Male and Female Robots

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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:25 am

Carleas wrote:Yes, words have meaning, and it is meaningful that we consider Siri and Alexa as female virtual assistants.


But we don't consider Siri or Alexa female... nor do we consider ships female.
This is not something we agree on...
I would be disturbed to learn that anyone was under the impression that Siri is a female,
because of how inaccurate that would be and the cascade failure it would produce in erecting a coherent model of the world...

You are using our poetic licence, representational short hands and metaphorical tendencies to justify a position that gender isn't a well defined concept or is merely a social treatment...

We use and are safe to use these literally incorrect phrases or terms because we have common understanding about what it is they communicate..
Anyone who cannot discern that, like say a child, or someone with cognitive impairments (or ostensibly someone trying to make an ideological point) would need to be spoken to with far more literal precision.

If I were being precise I would never say Siri is female... I would say Siri is made to sound similar to a typical human female.
In much the same way... I would say a transwoman is a human male attempting to pass for a human female.

Sure, but just because we can distinguish "young woman" and "old woman", and because that distinction might sometimes be relevant, doesn't mean we should have to make it in contexts where it isn't relevant.


Agreed...
But if we are addressing a person's age then their age is relevant... and even if we do bring it up in a context where it's not relevant, that's no reason to misrepresent it.

My claim is that when a single person communicates to you that they sincerely prefer to be treated as a woman, and takes every reasonable step to make that treatment appropriate in context, and you already treat things with no biology to speak of as women, it is inconsistent to pedantically refuse on the basis of biology.


This is why I say your comparison of machines or objects to people is a red herring...
Virtually no behavior of mine would be similar when comparing Siri to a human being... If Siri was made to say "I would prefer male pronouns" I would tell IT to shut the fuck up or turn IT off
That in no way translates to how I would behave with a human being.

I have said over and over again that, as things are right now, I don't know of a better way to help transgender people live comfortable and pleasant lives than to straight up LARP with them about their gender.
It seems the only way to help them cope with their, honestly, terrifying sounding condition...

BUT you and I don't have to lose sight of what it is we are doing here or why we are doing it, even if the transgender person desperately wants us to...
And so long as we don't lose sight of it, we know where to draw the line on the LARPing thing; or as you would say, in a context where it matters, we stop playing pretend.

If comparing it to LARPing is too much then we could say it's like that social nicety where we pretend to be shocked to learn an older woman isn't her daughters sister...
But then I'd expect that if we were asked her age in all seriousness, and we knew it... we'd give you her actual age, not what age she wishes she were...
I would not expect playing words games where we pretend we don't know what age means or try to make a distinction between age and "social age" or some other BS to avoid "offending" this woman.

EDIT:
So just to clarify... my willingness to acquiesce to a transgender person's desire to be addressed as male or female is NOT AT ALL dependent on their ability to "pass" for that gender.
It hinges entirely on their need for it and the consequences of my refusal to their quality of life...

By much the same metric, I would refuse those bratty kids who want to be called "them or they" or some nonsense motivated by petty snowflake status or some other trivial power play.
That kid would not be best helped by my playing along... that kid would stand to gain more from learning some humility and developing a less self-centered outlook.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:02 am

Mad Man P wrote
That kid would not be best helped by my playing along.

Playing along helps change reality.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:10 am

surreptitious75 wrote:There are four distinctive categories here and they are :

Biological female who identifies as biological female
Biological male who identifies as biological male

Biological female who identifies as trans male
Biological male who identifies as trans female

Reducing these four categories to two blurs the distinction between biological and trans
It may be done for the best of reasons but the distinction is too important to be denied

The competing of trans in professional sports is one unintended consequence of this
Until some uniformity on issues such as this is reached then the problem will remain

It is more complicated than simply accepting someone for who they are as acceptance does not exist within a vacuum

The way I see it, the distinction between man and woman is far more significant than the distinction between man and trans woman or woman and trans man.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:17 am

surreptitious75 wrote:Let us look at the specific problem of transwomen competing with biological women in professional sports
The transwomen will have an unfair advantage over the biological women due to higher testosterone levels

Here are all possible solutions to this particular problem :

Let them carry on competing with biological females but not allowed to win which is unfair to them
Let them carry on competing with biological females which is unfair to the biological females
Let them only compete with biological males which would be fair but would not be allowed
Let biological females take testosterone which would be fair but would also not be allowed
Let them only compete with each other which is the ideal solution but there are currently not enough of them

Maybe in the future when there are the latter will be allowed as there will be Translympics just like the Paralympics now
However there is no ideal solution to this problem as of right now and till there are more trans athletes nor will there be

Trans people need to adapt to our norms, just like gypsies, lefthanders, midgets, Muslims and everyone else does.
They can be themselves, but either they have to work with and around our norms instead of trying to bulldoze them, or they can find their own planet.
Academia, the politicians, megacorps, media and entertainment industry need to adapt to our norms too, they're the ones pushing trans on us.
If they want their own Olympics, they should fund it themselves, not with our tax.
Trans people need to compete with other members of their biological sex, or they shouldn't compete.
Transwomen who compete against women are cowards.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:18 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Gloominary wrote:Is plastic food, real food, as long as it can pass for real food, or we're not eating it?
I once watched a film on industrial food creation. Like they were trying to come up with a food to sell at seven 11s and other, something you can eat while driving. I can't remember any details, except these scientists and food managers were brainstorming texture, ingredients flavor etc. and I turned tot he person next to me and asked if this was a spoof. It was so surreal. And now we have gm foods and plastic surgery as the norm, so it shouldn't be a surprise that now everything else will be up for grabs as the utter deadness of physicalism takes over the world.

Good point.
This is not an isolated issue, it's just one part of a systemic push in large part by the elite towards a more artificial world.
If it's not the denaturing of sex and gender, it's the denaturing of food and drugs.
If it's not Ai and cybernetics, it's genetic and geoengineering.
I'm not anti-tech but nor am I anti-nature, and 9 times out of 10 nature is fine as is.
I think we need to be a lot more apprehensive about the kinds of tech we embrace, in part because a lot of the time it's being weaponized against us under different guises.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:48 am

WendyDarling wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:Age and race could also then be self-identified.

It is already by a small minority (Rachel Dolezal for one, a transracial person)ready to usher in their preferences for the majority, ready to change the acceptable definitions to suit their desires.

Is Rachel black? The mind of a black woman is trapped in a white woman's body.

https://medium.com/verve-up/transracial-is-not-the-new-transgender-why-race-and-gender-are-not-synonymous-b2c688ef0faeYeah, we're supposed to believe that such delusions stop with transgendered, obviously they don't. Peter Pan Syndrome for the age deal, but soon it will be debatable since children are legally prosecuted as adults...why not treat adults as children? They desire childhood forever. The wrong mind is trapped in an adult body.
The thing is, for me, that my worldview even includes the possibility of transcracialism. But I don't think anyone should be put in the position of having to accept that other person's view. IOW we are talking about something that is magical, if real. Something well beyond most paradigms. Doesn't mean it is false, but it means that when dealing with most people, t hey simply cannot expect other people to go along. For example the 12 years who feels like an adult, cannot expect people to allow him to get a driver's licence or buy a gun. The adult who thinks he is a child cannot expect to not get charged as an adult in court or to attend the third grade.

fine, if you think that, confess to your close friends, allow the idea to make you feel right in relaiton to yourself in the way syou can. But since we have no way to confirm this you cannot expect society to conform to the idea and your beef is with God or whatever forces led to this problematic situation. As I have said earlier I do think there is an extremely small group who actually are transpersons. I know you disagree with this, Wendy, but we share concerns that this phenomenon is so blown out of proportion and includes self-contradictory indoctrination, that is badly affecting lots of children who are not trans.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:56 pm

KT wrote:
fine, if you think that, confess to your close friends, allow the idea to make you feel right in relaiton to yourself in the way syou can. But since we have no way to confirm this you cannot expect society to conform to the idea and your beef is with God or whatever forces led to this problematic situation. As I have said earlier I do think there is an extremely small group who actually are transpersons. I know you disagree with this, Wendy, but we share concerns that this phenomenon is so blown out of proportion and includes self-contradictory indoctrination, that is badly affecting lots of children who are not trans.

Whether they are right with themselves? It's not their issue, it's our issue because they cannot be right with themselves alone. We have to support the delusion, whatever it may be, so they can pretend to be right. It's pretend if we have to support it to make it true.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:51 pm

Gloominary wrote:By extension we should call a butchy biological woman a man even if it offends her is everyone comfortable with that

surreptitious75 wrote:You could only say she was man like as that would be objectively true so whether it was also offensive would be entirely academic
Language though can be offensive but when that is used as a reason to deny truth statements it becomes very questionable indeed

The freedom to deny someone self expression is the most offensive thing of all because it should not be decided by anyone else what it is you can say
Obviously there are consequences and rightly so but it is still better to say what you think and accept said consequences than be afraid to say it at all

Calling masculine biowomen men so we can call feminine transwomen women, would be one of the consequences of defining sex according to what attributes are salient, as Carleas suggests we do, while giving little-no consideration to their feelings or what they take offence to, as I suggest we do, for the sake of consistency and objectivity.
It's a rather subjective way of defining things, as what's salient for one person or in one situation, might not be what's salient for another person or in another situation.
So basically it boils down to how situationally masculine/feminine people are, rather than biology.
We'll be offending one group more to offend another less.
Likewise feminine biowomen (the majority of women) will be called women and masculine transwomen men (arguably the majority of transwomen).
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:33 pm

Gloominary wrote:Firstly, if a person's femininity is more salient one moment, and their masculinity the next, does that mean we should alternate what (pro)nouns we're using to define them from moment to moment?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:No, obviously. In fact I wish we were pretty loose about what a woman or a man can do and still be considered a healthy/moral version of their sex. In the old way of doing things we had ideas about the differences, and there was certainly some truth in it, but then we would literally beat the qualities out of the child/teenager, if necessary, to make those children fit the models. I am glad that shifted and feminism did help with that. That doesn't mean there were or are no problems with feminism or even the parallel stretching of what it is to be a man by men and male centered approaches. The way the word fag gets using in school is a kind of crossection of how we were long battered into what our natures supposedly were.

I think the shift from more rigid roles for men and women to more relaxed roles occurred less for ideological reasons and more because improvements in abortive and contraceptive techniques meant women were having less kids, partly freeing them from their traditional role as homemaker.
Technologies like the dishwasher, vacuum cleaner and washing machine made homework a lot easier, further freeing them.
Of course the megacorps took note of this, they didn't want women to have all this free time on their hands, consequently they rigged the economy to make it even worse for the lower classes than it already was, so women had to slave away in factories and offices for the upper classes to support increasingly smaller families too.
Gradually jobs became less physically demanding and women could take them more.

While men and women tend to have different strengths, weakness and proclivities, as humans we also tend to have similar ones.
There're plenty of exceptions to these rules, and our strengths and weaknesses are less relevant in a more technologically advanced world where we're not having as many kids. So while I don't think roles for men and women should be abolished altogether and our natural differences denied, I do think the relaxing of these roles was necessary, in no small part because the megacorps made it that way.

I do want that longer term context involved in all this. It's not like the left just came and and fucked with gender/sex. We've been fucking with that for thousands of years, hallucinating away on children and making them fit ideas that obviously, I mean obviously did not fit their natures, or we would not have to work so damn hard to make them fit the archetypes.

Does this mean there are not differences? No.
Does this mean men and women are the same? No.

You seem much more complicated that 'the right' so this is aimed elsewhere, but often in these discussions and with some of the posters here at ILP, the answer is to go back. Well, I don't wanna get in that box either. In fact this is part of my problem with the transmovement, since it implicitly says, hey, kid if you are feeling sad and afraid more than other boys, or are interested in clothes and aesthetics and relations or are not so interested in competition, there's a good chance you're really a girl. What?

Now in general people are not so sloppy as to say this out loud in such crude terms, but it is the message indirecly being implied with systematic regularity. And the kids most likely to be confused and influenced by this are those who already have problems in other ways.

Right, and it's much harder to fit a somewhat feminine man in the woman box, because biology, surgery, steroids and all that, than it is to fit him in the man box, so if anything we should be encouraging him to either fit himself more in the man box, or just leave him as is, as a man but possibly with more feminine traits than most men have.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:52 pm

Mad Man, I think we are actually not that far apart on this, placing different emphasis on very similar views.
Mad Man P wrote:I have said over and over again that, as things are right now, I don't know of a better way to help transgender people live comfortable and pleasant lives than to straight up LARP with them about their gender.

And I will say that if there was good reason to believe that acquiescing to someone's expressed social sexual identity was harmful for them, whether in general or in the case of a specific individual, I would endorse a different course of action. I don't think we have good reason to think any alternative treatment is better.

Mad Man P wrote:If comparing it to LARPing is too much then we could say it's like that social nicety where we pretend to be shocked to learn an older woman isn't her daughters sister...

I think social nicety is a fair standard, but to complicate things: people get fired for being rude to customers and coworkers, should they be subject to firing for refusing to refer to a transman as a man?

Now, I don't think the actual social discussion around transexuality is anything like "social nicety". People who refuse to recognize a person's preferred social sex aren't called rude, they're called bigoted, and people want that called a hate crime on par with cross burning. But I wonder if you would support treating it as rude, together with all the social consequences that rudeness can entail.

I think my argument here goes much farther, but I am beginning to think that all that's really necessary is a social norm that misgendering is rude in the same way that publicly acknowledging that someone is ugly is rude (though it's a bit complicated by the fact that, unlike for beauty, sex distinctions are built into the language).

Mad Man P wrote:By much the same metric, I would refuse those bratty kids who want to be called "them or they" or some nonsense motivated by petty snowflake status or some other trivial power play.

I basically agree with this, though I do wish there were a gender neutral pronoun in English, and to that end I fully endorse the singular use of "them" or "they" in general.

I also think there's a weaker 'nicety' standard that would say that, where accommodating sincere requests like these is easy, we should do it. There are actually people who are intersex or asexual, and if a little effort in speech will avoid significant discomfort, we should opt to share the burden of their condition. Because it's unusual and requires effort, we should weigh accusation of rudeness against other explanations that don't appeal to malice.

Mad Man P wrote:But we don't consider Siri or Alexa female... nor do we consider ships female.

To return to my stronger position, I think there is a significant difference between the concept of "female" as it is applied to ships and the concept as it is applied to Siri, and certainly "male" as applied to Data. I don't think the "poetic" vs. "literal" distinction is a binary; ships are "she" in the most poetic sense, Siri is "she" is a less poetic sense, Data is "he" in a fairly literal sense. One way to show this is universality: ships aren't universally female, that is specific to English; Siri might sometimes be called 'it', but never 'he' (unless we change to the "male" voice), and Data is rarely if ever called 'it'. That seems intuitive, and meaningful.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:38 pm

Carleas wrote:I will say that if there was good reason to believe that acquiescing to someone's expressed social sexual identity was harmful for them, whether in general or in the case of a specific individual, I would endorse a different course of action. I don't think we have good reason to think any alternative treatment is better.


Agreed...
I don't know what it's like to feel trapped in the wrong body... that sounds terrifying to me
If the only medicine we have right now for that condition is a heavy dose of delusion... then maybe that's what we should do while we search for a better option.

I would liken this to giving someone morphine to dull the pain... and similarly I would be very weary of just casually handing it out to anyone who cares to ask for it.
Yet I have the impression that you believe it to be a far more harmless exercise, more akin to handing out tic tacs...

people get fired for being rude to customers and coworkers, should they be subject to firing for refusing to refer to a transman as a man?


We're not there yet... this is supper muddy, in part due to people who would parrot some of the ideas you have forwarded here.

There is a subculture right now that believes gender is social and so it can and should be whatever you want it to be, whenever you want it to be...

I am beginning to think that all that's really necessary is a social norm that misgendering is rude in the same way that pointing out that publicly acknowledging that someone is ugly is rude (though it's a bit complicated by the fact that, unlike for beauty, sex distinctions are built into the language).


I don't think we should treat it as an expected norm, but as a kindness... it's a special treatment.
Like holding a door open for someone... it's a kindness to do it, but it's not exactly rude NOT to do it.

It gets progressively worse NOT to do it, as the other person's NEED for that assistance grows... so NOT holding a door for someone who is carrying a lot of stuff and has to juggle to get their hand free is worse.
NOT holding the door for Stephen Hawking might even approach "rude".

But this is all contingent on you being aware of their need...
Yet in our world too many people are competing in the oppression olympics and fighting in the snowflake wars for us to be able to tell who's faking it and who's not...

In a world where it is "hip" to ride around in wheelchairs, you can't easily tell who you ought to hold the door open for and who is just being a dick.

To return to my stronger position, I think there is a significant difference between the concept of "female" as it is applied to ships and the concept as it is applied to Siri, and certainly "male" as applied to Data.


Yeah I get that.. but that's just how you would like to use language.
Arguing over semantics is pointless.. but allow me to make an appeal to practicality here.
Why words like man, woman, female, male, associated pronouns and gender in general SHOULD only be applied to biological creatures LITERALLY.
If you're being figurative or metaphorical, that's a different story...

It's no accident we have words for only two genders and not 4 or 5...
Words like "male" or "female" were invented and used to address the biological sexes that our species and most other species we saw around us required for procreation.

We knew very little about this phenomenon at first, but we have a much richer and more precise understanding of what these genders are, that they are rooted in biology and what that means...
And it's growing richer and more precise every day.

I don't much feel like going back to the ignorant stone age version where we have to guesstimate based off superficial appearances, peepees and/or vagaigais to determine what gender a creature is.
If that's what you want to do, you're welcome to it brother... but I'm happy where we are.

Now you can argue that Data is "literally" a male till you are blue in the face... but that's just semantics, it means you define "male" such that Data fits the mold.
I am saying we wouldn't need a word like "male" if there was only one biological sex... if all creatures known to us were hermaphrodites or asexual, say.
We would no more need to invent a gender to describe Data, than we currently need to invent a new gender to describe a hair dryer...

But if we came across klingons... we would need to address the fact that their procreation and biology depends on producing two distinct genders in their species...
We would need words for those genders and that's when we'd need words like male and female to reference that fact.

Edit:
Now we can agree to redefine "male" such that Data qualifies and redefine gender to be a social treatment... it's our language we can do what we want.
But then I'm left wanting unambiguous words for each biological sex.... care to invent them?

And once invented and injected into the language... Do you think we could use those words to describe transexuals without it being upsetting?
Do you think perhaps we might make use of poetic or figurative license to use those words to describe dolls, objects or even androids made to look or sound like a typical members of one such sex?
Do you think perhaps one day, due to this license... you might want to change the definition of those words too, like you want to do now?
Necessitating yet another pair of words be invented, so that we may repeat this endless cycle that's beginning to form...
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:51 pm

Carleas: I am beginning to think that all that's really necessary is a social norm that misgendering is rude in the same way that pointing out that publicly acknowledging that someone is ugly is rude (though it's a bit complicated by the fact that, unlike for beauty, sex distinctions are built into the language).
I don't think there is a norm against pointing out someone is ugly, or strange, or off, or not 'professional' or too emotional or any of a number of norm controlling behavior patterns. In many subcultures but not all directly saying someone is ugly si problematic, but in all you can say to everyone else htey are pretty and be silent with that one person. There are thousands of ways of implying it. And one can say it behind people's backs, which might even be worse. Shouldn't it be that one not gender at all.

But then the parallel is off, since ugly is a bad thing to be, but being a man or a woman should not be bad. The beef it seems to me is DNA or God or both. If you don't seem to be a man, and someone calls you a woman, well, that isn't necessarily their fault.

Men who wear drag are men. If you think someone has made an effort to look like a woman over what seems like a male base and you call them women, you will misgender men in drag. Or butch women men, the same type of problem.

Gender doesn't matter, biological sex doesn't matter, but it's rude to misgender.

So, then we go to intentionally misgendering, which would mean you know how they want to be taken, but you continue anyway. Of course, you do not think you are misgendering, but that is different than the mistake, which God or DNA is responsible for.

I call people what they want. Though I don't think I would call a white person black if they feel their soul is black. Because that act on my part involves other people, not just the person I am labelling. It says something, in a sense, to blacks. Get the blacks to agree and get back to me.

But why are these so different?

I am so glad people are generally not dragged around behind pickups for not seeming right for their gender. Or for their race. At least, must less.

We wanna get people to think and talk right, while democracy is going down the tubes? for example.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:28 pm

surreptitious75 wrote:
Gloominary wrote:
Firstly if a persons femininity is more salient one moment and their masculinity the next does that mean we should alternate what pronouns
we are using to define them from moment to moment

Absolutely not given that it would be confusing and subjective and also entirely unnecessary

Everyone regardless of gender possesses both feminine and masculine character traits so identifying them as such would be rather superfluous
In English pronouns are usually only applied to living things not to types of behaviour so introducing this would only make it more complicated
Do we really want to adopt the French model of extending pronoun usage to anything other than living things when there is no reason to do so

This would be guaranteed to almost certainly fail because would men freely allow having any aspect of their behaviour referred to as feminine
Already it is considered a slur to refer to something as gay when its referenced in relation to a man so it would not go down well with feminine

Liberal men would find it politically incorrect and conservative men would find it offensive and so it would never catch on
There is probably enough political incorrectness and offensiveness without creating an entirely new category of it anyway

I agree, but this is a consequence of what Carleas proposes.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:30 pm

Gloominary wrote:Firstly, if a person's femininity is more salient one moment, and their masculinity the next, does that mean we should alternate what (pro)nouns we're using to define them from moment to moment?

Carleas wrote:Interesting. I think not, though maybe we could come up with a hypothetical in which I'd question that conclusion. Again I see the major consideration as being that people don't intend for their social sexual role to oscillate. But I also think that it doesn't make sense in terms of the function of social sexual roles. Social sexual roles don't change on short time scales, and because they act in part to inform our expectations about behavior, they wouldn't work if they weren't sufficiently fixed to form the basis of our expectations about future behavior (again, over some longish time scale).

If we define sex according to salient mannishness/womanliness (as you would have us do), In the arena, bathroom, bedroom, doctor's office, at physical jobs and in romantic relationships, where biology supposedly becomes more salient, it would make sense to refer to people by their biological sex, whereas at nonphysical jobs and in platonic relationships, where sociology, if you will, supposedly becomes more salient, it would make sense to refer to people by their social sex.

When wearing a dress and makeup a transwoman may appear womanish, so we would call her a woman, but when not wearing a dress and makeup they may appear manly, so we would call him a man.
If their social sex is partly or fully an act, on days they're behaving ladylike, it would make sense to call her one, but on days they're behaving manlike, it would make sense to call him one.
They may have mannish/womanly mood swings, so during their womanly moods, we'd call her a woman, and during their mannish, a man.

However, all that being said, the truth of the matter is, biology is always more-less salient, even at nonphysical jobs and in platonic relationships, no matter how much you try to cover it up with clothes, makeup, steroids and surgery, all thing which should define sex least, because they're not innate to the person.
Biological sex in large part determines social sex, how we look underneath all the cosmetics and how we interact with other people and the world.
Altho the science is in its early stages, it's demonstrating at best transwomen have androgynous brains and at worst mannish brains, so at best they'll interact with other people, themselves for that matter and the world androgynously and at worst mannishly.
And underneath the cosmetics, at their very, very best, they have androgynous phenotypes and bodies, and at worst, mannish phenotypes and bodies.

Women look and behave differently than men, in platonic relationships and even at nonphysical jobs, and we treat them differently.
They bring a different approach, aura and energy to the workplace than do men.

Just as women can't compete with men in sports because there's a fundamental biological difference, men can't compete with women at being womanly because there's a fundamental biological difference.
Beneath all the externalities, the vast majority of women look and behave more womanly than both men, and transwomen, and while there may be a few exceptions, those biological women who look mannish, if they put as much effort into looking and behaving womanly as transwomen do, they could probably surpass them too.

Gloominary wrote:Is plastic food, real food, as long as it can pass for real food, or we're not eating it?

Carleas wrote:I don't think this is as strong a point in your favor as you think it is, and that's interesting. If there's a bowl of plastic fruit, and I ask you to pass me the apple, you know what I'm talking about. If I hold up the banana and ask you what it is, you wouldn't be wrong to say "a banana". In a lot of relevant ways, it is a banana, and the concept of banana encompasses those ways too.

But if there's a bowl of organic fruit beside the bowl of plastic fruit, I'd ask you which apple, the fake one or the real one?

I feel like you (and Mad Man) are appealing to some kind of Platonic form of sex, and treating the word as though it points to that and only that.

I'm not sure about Mad Man, I haven't been closely following him, but if that were the case, I wouldn't even acknowledge men can be authentically, genuinely, even naturally feminine in many ways, and women masculine.
It's not that men are wholly masculine and women feminine, it's that they're fundamentally or predominantly masculine and feminine respectively, trans or no trans.
Progressives grossly exaggerate how much you can trans.
I'm a nominalist, not a Platonist.

But that isn't how language works. There are not such clear lines in sex, particularly when we include its social expression. We aren't pointing to a sharply delineated form behind the world, we're pointing to a messy and fuzzily defined set of features that don't apply to all things we call male or female and that apply to lots of things we don't call male and female.

An ape may be able to ape men, but he's still an ape.

It seems like trans advocates largely see their ask as evolving language and concepts, where people that oppose those asks see it as applying the existing (or ostensibly existing) language and concepts to something different. Really, it's best thought of as some combination of the two: there's an intersubjective fact of the matter about what counts as a man or woman, and because it's intersubjective, it can change if we all learn to parse the world differently.

My argument here is that the concepts trans activists are pushing already exist as applied to fictional beings and non-biological, quasi-social things like virtual assistants.

I appreciate that you've taken a nuanced position between two extremes.
I think I have too, but I'm more center-right on this, whereas you're more center-left...or a dualist, because you think the social can be totally separated from the biological in most circumstances, whereas I don't.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:38 pm

Part of being a woman means shared experiences.
Transwomen are never going to know what it's like to have real tits and a vag.
They're never going to know what it's like to have a period or go through menopause, or life with the possibility of becoming pregnant.
They'll never know what it's like to be both vulnerable, and attractive to men by default, not by choice.
Never know what it's like to be subject to the exact same hormonal influences women are subject to, try as they may to replicate them, live in the exact same bodies, feel and think the exact same way.

These experiences, or lack thereof, shape their social role.
Their life experiences are not the life experiences of women, they're the life experiences of (androgynous) men.
Consequently they'll never be able to relate to women, or men the way real women do.
You can't separate the social world from the biological, in the cut and dry way progressives think you can.

Mannish women who still identify as women and transwomen aren't the same thing either, they're very, very different.

A side point, I hate the term cis gender, cis sounds like sissy.
I'm going to start using the term biogender I coined, and instead of cis men and women, biomen and women.


To summarize, If you call a transwoman a man, you'll be 100% right in the biological sense (chromosomes, sex organs at birth), mostly right in the physical sense (secondary sex characteristics), and arguably mostly right in the social sense, for the biological in large part determines the social, and furthermore the biological is more important than the social, for it's immutable, and what defines you most is what's most definite about you.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:24 pm

Mad Man P wrote:Arguing over semantics is pointless

When people disagree about how a word should be applied, it just is a semantic argument. People on both sides seem to feel very strongly about how the language should be used. To the extent arguing about anything is useful, arguing about this is useful.

Mad Man P wrote:It's no accident we have words for only two genders and not 4 or 5...

It is my understanding that other cultures do have more than two words for genders. Thai ladyboys are one example, and other other parts of southeast Asia have similar concepts (the words used are similar, so it appears to be the same concept shared by cultural osmosis). Samoan has its own concept of a third gender, less likely to be derived from the mainland culture. That latter one is particularly useful, because Samoan gender culture in general is different (the society is less patriarchal), they are an accepted part of society, and there appears to be a long history of the distinction.


Take a step back from this, though, and let's talk about how words and concepts change as the situation on the ground changes. This strikes me as parallel to something like the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees "the right ... to ... bear arms". In modern times, we're talking about something that the people who wrote that couldn't have been talking or thinking about. There were no Glocks during the founding. So we have to decide how we want that term to apply, how we want to lump things into the concept of "arms" in the constitutional context.

Similarly here: the word "woman" is hundreds of years old, and throughout that time it referred to something very different from what we now use the word to refer to. The concept has changed, the constellation of facts that are implied has shifted and cleaved. For example, where "independent" is now used frequently with "woman", those concepts were nearly contradictory a few hundred years ago (google ngrams bear this out, though there is probably a coding error before ~1775, the line is too flat and the change too abrupt).

When this kind of conceptual shift occurs, we need to change how we apply the word. Where once the biology and certain social roles went together, now they are separate. The word will either apply to one, the other or both, and in any case it will not function the way it once did.

Removing ambiguity is nice, but society has changed beneath the word, and sticking with the word doesn't resolve the ambiguity, it just ignores it.

Mad Man P wrote:I don't think we should treat it as an expected norm, but as a kindness... it's a special treatment.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't think there is a norm against pointing out someone is ugly, or strange, or off, or not 'professional' or too emotional or any of a number of norm controlling behavior patterns.

I think we are using the term "norm" differently. Basic etiquette requires that you avoid conveying to someone, in any way, that they are ugly. I call that a 'norm'. I'd call holding a door a weak norm, but still a norm (I'd even say that there's a gendered norm around who holds the door for who, though that's dying and not enforced in many contexts).

I also think there's little difference between a social kindness and the standards of decency that an employee can be disciplined for violating. I think there is an expectation that employees will hold the door for customers.

Gloominary wrote:I think I have too, but I'm more center-right on this, whereas you're more center-left...or a dualist, because you think the social can be totally separated from the biological in most circumstances, whereas I don't.

I think this is mostly right. I think the social and biological concepts are less connected than we generally pretend, and that our existing use of the concepts demonstrates this.

We also disagree on what the empirical evidence suggests so far, and what it will show as time goes on. Generally I am wary of studies of looking for innate differences in strongly socialized concepts like race and sex; it's very hard to control for all the ways socialization can shape people.

Gloominary wrote:Part of being a woman means shared experiences.

Ironically, this doesn't sound particularly center-right! I feel like I've read the same premises in arguments about how white men should stay out of conversation about racism and sexism, or how affirmative action is indispensable in university admissions.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Meno_ » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:35 pm

Focus on gender bias, the quantity of social rules nationally may entail on the underlying roles of assigning meaning.

However the family of meanings does not qualify determinants on bases of the the set perimeters within which such determinations become effective and relevant.
Flashpoints are more determinative , and these are more prone to be sig- ificant and hyperbolically noticed. internationally.
Middle East dominance.animating from Iran, for example, sends.women into the kitchen when men discuss any relevant issue .
International relations dwarf constitutional in house concerns , and control of general importer issues become tools of political expediency.
Semantics do not forge lasting and satisfactory agreements, and that is in the upper minds of those who take ahodts of mean ing for granted, below the level of effective policy, and see it more in terms of affective theater.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:14 pm

Carleas wrote:When people disagree about how a word should be applied, it just is a semantic argument. People on both sides seem to feel very strongly about how the language should be used. To the extent arguing about anything is useful, arguing about this is useful.


I get that we're in the middle of culture war and that in this particular case our language is caught in the crossfire... that generates ambiguity and confusion and makes communicating across the gap difficult.

If I say transwomen are men, you can't then say I'm wrong and that they are women and expect that to track if you know what I meant was "biological sex"...
you can INSIST that I use language the way you propose but I see no great need to comply... Like I pointed out, I'd want to retain unambiguous words for the biological sexes.
The utility of having those words is far greater than the utility of having words to reference various "social treatments" that change and shift with fashion.

You have failed to convince me otherwise.

Where once the biology and certain social roles went together, now they are separate. The word will either apply to one, the other or both, and in any case it will not function the way it once did.


Nonsense.
There are tons of ways in which we have treated men and women throughout history and in different cultures...
There is no monolithic "social treatment" that goes with any gender, "social treatment" has always been a moving target.

The novelty isn't the cultural shift in how we treat the genders... it's the battleground being shifted to politising and controlling language.
This nonsense is born out of unease... When you call a transwoman "woman" you are technically lying to them and everyone else.
The request from transexuals is very much that they be addressed as the sex they are NOT, that's the "social treatment" they want.
So you can muddy up the language to erase the inherent lie in granting that request, but we'll make up new words for the sexes and then you will need to muddy them up as well... round and round we'll go.

It's so much easier to just accept that we're lying in order to ease their pain... then we can save ourselves this trouble.

Removing ambiguity is nice, but society has changed beneath the word, and sticking with the word doesn't resolve the ambiguity, it just ignores it.


Society has changed... human biology hasn't.
Language has change... human biology hasn't

Yes words might shift in meaning, but if the original word had utility then a new one takes its place...
In all cultures and in all societies people care very much about human biology... if not because of fair cage fights or science then you know, cuz sexy fun times and babies.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:57 pm

Mad Man P wrote:Like I pointed out, I'd want to retain unambiguous words for the biological sexes.

I hazard to guess that if a friend set you up with "a nice woman" on a blind date, you'd be pretty surprised if you showed up to find a post-op transman. "I said 'woman'", they might protest, and, unambiguous as that statement is, you really should have seen it coming.

Calling a transwoman, "woman" is no more lying than is calling them "man". Both descriptions can be accurate or misleading depending on how they're understood. The trick is that we're relying on a shared understanding of what they mean, and there is less and less shared understanding to rely on. That ambiguity isn't created by people who want to call a transwoman "woman", it's created by changes in society.

Mad Man P wrote:There are tons of ways in which we have treated men and women throughout history and in different cultures...

Yes, and tons of things that "arms" have meant.

One difference now is the speed at which social roles are changing. My living grandmother was born before women could vote in the United States, and now we have women presidential candidates getting a majority of the vote. That's quite a move in one lifetime. Much of that change seems to have been in the past few decades, in particular as the internet has allowed organizing at societal scale. Rapid change makes the traditionally slow transition of words insufficient, so the language has lagged the culture.

Mad Man P wrote:Society has changed... human biology hasn't

This is still question-begging; we aren't talking about biology.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:01 pm

Carleas wrote:I hazard to guess that if a friend set you up with "a nice woman" on a blind date, you'd be pretty surprised if you showed up to find a post-op trans man. "I said 'woman'", they might protest, and, unambiguous as that statement is, you really should have seen it coming.


If it were a post-op trans woman the same protest would be voiced.
Sexual attraction isn't just about biology but ALSO appearance... I'm trying really hard not to view this as a cheap rhetorical ploy

The trick is that we're relying on a shared understanding of what they mean, and there is less and less shared understanding to rely on. That ambiguity isn't created by people who want to call a transwoman "woman", it's created by changes in society.


This isn't a complicated maze to navigate dude... you're trying like all hell to suggest that the muddy language is born out of necessity. If your friend had just called a spade a spade this would be easy peasy...
"I'm setting you up with a transman" see how easy that was? no words needed to be redefined... man still means man, woman still means woman... and transman/woman covers this scenario.

Mad Man P wrote:Society has changed... human biology hasn't

This is still question-begging; we aren't talking about biology.


We absolutely are talking about biology... you want to make it about "social treatment" but you and I don't disagree about "social treatment"
We both agree that the best option available to us is to lie to people with gender dysphoria... you and I will effectively give them the same "social treatment" so far as I can tell.

The disagreement we have is you want redefine "gender" to longer be a reference to the biological phenomenon but instead merely a form of self-selected title that we address people by...
The impetus behind this is entirely unwarranted by our circumstance and could only serve to make the process of LYING to people more palatable.
In fact, solving the problem of lying, by making the gender with which we address or describe people effectively meaningless and that way, no one can say we're lying...
But this guilt-washing leaves me wanting words for this very real biological phenomenon previously known as gender...
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:27 am

Carleas wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't think there is a norm against pointing out someone is ugly, or strange, or off, or not 'professional' or too emotional or any of a number of norm controlling behavior patterns.

I think we are using the term "norm" differently. Basic etiquette requires that you avoid conveying to someone, in any way, that they are ugly. I call that a 'norm'.
I disagree. I think above I even raised the distinction between bluntly saying it and something like conveying it. Every person is who what is considered by many 'ugly' will have this conveyed to them in specific interpersonal ways and in general category type ways so that they will have dealt emotionally with this over much of their lives. The former comes via indirect comments and social exclusions, and less success than other job seekers, students, romantic partners - since being attractive benefits in all sorts of situations where the actual criteria for the role, except for the last role, are nevertheless skewing in favor of 'attractive' people. Body language, facial expressions, tones of voice from all sorts of people, including friends, family, clothing and shopkeepers, the opposite sex, employers in a wide range of situations will 'convey' and convey the judgments both of each of our attractiveness levels and then opinions about our hubris, overconfidence in ourselves, silliness for trying, value, status and so on related to our attractiveness. I am not saying this is good, just that it is endemic and extremely effectively carried out. And a person need not have been in a situation where they were treated by others formally in a rude way. Nevertheless this constant triangulating information will have made utterly clear to them where they stand. Now standards vary. The large assed somewhat overweight woman may get negative evaluations conveyed by her white peers and white men, and paradoxical positive evaluations by black men. But conveying is happening all the time. And it is defacto accepted because people are voting with their practice.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:16 pm

Mad Man P wrote:If it were a post-op trans woman the same protest would be voiced...If your friend had just called a spade a spade this would be easy peasy...

Sure. In the context of dating, biology matters. And of course I agree the whole thing could be avoided by saying "transman/woman". But my point is that it is actually wrong to describe that person as "a nice woman", right? I think think you agree with that, because you want your friend to use a different word. The word woman, in that context, is not dictated by what you're saying it's always dictated by, i.e. biology. Biologically, genetically, chromosomally, that person is a woman, and if those were really the criteria on which you think we should base our gendered descriptions, you should have no problem with that use of woman.

But you do, because it's wrong: those aren't the only relevant criteria.

Mad Man P wrote:We both agree that the best option available to us is to lie to people with gender dysphoria.

But we disagree in that I don't think it's a lie. My argument in this thread is that it's another accepted meaning of the words.


Karpel Tunnel, I see what you're saying now, and I agree. You're right that the information will inevitably be conveyed in subtle ways, and that that's unavoidable. But a couple distinctions:

First, there's pretty clearly a norm against intentionally reminding someone that they're ugly. This would include outright telling someone, but probably also would cover not taking sufficient steps to avoid some of the less subtle ways. I'm thinking of something along the lines of the legal concept of recklessness, i.e. you knew or should have known that some action had a high likelihood of conveying the message "you're ugly". I'm thinking of something like making a disgusted face at someone ugly when you see them.

More generally, I would think that part of being a good a salesperson is suppressing even the subtle hints as much as possible, right? And if someone were particularly bad at hiding their disgust with ugly people, that would actually be a fireable offense in a lot of professions, even if it's innocent in the sense that the person had no idea they were doing it and couldn't help it (here I'm thinking something like flinching at the touch of an ugly person).

I'd say these things suggest a norm of avoiding reminding people that they're ugly, even though you're right that the message will get through. A lot of social niceties involving not turning something everyone knows into common knowledge.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:15 pm

Carleas wrote:But my point is that it is actually wrong to describe that person as "a nice woman", right? I think think you agree with that, because you want your friend to use a different word.


It's not "wrong"... it's insufficient, neglecting to tell me something of critical import, especially in the context of a date.
If my friend had called a transwoman a woman, It'd be wrong.

I already explained WHY I'd want my friend to use a different word, so you wouldn't have to "interpret" why.

"transman" would have conveyed this otherwise unexpected (and in many cases, unwelcome) surprise and in every way have been a superior description

Carleas wrote:But we disagree in that I don't think it's a lie. My argument in this thread is that it's another accepted meaning of the words.


Accepted by some... rejected by others
I've tried to make a case based on utility... So far as I can tell, you don't find that persuasive.
So how do you propose we come to an agreement about a definition?
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:19 pm

Mad Man P wrote:It's not "wrong"... it's insufficient

This may be splitting hairs, but that just seems like describing the way in which it's wrong. If your friend describes a transman as a "woman", they know or should know that it will give you the wrong idea of who you'll find on your date.

I'm reminded of the doctor in Arrested Development who says of a patient, "it looks like he's dead" when what he means is that the patient literally looks like a dead body because he's covered in blue paint. There is a sense in which what he said is true, but the expected understanding of the statement is false. So too here.

Mad Man P wrote:So how do you propose we come to an agreement about a definition?

This seems like the wrong question, and as a corollary it suggests that I've framed my argument poorly.

Language is about shared understanding, the meaning of a word is the ideas it conveys, both for the speaker and for the listener. My argument here should have been that speakers who call a transwoman, "woman" mean something like what we mean when we call Siri "female" or use the words "she" and "her" in relation to it. Instead, I tried the stronger claim that this is what "woman" already means for the whole speaker population, which isn't true. Rather, the majority of the speaker population already has multiple meanings for female pronouns, some of which apply to biological women, and others of which apply to things that don't have biology. The stronger but more modest claim is just bridging the gap between people who are using the same word to mean different things.

So, when you describe the use of "woman" to describe transwomen as "delusional" or a "lie", that isn't correct where you and the speaker agree on all the underlying facts and just think that "woman" is a better way to describe that person than "man", i.e. they intend to convey true information and reasonably expect that description to most accurately convey a true impression.

I expect the objection will be along the lines of, "why not just say transwoman?" And in some situations that's a real option and the best choice. But that isn't always the case, and we should be careful, with something as fraught as gender, in assuming that the only impediment to using transwoman are those that are explicit (e.g. on a form that gives you the option of describing yourself as "man" or "woman"). "Men and women", "boys and girls", "ladies and gentlemen", "men's room and ladies room", these all convey a complete dichotomy of humanity, and strongly encourage a choice between one bucket and the other.

It doesn't take a lie to think that, when confronted with that choice, two people who agree on all the underlying facts nonetheless disagree about which side of the dichotomy a person will fall, when those people are using different meanings of the words "man" and "woman", "he" and "she". No one needs to be delusional, and assuming that only delusion explains it is uncharitable. Someone can say truthfully and clear-eyed, "I don't fit either category by their traditional definitions, but if I'm forced to pick, it is X that fits best".

As for the emotional reaction, I feel like it doesn't take too much empathy to understand it. People are almost always the local expert on themselves. If someone suggests that, with everything they know about themselves, "it is X that fits best", to say otherwise is to say either 1) "no, actually I know you better than you know yourself", or 2) "no, actually I know the meaning of words in your native language better than you do". Neither of those is particularly flattering, and both seem pretty likely to be wrong.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:08 pm

Carleas wrote:I expect the objection will be along the lines of, "why not just say transwoman?" And in some situations that's a real option and the best choice. But that isn't always the case, and we should be careful, with something as fraught as gender, in assuming that the only impediment to using transwoman are those that are explicit (e.g. on a form that gives you the option of describing yourself as "man" or "woman"). "Men and women", "boys and girls", "ladies and gentlemen", "men's room and ladies room", these all convey a complete dichotomy of humanity, and strongly encourage a choice between one bucket and the other.

It doesn't take a lie to think that, when confronted with that choice, two people who agree on all the underlying facts nonetheless disagree about which side of the dichotomy a person will fall, when those people are using different meanings of the words "man" and "woman", "he" and "she". No one needs to be delusional, and assuming that only delusion explains it is uncharitable. Someone can say truthfully and clear-eyed, "I don't fit either category by their traditional definitions, but if I'm forced to pick, it is X that fits best".

As for the emotional reaction, I feel like it doesn't take too much empathy to understand it. People are almost always the local expert on themselves. If someone suggests that, with everything they know about themselves, "it is X that fits best", to say otherwise is to say either 1) "no, actually I know you better than you know yourself", or 2) "no, actually I know the meaning of words in your native language better than you do". Neither of those is particularly flattering, and both seem pretty likely to be wrong.


How you feel is irrelevant to whether or not a description is accurate.
Definitions and the facts are the only relevant factors to the accuracy of a description.

Man and Woman are the english words for the two sexes that humans produce and intersex covers the biological anomalies that cause someone to not fit either.
Gender dysphoria does not fall in the "intersex" category... it's a psychological condition that may or may not result in surgery or hormone treatment.

You would say some people have adopted a different definition, which is fine... but it has robbed them of those words to describe biological gender.
I don't see why any language should be impoverished... why not ADD new words, like transwoman/man to describe people, without sacrificing anything?
Well I think I know why...

Transexuals wish to be a gender they are not and that desire cannot be fulfilled if we describe or address them as anything other than the gender they wish they were...
No amount of "new" words will do the trick here... and that's why it's a lie we have to tell.
OR we muddy the words referring to gender such that we can address people with meaningless self-selected titles... but at the cost of those very useful words.

Lying is a smaller price to pay, in my estimation... and I'm happy to do it if it helps transexuals find some measure of peace.
The muddying of words is not for them, however, it's for the people not comfortable with lying.

I don't know if I can break down my objection any more clearly...
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