Females, post.

Haha, couch? More like arm chair. A broken arm chair, at that.

Sorry! I didn’t realize anyone was still following the thread for its original purpose, so I just continued my discussion with anon. It wasn’t my intention to derail the thread. I initially dismissed your point earlier, Tent, just because I personally think we’ve allowed the notion of gender to become far more arbitrary than it ought to be. However, the more I thought about it, the more interesting that apparent ‘movement’ seemed.

Then I got to thinking, like anon said in his last post, there must be some manner of extreme compulsion behind a procedure like a sex change. I mean, a woman could just as easily find something to flatten her breasts, cut her hair short, wear men’s clothes, and take hormones to sound and look more like a man. For all intents and purposes she would be a “man” if she were convincing enough. But that compulsion includes the physicality of the ideal as well. Even to the extent that people will settle for having their genitals surgically replaced with synthetic genitals – all for their own piece of mind. I’m no expert, but something tells me that a gender change is not the extent of what they are chasing.

Derail? Is that even possible in this thread?


Which is why I think the distinction is unnecessary and meaningless. It’s propaganda.

I disagree. First off, how does one deal with intersexed or third-gendered people without such a distinction? More importantly, it helps clarify whether the cultural or physiological elements are being discussed. While there is overlap between those two, it usually falls into a sort of “is/ought” argument, which is bad.

What do you mean “deal with”? Not every aspect of a person needs to be neatly categorized. He/she is a person, and a member of society, regardless. Our designations can be pragmatic, as they often seem to be anyway. If it looks like a woman, sounds like a woman, and smells like a woman, for all intents and purposes we can generally assume it is a woman.

Your second point is a good one given all of the cultural variety out there. And you’re right about the “is/ought”, because my whole point has admittedly revolved around the belief that cultural/social designations need not differ from the physiological. That is to say cultural elements ought to be implicit in physiological elements.

I think it behooves us to have useful categories, so yes, we do need to neatly categorize people. Especially if we are talking about things like policy or demographics. Also, I’m fine with your description insofar as gender is concerned but a person can do all those things and still be XY, heck, they can do all those things and have a penis. I think having the ability to categorize based off of sex and gender allows for a greater degree of precision.

Right, but that gets real tricky real quick. Consider Albanian sworn virgins. Their sex remains female but their gender is considered to be male. Likewise, in many areas of the world there are (physiologically) female children raised as boys (this is big in Afghanistan right now). The reverse also exists, look at Thai lady-boys. They are basically the inverse of the Albanian sworn virgins in that their sex is male but their gender is female.

It is also useful because these distinctions are separate from questions concerning sexuality. For example, in American culture gay men frequently identify as men both from a sex and gender standpoint, so much so that a separate vocabulary has been developed for gay individuals that don’t identify with the gender distinction (falling under the umbrella term “genderqueer”).

out of curiosity, mr X, what are the available options for “gender” and what criteria do you use to determine what gender someone is? the use of the word in this thread has been vague and confusing, i’m trying to get a better grasp on it.

Precision in what, though? I don’t see the practicality in those categories being separate. If anything, I think it allows for a greater degree of confusion. I agree that someone can appear of a different gender, but that was part of my point. We have all of these designations, but they find no practical application aside from useless differentiation. What we experience is defined by how we interpret that experience. If I see what I believe is a woman, I’ll go ahead and assume it was a woman. How precise do gender designations need to be in everyday life?

I couldn’t imagine being more concerned about it than, say, in a dating scenario where I really would like to know what gender I’m socializing with. However, the answer to that question will always be more useful if it refers to physiology. If cultural designations differ, that will become obvious through appearance and behavior.

Yes, i see now. I suppose cultural designations are just as pragmatic in some circumstances. The two [“sex” and “gender”] have already been forced apart by cultural necessity.

But this is where I think the notion of “gender” becomes more confusing than it rightfully should be. If a person’s gender is said to differ from his sex, we’d generally assume that gender is suggestive of his sexuality. A man who considers himself a woman is likely homosexual, for instance. Of course, I’m not saying that is the rule, but it is a safe assumption. The only difference, gender wise, is in how that individual wants to appear, but sexuality is often implicated as a part of that desire.

And then there’s Thomas Beatie, who gave birth to a baby girl in 2008, I think. About the year, I mean. I understand he’s now pregnant again. He’s a trans who kept his female reproductive organs. How would you label him?

Me, I’m female. You can tell it from both my name, my emotionalism, and all the pink frou-frou I wear.

“How lovely to be a woman,
The wait was so worthwhile.
How lovely to wear mascara
And smile a woman’s smile.” Bye, Bye Birdie, book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams, and music by Charles Strouse.

I do post in the threads that interest me. Sometimes that can be difficult, as in the thread, “Boys in Pink,” which is meant to be male-dominated.

Yes, I think there are more men who post here than women. I just wonder where y’all get the time!


If all you’re doing is counting superficial appearances in a group of people, gender designations mean little. If you’re hitting on some woman in a bar, and taking her home, you discover she’s a transexual, who’s confused? You or her/him? It might make a difference depending on how drunk you are… :laughing:

I’ve asked myself numerous times if i’d fuck a chick with a dick. As yet, the answer is inconclusive.

That’s it. I already used that same example as being an occasion in which I would want to be most precise about gender designations. But the question still boils down to a biological one. The cultural distinctions are what might confuse things in that scenario. I might assume I’m talking to a woman because of appearances, clothes and make-up and such, but she could be, or have been, a man. Neither of us is confused, I’m just ignorant of that information altogether. But my assumption would be one of convention, and quite obvious as it is an understandable one. The question is: am I being deceived through a lack of information, assuming I don’t ask?

Why does precision about gender designations matter in that situation? Are you really going to ask this mystery-person “Do you have a vagina?”?


Depends on the culture. You obviously have the culturally understood “man” and “woman” which is familiar to us. Then you have children, which are either diminutive forms of their adult gender in line with their sex or something else. Your “Boys in Pink” thread touches on this, children (being neither men nor women) often occupy a sort of third genderless gender so they wear unisex clothing. Another, slightly more nuanced example, would be found in German where boys take the masculine pronoun (being smaller versions of men) but girls take the neuter pronoun because they aren’t women (they are not mothers nor can the menstruate so they are unable to occupy any feminine roles). Then you have other genders that are recognized in some cultures like the Thai ladyboys, the Armenian Sworn Virgins which occupy a sort of third category where they aren’t a different kind of woman or man (respectively) but they do occupy female or male roles. This contrasts with transsexuals, where they identify with both the sex and the gender (they don’t merely act like the opposite sex, they identify with it). Plenty of other examples but that is a start.

See, but that assumption doesn’t always work. Think about it in terms of passing and the roles occupied. Because of women’s lib in the West we (thankfully) have less rigid gender roles so the sex/gender distinction while not moot is also less important. But it still plays a role. Consider the sex/gender distinctions going on in this thread. Sexuality is often a part of it but not necessarily. Again, you’ve got masculine gay men and feminine gay women just as you’ve got feminine gay men and masculine gay women. You’ve also got feminine straight men and masculine straight women.

Put it this way.

Gender is not digital. It is analogue.

So long as it is analogue, there is an infinite possible number of distinctions but we do still have extremes of the spectrum - girly girls and boyish boys. In fact supermales and superfemales are a physical model for what is the extreme of either gender. Superfemales are depressive and suicidal. Supermales are . . . well . . . psychotic rapists. But more to the point - Hermaphodites and other gender-bending mutations are rare in the natural world. For the most part, nature does treat gender as digital. That may not be the same in sexual orientation. So I would argue that when people are pushing for acceptance of a vaguer line between the genders - should they rather be speaking of what they feel ought to be instead of mixing their philosophy with fact. If one is desiring a world which carries little gender segregation, then what is their ethical vision? I think some cultural norms for gender segregation are plain stupid. Others may have a point.

It matters because I don’t want to be romantic with a man. Seems simple enough. And, No I wouldn’t ask, but that is the question I left with in my last post. Is it that person’s responsibility to disclose that kind of information?

I’d be a little more crafty than that anyway, like “…so, how’s that vagina treatin’ ya?”. If he/she doth protest too much, I’ll just be like “No, no, I said ‘angina’. Any abdominal discomfort?”

I see what you’re saying, and it makes sense. However, you’re still talking about “men” and “women”, albeit different varieties of both. A feminine man, for instance, is still a “man” for all practical purposes. A man who has become a woman is a “woman” for all practical purposes. But that is like allowing a person who just had thousands of dollars worth of plastic surgery say he/she is 20 years younger than he/she actually is, just because of appearances. If I wanted to know about that person, I’d ask questions and expect answers that reflect how things are, rather than how that person would like them to be.

This bring to mind a somewhat humorous quote from Fight Club: “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.”

That doesn’t require precision in the language you use. Like…you can totally be confused about what these words mean, and you’d still know if you do or don’t want to have sex with a person after they take their pants off. I can’t see how having clearly defined words will help you make a decision.

Because then I might determine if it is a man before the pants come off. If I can make a distinction in the initial conversation, I can decide right then and there whether or not I even want to bother pursuing anything romantic.

How could you determine it if you wouldn’t ask?