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  1. #681
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    As for who has the violent spirit, most people are unwilling to kill their fellow man. This has to be trained into them, man or woman.
    On a semi related note.

    Common chimpanzees have a roughly even split between sexes in terms of propensity for violence. Males are however much more likely to escalate violence into levels that could potentially be lethal.

    Similar patterns can be observed among other omni and carnivore species, though these are obviously less relevant.

    While it would be very hard to provide similar data for any modern group of humans, due to lack of socially unbiased behaviour, from a purely biological level we're still following the same path - it being easier for a male to overcome his unwillingness to kill another human.

    Some women are going to be better at combat than most men, those women ought to get a fair chance and they don't.
    Army is not a fair treatment environment. At this point in time, practicalities will trump any drive for what I personally loath to call "equality of service opportunities". And rightly so.

  2. #682
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    While making a serious point about sexism you would use the word chicks?
    That wasn't the statement. You need to specify if you have conditions. You just don't want to eat that hat.

  3. #683
    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    what kind of construct appears since the dawn of mankind, for all timr and across all cultures?
    which is why earlier I asked: why would you even want girls to be like men in respect of anger and aggression and combativeness? Oh yes I think I remember now. You did raise this point earlier in the thread didn't you?
    Ah, back to this stuff again. Aggression has both positive and negative connotations. Also, Why do you insist on seeing gender as some binary division? It's not. Some people of both sexes can have more passive or aggressive natures. Generalizing that all men are the same and all women are the same is pretty much the definition of sexism and also very illogical.

  4. #684
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    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    Ah, back to this stuff again. Aggression has both positive and negative connotations. Also, Why do you insist on seeing gender as some binary division? It's not. Some people of both sexes can have more passive or aggressive natures. Generalizing that all men are the same and all women are the same is pretty much the definition of sexism and also very illogical.
    Absolutely. Quite apart from picking which gender is "better" it is the idealization of gender as such a fundamental and rigid identifier that really causes problems. So with racial identities (note that many racial identities have underlying cultural and community identities that are not anywhere near as polarizing and harmful). We're always going to use categories and check-boxes to help us understand the world around us, but when we let them act not as mere classification but as fundamental truth, we become anti-social.

    That anyone could encounter a wide variety of men and women and still see gender as fundamentally binary is astounding to me. It makes more sense to me than racial binaries such as the American construction of Black and White (which certainly has historical precedent, but is nevertheless astounding), given that there are clear physiological differences between men and women and there is a clear genetic precedence for two-ness even if it doesn't come along with anywhere near the behavioral and psychological divisions that we've taken for granted over the centuries. And yet, even the biology of sex has proven significantly more complicated than XX and XY. Scarcely-viable mutations aside, there are not-so-rare circumstances than can substantially alter the genetics of sex. Bringing gender and orientation and what-have-you into th picture makes the biology so intensely messy that we are much better served analyzing the social essences of gender than the biological ones.

    And those social essences can very easily be changed; why would we want women and men to be similarly aggressive or necessarily similar? We wouldn't. But I should hope we want a world in which women are not compelled to be less aggressive or otherwise different from men just because that's how we've raising kids and establishing social boundaries for a while.

    P.S. This is really where a lot of "strong female characters" go wrong, too. It's when their being strong and female pushes anything else to the background. This is why I like Beyond Good and Evil, as least from what I've played so far--Jade isn't the most detailed video game character I've encountered, but her identity is not primarily feminine anymore than the Prince from Prince of Persia is primarily masculine (which is not to say PoP is without sexism ... the game seems aware that it's audience is male even if it's main character is not fundamentally gendered). This is also where Bioware games tend to make most of their mistakes. They will create characters with fairly intricate histories and personalities (however safe and familiar), with decent line writing and voice acting, only to get lost in essentialist design of the character arcs and interactions. Their characters are defined to the player in terms of gender, sexual orientation and race/species/nationality. That their ideas of what makes male and female, gay and straight are not always problematic, their respect for broad categories over specific personalities is both utterly at odds with their otherwise nicely designed characters and somewhat distressing.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 17-03-2013 at 09:55 PM.
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  5. #685
    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    That anyone could encounter a wide variety of men and women and still see gender as fundamentally binary is astounding to me.
    So what would gender as a concept be if not fundamentally binary?

  6. #686
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    So what would gender as a concept be if not fundamentally binary?
    Are you saying that itshould be seen as binary? If so, do you mean more linguistically or more socially?

    There are two ways I'm looking at this. On a surface level, gender is typically thought of as male-female. That is gender in a sense, and what I really mean is that this sort of gender is useless and astounding to me.

    Another way to think about it is to extrapolate from that concept of gender to what a multi-axis gender spectrum might look like. Gender is related to primary and secondary sexual characteristics as well as to social roles and certain elements of social behavior and appearance. One's physical and sexual persona is tied to one's gender insofar as they are tied to ideas of he and she and insofar as they are tied to sexually specific hormones. Since there are certainly a lot of people who fit at least roughly into a male/female dialectic, and since we're not going to succeed in utterly removing the concept of gendered identity from human society for quite some time and since, even if we did, we'd still encounter such ideas in our cultural histories ... I think it's more useful to generalize and de-essentialize gender than to get rid of it entirely. Sexual reproduction isn't going anywhere for now, so we're going to have physical differences between at least two distinct sexual phenotypes and gender is the social side of those physical distinctions.

    That was kind of convoluted. I'm sorry, I'm having trouble expressing this concept to myself and I don't want to spend as much time as it might take to really express it clearly. Essentially, I think gender as most people see it (male/female, cue ancient archetypes) is an inadequate and often harmful way of differentiating between people. However, I also know a lot of people who identify as male or female without struggle or insecurity as a result; as such, I think the concept of gender needs to expand and loosen without disappearing. There's no reason we should have to demolish gender entirely, and the other option is to recognize and respect less archetypal identities (such as those held by trans-gender and gender-queer individuals) as well as to be less up-tight about gender distinctions in general since making them as important as they've been for so long causes serious social problems despite gender still being a legitimate aspect of human identity.

    Imagine the least approximate changes to gender identity that allow us to do the following and similar: use the same bathrooms, earn the same salaries, have the same jobs, marry whoever, be perfectly cool with people who aren't male or female (new pronouns and such would be nice) and not beat up people who wear certain clothes without having the right body-parts. The minimum changes that get us thereabouts? That's how I think about gender. I like to think that conception of gender extends into my identity, behavior and perception of others, but realistically even though I grew up in a strange household, gender-wise, I still grew up in this society and I'm still inundated in problematic ideas about gender so there's probably all kinds of gaps between my ideology and my self that I can't see--and at least a few that I can see.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 17-03-2013 at 10:23 PM.
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  7. #687
    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    So what would gender as a concept be if not fundamentally binary?
    I meant binary in the sense of single defining psychological characteristic. "If you are male you are X" "If you are female you are Y which is totally different from X". It is obviously like that anatomically but not socially/psychologically was my point. Sorry, I probably could have used a different word for Hamster's way of thinking. Dualism maybe?

  8. #688
    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    That was kind of convoluted.
    That's what I was getting at. Gender obviously operates on a scale system, some could even argue a multi axis one. It's complex. Like, really. However, as a usable, communicable concept anything that goes beyond binary distinctions, or perhaps today's emerging binary plus version - male, female, other - is not really feasible outside of specifically designated discourse targeting that specific subject.

    I guess I interpreted, or possibly rather misinterpreted, your comment as a plea to reject the current gender paradigm entirely. Personally, I don't see any benefit in discarding the current model, even if it's imperfect in it's depiction of reality, in favour of something so big and complex that it cannot really be communicated in an efficient manner.

    Quote Originally Posted by iridescence View Post
    I meant binary in the sense of single defining psychological characteristic. "If you are male you are X" "If you are female you are Y which is totally different from X". It is obviously like that anatomically but not socially/psychologically was my point. Sorry, I probably could have used a different word for Hamster's way of thinking. Dualism maybe?
    Well, it's not like everyone with a penis will be equally male anyway (or rather uniformly male, since we have no "Sevres meter" as a point of reference here) , so you're not wrong there either way.
    Last edited by His Master's Voice; 17-03-2013 at 11:07 PM.

  9. #689
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    I know this isn't 100% accurate use of the words. But I try to delineate the concepts by using sex to mean physical traits and gender to encapsulate the social stuff. It can help when attempting to be clear anyhow. It also stops you getting in trouble at queer fairs >.>

  10. #690
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    However, as a usable, communicable concept anything that goes beyond binary distinctions, or perhaps today's emerging binary plus version - male, female, other - is not really feasible outside of specifically designated discourse targeting that specific subject.

    I guess I interpreted, or possibly rather misinterpreted, your comment as a plea to reject the current gender paradigm entirely. Personally, I don't see any benefit in discarding the current model, even if it's imperfect in it's depiction of reality, in favour of something so big and complex that it cannot really be communicated in an efficient manner.
    I disagree with you fairly substantially, I think. Plenty of useful, communicable concepts are complicated. The concept of government, the concept of art, the concept of French culture. We combine large collections of abstract ideas into consumable, reproducible shorthand words all the time. It's a fundamental aspect of the way we communicate. The idea that communication needs to lack nuance to occur casually seems absurd to me, that even the binary+ gender idea is too complicated for general purpose communication. You're really going to have to push that argument a lot further for me to buy it even a little bit. We learn enough about society at large that we can use efficient communication for complex ideas that are widely used. It's one of the primary purposes of our education system, a major part of proper socialization.

    Explain to me how binary gender ideas make our lives better or easier. How maximum efficiency in communicating about gender is essential to our society's proper functioning. I think we should strive to diminish the importance of male/female distinctions in our society through loosening and (not-a-word warning) de-essentializing our ideas about gender. Our current conception of gender isn't just imperfect. It's anti-social. It's non-functional.

    I know this isn't 100% accurate use of the words. But I try to delineate the concepts by using sex to mean physical traits and gender to encapsulate the social stuff. It can help when attempting to be clear anyhow. It also stops you getting in trouble at queer fairs >.>
    This isn't the most precise way to think of it, but it's certainly accurate. The catch is that social stuff incorporates physical stuff.
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  11. #691
    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    I disagree with you fairly substantially, I think. Plenty of useful, communicable concepts are complicated. The concept of government, the concept of art, the concept of French culture. We combine large collections of abstract ideas into consumable, reproducible shorthand words all the time. It's a fundamental aspect of the way we communicate.
    Government is a fairly complex set of concepts that is often reduced to a simplistic definition due to it's importance. It's a core societal issue at all levels of human organization, therefore we often simplify it to allow for easier communication. And that simplification is an act of absolute intellectual butchery, but one that is required to allow us to understand each other without referring to 1000+ page scriptbooks, before we actually decide we should do just that. Art or French culture are both comparatively not that important, therefore we allow them to function in a nebulous state of broad definitions that we wade into more often because we want to, than because we need to.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    The idea that communication needs to lack nuance to occur casually seems absurd to me, that even the binary+ gender idea is too complicated for general purpose communication.
    I never said communication should lack nuance. If often does, and for good reasons, but it's clearly not an absolute requirement for it to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    We learn enough about society at large that we can use efficient communication for complex ideas that are widely used. It's one of the primary purposes of our education system, a major part of proper socialization.
    Socialization and education both progress from simplified to complex concepts. Isn't it clear that a simplified paradigm of gender is necessary for both of those things to happen, just like a simplified paradigm of supply and demand is required to be taught before we can learn of the myriad exceptions to that rule?

    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Explain to me how binary gender ideas make our lives better or easier.
    Simple concepts are easier than complex ones, that's rather obvious, isn't it? Are we better off because we use them? Sometimes. See socialization. Sometimes not. See not being able to mentally progress past either men/women or supply/demand.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    How maximum efficiency in communicating about gender is essential to our society's proper functioning.
    Isn't this thread a huge example of why our lacking communication efficiency on this very subject is an issue? Someone here actually pondered whether calling a female a woman is appropriate. We attach so much to some words that we're no longer able to use them without annotations.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    Our current conception of gender isn't just imperfect. It's anti-social. It's non-functional.
    I dare say that enough people are nested comfortably near the edges of the gender scale that they don't really need anything else but what they already have in terms of gender terminology.

  12. #692
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    This isn't the most precise way to think of it, but it's certainly accurate. The catch is that social stuff incorporates physical stuff.
    Indeed, and I know it isn't really precise enough for say academic treatment. It's just a handy rule of thumb when out and about socially. Language is sort of catching up as we have more terms like gender queer becoming more used, but it can be tricky working out the correct language to avoid confusion or offence. So in that sort of situation it's just a handy quick rule of thumb. For instance complimenting a gender queer woman on having the nicest men's suit at an event, picking your language can be a bit of a hassle.

    Though I had a much better beard as hers was drawn on* >.>

    *the habit of lacing everything with British irony also makes this more of a minefield.

    I dare say that enough people are nested comfortably near the edges of the gender scale that they don't really need anything else but what they already have in terms of gender terminology.
    I damn well need it.

  13. #693
    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    I dare say that enough people are nested comfortably near the edges of the gender scale that they don't really need anything else but what they already have in terms of gender terminology.
    Probably this can be explained by the fact that we're all taught from early childhood to "stay near the edges" and severely punished if we don't and by the time they get to be adults many people (especially men because of their privileged position in society) just don't think about it much anymore. That doesn't mean that many people of both genders wouldn't be happier if gender norms were much more fluid. If you grow up in a thoroughly racist society (and are from the dominant race) you probably won/t see much wrong with racism either or even give much thought to the idea that that other race is just fundamentally different from you which has been so ingrained into your mind.

  14. #694
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Socialization and education both progress from simplified to complex concepts. Isn't it clear that a simplified paradigm of gender is necessary for both of those things to happen, just like a simplified paradigm of supply and demand is required to be taught before we can learn of the myriad exceptions to that rule?
    That's utter bunk, from my perspective. There's nothing inherently simpler about the current gender dynamic and the one I describe in my post. The idea that it's more complex comes from it being so different from our current conception. One could argue that it's simpler to make gender less important. It wouldn't be essential to teach children about male vs. female when they are too young to accept the nuance I describe if we didn't put concepts of gender on such a high pedestal. They wouldn't need a boiled down version because gender would only matter when you get into defining fairly complicated aspects of identity in the first place.

    What you describe as necessary simplification for the purposes of communication, is typically just abstraction and substitution. Lots of people talk without this intellectual butchery you describe. Our fear of complicated identity doesn't come from the difficulty it brings to discussion but the difficulty it brings to social order and the violent reaction it causes with many of our cherished traditions. There's nothing inherently complicated about two women marrying or gender neutral bathrooms. I could construct them as much simpler quite easily. The complication is in changing the way we think about gender. It's a complication we're going to have to deal with unless we want to continue having men and women arbitrarily separated--in particular, with society oppressing and marginalizing women. The people at the edges are probably mostly content to be at the edges. I'm not arguing we restructure our entire take on gender just to appease a small percentage of us. But at the same time, we can't afford to tell people their identities are wrong or bad simply because they don't match up with traditions surrounding what sexual organs someone has.

    Isn't this thread a huge example of why our lacking communication efficiency on this very subject is an issue? Someone here actually pondered whether calling a female a woman is appropriate. We attach so much to some words that we're no longer able to use them without annotations.
    This thread is an example of why over-simplifying gender is a problem, among other things. I'm asking for us to attach less to gender words. For man, woman, male, female to be attached to fewer important connotations. Stereotyping everything doesn't fix the problem you're describing--it doesn't matter if "man" is a shorthand for having a penis or shorthand for being the head of a family. Either way, you're leaving out so many people who identify with the rest of masculinity that you're hampering discussion with this type of simplification. If everyone has to qualify their gender with "Except I don't have a penis" or "Except I don't care about sports" then what's the damn point of the male/female universal?

    You answered why, generically, simplicity is useful for communication. But why is the current idea of male/female particularly simple? I can only think of simplifications that cause more harm than their sheer simplicity makes up for. This is not a problem I find with conversational abstractions and simplifications at large. "Child" not referring to a specific age bracket hasn't completely fucked up anyone's life or kept someone off a sports team, or gotten someone sexually harassed, or lowered someone's salary.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 18-03-2013 at 02:27 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    So what would gender as a concept be if not fundamentally binary?
    You need more transgendered/genderqueer friends. Gender is a continuum, and kind of a lumpy one at that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    You need more transgendered/genderqueer friends. Gender is a continuum, and kind of a lumpy one at that.
    dammit. ninja'd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    Better eat the hat then. I use the word chicks.

    Hamster, there isn't one movement. There are a dozen if not more. And even within a specific "movement" the participants' identities vary wildly. It's not the 1920s anymore dude, god.
    Yeah and many of them are mutually exclusive.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    This is wrong. Anyone can be given the "killer instinct." Literally anyone. Get your lazy agenda derived evo psych out of here please.
    Men have the greater propensity for violence. Period. Killer instinct? What killer instinct? This has nothing to do with what i was saying; go back and read what i wrote about a dozen pages back to understand why it's meaningful to understand there are important differences between the genders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faldrath View Post
    quoting myself from earlier posts: "Indeed, that is one of the classical definitions of "ideology": to make a specific class' interests look like universal, natural ones. If you're raised in such a system (and we all are), any cracks in this charade cause deep anxiety."

    That's all hamster has been doing here. Trying to posit his own beliefs as "natural" ones. With the hidden assumption that "if something is natural, therefore it's inevitable and cannot be subjected to critique" (emphasis added).
    It would help if you actually read the thread and the running discourse with other posters that started a dozen or so pages back to understand what i'm getting at.

    Which, as we know, is pretty much how the greatest atrocities in history have been justified. From all kinds of slavery and serfdom, to the whole of colonialism and imperialism, and all the mass murders of the 20th century, left and right: they were all "inevitable" and "natural", according to their perpetrators. And there was always some pretty good "science" to back them up.
    And thus totally irrelevant and off-topic.

    The current version of social Darwinism fueled by neuroscience and "complexity theory" is just the latest strand of this phenomenon.
    I am forced to use "social darwinism" because i am continually made to explain the obvious. Things will always lookdicey when you are forced to explain the theory behind the theory behind the theory. At one point you're just going to have settle with the fundamentals. Why do bodies attract? Because gravity. Why gravity? Ummm...

    Disputing that there are essential emotive differences between genders is just so laughably absurd you just know that it gotta be talk about politic stuff that gets people contorting and twisting to claim some convenient assertion.

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    Men have a greater propensity for violence because of socialization. Honestly, can you be stupid enough to believe the things you are saying. Men are trained to be violent. And if they refuse to cooperate they are punished. Women are not allowed to be violent. If they refuse to comply they are punished.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    Men have a greater propensity for violence because of socialization. Honestly, can you be stupid enough to believe the things you are saying. Men are trained to be violent. And if they refuse to cooperate they are punished. Women are not allowed to be violent. If they refuse to comply they are punished.
    You are retarded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    Men have a greater propensity for violence because of socialization. Honestly, can you be stupid enough to believe the things you are saying. Men are trained to be violent. And if they refuse to cooperate they are punished. Women are not allowed to be violent. If they refuse to comply they are punished.
    Words, memes, facepalm images, even references to Billy Madison could not properly illustrate how fucking idiotic this statement is.

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