A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

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A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Babam » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:32 am UTC

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2643393/Boy-12-turns-into-girl.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News


I think they handled that horribly
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... &ATTR=News
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:54 am UTC

This squalid little rag keeps saying "he" and "boy".
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Babam » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:06 am UTC

Oh my I didn't even notice that. Asshats.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Hawknc » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:09 am UTC

I can't tell who handled that worse, the school or the newspaper. I'll throw in a bonus epic fail to the kids at the school assembly who cried because someone else was having a gender change.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Darkscull » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:17 am UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:This squalid little rag keeps saying "he" and "boy".


It's the sun, stop complimenting them with relatively high-class terms like "squalid".
They are not worthy of worded insults, just a *spit* after you mention their name.

I'm not going to go on the site, so don't know whether they've done this or not, but I know that if they could they would 'name and shame' her, even though she is only 12.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Gellert1984 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:36 am UTC

Darkscull wrote:
The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:This squalid little rag keeps saying "he" and "boy".


It's the sun, stop complimenting them with relatively high-class terms like "squalid".
They are not worthy of worded insults, just a *spit* after you mention their name.

I'm not going to go on the site, so don't know whether they've done this or not, but I know that if they could they would 'name and shame' her, even though she is only 12.


Actually they take her side quite heavily, pointing out the abuse she's had to deal with since the switch and the history that led up to her decision.

All in all poorly handled from just about every direction, I am willing to forgive the sun there tresspass, they are after all a bunch of idiots, but the school should know better.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Dream » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:10 am UTC

Gellert1984 wrote:Actually they take her side quite heavily, pointing out the abuse she's had to deal with since the switch and the history that led up to her decision.


What? They deliberately use the gender specific "lad", where a half decent journalist would use the non-specific "student" or "pupil" in any article about a school situation. Then they even go on to point out that there is an issue over the specificity of language, pointing out that the principal used both male and female terms in referring to the child.

The school actually didn't handle things half as badly as they are accused of. An assembly and announcement to all students is exactly what would happen in any school faced with this kind of situation. A student appears who will very likely attract pretty hefty bullying, so the school gets everyone together, scotches rumours with the truth, and tells the kids there will be consequences of treating this girl badly. The only way the school would have been to blame would be if they had botched to execution of the assembly, and made the kids as a group feel scared of the girl, or under unreasonable pressure from school authorities.

It's the parents who can fuck right off, worried about having to have an awkward chat with little Jimmy when there is a person there whose life for the next ten years will be one long awkward chat, and who isn't bloody well not going to have the chat because of circumstances.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby General_Norris » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:17 am UTC

Mmm, even if it turned out horribly there was no good way to do it. I mean, what could they do? Any choice will carry bad consequences because people are idiots and kids are stupid idiots. Hell, they started to cry? What the hell?

For example, now other parents are enraged because Oh me yarm THEY SHOULD HAVE CONSULTED US which is pretty bad but the alternaitve, telling them, is probably worse.

I don't think the Sun is being discriminatory. For starters they use "the lad" almost always so as to avoid using gender-charged words. They use "he" at first because they introduce the person as "boy who wants to change his sex to girl" which is acurrate and then try to use "lad" because it's neutral. Now, they again write "he" because they are refering to "boy who wants to change his sex to girl".

Being frank, my mind slips and I write he because it makes more sense gramatically, he is biologically male and wants to be biologically female so it makes sense to use "he" now because the point of the article is his change of sex, gender never enters the question. In fact, you may want to have female genitals and have male gender.

I think that it's really harsh to be nitpick about semantics when those who tell us what's gramatically correct and what is not haven't taken gender into account and those who use those words are not experts on the subject. This is not something that your average person knows because transgedering is rare and when it appears it's quickly dispatched and even if you want to be nice you run into a lot of gramatical problems because ze and other invented words I have heard are quite pointless.

EDIT: Disregard my coments about lad because English is not my first language and I thought it to be gender neutral. However I still don't see any problem, cut the writer some slack, he is showing him as being right and the other kids as idiots.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby A. Akbar » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:07 pm UTC

I don't think the Sun is being discriminatory. For starters they use "the lad" almost always so as to avoid using gender-charged words. They use "he" at first because they introduce the person as "boy who wants to change his sex to girl" which is acurrate and then try to use "lad" because it's neutral. Now, they again write "he" because they are refering to "boy who wants to change his sex to girl".


"Lad" indicates male.

EDIT: sorry, didn't see your edit, disregard.

Also; this was the only part of the article which made me sad/angry at humanity
His family, who live on a council estate, have received threats and are under police protection.

Aside from that it looks like the school handled it correctly, and good on her parents for being open minded.

Oh, and
He wore a bikini instead of trunks at swimming lessons, dried himself on Barbie towels, rode a pink scooter to school and wore pink ribbons in his hair.


Gender stereotypes FTW.
Last edited by A. Akbar on Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:14 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby psyck0 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:10 pm UTC

Sent the author a rather peeved email demanding a correction and apology for using "he". You can do it too, his email is at the bottom of the page.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Walter.Horvath » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:54 pm UTC

Until such a time when the surgery is preformed, isn't it standard to continue calling them by their birthed gender?

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:02 pm UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:Until such a time when the surgery is preformed, isn't it standard to continue calling them by their birthed gender?
Better to call them by the gender they identify as. Otherwise, the underlying implication is that it's the surgery that defines their gender - the current status of their genitals - and not a matter of self-identification. There are transsexuals with no interest in gender-swap surgery; would you call them a different gender because of that? Just to give an example.

Also:
A. Akbar wrote:Oh, and
He wore a bikini instead of trunks at swimming lessons, dried himself on Barbie towels, rode a pink scooter to school and wore pink ribbons in his hair.


Gender stereotypes FTW.
That is the thing about transsexuality. It is about conforming to gender stereotypes. There is nothing bad about doing that. Would you have a problem with a woman or a man conforming to a gender stereotype? The problem is when you coerce people to conform; when people do it of their own volition, that's fine.
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:06 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:05 pm UTC

I guess it depends on what you mean by "standard"? For a lot of transphobic fucks (which amounts to a lot of people), the standard is to keep treating trans people according to their sex assigned at birth. Otherwise, it's really fucking wrong to call a trans person by hir assigned sex, before or after surgery.

Ninja'd by Hippo, as usual.

General_Norris: While I'm sure there are some men who undergo surgery for "female" genitals (as well as men who are born with "female" genitals and want to keep them), it would be pretty weird to assume it as a default. It's a lot more likely that the authors are amongst the aforementioned transphobic fucks, and even if they were following your line of reasoning, it was damned insensitive of them to not consider that this comes across as ungendering to trans people.

The Great Hippo wrote:There are transsexuals with no interest in gender-swap surgery

I think you mean transgender people? I've always understood transsexual to refer to identification with the opposite sex, without regard to gender.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:10 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:There are transsexuals with no interest in gender-swap surgery

I think you mean transgender people? I've always understood transsexual to refer to identification with the opposite sex, without regard to gender.
If that's the case, I beg pardon. I'm not very familiar with the terminology surrounding the situation.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby sje46 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:39 pm UTC

Walter.Horvath wrote:Until such a time when the surgery is preformed, isn't it standard to continue calling them by their birthed gender?

No. Firt of all, you're not really born with a gender; you're assigned one. You are born with a sex. Try to think of "he" and "she" as referring to gender, not sex (unless you're talking about animals, who don't choose gender). Transsexuals want to be called by the gender they are, not the sex they are or will become.

A few other concerns. I'm fine with the kid dressing as a girl, but should the parents really encourage her to have surgery at this young age? The kid is either prepubescent or just beginning puberty. What if she gets the surgery and then all the hormones calm done, and wants to change back? I'm not a psychologist or anything (yet) so I don't really know if it's psychologically safe to get this surgery so early.

Another concern: she's wearing a bikini at school? I understand that it's a swimming lesson, but I would've figured that they would require girls to wear something more modest, a one piece or something. But I don't know how things are in Europe.

Also, I would think that there is something more going on to make the kids cry. It can't just be their classmate dressing liek a girl now, can it?

I kept accidentally typing in "he" and "the boy" while typing this. I think the stupid article primed me.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:50 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:What if she gets the surgery and then all the hormones calm done, and wants to change back?

Err... What do puberty hormones have to do with it?
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby sje46 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:54 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
sje46 wrote:What if she gets the surgery and then all the hormones calm done, and wants to change back?

Err... What do puberty hormones have to do with it?

I don't know. I'm not a psychologist or biologist or anything...I just know that that period is a time of a lot of angst and confusion. Do transsexuals change their minds often? I just hope that the psychologist they went to actually gave good advice.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:01 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:There are transsexuals with no interest in gender-swap surgery

I think you mean transgender people? I've always understood transsexual to refer to identification with the opposite sex, without regard to gender.
If that's the case, I beg pardon. I'm not very familiar with the terminology surrounding the situation.

Osha just pointed out that "you [don't] have to want SRS to consider yourself transsexual." So, I guess you're right either way.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:11 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:A few other concerns. I'm fine with the kid dressing as a girl, but should the parents really encourage her to have surgery at this young age? The kid is either prepubescent or just beginning puberty. What if she gets the surgery and then all the hormones calm done, and wants to change back? I'm not a psychologist or anything (yet) so I don't really know if it's psychologically safe to get this surgery so early.

Another concern: she's wearing a bikini at school? I understand that it's a swimming lesson, but I would've figured that they would require girls to wear something more modest, a one piece or something. But I don't know how things are in Europe.

The bikini is a completely separate issue, is probably attempted by tons of kids, and should be dealt by the school *privately*,

As for surgery, they'll surely wait a couple years at least. Generally HRT is started at the onset of puberty to prevent undesirable effects from naturally produced hormones, but surgery is a little less time-sensitive.
And echoing TGB

Transsexuals don't change their minds often (I think it was something like <1%). I don't think hormones (by this age) have anything to do with gender identity.

TheGrammarBolshevic wrote:Osha just pointed out that "you have to want SRS to consider yourself transsexual." So, I guess you're right either way.
I think I said the opposite <.<

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:13 pm UTC

Nothing to see here.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Levi » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:18 pm UTC

Twelve is not nearly old enough to make a decision like this. I don't know how much experience any of you have had with twelve-year-olds, but they're not exactly capable of making this decision well. Also, when the kid hits puberty it will probably change his feelings a lot.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

Levi wrote:Twelve is not nearly old enough to make a decision like this. I don't know how much experience any of you have had with twelve-year-olds, but they're not exactly capable of making this decision well. Also, when the kid hits puberty it will probably change his feelings a lot.


They wait for puberty just in case (I think). I also think 12 year olds are perfectly capable this kind of decision*.
But delaying treatment much later than the onset of puberty is a bad idea because it becomes *much less effective*

*not that it's much of a choice (see: being gay)

Oh! Also!
A. Akbar wrote:Gender stereotypes FTW.

If a trans women doesn't act girly enough she might be called "really a boy".
Specifically I wouldn't completely discount the possibility that some trans girls act feminine to help convince their parents or therapist or peers or whatever.
And yeah, some girls are just stereotypically feminine *shrugs*
Mini-rant: This also reminds me of some people (hint: starts with rad and ends with fems) accusing trans women of upholding the gender binary, while turning a blind eye to the tons and tons of cis women who also dress/act feminine.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Darkscull » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:26 pm UTC

Levi wrote:Twelve is not nearly old enough to make a decision like this. I don't know how much experience any of you have had with twelve-year-olds, but they're not exactly capable of making this decision well. Also, when the kid hits puberty it will probably change his feelings a lot.


When someone is transgendered, it's not a decision they make.
No one wakes up one day (or even decides after long deliberation) that they will identify as a certain gender, they are that gender (as much as you can say that with gender), and even if it takes them a while to realise it, that's what it is, realisation of why they feel how they feel.

It's actually beneficial to realise at an early age, so that the hormones of the birth gender don't play havoc with things.

People will normally at this point talk about how people can just be 'confused' and whatnot, but I'm fairly sure the statistics show that to be very rare.

edit: semi-ninja'd.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:36 pm UTC

Quick point: TGB informs me that the WPATH standards of care (also known as the Harry Benjamin standards of care; a document that's extensively used in the united states) recommends waiting 'till 16 to start HRT. However, puberty can be delayed 'till this point with anti-androgens or anti-estrogens

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:41 pm UTC

Darkscull wrote:People will normally at this point talk about how people can just be 'confused' and whatnot, but I'm fairly sure the statistics show that to be very rare.

Actually, the World Profissional Association for Transgender Health's Standards of Care (WPATH-SOC) suggest that very few gender-questioning children identify as transgender in the long run.¹ That being said, the WPATH-SOC also provides for the greater gender variability and fluidity of children by prohibiting any procedures that are not fully reversible for people under 16. The Standards of Care are designed so that physical transition can never be legitimately characterized as a rash decision.

Hey Osha, let's discuss all our posts in IRC and then ninja each other. :D

¹ I'd be one example of a cis person who questioned hir gender before puberty.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Soralin » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:52 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Walter.Horvath wrote:Until such a time when the surgery is preformed, isn't it standard to continue calling them by their birthed gender?
Better to call them by the gender they identify as. Otherwise, the underlying implication is that it's the surgery that defines their gender - the current status of their genitals - and not a matter of self-identification. There are transsexuals with no interest in gender-swap surgery; would you call them a different gender because of that? Just to give an example.

What if I self-identify as Smizmar? :) I mean, if gender isn't related to your sex, or your sexual preference, then what exactly is a gender, and why are there only 2 of them?

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Dibley » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:39 pm UTC

My impression was that gender simply reflects the way you wish to behave/think of yourself, and in most cultures there are two accepted ones, and as a result people tend to be be of those two, but there's nothing preventing them from being whatever the hell they want, aside from social pressure.

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Re: A girl aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:41 pm UTC

Ninjas! :O

Soralin wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:
Walter.Horvath wrote:Until such a time when the surgery is preformed, isn't it standard to continue calling them by their birthed gender?
Better to call them by the gender they identify as. Otherwise, the underlying implication is that it's the surgery that defines their gender - the current status of their genitals - and not a matter of self-identification. There are transsexuals with no interest in gender-swap surgery; would you call them a different gender because of that? Just to give an example.

What if I self-identify as Smizmar? :) I mean, if gender isn't related to your sex, or your sexual preference, then what exactly is a gender, and why are there only 2 of them?

I am not less of a woman because of my chromosomes or genitalia. I am not more of a woman because I'm bi instead of lesbian. fuck that.

There are people who are (read: identify as) neither men nor women. There are people who are both. Therefore there are not only too genders. If your not convinced yet, consider that there aren't only 2 sexes either with the myriad intersex conditions out there. And there *Certainly* isn't a 1-1 mapping.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Levi » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:22 am UTC

Darkscull wrote:
Levi wrote:Twelve is not nearly old enough to make a decision like this. I don't know how much experience any of you have had with twelve-year-olds, but they're not exactly capable of making this decision well. Also, when the kid hits puberty it will probably change his feelings a lot.


When someone is transgendered, it's not a decision they make.
No one wakes up one day (or even decides after long deliberation) that they will identify as a certain gender, they are that gender (as much as you can say that with gender), and even if it takes them a while to realise it, that's what it is, realisation of why they feel how they feel.

It's actually beneficial to realise at an early age, so that the hormones of the birth gender don't play havoc with things.

People will normally at this point talk about how people can just be 'confused' and whatnot, but I'm fairly sure the statistics show that to be very rare.

edit: semi-ninja'd.


I'm not certain that it's not a decision (please don't flame me, it's just my opinion and I don't want to argue about it), but I'll assume that it isn't. I was talking more about how easy it is for someone that age to be influenced. He might just be trying to please his parents, or be different, or something.

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Re: A girl aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Soralin » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:40 am UTC

Osha wrote:There are people who are (read: identify as) neither men nor women. There are people who are both. Therefore there are not only too genders. If your not convinced yet, consider that there aren't only 2 sexes either with the myriad intersex conditions out there. And there *Certainly* isn't a 1-1 mapping.

Well I'd still just call that identifying with just 2 genders, it's just including the combinations of them in various proportions, and for something that's apparently supposed to be independent of sex, it sure seems to be basing it's identity on it. Is there anything more to being of gender x than acting like or thinking like a stereotype of sex x?

What if there were someone that identified as a male, and was biologically male, but did stereotypically female things, and wore pink dresses and such?
Or what if there were someone who was biologically male, did stereotypically male things, acted in a stereotypical male way, and had an attraction to females, and in nearly every way possible was stereotypically male (whatever any of that means), but self-identified as female?

Would their gender match their self-identification there, and what exactly would gender mean in those instances?

I am not less of a woman because of my chromosomes or genitalia.
Are you more of a woman because of them?

I am not more of a woman because I'm bi instead of lesbian.
Are you less of a woman because of that?

If the answer to both of those are no, then you seem to be agreeing that gender isn't a matter of sex or preferences, that it's independent of them. But then, if it is independent of sex and preferences, then what is it? People seem to like to say what it's not, but not what it is. I mean, you yourself seem to be making a statement that it's independent of sex, and then you go on to talk about intersex conditions, but what relevance does that have to gender, if gender is independent of sex?

Dibley wrote:My impression was that gender simply reflects the way you wish to behave/think of yourself, and in most cultures there are two accepted ones, and as a result people tend to be be of those two, but there's nothing preventing them from being whatever the hell they want, aside from social pressure.

It'd seem like the people who oppose people being whatever they want, rather than one of two accepted roles, would be the same people who would oppose people being a role different then the one proscribed to their biology. So I'm not sure you'd be gaining much there in terms of social pressure.

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Re: A girl aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:20 am UTC

Soralin wrote:
Osha wrote:There are people who are (read: identify as) neither men nor women. There are people who are both. Therefore there are not only too genders. If your not convinced yet, consider that there aren't only 2 sexes either with the myriad intersex conditions out there. And there *Certainly* isn't a 1-1 mapping.

Well I'd still just call that identifying with just 2 genders, it's just including the combinations of them in various proportions, and for something that's apparently supposed to be independent of sex, it sure seems to be basing it's identity on it. Is there anything more to being of gender x than acting like or thinking like a stereotype of sex x?

What if there were someone that identified as a male, and was biologically male, but did stereotypically female things, and wore pink dresses and such?
Or what if there were someone who was biologically male, did stereotypically male things, acted in a stereotypical male way, and had an attraction to females, and in nearly every way possible was stereotypically male (whatever any of that means), but self-identified as female?

Would their gender match their self-identification there, and what exactly would gender mean in those instances?
Man, Woman, Yes, the same thing it normally means.

"But wait Osha!", you say, "What *does* gender mean anyway?"
I'm gonna give what might seem like a cop-out answer (I admit it! I'm still thinking about this sort of stuff myself!) and say that's up for individuals to decide for themselves, can be quite personal, and that it shapes how they interact with other people and society, and how society and other people interact with them.
As for it being a choice, let me just say that some people are driven to the brink of suicide trying to *not* be trans.

Also... here's some questions. I don't expect you to answer them, just think about them:
Did you ever consiously decide to be a [man/woman]?
What does it mean to you to be a [man/woman] (besides things about your physical body)?
Would you consider yourself a stereotype of a [man/woman]?
f you woke up to find yourself in a body of the opposite sex, and find everyone treats you as if you were the opposite gender... how would you react? In a day? In a month? long term?

One other thing. You keep mentioning orientation as if it's part of (or might be part of) someones gender. There are some really masculine gay men, there are some really feminine gay men. Same goes for straight people. Same goes for lesbians. and bi's, etc.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby psyck0 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:18 am UTC

Levi wrote:
Darkscull wrote:
Levi wrote:Twelve is not nearly old enough to make a decision like this. I don't know how much experience any of you have had with twelve-year-olds, but they're not exactly capable of making this decision well. Also, when the kid hits puberty it will probably change his feelings a lot.


When someone is transgendered, it's not a decision they make.
No one wakes up one day (or even decides after long deliberation) that they will identify as a certain gender, they are that gender (as much as you can say that with gender), and even if it takes them a while to realise it, that's what it is, realisation of why they feel how they feel.

It's actually beneficial to realise at an early age, so that the hormones of the birth gender don't play havoc with things.

People will normally at this point talk about how people can just be 'confused' and whatnot, but I'm fairly sure the statistics show that to be very rare.

edit: semi-ninja'd.


OK. We were pissed at the article author for saying "he". Couldn't you learn from reading the thread that it's not OK to call her a he?

I'm not certain that it's not a decision (please don't flame me, it's just my opinion and I don't want to argue about it), but I'll assume that it isn't. I was talking more about how easy it is for someone that age to be influenced. He might just be trying to please his parents, or be different, or something.

I do not know what happened to my quote tags, but it is too late to fix it.
Last edited by psyck0 on Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:06 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: A girl aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:37 am UTC

Soralin wrote:If the answer to both of those are no, then you seem to be agreeing that gender isn't a matter of sex or preferences, that it's independent of them. But then, if it is independent of sex and preferences, then what is it? People seem to like to say what it's not, but not what it is. I mean, you yourself seem to be making a statement that it's independent of sex, and then you go on to talk about intersex conditions, but what relevance does that have to gender, if gender is independent of sex?
Gender is a pair of culturally-defined roles we (mostly) all subscribe to; an identity you associate with that's reinforced with a small side of biology. The idea that gender should be permeable is steeped in the notion that your biology should not have the final say in defining what role you play in society; if you want to play another role, the only limitation should be your ability to effectively play that role. If someone wants to be a woman, there is no reason to prevent them from doing so - even if their biology does not fit with our preconceived notion of what constitutes a woman.

This is especially important when a person's personal happiness is linked to their ability to fill the role they feel most comfortable with. For instance, we don't get snippity with people who feel very passionate about assuming the role of a parent - and when their biology determines that they can't have a child, we don't deny them the right to adopt. We understand that biology is not the sole arbiter of identity, and that allowing people to play the roles they wish to play in our culture is what is best for their sense of self.
Osha wrote:Mini-rant: This also reminds me of some people (hint: starts with rad and ends with fems) accusing trans women of upholding the gender binary, while turning a blind eye to the tons and tons of cis women who also dress/act feminine.
Yeah, next time that happens, bring a checklist of things that are associated with women, and start going down it to see if the person making the accusation fulfills any of those things.

"Wait, what? You have long hair? STOP UPHOLDING THE GENDER BINARY. YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SACRIFICE YOUR ENTIRE IDENTITY FOR THE GOOD OF FEMINISM. THAT'S HOW IT WORKS."

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby gereffi » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:49 am UTC

This reminds me of the time that Made came to my school looking for kids to put on their show. They found a guy who dresses like a girl. He wanted to be a cheerleader. He was accepted for the show, but having male cheerleaders would put our school in a different division. So they decided that he wouldn't be allowed to try out. I'm pretty sure that he doesn't have any friends, and even the bullies are too freaked out to pick on him. He kinda just does his own thing.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby diotimajsh » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:19 am UTC

Hmm, but then here's a question. Once we've established that biological sex does not determine gender, under what reasoning should we endorse sexual reassignment surgery for those who feel that they're the wrong gender? If one may be a complete man or woman with or without the "relevant" parts, it's hard to say why changing that anatomy should then be worthwhile. If we do nonetheless endorse it, it ought to be for reasons completely separate from the oft-expressed desire to re-align one's body so that it fits one's gender identity better.


In defense of the radical feminists (please note! I do not agree with them, this is merely in the interest of being fair to their position), I believe that they do take issue with cis-gendered women who reinforce the gender binary through fulfilling stereotypes. However, it's viewed in a slightly more forgiving light because 1) cis women have been indoctrinated since birth to conform to the patriarchally-prescribed feminine mold, whereas trans-women were given the comparatively less stifling male indoctrination; and 2) most rad fems accept that some level of adherence to patriarchal norms is currently necessary for women to get by in our society. But it is not necessary for a trans-woman, being born biologically male, to adhere to these stifling codes since she [the trans woman while still male] would not face stigma, persecution, or other social punishments for failing to act feminine like a cis woman would.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Ivora » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:28 am UTC

This is so heartbreaking! I pray that little girl is happy with the gender she chooses to be.

Children can be so cruel... :cry:

The Sun is garbage btw. :evil:

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Re: A girl aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Soralin » Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:21 am UTC

Osha wrote:"But wait Osha!", you say, "What *does* gender mean anyway?"
I'm gonna give what might seem like a cop-out answer (I admit it! I'm still thinking about this sort of stuff myself!) and say that's up for individuals to decide for themselves

Yeah, that is a cop-out answer. :) "Are you a smizmar?" "What's a smizmar?" "That's up to you to decide!" At some point, it has to be defined collectively, or it ceases to be of any use in conversation.

Did you ever consiously decide to be a [man/woman]?

No.
What does it mean to you to be a [man/woman] (besides things about your physical body)?

Nothing that comes to mind, other then maybe what other people would think or expect.
Would you consider yourself a stereotype of a [man/woman]?

No.
If you woke up to find yourself in a body of the opposite sex, and find everyone treats you as if you were the opposite gender... how would you react? In a day? In a month? long term?

I'd be very interested in how exactly that happened, and the greater impact would be the laws of physics suddenly not working the way I would expect them to, and I'd see what I could do to try and figure out how it happened, or what other changes might be different, or if my memories or actions in my own past are what actually happened or what other people remember after the change. The change personally, would be an interesting side-effect in comparison, but other than the physical changes, and the fact that it happened at all, I don't think it would have a major impact on my life(well, if it altered my past or what other people remember of it, you get the whole chaotic results of that), other then perhaps how other people would think or react. Although, I'd imagine that other people, like those with close romantic relationships, could have more difficulty with it, especially depending on how the alteration changed that situation.

One other thing. You keep mentioning orientation as if it's part of (or might be part of) someones gender. There are some really masculine gay men, there are some really feminine gay men. Same goes for straight people. Same goes for lesbians. and bi's, etc.

Aren't you doing the same sort of thing, mentioning masculinity/femininity as if it's a part of (or might be a part of) someones gender? :) Unless you want to use that as a definition, as a subset of someone's personality along specific stereotypes(masculine/feminine), rather then leaving it up to individuals to decide.

Gender is a pair of culturally-defined roles we (mostly) all subscribe to; an identity you associate with that's reinforced with a small side of biology. The idea that gender should be permeable is steeped in the notion that your biology should not have the final say in defining what role you play in society; if you want to play another role, the only limitation should be your ability to effectively play that role. If someone wants to be a woman, there is no reason to prevent them from doing so - even if their biology does not fit with our preconceived notion of what constitutes a woman.

So, basically common, biologically influenced stereotypes? :) I can see that from the outside, but what I don't get is what it is from the inside, that would make a person identify with a specific gender separate from either outside perspectives or sex, if that exists. I mean, I could understand if someone wanted to be a different sex, or if someone didn't want to be placed in a specific role based on what other people expected of a gender. But if, for example, there were no expectations at all from anyone about what people of specific sexes do or act like, would gender cease to have any meaning? And if so, then how can it be something you internally identify with, something that you consider yourself to be, if it's just an external construct?

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Rakysh » Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:21 am UTC

The Sun: Wouldn't use it do wipe the arse of my dear and sadly deceased dog. They took out the boobs, their circulation would drop to maybe five on a good day. (I tell myself this so that I can live with its politics- were I to convince myself someone was listening to it, I would cry.)

I'm rather impressed they didn't publish her name, but now I think about it, that would probably get the bejesus sued out of them.

I don't know anything about gender identification, but I trust this girl to do what is right for her. 12 year olds are better than we think.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Hated » Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:17 am UTC

I'm going voice a 'no' here.

No matter how pro-getting-to-choose-what-gender/societal-role you might be, can't anyone see the problem with parents letting a 12 year old child making this decision?

I dont feel good about supporting a dramatic change to this kids netherregions until he's a legal adult.

How many of you made permanant life altering decisions when you were twelve and continue to this day proud as Scappy that you made them?

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Malice » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:22 am UTC

Hated wrote:I'm going voice a 'no' here.

No matter how pro-getting-to-choose-what-gender/societal-role you might be, can't anyone see the problem with parents letting a 12 year old child making this decision?

I dont feel good about supporting a dramatic change to this kids netherregions until he's a legal adult.

How many of you made permanant life altering decisions when you were twelve and continue to this day proud as Scappy that you made them?


Do you know of anybody who changed sexes/genders as a child and now, as an adult, really regrets it? As far as I know the feeling that you're trapped in the wrong body doesn't just go away as you get older.

Pre-post Edit: asked a trans friend of mine, who says, and I paraphrase, "I've heard of cases where people regret changing as adults, but never one where they changed as children." For what that's worth.
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