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What is gender?

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, November 11th, 2021 - 152 comments
Categories: feminism, gender, gender critical feminism - Tags: , , , , , , ,

University of Sussex philosophy professor Kathleen Stock talks in this 2020 video with two trans women, Dr Sian Lacey Taylder and Emma. At one point she is asked “what is gender?” and gives a four minute overview of the word ‘gender’ in the context of the sex/gender identity culture war (starts at 53m)

It’s a word that has about four or five different meanings, so, a lot of the time people are just simply at cross purposes in a very banal way, because one of them’s using the word to mean one thing and the other one’s using it to mean something else. That’s half the problem.

Stock gives four definitions:

Sex: gender is used to mean sex, the polite word for sex when people don’t want to use the word that also means sexual relations.

Stereotypes: from 1970s feminism, gender is the set of sex-based social stereotypes of being male or female, masculinity or femininity. The roles varies from culture to culture. Females are supposed to be “passive, kind, maternal, stay at home”. Males stereotypes are “active, dominant, out there in the world… not overly emotional, quite repressed”. People conform or don’t conform to those.

Gender as a social role: as described above, but where the social roles are now attached to the words ‘woman‘ and ‘man‘. This meaning derives from academic feminism in the late 20th Century, the way to get out of biological determinism (the idea that females are destined to stay home, do housework and have babies) was to define women as social roles. The problem of biological determinism wasn’t solved, and it created a new problem,

“Now academics are talking as if being a woman is a social role, or conforming to a social role, or accepting a social role, or having a social role imposed upon one by society”.

Women are no longer biological. Stock considers this move by academic feminism to be mad.

Gender identity: which has nothing directly to do with the above. In her book Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism Stock defines gender identity,

According to this theory, it is not the process of gender reassignment that makes you trans but, as Stonewall puts it: ‘A person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else … which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth.’  That is, it’s an inner feeling. It is your gender identity rather than your sex that is considered to be what makes you man, woman or non-binary.

Stock concludes her answer to the question,

When people are arguing about gender, quite often one of them is talking about sex, one of them is talking about social stereotypes, and a third one is talking about gender identity, and they’re all shouting at each other.

It’s worth noting that in the war, both sides have weaponised semantics, and at times use their own definition of the word gender while completely ignoring the definition of the person they are arguing with. Let’s not do that.

152 comments on “What is gender? ”

  1. Visubversa 1

    There is no more evidence for the existence of a separate and innate "gender identity" which supersedes biological reality than there is for the existence of an "immortal soul". Gender ideology is just that – an ideology – a belief system. The problems occur when the levers of the State are used to privilege and enforce a belief system. We no longer do it with religions – why are we in a rush to do it with gender ideology?

    • weka 1.1

      it's weird, and has parallels with covid denial in terms of ideological clinging. If that weren't so, Stats NZ wouldn't be replacing sex data with gender, they'd be adding gender data alongside gathering sex data. Why we can't just be honest that this is ideological and social, I don't know.

      • weka 1.1.1

        this is a good example. People believe that sex can be changed, but won't look at the ways in which this isn't true, because of ideology. We then have the crazy conversations around definitions, and it takes a long time to get to any kind of understanding if that ever even happens. Mostly people retrench into their own definitions (hence the post).

        • mikesh

          "If x is material it can be changed."

          This, while true, doesn't necessarily imply that all changes are possible. For example, I cannot change myself by growing wings and flying around like a bird. Perhaps that may be possible one day but we haven't yet figured out how to do it.

          We haven't yet figured out how to effect a complete sex change: transexual men cannot, for example, become pregnant.

          • weka

            every cell apparently has a sex too, so good luck with changing that. I personally don't think it will ever be possible, and why would one want to anyway? Transhumanism is fucking dangerous as well.

            • weka

              the thing that bothers me about this line of thinking (that one say science will enable people to really change sex) is that it presumes that women are just a bunch of parts. We're not. And the degree of anger from some women on the subject is partly explained by that.

              It's that thinking that is killing the whole planet too.

      • francesca 1.1.2

        If its true that transpeople have the same rates of offending as their birth sex, watch out for a rise in crimes by women, and a fall in crimes by men

        • Sabine

          This might be changing. – and yes, its the daily fail, but as always ever stopped clock is correct twice. And fwiw, non of our established media will report on this, lest they get Stonewalled and lose their jobs.


          so read it with a grain of salt or maybe even a bag there of.

        • Visubversa

          It is true. There was a small flurry among the UK gutter press while ago about a supposed increase in sexual offenses against children carried out by women. It sank like a stone when the most basic research showed that it was all about men who claimed a female identity. There has recently been publicity about the 436 cases of rape recorded in the UK between 2012 and 2018 supposedly carried out by women. Rape is defined there as a crime that can only be committed with a penis. Fortunately, the Government there is now requiring that crimes be recorded accurately by sex.

          • francesca

            Stats nz needs to take note

          • Blazer

            Sexual assault can be committed by non males and can attract the same penalties as rape.

            • Visubversa

              That is true – but as I said above – rape can only be committed with a penis. There are crimes relating to sexual assault – and others in relation to aiding and abetting. But rape is specific – a penis has to be used.

              • mikesh

                A female assailant doesn't need a penis as long as she is raping a male.

                • weka

                  Sexual violation defined

                  (1) Sexual violation is the act of a person who—

                  (a) rapes another person; or

                  (b) has unlawful sexual connection with another person.

                  (2) Person A rapes person B if person A has sexual connection with person B, effected by the penetration of person B’s genitalia by person A’s penis,—

                  (a) without person B’s consent to the connection; and

                  (b) without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.

                  (3) Person A has unlawful sexual connection with person B if person A has sexual connection with person B—

                  (a) without person B’s consent to the connection; and

                  (b) without believing on reasonable grounds that person B consents to the connection.

                  (4) One person may be convicted of the sexual violation of another person at a time when they were married to each other.

                  Section 128: replaced, on 20 May 2005, by section 7 of the Crimes Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 41).


      • Blazer 1.1.3

        Not sure whether ITV is regarded as a credible source but any comment on this…100 genders!

    • Anker 1.2

      Visubversa for me you have nailed it.

      "Gender ideology is just that, an ideology a belief system. The problems occur when the levers of state are used to privilege and enforce a belief system"

      And I would add that activists scare people into agreeing with their belief system by punishing the dissenters ("your transphobic" or vicious on-line attacks) or manage to convince others its about trans rights.

      I am not a Christian, (haven't been since I was a young girl) nor do I have a religious faith. I absolutely believe people have a right to hold their religious beliefs and have them respected. My husband is a practicing Catholic. He cops a lot of shit about the Catholic Church for their serious failings particularly sex crimes. Rightly so and he of course agrees that priest etc have committed heinous acts and got away with it because their actiions were covered up. I utterly repect his right to his faith. He never tries to impose it on me.

      Gender ideology activiists do the opposite. They try to compel others to accept their beliefs and claim they are bigoted for not doing so. Punish them.

      So like with my husbands Catholism, people who adhered to Gender Ideology are entitled to their view. I respect you are entitled to hold your beliefs even if I disagree with them. But I resist having this ideology imposed on us (just as I would if people of religious faiths attempted to legislate for it, or impose it on me.

  2. francesca 2

    I don’t actually think sex and gender are entirely separate

    And rather than identifying as a woman , I experience being a woman

    Part of that experience has been growing up with people treating me a certain way, because of my recognisable femaleness.Hitting puberty(finally) and attracting a lot of attention (much of it unwanted)from males focussing on my breasts, eyeing up my bum, my sex characteristics

    The whole drama of periods, and hiding the fact that you’re having a period, not just out of some kind of shame, tho that was part of it too, but because it signalled you as being now of a fertile age. And feeling a bit protective about that It’s not an easy time emerging into womanhood.Its helped to shape me

    The struggle with a partner (back in the natural woman is being bare foot and pregnant 70,s) over contraception .Pretty Amish!

    Always being recognised and then being responded to as a woman because of my physical characteristics, whether or not I took on the conventional female roles.

    Having to be wary of predatory males, because I was smaller, and vunerable and had the anatomy to trigger them .I’m not going in to the violence and threat of violence simply because I was a woman , a lot of us have been there

    All of that and more, , is how come I know I’m a woman, because we’re not born into a vacuum, we’re social beings.There’s also the commonality, the shared experience(again, not identity , experience)the recognition of other women ..

    Is this what trans activists are demanding, that society validate them in these same ways?

    Because unless the mimicry is extremely skilful, its going to seem like more of n intellectual exercise, rather than a felt one.

    So for me, sex and gender are somewhat intertwined, with neither determining abolutely the other

    • weka 2.1

      The gender critical feminists and radfems hold the position that what you are describing is 'gender' enforced by patriarchal systems, and that it is inherently wrong and should be done away with.

      It's my fundamental divergence from GCF. I agree that the patriarchy imposes all sorts of gender roles on women (and men, and trans people), and uses that as a form of control. But I also see gender as the social dynamics that arise out of biology and that are positive eg women give birth and breastfeed and this is a core part of how humanity evolved and exists.

      There are material aspects to that (think bonding and brain development) that cannot be replaced by mechanistic trans humanism (babies being incubated in vitro). The problem is where women are forced or pressured to have babies when they don't want to, and where when women have babies they are both discriminated against and not supported, because patriarchy.

      I think radfems are throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and that there are many experiences of being female that drive culture (and what we might call gender) that we would be embracing if there wasn't so much sexism in the world.

      • francesca 2.1.1

        Biology meets culture , influences gender. I forgot to mention the absolute delight in sharing those experiences with other women.

        Earlier feminism may have made problems for us all when it insisted that there was not much difference between men and women .This was at a time when women objected to being shut out of job markets usually occupied by men

        • weka

          I've spent a lot of time in women's space and groups that were very positive, I definitely belief in the power of women's culture. I think a lot of women haven't had this experience, we're in a really bad place now with the push from the original 90s post-feminist backlash.

          Not sure second wave feminists created much of a problem, it's not like we haven't had decades of work since then that's moved on from that as well as explained why it was necessary. I see it more as neoliberalism co-opting feminism and now corrupting it to its own ends. Hence we're back to blue for boys/pink for girls, the mainstreaming of choice feminism rather than class based feminism, and some people are surprised by radical feminism or even the strength of second wave feminism. That we're this far on from second wave feminism and are still living in largely sexists societies and are now experiencing regression is an indictment of the mainstream rather than feminism.

          • francesca

            Yes Weka.I've been out of it for a long time, a long time just keeping my head above water , sruggling on a low wage to feed and house the kids , then having a long breather as a kind of social hermit.

            I've come back in now, looking in dismay at how bad things have got for girls and women

          • roblogic

            I suspect that part of the attraction of transition, for males, is the prospect of finding supportive networks of women to be a part of. Male culture in NZ is rife with bullying, misogyny, macho posturing, individualism, and denial of emotion. Supportive father figures or male mentors (friends with empathy) are a rare gem.

        • RedLogix

          Earlier feminism may have made problems for us all when it insisted that there was not much difference between men and women .

          For a very long time I was led to understand that the two sexes were really blank slates, and that all the apparent differences were due to social programming – and some trifling variations in plumbing.

          • francesca

            I think that's what Dr Money's work was based on too. It was wrong and devastating for many.

        • Sabine

          Funny, i never took it that way. I always knew, as did my sister who is a butch lesbian, and the nuns who raised me, and my grand nana etc, we always knew that we were physically not at all the same. However, we were the same in learning ability, driving ability, flying ability, being doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc. Which at the time of my coming of age we were still told 'women can't do these things', only men can. And here we are and women drive cars, fly planes, are scientists, lawyers, mechanics, heck when i was a child you could not even be a baker – it was a male dominated industry.

          So i really think that that thinking at the time did not refer to our bodies but our minds, our brains and our abilities to do more jobs then receptions, secretary, nurse, teacher and housewife.

  3. Gender Id overlaps with biology, sexuality, identity (psychology), sexual kinks, social norms, and oppression narratives. It's a rabbit hole where transgenderism is confused with transvestitism and disorders of sexual development.

    The gender movement is a lot like the motley collection of anti-vax protestors at Parliament yesterday – various factions who don't really know what they are doing, but what they have in common is dislike of the "normies"

    • weka 3.1

      I called it ideological clinging above. The dynamic of holding alt opinions alongside an inability to accept critique (No Debate, wtaf lefties).

      I think there's a lot of goodwill and good intention eg towards trans people, but a lot of hypocrisy as well eg throwing women especially lesbians under the bus in the process.

    • mikesh 3.2

      I recently reread Aldous Huxley's Brave New World – over 50 years after my first reading. I had always regarded it as a dystopian novel. but this second reading has led me to think that Huxley himself was somewhat ambivalent on that point; he seems to have been saying that, if we want a stable, frictionless society – apolitical, non classist, non racist, non sexist, etc – then BNW is the sort of society we will need to construct.

      • roblogic 3.2.1

        Iain M Banks' "Culture" novels have a similar libertine streak, where human self-determination is celebrated, but the true rulers are incomprehensibly powerful AI Minds. Because ultimately, what's the difference. Society is always gonna be run by a powerful cabal, so they might as well be benign.

  4. Tricledrown 4

    Nature throws up a wide spectrum of deviation from the norm that's why Humans have a wide spectrum of sexuality.No 2 humans are the same.Its always been that way it was just ignored or brushed under the carpet in the past.

    • roblogic 4.1

      Rubbish. What has "always been that way" is basic biology, i.e. male and female required to perpetuate the species. Nature is more fundamental than nurture.

  5. Michael 5

    A classic left-wing rabbit hole to dive down while the planet burns, our Pacific island neighbours drown and the People's Republic of China gears up to assert itself as a global and regional superpower with nuclear weapons. Of course, squabbling over who is, and who isn't, "male", "female" or "other" is far more important than anything else. No wonder the Right think we're a joke.

    • weka 5.1

      as a woman, I don't take kindly to being told that asserting my sex based rights is squabbling and unimportant.

      Do you really need a list of the ways in which women's rights are a necessity? Maybe try reading some eco feminism on the connections between planet burning and the patriarchy.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Mary Daly's Gyn/Ecology is the oldie but goodie.

      • Sabine 5.1.2

        All issues are more important then the rights of Non Males to exists without Males.

        T'was always so, will always be so.

        To me this gender debate is nothing more then a global push to remove sex based rights from not only women but also men, and thus discrimination on base of sex is no longer an issue and can be done away with.

        Now change your gender and see if you can get that job in Stem as a male. 🙂

    • Red Blooded One 5.2

      @ Michael, the title of the Post is "What is Gender" so you knew what you would be reading about. These people feel passionate about the topic and have every right to discuss it, particularly on a Post dedicated to it. Personally I am grateful to see dedicated Posts on the topic, rather than it monopolizing Open Mike as it can sometimes. All of our ability to "walk and chew gum" means discussions like this do not diminish any other work people are doing regarding world problems. I don't believe it is a Left/Right issue, as a Centre/Leftie I have clashed on more than one occasion on this topic but I don't, for one minute, believe these commenters care about the planet any less than you or I.

  6. Blazer 6

    Stock makes it even more confusing with her 4 definitions.

    No one could deny stereotypes and social roles play a significant role peoples lives and change has been relatively slow in recognising that prejudices need to be dispensed with.

    The biological reality of gender for procreation is also undeniable.

    Semantics is a distraction from simple reality.

    • francesca 6.1

      She's a philosopher, challenging you to think, its her job

      • Blazer 6.1.2

        So what!

        We're all philosophers.cheeky

      • roblogic 6.1.3

        Yes, step 1 for philosophers is defining their terms. Most people don't bother and launch into unhinged twitter rants based on completely silly misreadings of what other people are trying to say.

        Making these seemingly obvious or trivial distinctions clear from the start, saves a lot of time-wasting explanations later. (Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups!)

        • Nic the NZer

          I think Blazer is starting off with the twitter version of philosophy first.

          • Blazer

            I do not participate in twitter myself.

            Definition of philosopher

            '1a: a person who seeks wisdom or enlightenment '

            I do ascribe to this definition…what about …you?

            • Nic the NZer

              You started off saying the simple concise 4 category definitions was confusing and then followed up with a statement which is unclear about which definition of gender its discussing.

              You would fit in well on twitter. Just saying.

    • Puckish Rogue 6.2

      What is gender?

      What is love?

      • Anker 6.2.1

        lol PR and they wonder why we don't want male bodied people in our spaces!

        But of course not all men. The groom looked sweet and respectful

        By the way don't read to much into this post. Just being light hearted!

    • Visubversa 6.3

      The biological reality of SEX for procreation is what is undeniable. Every time that gender is used instead of sex when describing biological reality it adds to the obfuscation and confusion which is deliberately promoted so that definitions (particularly of woman and female) are so blurred and ephemeral that anybody can claim them.

    • mikesh 6.4

      “Stock makes it even more confusing with her 4 definitions.”

      She has left out the grammatical definition, which is the only definition given in my dictionary (the Concise Oxford 1983 edition). I must admit that I never use the word 'gender' in any other way; but perhaps I am an incorrigible pedant.

      • weka 6.4.1

        so what is the CO's definition?

        • mikesh

          The 'CO' defines 'gender' as a term used by grammerians to classify nouns. pronouns and adjectives. The usual classifications are masculine, feminine and neuter. Most words for men or women, or male or female roles, would be given the expected classification, but not all classifications relate to sex. The latin word mensa (table) is classified as feminine, while the greek word potamos (river) is classified as masculine. Children, in greek, (paides), are typically neuter.

          That is the only definition recognized in my Concise Oxford – though that may have changed in later editions. I prefer not to use the word 'sex' when talking about sex – it's not a four letter word. The word 'lesbian', as far as I'm concerned denotes an inhabitant of the Aegean island of Lesbos, very few of whom, I would think, would be female homosexuals.

          • weka

            ok, so you have no way to talk about gender identity and biological sex or the issues arising from the culture war?

            • mikesh

              I can talk about feminine men or masculine women, male or female cross dressers or transexuals. I can talk about male or female homosexuals. I suspect that my terminologies are more precise than the vague term 'gender' (from the greek genus (type)).

            • mikesh

              PS: 'sexuality' is another word that I can use.

  7. Anker 7

    Its not just the biological reality of sex for procreation, it is the difference the sex hormones create in drives, personality and emotional expression.

    I apologize in advance for not providing a link to this.

    One of the studies of personality I have read is that trans men and women retain the traits of their biological sex, even after transitioning.

    I will find the link later and post. Its interesting.

    So I think when the pendullum swung to nuture we over looked the significant contribution of nature.

    • Nic the NZer 7.1

      This was my experience. My colleagues attitudes to dating and sex were quintessentially male and I think a few other attitudes to work also, before and after physically transitioning. Though for a while I only knew them as the she/her they presented as the whole time we worked together.

      I have no idea if they subscribed to gender ideology at all.

    • Sabine 7.2

      Well it makes sense to stay whom you are. One is changing their exterior presentation.

      One trans person i follow says it quite well imho : I present as male for my own comfort and sense of wellbeing, but i am physically still female, and in order to uphold that presentation i will for the rest of my life depend on hormone injections.

      And that is it for all transpeople. And for those that fit under the mantle of 'trans' while not even attempting to even present as their choosen gender, that is in my book the heterosexual male/female who is riding the rainbow gravy train for a bit of attention and queer clout. And these would be the ones that demand that Lesbians start sucking ladydick or gay man be accommodating of manpussy. Or else they be transphobes.

      And in the end, sadly for people who truly suffer dysphoria with their own bodily selfs, these guys, these free loaders are the ones who are most vocal, militant and to some extend violent.

      And as always, transwomen will wake up one day and realise that they have the same rights women have, which is none.

      • Blazer 7.2.1

        ' they have the same rights women have, which is none.'


        • Sabine

          Yes, if you undermine rights based on sex category and you do away with categories such as men and women, it stands to believe that what ever rights are attached to the categories will also fall away.

          I am cynical enough to expect in a world with diminishing resources and scarcity to expect loss of rights rather then an increase. So say for example equal pay, if women are not paid the equivalent to her male counterpart would transwomen also suffer the same fate or even worse? We have rights to prevent that shit. And if one category loses these rights, it stands to believe that the ones that want to be part of that category also stands to lose these rights.

          So i am not hyperventilating here, i am simply just stating the obvious, if those born female don't have any rights that i expect that to also apply to men wanting to be women, with the difference that men can opt out and stay man during working hours and be a women again in their free time and without much fanfare as it was in the old days.

          • Blazer

            You said women don't have rights….that is patent …nonsense.

            • roblogic

              I suspect you are trolling now. Perhaps you are ignorant of sex self-id laws and how they endanger women and girls, who need separate female-only spaces for their own safety. How women's organisations are being undermined and dismantled for not being "inclusive" of males. How girls are assaulted for complaining about boys in the school toilets. How academics are bullied for writing books about women's rights. How lesbian groups are being demolished. How children who are likely to grow up gay, are being sold sterilising hormones as a magic cure. How women in Scotland are getting visits from the police for alleged "transphobia" on social media. How universities are now grooming young women for sex work.

              • weka

                fucking hell, didn't know that about the universities but I guess it was only a matter of time. When prostitution was being legalised in NZ we had the conversations about whether WINZ would be able to recommend sex work to school leavers. Only a matter of time.

              • Blazer

                I was not trolling,just pointing out a b/s statement.

                Regarding the wide range of examples you provide,I admit I am not au fait with them all,and imagine the majority of the population aren't either.

                I still cannot understand exactly what your own position is.

                What are you advocating?

            • roblogic

              This is an incredibly misogynistic moment in history, being driven by a deeply intolerant movement that may have initially been well-intentioned, but is now acting like a puritanical religious cult.

            • weka

              You said women don't have rights….that is patent …nonsense.

              It's Sabine employing rhetoric. Don't take it literally and get to know her style, because she's saying important things.

      • Red Blooded One 7.2.2

        Your third paragraph, Wow, just wow. While you say you have no rights, you clearly are executing your right to be an offence prick as much as any man. Congratulations.

        • Sabine

          lol, i take that as a compliment. 🙂

          anyways, yes i object to men who have a sexual fetish about being women – and who may or may not live that fetish daily or just one wednesdays – to be given unfettered access to all spaces that are single sexed spaces. Full stop there.

          They are not women, they don't even try to be. They just want to be were us women are. And why should women serve as 'props' to some blokes fetish? Seriously.

      • Joanne perkins 7.2.3

        Actually Sabine, us transwomen realise that very early in the piece when we lose our spouse, our children, our jobs, our faith community and most of our lifelong friends. Please don't assume that we somehow just all emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon. The transperson life is hard, bloody hard and to live it with integrity takes a lot of work. I do disagree that we remain the people we were, i.e. with male attitudes in my case and I suspect my friends who are largely Gay and Lesbian, tho not exclusively so, would agree with me. On the other hand a couple of my lesbian friends in particular, when we talk of my past tell me I was never a Man despite the biology so who really knows?

        • francesca

          And I apologise for my stupid joke the other day

          Don't blame you if you don't accept it

        • Brigid

          Wih all due respect, not being a man doesn't make you a woman.

        • Sabine

          You might never been a 'man' other then biologically, but that will not make you a woman.

          I don't speak about you at all, nor your journey or any other particular transperson when i talk about the issues that affect me as a avab in my daily life.

          Feeling like a women does not make you one. It does not change your sex, nor your biology, nor your brain. Taking estrogen to fool your body to feminize does not make you a women. Getting plastic surgery for breasts or a neo vagina does not make you a women. In the same sense as if i were to cut my boobs of, and have a fake penis out of arm muscle sewn onto my pubic bone would not make me a man. At best i would be male passing.

          And fwiw, maybe maybe also at the very least acknowledge that your spouse, your kids, and your family and friends lost someone they thought they knew, married, had children with, and then you suddenly told them that that person don't exist and please call me Joanne. While this might was a great relieve for you, it was the end of the world for them. Just to be fair.

          [As I’ve said in a comment below, gender critical women are strong on TS and trans people don’t have anything like the freedom to speak here, so please try and consider that we want a debate here, not a sledge hammer of rhetoric all the time.

          There’s a trans woman explaining the differences for her, and we don’t need to just jump straight to ‘you’re not a woman!!!’ all the time and repeatedly. Please remember the Policy about not using tone or language that excludes other people.

          Your opinions seem honestly held to me, but this post was about language and how we use it and was asking us to not assume our use is the only use. You insist on using ‘woman’ to mean a specific thing, and how you are insisting that is creating an atmosphere that makes it hard for trans people to engage.

          I’ll also point out that while you acknowledge gender dysphoria as a serious and legitimate thing, you talk about and to trans people as if it’s not. I also think personalising your arguments (ie making comments about the personal life of another commenter) is stepping over a line and am asking you to stop doing this. – weka]

          • Joanne Perkins

            My spouse was aware of my struggles before we married because, as I said.living the trans life, indeed any life with integrity is bloody difficult. The things you and your cohort say about people like me, regardless af any weasel words to the contrary, indicate that you think of me as a self deceived liar at best, a Rapist at worst, (not possible according to one of your people today because I don't have a penis) and like it or not it no different from a person saying, "hey I'm not a racist, my best friend is a Maori.". Given that and the need for me to feel that at least I'm human, I will no longer try to engage any of you on this subject.

            • Cinder

              Kia ora Joanne.

              May I suggest you lodge a complaint with The Standard as I believe this disgusting comment made by Sabine is in breach of their following policies:

              What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others. We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate.

              Please understand that you are not the only person commenting on the Standard who views this place as actively anti-trans and an enabler of deranged individuals who have been radicalized by Mumsnet.

              Also, may I ask a moderator – not Weka – to rule on the following statement by Sabine:

              "Maybe the first step to fixing this whole issue for everyone involved is admitting that the cause has been taken over by predators"

              I believe this to be in breach of the following policy:

              This includes making assertions that you are unable to substantiate with some proof (and that doesn’t mean endless links to unsubstantial authorities) or even argue when requested to do so

              Joanne, like yourself I am on the verge of abandoning this site due to the hatred and prejudice towards trans and non-binary individuals which is expressed here on a regular basis. And the mods do nothing but enable them.

              Kia kaha Joanne, kia kaha.

              [firstly my apologies generally for not moderating more tightly yesterday to keep the thread on track with the post. I’ve now moderated one of Sabine’s comments because I agree it fails the TS Policy around not using tone or language that excludes.

              More generally, and this is for everyone not just Cinder: there are a number of commenters here on TS who have specific ways of expressing themselves, sometimes not well understood. Strong opinions expressed strongly, not just on this topic. It always helps to ask for clarification rather than assuming.

              You can see here an example of someone disagreeing with a comment, but not explaining why. It’s very hard to debate when people won’t put up an explanation (and it makes it harder to moderate too).

              This is a political blog. People can say they think a comment is stupid/evil and leave it at that, but generally we are here to debate and that requires communication back and forth.

              I will ask people in the gender/sex debates to be more careful in proactively explaining what they mean when presenting a starting argument as well.

              And, this debate sits within the cultural norms for TS too, that of robust debate.

              Also a problem here is that people who disagree with the GC views won’t actually engage on the political points. If you think someone is calling all trans women rapists, say so, and make your argument for how they are doing this. People can then clarify. If it gets out of hand, I will moderate. – weka]

              • Molly

                "Maybe the first step to fixing this whole issue for everyone involved is admitting that the cause has been taken over by predators"

                I've noted that this is NOT an accusation that the transgender community is predatory, just that there are some amongst it who through changes in legislation and the use of self-id (whether they are transgender or not) to go through safeguards and commit violence against women.

                Here's a small list.

                • weka

                  Oooph, that's full on. This is what I thought Sabine was talking about, so I'm glad she clarified she was talking more about the other.

                  • Sabine

                    I am talking about those that enable these guys.

                    While these man are the bottom of the barrel, i would like to point out that the Man who runs Rape Crisis Centre Edinbourough is good friends with Nicola Sturgeon, has lied on a previous application for a similar job and has suffered no repercussion to his own bigottry.

                    But then it is always Men who define bigot, right?

                    So while these men are vile, they are by far not as vile as the Lawmakers that allow these men to abuse women and children in plain daylight, that bask in the queer limelight, and that send cops to women who may not agree to terrify them with threats of arrest and loss of children. loss of jobs, and prison sentences.

                    We are here discussing this not because of individual males behaving badly, we are here discussing this because it is our Politicians, our elected officials, the Labour and the Green Party in this current government that want to pretty much bring the same shit here. And they are the ones that are the real Predators, because they will just walk away from the carnage of broken bodies, mutilated children, neutered children, detrans people and collect their pay.

              • weka

                Thanks for bringing this up, and sorry, I was busy and distracted yesterday and have only just seen the above exchange. I don't agree with everything you are saying here, but agree there is a problem.

                Have moderated Sabine's comment now, and am about to add a moderation comment to yours, not because you've done anything wrong but because I think you raise some important issues that need to be bolded in response.

              • weka

                "Maybe the first step to fixing this whole issue for everyone involved is admitting that the cause has been taken over by predators"

                The quote is from this comment and needs to be read in the context of the whole comment.

                Like others I also read the quoted part as referring to parts of the gender identity movement not trans people (and to be clear, not all of the GI movement are predators, but that predators have a degree of power in those movements that just shouldn’t be happening).

                Sabine did in fact provide a link and explanation in her comment, the follow up to the BBC article on lesbians being pressured and assaulted by trans women. The BBC article clearly made the point several times that this was an issue of <em>some</em> trans women, not all or trans women as a class. This is the same as when women talk about assault by men, it's a given that it's not all men. We even have a #notallmen meme now, because some people take offence.

                Given the actual point of the post, I'm curious why some people read "Maybe the first step to fixing this whole issue for everyone involved is admitting that the cause has been taken over by predators" as referring to trans women generally, and why others understand it was referring to actual predators. From my pov, I don't consider TW to be predators, so it easy for me to see that that's not what is being said. And, I'm also aware of the issues that Sabine is referring to, but can see that others might not be, so will ask her and others to clarify.

                • weka

                  Have asked her here https://thestandard.org.nz/what-is-gender/#comment-1832829

                  Anyone else could have asked for that clarification rather than making an assumption.

                • Sabine

                  Because society – specifically men – don't actually want to admit that a very small group of people can cause a huge amount of misery and harm.

                  Disclaimer, not ALL Men rape, but MOST rapists are men. And the same is with Transwomen, not all want to pretend they are lesbians and thus need to sex with a proper lesbian, but some do, and these somes make it worse for everyone involved.

                  And last but least, we can not ask men to give up their spaces to provide safe spaces for men, nah, we simply take from women. No asking needed.

              • weka

                mod note.

            • Molly

              Language is a problem here, once again Joanne. Because along with Sabine, I believe the word woman relates to biological females. This would have been able to have been said without incurring outrage as little as five years ago in New Zealand. The redefining of language – I believe – is deliberate, as it makes it impossible to talk on this issue without talking past each other.

              Sabine is right. Transwomen are transwomen. That is not a lesser journey or lived experience than a woman, or man, it is just different. You deserve exactly the same rights as everyone else, a life free from discrimination.

              I don't know how much you are keeping up with the situation regarding aggressive trans activists, most of whom have not made the choices and sacrifices that you relate, who are behaving badly and without regard for women, while presenting as male, and retaining male patterns of aggression and violence.

              It is also of relevance to point out those that have taken advantage of legislative change, who don't seem to have any intent on taking a major life change but who have used the legislation to get access to women's spaces so that they can commit violence, or obstruct women from getting support.

              This misuse by fraudulent men – who I don't believe are part of the transgender community as we understand it – is the result of legislation that didn't think through the full ramifications for all groups. As we are looking at similar legislation here, the concerns are being raised.

              Unfortunately, the transgender umbrella now covers a myriad of expressions, body changes, medications and now, no discernible change at all. This collective undefined term, has the tendency to attract some who will take advantage of the cover of those like you who have given up so much.

              It is such a personal issue for you, that every comment must seem like a criticism, but it is not. It is a discussion about an issue that has far reaching ramifications, not just for women and girls, but transwomen like you who are being used as camouflage for some that are just not transgender in any form, but are malicious.

              No one here is calling you a rapist. But else what would you call someone who rapes? In some cases that have been discussed on TS, these rapists are self-identified transwomen. In some police statistics they are now recorded as women rapists, even though they are men. We need to find some way to discuss these contentious issues, so that they are solved.

              The issues are bigger than personal stories. They impact on the rights of others, particularly women and children. The ridiculous effect on statistics and medical data is detrimental for all, men, women, transwomen and transmen. There are many transgender people, like yourself, that have become active in discussion after looking at the wider impact of what legislative proposals have done or propose to do. They are also on the receiving end of aggressive and violent behaviour.

              I hope you do take time to have a look at some of those writers, who have shared your experiences and have an understanding of your perspective when analysing what is going on, if you feel you want to understand why the topic keeps being raised.

          • weka

            mod note for you Sabine. Please ask for clarification if you're not sure what I am meaning.

          • Sabine

            I am trying to draw a clear line between trans women and men and those that ride the gravy train for their own reasons and in many cases profit.

            Currently a young man in my family is going through this issue. So i know where Joanne is coming from. I do. His mother is losing a son, that is going to be replaced with by a 'women' she don't know, and worse, can't identify with. Ditto the siblings. Everyone is putting on a good face, as they want to be good allies, and family! Interestingly enough, i don't think he cares much about that. He is now a women, wants access to all spaces, wants to be she/her never mind the 1.8 meter and 250 pound heavy body and his attitude. Lipstick does not make a women. That is where i am coming from.

            I also have a lesbian sister, several gay and lesbian cousins. All who had the word Queer thrown at them while young, all of whom got kicked out of their parents house for being gay.

            I know a few things of what Joanne Perkins is speaking of. I myself would not consider myself the stereotype of womanhood. I would fit squarely in the 'trans'

            So while I understand the where Joanne is coming from, and generally support their fight and right to be whom they are , I find it interesting that they have not empathy for those that might not be comfortable around her or 'their cohort'. I find it interesting that no one seems to give a dime about women not being comfortable with men around them when they get naked, or need to urinate and change a condom, or just want to play sports. I find it interesting that we celebrate a man taking the space of a women in the olympic games yet we don't dispense a thought of even just pity for the young islander women who had gained that spot for actually qualifying.

            And unless Transpeople like Joanne actually start showing a bit of concern for the cohort of women were she wants to be included in, i will keep my concern for those that will be harmed, have been harmed and who don’t' have a million dollar lobby, big Pharm and big Surgery, and pretty much all the worlds government at their side. And currently that would be women, and children.

            • weka

              to clarify, you're not going to make changes to how you communicate as I asked in the mod note?

              • Sabine

                I am not sure how i can make these changes? Seriously, i communitcate this way? This is pretty much the best i can do as a person who has had a limited education, is self thought and has issues writing. I am essentially phonetically verbally putting my thoughts into text.

                Please elaborate how i can change my writing to be better? Because i do not try to be offensive, but i am also not bending over backwards out of fear that i may offend someone.

                And fwiw, i could also do a list of offensive things done to women and said to women and said about women over the last few years that are somehow considered ok.

                To illustrate my case : an Ad on a billbord here in love middle nz. A women intently staring on her phone – first impression after passing it.

                Second impression: The word SOMEONE after passing it again.

                Getting stuck at the red light, full ad, Every three days SOMEONE is diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

                there is no mention of Women aka ….Every three day a Women is diagnosed with breast cancer…..

                that is offensive, Weka, that an add by the Ministry of Health talks bout healthcare of SOMEONEs because if they don't dare use the word 'women' lest they upset some person who may gender fluid, or trans or is just plain mysoginistic.

                I have clarified my point. I have clarified my sometimes funny english, But i will not tip toe around the bush and pretend that a women is someone and that a transwomen is a women. That i will not change.

        • weka

          On the other hand a couple of my lesbian friends in particular, when we talk of my past tell me I was never a Man despite the biology so who really knows?

          I'd just like to highlight this and acknowledge it. One of the things happening online in particular is that some gender critical people see only woman/man, and if they believe that trans women aren't women, that means they must be a man. Woman/man being only biological. But it's clear to me that there are trans women (and always have been) who may have transitioned from male but who are clearly not like men. Trans women are trans women may be true, but then so is trans women are not men.

          The problem here is the GC wholesale rejection of gender and wanting everything to be about biological sex, as if humans aren't also social/emotional beings.

          GC people, it doesn't hurt to acknowledge this. And Sabine, I get your anger and share a fair amount of it, but I will say here that gender critical women are strong on TS and trans people don't have anything like the freedom to speak here, so please try and consider that we want a debate here, not a sledge hammer of rhetoric all the time. There's a trans woman explaining the differences for her, and we don't need to just jump straight to 'you're not a woman!!!' all the time. Did you miss what Joanne meant when she used the word Man?

          The post is there for precisely this reason. To get people on all sides to think about language and how the other person is using it and to improve communication.

          • Sabine

            Personally i don't see Transwomen as women. I see them as trans women.

            This is not to diminish their sense of self, or their journey, but to point out the reality of their self and their journey and the difference to me.

            And that includes Transwomen such as Blair Whyte, or Laverne Cox for that example.

            And the women in prison who is sharing a cell with a transwomen and who may get pregnant and wants an abortion, maybe has her own ideas about her gender or gender ID, but the physical reality of biology is putting a big damper on her Gender ID. Heck, one could even postulate that her ID matters not one bit, what matters is that the Transwomen is in safe housing, and well women will just as always suffer the consequences. And that is by a court in England. You yourself have linked to that case a few month ago


            The judge said he "fully understood" the concerns of FDJ, and that women prisoners "may suffer fear and acute anxiety" if housed with a transgender woman who has male genitalia.

            But he added that the rights of transgender women prisoners must also be considered.

            "The unconditional introduction of a transgender woman into the general population of a women's prison carries a statistically greater risk of sexual assault upon non-transgender prisoners than would be the case if a non-transgender woman were introduced.

            So to me Joanne and Blair Whyte, or Laverne Cox, or my friends child will be Transwomen, and if they don't present and behave as such i have no use for them in womens spaces.

            We either can define who is and is not a women, words either have or have not a meaning.

            In saying that, even the Transworld is waking up to the fact that if anyone can identify as Trans then Trans means nothing. Ditto with women. Ditto with men.

            And again, i am not angry. I am simply speaking german while typing english. And fwiw, i don't try to hide my opinion behind meaningless palaver so as to be non offensive to a fault lest someone calls me a bigot, terf or a phobe.

    • roblogic 7.3

      Male puberty greatly weakens certain neural interconnections so that guys can (generally) compartmentalise emotions and work, and focus intensely on things. Good for hunting I suppose. (Testosterone is powerful stuff but too much can make u crazy IME)

      Pregnancy and Childbirth have similar (opposite) effects on the female brain, causing greater interconnection, higher empathy, and ability to multi-task — all essentials for child-rearing.

      This is from stuff I have read, but no time to link at the mo (sorry)

      • Dennis Frank 7.3.1

        Yeah, I've been reading evolutionary psychology books since the mid-'90s and your view fits that. The basic stance of that scientific field is neo-darwinism with knobs on (which is why I was initially sceptical).

        One knob is hormones & how they affect decision-making and attitude via brain function, which you have touched on. Another knob is how roles morph our developmental trajectory somewhat, which you also referred to. Then there's the conforming effect from the sum total of others in our social niche.

    • Dennis Frank 7.4

      Yeah, plenty of scientific writing has issued the past couple of decades to correct the blank slate bullshit thesis. Nowadays a balance between nature & nurture seems to be the trend.

      Seems to me much of the misbehaviour emanates from males pretending to be females. However this impression is not based on any personal experience – just seems like some warped guys would get off on invading women's traditional spaces, knowing they can cow women into submission when they do. Having authority figures fronting as being too stupid to figure this out is the bit that puzzles me. Seems obvious! devil

  8. Sabine 8

    Maybe the first step to fixing this whole issue for everyone involved is admitting that the cause has been taken over by predators. And there is no other way, and btw, there are female predators who hound gay men in the same way. There are also those that don't divulge to potential sexual partners that they are trans – which i think is something you should do before engaging in a sexual activity, but i am old fashioned that way. This total lack of respect of anyone not them. They are due sex, and they will have it, from any person their liking. Shut up Transphobe, suck this.

    Next we need to admit the total lack of consent that is required. Women don't want 'men' in their toilets. Shut up. Women sports? Shut up. Intergender fights – a new euphemism for 'beating up women legally for funsies'? Shut up. Reproductive rights? Shut up. Chemical and surgical neutering of children? Shut up. Detransitioners? Shut up.

    The debate is being had at a mostly academic level, adopted by a few, and shoved down the throat of all of us – and at the threat of 'terf' 'transphobe' 'bigot' 'witch' – we are being denied consent. And that includes government. One reason i think that certain female politicians looked so sour and dour during the submissions was the fact that they actually had to sit there and listen. Shut up Tervens. Shut up.

    There is no debate, because they can't define in any acceptable sense that what they want is omnipotent, that we have to provide them with what they want, and that we have no rights to our own space, our own interpretations of Gender, or our own sexual attraction. Shut up, i am stunning and brave? Shut up or I cancel you!

    The damage that we will do. The damage that we already let happen on the grounds of an ideology.


    As much as the LGBT(QIA+) community may wish to ignore this, lesbians are being targeted by some (note the word ‘some’) transwomen who demand sexual access to our bodies. The transwoman who assaulted me did so knowing I was a lesbian, a female homosexual, and entirely uninterested in males. The LGBT Society was one dominated by bisexual women, women who may have been more interested in dating someone with intact male genitalia, and yet only lesbians were pursued by this person. This can be attributed only to our sexualities.

    Why? Who benefits? What will be the eventual outcome if this is taken to the end? What is the end?

    • francesca 8.1

      Once again lesbians being punished for their sexual attraction to women

    • weka 8.2

      "Maybe the first step to fixing this whole issue for everyone involved is admitting that the cause has been taken over by predators"

      Sabine, can you please clarify what you mean by this?

      • Sabine 8.2.1


        Lawmakers that pushed for male sex offenders to be housed with women in prisons.

        Lawmakers that push for males to be included into female wards in hospitals.

        Lawmakers that push for the inclusion of any males into any formerly female only space.

        Influencers that call for the cancellations of writers, comedians, artists, philosphers for daring to have a smidgen of their own opinion.

        Police – that would tell women to resist arrest rather then be arrested by a cop who is also a flasher, a kidnapper, a rapists and a murderer.

        Schools – that would hide a rape in their formely female toilets by a youth who 'larped' trans – and who had total access to these toilets.

        Doctors – like the surgeon that butchers Jazz Jennings micro penis into a festering hole that they call 'vagina'.

        Psychiatrists and Psychologists – that refuse talk therapy, explorative therapy, but hand out puperty blockers and HRT after a visit or two, and then have no record of these things when a detransitioner comes for their medical records.

        Parents – who rather trans their gay child then have a perfectly happy, healthy gay or lesbian or bi or even heterosexual kid albeit gender stereotype non conform.

        TRA – who will hound anyone who does not conform to their ever increasing demands into hiding, with CCTV cameras, private security and jobloss.

        Sports Committees – that take spaces that women and girls qualify for to give it to an undeserving middle aged male who wanted a bit of Olympic glory at the end of their mediocre sports career

        Sports Committees – that allow for 'inter gender' fights until one of the non males is dead on the floor.

        Trans Fighters – that rather then create your own league insist on fighting non males and then happily talk about 'taking over a mantle from a fighter who cause serious injury to a non male fighter'.

        Police – that will demand a women come to the station for questions about a non crime hate crime because writing a tweet about safe guarding kids from predators is a ‘trans orientated hate crime’, and who will threaten said women with arrest should she not comply to their demands.

        these are just a few predators, but there are many many more.

        If some people think i am only talking about transpeople in this movement they are not paying attention. And let me also state quite clearly that while some of the harm comes from Trans people – specifically the heterosexual trans identified male or female, more harm comes from the lawmakers, their enforces the police, and the TRA.

        • weka

          thanks Sabine. I agree some people are not paying attention, so making a list is helpful.

        • Tabletennis

          Here in this LGB Alliance UK conference you can watch how Helen Joyce (24:00 – 33 min) so eloquently explains the relation ship between the pillory and the people in power, i.e. those in institutions and employers.
          People who have friends in power do not end up in a pillory.

          and at 51:00 min Kate Grimes, about the complete disappearance in the NHS of words/existence of Lesbians and guy – which makes many an employee going back in the old days of hiding their sexual orientation. It's a shocker!


  9. Visubversa 9

    The dam is beginning to leak. The BBC is not the only British institution to realise that Stonewall has tuned its back on same sex attracted people and become a protection racket. https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/statements/stonewall-diversity-champions-programme?fbclid=IwAR2kkpXOcLwyicXjG1TgLUFCBQItFS0sg0DPEUViWSVO36iYhXHkkx80X4Q

  10. theotherpat 10

    im a straight guy….i have a lesbian ex wife and an old mate who now is trans………diverse as we are we all agree on this…..its a useless debate…..be who you need to be in your heart soul and mind and let everyone else do the same.

    • weka 10.1

      good, you will be ok with women having female only spaces then.

    • Blazer 10.2

      sounds like it would make an interesting …'menage a trois'.cheeky

    • Tabletennis 10.3

      The Christchurch city is opening up its swimming pool, for the women’s only swimming sessions to any person who states ‘ I’m a women’ .

      The first sessions will be attended by a safety guard. It doesn’t say who might need some safety protection.
      Nor does it state if mob phones have to left at the counter, etc.

      Anyway women should be well aware now that their single-sex swim sessions are no more, erased in the desire for inclusiveness.
      This is also true for the women of Christchurch, with a certain faith, who can not be seen in male bodied company.
      Gosh, how words can have such a nice ring to them but have the opposite effect.

      • Sabine 10.3.1

        this is just gaslighting:

        These swim sessions are to encourage all women and girls to feel more confident in our pools. All windows will be covered for privacy and staff poolside will be female.

        Who may attend women-only sessions

        All women, girls, and boys (up to and including the age of five) may attend these sessions. This includes trans women and people who identify as being a woman.

        oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

          • francesca


            " There is a range of reasons women may choose to come to this session, including to be more physically active, because of religious and cultural beliefs, body image issues or low self-confidence."

            That's it for muslim women then

            • francesca

              Almost like conversion therapy for muslim women

              "You will just have to get over your silly little cultural bigotries if you want to have access to women only spaces.Until then , stay at home "

              • Sabine

                Not just muslima, nuns, or modest women and some fundamentalist christians churches, nuns also adhere to sex segregation when people are in various stages of undress, and it also applies to the men. So if the same policy applies to men and transmen and any non binary person identifying as man they too can no longer use these pools and are thus excluded on the base of their religion.

          • Tabletennis

            It is true?
            But is the statement ‘trans women are women’ true?’ Is it useful for political and social advancement? And, is it kind?

            Proposing that we change the definition of ‘woman’ from one of sex to one of gender identity, needs to answer the question of who is included in this new definition. What is the boundary of ‘woman’, if it is not that women are female-bodied? Words are specific and exclude other definitions. The category ‘woman’ excludes the category ‘man’. The only prerequisite for being a trans woman is being male.
            No female can become a trans woman. So trans woman is a subset of man, not a subset of woman.
            Humans cannot change sex, they can only become trans gender.

        • weka

          So fucking unnecessary. Run female only sessions and NB or queer sessions.

          During consultation with the community in the build-up to Te Pou Toetoe: Linwood Pool opening there was a call for special sessions where the facility would be available to women only, to help support women and girls to access and use the pool facilities. There is a range of reasons women may choose to come to this session, including to be more physically active, because of religious and cultural beliefs, body image issues or low self-confidence.

          Wonder if they they consulted women about allowing in trans women or men that self-ID as women.

          • Sabine

            To be honest, would it have mattered?

          • Tabletennis

            Part of reply by the Christchurch City Council on consultation and who with – they speak of similar organisations and the HRC.

            "A starting point was of course the view of entities and institutions whose view on these matters are significant. The Human Rights Commission and the Crown Law Office have stated positions and given guidance on ending discrimination against transgender people. The Ministry for Women specifically states that “[I]n developing policy advice, the Ministry represents the interests of all women, including transgender women, and it recognises the right of all people to self-identify.” There is clear support in the language used by the Ministry and the Minister for the rights of transgender women. "

            To me this reads like they making the law instead of applying the current one and that is: that women could have their own single-sex women only swim sessions.
            Self-ID laws have yet to pass in NZ:

            • francesca

              Do you see how the trans has become a mere adjective, qualifying the word "woman".This is how language is hijacked to advance ideologies. So that transwomen are like blonde women or thin women or young women , just another kind of woman in all their different forms, and diverse backgrounds.

          • Blazer

            ' Run female only sessions and NB or queer sessions.'-should this apply to sports events too?

            • weka

              do you mean participating in sports? There should be a female category where needed (most sports). I don't know how to resolve the issues for trans people, maybe their own category, or an open category.

              • Puckish Rogue

                The problem with that is there are so few trans people as it is which means you have even less trans people that want to play sport

                I don't know how accurate this is but if true:


                'With a population of 4.693 million, 1.2% = 56,316 trans people in NZ. A further 2.5% reported being unsure of their gender'

                Its just not a lot people unfortunately

                • weka

                  I was thinking top level sports for a Gender category. But yeah, it's tricky. No good reason that women should make the sacrifice just because it's hard to resolve.

                  • weka

                    this is the problem with No Debate. Had we been allowed to talk about this freely, we'd have all the good and creative ideas on the table by now.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    'I was thinking top level sports for a Gender category. '

                    I'd suggest there'd be even less trans people involved in that case which makes it even harder to organise a competition

                    'No good reason that women should make the sacrifice just because it's hard to resolve.'

                    Absolutely agree, women should not be competing against men

  11. Anker 11

    theother pat. I doen't think anyone would disagree with you. Be who you are etc. But don't expect me to change my views on biology or say I believe you are a women when you are biological male, welcome to my change room, sporting competition, prision cell, girls boarding dormatory, etc etc. Change your birth cert at will……

    Because there is a biological reality here.

  12. Pingao 12

    I found this article in the Guardian in early October 2021 about Finn Mackay and their new book on female masculinity and gender wars (and inclusive of the views of butch lesbians) to be a reasonably considered and thoughtful piece from the perspective of a queer butch person.

    I have requested that my local library buy it although it has only just been published so it may take a while.

    Headline reads … "Finn Mackay: the writer hoping to help end the gender wars"

    My attempts to link or copy and paste always fail these days sorry.

    • Molly 12.1

      Is this the same Finn MacKay, who wrote about the issue of the Cotton Ceiling and lesbians being pressured into accepting male-bodied sexual partners, and criticised a BBC article for discussing the same?

      If we take the stance that there is a group of people, who are granted a position in society where those amongst it committing coercion and rape – as reported – should not be critiqued because they are part of that group, then we are in an ideological trap.

      It should be possible to both uphold the rights of the transgender community to live without discrimination, while condemning those who use their transgender status to commit such acts.

      His approach to this issue, seems flawed. I wouldn’t trust his book to be even handed if it follows the same logic.

      • Pingao 12.1.1

        Yes that is the same person.

        Regarding that tweet, I didn't get that impression that they thought that anyone or any particular group should not be critiqued for coercion or rape, but rather that elements of the conservative mainstream would use it to furthur their "anti-LGBTQ agenda"

        We don't hear much in the media of the thoughts and perspectives of transmen, transmasc or lesbians or even gay men on gender so I am interested in what Finn (who uses "they" or sometimes "she" as a pronoun but doesn't really seem to worry too much about pronouns) has to say.

        • weka

          here's their first tweet. They are specifically saying that it's outrageous to talk about a known aspect of rape culture ie that some trans women are a threat to lesbians.

          Here's the BBC article, the headline makes it clear it's not all trans women, or trans women generally. It also says,

          However, those affected have told me the pressure comes from a minority of trans women, as well as activists who are not necessarily trans themselves.


          So what is MacKay's problem? They appear to be saying that the article is about saying who one wants to sleep with. It's not, it's about the pressure being put on lesbians by some trans women to have sex with males, and in some cases lesbians being assaulted and raped. That's not about who fancies who, that's rape culture.

          They then go on to say lesbians rape lesbians too, whataboutism. This is classic detracting from the issue raised, and is part of the whole false degendering of violence against women. See, all people, even the non-males, rape.

          MacKay offers no solutions to addressing this and just says the BBC article will damage LGBTQ. Here's the thing: queer culture is causing harm. If progressives want to prevent conservatives from hating on trans women, they should start cleaning up their own house, because there's no moral ground to stand on if you take a rape denial position and continue to throw women under the bus.

          • weka

            People are so desperate to frame trans women as not male (and therefore somehow immune to male patterns of behaviour). And given the huge distress that some trans people experience around their bodies, I totally get this and I think society needs to help resolve that too.

            I just don't think this is the way to do it, because women are always going to have to deal with rape and talk about it and develop political strategies around it. It's the conflict of rights, and we won't be able to resolve the war until we are honest about that.

            I will read the Guardian article, thanks, I'm always interested in hearing from people wanting the war to end. But Mackay is not off to a good start here.

          • Molly

            Thanks,weka. Thought I'd posted the whole thread, and your explanation was much better than mine.

            • Pingao

              Thanks Molly and Weka. As I don't use Twitter myself, it is good to have these links.

              • weka

                so much of what is happening is being done on, and discussed on twitter and other social media. More is being reported in the MSM now, which is an improvement.

  13. Gezza 14

    Trying to follow & understand the gender-bending that goes on these days often does my head in, & so if it doesn’t directly affect me (& it rarely, if ever, does) I just switch off & think about less complicated & contentious matters.

    To me, for most everyday aspects of life, living creatures (& some plants) come in two sexes – male & female. There are some that are asexual, & occasional hermaphrodites.

    With genders, probably a hangover from learning English & French, there are three – masculine, feminine, & neuter. Socially speaking, in most societies we have attached stereotypical behaviours to these genders – so a man be regarded as typically masculine/macho and/or also having many feminine characteristics. With the same but opposite situation existing for women.

    These days in my view such characterisations are slightly less likely to be viewed as criticisms. All Blacks who get so emotional they cry are celebrated. And the tuff, hard-out, full-on rugby playing of the Black Ferns is equally attracting approving comments from men as well as women.

    Allied to discussions about sex & gender are matters to do with humans’ sexual preferences. Again, for me, the general situation (from my observations, experience, & reading over the years) is that the majority of sexually active people are heterosexual, a fairly significant & these days often vocal minority are homosexual, & and a smaller minority are bisexual.

    All well & good. That’s pretty much all I need to know to happily relate with most of the folk I’ve encountered in the normal course of daily working & social life.

    Then there are also some of the “exotics” like cross-dressers, transvestites/shemales (a very few – like two – of whom I have worked with) & transgender (or think they should be transgendered) individuals.

    As my Best Man’s eldest daughter (20) is transitioning to become a trans man, & they both came & stayed with me before Xmas 2020, I now know 1 trans(itioning) man; he’s a luvly, serious-thinking young chap & it was easy to accept him in his new sex identity.

    Trans men & trans women to me are deserving of respect & decent treatment as trans men & trans women. Biological men & biological women are equally deserving of respect for what they are – the majority & the norm are not bad things.

    Beyond this, for me, are some individuals whose expressions of what sex, and/or gender they are, & their sexual preferences (if any) & sexual practices are so “far out” that I tend to mentally classify them as “weird” & as long as they’re not doing any harm I’m happy to basically just ignore them & leave them to carry on being & doing whatever feels right for them.

  14. felix 15

    Does anyone have a definition of "gender identity" that couldn't be directly substituted by "personality traits"?

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