Male and Female Robots

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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:12 pm

By extension we should call a butchy biological woman a man even if it offends her, is everyone comfortable with that?
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:20 pm

I don't think this follows exactly, but I take your point: if we expand the scope of "man" and "woman", people who don't want to be classified as men and women may be inadvertently mislabeled. Two problems would be that this could do whatever harm to those mislabeled individuals that we're concerned is currently being done to transmen and transwomen, and, following Karpel Tunnel's arguments, it could incentivize closer adherence to traditional gender norms.

I think this is not particularly problematic, for a few reasons:

First, I think we should give nearly dispositive weight to a person's clearly expressed preference. Most people make efforts to communicate their intended social sex, they are generally successful, and we should assume that they are the local expert on the matter.

Second, there are already cases where social sex is just ambiguous, and people do OK with figuring it out. It's also often possible to avoid any social sex-dependent behavior pending more information, or even indefinitely if the ambiguity persists.

And third, most people who are social sexually ambiguous are likely to be aware of it, and are not likely to be particularly offended if you get it wrong (further, those that do get offended by reasonable mistakes are likely to be easily offended anyway, so the difference from baseline in terms of harm due to offense is low).


This strikes me as an edge case to an edge case, but the absolute numbers of butch women vs transmen do make it possible that we would do more harm than good. But for the reasons I give, I find it unlikely.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:05 pm

Carleas wrote:Most uses of "man" and "woman" aren't statements about chromosomes. They aren't statements about genitals. They aren't statements about sexuality or reproductive usefulness or about anything biological.


Demonstrably false... we classify all sorts of life forms as male and female constantly.
There is next to nothing similar in either appearance or social treatment between us and trees and yet trees are meaningfully classified as male and female.
In fact, biology is arguably the most well defined and essential distinction we have between male and female...

Even you rely on it to generate meaning to your definitions of man and woman.

Carleas wrote:Siri and a woman on the phone are both taken to be women because they literally have the voice of biological women


Why not apply the above rational to say Caitlyn Jenner is a male because he is LITERALLY a biological male?
You'd think that would be the logical conclusion as he doesn't just have some superficial qualities that make him "similar" to a biological male... he LITERALLY is one.

We know how to misinterpret that to make the statement false, and we know how to interpret it to make it true. Can the same be done with woman? We can do it with Siri. Is there no way to interpret "She is a woman" in a way that makes it true as applied to Caitlyn Jenner?


We don't interpret what people say so that they make sense, we try to infer their intended meaning from context.

Unless you indicate to us that you're a crazy person, no one will think you are being literal when you call a ship or Siri "she or her"
But when you refer to people or even trees (or any biological life form) as she or her... we will think you mean literal biological female.
Because that's the only context in which gender has a literal meaning.

And that's EXACTLY why men who wish they were women would ask you to refer to them as such... so they can more easily forget the fact that they are not.
They want to live that fantasy... and I'm not saying we should necessarily deny them that... but we don't need to do the sort of mental acrobatics that you're performing here in order to do so.
If in fact we decide that's the moral thing to do.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:11 pm

Mad Man P wrote:Because that's the only context in which gender has a literal meaning.

I disagree with your use of the word "literal". Social sex is not the same as biological sex, so to say that someone is literally socially a man does not make a claim about that person's biology. This is easier to see in places and times where social sexual roles were more rigid and distinct: Casmimir Pulaski was literally socially a man, and there isn't anything that subsequent analysis of his skeleton can tell us that will change that he lived his life as a man and was recognized as a man and was granted access and honors and distinctions which simply weren't available to women at that time -- he was literally socially a man.

To deny that that is a legitimate, literal use of "man" is just question begging.

Mad Man P wrote:We don't interpret what people say so that they make sense, we try to infer their intended meaning from context.

Right. And the intended meaning of a transman who communicates that he's a man is pretty clearly not "I am a man in the same sense in which botanists consider certain trees male". There are other senses of "man" that correspond to the social signaling of sex, that communicate mutual expectations about behavior and treatment, and that just aren't about genitals or chromosomes or trees. We use those senses frequently and without confusion in similar contexts, where we ignore biology and defer to social signals, and there's nothing but obstinate refusal to infer someones intended meaning that prevents us from doing the same here.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:34 pm

Carleas wrote:Social sex is not the same as biological sex


"Social sex" just means "The social treatment of a given sex" which becomes meaningless if that social treatment is no longer conditional on the person ACTUAL sex... then it's just a social treatment.

But YOU do not get to dictate your social sex any more than you get to dictate your social intellect or social hair color.
Society decides how they treat people of a given sex or hair color or whatever other REAL characteristic we decide warrants a distinct "social" treatment.

We're going in circles dude... we've been here, I've made my counter arguments to this line of thinking already.

the intended meaning of a transman who communicates that he's a man is pretty clearly not "I am a man in the same sense in which botanists consider certain trees male". There are other senses of "man" that correspond to the social signaling of sex, that communicate mutual expectations about behavior and treatment, and that just aren't about genitals or chromosomes or trees.


Yeah... that's why you felt the need to say "transman" and not just "a man"
That's why we have a word for that already... you know, a biological WOMAN who would like to be a man...

The discussion ought to be about WHAT treatment being trans warrants... Not whether or not they are REAL men or REAL women, because they are not and that's the fucking problem to begin with.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby WendyDarling » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:08 pm

Carleas wrote:Humans have human-like voices, not lion-like voices. It seems like to call a human a lion, you're asking for a single metaphorically-plausible lion-like attribute, and to call a man a woman you need 100% of all attributes to be literally biologically female.

You want to literally call a biological man a woman? No one is calling a human a lion, only lionlike. Transwomen don't want to be classified as womanlike but as actual, literal women.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:16 pm

Carleas

I don't think this follows exactly, but I take your point: if we expand the scope of "man" and "woman", people who don't want to be classified as men and women may be inadvertently mislabeled. Two problems would be that this could do whatever harm to those mislabeled individuals that we're concerned is currently being done to transmen and transwomen, and, following Karpel Tunnel's arguments, it could incentivize closer adherence to traditional gender norms.

Okay, let's try to forget about biology for now (if that's even possible), even tho it has profound implications for mind, body and behavior (or it is them), and focus solely on what features are most salient, as you put it, about a person at a given moment, so we can explore some of the ramifications of defining sex as you'd have us define it.

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?

First, I think we should give nearly dispositive weight to a person's clearly expressed preference. Most people make efforts to communicate their intended social sex, they are generally successful, and we should assume that they are the local expert on the matter.

The trouble is masculinity and femininity aren't arbitrary, they refer to a large cluster of features someone is suppose to have.
By calling a masculine transwoman a woman, you're lying to them, yourself and everyone around you about what abilities and characteristics they have (both in the biological, and salient senses, altho in reality there's more-less tremendous overlap between the two, biology in large part determines salience).
People should be treated according to their abilities/characteristics, not according to what they wish they had.
And sooner or later people will be treated according to their abilities/characteristics, which will disappoint the transwoman's now unrealistic expectations.

It's not like exaggerating how good someone's cooking is a little, sex is one of the most profound ways in which we define and distinguish each other.
It's not just clothing, makeup and a few superficial things you can whimsically put on and take off i.e. gender fluidity.
The trans movement tries to cheapen sex by reducing it to some cosmetics and mannerisms anyone can duplicate.
In one breath they say it's nothing more than a social construct, but in another they'll threaten to bash your skull in if you use the improper, according to them, (pro)nouns.
If it's a really social construct than calling someone a boy or girl should be about as potentially offensive as calling someone a potato or ammonium sulfate.

But let's assume you're right, that we should give about equal consideration to what people are, and what people wish they were, what do we do then in the case of masculine transwomen, or masculine women for that matter, do we decide what (pro)nouns we're going to use on a whim, or do we use agender (pro)nouns?

Second, there are already cases where social sex is just ambiguous, and people do OK with figuring it out. It's also often possible to avoid any social sex-dependent behavior pending more information, or even indefinitely if the ambiguity persists.

And if we do come across someone who's about equally saliently masculine and feminine, does that mean we should use agender (pro)nouns to define them, regardless of how they wish to be defined, if we're to remain objective?

And third, most people who are social sexually ambiguous are likely to be aware of it, and are not likely to be particularly offended if you get it wrong (further, those that do get offended by reasonable mistakes are likely to be easily offended anyway, so the difference from baseline in terms of harm due to offense is low).


This strikes me as an edge case to an edge case, but the absolute numbers of butch women vs transmen do make it possible that we would do more harm than good. But for the reasons I give, I find it unlikely.

Right, so we'll be offending butch women more often, but offending transwomen less, so it about evens out, in terms of offence.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Gloominary » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:30 am

What can most easily be changed about someone's gender (i.e. clothes, makeup, mannerisms, etcetera, as opposed to chromosomes), is what defines it least.
Definition by definition is something definite.
For the progressive, the most shallow and superficial things define you, the most cosmetic, ephemeral and mutable.

Is plastic food, real food, as long as it can pass for real food, or we're not eating it?
No it's pretend food, just as transwomen and transmen are pretend women and men respectively, which's not to say they can't authentically possess some attributes of the opposite sex, just as a plastic apple can be red and round like a real apple, but which's to say they're fundamentally or predominantly not the sex they're claiming to be.

Are character actors the characters they're attempting to portray?
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:30 am

WendyDarling wrote:
Transwomen dont want to be classified as womanlike but as actual literal women

A biological man can certainly self identify as a woman but without actual female reproductive organs is the description an accurate one
I do not think it is which is why the necessary distinction between transwomen and biological women should exist so as to avoid confusion
As calling a transwoman a woman is confusing as you automatically think of woman as biologically female simply because that is the norm

The definitions of both gender and sex used to be fixed but now are subject to revision because of the trans issue and this is not yet a problem with a solution
So it is therefore the language itself that is in a state of transition as well as the men and women undergoing actual transition and all this takes time to resolve
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:48 am

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
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:16 am

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
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:29 am

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.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:14 am

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

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
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:29 am

Oops, thought you were responding to me, but then realized no, after I'd written the following....
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?
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 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.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:13 am

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
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:54 pm

Mad Man P wrote:"Social sex" just means "The social treatment of a given sex" which becomes meaningless if that social treatment is no longer conditional on the person ACTUAL sex... then it's just a social treatment.

But my point is that we have cases where the social treatment is no longer conditional on actual sex, e.g. digital assistants. And it turns out that it doesn't become meaningless, it remains intact. Yes, it's bootstrapped from a biological distinction, but the social distinction remains when you take away the biology.

Mad Man P wrote:Society decides how they treat people of a given sex or hair color or whatever other REAL characteristic we decide warrants a distinct "social" treatment.

This is question begging. You and me, we are society, and if enough people like us decide to treat someone a certain way, then society decides to treat someone that way. I'm arguing that people like you and me, people like the people who compose society, should decide to treat people in a certain way.

Mad Man P wrote:Yeah... that's why you felt the need to say "transman" and not just "a man"
That's why we have a word for that already... you know, a biological WOMAN who would like to be a man...

Interesting that you read into my use of "transman" and not into your use of "biological woman". Both add precision where, in context, simply saying "man" or "woman" would be ambiguous.

Mad Man P wrote:The discussion ought to be about WHAT treatment being trans warrants... Not whether or not they are REAL men or REAL women, because they are not and that's their fucking problem to begin with.

This is a discussion of what treatment being trans warrants. I'm arguing that the appropriate treatment is to recognize peoples clearly communicated social sex in contexts where only social sex is relevant.

Mad Man P wrote:We're going in circles dude

We are, but I like to think the center of our orbit is precessing and spiraling in towards truth.

WendyDarling wrote:...literal women

See my response to Mad Man re: "literal"

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?

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).

(This seems to be a point of agreement: I take it you think the answer should be no, as do I, as do Karpel Tunnel and Surreptitious. Perhaps we can make something of it?)

Gloominary wrote:By calling a masculine transwoman a woman, you're lying to them, yourself and everyone around you about what abilities and characteristics they have

But if we look at practice, we don't do this. If a biological woman looks "manish" (to use Austin Powers' term), we don't think it's a lie to just not point out how manish they look. I agree that masculinity and femininity can refer to a large cluster of features, but in most social contexts, almost none of those features is relevant. Where they become relevant, it makes sense to become more precise, to start differentiating trans vs. cis.

Gloominary wrote:And if we do come across someone who's about equally saliently masculine and feminine, does that mean we should use agender (pro)nouns to define them, regardless of how they wish to be defined, if we're to remain objective?

We should continue doing what we do now until a better norm presents itself. Which is to say, this is legitimately an edge case that all norms will have a problem coping with.

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

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.

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. 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.

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.

surreptitious75 wrote:Reducing these four categories to two blurs the distinction between biological and trans

I agree, and in contexts where the distinction matters, let's use it. But where it doesn't, e.g. in an office setting where biology just isn't relevant, we don't need to make fine distinctions.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:43 pm

Carleas wrote:But my point is that we have cases where the social treatment is no longer conditional on actual sex, e.g. digital assistants.


We don't treat them like humans, much less a given sex of human... you are conflating "social treatment" with the use of male or female pronouns.
As for the pronouns, we've been here before too... Siri or even Data's figurative gender is established by their similarity to biological men or women.
It's clearly figurative and no one is confused by that precisely because they are not biological creatures.

If I were to use a male pronoun for my female dog... that would be misleading and inaccurate.
People would think I was unaware of the fact that my dog is female and correct me.

If I do the same for my washing machine... they get that it's figurative
but maybe think it's strange that I found a similarity worthy of gendering it.

You and me, we are society, and if enough people like us decide to treat someone a certain way, then society decides to treat someone that way.


Exactly right... we don't determine the treatment we receive from others we only determine the treatment we give others.
I treat people like geniuses if I believe they are geniuses... I will treat you like a woman if I believe you are one... etc
But I don't get to tell you to treat me like I'm smarter than you...

If you are correct and it's not a delusion that we're being invited to establish, then no one should take offense or really take issue with me calling anyone by the pronoun suited to their biological sex...
So long as it's well understand that's what I'm doing... what could possibly be offensive about that?

Simply saying "man" or "woman" would be ambiguous.


Not the way I would like to use language, then it's not ambiguous at all... the way you would like us to use language would make it ambiguous.
We'd have to ask strange questions to clarify... do you mean a social woman or a biological woman? Was the social woman a biological man? Was the biological woman also a social woman?
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:05 pm

Mad Man P wrote:We don't treat them like humans, much less a given sex of human... you are conflating "social treatment" with the use of male or female pronouns.

Using male and female pronouns is a limited form of social treatment. These things are created to mimic human social interactions, and people relate to them in human-like ways. People worry that children interacting with Siri are not getting proper socialization, because they can just tell Siri what to do -- implicit in that is that children will automatically see Siri as a kind of human, and will take cues for their interaction with humans from their interactions with Siri.

So yes, it is a form of social treatment, we are taking social sexual signals and applying them to Siri as we would to a human.

Mad Man P wrote:Exactly right... we don't "self-determine" the treatment we receive from others we only determine the treatment we give others.

My point was rather that what aspects of our social identity we think of as "self-determined" are socially determined. And so we let people tell us if they're Christian or Muslim, and we don't interrogate that to see if they're 'really' Christian or Muslim (unless it becomes relevant, which it usually isn't). We let people tell us if they're communists or capitalists, and we don't interrogate that (with the same caveat). We let people tell us if they're gay or strait, and we take them at their word almost all the time, because almost all the time it's not relevant.

Moreover, if you take something like religion, which is self-determined, it could be seen as offensive to refuse to call a priest in a collar "Father", or a nun in full regalia "sister". Those are self-determined, they entail the use of special pronouns, and it's seen as offensive not to grant that to people. Similarly, we have an intersubjective standard of who counts as a "doctor", and it's seen as offensive to call a "Dr.", "Mr." or "Ms.". These aren't delusions, they aren't biological, they can be self-determined, and they dictate special pronouns that it's offensive to omit.

You keep pointing to an aspect of social identity that is both frequently relevant and not socially self-determined; why is social sex more like intellect than e.g. like sexual orientation?

Mad Man P wrote:
Carleas wrote:Simply saying "man" or "woman" would be ambiguous.

Not the way I would like to use language, then it's not ambiguous at all... the way you would like us to use language would make it ambiguous.

You've misquoted me and changed my meaning:
Carleas wrote:Both [i.e. "transman" and "biological woman"] add precision where, in context, simply saying "man" or "woman" would be ambiguous.

That was in response to you trying to take some greater significance from my use of "transman" than was warranted. In the context a conversation such as this, we both used more precise language than just saying "man" or "woman", because, in this conext the terms are ambiguous.

As for the ambiguity that would attend a social change to deign to call transmen, "men" in contexts where chromosomes are irrelevant, it would only shift ambiguity. The alternative is to treat such people as women, and then layer on caveats to clarify that, though we pedantically insist that they are women, we should expect them to dress and act and behave and wish to be treated like men.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Mad Man P » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:29 pm

Carleas wrote:We let people tell us if they're Christian or Muslim, and we don't interrogate that to see if they're 'really' Christian or Muslim (unless it becomes relevant, which it usually isn't).


That's some horse shit... if someone said to you "I'm a christian but I don't believe that Jesus had anything of value to say nor that he ever existed and I also don't believe the bible is at all a relevant book"
You wouldn't say "you're not a real christian" ?

Words have meanings, Carleas... they do not communicate anything unless they have meaning... saying "I'm a christian" would become utterly pointless and meaningless...

Someone could tell me they are straight and I will gladly believe them... but if I learn that he likes banging dudes exclusively I would say he lied to me
Because he and I both know what the hell "straight" means and it's not THAT.

I might agree to keep his "secret" if that's what it is... but if he wants me to redefine the word "straight" to sometimes mean gay that's cool and all but I have no interest in developing a confusing private language.

We both used more precise language than just saying "man" or "woman", because, in this conext the terms are ambiguous.


You misunderstood my intent... I was pointing out that we are not limited to our pre-existing words like man or woman in order to describe someone who is a man but behaves and dresses like a woman.
We can call them transwomen, problem solved. We don't have to call them women and thereby make the term "woman" ambiguous or completely meaningless.
We have words like tomboy or effeminate and all sorts of gradients to describe the ways in which typical male or typical female norms can be different in an individual member of that gender.


You keep dodging the core issue here and by doing so twisting yourself into odd shapes... forcing me to explain common sense stuff to you.
Trans people want to be a gender they are not... presumably, devoid of social contact, if they were alone on an island this would still be true.
The request that we address them as men or women is because they want to approximate that preferred reality... not because gender is hard to define or primarily a social treatment or any such nonsense.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:41 pm

Carleas wrote:And so we let people tell us if they're Christian or Muslim, and we don't interrogate that to see if they're 'really' Christian or Muslim (unless it becomes relevant, which it usually isn't).


Though we might very well call them out on behavior, utterances that seemed to contradict their claim. If I saw a Muslim drinking, A christian being cruel to a homeless person, whatever. The claim is not something I feel obliged to accept regardless. But further the issue is, generally, not so much what they call themselves, but what others must - in some places it is now a crime or punishable offense to misgender - call them. Or allow them to do - compete in the claimed sexes events, when having the benefits of the birth sexes body, swim at pools during, for example, women's hours, when men are excluded, as some examples. Your caveat is' unless it becomes relevant, then the question is to whom? Now I will call people what they want to be called, but I don't think it should be immoral or punishable to do otherwise.

We let people tell us if they're communists or capitalists, and we don't interrogate that (with the same caveat). We let people tell us if they're gay or strait, and we take them at their word almost all the time, because almost all the time it's not relevant.
So, in other words, other people must consider the issue not relevent, but the transperson founds their transpersonness on the utter importance of the distinction.

Moreover, if you take something like religion, which is self-determined, it could be seen as offensive to refuse to call a priest in a collar "Father", or a nun in full regalia "sister". Those are self-determined, they entail the use of special pronouns, and it's seen as offensive not to grant that to people. Similarly, we have an intersubjective standard of who counts as a "doctor", and it's seen as offensive to call a "Dr.", "Mr." or "Ms.". These aren't delusions, they aren't biological, they can be self-determined, and they dictate special pronouns that it's offensive to omit.
Why can't I then wish to be called doctor, even if I am not. It doesn't matter, as long as I don't operate or practice medicine. What do we do with the man who does not even make an effort to be feminine (whatever that means) and wants into women's clubs, women's swimming hours, who wants to join a meeting for battered women, who wants to use the women's showers? Do we challenge him or her because she isn't feminine enough to be a woman? or to be someone who thinks of themselves as a woman?

The question, it seems to me, is not whether they should be allowed to think of themselves as or call themselves the sex they think they are. Freedom of speech and thought should cover that. It seems to me to much to demand that others must recognize their sense of what they are. That should be covered by the same freedoms. But it is not, legislation, company rules, policies are being handed down to where you cannot question this, even if it is relevent. Can't we consider people different from what they think they are?

I don't think there is a clear right or wrong here. Or a best policy. But very rapid changes are happening, a lot of it aimed at children, without noticing that it is not simple.

And why is it around sex and sexuality. Why not end the wearing of ties in corporate contexts? or any of a billion social norms that mean nothing at all? Why not allow us to be more honest aobut how we feel, instead of training us to suppress emotions and pretend we don't have them.

Why is this the norm criticism that must be changed now and so fast?

And I don't have an answer to that, but it makes me suspicious, that it is so focused on sex and gender, and not on norms in general. Often norms that even more important. Ties, low on the scale -though all the behavior that goes with ties, getting up there in importance. Norms around emotions? Very high on the scale. Drag is good now. Dressing uniquely in vast portions of society, not ok.

You could argue, this will lead to broader changes in norms. But I doubt that. It is an incredible amount of hoopla for something that as far as we know is about a very small percentage of the population. It benefits both pharma and psychiatry since it creates a broader market. It challenges nothing related to power in any broad sense. Crushing everyday norms are ignored and denied as simple common sense.

Be interested to see some real acceptance of more child-centered pegagogies, for example. Or reduction in the norms about expressing feelings. Or questioning the bombardment of norms via advertizing. Or the norms, now, around social media use and what this is doing to growing brains - Silicon valley workers and designers restrict their children's use of this and they know the reasons why. Adn they do this radically. But they are generally silent about the very damaging norms they created.

It all sounds so kind and loving and fair, but it strikes me as a circus as in bread and circuses.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:17 pm

KT wrote
It all sounds so kind and loving and fair, but it strikes me as a circus as in bread and circuses.

Fair to a tiny minority, unfair to the vast majority. The fact that the majority is not the focus is ridiculous. This ambiguity about what has no definitive ambiguity. The changing of standard definitions, approximating ideas to mean something very different. Word games based on fantasy rather than observable reality. Degenerative doom will follow such a progressive society who applauds the unhealthy.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Carleas » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:21 pm

Mad Man P wrote:if someone said to you "I'm a christian but I don't believe that Jesus had anything of value to say nor that he ever existed and I also don't believe the bible is at all a relevant book"
You wouldn't say "you're not a real christian" ?

Sure, but then I'm not arguing that saying "I'm a woman" is a sufficient condition for treating someone as a woman. If someone says they're Christian and does nothing else, I take them at their word. Hell, if someone says "I'm a Christian but I think it's totally OK to separate the families of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world as punishment for fleeing violence and seeking a better life", I still take them at their word.

Yes, words have meaning, and it is meaningful that we consider Siri and Alexa as female virtual assistants. That's meaningful. The meaning isn't anything about genitals or chromosomes, it's about social roles and expectations. That's part of the existing meaning of the words we use to identify them as female; social sex as distinct from biology is a part of the concept of sex.

Mad Man P wrote:You misunderstood my intent... I was pointing out that we are not limited to our pre-existing words like man or woman in order to describe someone who is a man but behaves and dresses like a woman.

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.

Mad Man P wrote:Trans people want to be a gender they are not... presumably, devoid of social contact, if they were alone on an island this would still be true.
The request that we address them as men or women is because they want to approximate that preferred reality... not because gender is hard to define or primarily a social treatment or any such nonsense.

Without conceding your characterization of what a diverse set of people want and why, this does not seem relevant.

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.

That claim doesn't depend on why the person communicates it to you, or on what their goal is in communicating it to you, or how they would behave on an island.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Though we might very well call them out on behavior, utterances that seemed to contradict their claim. If I saw a Muslim drinking, A christian being cruel to a homeless person, whatever. The claim is not something I feel obliged to accept regardless.

My intuition in those situations is that I would say something like, "that's not very Christian of you", rather than, "you aren't really a Christian". That seems significant to me, in that it grants them their expressed identity even where their actions are at odds with it. Is that just me?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Now I will call people what they want to be called, but I don't think it should be immoral or punishable to do otherwise.

I agree with this. I'm arguing that it's inconsistent to refuse to e.g. call Caitlyn Jenner a woman. I'm not arguing for any law. I think there is a case to be made that it's immoral in some circumstances, but I don't think I've made that case here.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:So, in other words, other people must consider the issue not relevent, but the transperson founds their transpersonness on the utter importance of the distinction.

Yes, this is an interesting observation. But is that really so strange? If someones name is Jon and I insist on calling them Tim, it wouldn't be unreasonable for that person to be offended. It's no difference to me what that person's name is, but it can mean a lot to them that I address them by the name that they identify with. That would seem absolutely expected. So too could a transperson put a lot of personal stake on being called the right sex, in contexts where it is irrelevant to any reasonable person.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Why can't I then wish to be called doctor, even if I am not. It doesn't matter, as long as I don't operate or practice medicine. What do we do with the man who does not even make an effort to be feminine (whatever that means) and wants into women's clubs, women's swimming hours, who wants to join a meeting for battered women, who wants to use the women's showers? Do we challenge him or her because she isn't feminine enough to be a woman? or to be someone who thinks of themselves as a woman?

Bad faith is hard to deal with, but I think it is a very, very small problem. As far as I can tell, these kinds of concerns have done much more to make butch biowomen unwelcome than to exclude people masquerading as transwomen.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:And why is it around sex and sexuality [...] Why is this the norm criticism that must be changed now and so fast?

One reason is that for the people affected, this is a very big deal. But probably the more important reason is, sex sells.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby surreptitious75 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:48 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
The question it seems to me is not whether they should be allowed to think of themselves as or call themselves the sex they think they are . Freedom of speech
and thought should cover that . It seems to me too much to demand that others must recognize their sense of what they are . That should be covered by the same freedoms . But it is not - legislation company rules policies are being handed down to where you cannot question this even if it is relevant . Cant we consider people different from what they think they are

The problem with this is that for some it automatically implies prejudice on the part of anyone thinking like this
The restriction upon specific language is a characteristic of the left and is by no means confined to this one issue
Controlling language is but one step removed from controlling thought and as a matter of principle it has to be resisted wherever it occurs
Company rules are however an exception to this because there will be a legal requirement not to adversely affect the companys reputation
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:10 pm

Age and race could also then be self-identified.
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Re: Male and Female Robots

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:18 pm

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.
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