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NEW ARTICLE: Climbing with Pride: An Insight into the LGBT Community

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 UKC Articles 05 Nov 2015
Not So Trad in Chulilla, Spain, 4 kb"Are there any gay climbers?" was a question candidly posed as a thread title in our forums in September last year, which sparked an interesting discussion about participation in climbing by gay men - are there any? LGBT climbing clubs exist, but why do we need them? Is our community unwelcoming to LGBT climbers?

To build a bigger picture of the LGBT climbing community in the UK, we got in touch with four individuals who shed light on their situation, what boundaries they come up against and what it means to be an LGBT climber, with some academic insight from PhD researcher in LGBT inclusion in sport Catherine Phipps.



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2
 mrmoe17 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

I teach at an indoor wall and would really hate to think that people would feel ostracized over something like this. What i have always loved about climbing is that the route/rock does not discriminate at all, its just there you can either do it or not!

not being apart of the LGBT community i have no idea how tough can be for these people, but i hope to see more people of every background/ orientation climbing, as its the best sport in the world!

you can learn so much in climbing by watching other people climb, i would not have a single issue with having a climbing partner who is LGBT, if they can belay well then i could not give a shit about anything else.

nice article
 Simon Caldwell 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

"LGBT individuals don't necessarily fall into the climber stereotype"

nor do most climbers!
3
 Goucho 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

OK, I'm going to put myself forward for a serious flaming - and possibly beat Offwidths record on the dislike button - but what has sexual orientation got to do with climbing?

Unless of course, you're someone who likes to combine their climbing activity with dating/getting laid?

25
 Ramblin dave 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:
Did you read the article?

Edit: not being sarky, it's actually a really good read if you're interested in seeing the scene through somebody else's eyes.
Post edited at 16:00
2
 Goucho 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> Did you read the article?

Yes.

I just don't understand what relevance there is between climbing and sexual orientation - unless someone wants to create a relevance for the sake of creating a relevance?



Post edited at 16:06
13
 Simon Caldwell 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

Then you'll know the answer to your question.
I had the same query by the way, and thought the article answered it very well.
2
 Mike Stretford 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

> I just don't understand what relevance there is between climbing and sexual orientation - unless someone wants to create a relevance for the sake of creating a relevance?

I'm a bit surprised. I've enjoyed some of your longer climbing posts, and didn't have you down as the sort of person who would deny a link between someones emotional life and their climbing.
4
In reply to Goucho:

> Yes.

Perhaps you should read it again.

> I just don't understand what relevance there is between climbing and sexual orientation - unless someone wants to create a relevance for the sake of creating a relevance?

Because minorities often feel alienated in more traditional clubs, rightly or wrongly. Sometimes difficult to see that as a white, heterosexual man (says another white, heterosexual man).
1
 DannyC 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Likewise. I think Martin Oldham's interview answers Goucho's question very well, especially:

"It’s a place where as a gay man or a lesbian you feel you are normal, rather than the exception. Being in a minority can be quite hard work at times."

Good article that,
D.
 Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:
I think the people who put together the article, and explained clearly the answer to your question, will be disappointed to find that for you, it provided absolutely no insight whatsoever.

When you read people's explanations:

I just wanted to meet people like me and, if we had a shared interest in rock-climbing, even better. Secondly, even if straight people are open and welcoming, LGBT people can sometimes feel uncomfortably different. This happens to me when I am home in Ireland. Everyone else I know there got married in their 20s, got a mortgage, has two kids, a stable job etc. I can still sometimes feel a bit like a freak.

When you are a majority why do you need to care about a minority? Someone has leaped to my defence on this very subject with their heatworming reply to my forum post; 'Being gay, and being a climber are both important parts of my life. It would be nice to meet more people who occupy that small part of the Venn diagram.'

When people are surrounded by other people just like them they do not realise how draining it is to be different. Even if they are not at all prejudiced, there is something very relieving about being in a space with people that you know will understand you. Unless you are a minority, or you see the microagressions experienced by minority people you care about, you will not realise the need to be around similar people. Therefore, these people will not see the desire for LGBT people to hang out with similar people, and will dismiss these needs as silly.


what makes it difficult to understand what they're talking about? They seem to be doing a pretty good job of expressing the issue here.

Many seem to have people have completely black-and-white pictures and assumptions about the world, when the reality is subtle and complex. You don't have to be on the pull to want to meet other gay people, and that's explained thoroughly above.

I go out climbing with new people all the time (from UKC generally) and don't tend to mention that I'm gay as...well it just seems a strange way to introduce yourself. After we've known each other for a bit, it's kind of awkward...when do you come out? Do you bring it up yourself, or just wait until they ask if you're married? If they've established your single quickly and you didn't take that opportunity because you'd only known each other 5 minutes, do you raise it yourself (weird: "I thought you might like to know that I'm gay"or engineer it into conversation...)? These aren't life-and-death issues, but it's awkward social tiptoe-ing around that straight people just can't seem to grasp. Maybe after all these years I'm still just incredibly bad at it, and there's an easy way to come out to new climbing partners that's not awkward at all...but given the comments in the article, I think my experience is pretty normal!
Post edited at 16:54
3
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Great post Jon.
2
 Goucho 05 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

> Perhaps you should read it again.

> Because minorities often feel alienated in more traditional clubs, rightly or wrongly. Sometimes difficult to see that as a white, heterosexual man (says another white, heterosexual man).

Let me try and explain where I'm coming from.

My business partner for many years, and also one of my dearest friends is gay and black - goodness me, aren't I racking up the politically correct brownie points?

I love him to bits, and next spring he is marrying his long term partner. If he asks me (which I really hope he does) to be his best man, it will be a huge honour and privilege.

However, his homosexuality has been no more relevant to our relationship than my heterosexuality.

People can either choose to be 'defined' purely by their sexual orientation, or it can be just one part of what they are as a person.

I think the same applies to sexual orientation and climbing - it's as relevant as someone chooses to make it.
15
Wiley Coyote2 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

I'm confused here (no change there then) but Goucho seems to be saying he just accepts and treats gay climbers the same as any other climbers, which seems eminently commendable and I would have thought is how most people would want to be treated. Equally I can appreciate that some LGBT climbers may prefer to be with like-minded people and may feel more comfortable in an LGBT club. But surely those who mingle in the mainstream just want to be treated like anyone else?
In reply to Goucho:

> Let me try and explain where I'm coming from....

> ...However, his homosexuality has been no more relevant to our relationship than my heterosexuality.

It seems to me you seem to be framing this entirely in terms of how someone's minority status affects (or does not affect) you, rather in terms of how it may affect them.
6
 Conf#2 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

The thing is that it's not about you. Or your opinion of your pal. It's about where your pal (and other lgbt+ people) feel most comfortable.

When people around you use your sexuality as a joke, it is not you who is defining yourself by it - but others making it impossible for you to feel equal. Not having this constant drip-drip of belittlement is a breath of fresh air. Which sometimes can only be gotten by going to places where you know it won't happen - like LGBT+ specific clubs.

It's really a simple concept. It's not about being treated differently - it's about being treated the same. As is very well explained in the article.

And that's just about sexuality, never mind gender.
4
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> I'm confused here (no change there then) but Goucho seems to be saying he just accepts and treats gay climbers the same as any other climbers, which seems eminently commendable and I would have thought is how most people would want to be treated.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Goucho discriminates against gay people in any way.

> Equally I can appreciate that some LGBT climbers may prefer to be with like-minded people and may feel more comfortable in an LGBT club.

Goucho doesn't seem to appreciate this.

> But surely those who mingle in the mainstream just want to be treated like anyone else?

I am sure that is the case, but as the article explains, a decent proportion of LGBT climbers feel a bit alienated in mainstream clubs.
1
 Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

> However, his homosexuality has been no more relevant to our relationship than my heterosexuality.

No one's saying that sexual preference does or should form any kind of a pivotal factor in everyday friendships. What the article is saying, and what I'm saying, is that being gay means always being in a hidden minority, and that's a distinct experience which is not encountered by straight people. That (pretty much constant) experience affects what you want to do with your free time, and who you want to spend it with. If you spend all day pretending to be straight, because you work in an environment where that's preferable, then when you go climbing, you might want to be around gay people as an antidote. It doesn't mean that there is something sexual about your interest in climbing, it just means that you want a break from being in that hidden minority. OK, you have the alternative of telling people you're gay so that it's no longer hidden, but as I've attempted to explain above, this often isn't really that appealing either (not because people are homophobic, just because it's highlighting the difference between you and the people around you).

> People can either choose to be 'defined' purely by their sexual orientation, or it can be just one part of what they are as a person.

Who is being defined purely defined by their sexuality? Yes, gays whose lives revolve around the gay scene and make a deliberate effort to let everyone know about their sexuality through extreme affectation, do seem to define themselves that way. But we're not talking about those people here. We're talking about climbers who want a break from being the odd one out for a few hours of their leisure time. That is not defining yourself by your sexuality.

If you want a bit more detail on why this 'being the odd one out' thing is an issue, it's worth noting that gay people of my age and older grew up, formed their identity, in a world that hated them. This is less true nowadays, but if I had a son or daughter in their early teens, I wouldn't be thinking, "I hope they're gay, they'll be having a great time just now".

2
 Goucho 05 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:

> It seems to me you seem to be framing this entirely in terms of how someone's minority status affects (or does not affect) you, rather in terms of how it may affect them.

No, that's just the way you've chosen to see it.
18
 gethin_allen 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

I agree with Goucho here, I couldn't care less about someones sexuality whether I'm climbing/ working/ living with/talking to in the street.... anyone in the street.
If people want to socialise in groups based on their sexuality then that's up to them but, I'd prefer it if these people didn't feel they needed to and I think it's a step backwards if people are striving to be considered "normal" yet they want to define themselves as LGBGT.

As a heterosexual white middlish class male I don't go out to find myself a white heterosexual middle class climbing partner.
20
 Yanis Nayu 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Should have asked Jon to write it. He writes about stuff like that in a way that people like me, who are open-minded but not immersed in the vocabulary of the LGBGTAX... activist, can completely understand.

The in-language in that article makes my head explode.
3
 givemetea 05 Nov 2015
In reply to gethin_allen:

> If people want to socialise in groups based on their sexuality then that's up to them but, I'd prefer it if these people didn't feel they needed to and I think it's a step backwards if people are striving to be considered "normal" yet they want to define themselves as LGBGT.

> As a heterosexual white middlish class male I don't go out to find myself a white heterosexual middle class climbing partner.

... but gethin_allen, I am guessing that you meet lots of white heterosexual middle class people in most places you frequent in life? Just imagine, for a moment, a world where you haven't met another heterosexual person for a year ... or two ... or three. Wouldn't you like to meet a few?? ... even if you don't feel defined by your sexuality.
3
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
> The in-language in that article makes my head explode.

Really, I not really versed in it either, but don't have any problems with it. Re-reading with your point in mind, found one sentence that referred to hegemony and hetronormality, probably not great in such an article, but I would say academic language rather than in-language.
Post edited at 17:54
5
 Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2015
In reply to gethin_allen:

> As a heterosexual white middlish class male I don't go out to find myself a white heterosexual middle class climbing partner.

You don't need to, because every time you go out to find a climbing partner, they're automatically white, heterosexual and middle class. That's my experience of finding partners on UKC, anyhow.

I think on this issue you just can't see the world from someone else's viewpoint; the point of the article was to help.
1
 Yanis Nayu 05 Nov 2015
In reply to givemetea:

Surely that would only be important if you WERE defined by your sexuality? Not that there in necessarily anything wrong in that, it just seems strange to me as a hetero male.
 Conf#2 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I legit think it's just a total inability to empathise. Ah well.
1
 Ramblin dave 05 Nov 2015
In reply to givemetea:
I guess an easier to relate to analogy might be moving to the US or somewhere for work. Your new friends and colleagues almost certainly wouldn't have a problem with your nationality and you wouldn't have a problem with theirs and you wouldn't avoid socializing with Americans and they probably wouldn't avoid socializing with you, but you'd still be pretty happy to meet up with some more Brits from time to time to be in the company of people who understand the importance of properly made tea and don't use the word "awesome" constantly.
Post edited at 18:00
 Yanis Nayu 05 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

I find it irritating, which I'm sure makes me an arsehole, whereas what Jon writes in completely understandable.
2
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I find it irritating, which I'm sure makes me an arsehole, whereas what Jon writes in completely understandable.

Now, now. I was just surprised by your comment. I agree that Jon writes well!
2
 givemetea 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> but you'd still be pretty happy to meet up with some more Brits from time to time to be in the company of people who understand the importance of properly made tea and don't use the word "awesome" constantly.

... I think that's a pretty good analogy and will help people understand ... although the LGBT experience is sometimes a lot more painful. Quite a few of us have had the experience of being belittled, had our parents telling us we are 'disgusting' and that they are ashamed of us, of hiding who we are to 'protect' our parents, and so forth. As you can imagine these are painful experiences and it is sometimes nice to be in a place where people have a viscerally understanding of how this feels. Hopefully most? young LGBT people these days don't have to deal with this.
Post edited at 18:15
 Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:
Here's a thought. I've been on quite a few lads-go-bouldering trips to Font etc. Bunch of 10 lads in mid-late 20s in a house, drinking, being quite laddy and well, straight. A couple are friends, many are friends of friends. I am definitely feeling a sense of total isolation.

Would you go on a bouldering trip with 10 gay men? All getting pissed and being, you know, pretty gay? Or would it utterly do your head in to the point of "what the f*ck am I doing here with these people?". Just imagine it, really. Don't kid yourself that 10 pissed gays on holiday would be indistinguishable from 10 pissed straight lads. They wouldn't. The topics of conversation would be radically different. The atmosphere would be radically different. And my guess is you would not booking another holiday on which you were the only straight man. It would, I think, be a horror story you would be telling for years to come. You don't need to be defined by your sexuality to not want to be isolated amongst people who are different from you in this way.

This whole idea that gay people and straight people are totally alike except when they're actually having sex is a complete fallacy.



Edit: I guess there's an implication here that I'd be happy going on a gays-go-to-Font holiday, which is absolutely not the case, I would go insane. The reasons for this are complex and I don't think it's really relevant here...
Post edited at 18:19
2
 Goucho 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> I guess an easier to relate to analogy might be moving to the US or somewhere for work. Your new friends and colleagues almost certainly wouldn't have a problem with your nationality and you wouldn't have a problem with theirs and you wouldn't avoid socializing with Americans and they probably wouldn't avoid socializing with you, but you'd still be pretty happy to meet up with some more Brits from time to time to be in the company of people who understand the importance of properly made tea and don't use the word "awesome" constantly.

So it's not that the mainstream climbing scene is prejudiced or has a problem with LGBT climbers, it's that LGBT climbers themselves feel more comfortable with other LGBT climbers?



1
In reply to gethin_allen:

> I agree with Goucho here, I couldn't care less about someones sexuality whether I'm climbing/ working/ living with/talking to in the street.... anyone in the street.

Again, it isn't necessarily about you.

4
 cameron_hall 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

On the one hand, I'd agree that I don't think the mainstream climbing scene is particularly prejudiced. I've noticed the occasional bit of casual homophobia/transphobia amongst climbers (although probably not as much as at work - a function of people's age as much as anything else), but not much that's particularly nasty - mainly just the adolescent 'that's gay' from people who should have grown out of that.

But I think it's a bit of a leap to say that LGBT climbers feel most comfortable climbing with other LGBT climbers. I can't think of any LGBT friends who would make a point of seeking out climbing *partners* on the basis of their sexuality (unless they're looking for climbing partners who can be partners in other senses as well - and I know plenty of straights who do that as well). On the other hand, I think seeking out a *community* that's based around the shared experience of both being LGBT and loving climbing makes perfect sense.

I don't go round looking for friends purely because they're gay, because most gays are intensely uninteresting. But it is great to have a bunch of gay climbing friends to hang out with, rather than always spending time in a climbing environment where practically everyone is straight. The main bonding is over the climbing, but there's a change of vibe, different sort of banter, etc. in an LGBT climbing group. I'd never want to define myself exclusively by sexuality and say that I'd refuse to climb with anyone straight - that would hugely narrow my climbing world - but it is genuinely fun to spend time with other LGBT climbers, and LGBT climbing clubs are a good part of that.
1
 Mick Ward 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

I stagger in pumped witless from a day's bouldering and read this. Bloody hell, it's my brain cells that are pumped now. Cos most of the time I don't think of stuff like this, how things might look from another side, you just pull on the holds and you rise or you don't.

Snippets of a story; it doesn't really fit into the narrative but what the hell.

Back in the day, we had a mate from even further oop North. He was the boldest of us by a long way. Somewhat amusingly, he couldn't jam for toffee. So while, with Yorkshire (or adopted Yorkshire) cunning, we hung there panting, slotting in gear, he just had to layback either to salvation or... Sometimes, in sober moods, we worried a little. But you couldn't doubt his bottle.

He got married, seemed like he was settling down. Maybe he'd wind it back a little, stick to well-protected routes, maybe even learn to jam!

We lost touch... like you do in your late twenties/thirties. And then, years later, I learned that he'd had a sex change. The person who told me sniggered. I've rarely felt more murderous. Even now I can feel that manic rage (which wouldn't have done anyone any good).

In the logbooks on here, I could see that a certain lady had climbed pretty hard back in the day, with the same folk I'd climbed with, often the same routes. It took quite a while for the proverbial penny to drop. i emailed her, received a reply.

She's got Parkinson's. And you and I thought we had hard lives. But she's still unfront, upbeat, wanting to help others, wanting to still climb, though it sounds as just getting up to the bottom of most crags is a serious struggle.

He was/she is so bloody brave.

As I said, it's just snippets of a story. It doesn't really fit into the narrative but what the hell...

Mick

1
 Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2015
In reply to cameron_hall:

> But I think it's a bit of a leap to say that LGBT climbers feel most comfortable climbing with other LGBT climbers. I can't think of any LGBT friends who would make a point of seeking out climbing *partners* on the basis of their sexuality (unless they're looking for climbing partners who can be partners in other senses as well - and I know plenty of straights who do that as well). On the other hand, I think seeking out a *community* that's based around the shared experience of both being LGBT and loving climbing makes perfect sense.

Great analysis, totally agree.
 Goucho 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Mick Ward:

Exactly Mick.

When it comes to climbing, it doesn't matter whether we're straight, gay, black, white, rich, poor, labour or tory etc etc.

What matters is the one thing we've all got in common as climbers - the climbing.


6
 Goucho 05 Nov 2015
In reply to cameron_hall:

> But I think it's a bit of a leap to say that LGBT climbers feel most comfortable climbing with other LGBT climbers.

I was actually asking a question - the clue is in the question mark at the end of the post!
1
 Misha 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:
A very good, thought provoking article. Anyone who can't understand why some LGBT climbers might want to meet and hang out with other LGBT climbers should take the time to read this.

The last contribution makes for sad reading. I would hope that most climbers are open minded people who wouldn't have any issues with LGBT people (whether or not they climb) but the unfortunate reality is that this is not the case even in 2015.
Post edited at 20:02
1
In reply to Goucho:
Hi Goucho. I guess I am really surprised that you don't seem to get this one, as I generally find your posts really thoughtful and things I like to read. Maybe I can give it a little go to explain? So, being LGTBQ whatever has nothing, per se, to do with climbing. And I agree that when it comes to climbing, our other identity markers don't matter. What this group of people are saying is that, when doing an activity that they love, sometimes it is nice to not be in the minority on this other, unrelated identity marker. Put positively, it is sometimes really nice to to be in the majority. It also feels a bit oppressive when the usual majority get uptight (you personally don't seem to be being uptight) about you saying how nice it is to be the majority when doing this unrelated activity. Even if the majority are really nice and committed to equality, they are still the majority. I have no idea if this helps. I hope it does!
Post edited at 20:04
1
In reply to Goucho:
> I think the same applies to sexual orientation and climbing - it's as relevant as someone chooses to make it.

I'm guessing that, for some, it's less about choice, and more about seeking an environment in which they feel comfortably able to be themselves while doing something they enjoy?

By that, I mean there's nothing in the article which suggests anybody joins an LGTB club to exclude climbing with straight people. More that, I guess with climbing being such a personal/emotional thing at times, there are people who seek to climb with other people who understand what it means to be different in a largely hetrosexual society.

I hope you don't get flamed for not understanding, though, since you're just puzzled rather than intolerant.
Post edited at 20:23
1
 Yanis Nayu 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Here's a thought. I've been on quite a few lads-go-bouldering trips to Font etc. Bunch of 10 lads in mid-late 20s in a house, drinking, being quite laddy and well, straight. A couple are friends, many are friends of friends. I am definitely feeling a sense of total isolation.

> Would you go on a bouldering trip with 10 gay men? All getting pissed and being, you know, pretty gay? Or would it utterly do your head in to the point of "what the f*ck am I doing here with these people?". Just imagine it, really. Don't kid yourself that 10 pissed gays on holiday would be indistinguishable from 10 pissed straight lads. They wouldn't. The topics of conversation would be radically different. The atmosphere would be radically different. And my guess is you would not booking another holiday on which you were the only straight man. It would, I think, be a horror story you would be telling for years to come. You don't need to be defined by your sexuality to not want to be isolated amongst people who are different from you in this way.

> This whole idea that gay people and straight people are totally alike except when they're actually having sex is a complete fallacy.

> Edit: I guess there's an implication here that I'd be happy going on a gays-go-to-Font holiday, which is absolutely not the case, I would go insane. The reasons for this are complex and I don't think it's really relevant here...

That makes sense to me.
1
In reply to Mick Ward:

I wish I could use words like that, Mick.
 Yanis Nayu 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

A question for the masses, something that has puzzled me for a while - how to people who fit into one of the categories denoted by the LGBGT etc initials feel about being lumped as a group with the others? Or indeed, being categorised at all?
 Yanis Nayu 05 Nov 2015
In reply to crossdressingrodney:

> I wish I could use words like that, Mick.

You're good at maths; you can't have it all
In reply to gethin_allen:
> I agree with Goucho here, I couldn't care less about someones sexuality whether I'm climbing/ working/ living with/talking to in the street.... anyone in the street.

> If people want to socialise in groups based on their sexuality then that's up to them but, I'd prefer it if these people didn't feel they needed to and I think it's a step backwards if people are striving to be considered "normal" yet they want to define themselves as LGBGT.

> As a heterosexual white middlish class male I don't go out to find myself a white heterosexual middle class climbing partner.

As a hetrosexual white middle class male you've probably had an easier path through life (in important ways) than many people who are LGTB, to be honest. Which isn't your fault.

In a friendly way, it could be worth shifting your thinking into one where you're in a minority and society tells you not to be different, and where most people you come across don't understand what it's like to be your kind of different, and where there's still people who irrationally hate your kind of different, and then have a think about why you might like to go climbing (which is something which can pretty personal) with people who actually do understand what it's like to be your kind of different.

Read and digest the article too...
Post edited at 20:35
5
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Good question and there isn't a single response but highly varied and one response has been a proliferation of preferred labels e.g. gender fluid and another has been to locate oneself in relation to quite a few categories rather than one
Nice illustration here (completely safe link):
http://jez123.deviantart.com/art/Identity-Spectrum-Version-2-0-243896382
A generally shared view is that the label/category should not be imposed on someone.
In reply to Mick Ward:

Marvellous post - thank you.
In reply to The New NickB:

> Really, I not really versed in it either, but don't have any problems with it. Re-reading with your point in mind, found one sentence that referred to hegemony and hetronormality, probably not great in such an article, but I would say academic language rather than in-language.

My only issue is my constant misreading of LGBT as BLT and feeling hungry.
 Goucho 05 Nov 2015
In reply to ericinbristol:

> Hi Goucho. I guess I am really surprised that you don't seem to get this one, as I generally find your posts really thoughtful and things I like to read. Maybe I can give it a little go to explain? So, being LGTBQ whatever has nothing, per se, to do with climbing. And I agree that when it comes to climbing, our other identity markers don't matter. What this group of people are saying is that, when doing an activity that they love, sometimes it is nice to not be in the minority on this other, unrelated identity marker. Put positively, it is sometimes really nice to to be in the majority. It also feels a bit oppressive when the usual majority get uptight (you personally don't seem to be being uptight) about you saying how nice it is to be the majority when doing this unrelated activity. Even if the majority are really nice and committed to equality, they are still the majority. I have no idea if this helps. I hope it does!

I completely understand that we all gravitate towards people we feel most comfortable and relaxed with in all walks of life.

I suppose I'm just a bit surprised (or maybe naive) that in 2015, members of the LGBT community still don't feel 100% able to be themselves within the mainstream climbing environment, which I think is a real shame.
 cameron_hall 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

Ah, cool. I read it as a rhetorical question: the danger of communicating in a text-based medium.

So, in answer to the question: Sort of? On the one hand, I've never felt unwelcome in the general climbing community* and I don't think homophobia is as big a problem as in other sports and activities. But, it's genuinely a great deal of fun to climb in an explicitly LGBT-friendly (even LGBT-dominated) environment. But at the same time, I feel like I'd lose a lot if I decided to stop climbing with straight friends, and I don't think I'd honestly say I'm 'more comfortable' climbing with LGBT people. It's just a different dynamic that's fun to be in.

That's just my tuppence-worth, though.

*Then again, there's no reason why anyone in the general climbing community would know I'm gay. It's not exactly tattooed on my forehead...
1
 cameron_hall 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

I think we are ourselves, just ourselves but differently, the same way you might be if you found yourself in an environment where you were the only man (only Brit, only climber, only whatever) compared to an environment where men (Brits, climbers, whatevers) are in the majority. (?)
1
 Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> A question for the masses, something that has puzzled me for a while - how to people who fit into one of the categories denoted by the LGBGT etc initials feel about being lumped as a group with the others? Or indeed, being categorised at all?

Good question. From a practical and political point of view, it's just useful to lump a bunch of minorities together to get things sorted out. More equal rights for gays while leaving trans people getting shat on is a waste of opportunity, and as such there are advantages to banding together in that way. Personally, I don't feel part of any such community, but then I'm not a member of any gay or LGBT clubs, and I never go out on the gay scene because it makes me want to kill myself (apparently, I'm over-reacting - but the music is always *really* bad). I associate the acronym LGBT with pride marches and activism and stuff, which isn't part of my life so it's not a label that fits well; but on the other hand, it's not like it's ever used to describe me (no one's ever said, "so Jon, what's it like being LGBT?" - what, all at the same time...?). In summary: meh.

As for being categorised, I fancy men and not women, and there's a term for that: what would I be objecting to? But not everyone sees it that way, since not everyone is as inflexible about what turns them on as me.
1
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> What the article is saying, and what I'm saying, is that being gay means always being in a hidden minority, and that's a distinct experience which is not encountered by straight people.

This.

I had an eye opener on a construction site a couple of years ago. A good friend and sometime colleague who is gay was having a smoke with the guy who ran the canteen. Canteen guy asks 'Did you get drunk at the weekend?' Friend replied 'Yes.' Canteen guys then asks, 'Where about?'

This is where it got awkward. Friend answered 'Around the top of Leith Walk,' which is suitably vague. If he had said 'CC Blooms' (well known gay club) he'd have given away personal information that he wasn't comfortable doing in this context.

You are spot on, this dancing around everyday subjects is something that we hetero white men never have to give a second thought to.
 Greasy Prusiks 05 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

This article and the discussion below have really interested me. For the record here's my thoughts and I'd invite others views on this.

I wouldn't class myself as LGBT. I'd happily climb with anyone -I'm concerned with their belaying not who they fancy! I'd also welcome anyone to our club. I think I understand why people want to climb in LGBT clubs after reading some of the comments here. I'd hope they'd also welcome allies which continued the spirit of the club though. I'd also hope people never feel pressured to join a LGBT club from intolerance in another group.

Above all I want the shared interest in climbing to always be dominant over everything else. If that's not to cheesy language!
In reply to Goucho:

> I suppose I'm just a bit surprised (or maybe naive) that in 2015, members of the LGBT community still don't feel 100% able to be themselves within the mainstream climbing environment, which I think is a real shame.

When I left the UK (end of 2000) you heard younger people use the word "gay" to mean "a bit crap" all the time. Coming back to the UK in 2014, you now rarely here is used like that - so I think things have improved but of course that's far from saying they are perfect.

When I lived in a Finland I had a number of climbing partners who were native English speakers (Brits, an Aussie, Americans). All of my Finnish partners spoke near-perfect English so the language itself was really not the issue, but there is something about the ease of having shared cultural experiences (be that as an expat/immigrant or, with my British mates, that everyone knew what Blue Peter is) that is nice. I totally get why women sometimes prefer climbing with other women, and I'm sure just as much LGBTQ people with other people who identify in the same way. It's great that we can climb with people different to ourselves sometimes as well, but nowt wrong with having climbing mates who you share other interests/experiences with as well.

UKC Natalie - Brilliant effort! A great article and you can have an extra star for getting "Heteronormativity" into it!

I'd be interested to know how common the life experiences are of people within the "LGBTQ community"? Is it really a community? There is a well known theme within some feminist thought that seems very transphobic (Ms Greer once again recently), but Matthew's experiences in the article were perhaps the hardest to read - so is there much natural support from, say, gay men towards transexual people?



1
In reply to TobyA:

> UKC Natalie - Brilliant effort! A great article

Yes, agree with that, well done Natalie for an outstanding piece of work



5
Wiley Coyote2 05 Nov 2015
In reply to TobyA:

> UKC Natalie -you can have an extra star for getting "Heteronormativity" into it!

And a P45 - for exactly the same reason.

4
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
Not so long ago I edited a PhD thesis on patriarchy and heteronormativity in Romanian, Swedish and Finnish populist-far right parties. As you can imagine I was quite used to the word after reading closely through 300 pages of that! (And to Natalie's credit, she does put a concise definition in for those who haven't met the word before.)
Post edited at 23:16
1
 gethin_allen 05 Nov 2015
In reply to givemetea:
"Just imagine, for a moment, a world where you haven't met another heterosexual person for a year ... "


Unless I'm looking for something more than a climbing partner or feel like I'm facing abuse from others I wouldn't care.

If you are looking for something else, great, go for it.
If you are getting abused for your sexuality and you are escaping this by joining a LGBT club then
That's a shame you are facing this situation, people shouldn't face abuse because of their sexuality.
Post edited at 23:23
3
In reply to gethin_allen:

Have you read the article? There's answers for the points you've raised.
 Jon Stewart 05 Nov 2015
In reply to gethin_allen:

> "Just imagine, for a moment, a world where you haven't met another heterosexual person for a year ... "

I don't think you've really thought about this.

I'd love to hear what you'd have to say if you actually had to spend a year trapped with no one but gays. Every pub you went in was a gaybar. You'd be living on your own, or in a house full of gays. With only gays at work, and only gays to socialise with. You'd go f*cking crazy, anyone would. Even the gays who live like this -and some do - are all completely nuts.
2
 Owen240 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

It wouldn't bother me too much because I don't intend to have sex with every single person around me.
17
 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

"As more women get into climbing, is this toning down the hegemonic masculinity, challenging heteronormativity and balancing things out?"

So when did you stop raping your sister?
12
 winhill 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> With only gays at work, and only gays to socialise with. You'd go f*cking crazy, anyone would. Even the gays who live like this -and some do - are all completely nuts.

That assumes you'd know their orientation, but the obvious question is How would you know?

I've been down the local wall tonight, I try to get down early because otherwise it's late night for the kids, especially as we had stuff to ignite and explode tonight, but I'm often early enough to get an off peak entry. So it's not especially busy.

But tonight a bunch of lesbians turned up, who I happen to know, their numbers alone meant that the wall became suddenly much gayer, if you were female the the wall must have been near 50% gay or even more, as I don't know if the others women there were lesbian or not.

You get the odd hetero couple who are into PDAs but otherwise I'm not sure how you tell? If you're experiencing minority stress, how do you know how stressed you are relates to the environment?
Wiley Coyote2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to TobyA:

> Not so long ago I edited a PhD thesis on patriarchy and heteronormativity in Romanian, Swedish and Finnish populist-far right parties. As you can imagine I was quite used to the word after reading closely through 300 pages of that!

I don't question it's use in the PhD context. I'm just in grumpy, retired old hack mode (also known as harumphing it-would-never-have-happened-in-my-day mode). But it's a classic trap to go native and get sucked into regurgitating the jargon interviewees have trotted out to you.

All my training and experience tells me that no journo should be using a word that requires a five line footnote to explain it. Journos have to remember they have no God-given right to anyone's time, no matter how worthy they may believe their subject to be. They have to grab the reader's attention and then hold it all the way to the end.

This explains why, even though I got past 'hegemonic masculinity' I stopped reading at 'heteronormativity' and so have no idea what the other people had to say

Signed: A Grumpy Old Hack
2
 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to hellboundblr:

> being abused, told your disgusting, being made fun of, being beaten up

A regular occurrence at every climbing club I've been at. Usually scheduled after the "pushing over old people when they cross the road sessions".
6
 Owen240 06 Nov 2015
In reply to TobyA:

A thesis on patriarchy and heteronormativity? Good to know universities are still laughing all the way to the bank whilst pseudo intellectuals discuss ideologies that will never stand up outside academic institutions, all the (mostly female) students deluded into thinking they are going to change the world once they snatch up that bachelors in Womens/Gender Studies. Thank god the taxpayer doesn't fund this subjective, unsubstantiated drivel they lump in with higher education any more.

One can only hope they'll spend a portion of these tuition fees on new facilities and equipment for students studying vocational courses or STEM degrees. Hello bespoke gyms with Eleiko bumper plates, power racks, bouldering walls and steam rooms - yeah boy! See you next semester!
30
 Misha 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Owen240:
What... just what... Your post is foolish, offensive and inappropriate. This kind of comment is a perfect illustration of one of the reasons people in victimised minority groups like to hang out together now and then. (I am referring to the first of your three valuable contributions to this discussion. Not sure what to make of the second one. The third one is at least trying to make a point, though the sexist undertone rather overshadows it).
Post edited at 02:34
3
 Babika 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Interesting article but IMHO it could have done with being significantly shorter.

Ok - I have the attention span of a gnat, but sadly I ran out of steam somewhere in the second interview, having ploughed through the academic stuff at the start which was rather hard work.

I suspect that some of the posters on this thread didn't read it all either, which is a shame.
2
 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Misha:
It appears you confuse disagreeing with someone and being the cause of any evil that might come to someone.

I can't understand this. Did you also argue that Germaine Greer was to blame for any and all trans violence? (or at least maybe +1'd the seventeen guardian "Talk is cheap" articles that blamed her for that)

He may be replying in a flippant way. You might even argue that some of what he said might be offensive if you happened to be an unreasonable angry hyper-sensitive safe-space demanding ticking time-bomb of trigger warnings, but that's not his fault it's yours. Even if he is a wanker; you can't make logical jumps like that just because it makes an emotive arguing piece. At best it is misleading and at worst it is simply deceitful.
Post edited at 09:54
5
In reply to neuromancer:
> You might even argue that some of what he said might be offensive if you happened to be an unreasonable angry hyper-sensitive safe-space demanding ticking time-bomb of trigger warnings, but that's not his fault it's yours.

That's just total crap - this "If you're offended it's your fault" nonsense. It's by being offended by stuff like this that we don't berate people for "being a bit gay" anymore. Unless of course, you're a dick.
Post edited at 09:59
2
 Misha 06 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
I have no issue with people disagreeing with me. However that first post isn't really an argument in any way, shape or form. It's just a nasty comment which I suspect reflects underlying prejudice. There are some people in this discussion who do not see or agree with some of the points in the article but they are putting forward their point of view in a reasonable and civilised manner. Which this person isn't! I see the post has been removed by the way. Anyway, hopefully I've explained where I'm coming from and don't propose to get into an argument about it.
Post edited at 10:20
1
rob_voyager 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

I love this article such a great read an interesting view on perspective of others.
1
 Misha 06 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
By the way, I don't know much about Germaine Greer or read the Guardian.
 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:
Another logical jump. "I don't agree with this therefore I will conflate it with the actual abuse homosexual people get, yeah.. that sounds good in my head".

I should have been more clear. If you're offended; so what? Call them a dick - that's cool. Call me a dick - I'm not going to get worked up about it. But none of it makes him (or me) responsible for harm ("we don't berate people for "being a bit gay" anymore" - you're a small slippery slope away from Godwin's law kicking in)

In reply to misha:

I assume you were referring to "It wouldn't bother me too much because I don't intend to have sex with every single person around me."? If not, I must have missed it and I apologise because I disagreed with you on the basis of his two posts on the thread currently.
Post edited at 10:30
6
In reply to rob_voyager:

All women are gay or bisexual apparently, so any club with women in it should be LBGT compliant

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11977121/Women-are-either-bisexual-or-gay-but-never-straight....
1
In reply to Owen240:

> One can only hope they'll spend a portion of these tuition fees on new facilities and equipment for students studying vocational courses or STEM degrees.

It's a shame that you have such a low regard for the arts and humanities. One of many valuable things such an education gives you, is the ability to frame a reasoned and persuasive argument.

2
Andrew Kin 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article. Very enlightening.
1
In reply to neuromancer:

> I should have been more clear. If you're offended; so what? Call them a dick - that's cool. Call me a dick - I'm not going to get worked up about it.

Good for you. Some people, however, are clearly upset when their sexual orientation, race, gender or some other characteristic is used by someone else in derogatory terms.

I choose to take issue with this and think it's worth trying to reduce it by some small but measurable amount, rather than tell people that they're worrying about nothing or that it's 'their fault' that they're upset. After all, I really have no right to tell people what they should or should not be offended by.
1
 Misha 06 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
No I was referring to another comment which has now disappeared. Guess you missed it last night. I don't know what to make of the 'sex with everybody' comment - I don't really undertand what point was being made in the context of this thread.
 Morgan Woods 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> "I thought you might like to know that I'm gay"or engineer

The former I can handle :p
 Yanis Nayu 06 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:

> That's just total crap - this "If you're offended it's your fault" nonsense. It's by being offended by stuff like this that we don't berate people for "being a bit gay" anymore. Unless of course, you're a dick.

I really don't understand the concept of being offended, despite it seemingly being the UK's most participated in activity. I can understand being upset by something, or disagreeing with something - one being an honest emotional response and the other being an honest reasoned viewpoint, but "offence" seems to be a perhaps dishonest mix of the two - a reasoned viewpoint masquerading as an emotional response. Being offended to me implies making a choice, and I can't help thinking that to be happy it helps to make the choice not to be offended.
1
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

It's less offence, and more belittling of a persons characteristic which - when said enough times to them - can be subconsciously taken on board leading to self hate and lack of self acceptance.

If a gay kid - for example - is in an environment in which they are constantly told that gay=wrong/crap/lesser then they will believe it, no matter how strong willed they are. And that will negatively impact their life. This is the same for adults - but they just have more ability to ignore such stuff.

So no, offence isn't relevant here but that doesn't mean that language isn't relevant.
1
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:

Germaine Greer is nasty and malicious, and by stripping trans people of their humanity mandates acceptance of removing their human rights.
3
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> ... I can't help thinking that to be happy it helps to make the choice not to be offended.

And push all the accompanying negative emotions deep down to become a bubbling cauldron of resentment? Well, that would be the British way...

1
 Yanis Nayu 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

I completely understand that. I was talking more about the culture of taking offence on almost an intellectual level, rather than an emotional level. I accept it's a somewhat pedantic point.
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

sure
 Yanis Nayu 06 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:

> And push all the accompanying negative emotions deep down to become a bubbling cauldron of resentment? Well, that would be the British way...

You haven't read what I wrote. If it's an emotional response, then fine. However, I've read lots of articles and forum posts where the author actually talks through the decision-making process that led them to be offended. What I'm saying is, if you need to stop and think about it, it's much better to brush it aside and get on with your life. I'm certainly not for the suppression of all emotion, but neither am I for the over- analysing of things in a frankly indulgent manner. As with many things in life, go for the middle way.
1
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

Look around you. Read the news. Read about the murders, assaults, homeless youth, suicide rates, schoolyard bullying. It's not that much of a surprise.
1
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> You haven't read what I wrote. If it's an emotional response, then fine. However, I've read lots of articles and forum posts where the author actually talks through the decision-making process that led them to be offended.

I read it. I just don't buy into your definition of 'intellectual offence', as if it can be compartmentalised and divorced from any emotional response. I find the idea that I could be offended by something that didn't actually upset me absurd, and suspect that the source of such an idea is in the complaints of privileged white men who have gradually found that the can't say and do exactly as they please without thought for the consequences.

1
 Goucho 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

> Look around you. Read the news. Read about the murders, assaults, homeless youth, suicide rates, schoolyard bullying. It's not that much of a surprise.

I'm not sure why you've addressed this to me?

Am I missing something?
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

I was replying to your post where you said:

"I suppose I'm just a bit surprised (or maybe naive) that in 2015, members of the LGBT community still don't feel 100% able to be themselves within the mainstream climbing environment, which I think is a real shame."

 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:

So you're unable to concieve of a person holding and fighting for a viewpoint because the struggle itself brings them satisfaction and a feeling of self importance and pride - and somehow in that struggle using the language of 'offence' to make an emotive rhetorical point?
In reply to Conf#2:
> It's less offence, and more belittling of a persons characteristic which - when said enough times to them - can be subconsciously taken on board leading to self hate and lack of self acceptance.

> If a gay kid - for example - is in an environment in which they are constantly told that gay=wrong/crap/lesser then they will believe it, no matter how strong willed they are. And that will negatively impact their life. This is the same for adults - but they just have more ability to ignore such stuff.

> So no, offence isn't relevant here but that doesn't mean that language isn't relevant.

Absolutely, as a friendly way of reminding a friend (who has a gay uncle - perhaps surprisingly) to not use gay to mean 'a little bit crap' I'll say something isn't very good as it's ''a little bit straight'', and he seems to have stopped, which is nice.
Post edited at 13:01
 Goucho 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

> I was replying to your post where you said:

> "I suppose I'm just a bit surprised (or maybe naive) that in 2015, members of the LGBT community still don't feel 100% able to be themselves within the mainstream climbing environment, which I think is a real shame."

My comment was made very much within a climbing context, not a general one.

My surprise was that in my experience, I've found the climbing community generally more accepting and less judgemental of difference.
rob_voyager 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Wow you all seem to be taking this very seriously, seems like you have strayed away from the original topic and the spirit of the article.
 Yanis Nayu 06 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:

I'm intrigued to know if white men are automatically privileged, or if only the privileged ones are?
1
In reply to neuromancer:

> So you're unable to concieve of a person holding and fighting for a viewpoint because the struggle itself brings them satisfaction and a feeling of self importance and pride - and somehow in that struggle using the language of 'offence' to make an emotive rhetorical point?

"Using the language of 'offence'", as you put it, implies that your hypothetical individual is not actually offended at all, but is merely playing devil's advocate. Has he been offended, or not?
In reply to Goucho:
It probably is overall. Your surprise (and that of others) reminds me of reading about a black person moving to Lewes or somewhere like that, and being told by one of the white locals there wasn't any racism in the village, and them half wondering how they could know this. It was ment kindly and all that, but it can be hard to know how things are if you're not gay or from some other group which can encounter difficulties etc.
Post edited at 13:08
1
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

White men automatically hold a privileged position in society. Of course, other factors involved may reduce or increase this privilege, but inherently yes they do. Because we live in a racist and sexist society.
1
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

yeah - but people that climb are also in mainstream society. You don't automatically get rid of the outside world when you walk in to a crag.
 Goucho 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Timmd:

> It probably is overall. Your surprise (and that of others) reminds me of reading about a black person moving to Lewes or somewhere like that, and being told by one of the white locals there wasn't any racism in the village, and them half wondering how they could know this. It was ment kindly and all that, but it can be hard to know how things are if you're not gay or from some other group which can encounter difficulties etc.

I suppose however much we understand, embrace and empathise with any minority group, we can never fully understand how it feels until we've walked a mile in their shoes.
1
 Goucho 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

> yeah - but people that climb are also in mainstream society. You don't automatically get rid of the outside world when you walk in to a crag.

Of course not, but you also shouldn't tar all hetrosexual white men with the same brush as the stereotypical white homophobic racist bigot.

That's just as myopic and offensive as the heterosexual white man who thinks all gay men spend their evenings dressed as Ethel Merman singing Judy Garlands greatest hits, or that all lesbians have short hair and dress as bus drivers?
1
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I /think/ I might have said that other factors are involved too. Or did you just ignore that, read what you wanted, then find an article to back it up?
1
 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:


> Of course not, but you also shouldn't tar all hetrosexual white men with the same brush as the stereotypical white homophobic racist bigot.

...I don't think anyone has done this? Literally no one here has done this.


1
Andrew Kin 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

How on earth have I got a dislike for that comment?????
5
 Yanis Nayu 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

I challenged what was quite a bold statement made by you with a piece of research that espouses a contrary view.

The point I'm making, is that your race and sexuality aren't the only factors in the hand that life deals you.
 Goucho 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

> How on earth have I got a dislike for that comment?????

This is UKC
 Chris Harris 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

> I suppose however much we understand, embrace and empathise with any minority group, we can never fully understand how it feels until we've walked a mile in their shoes.

Comfortable ones, presumably, in this case.
Andrew Kin 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

'Great article. Very enlightening.'

Seriously? Thank god I deleted the first post I put up.

 Conf#2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

*sigh* it's not a bold statement. There's years of research on it.

Ah well.
1
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

> How on earth have I got a dislike for that comment?????

Because there are some passive aggressive bitter hearted & mean spirited people on here?

I wouldn't take it personally.
1
 Offwidth 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Exceedingly well done UKC. I've known a few LGBT climbers since I started climbing and it always seemed to me that climbing history seemed more open and relaxed (that they may just want to climb like anyone else) than the reality at that time. Things do seem to be improving, especially in the last decade as Toby says. Wouldn't it be great if one day all climbers were just able to be openly and honestly themselves.
1
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

> How on earth have I got a dislike for that comment?????

Presumably for the same reason some people disliked the original article.
1
 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:

You seem to have avoided the question.

What do you think the difference between being upset and being offended is?
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I challenged what was quite a bold statement made by you with a piece of research that espouses a contrary view.

Your research is interesting, but concerns the academic results of boys and not the social privileges that heterosexual white males enjoy in our society, which is the main concern here. In this regard, Conf#2's statement is hardly bold, there is ample hard data to back this up, such as in the gap between average salaries for Men and Women.

> The point I'm making, is that your race and sexuality aren't the only factors in the hand that life deals you.

I don't think anyone has made that argument.

1
 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

There are centuries of research into market economics; that doesn't make it any less of a contentious subject.

And economics at least bases much of its theory on data, rather than anger, emotion and ideology (though it's not immune).
 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:
>such as the gap between average salaries for Men and Women

1) How does academic performance (leading directly to future life benefits and salary potential) have no bearing on "privilege" - but salary does?

2) The wage gap is at best intentionally misleading and at worst a flat out lie

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-wage-gap-myth-that-wont-die-1443654408
http://time.com/3222543/5-feminist-myths-that-will-not-die/
http://blogs.new.spectator.co.uk/2015/07/the-gender-pay-gap-is-a-myth/

Are you still struggling to see why someone might choose to resort to emotive rhetoric rather than a well reasoned argument?
Post edited at 14:06
2
In reply to UKC Articles:
A question as a white middle class heterosexual male.....am i entitled to be upset at the generalized sexist or racial stereotypes that I seem to be landed with constantly .. I understand I was privileged now.

For me personally I would rather my club had diversity and LGBT climbers along with any other minority be it ethnic or social or economic.

I realize though that in general most people like to hang out with people that they share interests with and who have some common background and shared experience, if a LGBT climbing club provides an avenue for individuals to enjoy climbing and encourages new people to get involved then that is a good thing.
Post edited at 14:09
In reply to DrIan:
> A question as a white middle class heterosexual male.....am i entitled to be upset at the generalized sexist or racial stereotypes that I seem to be landed with constantly .. I understand I was privileged now.

You are free to get upset about whatever you like. As a fellow white middle class heterosexual male, I'd be interested in hearing your experiences, as I am struggling to think of any upsetting sexual or racial descrimination that I have suffered.
Post edited at 14:15
1
 winhill 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

> You are free to get upset about whatever you like. As a fellow white middle class heterosexual male, I'd be interested in hearing your experiences, as I am struggling to think of any upsetting sexual or racial descrimination that I have suffered.

I think the point is that it is bizarre how a thread, which has nothing to do with race has become about being white, because that explains everything.
In reply to The New NickB:

where did I mention discrimination in my post. it was generalized sexual and racist stereotypes.
In reply to winhill:

> I think the point is that it is bizarre how a thread, which has nothing to do with race has become about being white, because that explains everything.

Has it?
 John Kelly 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

I disliked your comment

I thought you were wrong to describe it as a great article.
I think it is an important subject and the writing (IMO) didn't do it justice
2
In reply to DrIan:
> where did I mention discrimination in my post. it was generalized sexual and racist stereotypes.

I may have misunderstood, what do you mean when you write about being 'landed with' sexual and racist stereotypes?
Post edited at 14:47
In reply to John Kelly:
> I disliked your comment

> I thought you were wrong to describe it as a great article.

> I think it is an important subject and the writing (IMO) didn't do it justice

Which perhaps well explains why a lot of people think the 'dislike' button is pointless.
Post edited at 14:43
1
 Offwidth 06 Nov 2015
In reply to John Kelly:
Really? In what possible sense?? This is a climbing site and UKC wrote this partly in response to some typically dumb UKC comments; and in this writing, some LGBT climbers helped out by expressing their views. So what exactly are you claiming is wrong???
Post edited at 14:50
1
In reply to The New NickB:

On this thread, one that as a white middle class hetro male apparently I had it easy, and two that as being white I am privileged.



1
 John Kelly 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Offwidth:
I found it really difficult to understand, think it's the first article on ukc I have had to read more than once to get a, probably incomplete, understanding. I thought it could have been done more succinctly and as a consequence had more reach and power
In reply to DrIan:
> On this thread, one that as a white middle class hetro male apparently I had it easy, and two that as being white I am privileged.

But as white, middle class, hetrosexual men we are the least descriminated against group in history, this does make us privileged. Individual experiences may be different, but I'm surprised anyone disputes the general premise.
Post edited at 15:09
3
 John Kelly 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

Problem is we experience things as individuals not groups, possibly we need to move beyond the group thing and treat people as individuals
In reply to The New NickB:

See you agree with me. Individual experiences my be different. Your statement is a generalization in itself.

Andrew Kin 06 Nov 2015
In reply to John Kelly:

At least you were honest enough to own up to it.

From my perspective, I found it explained quite a lot of issues I hadn't even considered before. The mere fact that I was one of the clumsy few who commented on the original thread and got shot down for my, black & white, climbers are climbers views only added to it.

It was a great article from my POV as it helped to open my eyes just a smidge more than they were before.

 Ramblin dave 06 Nov 2015
In reply to John Kelly:

> Problem is we experience things as individuals not groups, possibly we need to move beyond the group thing and treat people as individuals

If we could wave a magic wand and make that happen then that'd be great. But people are already being treated as groups rather than individuals in various ways - eg people are suffering from racial and sexual discrimination - and ignoring that and pretending that it's all about individuals isn't going to make it stop happening.
 John Kelly 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Thelittlesthobo:

I've just liked you
I'm with you, I learned stuff and I'm pleased I did but it was, for me, hardwork getting there
John
In reply to DrIan:

> See you agree with me. Individual experiences my be different. Your statement is a generalization in itself.

Of course it is a generalisation, we are talking about groups and experiences of groups.
 faffergotgunz 06 Nov 2015
I take offenz to bein called straight innit.

WOT! Am i sum kind of borin dick or summit?!#

Next man who calls me straight iz gonna get kick in!
5
 John Kelly 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Ramblin dave:

But people suffer individually, people within groups have very different experiences even when subjected to the same challenges
We should never ignore suffering
 jkarran 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

> I suppose I'm just a bit surprised (or maybe naive) that in 2015, members of the LGBT community still don't feel 100% able to be themselves within the mainstream climbing environment, which I think is a real shame.

You're not the only one who's a little surprised and still ever so slightly puzzled. I guess we're all just different and have different outlooks born of different experiences.

We're all pretty similar too though.
jk
 Ramblin dave 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:
> Of course it is a generalisation, we are talking about groups and experiences of groups.

White privilege isn't a generalization - it's something that genuinely applies to all white people. It's not that some white people are privileged hence we'll act as if all white people are, it's that for any given white person, some stuff will tend to be a bit easier for them than it would for an otherwise equivalent non-white person. That doesn't mean that every white person has it easier than every non-white person, but in the matrix of things that make a positive or negative difference to your long-term prospects for a long and fulfilling life, being white is, at the moment, basically a plus point.
Post edited at 15:41
1
In reply to John Kelly:
> But people suffer individually, people within groups have very different experiences even when subjected to the same challenges

> We should never ignore suffering

Yes and to do that we need to understand the additional issues that people that belonging to certain characteristic group may suffer, because they belong to that characteristic group.
Post edited at 15:39
In reply to Ramblin dave:

You are preaching to the choir!
In reply to neuromancer:

I'm afraid at this point I've rather lost track of the argument that you're making. If it's that white, heterosexual males are not socially privileged, then I really don't know where to start. This is so blindingly obvious it's like trying to convince a flat-earther that the Earth is round.

I'm afraid I didn't click on your links, I was rather put off by the title of an article that starts "The 5 Feminist Myths That Will Not Die".

If it's that people who take offence at things are not really upset by anything but are making a fuss for sh*ts and giggles, then I refer you to the general arbiter of ambiguous terms : The Dictionary.

Annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself - Source, OED

Perceived. Not manufactured, calculated or otherwise, but perceived. Meaning for offence to be taken, an individual has to believe that they have been slighted. This can be genuine or imagined, but it is nonetheless honest belief. In addition, the emotional content of offence is implied in the terms "Annoyance or resentment", it is not some exercise in intellectual masturbation.
1
 Ramblin dave 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

Sorry, yes, that reply was mostly to DrIan.
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Don't worry, I appreciate my reference to generalisation probably wasn't quite right!
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> White privilege isn't a generalization - it's something that genuinely applies to all white people. It's not that some white people are privileged hence we'll act as if all white people are, it's that for any given white person, some stuff will tend to be a bit easier for them than it would for an otherwise equivalent non-white person. That doesn't mean that every white person has it easier than every non-white person, but in the matrix of things that make a positive or negative difference to your long-term prospects for a long and fulfilling life, being white is, at the moment, basically a plus point.

As is being straight, to bring it back to the article a bit, it's much easier to find a partner and to go dating, and to feel 'normal' (most importantly in relation to this thread).
Post edited at 16:09
2
 team fat belly 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

An interesting article. As someone who likes to think of themselves as not homophobic my first response was still why would you need an LGBT club. But the article goes does a great job in explaining this, not just the reasons the members of the club are involved but also how the club has helped raise awareness and understanding in the wider climbing community. Thanks.
Wiley Coyote2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

> As a fellow white middle class heterosexual male, I'd be interested in hearing your experiences, as I am struggling to think of any upsetting sexual or racial descrimination that I have suffered.

I always have a little chuckle when some right-on liberal dismisses a group or a new appointment as 'pale, male and stale' You have to be impressed that anyone can manage to be racist, sexist and ageist in only four words. That's real talent!

2
 winhill 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

In reply to winhill:

> I think the point is that it is bizarre how a thread, which has nothing to do with race has become about being white, because that explains everything.

> Has it?

Yes, because somehow if you have experience of minority status that means you are less homophobic, like black people or catholics or muslims who are all extra enlightened.
3
In reply to winhill:

> In reply to winhill:

> Yes, because somehow if you have experience of minority status that means you are less homophobic, like black people or catholics or muslims who are all extra enlightened.

Who is claiming this?
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> I always have a little chuckle when some right-on liberal dismisses a group or a new appointment as 'pale, male and stale' You have to be impressed that anyone can manage to be racist, sexist and ageist in only four words. That's real talent!

What the fu*k are you on about?
Post edited at 17:47
1
 winhill 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

You introduced race at 16:48, first mention of white in the thread.
1
 winhill 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

> What the fu*k are you on about?

Actually I seem to remember in the thread about the new Labour leader, one of the qualities you listed that they should have was that they be under 40, I think that's the kind of agism that Wiley is on about.

One of the worst examples in recent political history was Caroline Lucas and her infamous white middle-aged men in grey suits comment before the TV debates last year.
1
In reply to winhill:
>

> Yes, because somehow if you have experience of minority status that means you are less homophobic, like black people or catholics or muslims who are all extra enlightened.

I think that you're bringing some whole random agenda to the thread, which only exists in your head.
Post edited at 17:58
2
In reply to winhill:
> You introduced race at 16:48, first mention of white in the thread.

Are you actually serious? You have made a hell of a leap from that.
Post edited at 18:02
In reply to winhill:

> Actually I seem to remember in the thread about the new Labour leader, one of the qualities you listed that they should have was that they be under 40, I think that's the kind of agism that Wiley is on about.

> One of the worst examples in recent political history was Caroline Lucas and her infamous white middle-aged men in grey suits comment before the TV debates last year.

What's this got to do with LGTB climbing clubs?
1
In reply to winhill:
> Actually I seem to remember in the thread about the new Labour leader, one of the qualities you listed that they should have was that they be under 40, I think that's the kind of agism that Wiley is on about.

Has Wiley accused me of agism? It's news to me if he has. I'm not sure what I said about a potential new leader, I know the person I suggested isn't under 40. But I suspect the point I was making was about not being associated with Blair and Brown. Obviously a 66 year old has managed to pull that trick off.

I'm not under 40 myself!
Post edited at 18:04
1
In reply to Timmd:

> What's this got to do with LGTB climbing clubs?

God knows!
 Roberttaylor 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Like if you think Nat should definitely do a follow up article called 'Arguing in threads: An insight into the UKC community.'
Dislike if you agree but less strongly.

Off to eat a LGBT sandwich.

R
1
 kevin stephens 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:
So summing up this thread it seems cool to have an LGBT club for folk who like to do a bit of climbing but uncool to have a climbing club for folk who happen to be LGBT?
3
In reply to Roberttaylor:

> Off to eat a LGBT sandwich.

Lettuce, Gay Bacon and Tomato?

Wiley Coyote2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:
> What the fu*k are you on about?

I was not accusing you personally of anything Nick but at 15.08 you stated that white, middle class hetero men are the least discriminated group in history. I think you subsequently said (but it may have been someone else) that you'd like a for instance so I was merely pointing out that we do still come in for a bit of casual racism and sexism as in 'pale male and stale' and nobody bats an eyelid. Would the same be true, I wonder, iF the allegation was 'black, female and clapped out'? Or would, as I suspect, the roof fall in on the person who said it?

PS Apologies if the delay in replying made for confusion, which it may well have done. I was out at the wall. Unforgiveable, I know, but someone from UKC has to go climbing every now and again.
Post edited at 18:32
1
 kevin stephens 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
I can't believe how many times the word "discrimination" has crept into this thread (or indeed any thread) on UKC about climbing. There seems to be a wish amongst some to invent a victim culture
6
Wiley Coyote2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to kevin stephens:

> I can't believe how many times the word "discrimination" has crept into this thread (or indeed any thread) on UKC about climbing. There seems to be a wish amongst some to invent a victim culture

Oh I don't feel victimised. As I said in my earlier post it makes me chuckle to hear the phrase emerge from the mouths (and keyboards) of people whop consider themselves oh so PC. You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh.
 winhill 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

> Are you actually serious? You have made a hell of a leap from that.

Why mention race? Except that to say if you are not a minority you have trouble understanding minorities.

BTW It doesn't stop you being ageist if you're over 40, please, just as being white doesn't stop you being racist.
baron 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:
An extract from the Gay Outdoor Club's website -
'In GOC women are under represented in the club and in many cases it is difficult for women to establish themselves because they may be the only woman in a particular group. The Trustees have therefore approved (at the April 2015 meeting) a limited number of women only events.'
It would appear that even in LG(BT) groups some sub groups still seem to struggle to achieve fulfilment. Also, don't the men in this club have a good understanding of the women's needs, after all, they are all part of the LG(BT) community?
Could I suggest that the women could join something like the Ramblers Association where they'll probably find plenty of women on a walk?

Pmc

9
 Babika 06 Nov 2015
In reply to baron:

Why would you join the Ramblers if you want to go rock climbing?
1
In reply to winhill:

> Why mention race? Except that to say if you are not a minority you have trouble understanding minorities.

I obviously wanted to help you introduce bullshit straw men arguments.

> BTW It doesn't stop you being ageist if you're over 40, please, just as being white doesn't stop you being racist.

Thanks for ignoring the rest of the post. Very strange all this!

 Jon Stewart 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> I was merely pointing out that we do still come in for a bit of casual racism and sexism as in 'pale male and stale' and nobody bats an eyelid. Would the same be true, I wonder, iF the allegation was 'black, female and clapped out'?

If you think that's a valid equivalent, then there's a lot about the world that you don't understand.
1
 kevin stephens 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Babika:
Irony bypass?

In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> Oh I don't feel victimised. As I said in my earlier post it makes me chuckle to hear the phrase emerge from the mouths (and keyboards) of people whop consider themselves oh so PC. You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh.

What would an example of people being 'oh so PC' be? Make one up if you'd rather not single somebody out.

I'm genuinely asking, as I can never get what people mean when they go on about people being PC, what they're referring to or what alternative they'd rather have, or anything, really.

It whooshes straight over my head...
Post edited at 20:33
 JJL 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Crikey!

I'm not sure I should hit "reply" to this - given I'm hetero, white, male etc.

I have two points and a question; none earth-shattering and if you'll forgive me the latter then maybe the former will carry more weight.

I'm confused by the terminology - and terrified of making a social gaffe through not "getting it". A biological woman (is that a gaffe already? Am I allowed to say XX on the "sex" chromosomes is what we have decided to name "woman"? I don't men offence; I simply don't know any longer) that is sexually inclined (there I go again. Is this the test? Who I find sexually attractive? Or who I would happily spend my life with? Or what IS the test?) towards biological males (XY in my, probably but unintentionally, offensive world) is "straight" and a "woman"??

The converse of all that is true for a "straight man"?

Someone attracted to both is "bi". Is this equally, or in degrees?

And that was the bit that's meant to be simple!

If someone is biologically XX but choses to live in society as a woman are they "trans"? Is that different to if they physiologically alter themselves (through hormaonal treatment)? What about physically alter themselves?

If they then are attracted to women, is there a term I should use? Or men? Or either??

Now there are the biologically male permutations and combinations of them with the above. My head is spinning.

So the question is, is there a simple explanation/source that will orientate me in a (for me) very confusing world? I understand it's important and sensitive and I don't want to offend; but I feel utterly ignorant.

And the points are, fortunately, more simple:
- genuinely supportive people can find it hard to navigate what they feel has become a minefield of sensibilities
- I think the desire to group and bond with like-minded people is fractal: it works at every level. We cluster as climbers because nobody else quite "gets" what it's like. The closest are those that have shared the experiences with us, but the broader community still has resonance for us. LGBT clustering seems the same as this - folk who have walked some of the same path and know what it's like for each other. The ultimate subset of this fractal process is a 1:1 where you feel that person properly understands you - and accepts you - and you them. That last step, I think (though I'm not sure) is XX/XY-blind.

I married mine. But other social constructs are available!



J
baron 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Babika:
you probably wouldn't join the Ramblers to go climbing - I was using them as an example of somewhere that women could go to if they wanted to socialise with other women. As there seems to be a shortage of women in the GOC. I would have said climbing club but I'm not sure of the ratio of men to women in your average climbing club.

Pmc

In reply to Wiley Coyote:
Just seemed a very odd statement, I've never heard 'pale, male and stale' before. Doesn't help with winhill doing the dodgiest mind reading act ever!
Post edited at 21:08
In reply to JJL:
You may be over thinking, you're certainly confusing me
Post edited at 21:08
In reply to Timmd:

> I'm genuinely asking, as I can never get what people mean when they go on about people being PC, what they're referring to or what alternative they'd rather have, or anything, really.

Everything you need to know about Political Correctness:

youtube.com/watch?v=bmsV1TuESrc&
In reply to Timmd:

These days PC appears just to be "opinions I don't agree with", I get accused of being PC all the time on here, which is quite rediculous, because I can be a singularly offensive prick when the mood takes me. Maybe the difference is self awareness.
 neuromancer 06 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:
You appear to have avoided the question and resorted to making circular arguments and ad hominems again.

Why is academic performance irrelevant but a non existent pay gap the most important?

If you would like to select your own source from the hundreds of articles and journals that make it clear that you were misleading to make an emotive point then you're welcome to select your own with a higher level of journalistic integrity than time, the wsj, or the spectator. May I suggest the Huffington post or buzzfeed might be more up your street?
Post edited at 21:22
Wiley Coyote2 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If you think that's a valid equivalent, then there's a lot about the world that you don't understand.

There is indeed much about the world I do not understand. Rather like most people, I suppose. Except Stephen Hawking and Stephen Fry, of course
In reply to neuromancer:

> You appear to have avoided the question and resorted to making circular arguments and ad hominems again.

Sure, why not.
1
 Yanis Nayu 06 Nov 2015
In reply to The New NickB:

I'm sure you can be both PC and a prick, if you choose your victims carefully.
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I'm sure you can be both PC and a prick, if you choose your victims carefully.

Maybe, I'm pretty slapdash when I'm being a prick!
 Misha 06 Nov 2015
In reply to JJL:
That's a great point re climbers wanting to hang out with other climbers because we have something in common and often see ourselves as a bit different to most other people. Clearly climbers don't suffer from discrimination but we are a minority group so there is some analogy there in that people like to hang out with others who are like them in some way. Hopefully this analogy helps those who don't quite see the point.

Another analogy. I am Russian. As it happens, I have no particular interest in specifically seeking out other Russians, having lived here over 20 years and feeling more British than Russian. However suppose I had arrived here only recently and didn't speak English very well. I would still want to hang out with climbers but it would be great to hang out with other Russian climbers.

As for your questions, I'll leave them to someone better qualified to answer. I think there is a typo in your second XX by the way which makes it even more confusing
 JJL 06 Nov 2015
In reply to Misha:
> As for your questions, I'll leave them to someone better qualified to answer. I think there is a typo in your second XX by the way which makes it even more confusing

Yup. You're right. I'll edit. Thank you.


Turns out I can't edit it. Oh well.
Post edited at 21:50
 Chris Harris 06 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Can we have a guide to crag banter when climbing with LGBT types please?

"Man up & get up it" could cause all sorts of confusion.

"Grow a pair" might also be an issue - with "I will when the hormones kick in" being a potential answer.

We need to know these things to avoid causing offence.
11
 Angry Bird 07 Nov 2015
In reply to JJL:
There are no such things as stupid questions. Here's my take an answer for you.

Thankfully, no-one is ever "born a man" or "born a woman" - as anyone who has ever given birth is testify - we're all born babies. Most of us are born with male or female bodies, but a small number are born with an intersex condition (of which there are a number of different ones. For this reason it isn't necessarily helpful to think in terms of chromosomes. There are more permutations than just XX or XY, and it is even possible to have a female with XY chromosomes in a condition called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.)

The complication comes because there are two components to our gender, or indeed lack thereof. In addition to our biological sex, there is our gender identity... ...our brain sex, if you will. The idea that our brains' are gendered is controversial to some branches of feminist thought (people like Germaine Greer) but there is a growing body of scientific evidence to support this hypothesis. This field is quite complex, and perhaps outside the scope of a quick(ish) answer. The bottom line is, if you and I were involved in a terrible accident, but thanks to the wonders of modern medicine the only bits of us that could be saved were our heads, linked to life support machines, I would still feel female, and you would still feel male. For most people, their brain sex (gender) matches their biological sex. There is a minority for whom these two are not matched; transgender people. It is no more a choice for these people than choosing to be white, or straight. As to terminology, someone who identifies as male is male, regardless of whether the have a male body (a cisgender male - i.e. what most men are) or a female body (a transgender male). Similarly for women, most of us are cisgender women (brain and body match) and a few are transgender women. It's just that because cisgender represents the overwhelming majority, we never tend to think of it in these terms, and just use male and female, or man and woman. It should also be recognised that some people do not see gender as a binary concept, and may identify as mostly male, or mostly female, or neither one nor the other.

None of this had anything to do with someone's sexuality. That is determined by someone's gender (brain sex) in relation to whom they want to have a relationship with. A trans woman who fancies men is straight, despite possibly having a body that is biologically male. She would seek straight men rather than gay men.

It certainly has nothing to do with so-called 'gender roles' which are simply a construct of whatever society we live in.

Summary

Don't think in terms of male or female being determined by our genetalia, it is determined by our how our brains are wired.

Most people born male have male bodies, but some (transgender males) don't.

People can broadly be homosexual (gay or lesbian), heterosexual, bisexual or asexual, irrespective their gender (cis male, trans male, cis female or trans female).

That which we have in common transcends that which divides us.
Post edited at 11:47
2
 Wsdconst 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Ramblin dave:

> I guess an easier to relate to analogy might be moving to the US or somewhere for work. Your new friends and colleagues almost certainly wouldn't have a problem with your nationality and you wouldn't have a problem with theirs and you wouldn't avoid socializing with Americans and they probably wouldn't avoid socializing with you, but you'd still be pretty happy to meet up with some more Brits from time to time to be in the company of people who understand the importance of properly made tea and don't use the word "awesome" constantly.

I think you've hit the nail on the head.
 Wsdconst 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Do you mean that people are offended about some things because they think that's the correct response and not because it's actually upset them? I think this is something that happens on here a lot.
 Jon Stewart 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Wsdconst:

> Do you mean that people are offended about some things because they think that's the correct response and not because it's actually upset them? I think this is something that happens on here a lot.

I think there is a load of crap talked on here about people being offended when apparently, they have no right to be, or are pretending to be, or something. Since we don't have a definition of "offence" it's difficult to have a meaningful discussion on the subject. Rather than talking in the abstract, let's take a concrete example: this post above:

Can we have a guide to crag banter when climbing with LGBT types please?
"Man up & get up it" could cause all sorts of confusion.
"Grow a pair" might also be an issue - with "I will when the hormones kick in" being a potential answer.
We need to know these things to avoid causing offence.


There is loads of stuff about this post that I think is crap. It makes think, "oh dear, some people have a really crap sense of humour that I don't find at all funny and which is basically just childish sniggering at minorities, trivialising people's experiences from a standpoint of zero understanding". Does that mean I'm "offended" by it? By my own definition, probably not, I just think it's crap. If it really upset me and made me angry, then I guess I might be "offended" by it. So, would I have the right to be offended by it? Does being gay give me that right, which I wouldn't have if I was straight?

When it comes to this accusation of being insincerely offended I struggle to understand exactly what basis it's made on. I think it's probably usually people expressing a view of "that's total crap, I don't like the attitude that seems to underlie it". And the response is a defensive "you're just being PC for the sake of it" because people don't like being criticised for their attitudes, especially when they didn't intend to give an impression of being a total dick and thought they were being funny or "just saying what everyone else is thinking" or something.

I think the more likely truth is that it grates on people when there's an air of ignorance in someone's comments, and "you're just being PC" has become the standard response to being called out on it. That's my take on it, anyhow - I just don't believe that people pretend to be offended for some weird reason that's never been made clear.
1
In reply to Wsdconst:

> Do you mean that people are offended about some things because they think that's the correct response and not because it's actually upset them? I think this is something that happens on here a lot.

I don't disagree that this kind of thing happens but I don't think that 'offended' is the right term for it. You need some emotional investment to really be offended by something, otherwise it's just called 'arguing'.
 Nick Russell 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

Thanks for posting: that's one of the clearest explanations of (cis- and trans-) gender I've come across.
In reply to Angry Bird:

Fantastic post Jen. I am astounded that two people clicked 'dislike' - I have no idea why they did.
 Yanis Nayu 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Wsdconst:

> Do you mean that people are offended about some things because they think that's the correct response and not because it's actually upset them? I think this is something that happens on here a lot.

I do, yes. To be clear though, I'm not criticising gay or trans people for being upset with being denigrated. I was making a wider point.
 John Kelly 08 Nov 2015
In reply to ericinbristol:

What don't you get, a number of ukc have read Jen's post, 13 think she is talking sense, 2 think she's is partially or completely wrong, it's a forum and the buttons helpfully allow us to get a sense of the consensus
IMO quite a useful tool
1
In reply to John Kelly:

Fair enough. I am de-astounded.
 John Kelly 08 Nov 2015
In reply to ericinbristol:

You're very fickle
1
 marsbar 08 Nov 2015
In reply to JJL:

You may find this interesting. http://jackatapinch.com/2015/10/22/please-dont-call-me-a-girl-called-jack-i-have-something-to-tell-y...

It discusses the way to address people at the bottom.
 Wsdconst 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I m confused,are you trying to have a go at me for something ? I don't know what I've done.:/
 Offwidth 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

It's worth adding most people are surprised when they first discover the percentage of births with some 'intersex' characteristics, and how poorly publicised this still is in our modern world (I certainly was, as a well educated liberal) ...uo to 1% according to how you classify things.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex
1
 Wsdconst 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I never thought you were
 Wsdconst 08 Nov 2015
In reply to planetmarshall:

> I don't disagree that this kind of thing happens but I don't think that 'offended' is the right term for it. You need some emotional investment to really be offended by something, otherwise it's just called 'arguing'.

Maybe not offended then, but sometimes it feels like people just disagree with others just for arguments sake.ukcers do love a good argument.
 Jon Stewart 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Wsdconst:

No, not having a go at you, sorry if it came across like that. But this thing about people being insincerely offended seems to come up often, usually alongside complaints about the "pc brigade". Just saying what i think about this in general, not towards you particularly.
2
 Jon Stewart 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

> I do, yes. To be clear though, I'm not criticising gay or trans people for being upset with being denigrated. I was making a wider point.

Maybe you could give an example or two of what you mean?
2
 Yanis Nayu 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

As I think I said unthread, it's common to read people's deliberations over whether or not to be offended in articles and on fora. I've also had experience of people in real life being "offended" by, for example, someone's crudity and then during discussions it's because it was at work, and therefore "not right", which is somewhat different from a genuine emotional response or hurt. If you're denying that there's a growing band of people who seek offence, I think you're misguided.
1
 Wsdconst 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Ok no problem there seems to be an equal amount on both sides of the p.c fence on here,personally I think some people just enjoy a good argument.(even me sometimes.
 neuromancer 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:
It's probably important to note here that the scientific evidence for "trans brains are the brains of the opposite sex" is really pretty shaky, and the presence of "intersexed" babies - a misleading term if there ever was one - is not particularly relevant.

There was one low-n study done with brain scans that showed similarities and differences in "trans" and "regular" individuals but despite several attempts to replicate these results, nobody has succeeded. As much as you might dislike it, and whilst I'm not proclaiming it to be the dogmatic truth there's probably more scientific evidence for it being a mental illness or personality disorder than anything else - one which has a pretty reliable treatment in hormone therapy to change physical sex.

Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't be part of the solution - generally treat people with respect and let them be whatever they want to be, but it's important to keep it an open debate. When those in the "trans women are not women" camp state their position it is not without good reason and demanding their silence and laying all of the ills of society at their feet is morally dubious at best.
Post edited at 22:22
3
In reply to John Kelly:

If someone gives me a good reason to change my mind after I have come to a hasty judgement I change my mind. If that's fickle we could do with more of it.
 Jon Stewart 08 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:

> It's probably important to note here that the scientific evidence for "trans brains are the brains of the opposite sex" is really pretty shaky,

I think this depends on what you term "scientific evidence". It seems very obvious to me that since a small number of people have a consistent, permanent subjective experience of identifying as the opposite sex to their body, that's it, case closed. Some people are therefore psychologically a different sex to their body. Whether the brains of trans people are anatomically or functionally indistinguishable to that of the sex they identify as is a moot point - it isn't an appropriate criterion, and we don't have the technology to see anyway (fMRI is fascinating, but it won't answer this question).

> and the presence of "intersexed" babies - a misleading term if there ever was one - is not particularly relevant.

It's separate, and Jen was clear about that, I thought.

> There was one low-n study done with brain scans that showed similarities and differences in "trans" and "regular" individuals but despite several attempts to replicate these results, nobody has succeeded. As much as you might dislike it, and whilst I'm not proclaiming it to be the dogmatic truth there's probably more scientific evidence for it being a mental illness or personality disorder than anything else - one which has a pretty reliable treatment in hormone therapy to change physical sex.

There is no objective definition of a mental illness, and brain scans cannot differentiate what is a 'normal female brain' in a male body from what is a 'disordered male brain'. We don't have sufficient understanding of the brain and the mind for that. There is no such thing as 'evidence' that x or y experience is a mental illness: we choose what we term a disorder according to loose-weave, wobbly, shifting criteria that have a lot to do with what we think we can 'cure', amongst other myriad influences.
1
 neuromancer 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:
>I think this depends on what you term "scientific evidence". It seems very obvious to me that since a small number of people have a consistent, permanent subjective experience of identifying as the opposite sex to their body, that's it, case closed. Some people are therefore psychologically a different sex to their body.

I think it's pretty obvious what is described by scientific evidence. It's flippant, but if I said to you that I had consistent, permanent subjective experience that I was George Clooney, would that make me George Clooney? Quite clearly not. So scientific evidence has to revolve around the objective and knowable.

Instead, you're making a philosophical point. An interesting one, but it has a simple counterargument. Since they have never been the opposite sex, how can they know what it is to be the opposite sex? They can only, logically or philosophically know that they do not feel like their biological sex should feel like, with "should feel like" being built up of their experiences and surrounding culture. So a trans woman can KNOW that they are a "trans woman", but whether or not that actually IS a woman, or still a man requires objective analysis. Which, so far, has mostly concluded "it's not but don't be mean".

>There is no objective definition of a mental illness, and brain scans cannot differentiate what is a 'normal female brain' in a male body from what is a 'disordered male brain'. We don't have sufficient understanding of the brain and the mind for that. There is no such thing as 'evidence' that x or y experience is a mental illness: we choose what we term a disorder according to loose-weave, wobbly, shifting criteria that have a lot to do with what we think we can 'cure', amongst other myriad influences.

Actually, brain scans can quite clearly differentiate classic male and female brain characteristics on fmri or by diffusion tensor imaging. "Jen" argued that the body of scientific evidence (of which the one shaky study I pointed out is about the only bit of it) was with the "trans women are women" crowd (for lack of a better moniker). I simply replied to say no - as nice as it might sound, it's not. However, if there is no evidence that such a thing as a "female brain in a male body" actually exists; I refer you to the above descartian argument.

Furthermore that's a particularly unhelpful way of looking at mental illness. Have you met someone who is a paranoid schizophrenic? Do you think it's helpful to tell them "don't worry, you're not actually ill it's just that you don't quite fit our social norms"? We're not going all "madness and civilisation" here. It's an abnormality of mental functioning that generally causes distress or a poor ability to function in life. And yes - just like "it's usually snowy at the top of the eiger" is not true for all universal states of the world, you're allowed to say what is within and outside normal behaviour.
Post edited at 22:54
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 Misha 08 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
Calling transexuality a disorder or an illness isn't really helpful. Disorder or illness has negative connotations and suggests that there is something wrong with the individual and they need to be cured if possible. If someone has voices in their head telling them to kill people, that to me is a mental disorder which needs to be cured before the afflicted person actually goes and kills someone (I'm using an extreme example here to illustrate the point, I know schizophrenia is a complex subject in its own right). Whereas transexuality is a state of being, people are born that way I guess and it's no more or less 'normal' than being straight or gay, just rare. Similarly, I would say help rather than cure.

This thread has gone off on all sorts of tangents...
1
 neuromancer 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Misha:
You don't have to be an axe wielding murderer to have a "mental illness" - that's a very draconian and old fashioned view for you to take isn't it? Guess that shows up how much bias we have culturally against those with mental illness.

Gender dysphoria is a personality disorder / mental illness used pretty widely as the basis of diagnosis before reassignment therapy is offered.
Post edited at 23:02
 Misha 08 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
I think you're missing my point. Clearly there are a lot of mental illnesses / disorders out there, of various degrees of severity. A minority result in violence towards others but most just impact the individual. Depression is a mental illness or condition which quite a few people will suffer from at some stage. It's something that develops but can be cured in various ways. To put transexuality in the same bracket seems unhelpful. That's what people used to do with homosexuality, thinking it was some kind of disease that could and should be cured (and some people still think that). Whereas both are just a state of being which people are born into. Yes, a transsexual might be unhappy and they can get help to be the sex they want to be but surely they aren't 'ill'. But to lump this in the same bucket as someone who is unhappy because they develop depression or voices in their head is unhelpful - those people are actually ill and should be cured if possible. Anyway, I'm not an expert on the subject (are you?), so I'm just putting forward what seems to me a reasonable view.
1
 Jon Stewart 08 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
This is fascinating stuff, and I have an early start tomorrow...

> I think it's pretty obvious what is described by scientific evidence.

That's rather difficult when talking about someone else's subjective experience don't you think? There are no objective and knowable facts about a person's identity, until we have a reliable neurological correlate of the experience of 'having an identity'. Until then, all we have is what people report - without this, fMRI evidence etc is meaningless.

> It's flippant, but if I said to you that I had consistent, permanent subjective experience that I was George Clooney, would that make me George Clooney? Quite clearly not.

You're frustratingly mixing in a separate point about individuals. You can't be George Clooney because he is already George Clooney. Identifying as a different category of person is perfectly possible, and as we know.

> Instead, you're making a philosophical point. An interesting one, but it has a simple counterargument. Since they have never been the opposite sex, how can they know what it is to be the opposite sex? They can only, logically or philosophically know that they do not feel like their biological sex should feel like, with "should feel like" being built up of their experiences and surrounding culture.

Interesting point, but it's based on a 'blank slate' assumption: that there is no innate feeling of gender identity. I think this assumption is likely false, as the existence of trans people implies that sometimes, the brain develops in such a way as to give rise to a gender identity mismatched to the physical identity.

> So a trans woman can KNOW that they are a "trans woman", but whether or not that actually IS a woman, or still a man requires objective analysis. Which, so far, has mostly concluded "it's not but don't be mean".

I don't take a view on the semantic point about whether a trans woman *is* a woman or *is* a man. I differ from Jen here. It's just an objective fact that some physically male people have the experience of identifying as a woman, and vice versa. Seems most likely that this all governed by the way the brain is connected up - if we could analyse all the connections, we'd see what the differences were. I suspect the same is true of homosexuality. This doesn't mean it's genetic, just that it has a physical, neural substrate that has developed as the brain developed.

> Actually, brain scans can quite clearly differentiate classic male and female brain characteristics on fmri or by diffusion tensor imaging.

Yes, that sounds as expected. But until we know how the brain generates gender identity, we don't know what the relevant neural differences between trans women and other women are. It would be astonishing to find that a trans woman's brain showed identical characteristics to a woman's brain when the two were housed in different bodies, with different hormones and all the rest. It's setting an inappropriate criterion for scientific evidence to decide what to me is a pretty meaningless semantic point anyway. A trans woman obviously isn't identical to any other woman - she's got a man's body! But if she says "I identify as a woman", then no amount of brain scans is going to change that she identifies as a woman. Whether an outsider applies the label "woman" "trans woman" or "mentally ill man" isn't going to change the fact that this person is psychologically female but physically male.

> Furthermore that's a particularly unhelpful way of looking at mental illness. Have you met someone who is a paranoid schizophrenic?

Depends on the example you choose. If you're talking about schizophrenia, it's useful to categorise that as an illness because of the harm and possible treatment. If you're talking about homosexuality, it's absolutely not useful to categorise it that way. Depression is somewhere in the middle. For some cases, it's best seen as an illness, in my view. In other cases, it is medicalising the fact that someone's life is a mess and they are permanently miserable because of that. Categorising them as 'ill' might be helpful for them. Or it might be just putting them on tablets when they could otherwise be leaving their wife and getting a new job and spending more time with their kids and getting better that way. So no, it's not an unhelpful way of looking at mental illness, it's just factually correct: there is no objective definition.
Post edited at 23:40
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 Postmanpat 08 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

As an aside which I recognise is not relevant to to the (interesting article) and intelligent debate by you, Misha and neuromancer, I find it profoundly depressing that this is the very debate that Cardiff University students think should not happen and part of which the contributor above dismissed as "nasty and malicious, and by stripping trans people of their humanity mandates acceptance of removing their human rights" (with reference to Germaine Greer).

I just wanted to get that off my chest.

1
 neuromancer 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

You'll find this interesting. We're just a year or two behind.

Post edited at 00:40
 Angry Bird 09 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
Even a cursory Google search reveals several academic papers that lend support to the hypothesis about gendered brains and trans individuals, outlined in my post above. I'm afraid your information is now somewhat dated: there is certainly more than one study.

Different researchers have looked at different aspects of this hypothesis, and in different ways, but the body of evidence is growing. Inevitably these will tend to be low n studies due to factors such as the rarity of the condition, funding pressures, etc. Most of the findings suggest a trans person's brain is somewhere between that of their assigned gender and their affirmed gender.

Whilst trans individuals themselves will not appreciate having their condition described as either a mental illness or a personality disorder, in recent years mainstream psychiatric opinion has distanced itself from using these labels too.

Apart from my reference to Ms Greer, for the sake of balance, I made no mention of the 'trans women are not women' camp. I suspect this to be a straw man, but I'll play along in case you are genuine. In the main this camp comprises of a minority of, mostly second generation, radical feminists and religious conservatives. Entering into a debate with such people is futile: their deeply held convictions are implacable, and I will never subscribe to what I see as their bigotry. Much to the chagrin of this unlikely alliance of old school feminists and misogynists though, in the eyes of the law, and in the eyes of mainstream society, trans women are women, and trans men are men. To suggest otherwise would be cisnormative, believing that only cisgender people can define what a man or a woman is. This isn't to say that trans people are exactly the same as cis people. Their experiences, the challenges they'll have had to face, are different from those of the cisgender population. But it doesn't mean their experiences are any less authentic, and it is only right, decent and proper that we accept them as full members of their affirmed gender.
Post edited at 01:17
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 neuromancer 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I do suspect we're arguing not on entirely intersecting lines.

> There are no objective and knowable facts about a person's identity

Well, that's just like your opinion, man.

More seriously: We know that identity and personality are largely governed by brain makeup and chemistry. My argument is that what evidence we DO have from this suggests that trans female brains are pretty much the same as male brains and very different from ACTUAL female brains. We have no evidence apart from the subjective experience of those who "identify differently" to argue any differently. Therefore - I'm not arguing that we can (at the moment) shoot a laser at someone's head and say NO! ACTUALLY ITS JUST A MAN PRETENDING ALL ALONG! - but that to say "SCIENCE PROVES TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN IF YOU DON'T AGREE YOU'RE A FLAT EARTHER" as jen was, perhaps a bit (a lot) more politely, is neither fair nor correct.

> You're frustratingly mixing in a separate point about individuals.

It's not actually as separate or unhelpful as it might seem. I'm making a philosophical point. How do we know George Clooney is George Clooney? What if I had reconstructive surgery and I looked identical to him, including adjustments to my vocal cords e.t.c. And have all the training required to act like him. Am I george clooney? Why not? Because I haven't had his experiences? No. Has a man who identifies as a woman grown up having the female experience? No. I can identify as GC all I want, but it doesn't make me him. Simply identifying as something does not make you it, no matter how much you believe it.

Let me go on another tract. Let's pretend that I get hypnotised. The hypnotist gets really deep down, and tells me that I'm a woman. I wake up, and identify as a woman. What now?

> there is no innate feeling of gender identity. I think this assumption is likely false, as the existence of trans people implies that sometimes, the brain develops in such a way as to give rise to a gender identity mismatched to the physical identity

Maybe? But at best it's a stab in the dark - and a long way from the position demanded of all of us that we accept it as dogma. Furthermore, I thought we were talking about sexual identity, not gender identity (which is the whole pink/blue shit).

> It's just an objective fact that some physically male people have the experience of identifying as a woman, and vice versa. Seems most likely that this all governed by the way the brain is connected up - if we could analyse all the connections, we'd see what the differences were. I suspect the same is true of homosexuality.

Here we totally agree. However - you go on to say this is born out in the physical characteristics of the brain - I would argue that "we don't have much evidence for that so far".

>Whether an outsider applies the label "woman" "trans woman" or "mentally ill man" isn't going to change the fact that this person is psychologically female but physically male.

Here's a thought - and maybe another conversation starter. What if we found that, say, gender dimorphism was caused by a chemical imbalance in the medula oblongata, which with a quick operation to prevent its release would flick the switch. Do you not think this might be just as plausible an explanation as the "they're actually just a woman". Either way, categorising them as "ill" is probably helpful right now in that it helps them get a cure (hormone therapy).
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 neuromancer 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

>cursory google search

I've done plenty more than a cursory search, and there is very little that is persuasive that moves beyond Rametti And Corillo's 2010 paper. As I've said - reproduction of these results since has widely failed.

The body of work on the subject is growing, but I would argue that the consensus is far from made up. You seem to have a vested interest in shifting the narrative which I wish you would try and drop - there's only 3 of us here! I disagree that you can draw such conclusions from one or two small n surveys with poor confidence intervals.

>in recent years mainstream psychiatric opinion has distanced itself from using these labels too.

We also now call short people "vertically challenged" - the label was in reference to the characteristics being a) abnormality b) suffering and c) there being a cure - i.e. gender reassignment therapy. If illness sounds bad then whatever, I'm happy to drop it but we're arguing semantics.

I'm going to avoid the last paragraph as you didn't really do yourself much justice there. Suffice to say; appeals to authority and ad hominems win rhetorical shouting matches but I'm not particularly interested.
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 Yanis Nayu 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

> To suggest otherwise would be cisnormative, believing that only cisgender people can define what a man or a woman is. This isn't to say that trans people are exactly the same as cis people. Their experiences, the challenges they'll have had to face, are different from those of the cisgender population. But it doesn't mean their experiences are any less authentic, and it is only right, decent and proper that we accept them as full members of their affirmed gender.

Why structuring society around the 99.7% of people who aren't transgender such a bad thing? And why do those people warrant a special name?

If think Germaine Greer was pissed-off that a woman who'd only just had a sex change was being nominated for Woman of the Year, and she was arguing that her life experiences etc. meant she wasn't truly living as a woman, at least not yet. Whether one agrees or disagrees, it's not a wholly unreasonable point to make, and it shouldn't have been smothered.
2
 JJL 09 Nov 2015
In reply to marsbar:


> It discusses the way to address people at the bottom.

Thanks for that. It's fascinating that the confusion seems not just to be in my head - but even in the heads of those directly involved: the section on Jack's fiancee's response when Jack (I wanted to write "he" there but couldn't) considered a double mastectomy was enlightening. A partner (who is presumably well up on this kind of thing) that considers herself lesbian not able to support the proposed change... and Jack's response that Jack should be "more than a pair of double Ds".

With that kind of confusion (and my general conclusion that each individual seems to interpret things differently), what hope have us dull and conventional folk got of getting things right?
 Angry Bird 09 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:

So to recap:

1. I answered a perfectly reasonable question to the best of my (albeit limited) ability.

2. You suggested that what I had written was on the basis of a single flawed study.

3. I pointed out this was not the case - there are at least three papers by Rametti et al, one by Luders et al, and another by Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab for starters. These researchers found the differences I alluded to in both grey and white matter of the brains of trans people. We might have different interpretations of this evidence, that is how science progresses, but I couldn't allow you to use untruths to support your opinions unchallenged.

4. Your response to this was spurious at best, and I feel it shows you have an agenda (perhaps about whether or not trans women should be considered as women, since you brought that up?)

5. If we want to continue debating, quoting references for papers to one another, then we should probably do so on the forum of website dedicated to psychology, neural biology, or similar - I think we're getting very off topic for UKC!

Best Wishes, Jen.


In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I can't accept a suggestion that we need only tailor society for the majority, as minorities will then continue to be disadvantaged. (The use of the prefix cis to the word gender was purely meant in the scientific sense, to refer to the majority, non-trans, population.)

I agree with your second point: I don't believe genuine debate should be stifled, and Germaine Greer was entirely right to question that particular nomination for Woman of the Year. What was unacceptable were her repeated and unsubstantiated transphobic comments. She has done so much for the feminist cause over the years, so it's disappointing that she would feel the need to promote prejudice against a group that already suffers much discrimination, irrespective of whether or not she considers them to be a subset of the female population.
1
 Postmanpat 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

>

> I can't accept a suggestion that we need only tailor society for the majority, as minorities will then continue to be disadvantaged. (The use of the prefix cis to the word gender was purely meant in the scientific sense, to refer to the majority, non-trans, population.)
>
What do you mean "scientific sense"? Why is the prefix required when,as you note, is is perfectly understood that the majority of people are "men" or "women". What does it add and why should trans people have the right to impose its use on others?

> I agree with your second point: I don't believe genuine debate should be stifled, and Germaine Greer was entirely right to question that particular nomination for Woman of the Year. What was unacceptable were her repeated and unsubstantiated transphobic comments.
>
What were these comments and why are they trans"phobic" as opposed to sceptical?
Before its meaning became perverted the term "phobic" meant a persistent or irrational fear or dislike of something. Do you think Greer has this?

2
In reply to Angry Bird:
I think terms male, female and intersex get used to both describe the genetic basis for an individual, how people look and how people relate to themselves and the outside world. When talking chromosomes Male, Female and intersex are clearly defined. Once you move away from this into how people look and how they relate to themselves and others it doesn't become clearly defined and that can be confusing, its then how you interpret things, you may or may not agree with a statement, even if you do in principal.

For example personally the statement "it is even possible to have a female with XY chromosomes in a condition called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome." that doesn't sit well with me even though I dont disagree.

I thought why is that, and I think it is that is the it is "possible to be female with XY" and it sort of sounded scientific...Scientifically individuals with AIS are Male they are XY, but due to the lack of receptors for the specific male hormones do not develop fully as male, instead they usually have hormone treatment and surgery to present as female.

Which is basically the same except as I refer to Male and XY, it is "present as female" which just relates to the genetics not how they relate to themselves as individuals.

I quite agree with the no-one is ever "born a man" or "born a woman". But you are born male, female or intersex.

Even though later you may (not opening the argument on whether people necessarily have a choice) present, either through how you act/look or a level of gender reassignment, as a man / male or a woman / Female or switch between the two.

Having transgender (MtF - full and partial) friends, I always think of them as "she", and treat them no different to any other girl with which I am friends with. If you asked me if they were a man or a Girl/Woman then the answer would be Girl/Woman, if you asked me if they were Male or female then i would probably say "do you mean genetically?"
if you said "yes" then the answer would be Male, if you said "no" the answer would be female..
Post edited at 13:36
 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:


> Gender dysphoria is a personality disorder / mental illness used pretty widely as the basis of diagnosis before reassignment therapy is offered.

Not in up-to-date policy, it's not. See: Scottish law.
Homosexuality used to be a mental illness. Just because it used to be categorised as one it doesn't mean it is.
1
 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:

Germaine Greer has been consistently and apologetically transphobic, in ways that marginalise and endanger trans people - especially trans women. Not everything is up for debate. Whether trans people exist/are mentally ill/are liars/are attention seekers/choose to be trans/etc/etc/etc are such things.

And if they were - it wouldn't be Germaine Greer who should be debating them. She is not a gender expert or a biologist or a psychologist.
1
 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:

I mean, that's just total bullshit. As you would know if you've ever been around someone with PTSD or similar.
1
 JJL 09 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:


Can someone draw me a table? Something along the lines of:
Columns: Genetic s, Gender, Genitalia, Self-view, External view, Sexual preference, Shorthand for preference
Rows (permutations): XX/XY/other, Female/Male, Female/Male/Trans, Woman/Man/Trans, Hetero/Lesbian/Gay

I'm still not getting the cis-/trans prefix; and still not clear whether a Trans (ftM) in a relation ship with a woman is in a lesbian relationship or a straight one (I think the latter).
 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
> More seriously: We know that identity and personality are largely governed by brain makeup and chemistry. My argument is that what evidence we DO have from this suggests that trans female brains are pretty much the same as male brains and very different from ACTUAL female brains.

Naw it doesn't.

> No. Has a man who identifies as a woman grown up having the female experience? No. I can identify as GC all I want, but it doesn't make me him. Simply identifying as something does not make you it, no matter how much you believe it.

What is female experience of growing up? It pretty much varies for every kid on the planet.

I know this was Jons point, but > >Whether an outsider applies the label "woman" "trans woman" or "mentally ill man" isn't going to change the fact that this person is psychologically female but physically male.

As with all the intersex chat - there are 4/5 things that people use to assign a gender at birth. I, for one, have never checked my chromosomes, hormone levels define secondary sex characteristics, and the rest is just organs [developed due to hormonal levels in the womb] so how do we know whether I have a 'male' or 'female' body (using your phrasing - or 'physically male/female').

> Either way, categorising them as "ill" is probably helpful right now in that it helps them get a cure (hormone therapy).

No, it's not helpful at all. It leads to lack of medical treatment, admittance to psychiatric hospitals, things such as transgender 'cures' (think electric shock therapy, routine and consistent assault, mandatory conversion therapy), and trans people being locked up in cells.
Post edited at 13:56
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 Postmanpat 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

> Germaine Greer has been consistently and apologetically transphobic, in ways that marginalise and endanger trans people - especially trans women. Not everything is up for debate. Whether trans people exist/are mentally ill/are liars/are attention seekers/choose to be trans/etc/etc/etc are such things.

Can you show us the evidence for her her being "sceptical" as opposed to "phobic" and can you explain why the things you list are "not up for debate". Is it your view that the debate by Jon,neuromance,jen and so forth should not be happening?

> And if they were - it wouldn't be Germaine Greer who should be debating them. She is not a gender expert or a biologist or a psychologist.

So is it your view that no subject that requires expert knowledge should be debated by anyone not an "expert" and that acquiring such knowledge second hand from "experts" does not qualify somebody to join the debate?

1
 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:
see her quote here - http://i-d.vice.com/en_gb/article/why-are-so-many-feminists-transphobic?utm_campaign=idfbuk&utm_medi...

"just because you lop off your d**k and then wear a dress doesn't make you a f****** woman."

These things aren't up for debate because trans people do exist, some will probably mentally ill because they are just people - but their gender is not a mental illness, again some will be liars but not about their gender, as with attention seekers. No-one would choose to be trans - to be trans is to live a life which marginalises you from the community, potentially loses you your friends/family/job/freedom/freedom from attack/rights under law in a lot of countries. No-one would choose that.

To debate trans lives on a platform, like the one denied to Greer, one has to have experience and knowledge of them. Therefore they either must be trans themselves or be experts in trans lives/the things mentioned. Greer has no such knowledge. In any case, she doesn't bring debate - she just says hateful things. This debate is about peoples lives. It's literally whether trans people exist. It's baffling.
Post edited at 14:03
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 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:

> I quite agree with the no-one is ever "born a man" or "born a woman". But you are born male, female or intersex.

Did someone check your chromosomes at birth? Unless you are intersex it's pretty unlikely that they did..


> Even though later you may (not opening the argument on whether people necessarily have a choice) present, either through how you act/look or a level of gender reassignment, as a man / male or a woman / Female or switch between the two.

> Having transgender (MtF - full and partial) friends, I always think of them as "she", and treat them no different to any other girl with which I am friends with. If you asked me if they were a man or a Girl/Woman then the answer would be Girl/Woman, if you asked me if they were Male or female then i would probably say "do you mean genetically?"

> if you said "yes" then the answer would be Male, if you said "no" the answer would be female..

Really? You consider a person who they are because of their genetics? That's kinda weird - as I said above - most people have never had their chromosomes checked, and you seem to be reducing everyone to them?

1
 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to JJL:

The important things are:

What gender someone tells you they are if you ask
What sexuality someone tells you they are if you ask.

That's it =-)

xx/xy are irrelevant, don't worry about that. Don't worry about genitals either - they're only your concern if you are sleeping with the person in question.
trans people can be women, men, or neither.
A trans woman is a woman - if she fancies only men she is straight, if she fancies women she is gay, if she fancies people of any gender she is bi.
The opposite with trans men.

Cis is latin, means 'same' or 'same sided'. So if your gender is the 'same' as that assigned you at birth you are cis.
trans is also latin - means 'opposite' or 'across/other sided'. if your gender is 'opposite' (or different at all) from that assigned at birth you are trans.

ok?

2
In reply to JJL:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Symmetrical_5-set_Venn_diagram.svg

Just replace ABCDE as you see fit

Joking aside it doesn't really matter people are just people, you find out about people by asking them about themselves and they tell you.
Post edited at 14:20
 Goucho 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:

> So is it your view that no subject that requires expert knowledge should be debated by anyone not an "expert" and that acquiring such knowledge second hand from "experts" does not qualify somebody to join the debate?

If that is the case, then that's UKC finished
 Postmanpat 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:


> "just because you lop off your d**k and then wear a dress doesn't make you a f****** woman."

That's it? A bit of Anglo saxon language to highlight her opinion and she is "transphobic"? Why is this "phobic?

> These things aren't up for debate because trans people do exist, some will probably mentally ill because they are just people - but their gender is not a mental illness, again some will be liars but not about their gender, as with attention seekers. No-one would choose to be trans - to be trans is to live a life which marginalises you from the community, potentially loses you your friends/family/job/freedom/freedom from attack/rights under law in a lot of countries. No-one would choose that.

In which case the argument can easily be won. So why should it not be debated? Is Ms.Greer making these arguments? What, incidentally, is the universally agreed definition of "mentally ill"?

> To debate trans lives on a platform, like the one denied to Greer, one has to have experience and knowledge of them. Therefore they either must be trans themselves or be experts in trans lives/the things mentioned. Greer has no such knowledge. In any case, she doesn't bring debate - she just says hateful things. This debate is about peoples lives. It's literally whether trans people exist. It's baffling.

I've not followed it very closely. Where did Ms.Greer say that trans people "don't exist".

If only trans people can discuss trans lives on a platform to what other areas of debate does this apply? Religion, politics, sexuality. Can there be debates about history given that allknowledge on it by defuintion must be second or third hand?

What counts as "knowledge"? A degree? A PhD? a professorship? a lifetime of study?

4
 Postmanpat 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Goucho:

> If that is the case, then that's UKC finished

That may be the upside. we can get on with our lives
 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:

*sigh*. Darling, I made it simple with one link. literally google it for more. Again, it is clear why that is transphobic. Even you are not old enough to not know that -phobic doesn't mean fear in this context. And even if she had said that sentence like this 'gender confirmation surgery doesn't make a trans woman a woman' it would be still transphobic. Because of the very idea that people are reduced to genitals, and a trans womans life/gender transition is solely about her genitals.

Like with all groups, the people debating should be members of the group - or should be nominated by that group, armed with knowledge from the group. This is information given from the group, and facts/consensus brought about by the group. You do not ask 100 footballers what climbers are like then base ideas on that. Asking 100 cis people what trans people are like, then basing info on that is equally as redic.

It is properly ridiculous to read a 100+ post thread in which people debate your life without knowing it at all, or knowing anything about trans lives. Actually properly ridiculous.
3
 Postmanpat 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

> *sigh*. Darling, I made it simple with one link. literally google it for more. Again, it is clear why that is transphobic. Even you are not old enough to not know that -phobic doesn't mean fear in this context. And even if she had said that sentence like this 'gender confirmation surgery doesn't make a trans woman a woman' it would be still transphobic. Because of the very idea that people are reduced to genitals, and a trans womans life/gender transition is solely about her genitals.
>
No, that some people have perverted the meaning of a word doesn't mean that everybody else should accept it. "Phobic" still has a clear dictionary meaning. Unless you can explain what "phobic" means when it no longer means "phobic" it's difficult to know what evidence to look for.
So what does "phobic" mean in your terminology?


> Like with all groups, the people debating should be members of the group - or should be nominated by that group, armed with knowledge from the group. This is information given from the group, and facts/consensus brought about by the group. You do not ask 100 footballers what climbers are like then base ideas on that. Asking 100 cis people what trans people are like, then basing info on that is equally as redic.

So, only footballers can discuss football in public or nominated by the well known football consensus? How about criminals? Can people only debate criminality if they are criminals or have been nominated by criminals according to the "criminal consensus"?
You don't think that this might rather limit the flow of ideas and information on such topics?

> It is properly ridiculous to read a 100+ post thread in which people debate your life without knowing it at all, or knowing anything about trans lives. Actually properly ridiculous.

No doubt, but could you please answer my questions?

3
In reply to Conf#2:

why would that be relevant if someone check or not, just because someone doesn't check chromosomes doesn't mean they aren't what they are.

Second, if you are XY your genetically male, that doesn't magically change, that is not to say that as an individual anyone needs to live their life, be defined by or think of themselves as a male if that is the case.

If you ask me in any other aspect of how they are as a person then the answer is no they are female, you ask me genetically then XY chromosomes the answer is genetically male.









1
 Conf#2 09 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:

I suppose my point was that you do not know the chromosomes of people around you - the trans woman you talk of could have XXY chromosomes for all you know. So why would you ask if someone is asking about your pals chromosomes or their gender? And how do you know them? Like, it's just not relevant - is what I mean.
1
 Postmanpat 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

Ms.Greer, incidentally, taking up your arguments, would presumably argue that since transgender women (I hope that is the right term) are not actually women they have no right to discuss being a woman.

This is the rather problematic conclusion of stopping such discussions except within said groups.

Whilst we're at it,presumably feminists (in fact all women) should presumably stop commenting on the psychology men?
1
 andrewmc 09 Nov 2015
In reply to neuromancer:
> It's not actually as separate or unhelpful as it might seem. I'm making a philosophical point. How do we know George Clooney is George Clooney? What if I had reconstructive surgery and I looked identical to him, including adjustments to my vocal cords e.t.c. And have all the training required to act like him. Am I george clooney? Why not? Because I haven't had his experiences? No. Has a man who identifies as a woman grown up having the female experience? No. I can identify as GC all I want, but it doesn't make me him. Simply identifying as something does not make you it, no matter how much you believe it.

That isn't a fair argument.

Suppose I want to be a famous dog called Rover. I build myself a dog body and have my brain transplanted into it. If you get too hung up on the brain thing supposed I transfer my mind into the dog brain. I have doggy plastic surgery to look just like Rover, sound like Rover, and I learn to act just like Rover.

Am I now Rover? Well no, because like you say even if I became identical to Rover I still wouldn't be Rover because you can't become another individual.

But am I now a dog? Arguably yes (albeit an unusually smart one)...

You can change what you are, and an awful lot of it is personal choice rather than biology. How you interact with society is usually much more important than whether you have a Y chromosome or your testosterone levels, or whether your genital stick outwards, go inwards, or do a bit of both/neither.
Post edited at 14:59
2
 andrewmc 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:
Part of the reason gender testing is very rarely done in sports is because of the fallout when people get a different result to what they were expecting, sometimes with no idea that there was anything unusual about them.
Post edited at 15:01
In reply to Conf#2:

No that's true you don't generally know unless you ask someone about themselves.

It was also a hypothetical question it isn't one that has come up. I think the point was that to me male and female have a in part scientific definition which relates to absolute genetics so it depends on how your interpret the question.

 JJL 09 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:


> Just replace ABCDE as you see fit

> Joking aside it doesn't really matter people are just people, you find out about people by asking them about themselves and they tell you.

People are just people... and I do take them as I find them. However a whole new nomenclature has sprung up and I want to make sure I don't offend anyone inadvertantly!
 andrewmc 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:

> No, that some people have perverted the meaning of a word doesn't mean that everybody else should accept it. "Phobic" still has a clear dictionary meaning. Unless you can explain what "phobic" means when it no longer means "phobic" it's difficult to know what evidence to look for.

'phobic' isn't a word.
1
 Postmanpat 09 Nov 2015
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> 'phobic' isn't a word.

So why is it in the Oxford Dictionary meaning "having or involving an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something" and several other dictionaries?
1
 Yanis Nayu 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

> Germaine Greer has been consistently and apologetically transphobic, in ways that marginalise and endanger trans people - especially trans women. Not everything is up for debate. Whether trans people exist/are mentally ill/are liars/are attention seekers/choose to be trans/etc/etc/etc are such things.

> And if they were - it wouldn't be Germaine Greer who should be debating them. She is not a gender expert or a biologist or a psychologist.

If you are seeking to achieve a consensus among society that trans people are to be fully accepted into that society, you need an open debate about it that includes everyone, not just "experts". You telling people that they are wrong won't work. It's also not for you to determine what is and isn't up for debate. Stifling debate doesn't change people's views; they either think the same but keep their mouths shut or say things they don't mean to avoid criticism.

GG stated that she has no issue with people changing sex and living as a person of the new sex, but that she didn't consider a woman who has been a man to be a woman in the sense that she understands it. How that "endangers" trans women I'm not quite sure.

2
 Goucho 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:
> Ms.Greer, incidentally, taking up your arguments, would presumably argue that since transgender women (I hope that is the right term) are not actually women they have no right to discuss being a woman.

What happens if you were born a Lancastrian, but your chromosomes meant that you were really a Yorkshireman?

Would you be classed as Transpennine?
Post edited at 17:42
 winhill 09 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:

> These things aren't up for debate because trans people do exist,

Greer must know they exist, she is talking about them.

> To debate trans lives on a platform, like the one denied to Greer, one has to have experience and knowledge of them.

Although Greer wasn't there to discuss trans issues or anything but she has experience.

> It's literally whether trans people exist. It's baffling.

Have some feminists come up with a new meaning or definition or interpretation of Existence?

One of Corbyn's shadow ministers, Emily Thornberry, said the same thing about the passport pictures, although 2 out of 9 pictures featured women, she said 'We exist'. But we would know women exist because they had 2 out of 9 pictures.

How can someone we have knowledge of be said not to exist? It really doesn't make the slightest sense at all.

It looks like the Voldemort Effect, where just mentioning a word means that the sky will fall in and terrible things, such as non-existence, will follow.

It happened over the migrants, there a young lad going round the media outlets saying that if they called migrants, migrants then people would die as a result. If they called them refugees then they wouldn't ( the BBC had a disclaimer up on every story explaining their language).

In fact what happened was Merkel called them refugees and more died, not fewer.
1
 Yanis Nayu 09 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

I'm intrigued to know how if you're born a man, but think you're a woman, how you reference it without referring to the sort of stereotypes of what being a woman is which would be criticised in other debates about gender.
1
 CasWebb 09 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:

Curious then as to how you would label somebody with XY chromosomes but whose body was incapable of responding to testosterone produced because of the Y chromosome and so developed in the womb as purely female. This does happen, along with a lot of other variations, showing that it is overly simplistic to label everybody as male or female.
 Angry Bird 10 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I'm intrigued to know why this is beyond your comprehension? Let me break it down in to bite sized chunks for you.

Nobody is born a man.

Ever! (Unless you know something about the Second Coming that none of the rest of us do?)

If someone is born apparently male, but grows up feeling they are female, they are not a man.

They are a trans woman.

That is the definition of a trans woman.

OK? Now, similarly, nobody is born a woman.

Ever!

If someone is born apparently female, but grows up feeling they are male, they are not a woman.

They are a trans man.

That is the definition of a trans man.

It's really not that difficult!

The whole point of what we've been discussing is that you/me/we are not competent to decide for them that they are a man or a woman.

The nature of the condition is that they have to self identify as trans, and all you/me/we have to do is believe them.

It has nothing to do with stereotypes, or what anyone's definition is of what it means to be a man or a woman. We probably all have slightly different definitions of that.

I recognise that all this may be rather new for you, so here's an analogy that might help. It's a true story. Once I met a Nigerian man who was an albino. He might have appeared to be white, but he identified as black (by reason of his ethnicity, cultural upbringing, etc.) Would you have dogmatically insisted that this man was white? I would hope not. Furthermore, this man had had a difficult time growing up as a result of his albinism. His experience of growing up had been different from that of non-albino children. That didn't make his experience of growing up the same as that of a white person though.

Best Wishes,

Jen
4
 CasWebb 10 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

And for all those who think it is simple, here is another examplehttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11874711/The-astonishing-village-where-little-g...
1
 Yanis Nayu 10 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

To be honest, I could quote that back at you and say "If someone is born with a nob and bollocks, they're a man, simple!" with a similar lack of explanation and it would be about as useful as what you've just said.

The question I was asking was about how trans people identify with the sex opposite to which they have born, and how they do that without referencing the stereotypes so frowned upon in other gender politics debates. You haven't explained that at all.
1
In reply to CasWebb:

My point is genetics are genetics, just because you may appear to be or act as a girl or a woman. genetically you are male. That does not matter in how and individual feels or how they interact with the world. It is just a fact, it doesn't change.

The article you quote is quite clear on the science behind it the children mentioned are male but appear to be female, until they hit puberty when the second surge of testosterone hits and they grow a penis.

If you are XY you are genetically male, but that doesnt actually matter except when you talk about science and facts about individuals genetics
1
 Offwidth 10 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:

Thats not stictly true even from what we know in science: read the intersex wikipedia link again and its sources. I do think that if we want to neatly box up exact contributions of biochemistry in development from genetic and hormonal factors, separately from those of gender mindedness and other psychological differences (especially the weird and wonderful complexity of sexual preferences) that science certainly seems to need much more time in helping to resolve these nature versus nurture style debates.

In the meantime it seems to me we have to help everyone with clear problems the best we can and cut out all these unhelpful streotypes like gender being black and white.
2
In reply to Offwidth:

yes it is...the wikipedia intersex page quite clearly says " during fertilization, the sperm adds either an x(female) or a Y (male) chromosome to the X in the Ovum. This determines the genetic sex of the embryo."....then "there is sometimes an incongruity between genetic (or chromosomal) and phenotypic ( or physical appearance) sex.

Yes the view is challenged that XY determines the biological sex, but then all views on any subject are...but i am not talking about hormones or their expression or enzymes I'm talking genetics .

2
 Offwidth 10 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:

So what genetic sex are those people who are not XX or XY or those who are XY with significant Y chromosone differences or damage?
1
In reply to Offwidth:

In genetics you have a Y chromosome then genetically you are male.
4
 CasWebb 11 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:

True, but let me ask a slightly different question. If a person is genetically male but, as in the first question I raised, they developed in the womb as a fully functional female due to the inability to react to the presence of male hormones, are they a man or a woman?
 Offwidth 11 Nov 2015
In reply to DrIan:

Why is that the case (if you excuse the pun)? If part of what makes genetic maleness in the Y chromosone is damaged or its effect overwritten (in either direction) why doesn't that potentially form a new gender. The science I work under requires disprovable hypotheses that best meet experimental data, not dogmatic labels.
 andrewmc 11 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:
> >> No, that some people have perverted the meaning of a word doesn't mean that everybody else should accept it. "Phobic" still has a clear dictionary meaning.

> > 'phobic' isn't a word.

> So why is it in the Oxford Dictionary meaning "having or involving an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something" and several other dictionaries?

And by that argument, also from the Oxford dictionary:
'transphobic: Intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people'

Nothing in there about fear, unless you think the Oxford dictionary are one of those people who have perverted the meaning of a word? Incidentally the people who edit the Oxford dictionary are the last people who would want to influence language in any way; they know that their task is to document usage, not prescribe it.
Post edited at 09:53
1
In reply to Offwidth:
> Why is that the case (if you excuse the pun)? If part of what makes genetic maleness in the Y chromosone is damaged or its effect overwritten (in either direction) why doesn't that potentially form a new gender. The science I work under requires disprovable hypotheses that best meet experimental data, not dogmatic labels.

If we take the social and emotional aspects of gender out of it and think about a factory with a machine that was expected to make nuts or bolts but in 1% of the cases the manufacturing process went wrong you wouldn't define the faulty ones as a new class of fastener.

If you needed to classify the faulty items you could either say 'its a nut if the machine was given the pattern to make a nut' (which is analogous to looking at the chromosomes) or you could look at the outcome and say 'its a nut if it looks more like a nut than a bolt' (which is analogous to looking at the sex organs). But its not unexpected or surprising that the nut and bolt labels are hard to apply to some of the items where there was a problem during manufacturing.

Post edited at 10:07
 Postmanpat 11 Nov 2015
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> And by that argument, also from the Oxford dictionary:

> 'transphobic: Intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people'

> Nothing in there about fear, unless you think the Oxford dictionary are one of those people who have perverted the meaning of a word? Incidentally the people who edit the Oxford dictionary are the last people who would want to influence language in any way; they know that their task is to document usage, not prescribe it.

So, you now acknowledge that both phobic and transphobic are, indeed, words, and since "aversion" is in the thesaurus as a synonym for "dislike", that we agree on their definitions.

But we are still trying to find evidence that Ms.Greer has "Intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people" ie.is transphobic as opposed to having scepticism about their claims to be the "women" in the same way as "non trans women". Can you offer some?
Post edited at 10:12
In reply to Case:

Woman.

Which is partly the point I was making, genetics is one thing how you represent to the world is another.
 andrewmc 11 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:
I will begin by saying that I believe trans people should have the right to live as either or neither gender without discrimination. If you disagree with this then arguing about whether or not Greer has been prejudiced against transgender people is not possible (since we will not agree on what constitutes 'prejudice').

'[In 1997 Greer] opposed the offer of a Newnham College fellowship to physicist Rachael Padman, arguing that Padman had been born male, and should therefore not be admitted to a women-only college' [Wiki]

Greer here attempted to prevent a trans person living as their chosen gender; this is discrimination due to prejudice and therefore transphobic.
Post edited at 12:53
1
In reply to Offwidth:

Its still a Y chromosome, it may be a bit shorter or a bit longer and may not work .

Science well that is consensus of academic opinion supported by the best available knowledge at the time an opinion is formed.
 Postmanpat 11 Nov 2015
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> I will begin by saying that I believe trans people should have the right to live as either or neither gender without discrimination. If you disagree with this then arguing about whether or not Greer has been prejudiced against transgender people is not possible (since we will not agree on what constitutes 'prejudice').

I agree with that although I'm not really sure they should have the right to keep switching back and forth according to each situation, but that is a minor quibble.

> '[In 1997 Greer] opposed the offer of a Newnham College fellowship to physicist Rachael Padman, arguing that Padman had been born male, and should therefore not be admitted to a women-only college' [Wiki]

> Greer here attempted to prevent a trans person living as their chosen gender; this is discrimination due to prejudice and therefore transphobic.

Good example but it's not really clear cut because Padman had chosen (one assumes it was a choice) to remain legally a man. Greer's argument appears not to have been based on Padman having been born a man (physically) but on her remaining a man legally. I wonder what Greer would have said had Padman made the legal change.

I can't help wondering whether this all stems from Greer believing that "men hate women" and that her aversion is not to trans people but to men.

 CasWebb 11 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:

Minor (or not) legal point, but in 1997 there was no legal right to change a person's gender unless there had been a clear medical mistake made at birth and trans people rarely qualified. The Gender Recognition Act only came into effect in 2004.
 Angry Bird 11 Nov 2015
In reply to Postmanpat:
> ...I'm not really sure they should have the right to keep switching back and forth according to each situation...

No, people do not have this right! Neither would any genuine trans person ever want to 'switch back and forth.' They can only change their legal gender to their affirmed gender if it is a permanent change anyway.

> ...Padman had chosen (one assumes it was a choice) to remain legally a man.

Just to clarify the situation in 1997, Rachael Padman couldn't 'chose' to remain legally a man: she was unable to change her legal gender until the Gender Recognition Act became law (in 2003, if I remember correctly). [Sorry, just noticed this comment had been made already... ...come of a very slow internet connection!]

> I can't help wondering whether this all stems from Greer believing that "men hate women" and that her aversion is not to trans people but to men.

Interesting point, but irrespective of the source of Ms Greer's aversion to trans women (whether or not it's because she considers them men), there is no doubt that she has still made transphobic comments. Under our current legal definitions, the perpetrator's motivation is immaterial: if a third party feels her comments were transphobic, the label applies.
Post edited at 21:05
 Yanis Nayu 11 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

> Under our current legal definitions, the perpetrator's motivation is immaterial: if a third party feels her comments were transphobic, the label applies.

Presuming you to be right, how utterly perverse. How can a legal system operate that way? Where are the checks and balances?
 Angry Bird 11 Nov 2015
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

I don't entirely disagree with you!

If one were to, say, assault someone who happened to have a 'protected characteristic,' and either the victim or a bystander believed the assault was motivated as a result of that characteristic, you'd have a very hard time trying to proving to the court that wasn't the case. And you'd be looking at a more severe punishment than the assault would warrant if the victim had not had that characteristic.
 CasWebb 11 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

Technically everybody has a protected characteristic so just hitting somebody isn't sufficient, there has to be some other element, e.g verbal.The protected characteristics covered by the Equality duty are:

Age
Disability
Gender reassignment
Marriage and civil partnership (but only in respect of eliminating unlawful discrimination
Pregnancy and maternity
Race (includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality)
Religion or belief (includes lack of belief)
Sex
Sexual orientation
Publication of Information

I would also say that if you assault somebody you deserve everything our democratic society can throw at you.
 winhill 11 Nov 2015
In reply to Angry Bird:

> there is no doubt that she has still made transphobic comments. Under our current legal definitions, the perpetrator's motivation is immaterial: if a third party feels her comments were transphobic, the label applies.

This isn't the legal case at all. After the Stephen Lawrence Report the Met decided to record all crimes where the victim felt race played a part as racist incidents, it didn't make all those crimes racist, rather that the decision to record them as such lay with the victim not the police.

Whether they are prosecuted as such remains a decision for the CPS.

Of course the Met was found to be institutionally racist so it is in their interest to claim they are no longer racist and are, in fact now experts on race.

For the rest of us, I think the notion that they were wrong about race prior to SL and they are still wrong about race now, is a more likely scenario.
 Angry Bird 11 Nov 2015

Obviously. And I think (hope?) you realise I wasn't actually condoning anybody assaulting anyone, merely illustrating a point!
Post edited at 22:44
 winhill 11 Nov 2015
In reply to CasWebb:

> Technically everybody has a protected characteristic so just hitting somebody isn't sufficient, there has to be some other element, e.g verbal.The protected characteristics covered by the Equality duty are:

The Equality Act covers 3 areas, provision of services, employment and education, it has nothing to do with criminal law regarding assault.
 winhill 11 Nov 2015
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> I will begin by saying that I believe trans people should have the right to live as either or neither gender without discrimination. If you disagree with this

But it isn't prejudice that you're discussing, it's discrimination, and that is an entirely different thing.

Some discrimination may be perfectly permissible, even under the Law, women's organisations, racially specific groups etc and even then, what exactly constitutes discrimination may be a thing that lawyers and courts decide, it's contested.

Similarly prejudice, it's equally contested, so unless you're clear what you mean it's not obvious what people are signing up for.

The latest fad at the NUS seems to be outlawing men dressing as women:

( 2015 NUS Women's) Conference Resolves:

1: To issue a statement condemning 'cross-dressing' as a mode of fancy dress.
2: ...to encourage Unions to ban clubs and societies from holding events which permit or encourage (cisgender) members to use cross-dressing as a form of fancy dress.

Rather surprisingly Free Pride Glasgow did the same thing this year

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/07/20/pride-event-bans-drag-queens-in-case-they-are-offensive/

But like the NUS, back tracked and decided trans drag artists should be permitted

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/07/21/pride-event-overturns-ban-on-drag-queens-but-only-if-theyre-tr...

So when you say no discrimination does that mean my Kylie meets the Cheeky Girls party piece is transphobic and prejudiced and discriminatory and endangers the entire planet, or not?



 Postmanpat 11 Nov 2015
In reply to CasWebb:

> Minor (or not) legal point, but in 1997 there was no legal right to change a person's gender unless there had been a clear medical mistake made at birth and trans people rarely qualified. The Gender Recognition Act only came into effect in 2004.

Thanks, the law seems to have been a complete muddle. Nevertheless, Greer's issue seems to be not with trans people but the assertion that trans women are the same as non trans women. Since at that stage the law was on her side she sided with the law.

I think that has much more to do with her views on women and her negative views on men or at least the way men regard women, as it does on trans women. I can absolutely see why trans women get angry about it, but it's a moot point whether her views are "transphobic".
 CasWebb 12 Nov 2015
In reply to winhill:

"does that mean my Kylie meets the Cheeky Girls party piece is transphobic and prejudiced and discriminatory and endangers the entire planet"

Nope, just very very disturbing
1
 Conf#2 12 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

This is probs of help re: GG
https://medium.com/@juliaserano/how-to-write-a-political-correctness-run-amok-article-9b828d443018

And for the difference between someone being paid and given a platform to talk about things they know nothing about, which are harmful to an already f*cked community, and people using their free time to debate such a thing on a small forum with little consequence and no publicity: I think it is pretty obvious.
2
 Conf#2 12 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Also of relevance - in a decade y'all will no longer be debating this stuff because it will seem so obvious. It will be questioned how anyone ever saw trans people as anything other than the gender they are. All it takes is for you to step back for a second, read experiences of trans people (from their own written accounts, not from media reporting on them which is most likely woefully wrong), and do some learning.

You're not expected to know everything about everyone, but this is a simple thing really - and if it's a new concept to you then all you need to do is read up on it. Just like every human rights debate in history.

Anyway, I've got better things to do. Like run classes for people who actually want to learn how to treat their transgender staff and students better, plan memorial speeches for trans day of remembrance (next week http://tdor.info/ ), give people info on how to access community and medical support, and prevent kids from harming themselves because society treats them so badly. I'm sure you keyboard warriors can work this out on your owns.
3
 Postmanpat 12 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:
> Anyway, I've got better things to do. Like run classes for people who actually want to learn how to treat their transgender staff and students better, plan memorial speeches for trans day of remembrance (next week http://tdor.info/ ), give people info on how to access community and medical support, and prevent kids from harming themselves because society treats them so badly. I'm sure you keyboard warriors can work this out on your owns.

Well it's not hard is it? Treat people as you would like to be treated in their situation, which of course, includes open and free debate of things one disagrees with.

You've simply avoided any of the issues about free speech and open debate which have been posed.
Post edited at 12:59
1
 neuromancer 13 Nov 2015
In reply to Conf#2:
Repeat after me: you do not need to be a member of aa specific group to think critically. That is moronic.

You are talking bullshit.
Post edited at 00:04
1
 tdan0504 14 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

Two of the girls in our climbing group are partners and this is not an issue in any way. To the rest of us, they are our friends and fellow climbers.
Climbers generally are some of the most laid back, welcoming and tolerant people you'll ever meet, so I don't think exclusively LGBT climbing clubs are all that necessary.
1
 smolders 15 Nov 2015
In reply to UKC Articles:

I am one of the contributors to the article (Martin Oldham). I haven't got a great deal to add to what I said, other than to thank people for taking the time to read the article and to comment. And to thank Natalie again for writing it.

I feel this has been a positive thing to raise the visibility of climbers who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender on UKC and to have the opportunity to talk about ourselves and our experiences. Greater awareness of diversity helps towards being more inclusive, so I would hope that this article contributes to breaking down barriers rather than creating distinctions. I don't see myself as a gay climber, but as a climber who happens to be gay, or a gay man who is also a climber, depending on which way you look at it.

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