely to be significant."

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That is the attitude of the "boy-brain" jokers.

Yeah, as a guy this happens to me all the time with female coworkers as well... no, wait. It doesn't. It does sound a little like May, though. Doncha think?

« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2013, 01:50 by wiserd »
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Come to think of it, Dickmouth Stinkface is not much of an outlier among females in the QC universe. She has never expressed a desire to commit murder and is cleaner in her speech than Harriet.

Yes, everyone knows what is meant by saying a cat is a little dog-like, but that's a much more emotionally neutral statement than one involving groups with a history of vicious oppression.

EDIT:
DS has never specified a gender assignment, and is so routinely dishonest we might not believe it anyway. All we know for sure within the strip is the holographic presentation, and we know DS detests that. Outside the strip, Jeph said "she" in a news post, so I guess we should take that as definitive and move on.
« Last Edit: 06 Aug 2013, 23:34 by Is it cold in here? »
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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Valdís

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Every publicly recognizable choice has social significance.

I didn't "choose" my gender. I am my gender.

What other people thought I was at the time means nothing. Telling them they were wrong in their presumption isn't me choosing another gender. Not any more than someone "chooses to become homosexual" when they come out of the closet. No, you just know something new about them that was already the case before they told you.

Gender identity ( or lack thereof ) involves intrapersonal and interpersonal interactions. (i.e. internal thoughts + doing stuff with other people.) I could have found a better term, but I've really spent far too much time on forums today, and haven't been proofreading what I write. (Obviously?) I can polish writing till it shines, but not on the fly.

Gender expression is not the same thing as the gender itself, nor are we at all "asserting that the sex of a person is important" (the exact opposite in most circumstances other than the brain-mapping). Being recognized as who you are is what's important. Categorizing people based on guesses about what stereotypes one perceives to apply to their gender is not. The latter is in conflict with the former.

I'm going to assume that a lot of what you've written isn't a response to me, because it doesn't seem related to what I've written. If it's just explaining your situation or venting, that's cool. But I want to correct any misunderstandings.
/.../
I did not suggest trans-sexuality was something to be ashamed of. Can I assume you agree?
/.../
Can we at least agree that this isn't a response to anything I've written? I'm not sure if you're venting a feeling on something unrelated to my post (all good if so) or if you've completely misunderstood what I've said and I need to correct the misinterpretation.

It wasn't all intended to be, no, even if a lot of it was meant to address specific things in your post. In some sections I was speaking in general regarding those systemic and often unknowingly internalized attitudes.

Hopefully it helps to clear some things about transgender folk up, though, prior to digging through the like 40 pages of our two Discuss threads.

I simply noted that people payed a high price in one way or another for expressing trans-identities. That's an expensive signal indicating that something is very important to them. You seem to agree... I think... 

Yes, being who you are is important, especially when forced into being something you are not, and being who you are should not ever make people feel entitled to doubt that aspect of yourself in lieu of actual information from the person. I see no difference in what you're doing with May's personality traits to sniggering behind my back about whether I "really seem like a girl" or not. It isn't a game.
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Since when do you have an urgent need for a predictive model on whether some woman is "really a guy", then?

You are clearly just making excuses for cisnormative sexism. Statistical differences between particular genders are utterly irrelevant as to whether or not you're justified in that kind of shitty gender-policing behaviour. Having your preexisting biases "informed" by people's gender and that "because people in your group tend towards X, it is correct to assume you are also X". It is more or less identical to saying that because in the U.S. black people are disproportionately put in prison that you're therefore justified in treating all people of that group as criminals. That clearly isn't true.

Even if you believe that it's inevitable that women will statistically end up different in such ways, then that still doesn't at all account for the fact that 100% of female characters wouldn't be like May as things stand. This betrays that fundamental misunderstanding of statistics. If you really understood that then there's no reason for her to be out of place at all, even when thinking of women in such a way. But no, even when talking about "statistics" you none-the-less revert back to "None of the women I know".

I've had a similar argument with two friends lately. They were very quick to categorize people, kinda like "they're German" or "they're gay" and attributing behaviors and mannerisms to such groups. It's easier to think that way, sure, but if you only see people as the category they fulfill, you'll never give them a chance of showing who they really are.

Is it cold in here?

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I see no difference in what you're doing with May's personality traits to sniggering behind my back about whether I "really seem like a girl" or not. It isn't a game.

A key difference is that we actually know you're a woman because we've had an honest self-report from you. We haven't had a self-report from Dickmouth Stinkface. So we can only guess from the elements of DS's presentation that DS actually controls. That doesn't include the avatar.

Oh, wait, it's all hanging together now. They've finally figured out how to upload humans and Harriet was the first test subject. FSM help us when they vasten Yelling Bird.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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Valdís

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It isn't an okay thing for strangers to do either, Cold.
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I see no difference in what you're doing with May's personality traits to sniggering behind my back about whether I "really seem like a girl" or not. It isn't a game.

The difference, first and foremost, is in the utter lack of sniggering. I am not pushing anyone down to push myself up. I am not affirming my identity by deriding an outgroup. I am not promoting normative values. I AM saying if someone (a fictional character in this case) violates social norms it's worthwhile to ask what those violations signify about them. Because that tends to be relevant information.

This still seems entirely functional to me.

« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2013, 01:59 by wiserd »
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Is it cold in here?

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The social norms of the QC universe seem to be more elastic than ours. The Pugnacious Peach hasn't been fired, for example.

We'll have a more accurate read on DS's personality once she's recovered from jail. Right now we don't have firm ground for any conclusions beyond what's in canon. For all we know everything she's displayed is just part of the 'tude you have to project to survive in robo-prison.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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But why isn't it possible for a particular behavior to be unusual for a woman but usual for a man? Why isn't it possible for the long tail of one bell curve to correspond to the median of another?
A woman who is on the "long tail of one bell curve" does not cease to be a woman; she is simply an exceptional woman. A model that cannot accommodate exceptional women is a bad model, and certainly does not justify questioning their status as women.

I am not promoting normative values.
I think you are, and pretty explicitly too, where you are referring to bell-curves, and medians and long tails as relevant to judgements of women's behaviour, interests, talents and so on. You've even written "My point, simply put, is; "behavior which violates social norms is likely to be significant."" I really don't think you can reference social norms as important or decisive, especially using loaded terms like "violates" to describe departures from those norms, without promoting normative values.

Unless I've misread what you've written or you've left things out it doesn't seem like they were calling you "inadequate" in any way.
They explain away my competence by declaring that I must have a "boy-brain", rather than accepting that it is their sexist attitude, their apparent expectation of my poor performance, that is at fault. Their belief that a woman is inadequate is revealed by the fact that they "upgrade" me to an honorary man to explain to themselves how I managed to exceed their low expectations. It is very telling too, that they seem to expect me to regard this "upgrade" as a compliment, rather than the patronising insult that it actually is. Their behaviour is comparable to a group of white engineers telling a black engineer who had just solved a tricky problem that he had a "white brain", and expecting him to be complimented.
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A data point on the long tail of one bell curve but in the mode of another, _in the absence of other data_, is more likely to belong to the population described by the second curve.

Akima would of course still be a woman if she were 6'8" tall, but if all you know is that someone's 6'8", the logical guess is clear.

What's not clear is why someone should care, and why they shouldn't simply ask, if there's some reason the difference is important.

It is more than a little adventurous to draw conclusions about what female AIs are like from the three examples we've seen, though. Reasoning from bell curves is not a good tool for overanalyzing a comic, since entertainment value requires making new characters different from the existing ones.

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wiserd

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A woman who is on the "long tail of one bell curve" does not cease to be a woman; she is simply an exceptional woman. A model that cannot accommodate exceptional women is a bad model, and certainly does not justify questioning their status as women.

You are misrepresenting what I've written. Continually. When you can accurately paraphrase my expressed views, I'll be happy to continue the discussion. Before that happens, further response is likely wasted effort. I really don't want to discuss your coworkers motivations, which are obscure to me, but even they weren't questioning your biological sex. As for whether "Male" is an acceptable substitute for "masculine," it's not if we're to split hairs. But I'm skeptical whether you would have accepted the notion that you might have a masculinized brain, or masculine interests, but female sex. Feel free to correct me if that would have been acceptable to you.

You have claimed I said that May cannot be female because of how she acted. I have not claimed this. I do think her behavior is anomalous, particularly for her (chosen?) sex. Antisocial personality disorder is not evenly distributed among genders.

And to bring this conversation closer to the original track; what about AI? I am not saying that any character cannot be a particular sex (to the extent that even applies to a machine.) I am saying that if an AI were of sterotypically masculine behavior but apparent female sexual presentation that this is noteworthy in understanding the character. 

I am not promoting normative values.
I think you are, and pretty explicitly too, where you are referring to bell-curves, and medians and long tails as relevant to judgements of women's behaviour, interests, talents and so on. You've even written "My point, simply put, is; "behavior which violates social norms is likely to be significant."" I really don't think you can reference social norms as important or decisive, especially using loaded terms like "violates" to describe departures from those norms, without promoting normative values.

You seem to be saying that I can't acknowledge that social norms exist without supporting the existence of those norms? Really? So a person who says that the South was segregated by Jim Crow laws is supporting Jim Crow? A person who notes that men have, on average, more muscle mass than women is inevitably asserting that all men SHOULD have more muscle mass? Or is out of line in wondering (though not conclusively stating on that evidence alone) if the East German Swim Team might have taken steroids because of their muscularity?  I'm simply not buying it.

I think that bell curves, medians and long tails are relevant to understanding ANYONE'S behavior. Not women exclusively.

I believe that I can think about violating norms without promoting those norms. I won't speak for what other people are capable of. Though this seems like another example of picking at semantics to try and disregard someone else's view. You can substitute 'transgress' for 'violates' if that works better for you.  If it's my phrasing you object to, is there some rephrasing of my statement using less 'loaded terms' that you would accept?

Unless I've misread what you've written or you've left things out it doesn't seem like they were calling you "inadequate" in any way.
They explain away my competence by declaring that I must have a "boy-brain", rather than accepting that it is their sexist attitude, their apparent expectation of my poor performance, that is at fault. Their belief that a woman is inadequate is revealed by the fact that they "upgrade" me to an honorary man to explain to themselves how I managed to exceed their low expectations. It is very telling too, that they seem to expect me to regard this "upgrade" as a compliment, rather than the patronising insult that it actually is. Their behavior is comparable to a group of white engineers telling a black engineer who had just solved a tricky problem that he had a "white brain", and expecting him to be complimented.

This explains why you find what they said offensive. It does not explain why you believed they were calling you "inadequate." They did not explain away your competence. They clearly recognized that you were competent.  You've said that a model should accommodate exceptional results. But I'm skeptical that you would have been much more approving of their comments if they had called you "exceptional" and then added "for a woman." I could be wrong, but I suspect that it is their belief that men are (biologically) better, on average, at some particular task than women, on average, that offends you. If there's some phrasing of this belief that you would find palatable, feel free to put it forward.

I'd rather not engage the particulars of your experience. I don't know your coworkers. I'm not here to justify their beliefs. I personally suspect that the disparity between women and men on technical issues, to the limited extent it exists in American culture, is primarily a matter of motivation rather than capacity. I think this motivation may have a partly biological basis, that might be counteracted socially if it needs to be.  But if the result of this discussion is that I'm supposed to believe that women and men within a given culture are identical in every regard, irrespective of any evidence, then I'm simply not buying in. Call me whatever names you want to associate me with your chosen outgroup.

There are biological differences between average male and female brains in addition to culturally promoted male and female gender roles. Such differences are likely dwarfed by cultural influences, but they can be demonstrated to exist. And while both women and men have, say, Testosterone and DHT their effects are commonly called masculinizing, because they are associated with male primary and secondary sexual characteristics.  I object to any social paradigm where male and female differences and their basis cannot be courteously discussed. Because it basically amounts to someone saying "well, these topics, we just aren't allowed to THINK about..."


<mod>Edited to display quoting correctly</mod>
« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2013, 13:08 by pwhodges »
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I object to any social paradigm where male and female differences and their basis cannot be courteously discussed. Because it basically amounts to someone saying "well, these topics, we just aren't allowed to THINK about..."

Sometimes, though, in order to discuss something in a useful way, a degree of care in expression and even exact choice of subjects which you might argue to be beyond necessity is in fact the best way to go.

It may not be easy to do, I admit, and it's certainly not easy to umpire!

Reasoning from bell curves is not a good tool for overanalyzing a comic, since entertainment value requires making new characters different from the existing ones.

Indeed - one of the first things to grasp in statistics is that it is all about populations, and never about individuals (this is where I just can't get along with Asimov's Foundation series in the end).
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Psychohistory was'nt perfect

After all, it never predicted The Mule.
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A person who notes that men have, on average, more muscle mass than women is inevitably asserting that all men SHOULD have more muscle mass?

Y'know, come to think of it.. Is it just me or does Marten really not seem male? I mean, we all know actual men have more muscle mass, so my predictive model suggest that some skinny indie person is probably actually female.

I mean, sure, I guess Marten might be male, but according to my gender constructs it doesn't seem unreasonable to play "One of these things is not like the other!" as far as their gender is concerned! Clearly there has to be some statement involved in choosing to violate what I think is consistently the case for all the males I happen to know!

Thus if we want to "seem female", then we should adhere to your biased personal experience of "How women are".

This explains why you find what they said offensive. It does not explain why you believed they were calling you "inadequate." They did not explain away your competence. They clearly recognized that you were competent.  You've said that a model should accommodate exceptional results. But I'm skeptical that you would have been much more approving of their comments if they had called you "exceptional" and then added "for a woman." I could be wrong, but I suspect that it is their belief that men are (biologically) better, on average, at some particular task than women, on average, that offends you. If there's some phrasing of this belief that you would find palatable, feel free to put it forward.

It has nothing to do with denying statistics or anything. The issue lies in reducing her as a person with their sexist nonsense and how her being a woman is supposedly some "handicap", because she was supposed to be dumb. It is inherently insulting, just as how it isn't a compliment to say "you're passable [as cisgender]" as a synonym for being pretty. It shows their fundamental problem with what someone is. But I'm not cis, I'm trans. Akima is not a man, she's a woman. Some white heterosexual cisgender man looking down on other people, but admitting that "I guess you're alright.. for one of them." is insufferable privileged bullshit.

You don't need to tell me I "don't look trans" to tell me I'm pretty.

You don't need to tell Akima that she "doesn't seem female" to tell her she's intelligent.

These things only betray what oppressive, normative attitudes the person already holds which do not take into account that "trans =/= ugly" or "woman =/= stupid". Although I can guarantee that as a predictive model any given trans person someone doesn't find "pretty enough" is certainly a better, more beautiful person than the one saying it will ever be. Same goes for intelligence.

Guess what! You're right! Both immediately attacking her very existence as a woman and condescendingly patting her on the head as their inferior is unacceptable offensive bullshit! So don't do that, then. It's not like it's hard. Even if it might mean not playing your little games pointing at people and making uninformed judgments about who they are based on your preexisting biases. Hm.. I could've sworn there's a word for that..

But if the result of this discussion is that I'm supposed to believe that women and men within a given culture are identical in every regard, irrespective of any evidence, then I'm simply not buying in. Call me whatever names you want to associate me with your chosen outgroup. /.../

I object to any social paradigm where male and female differences and their basis cannot be courteously discussed. Because it basically amounts to someone saying "well, these topics, we just aren't allowed to THINK about..."

Except that statements like these are a derailment from the original thing you said. It isn't "Women" or "Men" as a whole, it is particular women or men that yes, could entirely be the same personality without losing their gender. You said a character "doesn't seem female" and went on to talk about how none of the women you know behave like that, therefore it is nonsensical for there to be a woman who does. That it warrants extra scrutiny for falling outside of your norms (but apparently you're not being normative about it). Seeming "female" is being a woman. That doesn't require adherence to any stereotypes you happen to have about what that entails. It is distinct and separate - and statistical correlations are not determinants.

And stop trying to play the "Those damn marginalized people are trying to censor my opinions and free speech AND EVEN MY VERY THOUGHTS :cry: " card. It's just inane and transparent. Classic diversion tactic to not actually have to consider other points of view. Someone saying they don't agree with you - or even thinking you're saying shitty things - does not equate to censorship. People don't have an unalienable right to be liked.

associated with male primary and secondary sexual characteristics.

If one presupposes that such traits belong in such categories in the first place. Which I do not. That's just more commonly the case for most of the population. If for instance a trans woman who is comfortable with her genitalia doesn't have genital reassignment surgery... then those are her genitals, consistent with her brain-mapping as a woman, not male ones.
« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2013, 15:06 by Valdís »
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Asimov was trying to debunk the "Great Man" theory of history, but that caused him to swerve into predestination. The mathematics of chaos theory hadn't been invented when Asimov started writing Foundation, so I'm inclined to forgive him for not taking it into account.

Warning - while you were typing the tides of history washed over you. You may wish to find a flotation device.
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wiserd

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Quote
It may not be easy to do, I admit, and it's certainly not easy to umpire!

I do not envy you your task.

Reasoning from bell curves is not a good tool for overanalyzing a comic, since entertainment value requires making new characters different from the existing ones.
Indeed - one of the first things to grasp in statistics is that it is all about populations, and never about individuals (this is where I just can't get along with Asimov's Foundation series in the end).
What is a good tool for over analyzing a comic? Because apparently that's what I do. :-p

(Fixed the quote. -Method)
« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2013, 14:57 by Method of Madness »
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It may not be easy to do, I admit, and it's certainly not easy to umpire!

Maybe all sides could agree to call the game on account of darkness.
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Y'know, come to think of it.. Is it just me or does Marten really not seem male?

I assume that that's kindof a throwaway line or mockery. But I'll engage it as a sincere attempt to model my beliefs. 

First, there are a lot of men with low muscle mass. Martin is not an outlier in this regard. People with unusually high lean muscle mass tend strongly to be men, or have taken steroids, or have some other trait which explains their being on the long tail. Usually.

Second, Martin seems on the tall end, which, probabalistically, favors cis-male-ness in the average human.

But there are lots of other things.... waking up at 40 with nothing to show for it tends slightly towards a more masculine experience of time than feminine. Being as calm as Martin is doesn't suggest a particular conflict with social norms. I don't get the feeling that Martin is particularly defensive, recovering from anything, dealing with any major crisis either internal or external, etc.

None of these are conclusive even in a constellation, of course. But they explain why I don't have any real reason to think Martin has anything particularly big bubbling beneath the surface of his persona.  (Despite his family situation.)

Quote
Thus if we want to "seem female", then we should adhere to your biased personal experience of "How women are".

Please note that I never said anything about what someone "wanted to seem." That is a whole new kettle of worms (Bigger than a can. And even worse, we're out of fish)  that you are opening, not me.

If you want to seem feminine to me, then you should act according to my notions of femininity. Sure. But why on earth should you care whether you seem feminine to me? Honestly? Further, I suspect that I don't place nearly the weight on femininity or masculinity that some do. These are merely models used to predict people's behavior. Whether I think a woman is feminine or a guy is masculine has absolutely nothing to do with my affinity for them or whether I think they're a likable person. (Okay, I tend to not get along with really sterotypically hyper-macho and hyper-feminine people. But that's beside the point.)

Quote
The issue lies in reducing her as a person with their sexist nonsense and how her being a woman is supposedly some "handicap", because she was supposed to be dumb.

Yes. Well, I can't say that they expected her to be dumb in general based only on what she told us. I got a very narrow slice. But they seem to have expected her to be bad at math because of her gender or sex. They didn't claim that being female was a handicap for her, personally.  They did acknowledge her competence, it seems. She feels insulted because she feels her coworkers insulted a group she belonged to and identified with and suggested that such group identification was somehow (she feels, at least) incompatible with her abilities. In any case, it entirely ignores the question of whether there really are certain traits which correlate with an affinity for math.

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just as how it isn't a compliment to say "you're passable [as cisgender]" as a synonym for being pretty.

I assume you mean because it's damning with faint praise.  Kindof like "you won't completely bomb the test."

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These things only betray what oppressive, normative attitudes the person already holds which do not take into account that "trans =/= ugly" or "woman =/= stupid".

Just to be clear, this is not a response to any attitude I hold. I know that mathematicians often take a problem and convert it to a solved problem, then solve it. I halfway feel like some people on this board have pegged me as an enemy and then decided that my statements should be converted somehow into statements similar to those of known enemies so that they can thereby be dismissed. It's the whole 'converting my statements into things I didn't say' which aggravates me.

Quote
You said a character "doesn't seem female" and went on to talk about how none of the women you know behave like that, therefore it is nonsensical for there to be a woman who does.

Where are you getting the " therefore it is nonsensical for there to be a woman who does." Please quote the line.

Hint: I didn't say that. The first part, sure. The second part? No, you're making that up.

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That it warrants extra scrutiny for falling outside of your norms (but apparently you're not being normative about it)

Yes. Put in more mundane terms; unusual is not the same as bad. Why is this so confusing? Do you associate conformity with being good?

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and statistical correlations are not determinants.

Never once said they were. Quite the opposite. Multiple times. Who are you arguing with?


Quote
And stop trying to play the "Those damn marginalized people are trying to censor my opinions and free speech AND EVEN MY VERY THOUGHTS :cry: " card.

If you tell me one more time that my beliefs are a game, I will tell you that your beliefs are a game. I suspect you will take it
much worse than I have. Consider treating others as you would like to be treated. Being "marginalized" does not excuse you from that. 

If you want to tell me that you're okay with whatever I say and whatever I think, so long as it's based on evidence and some measure of compassion, by all means say that. Or, if you're not okay with that then... hey, if the shoe fits don't complain about being asked to wear it.

Quote
People don't have an unalienable right to be liked.

I never said I cared strongly if anyone liked me. Just the opposite. I said I'd rather believe what I think is true, but that I was amenable to persuasion that my beliefs were untrue. What I object to is an argument of the form "If you believe X then we will not like you, so you should not believe x." People try that sometimes. It doesn't work so well with me. But I'm open to persuasion, all the same.
Quote
associated with male primary and secondary sexual characteristics.

If one presupposes that such traits belong in such categories in the first place. Which I do not. That's just more commonly the case for most of the population. If for instance a trans woman who is comfortable with her genitalia doesn't have genital reassignment surgery... then those are her genitals, consistent with her brain-mapping as a woman, not male ones.

Yes, it's a model that works for most of the population. And when it's not the case, there's usually a reason for it. Someone with normal testosterone but stereotypically feminine features may be androgen insensitive. So we start with a typical case and then ask why a particular subject diverges from it. And the result is a working mental model.

 
« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2013, 21:53 by wiserd »
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It may not be easy to do, I admit, and it's certainly not easy to umpire!

Maybe all sides could agree to call the game on account of darkness.

Sounds good to me.
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GarandMarine

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Every now and then, the left half of your brain looks at the right half of your brain and says "It's dark in here, and we may die"
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I built the walls that make my life a prison, I built them all and cannot be forgiven... ...Sold my soul to carry your vendetta, So let me go before you can regret it, You've made your choice and now it's come to this, But that's price you pay when you're a monster with no name.

Is it cold in here?

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This is going in circles and not visibly promoting understanding.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
Quote from: an unnamed minister's sermon
In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

Carl-E

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Start from the beginning, read as much as you can, but please don't talk about the matter until you do. There's really no way we could answer your question better than that thread could. For that matter, the thread will let you know how misguided the question itself is.

I read 2 pages. Nothing was particularly new and the text wasn't at all information dense. I saw the notion of strong vs. weak associations with gender identity brought up a few times, but never really brought to much of a conclusion except that 'people are different.' Okay, sure. But that says nothing about average tendencies. If there's something specific you want me to see, please post the specific text and I'll happily read it. In the meantime, I'm going to go back to having as much of an opinion as anyone else on this forum. And if that's unreasonable somehow, by all means, feel free to explain why. "Don't have an opinion till you've read the phone book" isn't something most folks would go for.

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I think you've missed the point.  Keep reading. 

Maybe then, you'll notice that your usage of language is only part of the problem, the other part being your assumptions about anything in human behaviour being "normative".  Yes, there are societal norms, but that's the main part of the problem. 

And you should probably read some of this thread, too.  The more information you're exposed too, the better. 


But you really need to shake yourself free of the notion that people are abusing your language usage, especially since you've had to apologize for "misspeaking" so often!  The speech isn't the problem - your clarifications have drawn the same reactions as the originals - the problem is the thinking behind the speech. 

Open your mind just a little further, and the light might have a chance to shine in. 



Boy, am I glad I've been to busy the last few days to really follow all this as-it-happened!
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When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

SageJiraiya

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Personally, I admit to having expectations of people who subscribe to a specific gender.
I think more people are heterosexual than homosexual.
I observe that most believe female homosexuality is more socially acceptable than male homosexuality.
For me personally, I find two girls more attractive than two guys, but I blame that on my heterosexual nature.
Even though I honestly expect men and women to act in specific ways, I see no problem if they do not.
Whether it's sexuality, marriage, clothing, piercings, or style of speech, people are entitled to act as they please as long as they do not harm anyone.

Raised by two gay moms, it was a little tough for me to not have a male role model. Even today I am more comfortable sexually and socially with women than men.
I knew a FTM guy in high school who was into girls. Does that mean all trans people are into the opposite sex of their desired gender? Of course not.

Although it's perfectly fine to love whomever you like, I do expect that a FTM trans person likes females while a MTF person likes males. I hold no judgement on people who don't meet this stereotype.

My parents NEVER wore dresses, but they also shaved regularly and maintained a feminine appearance. I also knew family friends who handled themselves in a much different manner, and although it wasn't what I was used to, I saw no problem in it.

I don't believe in equality.

I believe in equal opportunity.

That does not mean everyone gets the same thing. It means everyone gets what they need to be in the same place.

I believe women and men are inherently different. Their chromosomes differ between them, their hormones differ between them, and their libidos differ between them.

They are physically different beings, thus giving them the same things would not necessarily result in an even playing field.

Instead of modifying ourselves to fit the current baseline, we need to set a baseline and get everyone to it.

Men and women deserve equal opportunity, and although this is not a judgement on superiority of one sex over another, I think men are statistically more likely to succeed in this world. Especially white anglo-saxon protestant men.

I don't want the world to be this way, but it's what I observe and it's how it seems to stay.
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Cogito Ergo Sum, Amigo.

wiserd

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@sage - This seems like wisdom. I'm fine with multiple baselines according to the situation, though. Normal for an 80 year old man will not be normal for a 12 year old boy.
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wiserd

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But you really need to shake yourself free of the notion that people are abusing your language usage, especially since you've had to apologize for "misspeaking" so often!  The speech isn't the problem - your clarifications have drawn the same reactions as the originals - the problem is the thinking behind the speech. 

Open your mind just a little further, and the light might have a chance to shine in. 


I'll acknowledge that my phrasing could have been more accurate in some places, given more time to revise and proofread. But internet fora are what they are.

The thing is, I stand behind my thinking till someone gives a coherent example of something better. I'm not fresh off the farm. I'm 35, been to college, traveled quite a bit, had a fairly diverse group of friends, have scored exceptionally high on standard measures of problem solving (for whatever that's worth. I don't buy into the whole notion of general intelligence. But certain types can be measured. ) I probably consider my beliefs as valid as you consider yours, and have as much reason to believe that. If I told you to "open your mind just a little further and the light might have a chance to shine in" how would you receive that admonition?

I don't have time to read through 30 pages of text, though. I'm far enough behind on my work as it is. Sorry.
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Carl-E

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I stand behind my thinking till someone gives a coherent example of something better.

I believe several people have tried to here. 

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If I told you to "open your mind just a little further and the light might have a chance to shine in" how would you receive that admonition?

I'd wonder what it was I was missing.  Then I'd try to find out. 
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When people try to speak a gut reaction, they end up talking out their ass.

Method of Madness

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This is going in circles and not visibly promoting understanding.
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I agree. And wiserd, you say that you don't have time to read the thread, which would be the equivalent of doing basic research on the topic. That's fine. But you need to understand that you don't understand the issue. I'm going to lock this thread, as there really doesn't seem to be any resolution in sight here. If you do ever get the time, though, I would encourage you to check out that thread, bit by bit. It's not complete (nothing really is, I suppose), but every little bit of knowledge breeds a little bit more understanding.
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They call me Mr. Madness.

Quote from: Polonius
Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.
MR ARCHIVE-FU MADNESS
Does anybody really know what time it is?
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Valdís

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(Method locked it like the same second I was pressing Post, but he's doing me the courtesy of not deleting all I wrote. I'd prefer it if it wasn't locked, but split into Discuss or something, since I'd hardly intend on silencing any responses or such, wiserd. Even if I'm being a snidey-butt about some things in it. :laugh: )

there are a lot of men with low muscle mass.

So if he moved to a warrior culture where the average man will have a lot higher muscle mass then he'd turn into a woman until you ascertained otherwise? Through the power of statistical predictive models, which one would have arbitrarily chosen to focus on this particular trait within? :-P

Please note that I never said anything about what someone "wanted to seem." That is a whole new kettle of worms (Bigger than a can. And even worse, we're out of fish)  that you are opening, not me.

Seeming female, as we are, as opposed to being ignorantly labeled male. That being the clear implication of having such a view of her personality. As though it's too "unfeminine" - whatever that's supposed to mean - to be a woman.

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just as how it isn't a compliment to say "you're passable [as cisgender]" as a synonym for being pretty.
I assume you mean because it's damning with faint praise.  Kindof like "you won't completely bomb the test."

..Wow. No, it isn't an insult because it's just "getting a passing grade on the scale of cisgender attractiveness". It's an insult because it presumes that being attractive is automatically a cisgender trait. That the only way for trans people to acquire it is to try to be cisgender. That we are inherently inferior to cis people. That I should be glad to disassociate myself from some of the better people humanity has to offer in order to be accepted by those who would police cisnormativity. That being how I want to be is automatically an attempt to conform to their test of cisgenderitude.

It does not suddenly remove the thing I am taking issue with by tagging on "Even if you were a cis woman you'd be good looking" at the end of it, as though not just getting a passing grade, but actually getting a high one. The test itself is bullshit. Or 'predictive model', as I'm sure you'd prefer to call it.

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You said a character "doesn't seem female" and went on to talk about how none of the women you know behave like that, therefore it is nonsensical for there to be a woman who does.
Where are you getting the " therefore it is nonsensical for there to be a woman who does." Please quote the line.
Hint: I didn't say that. The first part, sure. The second part? No, you're making that up.

Right, of course I'm making it up.

I saw this part in a sleep deprived hallucination, I'm sure: "If we were critiquing a story about the Victorian era and a character wore pants for casual activities, it would be completely in line to note how unusual/anachronistic that was and ask what the author was saying about the character."

That there being an analogy to how May is in this given situation, given that she is the "a character" originally in question. That is stating that her behaviour is nonsensical given her setting, where she is portrayed as female, simply out of your narrow view that women aren't like that, given that you didn't know of any. It seemed as alien to you as a carefree pants-wearing lady during the Victorian Era would seem if you were reading such a work.

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That it warrants extra scrutiny for falling outside of your norms (but apparently you're not being normative about it)
Yes. Put in more mundane terms; unusual is not the same as bad. Why is this so confusing? Do you associate conformity with being good?

That's not a response to what's in the quote, yet you ask me why such a non-related statement is "confusing"?

You think me telling you that it's bullshit to feel entitled to pry into non-normative people's lives just to satisfy your own confusion about their supposed norm-breaking equals me saying that conformity is good? Since when the fuck did we have to ask your permission to tread outside how you've decided to categorize our existence? I thought you've specifically said such a thing would not be the case, so why, all of a sudden (since you're saying it wasn't the case before), do we now warrant extra scrutiny? Because otherwise you won't accept us and instead treat us as whatever your biased views of genders makes you personally think we are?

I mean, I get the tendency to do that, sure. Just look at all the Cisgender psychologists who still force "Real Life Experience"s on trans people before getting the treatments we need. Literally keeping tabs on us to make sure we're "trans enough" and essentially enforcing the wearings of skirts and use of makeup. Even if they're women who don't use those things themselves. But we'd have to show we really mean it for realsies.

Putting people you don't quite "get" under extra scrutiny just for not being part of your strange definitions is saying that being unusual is bad.

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and statistical correlations are not determinants.
Never once said they were. Quite the opposite. Multiple times. Who are you arguing with?

The actual outcome of the things you're saying. Automatically presuming everyone in a group is one way or is worse at some things is not "having a useful predictive model of the world". It's just being a prejudiced butt. Someone having a trait that another has deemed less common for group X doesn't mean they're actually part of group Y. They just happen to be someone from group X who has that trait. A woman who is good at math is not less of a woman than one who is not. It's arbitrary.

A lot of people would say I'm "really a guy" because I probably have XY chromosomes, but just because they're more commonly found in men doesn't make me any less of a woman. Because they don't define anything of what it means to be a woman. On the other hand I'm pretty shit at math, so I guess it all balances out in the end. :roll:

If you tell me one more time that my beliefs are a game, I will tell you that your beliefs are a game. I suspect you will take it  much worse than I have. Consider treating others as you would like to be treated. Being "marginalized" does not excuse you from that.

Oh, you mean like how doubting what gender someone is by literally saying that you "Like to play 'One of these things is not like the other'." doesn't turn that into a game? Give me a break. Like your "beliefs" even comes close to dealing with someone's identity in such a manner. :roll:

If you want to tell me that you're okay with whatever I say and whatever I think, so long as it's based on evidence and some measure of compassion, by all means say that.

I never said I wasn't. But don't expect me to respect the beliefs themselves.

Also a pro-tip: Everyone thinks their beliefs are "based on evidence" - they believe things for a reason. It's just that a lot of people either find very poor evidence compelling or they draw erroneous conclusions. I'm not denying all of the things you're saying about statistics etc., I'm saying your view of what it actually tells you is mistaken.

What I object to is an argument of the form "If you believe X then we will not like you, so you should not believe x." People try that sometimes. It doesn't work so well with me.

Sure, they try it all the time. If I cared too much about that then I'd be dead by now.

Yes, it's a model that works for most of the population. And when it's not the case, there's usually a reason for it. Someone with normal testosterone but stereotypically feminine features may be androgen insensitive. So we start with a typical case and then ask why a particular subject diverges from it. And the result is a working mental model.

What you fail to realize is the bias inherent in this. The model itself would remain largely identical, it's our presumptions within it that would change.

We've also already been over this. If it only works for "most of the population" then your model is wrong and needs adjusting. Just as how Newtonian mechanics may be "good enough" in most cases, but they're not a model of reality.
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Now the sayings of the High One are uttered in the hall
for the weal of men, for the woe of Jötuns,
Hail, thou who hast spoken! Hail, thou that knowest!
Hail, ye that have hearkened! Use, thou who hast learned!

pwhodges

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(Method locked it like the same second I was pressing Post, but he's doing me the courtesy of not deleting all I wrote. I'd prefer it if it wasn't locked, but split into Discuss or something, since I'd hardly intend on silencing any responses or such, wiserd. Even if I'm being a snidey-butt about some things in it. :laugh: )

I had decided to lock this before I noticed that the other mods had got there while I was sleeping.  I had also thought about breaking it out into Discuss, but decided that this was not appropriate in this particular case because the discussion is not so much about a philosophical point as about an individual's attitudes and understanding.



Wiserd, I am not going to address any more individual points in your postings, but to make a couple of general points for you to mull over.  This discussion has arisen from two characteristics of what you are writing: (1) the continuing use of statistical concepts to categorise individuals - which is plain wrong use of statistics; and, (2) your insistence on categorising people, or aspects of them, in a specific way (masculine vs feminine).

The first point I will leave aside - it can be learnt about, and in any case the second is far more concerning.  I suggest that you look inside yourself and ask why does this categorisation into masculine and feminine matter to me at all?  If you can't see why this might be a concern, then as a mental exercise change "masculine" and "feminine" to "black" and "white" or "Jewish" and "non-Jewish" (both also equally binary-looking divisions which actually aren't so), apply the mirror of history, and see if you understand better the danger of what's going on in your mind.  Ultimately, insisting on dividing people up in a specific way, as you have been, is actively attempting to deny them their individuality, to reduce them to ciphers, and (being dramatic here) to deny their humanity.  This may not be because you consciously want to belittle them, or some of them, (as historically is shown to be a common result of this), but it may be that there is some reason you can't easily deal with them as individuals.  I'm not in a position to know why this might be, but hope that you can reflect on it, with the help perhaps of friends and family as well as what has been written here, and learn to understand yourself and your relationship with others better as a result.
« Last Edit: 07 Aug 2013, 23:57 by pwhodges »
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
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