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Definition of gender

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posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 06:05 PM
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We sat down at a table, me and a friend.. ( Yes i still have friends, honest friends ) The first thing he mentioned, after discussing a topic on male and female differences;" Society labels our sex, i think its more important what we believe us to be and not what society tells us to be " I wondered for a second, i understood what he meant.. But i couldnt agree, i cant go against something so real as nature for an ideal ;" No, your defined by nature "
He wanted me to understand his viewpoint, and asked me to define a sex, I clearly said;" Your reproduction organs, what you look on the outside and what you feel like on the inside doesnt matter.. In society you can take any role you want, in nature you are given one. "
He wanted me to change viewpoint, cause its what he was taught. For me, changing a belief to fit in, is to much of a hazzle.
I said;;" We can believe anything we want, we are born with human rights in a western society, but nature is reality not a belief. "




posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 06:12 PM
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Cloudy subject for me



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: tikbalang

We are born male or female except for the rare genetic defect.

It's not really a confusing topic unless someone like your friend decides to muddy the water with stupidity.



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 06:23 PM
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originally posted by: In4ormant
Cloudy subject for me


Agreed. In a world where a person can be born with both male and female markers, (hermaphrodites) the answer is not so clear. I've also met people who obviously naturally have a great deal of the "other gender's" hormones.

What I categorically disagree with is a concerted effort to make males more feminine and females more masculine, whether it be through drugs in food and water (think about all the soy products and residual birth control drugs or synthetic estrogens we consume unknowingly) or through popular culture pushing the bi-agenda and trashing "manly" men and over-feminine.

So there's a huge gray area.



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 07:14 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Technically, I should be everything that is the poster child basketcase ripe for gender dysphoria. I am the female with a higher proportion of testosterone who was exposed to higher amounts of testosterone in utero. I grew up not being a girly girl. My mother dressed me a lot of dressed in 1st grade and I was bullied by another little girl who used to chase me around and lift my skirts up at recess. I conceived a loathing of dresses and skirts that persists to this day.

I do not like clothing or shoes or makeup. I like fishing and football and was a high level athlete all through my school years. I am also fairly highly competitive, almost aggressively so at times.

But one thing I have never had any trouble with is knowing what my gender is.

I thank God every day I wasn't raised in today's world where someone would have noticed all those little mannish quirks and boy traits and tried to teach all about gender spectrums on the purple unicorn. It was something I didn't need and never wanted.



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Ha! Love that post!

Agreed 100% about pushing gender-bending on elementary age children. When my son was 2 he'd get into my make-up drawer (ok, I'm a bit of a girly-girl, but have almost entirely stopped wearing make-up these days) and smoosh his finger into my lipsticks and smear it on his face. I wonder what would have happened if I had encouraged and perpetuated that habit? He's obsessed with trucks now, I can handle that.




posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 07:43 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Oh my little boy used to clump around the house in my work shoes and his daddy's shoes too. I just let him do it because I remembered clumping around in my own daddy's boots at his age. These days he makes no bones about being a boy and is very proud of that.


They have to explore the world.



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 08:10 PM
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edit on 08America/Chicago88America/Chicago848 by menneni because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 08:11 PM
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The issue you and your friend had with the topic was already stated in the OP. There was no clear distinction on what context the word "gender" is being used.

The word "gender" wasn't used commonly until the 1970's when feminism theory began to distinguish between biological and sociological gender. This distinction is finalized modernly with the World Health Organisations description:

Sometimes it is hard to understand exactly what is meant by the term "gender", and how it differs from the closely related term "sex".

"Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.

"Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.

To put it another way:

"Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories.

World Health Organisation (link)

It isn't necessarily incorrect to use the word "gender" as "sex", but the common-use of the term has simply been adopted to mean something other than to describe the biological sex of an individual.

So neither of you are wrong
But one of you may simply be arguing from different contexts, thus the intrinsic problem with the initial discussion.
edit on 26/8/16 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 08:29 PM
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Sex = Biologically determined by your chromosomes.

Gender = social construct based on cultural norms often based on genitalia.

Transsexual = Someone who feels biologically different than what their genitalia says they are.

Transgendered = Someone who falls outside of the societal norms their culture has determined is correct for their biology.

This comes from my cultural anthropology text book.



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 08:46 PM
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a reply to: calstorm

See? This is exhibit 1 of what I was talking about. According to what you just posted, I am somehow transgendered even though I'm not, but you would have foisted your ridiculous purple unicorn on me.



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 09:35 PM
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a reply to: calstorm
a reply to: Ghost147

I saw an experiment conducted with Rhesus monkeys; Even if gender is a social construction, it started somewhere.



The monkey research, conducted with two different species in 2002 and 2008, strongly suggested a biological explanation for children's toy preferences. In recent years, the question has become: How and why does biology make males (be they monkey or human) prefer trucks, and females, dolls?

New and ongoing research suggests babies' exposure to hormones while they are in the womb causes their toy preferences to emerge soon after birth. As for why evolution made this so, questions remain, but the toys may help boys and girls develop the skills they once needed to fulfill their ancient gender roles.





Source - LiveScience



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 09:40 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Me too. I was a tomboy. Still am a little bit now that I'm decades older.
But transgendered? Wow, they're trying to confuse issues that don't need to be messed with. I have no idea what it "feels" like to be a woman, or a man.
I don't "feel" the least bit like a man, and I'm so far from manly it's not an issue, but I'm clearly not a girly girl either....😕
I just feel like me.

Sigh....I guess I should be thankful this confusion wasn't forced upon me to be raised as a boy for climbing trees and riding dirt bikes.
Imagine the confusion that would have created in those teenage years when I enjoyed makeup for a while, and the fact that I'm attracted only to men...



posted on Aug, 26 2016 @ 09:50 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Excuse me? Because I quoted a textbook?

And honestly, I don't see where what you posted falls outside of social norms for the 20th/21st centuries anyways. being a tomboy has been perfectly acceptable for years.

Think of it like a bell curve for people with XX chromosomes. The right end being extreme feminity the left end being extreme masculinity as defined by our culture. I am guessing you fall close to the middle even if it is on the masculine side. Only the extreme left would be considered transgender.



posted on Aug, 27 2016 @ 12:43 AM
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Things to think about from the devil's advocate: I don't care and I don't have a dog in this fight. To be frank, not Frannie, I really only care if you are a nice person.

Just curious, is anyone aware of a word roughly equal to "tomboy" but in reference to effeminate boys? The only one's I have ever heard are basically homophobic slurs or worrisome comments about being gay. I've never heard anyone ever say something like, "Oh he's a real nancygirl, loves to bake and pick flowers and we can never get him to wear pants..."

I'm interested because it seems to me that it is both easy and acceptable for a cis gender woman living today (hereafter referred to as simply "woman") to say she is boyish, not a "girly-girl", etc. but I wouldn't say it's so easy or acceptable for a man to talk about not being a "manly-man" or having a preference for wearing clothing labeled as women's, for fear of being labeled gay, effeminate, light in the loafers, and any number of other things people say to make someone feel inferior, it's always implied and insidious.

I play violin, love to cook, am an abstract painter, write poetry, among other things...strangely all those professions I just mentioned have been male dominated for a long time yet still considered unmanly or gay or suspect or whatever you want to call that kind of thinking, at least in the very near past and even today by many. I also work from home and take care of my 2 year old son and raised a daughter who is now grown. So I suppose you could call me a girly-man who likes girly-girls...hehe.

I also find that this isn't so much a question of tradition as it is the state of one's current societal norms. For example, 100 years ago a woman wearing pants would have been considered outrageous and completely unattractive/unappealing to the majority of their peers and labeled as a butch lesbian literally, much as a man wearing a dress is in recent to current times, even though the Scots chased the Romans out of Scotland with a good measure of fierceness while wearing skirts.

Ever seen a guy with painted nails? Make you feel weird? Did you feel so uncomfortable that you had to comment on it to someone? Well, men with painted nails was the norm in the past in places like China where the loudest and brightest colors like pink and yellow were reserved for the emperor and upper class of both genders. In the middle east the darker the man's nail polish the higher up in society he was, of course that was millennia past so things have changed since then.

Maybe it's always painful for societies to challenge accepted norms. My question is why these types of labels, customs, etc. are so important and such a challenge to people's identity. Personally I couldn't be bothered to give a s**t about how someone expresses themselves in the way they look. Again, I really only care if you are a nice person, a straight shooter, a good human being, meaning someone who tries not to hurt other living things and does their best to help other living beings in need.

I had an easybake oven when I was a little boy because I wanted one. I loved it. I painted my nails with my daughter when she was young because she asked me to, I don't feel like less of a man because of it. Yet I have cousins who would quite literally beat a guy up in public if they saw him with painted toes, makes me wonder what they would do if they came upon a man with painted toes baking a cake. I still haven't arrived at a sane reason for why you would do such a thing.

If you don't like the way someone is expressing themselves, why would you waste your time thinking about it or acting out towards that person? Is it because it threatens you in some way? When I don't care for someone it's because I don't care for their personality or their rhetoric or you know, whatever they're currently selling because it jives with their belief system.

Just some thoughts to help stir the cesspool of judgement and intolerance, not meant to be inflammatory or step on anyone's toes. Just the way I like to think and challenge myself with things that are uncomfortable and I thought I would share.

Peace and cheers.

edit on 8 27 2016 by Michielli because: (no reason given)

edit on 8 27 2016 by Michielli because: Because I cannot spell but no worries, last I herd theirs really no link between spelling and intelligence.



posted on Aug, 27 2016 @ 05:10 AM
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originally posted by: Michielli
Things to think about from the devil's advocate: I don't care and I don't have a dog in this fight. To be frank, not Frannie, I really only care if you are a nice person.

Just curious, is anyone aware of a word roughly equal to "tomboy" but in reference to effeminate boys? The only one's I have ever heard are basically homophobic slurs or worrisome comments about being gay. I've never heard anyone ever say something like, "Oh he's a real nancygirl, loves to bake and pick flowers and we can never get him to wear pants..."


I think that's because in the past occupations/jobs were very gender specific, now

not at all. Women are being allowed on the front lines in the army, working in the

building trades etc. One that always makes me chuckle is we have in our area a

'woman' who is a tiler with her own business called *Bonnie Tiler*... not every will

get that significance.



I'm interested because it seems to me that it is both easy and acceptable for a cis gender woman living today (hereafter referred to as simply "woman") to say she is boyish, not a "girly-girl", etc. but I wouldn't say it's so easy or acceptable for a man to talk about not being a "manly-man" or having a preference for wearing clothing labeled as women's, for fear of being labeled gay, effeminate, light in the loafers, and any number of other things people say to make someone feel inferior, it's always implied and insidious.


Personally I have always thought of both men and women to be just that! and on a

percentage scale of 1 to 100 of just how masculine or feminine they are within it.



I play violin, love to cook, am an abstract painter, write poetry, among other things...strangely all those professions I just mentioned have been male dominated for a long time yet still considered unmanly or gay or suspect or whatever you want to call that kind of thinking, at least in the very near past and even today by many. I also work from home and take care of my 2 year old son and raised a daughter who is now grown. So I suppose you could call me a girly-man who likes girly-girls...hehe.


Wouldn't that just be you being in touch with your feminine side?



Cant argue with anything else you have said, People should just have the

confidence to be who they are.
edit on 27-8-2016 by eletheia because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2016 @ 06:41 AM
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The definition of sex is fairly clear although it is far more complex than just chromosomes and gonads. As this discussion is about gender, if we break this down into several components, it becomes clear that simplistic language falls short of adequately arriving at a single definition. Although the word gender is often used interchangeably with sex, they don't have the same meaning.

When speaking of gender, it is generally looked at in three aspects: Gender role, gender expression and gender identity with the first two being open to cultural or societal interpretation and conditioning.

Gender roles are the stereotypical things we think men and women do or societal expectations of what we think they should do. Men are the hunters and builders and women are the gathers and nurturers sort of thing. Acknowledged or not, most everyone has their own ideas about what are guy behaviors and what are girl behaviors. There are examples of both men and women that have historically stepped outside of traditional gender roles. We really don't even find this too unusual anymore.

Gender expressions or performance are the things we do to display to others what gender roles we fit into and in part, what we feel internally about ourselves. Sometimes they are innate and sometimes they are cultivated. The expression of gender in this manner is a spectrum with completely masculine at one end of the range and completely feminine at the other, which are subjective interpretations in and of themselves.

Few fall completely at either end of this spectrum. Who hasn't known the feminine acting male and the masculine acting or appearing female? In fact, everyone is mixture of both masculine and feminine qualities which others also judge purely on a subjective basis. Most people are aware, consciously or unconsciously when their gender expression is getting close to or crossing the line. Someone describing themselves as a tomboy is evidence of that. Much of this and our perceptions of masculine and feminine behavior are driven by cultural and societal programming and expectations, however, many of our behaviors and innate expressions are also biologically driven.

Gender identity, the third component, is our own internalized sense of self of being boys/men, girls/women or even something more loosely defined beyond rigid categories and as this is internalized, it can also play into our own sense of what sex our bodies are (or should be). A person's own sense of what gender they are is not open to outside interpretation although if expressed atypically for their sex, it may be. Women can be very masculine in appearance and behavior but not "feel" like they are men. The same goes for feminine men still "feeling" male. (Note: I do not use the word "effeminate" as many do because it has negative connotations but that and the male equivalent of tomboy are a discussion about language, not gender)

One poster in this thread presents a good example of this. Her gender roles and expressions, attitudes and experiences tend to lean toward the masculine side of the behavioral spectrum and these are her own perceptions likely also observed by others. In spite of these behaviors, her sense of being female, her core gender identity or sense of self as female is intact. I will make an observation that invariably and almost without fail, she feels compelled to comment negatively about trans identities or doth protest too much which to me, indicates there is some degree of unresolved or on-going internal dialog going on there? Everyone is cognizant of their own gendered behavior and presentation whether it is a high level awareness or not.

Variant gender roles and gender expression alone do not make someone trans. These things may coincide with being trans and often do as reflections of a person's internalized gender identity. The definition of the differences between transgender and transsexual are not concrete and vary widely depending on who you ask and usage of these terms is highly political within each group.

I've had some unique life experiences in this area and in the name of awareness and understanding and can provide the perspective of someone that has been both sexes. I've not really been both genders, only the one I am but I was expected to be a boy as that was what I was deemed to be at birth due to obvious anatomy.

The "boy" thing didn't work out for me so well. That was pretty obvious to everyone but I was just me. Regardless, I grew up being culturally indoctrinated to be a boy and to meet those societal expectations so I was painfully aware of what having a male gender was supposed to be about and it was about most everything I was not. I was aware of this very early in life.

In my experience, that has seen a fair part of the spectrum of gender expression, my sense of self of being a girl has never wavered or varied. I have no memories of ever feeling like anything else and my perception is this is just how I was born. I can't define it. I can't describe it. It just is and who I am. It's not so much about being masculine or feminine or whatever, it's something I "just know" because reasons. I got nothing more than that.

How this sense of self really began to manifest as physical problems, other than feeling I was always dressed in awkward funny clothes, was the summer after the 2nd grade. Without all the details, an unwanted haircut was involved which made me feel stripped naked and violated. As a result, I didn't have haircuts after that as having long hair just "felt right" and went with who I was.

By and during high school, my outward expression of gender became more representative of my personality and my heart, soul and spirit. My hair had grown to waist length. While physically male, my social gender had blended into the other. In 1973, when I was 18, my parents began to refer to me with she and her pronouns and began using my girl name. That was a long time ago and I am still that same person today, the same one I've always been.

But being a young woman to myself and to others I still had those feelings first felt about my hair as a child and the rest of my body had become an intolerably foreign, haunting host that needed to fit who I was and in with the rest of my life. I went through the process of changing sex to match my gender and who I already was as a person.

For a moment, let's please set aside the argument that you can't "really" change sex. I've heard them all before and am not in denial about my body but for all practical purposes except for menstruation and gestation and things that can only be determined with a microscope, I am female. That is what is right and what is natural for me. It matches my personality, my identity and who I am and have always been.

As I've said in other threads, why I was born a boy but grew up to be a girl is one of those great mysteries that I don't really worry about because it while it is weird and a more diverse life path than most, it all seemed pretty normal and organic for me.

So OP, I'm going to look at your "defined by nature" comments from my perspective. The way I am is how nature created me. What you are on the outside and what you feel on the inside does matter but you and other cisgender people have difficulty or are unable to recognize the weight of this because the inside and the outside are congruent with who you are and your consciousness and identity.

Does my point of view help? Discuss. Be nice.



posted on Aug, 27 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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i bet you didn't know about the third gender
sites.psu.edu...



There are an overwhelming amount of examples of another or “third gender” in cultures in the past:



posted on Aug, 27 2016 @ 11:34 AM
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Well since I can remember I was into ladies - being male and all.
As I've always put it - nature created me with a puzzle piece that fits perfectly into another puzzle piece, why the hell would I try sticking it somewhere it doesn't fit / belong ?

I believe transgender and sexual confusion are caused by trauma, even when it was to far back to remember.

People don't always want to face their demons, so they chicken out and convince themselves that 'this is who I really am / supposed to be'.

Obviously there are a few outliers - Castor Semenya and all,
But you need an exception to prove a rule.
edit on 27-8-2016 by GreenGunther because: Typing like wildfire!



posted on Aug, 27 2016 @ 12:20 PM
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All of us can speak only on behalf of our selves. That is what we, all of we, "know" about. Only about what the "you" have experienced.

Do we have any trans-people speaking about their experience, here on this thread??
Freija, your post is GOLD. Thank you very much for your input in this thread, would star you million times.


FTR, i'm comfortable in my body, being the broken record i am. My sister tho, she is those kind of people who has been born into male body, while being, feeling, what-ever, a girl.

I really feel sick about some posts in this thread. Can't help it. And i don't really want to explain, just wishing that those people, whos voice needs to be heard, gets heard. So please, if you do have a dog in this race, join to the conversation.

For what i know today about the issue, theres a LOT of "those transpeople".
edit on 08America/Chicago88America/Chicago814 by menneni because: (no reason given)




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