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Undefeated Steak

Non binary folk

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Even "biologically you either male or female" doesn't really hold up - aside from intersex people, what biological principles are we agreeing are determining sexual characteristics? At school you're taught about XX or XY chromosomes, but some women have Y chromosomes. 

As for being gender neutral/non-binary, I can't speak for other people, but I see it as a perfectly valid identification. I don't think picking hairs over whether it's personal or sociopolitical makes any sense, because the two are inexorably linked. 

A lot of it likely is to do with societal expectations around gender norms. But it's important to recognise that when people say something like "gender is a social construct", that's not the same thing as saying it doesn't exist.

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1 minute ago, BomberPat said:

Even "biologically you either male or female" doesn't really hold up - aside from intersex people, what biological principles are we agreeing are determining sexual characteristics? At school you're taught about XX or XY chromosomes, but some women have Y chromosomes. 

I don't want to sound like I am taking the piss here but provided we ignore intersex people for a moment (I AM NOT SAYING THEY SHOULD BE IGNORED BTW) then:

  • Male sexual characteristics - male organs
  • Female sexual characteristics - female organs

Please also bear in mind you have only quoted a part of what I said. I'm not sitting here sipping a pint going "yeah nah mate you're either a bird or a bloke and that's that innit"

My opinion was that at birth you're either biologically male or female based on reproductive organs. What you want to do and how you want to identify or be categorised beyond that is in your hands.

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I met a real liberal girl in a bar once, she asked if I were intersex? I said not bloody half love. Who remember tip tops eh?

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8 hours ago, Chest Rockwell said:

What I was saying was that Monkee's post helped me to understand what other people were saying better. I get it, I have no argument here.

No-one should ideally have to explain themselves, but it is a new concept to a lot of people and the impulse to ask why is natural. The more you can bring people along for the ride and help them put themselves in your shoes, the more effective you will be trying to challenge and breakdown existing social norms. It's a fight they haven't asked for by simply feeling the way they do and other people should be sensitive to that but at the same time I think it's also hugely unfair for Steak's workmates to label him as some sort of hatemonger.

We are (mostly) pretty reasonable people here thankfully.

I find myself agreeing here. Steak was asking a question on something he wanted to understand better. The sheer fact he asked shows he isnt what they where calling him. I would have thought if the people that told him to "educate" himself had explained it  it would have been alot better all round

Edited by quote the raven

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2 hours ago, Ironic Indie Lad said:

Did not know this

 

Last I read, those born intersex make up about 0.08% of the population, so very rare indeed. 

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1 hour ago, Ironic Indie Lad said:

You're either biologically male or female based on reproductive organs. What you want to do and how you want to identify or be categorised beyond that is in your hands.

Oh, my reproductive organs are all too regularly in my own hands.

 

The following is more me setting out my understanding of it all, rather than intending to sound like a lecture.

As you say, biological sex is, for the most part, not under question. However, once we start talking about gender, we're looking at more of a spectrum of ways people identify, and that discussion has become more mainstream recently. 

So, with sexuality, we're now more used to hetero, bi, homo, pan - and there's less in the way of controversy about that. But with gender, some of the terminology is less well-known and less agreed. It's why terms like 'cisgender' are actually useful, and not the way to control non-trans people that they've been described as. Because it's all about where you place on that spectrum.

So, on a basic level, there are the two we mostly all agree that we understand:

1: Cisgender - I identify with the gender I was assigned at birth.

2: Transgender - I identify with the opposite gender to the one I was assigned at birth.

However, there's a whole shitload of stuff in the middle of those. Because it's not necessarily an absolutely binary choice. So non-binary can mean 'I identify with neither gender' or it can mean 'I identify with some aspects of one gender or some aspects of the other'.

This is where terms like 'gender-fluid' (someone who wanders around that spectrum more) or 'genderqueer' (as an overall description of being somewhere on the spectrum) can be more useful, because it can reduce misunderstanding. It's also partly why the term 'queer' has become somewhat reclaimed and made more mainstream, because it works as more of an umbrella term for all kinds of aspects that are non-'normal'.

These terms are useful sometimes, not just because it identifies what someone is, but also what someone isn't - someone might not fully identify with their gender, but may not fully identify with the other either, so 'trans' wouldn't be accurate either. But it's entirely fair for them to want to define what they are, if only so they can talk to other people about it.

I know some people who find some aspects of gender being a spectrum to be comforting and useful, because it helps explain why they're not entirely comfortable with their own gender, even if they don't fully identify as the other gender. So, non-binary and/or genderqueer can be useful distinctions, and they've helped a lot of people explore how they feel about gender in society and themselves.

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23 hours ago, Undefeated Steak said:

I'm specifically talking about an individual identifying as non-gender, and why they would? Thanks. 

Every academic study done so far has found that in 100% of cases, the common contributing factors are Tumblr, daddy issues and a desire for attention, but it’s impossible to verify any of it since Owen Jones always prevents the studies from being published. We won’t really see any serious effort from the scientific community to understand it for at least another decade or two, because they’re (as per Dr Richard Harimau in New Scientist in March of this year) “not throwing good money at a stupid fucking fad for bored, pink-haired teenagers that they will grow out of once they leave the university bubble anyway. See if any of the little twats are still at this rubbish in 2045 and come back to me. It’ll be something else by then, no doubt. Probably claiming disability money for identifying as a one-legged black psychosomatic addict insane, even though they’ve two white legs plain as day. All the people, so many people. They all go hand in hand.”

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1 hour ago, Chris B said:

It's also partly why the term 'queer' has become somewhat reclaimed and made more mainstream, because it works as more of an umbrella term for all kinds of aspects that are non-'normal'.

I think there is a downside to that as well.  It goes back to the "non conformist" thing.  The default setting in society is white heterosexual and there are people who are that but don't want to be boring or have all the privilege that comes with it.  So they really reach and stretch to be "Queer".  What I mean by that is they aren't bi, but they think a film star / musician etc is good looking, or they like a bit of BDSM as long as it's really tame.  So that makes them queer in their own eyes, anything to avoid being vanilla and boring.  These people are few but they are arseholes.

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12 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

I think there is a downside to that as well.  It goes back to the "non conformist" thing.  The default setting in society is white heterosexual and there are people who are that but don't want to be boring or have all the privilege that comes with it.  So they really reach and stretch to be "Queer".  What I mean by that is they aren't bi, but they think a film star / musician etc is good looking, or they like a bit of BDSM as long as it's really tame.  So that makes them queer in their own eyes, anything to avoid being vanilla and boring.  These people are few but they are arseholes.

That's kind of inevitable though. I've gone back and forward on how I feel about it.

For a while, as an example, I felt some poly people describing themselves as discriminated against was some bullshit. But... lifestyles and love lifes are valid. Why should they be considered lesser, wrong, or something best kept behind closed doors? Sure, there are all kinds of people more discriminated against, but it's there. Same with kink to an extent (whole other topic).

However, and to bring this back on-topic, when something becomes more mainstream, there'll be bandwagon-jumping. You can focus on the people in the group that annoy you, but it may be they're in the early days of figuring out who they are, and it also may be useful in helping other people for who it's more real/immediate to be open about it. This is a new mainstream conversation.

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1 hour ago, Chris B said:

That's kind of inevitable though. I've gone back and forward on how I feel about it.

 

Yeah it is, and as you say it's a new conversation for most people.  Hopefully in the years to come it will be another thing from the past that people don't bat an eyelid about.

Sort of in a similar vein, I had reservations about Manchester Police classing attacking subcultures as a hate crime.  Of course, it's people being beaten up for looking like a goth which is pretty abhorrent but I don't think it belongs with racist or homophobic attacks.  You can choose to wear black clothing but you can't choose to have black skin.

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Yeah, it's being attacked for your appearance and it's horrible in every way.  I just don't think it should have the same "Labelling" as being attacked for something you don't have a choice in having.  I remember I went to a Sophie Lancaster fundraiser with some mates who didn't look like metalheads and they were getting dirty looks and stares because they looked like "Chavs".  Yeah, way to miss the point about attacking people for how they dress, guys!

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I like the below explanation of NB. There's lots of nuances including being masc or femme presenting Non Binary and being on male or female hormones. Pronouns frequently are they or them and is straight forward enough to get used to. Some NB people will go on to being trans masc or trans femme. Others are happy being neither .

Gender Binary was only really solidified by the Victorian's in the 19th Century.Whilst NB is only around 40 years old as a term, previously, genderqueer, it's not a 'new' thing,just revisited if that makes sense?

 

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8 hours ago, patiirc said:

Gender Binary was only really solidified by the Victorian's in the 19th Century.

I am interested in this statement. Can you expand? What was the construct before, if there was any? What did they do to solidify gender binary and then spread that?

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