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Post Reply The meaning of the word gender
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23 / M / Australia
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Posted 2/20/14
With the big thing about facebook now including a whole tonne of different terminologies to define your gender, I got to thinking, perhaps it would be easier to simply redifine or clarify the word 'gender' to be purely anatomical as opposed to cultural and social.

For me, if the word 'gender' is defined by cultural and social tendencies we will end up with millions of genders to fit each person before everyone is happy, and even that just ends up being judgments in themselves, when we could simply be anatomically male or female and have away with 'gender roles'.


I refrain from sharing this opinion in debate classes at university because of how... vicious... some of the goody goods can get when their opinion that the world is made of pixies is challenged, which makes me think, perhaps I am being insensitive...

What do you think?

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Posted 2/20/14 , edited 2/20/14
It is what it is, language evolves in such a way that if needed we will have a new word for all that nonsense... it is technically possible to have multiple usages in the long run but highly unlikely as it is still used in close enough context to cause confusion.
Posted 2/20/14 , edited 2/20/14

BearzYo wrote:

With the big thing about facebook now including a whole tonne of different terminologies to define your gender, I got to thinking, perhaps it would be easier to simply redifine or clarify the word 'gender' to be purely anatomical as opposed to cultural and social.

For me, if the word 'gender' is defined by cultural and social tendencies we will end up with millions of genders to fit each person before everyone is happy, and even that just ends up being judgments in themselves, when we could simply be anatomically male or female and have away with 'gender roles'.


I refrain from sharing this opinion in debate classes at university because of how... vicious... some of the goody goods can get when their opinion that the world is made of pixies is challenged, which makes me think, perhaps I am being insensitive...

What do you think?



Was 'gender' not strictly anatomical in its' meaning before?
Posted 2/20/14
It's a conspiracy

Someone should patent it.
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22 / M / Québec
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Posted 2/20/14 , edited 2/20/14
Gender
Sexual identity, especially in relation to society or culture.
The condition of being female or male; sex.
Females or males considered as a group

Problem is, what is a male or a female... are we necessarly a specific gender ? Are we supposed to decide only with what we may see when we drop our pants ?
We can't anymore because of exceptions, as in diseases or genetic abnormalities, and that is not something I just came up with.
On an other hand, there's also people performing body arts, transforming their bodies. There is also people who do not feel like they belong to the male or female gender and procede with a gender change operation. There is also certain tests that you may perfom on people in order to see if they have a more femine or masculine personnality. Some people report feeling like they are a woman stucked in a man's body and vice-versa.

The meaning of 'gender' is reaching a point in history where we will have to adapt it to our needs now in 2014, because we can't stamp everyone as either a Male or a Female.

There's a specific disease i wanted to point out but i can't remember it unfortunately. (Basically it's a very rare disease where a kid would be born female and turn into a male during his teen years and it only happened in Mexico or something like that)
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25 / M / Mor Dhona
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Posted 2/20/14
By definition, gender refers to one's sexual identity as being male or female (or somewhere in-between), while sex refers to one's physical sex (their sex organs).

Blame society on being unable to distinguish between the two.
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32 / M
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Posted 2/20/14
My understanding is that "sex" is strictly anatomical, as in one may be of the male sex or the female sex. Gender, at least as long as I've known the term, has been used to describe one's societal role. They tend to be the same thing though for most people, which makes for confusion between the two words; I know I get them mixed up myself.

Note that you really can't have simply male and female anyway, there are the occasional people out there with different arrangements of parts than usual.

Anyway, it's only a matter of time before we have drastic body modification abilities. When that happens, I'm sure we'll see stuff like people with parts designed like keys and locks and only some work with each other, and those would be classified into groups, etc. There will be catgirls, people that look like Gumby, sphere-shaped humans...

Things are going to get much more complicated in the future, trust me. I don't like the idea of forcefully changing a language to meet the desires of some people, but there are times where languages adapt to changes, and this will be one of them.

On the other hand, it seems like it could be incredibly inconvenient to describe people if this has nothing to do with obvious physical differences. I was worried about this earlier, but then I realized that by then we'll all have Google Glass and no privacy so there won't be any confusion at all about who is who or what they identify as, Google will tell us what we need to know when we need to know it.
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32 / M
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Posted 2/20/14

Ardahele wrote:
There's a specific disease i wanted to point out but i can't remember it unfortunately. (Basically it's a very rare disease where a kid would be born female and turn into a male during his teen years and it only happened in Mexico or something like that)


I can totally see some anime combining with this concept with an arranged marriage and turning into some insane yaoi thing.
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26 / F / Elkhart, Indiana
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Posted 2/20/14
Gender should not be as big of a deal as it is. I see it as another way to separate people. Male or Female we all have more alike as humans than we do physical differences.
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47 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 2/20/14

BearzYo wrote:

With the big thing about facebook now including a whole tonne of different terminologies to define your gender, I got to thinking, perhaps it would be easier to simply redifine or clarify the word 'gender' to be purely anatomical as opposed to cultural and social.

For me, if the word 'gender' is defined by cultural and social tendencies we will end up with millions of genders to fit each person before everyone is happy, and even that just ends up being judgments in themselves, when we could simply be anatomically male or female and have away with 'gender roles'.


I refrain from sharing this opinion in debate classes at university because of how... vicious... some of the goody goods can get when their opinion that the world is made of pixies is challenged, which makes me think, perhaps I am being insensitive...

What do you think?



(emboldening, Mine)

I'm going to start at the bottom.

Yes! you are being insensitive. Especially when you apply the slippery slop fallacy and then mock the people who disagree with you. For some people this is a big deal. It strikes to the very core of their identity. Making light of their argument and declaring it to be fantasy does your reputation for being anything other than the opposite of your disparaged 'goody goodies' little credit.

Also there is a credible argument that 'IF' is an incorrect term. The Gender Binary (along with the subjugation of women) has been passed down from Middle Ages Europe by the dominant cultures of the world. But it's not the only way to look at Gender. Some places and times have recognized up to 27 distinct genders. Gender for the most part is all about who can wear pink and who can go into what locker and washrooms. No one actually looks in the stalls. What upsets people is the IDEA that the woman in the next stall over might have a bit extra under her underwear. (or conversely the thought that there is a guy NEVER joins the silent uncomfortable line at the urinals). It's not an anatomical fact (which is no more anyone's business than weather or not you're circumcised or if your girlfriend shaves or has a mole 'down there'. DON'T get me started on the 'have you had THE surgery?' question). It's Ideas. Which are cultural.

Even on the anatomical side, there is evidence (and whole lot more that we just don't know), that it is not the simple binary. We DON'T KNOW how many 'intersex' children are born to the world because it's completely undocumented and because some authority in a lab coat with letters after their name 'corrects' any 'problems' after arbitrarily assigning one of male or female to each neonate.

Another question is, REALLY what does it matter to you? Even if we end with millions of genders. I'm still happy being a woman and I gather you've never questioned your gender identity. No one is taking that away from us. So... what's the fuss? So it appeases the Goody Goods. Is that really worse than appeasing those who throw everyone under the LGBT+ labels under the bus of their 'Homophobia'?

I do agree with you on one thing. Why do we both with the letter M or F on so many documents. Legal Identity, Medical records. Okay maybe there is a point there. I'll certainly entertain the argument.

But WHY WHY WHY... does your gender have to be on your Library Card? (I'll tell you the old reason. It was so the Women could be denied access to certain books.)

As someone who suffers Gender Dysphoria myself. I've had the privilege of meeting TransMen, Transwomen and people who chose some other gender as yet defined. Everyone of us has a different story. Yet some parts of our stories resonate deeply with each others.

My heart goes out to those who feel their identity has been acknowledged by facebook.

Your Mileage May Vary.



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19 / F / Balmer, Murlin
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Posted 2/20/14
^ Papa's post is spot on.

Look. This is a complicated issue. More than a societal issue, it is a personal issue, one that is quite severe for many, many people. Telling those people that they must fit into one of two set categories is being completely insensitive to what they are experiencing. Not everyone fits. Not everyone needs to fit.

Besides, we already have a purely anatomical word. That word is "sex". There's a reason "gender" is a separate word; why would you make it mean the same thing?

I do agree with you that we should not have set gender roles. But "male" and "female" is still so restrictive. Sure, that's what someone could be anatomically, but if they want to identify as something different, then let them. It does no harm to anyone. It shouldn't bother you.
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Posted 2/20/14

BearzYo wrote:

With the big thing about facebook now including a whole tonne of different terminologies to define your gender, I got to thinking, perhaps it would be easier to simply redifine or clarify the word 'gender' to be purely anatomical as opposed to cultural and social.

For me, if the word 'gender' is defined by cultural and social tendencies we will end up with millions of genders to fit each person before everyone is happy, and even that just ends up being judgments in themselves, when we could simply be anatomically male or female and have away with 'gender roles'.


I refrain from sharing this opinion in debate classes at university because of how... vicious... some of the goody goods can get when their opinion that the world is made of pixies is challenged, which makes me think, perhaps I am being insensitive...

What do you think?



Respectfully, yeah I think you are being insensitive. (But it is good that you are willing to question yourself, props for that)
Why?

If people are having a problem, listen to them. You don't understand what other people experience by default.
I don't understand what it is like to be female. I have to listen.
I don't understand what it is like to be born with a hormonal problem.
I don't understand what it is like to be homosexual.
I don't understand what it is like to be a racial minority.

But I do try and listen. I do not tell them what they should do, assuming I know best, because I am not them. If I want to give my opinion first I make a REAL effort to see the world through their eyes. This is not an easy thing to do, and takes time. Few bother.

A person should not say "I'm not having this problem, why do you need ____? That's stupid!"
Of course you don't see a need for it.
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47 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 2/20/14

Kaldar5 wrote:


BearzYo wrote:

With the big thing about facebook now including a whole tonne of different terminologies to define your gender, I got to thinking, perhaps it would be easier to simply redifine or clarify the word 'gender' to be purely anatomical as opposed to cultural and social.

For me, if the word 'gender' is defined by cultural and social tendencies we will end up with millions of genders to fit each person before everyone is happy, and even that just ends up being judgments in themselves, when we could simply be anatomically male or female and have away with 'gender roles'.


I refrain from sharing this opinion in debate classes at university because of how... vicious... some of the goody goods can get when their opinion that the world is made of pixies is challenged, which makes me think, perhaps I am being insensitive...

What do you think?



Respectfully, yeah I think you are being insensitive. (But it is good that you are willing to question yourself, props for that)
Why?

If people are having a problem, listen to them. You don't understand what other people experience by default.
I don't understand what it is like to be female. I have to listen.
I don't understand what it is like to be born with a hormonal problem.
I don't understand what it is like to be homosexual.
I don't understand what it is like to be a racial minority.

But I do try and listen. I do not tell them what they should do, assuming I know best, because I am not them. If I want to give my opinion first I make a REAL effort to see the world through their eyes. This is not an easy thing to do, and takes time. Few bother.

A person should not say "I'm not having this problem, why do you need ____? That's stupid!"
Of course you don't see a need for it.


There's no Like Function here. SO .. Quoted for Truth.
I wish I lived up to those standards. all to often I do not. (but I'm learning.)

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17 / F / Los Angeles
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Posted 2/20/14
From my understanding, you can have different gender identities (cultural, social), but sex is what defines what you are anatomically.
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23 / M / Australia
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Posted 2/20/14
I want to understand the issue because I don't, and how this issue effects my uncle has always bothered me. Thanks for not being nasty with your replies, apologies I can't reply better as I am at work, but I am legitimatly reading all of your replies
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