Author Topic: Gender Culture  (Read 574 times)

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2017, 06:14:28 am »
No, I don't think a Muslim woman's right trumps a transgender right.  I don't think any kind of religious right should trample on any type of human right.  If the law regards a transgender woman as a woman, she should have a right to exercise in a woman's facility.  If that makes any Jew, Christian or Muslim, uncomfortable, that's too bad. 

You're talking around the problem here.  Rights don't 'trump' each other but they have to be resolved when in conflict.  Religious rights already supersede human rights in several specific examples.  It seems to me, reading this paragraph, that you may not realize that.

 

Offline kimmy

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2017, 12:03:49 am »
You're talking around the problem here.  Rights don't 'trump' each other but they have to be resolved when in conflict.  Religious rights already supersede human rights in several specific examples.  It seems to me, reading this paragraph, that you may not realize that.

The answer to this particular dilemma may well be that the hypothetical Muslim woman isn't entitled to a penis-free environment and will have to find somewhere else to exercise.  It's entirely possible that this might be the solution that places the least burden on the competing interests of all parties involved.

However, I'm curious to find out whether the gym could, if there was a demand for it, offer a penis-free environment, perhaps penis-free hours or something. 

 -k

Offline kimmy

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2017, 12:34:33 am »
No, I don't think a Muslim woman's right trumps a transgender right.  I don't think any kind of religious right should trample on any type of human right.  If the law regards a transgender woman as a woman, she should have a right to exercise in a woman's facility.  If that makes any Jew, Christian or Muslim, uncomfortable, that's too bad. 

That's my view as well, but as I mentioned earlier we live in a society where a lot of people think that reasonable effort should be made to Muslims' sensibilities-- be it dress codes, food policies, and even the desire for women-only swimming.  I'd expect the same people would support accommodating a Muslim woman who felt that being in an open-dongs environment was against her religion.

(as an aside, it's one of my pet peeves that saying "it's against my religion" somehow makes a belief more legitimate than beliefs you arrived at independently.  You don't eat meat because your conscience forbids it. Someone else doesn't eat meat because her religion forbids it. Somehow her reason for not eating meat is seen as more worthy. That annoys me.)



If the sight of a woman with a penis could cause harm to others, I could see the point, otherwise no. 

As for feeling threatened by a penis, I don't think that's why we have segregated gyms.  Having worked in gyms when I was younger, I know it's partly women wanting to work out without being watched by men, and also because they don't want to be hit on by men.

Which brings us back to the lesbian comparison.  With a lesbian, she is for sure interested in women, but a transgender woman may or may not be interested in women.  That's why I said it's more logical to be uncomfortable around lesbians even though we're not.

I don't think it's just a dislike of being hit on or being oggled. 

A lot of us were raised to feel that being naked in front of a strange man is an embarrassing, stressful, and threatening situation.

And a person with a penis is, until you personally know otherwise, a man. They can say "don't worry, I'm a trans woman", but that's probably not going to put people at ease.

The point I was making which you did not address was that 50 years ago there was just as much of a fuss put up about allowing gay women into change rooms, but as times passed most of us couldn't care less if they're working out next to us.

In due time, I believe the same thing will happen with transgender women.

And I'm still wondering whether these gym lesbians wore signs or something that told everybody that they're lesbians. I'm not aware of what fuss might have been made on that issue 50 years ago, and can't comment on it.

If somebody-- male or female-- is oggling you while you're changing, I certainly understand feeling uncomfortable with that.

 -k

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2017, 06:07:52 am »
However, I'm curious to find out whether the gym could, if there was a demand for it, offer a penis-free environment, perhaps penis-free hours or something. 


I doubt that.  The trans-protection legislation is through the Senate, I think, so soon to be law.  This will have to be tested in court.

I learned a new term yesterday - TERF.  It means trans-exclusionary-radical-feminist and is a large schism in the feminist community, apparently between generations of feminists.  The CBC ran an opinion piece from a Megan Murphy that is being absolutely roasted on my facebook discussion page as she is dismissing the law outright.  It's a rare case of the CBC going to the right of the Liberal party.

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2017, 06:17:03 am »
Someone else doesn't eat meat because her religion forbids it. Somehow her reason for not eating meat is seen as more worthy. That annoys me.)

Somehow=religion is protected in the constitution. 

 
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A lot of us were raised to feel that being naked in front of a strange man is an embarrassing, stressful, and threatening situation.

And a person with a penis is, until you personally know otherwise, a man. They can say "don't worry, I'm a trans woman", but that's probably not going to put people at ease.

The idea of excluding men comes from providing a 'safe space' and trans women are arguably the most beaten-down and abused group that I have heard of.  The "I'm not comfortable" argument was used in the CBC argument and would simply not be stated in any other argument about rights which in itself raises questions and highlights that trans people are seen as worthy of being dismissed as aesthetic problems for the delicate.

"I am not comfortable with headscarves, it bothers me."
"I'm not comfortable eating in a restaurant with black people."

This is the argument I have read on that line of logic.

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And I'm still wondering whether these gym lesbians wore signs or something that told everybody that they're lesbians. I'm not aware of what fuss might have been made on that issue 50 years ago, and can't comment on it.

They kept people in the closet and denied reality.  I even remember women complaining about lesbians in bathrooms in university as if they could make a request to exclude them somehow.  This is how far rights have come, and it's informative to see what happens when certain classes ascend in their power.  TERFs are an example, I think.

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If somebody-- male or female-- is oggling you while you're changing, I certainly understand feeling uncomfortable with that.

Definitely and a 'no oggling' rule would address that.  Of course that's hard to enforce but it can be done.  Men harassing women is similarly difficult, ie. he said/she said.  But we are getting there.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2017, 01:04:18 pm »
Somehow=religion is protected in the constitution. 

So you'd feel it's reasonable for the Muslim woman to want a penis-free environment, and that the gym should find a way to accommodate her, but everybody else needs to toughen up?


The idea of excluding men comes from providing a 'safe space' and trans women are arguably the most beaten-down and abused group that I have heard of. 

So it's like a contest?  You only get a safe-space if you're the most oppressed?


The "I'm not comfortable" argument was used in the CBC argument and would simply not be stated in any other argument about rights which in itself raises questions and highlights that trans people are seen as worthy of being dismissed as aesthetic problems for the delicate.

Yes, trivializing the feelings and experiences of those who aren't comfortable in the environment being proposed will assuredly lead to understanding on this issue.
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We’re expected to abandon all prior experiences and notions of ourselves, most especially those that relate to our female embodiment and the oppression that stems from it. Sex-based protections have been effectively dissolved. When it comes to female-only facilities, human rights law is clear: a male who claims the identity of “female” or “woman” can’t be turned away. If a woman has concerns or is in a vulnerable position, her options are to somehow get over it or leave. What this tells women and girls who are survivors of male violence is that females’ right to refuge and privacy away from males is negotiable and that they come last. This is an insidious form of grooming that tells women and girls that they are hysterical for recognizing the epidemic of discrimination and violence directed at them and that they must prioritize the feelings of others over their own sense of self-preservation.
--Brandi Sudyk



"I am not comfortable with headscarves, it bothers me."
"I'm not comfortable eating in a restaurant with black people."

But this whole issue started with "I am not comfortable exercising with men" and people accepted that as valid.


They kept people in the closet and denied reality.  I even remember women complaining about lesbians in bathrooms in university as if they could make a request to exclude them somehow.  This is how far rights have come, and it's informative to see what happens when certain classes ascend in their power.  TERFs are an example, I think.

I tracked down the Megan Murphy you spoke of, and I mostly agree with her.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/women-only-spa-counterpoint-1.4170158
http://www.feministcurrent.com/2017/06/18/shouldnt-controversial-maintain-women-spaces/

I am not sure this makes me "radical".


Definitely and a 'no oggling' rule would address that.  Of course that's hard to enforce but it can be done.  Men harassing women is similarly difficult, ie. he said/she said.  But we are getting there.

I think there's a general standard of behavior we'd hope for from people we share a locker room with... personally I feel like there's no reason anybody in the locker room should know your sexual preference, and if you're acting in a way that makes your sexual preference known it's probably because you're doing something that makes somebody uncomfortable.

 -k
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 02:14:58 pm by kimmy »

Offline Moonlight Graham

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2017, 04:50:07 pm »
What if the spa just had a "no dongs" policy?  If you're trans after surgery with no dong, you're in, if you're trans with a dong you're out.  It wouldn't be about "women" or "men" at that point, just about dongs.  A safe space for muffs.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2017, 11:35:54 pm »
So you'd feel it's reasonable for the Muslim woman to want a penis-free environment, and that the gym should find a way to accommodate her, but everybody else needs to toughen up?
Whaaaaat ?  That's a complete non-sequitur.  How did you even get there ?  You asked why some food choices are protected by law and I answered you.

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So it's like a contest?  You only get a safe-space if you're the most oppressed?

I don't know, but it seems to me excluding men is reasonably rationalized as a way to provide space for women.  I don't know how else these things would be decided.

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Yes, trivializing the feelings and experiences of those who aren't comfortable in the environment being proposed will assuredly lead to understanding on this issue. 

I don't mean to trivialize those feelings but to point out how using such arguments would not be acceptable in any other context, and yet are seen as acceptable here.

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--Brandi Sudyk

This quote comes from the perspective that trans women simply can not be seen as women.  It's an understandable point of view, but it isn't aligned with the emerging view (I can't call it a consensus yet) of human rights for trans people.

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But this whole issue started with "I am not comfortable exercising with men" and people accepted that as valid.

Yes, because of the dynamic of providing a place where people feel safe.  The idea of excluding me from a space because of my gender is an affront to my individual rights, because it assumes I am a risk, however on the whole it provides rights to a group.  The principle, in theory, is reasonable accommodation. 

As such:

A 2015 study [PDF] reported that trans Ontarians had “nearly universally reported” experiences of transphobia, and 67 per cent “feared they would die young.”

That reality is especially harsh for trans women. They are targeted not just because they are transgender, but also because they are women. That means they are “particularly vulnerable,” as the Ontario Women’s Justice Network puts it, to transphobic violence, sexual violence, and transphobic sexual violence. (In 2014, 55 per cent of all victims of hate homicide in the U.S. were transgender women, almost all women of colour.) It’s the perfect example of intersectionality—different layers of identity that co-exist and in this case impede. Gapka calls it “additional hardship.”


http://torontoist.com/2016/06/379820/

 
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I think there's a general standard of behavior we'd hope for from people we share a locker room with... personally I feel like there's no reason anybody in the locker room should know your sexual preference, and if you're acting in a way that makes your sexual preference known it's probably because you're doing something that makes somebody uncomfortable.
 

Inappropriate behaviour is always a reason for an individual to be excluded.  But you couldn't see BodyBlitz excluding Lesbians because straight women 'felt uncomfortable' about it, nor could you come up with an outlying case where some incident happen and use that as an excuse to ban Lesbians.  These are some of the arguments you can see being used against trans women.

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2017, 11:38:18 pm »
What if the spa just had a "no dongs" policy?  If you're trans after surgery with no dong, you're in, if you're trans with a dong you're out.  It wouldn't be about "women" or "men" at that point, just about dongs.  A safe space for muffs.

'No dongs' is discrimination in this case.  Of course it has to be tested.

Also, as has been pointed out... trans men without breasts and with beards are allowed in which is odd in that people who worry about 'the children' don't seem to mention it.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2017, 12:11:06 pm »
What if the spa just had a "no dongs" policy?  If you're trans after surgery with no dong, you're in, if you're trans with a dong you're out.  It wouldn't be about "women" or "men" at that point, just about dongs.  A safe space for muffs.

This is the policy Body Blitz currently has, which is what started this controversy in the first place.

If I walk into the women's locker room and see a naked male I'm now apparently supposed to accept that this person is a woman, no questions asked.  If I don't feel comfortable with that then I must be a prude or a redneck, and if I don't think that person should actually be there then I'm a radical, apparently.

 -k

Offline kimmy

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2017, 12:15:26 pm »
Also, as has been pointed out... trans men without breasts

Women are comfortable changing around women without breasts. Be it our "late bloomer" classmates in school or young people or people who are just very slender, or people who have mastectomies for health reasons.

and with beards are allowed in which is odd in that people who worry about 'the children' don't seem to mention it.

As far as I know of, nobody ever got violated by a beard.

 -k

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2017, 12:39:50 pm »
If I don't feel comfortable with that then I must be a prude or a redneck, and if I don't think that person should actually be there then I'm a radical, apparently.
 

You can't control what people think, I'm afraid.  I definitely accept that my voice is marginal at best in this discussion, and I am definitely sensitive to the voices of cis women who are uncomfortable with this major change in our laws.

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #42 on: June 25, 2017, 12:40:46 pm »
As far as I know of, nobody ever got violated by a beard.
 

But is it weird for women in general for someone with a beard, who looks like a man ?  It must be.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2017, 01:12:01 pm »
Whaaaaat ?  That's a complete non-sequitur.  How did you even get there ?

Addressing BC_Cheque earlier on the subject of whether the hypothetical Muslim woman's wish for a dong-free environment should be respected, you said:  "Rights don't 'trump' each other but they have to be resolved when in conflict.  Religious rights already supersede human rights in several specific examples.  It seems to me, reading this paragraph, that you may not realize that."

You seem fairly set on the idea that religious views merit consideration above and beyond what someone's personal conscience is, as a matter of law.

You asked why some food choices are protected by law and I answered you.

I wasn't discussing "protected by law".  I was scoffing at the notion that BC_C's vegetarianism, which is a matter of deeply-held conscience, is viewed as being less sincere or less worthy of respect than someone who is a vegetarian because a magic book tells them so.

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I don't know, but it seems to me excluding men is reasonably rationalized as a way to provide space for women.  I don't know how else these things would be decided.

For some portion of women who this safe space has been provided for, the presence of trans people will eliminate any sense of safety.

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I don't mean to trivialize those feelings but to point out how using such arguments would not be acceptable in any other context, and yet are seen as acceptable here.

It seems to me that characterizing objections to dongs in the locker room as "aesthetics problems for the delicate" is pretty trivializing.

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This quote comes from the perspective that trans women simply can not be seen as women.  It's an understandable point of view, but it isn't aligned with the emerging view (I can't call it a consensus yet) of human rights for trans people.

It might not align with the view of some in the ultra-progressive and Ivory Tower world, I agree. I first off think that any woman who says she's in favor of this should get in a locker room and change while a naked male person watches her, to put her money where her mouth is.  It's really easy to *say* you're in favor with something and trivialize or insult the objections of those who don't share your view, but when rubber meets road how many of these ultra-progressives and Ivory Tower types will live up to their talk?

As for whether it's possible to see trans women as women, all I can say is that there's a limit. When it comes to day to day interaction, sure, I have no problem.  In the shower? I doubt it. As a romantic partner? Absolutely not.

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Yes, because of the dynamic of providing a place where people feel safe.  The idea of excluding me from a space because of my gender is an affront to my individual rights, because it assumes I am a risk, however on the whole it provides rights to a group.  The principle, in theory, is reasonable accommodation. 

As such:

A 2015 study [PDF] reported that trans Ontarians had “nearly universally reported” experiences of transphobia, and 67 per cent “feared they would die young.”

I absolutely understand that trans people are at great risk of encountering hatred and violence.  And I have no wish to contribute to someone feeling unsafe. At the same time, I won't sacrifice my own sense of security in favor of someone else's.  I believe that many women-- the silent majority, probably-- feel the same.

And as I mentioned earlier, I think that Body Blitz thinks so as well.  I think that they've taken this position not because they are hateful people, but because they know that allowing penises into their nude, women-only environment will be a grave threat to their continued financial viability. I believe that many women will not kick up a fuss over the admission of penises, but will simply decide to stop going to Body Blitz.

Hypothetically, if the human rights commission and the fair play committee and the lawyers and whoever else tell Body Blitz that they have to allow dongs in their spa, and Body Blitz ends up closing 3 months later so that nobody has this safe-space anymore, will that be a tremendous victory for human rights?

 -k

Offline MH

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Re: Gender Culture
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2017, 03:06:30 pm »

You seem fairly set on the idea that religious views merit consideration above and beyond what someone's personal conscience is, as a matter of law.

Yes, as I said it has to be resolved.  The case of Muslims is a whole other complexity I haven't thought about.

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I wasn't discussing "protected by law".  I was scoffing at the notion that BC_C's vegetarianism, which is a matter of deeply-held conscience, is viewed as being less sincere or less worthy of respect than someone who is a vegetarian because a magic book tells them so.

You're scoffing at the constitution, but ok.

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For some portion of women who this safe space has been provided for, the presence of trans people will eliminate any sense of safety.

It seems to me that characterizing objections to dongs in the locker room as "aesthetics problems for the delicate" is pretty trivializing.

Point taken, but I was speaking to the comments that people "don't feel comfortable" which to me is not a reasonable test of accommodation.  If people have trauma around seeing penises, then that is a serious matter to consider IMO.


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It might not align with the view of some in the ultra-progressive and Ivory Tower world, I agree. I first off think that any woman who says she's in favor of this should get in a locker room and change while a naked male person watches her, to put her money where her mouth is.  It's really easy to *say* you're in favor with something and trivialize or insult the objections of those who don't share your view, but when rubber meets road how many of these ultra-progressives and Ivory Tower types will live up to their talk?

I addressed the trivializing point above.

You call it 'ivory tower', I call it an 'emerging view'.  I expect ultra-progressives will in fact live up to it, but the tough work is ahead in any case as this will be policy soon.
 
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I absolutely understand that trans people are at great risk of encountering hatred and violence.  And I have no wish to contribute to someone feeling unsafe. At the same time, I won't sacrifice my own sense of security in favor of someone else's.  I believe that many women-- the silent majority, probably-- feel the same.

And as I mentioned earlier, I think that Body Blitz thinks so as well.  I think that they've taken this position not because they are hateful people, but because they know that allowing penises into their nude, women-only environment will be a grave threat to their continued financial viability. I believe that many women will not kick up a fuss over the admission of penises, but will simply decide to stop going to Body Blitz.

Hypothetically, if the human rights commission and the fair play committee and the lawyers and whoever else tell Body Blitz that they have to allow dongs in their spa, and Body Blitz ends up closing 3 months later so that nobody has this safe-space anymore, will that be a tremendous victory for human rights?
 

It may be that women will not visit the spa, or that the spa will change its nudist policy.  It's a tough question, but I will point out there are other women-only spas that don't have nudity which is why BodyBlitz is such a lightning rod.

Also notable that men haven't been making much noise over women-only spas lately, so some questions on human rights do get answered.