Laverne Cox inspired my 14-year old brother to ask what 'transgender' means. He had no problems grasping the concept, was more concerned about making sure if his body could/would have to birth a child

  • Me: some people are born girls but they have a penis or a mixture of sex organs so people decide they're boys, but if they grow up feeling like they're a girl, then they're a girl and they might call themself a transgender woman.
  • Him: So some girls have penises?
  • Me: Yeah. Some people have surgery to remove their penises and shape the skin into a vagina, some people don't.
  • Him: Can boys have vaginas?
  • Me: And uteruses and all sorts of stuff, yep. They might call themself a trans* man. Some people don't identify as boys or girls, or identify as both or something else entirely.
  • Him: Some people aren't boys or girls?
  • Me: Right
  • Him: So what are they?
  • Me: People have lots of different words, if someone sometimes feels like a boy and sometimes feels like a girl and sometimes feels like neither, they might identify as genderfluid. If somebody didn't feel like a boy or a girl they might say gender neutral or gender non-conforming. There are lots of words for gender and everybody can choose which ones fit them.
  • Him: Ok. I still feel like a boy.
  • Me: Ok. That's called cisgender, when the gender someone decided when you were a baby ends up being true to the gender you identify as.
  • Him: Has a boy with a uterus ever had a baby?
  • Me: Yes
  • Him: I don't have a uterus right?
  • Me: Not that I know of
  • Him: Ok because I don't want to push any babies out of my penis.
  • Me: You couldn't push a baby out of your penis anyway.
  • Him: Oh.

ramtops-witch said: The "comfortable with my gender" thing from cis people both amuses me and pisses me off. Like okay that's great and all cis people, but I'm TOTALLY comfortable with my gender, the problem is apparently YOU aren't.

punwitch:

Yeah like cis people don’t realize that many of us (if not most) are actually comfortable with our genders too? We’re just uncomfortable with bullshit like sex dimorphic theory because it helps create a society that wants us dead? Lmao

tonidorsay:

thetime-wastingprick:

the-bi-furious-whovian:

Gender is a social construct.

I think the term you’re looking for is gender identity.  Gender means sex, see below for that.

Patriarchy is a social construct.

Which doesn’t exist in most first world countries, correct.

Sex is a social construct.

The inherent differences seen in members of most species based on reproductive role are not, no.

Feminism is a social construct.

But of course.

Liberty is a social construct.

This is also technically true.

Childhood is a social construct.

Not quite.  Ideas associated with childhood may be social constructs, but traits of physical immaturity are not.

Liberty is a social construct.

Deja vu.

Marxism, socialism, capitalism, all are social constructs.

True, an economic policy kind of requires a society to adhere to or enforce it.  Although as an aside, the first is effectively one attempt at the second.

Man is a social construct.

Once again, not really.  Whether you’re describing man as the male of a species, or man as humanity at large, both exist independent of society.

Woman is a social construct.

Women, too, exist independent of society’s choice to recognize it.

Male is a social construct.

Female is a social construct.

See; sex.

Race is a social construct.

Yet again, only in the vaguest sense of the term ‘social construct.’  Even without society, visual and genetic differences between races exist.

Poverty is a social construct.

Depends entirely on the definition of poverty.  Relating to monetary wealth of society, yes, because economies rely on a society to function.  Relating to personal wealth, not necessarily.  A person can be poor regardless of society - poor in resources, poor in opportunity, emotional poverty.

Law is a social construct.

Potentially.

The act of identifying one of these things as a social construct means understanding that the rest of them are as well.

Not really, no.

Most people do not understand what social constructs are.

Read that again. Of the 7 billion people soon to stand on this earth, the vast, overwhelming majority do not know what they are.

Yourself included.

They also do not understand that to argue using social constructs means you cannot argue any form of essentialism, and remain honest.

Because that’s entirely your opinion.  Essentialism is not necessarily opposed to social constructionism.

Nor do they understand why that is so.

Probably because, objectively, it isn’t.

This has been a factual post.

Semantics aside, these facts are largely subjective and oftentimes outright nonfactual.  That is to say, not only are many of these facts wrong, some are outright opinions and don’t qualify as facts in the first place - right or wrong.

Incorrect.

Each and every thing on there is a social construct.  You are correct that gender identity is also a social construct.

Fortunately for both of us, you selected a most appropriate and accurate user name, as you are a prick, who is ignorant and incompetent and thinks that they understand something they do not.

We know this because you make several errors relating to social constructions throughout, including one that affects the source for social constructions, wherein you describe a concepts derived from an existentialist basis as not being oppositional to an essentialist based structure.

Enjoy trying to figure out why it is that I am being nice to you, you pathetic waster of time who is a dick. Perhaps you should be wasting less time and spending more learning just how wrong you are.

Things I learned from tumblr trans/jendaqueers

tonidorsay:

never-obey:

  1. Male and female are social constructs and don’t exist in reality. Sexual dimorphism is made up.
  2. Male and female are feelings
  3. You don’t need an uterus to have period cramps
  4. Gender is innate but exists in different forms in different cultures
  5. The sex is in the brain and not in the body.
  6. Identities can change your body immediately
  7. It’s bigoted when lesbians are not attracted to people with dicks (‘Cause feelings!1!)
  8. Don’t dare to exclude [insert genders] from your sexual attraction. It’s hateful, bigoted and erases [insert identities]
  9. You can be not attracted to [insert genders] but you have to examine why. Especially if you are a lesbian woman.
  10. There is no escape from the awesome glittery gender “spectrum”. Even is you say you abolish it  you are still stuck in the jendah prison.
  11. sex = gender

My followers can add moar wisdom

Well you certainly didn’t learn well if any of those lessons were from me.

  • 1. Male and female exist. They are, however, still social constructions. Sexual dimorphism is also a social construction.
  • 2. Male and female are constructs.
  • 3. You don’t need a uterus to have cramps that are caused by hormones.
  • 4. Gender, as a whole, is several parts combined. And does exist in different forms in different cultures, and that includes the different parts of it. 
  • 5. The brain is part of the body.
  • 6. Identity is a zero sum game.
  • 7. Bigotry is the stubborn refusal to adapt knowledge to new facts. So it can’t be bigoted to do this. It can be prejudiced, if the people with dicks are women.
  • 8. I wouldn’t say that.
  • 9. Excluding the second clause, this is about right. After all, if you are a racist and you find yourself attracted to a peson of color, it likely wouldn’t be healthy for either of you.
  • 10. I say if you think you can abolish gender, go for it. Human social systems indicate it is a lost cause, but you know, people said we wouldn’t ever walk on the moon once, so who knows. I can tell you that Trans people would still exist, though.
  • 11. This is actually more true than not in colloquial terms (look at most paperwork). More strictly speaking, though, gender is the social manifestation of sex. That is, gender iw what you are dealing with whenever two or more people are involved.

you are slow to learn, grasshoppa, but you’ll get it eventually.

I’d love to see any plan on how to abolish gender.  I’m fascinated by the concept (No, seriously, I am).  Unfortunately, even after reading all the major (and many minor) feminist gender abolitionists, I’m no closer to understanding how this is ever going to happen.  They seem to be saying that getting rid of gender roles will somehow end gender except they also seem to think gender roles *are* gender.  Which is clearly not the case.  Gender roles may (or may not) be part of gender but they’re not all there is to it.  Certainly, given the primacy they place on sex, they will not be ending gender as sex is gender inscribed on the body.

beefbludd:

cis people have genders, trans people have gender identities

。◕ ‿ ◕。

(Source: autogynephile, via write-on-red)

ocassis:

lookatthisfuckinradfem:

lucypaw:

Oh, look, Focus on the Family and Americans For Truth About Homosexuality have become (transphobic) radical feminists!

Or, maybe it’s just that all transphobes trot out the same tired transphobic tropes and just use different post hoc justification for why.

All around the world, millions of people disappeared in a poof of smoke.

I like the notion that socially constructed gender is “not safe for kids”.  Don’t play with gender, children!  You might become happy!  Just play with nerf guns and maybe the occasional armed weapon your parents leave lying around the house, that’s much safer.

Pretty much.  Heavens know we need to get guns in the hands of trans* kids to make the world safer.

(via transdykeprivilege)

gcvsa:

Human culture has taught us for as long as it has existed that reproduction is a right, rather than a privilege. This is, of course, utter nonsense, because nothing that depends upon the participation of more than one person can possibly be properly considered a right. While one certainly has the…

This is odd for me.  I agree with the conclusion of the writing but not how it is arrived at.  Here are my main objections:

It’s always interesting to see a classical Liberal position on this sort of thing.  Not good, mind you, but interesting.  I mean, if you think Property or the concept of Liberty is more of a right than your right to control and use your own body, I really don’t know what to say to you.  Congrats on your Liberalism/libertarianism?  Seriously, though, if Liberty does not include reproductive rights then what exactly is Liberty and why is it a foundational right?  If you think that because it takes more than one person to reproduce then reproduction is not a right, your analysis is shallow at best.  Rights don’t have to be able to be realised by an individual to exist (unless, I suppose, you’re a classical Liberal or libertarian, although where does that leave the right to assemble?).  Furthermore, the idea that the existence of reproductive rights is why people think they have the right to demand other people’s sex/gender is just utterly bizarre to me.

Okay, I get it to an extent, the author has conflated reproductive rights with the power that privileged people have aggregated to themselves in their sexist, egotistical belief that they have the right to fuck (not necessarily reproduce with, mind you) everyone.  But they are not the same.  Me claiming I have reproductive rights, that I have the right to use my body to reproduce, is not the same thing as someone claiming they have the ‘right’ to reproduce with me without my consent, knowledge, etc.  I suppose if we lived in a world without involuntary sterilisation, forced births (aka, anti-abortion laws and actions), and so on, I could understand such a conflation.  But to look at the issue of reproductive rights as what the privileged think reproductive rights are is wrong.  Rights are to protect the oppressed.

In any event, I don’t buy this story that privileged people thinking they have the right to mate with whoever they want (but only if they have the right bits!) is why people try to figure out other people’s sex/gender.  Which brings me to my other objection:

The part about how identifying other people’s sex/gender as natural is nonsense.  People are pretty terrible at doing that which is why children have to be taught (and, almost all trans people I know, including myself, have had the experience of children asking them if they are a boy or a girl).  Also, I’m going to be honest, I’m not loving the sex-negative, heterosexism vibe to that section, either.  People are bad at telling sex/gender which is why misgendering happens to cis people as well as trans, and humans are more complicated in uses of sex/gender than reproducing the species.  Overall, this part reminds me of evopsych “just so” stories in that it ignores inconvenient facts that don’t agree with the idea being put forth as well as being entirely too pat.  Sex/gender is a social construct and a complicated one as all social constructs are.

Overall, even as the piece says that we should afford people equal dignity and respect who they are, it also mistakenly gives cis people the excuse of being “born this way” when they deny that equal dignity and respect to trans people.  Plus, there’s that whole reproductive rights thing that kicks the piece off and feels like it arrived from Planet Pro-Life.  Appreciate the conclusion, but hate what’s said to get us there.

(via amydentata)

(Source: sexgenderbody)

Dear Cis Academic Gender “Experts”

telegantmess:

lucypaw:

I get that you love writing about how horrible trans people are for jumping through the hoops you’ve created for us.  It’s yet another double bind for trans people, and you have to make a living somehow, right?  But, for the love of all academia, can you please actually define gender when you’re writing a paper on it?  Otherwise, you’re just showing your arse when you rattle on about it as though everyone agrees on its meaning (as well as suggesting that maybe, just maybe, you’re not such an expert after all).

Signed,

An Irritated Academic Trans Person

Don’t you know? only trans people and people who have not accepted the truth of radical “feminist” political consciousness have genders, as far as these folks are concerned.

Silly me, I did not know!

To be non-sarcastic, obviously the point is that cis ‘experts’ are particularly terrible at questioning/understanding what ‘gender’ is in the first place because they’ve never had to question it in any deep way.  Gender, as society/culture uses it, works for them so it’s like, to use an old analogy, asking a fish to define water.  I do think that’s part of why they work so hard to castigate, punish, and delegitimise trans and non-binary people.  Because we uncomfortably confront them with gender with our very existence.  We’re a threat in a way that the ludicrously undefined notion of “Abolish gender!” (Honestly, I’d be happy to see any plan to end gender;  none exist) can never be.

Dear Cis Academic Gender “Experts”

I get that you love writing about how horrible trans people are for jumping through the hoops you’ve created for us.  It’s yet another double bind for trans people, and you have to make a living somehow, right?  But, for the love of all academia, can you please actually define gender when you’re writing a paper on it?  Otherwise, you’re just showing your arse when you rattle on about it as though everyone agrees on its meaning (as well as suggesting that maybe, just maybe, you’re not such an expert after all).

Signed,

An Irritated Academic Trans Person

When Am I a Man? When Am I a Woman?

Various transphobes/cissupremacists and transnormative people have decided my gender for me, based on what they assume is between my legs.  Their absolute convictions in statements such as “LucyPaw [sic] is a man” or “Lucy is female” have inspired me to reflect on my social realities.


When Am I a Man?

Is it when I get mansplained to by some random man who knows that Mt Rainier is NOT a volcano, knowing this for sure since he’s just arrived in the Seattle area and knows way more about it than I do as he didn’t even know it existed before he arrived?

Is it when people talk to my breasts and not my face?

Is it when I get sexually assaulted?

Is it when men get that look on their face, the one of interest, the one where I’m supposed to show interest back, the one where I belong to their desires?

Is it when I’m assumed to be the mother of one of my partners who decides that therefore now would be a good time to pull my face to zis and kiss me hard to make the point that we are not mother and daughter and so instead people disgustedly assume we’re lesbians?

Is it when I’m assumed incapable of carrying my own luggage?

Is it when men assume I’m supposed to reflect their greatness back at them?

Is it when men assume my politeness and kindness indicates romantic/sexual interest in them?

Is it when I put on my binder and packer and jeans and a poofy shirt and get strange, even hostile, looks when I go to the men’s toilet at a gay club?

When Am I a Woman?

Is it when people assume I’m a cross-dressing man?

Is it when, because I’m a trans femme and non-binary, I’m assumed to be a gay man who couldn’t handle being gay (even though my gay sex is incredibly fun)?

Is it when my femmeness is assumed to be more real, more radical as long as my body supposedly doesn’t ‘naturally’ fit that?

Is it when my words about the problems with transnormativity coming from some trans women are assumed to have no validity because supposedly some doctor announced “It’s a girl!” when I was born?

Look, I get it

You have bought so much into the oppressive ideas of sex and gender that you can’t stop

Even when you’re told

Stop

No, really, stop

Your ideas of what sex and gender are do violence

To me

To yourself

To everyone

I know you need the reassurance

Of an absolute binary

Of an uncrossable certainty

Of unchangeable, obvious biology

      (although you’ll pardon my laughter)

Write your words on my body

Write your meaning on me

If it helps

If it keeps the uncertainty, the chaos, the fears at bay

Then write to keep yourself safe

Construct your reality and lie to yourself that you merely demonstrate fact

Reference the social as though it is marble not clay

It’s okay

But understand that I then need you to tell me

When am I a man?  When am I a woman?

Am I ever me?

  • radfems: abolish gender
  • trans* ppl: can we use gender neutral language when discussing reproductive issues
  • radfems: NO

strawberryfaerie:

"i just call everyone dude"

really motherfucker, because you have not used that word once when speaking to me (or any other cis woman) 

you just want a free pass to misgender my girlfriend.

countingmyfeathers:

Vagina essensialist radfems are really frustrating not only for their transphobia, but also they’re making the same tired assumption that women are only defined by their genitals. Women are so much more than that.  Some women have vaginas, some women have penises, and neither are something to be ashamed of, but when you limit women to their genitals you are forgetting that we are so much more than that.

(via sexgenderbody)

hidden-agender:

nietzscheisdead:

did u know people have been proposing gender neutral pronouns literally since the 19th century. the word thon was invented in 1884 and was in funk and wagnell’s standard dictionary til the late 60s…please do not pretend that gender neutral pronouns are a wacky and grammatically unfounded recent phenomenon 

…not to mention that singular they has been used for AT LEAST 500 years prior to that.

(Source: jesuschristofborg, via telegantmess)