Author Topic: Gender Culture  (Read 166 times)

Offline MH

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Gender Culture
« on: June 11, 2017, 08:41:34 pm »
So, BodyBlitz is a women-only spa in downtown Toronto that has seen fit to ban trans women from their establishment during Pride Month.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10154674292597849&id=197752712848

Thoughts ?
 
My part in this discussion is mostly to listen to others' thoughts, and to express support for citizen rights as a citizen and ally of LGBT people.

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Offline kimmy

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2017, 11:14:20 pm »
I have never been in such a position.  As I don't belong to a gym or similar, and as the trans population of Kim City is quite small, it's quite possible I never will.

I'm a strong believer in fairness for LGBT people.  And I strongly oppose "bathroom bills" of the sort that some US states have been enacting.  I can't imagine why it's an issue.  Biologically female people are not going to be lining up at the urinal next to men.  And if I'm in the ladies' room I really don't care what the biological sex of the person on the other side of the partition is.  As long as they-- whatever their biological sex might be-- stay out of my stall while I'm doing my thing, I don't care.


But I feel that locker-rooms, changing rooms, and showers are a different story. I simply don't want to change or shower in the presence of someone with male anatomy.   It would be unsettling and uncomfortable for me, regardless of whether they consider themselves male or female.  I understand that might be hurtful to some trans people, but that's the reality of it.  It's not a switch I could just turn off.   It would be unsettling and uncomfortable for me, and I can only imagine it would be even more upsetting and uncomfortable for women from more conservative cultural backgrounds, and for women who may have had traumatic experiences with biologically male people.

Personally, I would probably leave, or wait until the person left, rather than change or shower alongside them. I would probably decide not to return to that establishment in the future, if that was a regular occurrence.  I just don't think I could bring myself to do it.

I think that out of consideration for the feelings of the women who would feel uncomfortable in such circumstances (which is probably many or most women...) I think that establishments should either provide accommodation for trans customers, or provide a penis-free safe-space for women who aren't comfortable changing in the presence of biologically male people.

The movie "Starship Troopers" depicted a completely gender-integrated marine unit... the men and women showered together completely without concern.  Perhaps there have been real-world cultures where people were equally comfortable with inter-gender group nudity.   But our culture isn't, and it won't be any time soon.


 -k

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 06:07:34 am »
I consider 50 years to be 'soon', so I see it coming absolutely.

I don't have any real stake in this discussion, other than the fact that I am an ally and this involves a human rights question in a country where I am a citizen, but if you are interested, I will offer some observation.

I am a McLuhanite to a fault, and we are perhaps at the end of the electronic era, wherein we are returning to our oral, and tribal roots.  As such, this may be the last fight between the dominance of the literate age and the electronic one.  I can't do justice to his many writings about clothing, but he explained that clothing and costume denoted one's place in society.  Nudity is a shocking thing to a Victorian whereas tribal people, he wrote, merely see nudity as pathetic.

As such, this question make take us back to the origins of humans as the first big book explained it: in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve saw that they were naked and they were ashamed.  For us to roll back to a place where nudity is just nudity we will negate that rule.

Personally, my experience with nudity is elementary: as a child, I participated in a backyard game of 'flashing' with a group of other kids and it was a big deal.  As such, I have never been comfortable with it.  In the last decade, I became part of the BurningMan community where nudity is simply an expression of onesself and I had to get comfortable being around it but never participated.  I don't feel comfortable being naked in locker rooms, even, and to me that's the challenge.

Women can legally go topless in Ontario, but they don't.  Nudity at Pride has been a sore point for upstanding citizens who need a reason to get upset.  There's nothing in the constitution to prevent nudity from being legal, and I do think it's coming.

I think that is the choice that will emerge: do you want to be nude in an environment or not ?  It will be your choice.  As someone pointed out to me, women-only gyms exist as a descriminatory exception because they offer a 'safe space' and that is something that trans women need perhaps more than anyone.  Trans men ARE allowed at this spa.

Offline BC_cheque

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 12:56:17 pm »
But I feel that locker-rooms, changing rooms, and showers are a different story. I simply don't want to change or shower in the presence of someone with male anatomy.   It would be unsettling and uncomfortable for me, regardless of whether they consider themselves male or female.  I understand that might be hurtful to some trans people, but that's the reality of it.  It's not a switch I could just turn off.   

That's fair.  When I first read your post and I pictured a moment like that, I kind of agreed it would be awkward.

But upon reflecting on it more, I don't see why it should be other than the fact that it's something not familiar. 

Is it awkward to change in front of a lesbian woman who very well may be looking at me sexually?  Not at all but probably because I've been around lesbians all my life.

Another thing, other than the showers at my local pool, every gym I've ever visited has changing rooms so this wouldn't be about anyone seeing me naked, it would be about ME seeing a woman with a pe-nis (can't believe that's too vulgar for the forum) who is comfortable enough with her body to get naked in an open room. 

Then the onus is therefore on me, not on them. 

I think this decision is based on the same notion as the bathroom rules where they're not worried about 'real' transgender women, but creepy straight men in wigs trying to be peeping toms. 

In order to not discriminate and have to leave it up to judgement, it's a systematic rule.

I can see the other side but I think it's discriminatory at the same time.  Personally I don't agree.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 12:58:14 pm by BC_cheque »

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 01:12:00 pm »

In order to not discriminate and have to leave it up to judgement, it's a systematic rule.

I can see the other side but I think it's discriminatory at the same time.  Personally I don't agree.

You don't agree with BodyBlitz's policy you mean ?

Offline BC_cheque

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 01:37:32 pm »
You don't agree with BodyBlitz's policy you mean ?

No, I don't.  If it's meant to keep the straight men posing out, it's throwing the baby out with the bath water and if they just don't believe transgender women are real women, then it's archaic.

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 04:49:11 pm »
Ok, BodyBlitz has hit the blogs now.  I predict mainstream coverage later this week maybe as early as tomorrow.

https://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/7367851-toronto-s-women-only-body-blitz-spa-draws-ire-for-alleged-no-penis-rule/

Facebook is still churning... wait... just saw a note that it's going to national news tonight.

Offline Moonlight Graham

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 05:01:07 pm »
Trans women, in my opinion, are female in gender but male in biological sex...unless they've had hormone therapy & surgery, then they're part male & part female biologically (kinda...it's complicated).   So you have people who express themselves as feminine and say they are women, but their biology, including nudy parts, can be male or partly male at the very least.

So now we have a big conundrum now don't we!  Personally I don't know what to make of it all yet.

This will be controversial, but as of now my opinion is that trans women are not men, and aren't women.  They're trans women.  They are unique in that sense and should be respected as equal but different.  For instance, I don't agree with trans women competing in sports with biological women because they aren't the same, their biology is completely different, as I said male vs female.  Why not have their own category of events, i'd root for them!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 05:22:40 pm by Moonlight Graham »
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Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 06:04:18 pm »
Trans women, in my opinion, are female in gender but male in biological sex...

So now we have a big conundrum now don't we!

Nope.  There's a difference in opinion between you, and them and the law also.  If those come into conflict then you rely on mediating mechanisms.
 
I'm not insensitive to the trouble some people will have here, but if you are not respectful in these matters, you will get a fight.  The fight for gay rights was a long one.  This fight will not be, as those who fight for trans rights are fighters and they will stand by to protect this very abused segment of society.

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 06:42:36 pm »
Here's a new campaign about pronouns:


Would you use a pronoun that someone asked you to ?

Offline Moonlight Graham

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2017, 07:08:01 pm »
Nope.  There's a difference in opinion between you, and them and the law also.  If those come into conflict then you rely on mediating mechanisms.
 
I'm not insensitive to the trouble some people will have here, but if you are not respectful in these matters, you will get a fight.  The fight for gay rights was a long one.  This fight will not be, as those who fight for trans rights are fighters and they will stand by to protect this very abused segment of society.

I edited my opinion somewhat, so re-read my post.

I'm all for trans rights, but we have to deal in facts and science while also respecting people's rights.  Trans women are women in the gender sense because gender is fluid and subjective, but what about biology?
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Offline the_squid

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 07:08:44 pm »
I would use he or she.  Whichever they wanted.   If I have to use made up words to save their feelings, then I likely won't be discussing much with them.

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2017, 07:15:55 pm »
I edited my opinion somewhat, so re-read my post.

I did, but you just added a bit about sports.  I don't know what the rules are around that and have no opinion on it.

Quote
I'm all for trans rights, but we have to deal in facts and science while also respecting people's rights.  Trans women are women in the gender sense because gender is fluid and subjective, but what about biology?
 
 
What about it ?  Gender is fluid as you say.  I acknowledge that you have an opinion but as I said these issues will go to the law for mitigation and it will get political.

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2017, 07:18:36 pm »
I would use he or she.  Whichever they wanted.   

I worked closely with somebody who is trans, so I listened to what others did.  I'm a middle-aged male who is new to these things, but luckily I have some sense so I picked up on it.  We are good friends now.

What made me think about this issue more was a heartbreaking post about this person, who is so strong and capable, and how they were utterly broken until they made this change.  It was heartbreaking.  Luckily I have a soul.

Offline Moonlight Graham

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2017, 09:01:18 pm »
I did, but you just added a bit about sports.  I don't know what the rules are around that and have no opinion on it.

No i added a bit before that.  I said before, which you quoted:  "Trans women, in my opinion, are female in gender but male in biological sex..."

I changed that, this:  "Trans women, in my opinion, are female in gender but male in biological sex...unless they've had hormone therapy & surgery, then they're part male & part female biologically.
 
Quote
What about it ?  Gender is fluid as you say.  I acknowledge that you have an opinion but as I said these issues will go to the law for mitigation and it will get political.

Well, what I'm saying is gender is an expression of masculine or feminine and is fluid, but biology is much harder to change, and most of biology you can't change.  If you're a male, and remove your penis and surgically make a mock-vagina and insert artificial breasts and take hormone therapies...does that make you female in biology? I would argue it makes you more female in biology, but also can't change male chromosomes or male muscle & bone structure.  So biologically, a trans woman post-transition...are they male, female, or a bit of both?

As for pronouns, I'll call a trans male a he if they want, i'll call a gender neutral person "they" if they want.  As for the other pronouns like xe or xer etc., i'd have to learn more about it.  Using "they" or anything other than male or female sounds most practical for everyone though.

Quote
I worked closely with somebody who is trans, so I listened to what others did.  I'm a middle-aged male who is new to these things, but luckily I have some sense so I picked up on it.  We are good friends now.

What made me think about this issue more was a heartbreaking post about this person, who is so strong and capable, and how they were utterly broken until they made this change.  It was heartbreaking.  Luckily I have a soul.

It would be interesting to know somebody who is trans, to learn from their perspective.  I respect everyone's right to be whatever they want to be, I don't care in fact I think it's great.  What's important though is that even though we need to take people's feelings into account, facts also must be considered and I believe are of primary importance even if they hurt someone's feelings.  I will call a ie: trans woman as "she" because they are female in gender, but to pretend they are female in all aspects including 100% in biology I will not, because it's contrary to science and the facts.  I know that many trans people want to desperately be of the opposite biological sex as they were born, hence all of the medical procedures they have, but this isn't possible, at least not fully.  That's why I don't think trans women should compete against born-women in competitive sports like the Olympics.  It would be completely ridiculous.  Imagine if Bruce Jenner had been Caitlyn Jenner in their Olympic hey-day.  It would have been a sham, Caitlyn could have won every medal, and broke records that could never be matched except by other trans women.  It might hurt the feelings of trans women to not be considered the "same" as other women, but they aren't quite the same, objectively.  Same with trans men.

If the law wants to state that women and trans women are the same biologically, well fine but it still doesn't make it true.  I think compelling other people by law to pretend that they are would be dangerous.  But hey maybe I'm wrong, I'm willing to listen to other arguments, these social conundrums these issues raise are new to everyone, we need to find the proper solutions that respect everyone.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.