Monday, July 10, 2017

Regarding Gender/Trans Issues

This is a kind of long post pertaining to some stuff bothering me a lot lately. It's got a lot in it, but feel free to leave insights in the comments!

So I have an issue… Basically, people argue that anyone should be able to dress, act, and express their gender however they want no matter their biological sex without being discriminated against, and yet people also advocate for trans rights, and usually trans people depend on the “binary” in culture in order to pass as the gender they want—especially people who don’t have access to or may not want hormones and surgery. It seems counterintuitive. I don’t know if both agendas can coexist. So then how do we proceed? And which one is better? If neither, then is there a middle ground? People should be able to express as they wish regarding gender, yet would that not be detrimental to those who are trans since people would simply refer to them as the gendered words that generally accompany biological sex because, i.e., no one would care about the difference between a trans man and a “butch” woman or a trans woman and a drag queen? As well, would it not also force anyone trans to take potentially harmful or unwanted hormones and surgery since the lines are even more unclear? However, at the same time, these “binary” lines that trans folks may depend on tend to be detrimental to the general population, as it forces people into boxes based on their biology, and no one really wants that, do they? But then again, would that kind of equal world be realistic in the first place? It seems like there must be a reason why male and female humans discriminated themselves into these “gender boxes” in the first place. Is there really no way to get these two agendas to coexist?—where people accept trans folks as well as folks who just wish to dress and act in a different way from their “gender box”? 

As well, pronouns seem to be a huge issue on this topic. Would there really need to be gendered pronouns, let alone sex-specific ones, especially in a world where people can express themselves however they want regarding gender? Or would people not care about omitting sex-specific pronouns as biology would not be a big deal in gender expression? However, then that assumes no one has pronoun dysphoria, and if trans people were included in this world, then clearly pronouns are still an issue. So then, do we just continue to deal with the pronoun issues or would it really be detrimental to omit the genders from them and just depend on the nouns for gender expression in our language?

I realise that there are always going to be exceptions in any culture, however, I am thinking from an overarching point of view, as I think it is safe to say that all cultures have some sort of overarching gender structure in them.

"I don't know anymore. I'm so confused."

1 comment:

  1. First of all, the way you're talking about this makes it seem like trans people are half the population or something. You even said at the end, "there are exceptions to any culture." So wouldn't you think that trans people are also the exception?

    Second, wouldn't you also think that if it's a real trans person, they would use whatever resources they have to pass as the gender they want, in other word, hormones and surgery? Otherwise, I'm sorry, but that's their "cross to carry." I know you want to be as inclusive and respectful as possible to everyone, but unfortunately culture cohesion cannot and realistically will not revolve around the minority.

    Third, I'm not so sure there would be as many trans people in the first place if a culture were more lenient around how people can express themselves regardless of sex. Also, since you mentioned pronouns, I suppose the best route to go with those, (assuming we want to go in the direction of simply letting people dress and act however they want), would be no route. What we have now would work perfectly fine, as pronouns would represent nothing more than simple biological sex, no strings attached. I don't really see a problem with them, albeit I don't see a need to change them for the needs of the few. It is their prerogative to tell people if they want others to address them by different pronouns. Although, I do agree there can be more acceptance and people don't need to be so salty about trans folks. As well, I think it would be useful if there was a third singular gender neutral pronoun that people can rely on if things happen to get confusing.

    To answer your main question about which direction is the best to go, I think overall it might be better to try and create a culture where people can express themselves however they want regardless of biology. I'm sorry if that makes it harder for trans people, but I think it's better for the majority. Of course, you mentioned how people might naturally discriminate themselves into "gender boxes" for a reason, and I think that is a fairly realistic statement, so in the end there would still be some bases for trans people to hold on to.