[Split] Sexism

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-13, 21:39

Varislintu wrote:
Massimiliano B wrote:I agree with you and with Varislintu: each person is an island, a separate universe, with their characteristics, behaviour, and accidents. That's exactly the opposite the supporters of the gender theory are trying to do: affirming that there is a unique human nature, the same in every individual - which becomes nothing but a mere incarnation of that idea.
I don't understand. In what way is that the opposite of gender theory? In other words: what is it that you think gender theory says in this context?
And--as much as it rubs you the wrong way--please provide relevant citations to primary literature.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby mōdgethanc » 2015-02-14, 1:46

Every person being different does not mean that similarities can't exist between them. That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard, and I've heard some really stupid shit before.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2015-02-15, 11:18

I cannot believe that all my feelings and my thoughts have been instilled in me by society. If it is so, then I wonder how much the influence of the society on our minds is deep, and if it would ever be possible to overcome it. It seems to me the typical conspiracy theory. How is it possible that everyone has been taught to think the way he or she thinks, apart from the influence of the "true nature" that everyone has inside? If there is such a nature, I want to know why it does not affect my behaviour, my thoughts, and my feelings; how can my true nature be replaced by an instilled set of behaviours, thoughts, and feelings? If we are in reality neither man nor women, why does the true realize in the world, instead of remaining hidden for thousands of years?
I agree with one who says that everyone should have the same rights and duties, but I don't agree with one who says that there is an inner essence inside everyone which is the natural ground of our equal rights and duties. No one can prove the existence of this inner nature. We can discuss it only from a phylosophical point of view. This is in no way a scientific issue.
What does remain out of the influence of this great conspiracy? Who is the master which I have to blindly follow, in order to be brought out of the darkness in which I live, into the light of a new era? What does he or she teaches? To which extent have I to give up my natural equipment of behaviours, thoughts, feelings, in order to be apt to adopt his/her teachings? How much the knowledge of those masters has to annihilate my knowledge - my wrong and unnatural knowledge, instilled by others, by society, by my parents, by my deviate friends, priests, nuns, grandparents, etc... in order to be prone to the assimilation of a new way of being? Can I still believe that 2+2=4, or have I to drop even such an evidence? Is also mathematic knowledge instilled by society and therefore false? I am afraid of myself, of my thoughts, especially because I cannot hold them. You are Charlie Hebdo, but not everyone can be Charlie. Why?

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-15, 12:57

Massimiliano B wrote:I cannot believe that all my feelings and my thoughts have been instilled in me by society. If it is so, then I wonder how much the influence of the society on our minds is deep, and if it would ever be possible to overcome it.
I would argue that it isn't. From even before you have the capability to form your own thoughts (as opposed to mere impressions), you are being influenced by "society" with every single interaction you have with other people or their artefacts. The setup of your crib (the mere fact you're in a crib), your feeding times and what you're fed, what your caregivers say to you and how--all of these are proper to the particular culture you're raised in.

Massimiliano B wrote:If we are in reality neither man nor women, why does the true realize in the world, instead of remaining hidden for thousands of years?
I'm not sure what this even means. You think there isn't any lore or philosophical tradition of men and women having a single common nature over the years? How much comparative mythology have you ever done? And what's the whole story of the creation of Eve from Adam all about?
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Varislintu » 2015-02-15, 13:22

Massimiliano B wrote:I cannot believe that all my feelings and my thoughts have been instilled in me by society. If it is so, then I wonder how much the influence of the society on our minds is deep, and if it would ever be possible to overcome it. It seems to me the typical conspiracy theory. How is it possible that everyone has been taught to think the way he or she thinks, apart from the influence of the "true nature" that everyone has inside? If there is such a nature, I want to know why it does not affect my behaviour, my thoughts, and my feelings; how can my true nature be replaced by an instilled set of behaviours, thoughts, and feelings? If we are in reality neither man nor women, why does the true realize in the world, instead of remaining hidden for thousands of years?
I agree with one who says that everyone should have the same rights and duties, but I don't agree with one who says that there is an inner essence inside everyone which is the natural ground of our equal rights and duties. No one can prove the existence of this inner nature. We can discuss it only from a phylosophical point of view. This is in no way a scientific issue.


There is so much in life, though, that doesn't have anything to do with whether one is a man or a woman or intersex. We face those things largely as individuals, not as genders [Edit: Nowadays, anyway. In the past I think people were much more prone to face things as a member of their gender, not as an individual. There were much stronger scripts back then.]. You seem to attribute some kind of free will value to the effects of biological sex that I personally don't think belong there. Biological sex and what it makes us do is not the last vestige of free will, because so much of who we are has nothing to do with it, in the end.

Me being biologically female does not decide whether I like apples or bananas (at least I've never heard anyone make that claim). It does not say whether I like Star Wars or not. Whether I like right wing politics or left wing.

Same with professions: go back far enough in time and people would say that women are biologically undisposed to having an interest in mathematics, or politics. Now we have lots of female math teachers and female politicians. For some reason, we no longer think that interest in those jobs is predicted by gender. But then for some reason specifically nursing and engineering can serve as evidence for how biological gender says this or that.

What I'm trying to say is that the sphere of interests and personality quirks that has nothing to do with gender is so big, and probably still growing, whereas the sphere of interests that are very gender-determined is small and probably still shrinking, that what is the point of getting so attached to it? Why make it some kind of supporting pillar of one's metaphysical understanding of the world? I, myself, see it as a rather undefining part of how I view the world, so I have a hard time undestanding why it's so important to many others. Women have to be proven to somehow be nurturing, men have to be somehow proven to be half-autistic problem-solvers. Why is it so important?

Massimiliano B wrote:What does remain out of the influence of this great conspiracy? Who is the master which I have to blindly follow, in order to be brought out of the darkness in which I live, into the light of a new era? What does he or she teaches? To which extent have I to give up my natural equipment of behaviours, thoughts, feelings, in order to be apt to adopt his/her teachings? How much the knowledge of those masters has to annihilate my knowledge - my wrong and unnatural knowledge, instilled by others, by society, by my parents, by my deviate friends, priests, nuns, grandparents, etc... in order to be prone to the assimilation of a new way of being? Can I still believe that 2+2=4, or have I to drop even such an evidence? Is also mathematic knowledge instilled by society and therefore false? I am afraid of myself, of my thoughts, especially because I cannot hold them. You are Charlie Hebdo, but not everyone can be Charlie. Why?


Ehm. :lol: Massimiliano, you always swim at such depths that I cannot follow you there. ;) I probably don't understand the entirety of your questions here, but I would venture to say that I think our personalities are plastic/malleable. At least until a certain age. We become who we are in interaction to stimuli, for example people and ideas. There is, in my view, no pure state underneath all the influence. We are the result of the influence. One of my relatives is a psychologist, and she has studied temperament a lot. So I believe her when she posits that temperament is an unchangeable part of our personality. I think it sounds plausible that that is the "inborn" part of who we are. It's the ground on which we build up the rest of our personality. The rest is a mixture of happenstance and physiological influence (hormones, brain chemistry, brain damage, etc).
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby mōdgethanc » 2015-02-15, 23:50

If you want to escape the pernicious influence of society, you're gonna have to go back in time and become a feral child. Sorry.
Varislintu wrote:There is so much in life, though, that doesn't have anything to do with whether one is a man or a woman or intersex. We face those things largely as individuals, not as genders [Edit: Nowadays, anyway. In the past I think people were much more prone to face things as a member of their gender, not as an individual. There were much stronger scripts back then.]. You seem to attribute some kind of free will value to the effects of biological sex that I personally don't think belong there. Biological sex and what it makes us do is not the last vestige of free will, because so much of who we are has nothing to do with it, in the end.

Me being biologically female does not decide whether I like apples or bananas (at least I've never heard anyone make that claim). It does not say whether I like Star Wars or not. Whether I like right wing politics or left wing.
No, because you are an individual, and your personality has very little to do with your reproductive organs. Granted, some personality traits are inherited (or possibly learned from parents; same difference) but these are only tendencies, not laws of nature.
Same with professions: go back far enough in time and people would say that women are biologically undisposed to having an interest in mathematics, or politics. Now we have lots of female math teachers and female politicians. For some reason, we no longer think that interest in those jobs is predicted by gender. But then for some reason specifically nursing and engineering can serve as evidence for how biological gender says this or that.
I'm hoping in the future we'll look at attitudes like that the same way we look at drapetomania now.
What I'm trying to say is that the sphere of interests and personality quirks that has nothing to do with gender is so big, and probably still growing, whereas the sphere of interests that are very gender-determined is small and probably still shrinking, that what is the point of getting so attached to it? Why make it some kind of supporting pillar of one's metaphysical understanding of the world? I, myself, see it as a rather undefining part of how I view the world, so I have a hard time undestanding why it's so important to many others. Women have to be proven to somehow be nurturing, men have to be somehow proven to be half-autistic problem-solvers. Why is it so important?
Because people have to justify their prejudices somehow, I suppose. Also, we like punishing those who deviate from the norm, whatever it is. I don't know enough about sociology to tell you why, but I do know that humans often conform to what the majority thinks for a variety of reasons (social desirability being one).
I would venture to say that I think our personalities are plastic/malleable. At least until a certain age. We become who we are in interaction to stimuli, for example people and ideas. There is, in my view, no pure state underneath all the influence. We are the result of the influence. One of my relatives is a psychologist, and she has studied temperament a lot. So I believe her when she posits that temperament is an unchangeable part of our personality. I think it sounds plausible that that is the "inborn" part of who we are. It's the ground on which we build up the rest of our personality. The rest is a mixture of happenstance and physiological influence (hormones, brain chemistry, brain damage, etc).
I would agree, and also say that personality is malleable in adulthood as well (though maybe not as much as in childhood).

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2015-02-18, 0:30

My question is: am I heterosexual because the society instilled in my mind heterosexuality, or because I am by nature heterosexual? I want to know what the supporters of gender theory has to say.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Massimiliano B » 2015-02-18, 1:14

@Linguoboy

I made mistakes in writing the sentence. I wanted to say: "If we are in reality neither man nor women, why does not our true nature become manifest in the world, instead of remaining hidden for thousands of years?"

I know that what we are depends on the influence of society. But this means that the absence of influence is impossible to reach. Then, trying to find an essence of the human being which lies out of such influences is impossible. So, even the gender theory is influence. Why should I think it is better than other kinds of influences?

And what is the individuum, which constitutes the object of the influence of society? Is it a tabula rasa?
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2015-02-18, 1:35, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-02-18, 1:28

Massimiliano B wrote:My question is: am I heterosexual because the society instilled in my mind heterosexuality, or because I am by nature heterosexual? I want to know what the supporters of gender theory has to say.

Basically, no one can possibly know why you are heterosexual except you (and even then, only maybe).

I'm no expert on gender theory or anything like that, but at least the way I see it, a huge part of the reason why so many people identify as heterosexual is precisely because the societies they live in are heteronormative. There are or at least were also homonormative societies, and I've never heard of anyone identifying as heterosexual in such societies (but hey, I'm no expert on those societies, either :lol:). So yes, to a huge extent, people do identify as heterosexual because society puts pressure on them to do just that. (And in homonormative societies, people seem to identify as homosexual for the same reason).

I think what that ultimately means is that whether you specifically are heterosexual or homosexual is up to you to decide. I'm not even sure it's possible for you to know that without opening your mind and challenging your beliefs about your own sexuality.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-18, 4:05

Massimiliano B wrote:I want to know what the supporters of gender theory has to say.
I want to know what this "gender theory" is that you keep referring to. I know "gender theory" as a slightly old-fashioned synonym for "gender studies". That is, not one coherent theory but an entire field encompassing various divergent theories and hypotheses.
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Postby Massimiliano B » 2015-02-18, 9:36

I refer mainly to the work of Judith Butler, who, in her Gender Trouble , writes that (from Wikipedia)
«the coherence of the categories of sex, gender, and sexuality—the natural-seeming coherence, for example, of masculine gender and heterosexual desire in male bodies—is culturally constructed through the repetition of stylized acts in time. These stylized bodily acts, in their repetition, establish the appearance of an essential, ontological "core" gender (...)The performance of gender, sex, and sexuality, however, is not a voluntary choice for Butler, who locates the construction of the gendered, sexed, desiring subject within what she calls, borrowing from Foucault's Discipline and Punish, "regulative discourses." These, also called "frameworks of intelligibility" or "disciplinary regimes," decide in advance what possibilities of sex, gender, and sexuality are socially permitted to appear as coherent or "natural."»


»Butler explicitly challenges biological accounts of binary sex, reconceiving the sexed body as itself culturally constructed by regulative discourse»


The sexed body, once established as a “natural” and unquestioned “fact,” is the alibi for constructions of gender and sexuality, unavoidably more cultural in their appearance, which can purport to be the just-as-natural expressions or consequences of a more fundamental sex. On Butler's account, it is on the basis of the construction of natural binary sex that binary gender and heterosexuality are likewise constructed as natural. In this way, Butler claims that without a critique of sex as produced by discourse, the sex/gender distinction as a feminist strategy for contesting constructions of binary asymmetric gender and compulsory heterosexuality will be ineffective.





So, according to Butler, not also the gender is a construction, but also the sexed body undergoes a process of construction, for they are «established as a "natural" and unquestioned "fact"».




Varislintu wrote:I would venture to say that I think our personalities are plastic/malleable. At least until a certain age. We become who we are in interaction to stimuli, for example people and ideas. There is, in my view, no pure state underneath all the influence. We are the result of the influence.


Here's the metaphysics I'm talking about, of which you are not aware. You say not only that men and women (or whatever they are) should be equal in rights and duty, but you go further and overcome the limits of a scientific thought by affirming that there is something natural (which you don't define, but nonetheless it is something) which constitutes the basis which justifies the attribution of equal rights to men and women.
Even if we could see such fundamental essence of human beings, one had to show the way it undergoes influences by society: how does such basis assimilate influences? How does it elaborate them? Is it a totally passive entity - like a robot? Or does it plays an active role in the assimilation of social stimuli? If it is passive, how can it become a distributor of stimuli for the new generations of passive individuals? How can it be co-opt to the flag of the universal falsification of reality?
If neither sex nor gender is natural, why do they have chosen those subdivisions (men and women) and not others?
Is there (or has ever been) in the world a society based on a totally different subdivision of roles?
But the fact is that no one cannot demonstrate the existence of such nature. We are here in a pure metaphysical field.
And if the universal falsification of reality is true, then it would not be possible to reach a level which does not undergoes such influence. The educational system in many northern European countries shows that you have to teach children the indistinction of gender roles. This proves that this indistinction is in no way a natural fact. You can teach it, but you cannot say there is an indistinct natural human being which has to be helped and preserved from the bad influences of society. Otherwise, we would not be totally socially determined, and so I could say that even the distinction of gender roles that you can find in any kind of society is beyond the limits of such a bad influence of society.

I don't say that the roles have to be those we are accustomed to (women at home, and men at work). I like the way we have overcome those distinctions. Now we have the same rights and duties. But this does not mean that even my sexual orientation has been determined totally by the society, or that a great amount of people should not be heterosexual without the bad influence of the society.

I don't think that sexual orientation is the only important thing. I've said before that everyone is unique. Even in the past, in the great repressive epoque where one had to be either man or women, there were a lot of great personalities: Newton, Galileo, Mozart, Einstein, Leonardo, Beethoven, etc... Thay did great works even in their "distorted" societies.

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Re:

Postby Varislintu » 2015-02-18, 14:55

Massimiliano B wrote:
Varislintu wrote:I would venture to say that I think our personalities are plastic/malleable. At least until a certain age. We become who we are in interaction to stimuli, for example people and ideas. There is, in my view, no pure state underneath all the influence. We are the result of the influence.


Here's the metaphysics I'm talking about, of which you are not aware. You say not only that men and women (or whatever they are) should be equal in rights and duty, but you go further and overcome the limits of a scientific thought by affirming that there is something natural (which you don't define, but nonetheless it is something) which constitutes the basis which justifies the attribution of equal rights to men and women.


But... why? What does it matter for the equal rights issue whether the sexes are physiologically different or physio-mentally different or immaterially different (in the "soul") and in what precise mixture?

What we do know is that nothing outside of pure physiological factors can be 100% predicted in adults. Some women are half-autistic problem-solvers, and some men are super-nurturers. Or gay or straight, or trans or chromosomally anomalous. So what does any of this have to do with equal rights, and whether or not they are justified?

Massimiliano B wrote:The educational system in many northern European countries shows that you have to teach children the indistinction of gender roles. This proves that this indistinction is in no way a natural fact.


One of my hobbies is to read about religiously patriarchal sects in the USA and Finland. One of the reasons I like reading the thoughts and analyses that people who have left those movements formulate about those movements is that those movements kind of lay traditional patriarchal thinking extremely bare and exposed. And remarkably, in this exposed, exaggerated state, it is easier to recognise how the same stuff is going on in a much milder form in mainstream society, which, of course, carries a legacy from traditional patriarchal times.

And one of the things that's clear about traditional patriarchy is that they have to expend huge amounts of time and energy to uphold the "natural" roles of the genders. They have to start teaching it to children when they are very young, they have to teach it strictly and repeatedly, and they have to constantly shame, punish and distort negatively any transgressions to the gender roles that happens. They have to create consequences for their members to face if they transgress. Women read guide books about "Biblical wifely submission" and men read guides about "Biblical manly leadership". Because they don't know how. The question that rises to an onlooker, is of course: why does something that they claim is "natural" need that much forcing? :wink:

In short, my answer is this: Don't go thinking that traditional gender roles don't have to be taught in order for them to exist, or that they aren't taught! They are taught all the time. We carry so much legacy of the gender roles in so many ways in our culture, that it often takes conscious effort to draw attention to it, to become aware of it, to re-evaluate it, and then to possibly counter-act it, if felt necessary.
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Re:

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-18, 23:03

Massimiliano B wrote:I refer mainly to the work of Judith Butler
So in other word you're talking specifically about the theory of gender performativity. This is by no means universally accepted by critics of traditional heteronormative gender essentialism. Do a little reading (again, preferably primary sources rather than Wikipedia articles) and you'll find lots of criticism of Butler. (I remember reading an excellent one from Kate Harding, but I'm having trouble tracking it down right now. When I succeed, I'll post the link here.)

I can only echo what Varislintu says about the incredible amount of energy I see people in put into the enforcement of gender roles. Although I've been called "bad at" being gay on account of my appearance and behaviour, I'm still non-gender-conforming enough to have spent my whole life fending off gendered criticisms of my hair, nails, speech, clothing, limbs, music choices, food preferences--really, just about everything you can think of.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Varislintu » 2015-02-19, 19:55

Speaking of biology and gender, I found this article very interesting! (But I won't tell you why! Hahah! :twisted: :P )

Sex redefined
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-19, 21:12

Okay, I see now where Massimiliano was getting his odd usage of "gender theory".

Francis strongly criticizes gender theory, comparing it to nuclear arms

That headline, incidentally, is not from some clickbaiting queer website but from the National Catholic Reporter. It refers to Francis' inventory of contemporary "Herods" that "destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation". Like what, you might ask?
Pope Francis wrote:Let's think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let's think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-02-19, 21:14

For a moment I thought Pope Francis was a new user.

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Varislintu » 2015-02-19, 21:24

linguoboy wrote:
Pope Francis wrote:gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.


Somebody, tweet the Pope the Nature article! Seems like nature does not recognise the order of creation as well as we have so far thought. :hmm:
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby Car » 2015-02-20, 5:33

IpseDixit wrote:For a moment I thought Pope Francis was a new user.

Good to read I wasn't the only one.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby loqu » 2015-02-20, 17:21

Car wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:For a moment I thought Pope Francis was a new user.

Good to read I wasn't the only one.

:lol: would be fun for sure.
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Re: [Split] Sexism

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-02-20, 17:23

loqu wrote:
Car wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:For a moment I thought Pope Francis was a new user.

Good to read I wasn't the only one.

:lol: would be fun for sure.


Who knows what languages he'd learn.


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