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Gender

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Rhyd6
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Gender

#95370

Postby Rhyd6 » November 13th, 2017, 3:53 pm

During lunch in the pub yesterday we were discussing gender and different interpretations put on it nowadays nothing heavy, more a sort of complete bafflement. Years ago, when Jobcentres issued British Visitors Passports I got landed with the job. One chap turned up dressed as a woman, fair enough his choice, but he wanted his passport issued in the female gender because his photograph was of him in full makeup. I explained I'd have to check on this with the Passport Office in Liverpool which I did, they passed it further up the line for a definitive answer which was duly forwarded to me. The one line I do remember was "the gender which is written on your birth certificate is the gender which remains with you for life". How do they get around this these days? Was going to post this on DAK but as the discussion started in a pub I thought I'd carry it on in a pub.

R6

chas49
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Re: Gender

#95375

Postby chas49 » November 13th, 2017, 4:16 pm

Rhyd6 wrote: "the gender which is written on your birth certificate is the gender which remains with you for life". How do they get around this these days? Was going to post this on DAK but as the discussion started in a pub I thought I'd carry it on in a pub.

R6


This answer is probaly more suited to DAK :) but anyway:

Send one of the following when you apply for a passport:

a Gender Recognition Certificate
a new birth or adoption certificate showing your acquired gender
a letter from your doctor or medical consultant confirming your change of gender is likely to be permanent

https://www.gov.uk/changing-passport-information/gender

Lootman
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Re: Gender

#95386

Postby Lootman » November 13th, 2017, 4:35 pm

The city of New York officially recognises 31 different genders, rather then the two on birth certificates. The future may be a lot more complicated:

https://bernardgoldberg.com/31-genders- ... city-2016/

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Gender

#95404

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 13th, 2017, 5:33 pm

Once upon a time, we had two sexes (male, female) and three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter). Though for as long as I can remember, gender has been archaic in English, so for example it feels wrong to refer to a male cat as "she". Or indeed an inanimate object such as a ship. Now we've lost gender more-or-less completely, except when learning a foreign language.

I think today you need to treat it as Humpty Dumpty, with added politicisation and loss of innocence.
One chap turned up dressed as a woman, fair enough his choice, but he wanted his passport issued in the female gender because his photograph was of him in full makeup.

I think you did the right thing by passing the buck. Otherwise it's damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Gender

#95408

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 13th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Lootman wrote:The city of New York officially recognises 31 different genders, rather then the two on birth certificates. The future may be a lot more complicated:

Your birth certificate should presumably record your sex. That's biological and almost-always well-defined according to chromosomes and body parts.

dionaeamuscipula
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Re: Gender

#95531

Postby dionaeamuscipula » November 14th, 2017, 9:33 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:Your birth certificate should presumably record your sex. That's biological and almost-always well-defined according to chromosomes and body parts.


While the spread of gender is unusual in that most people are at the extremes rather than in the middle (and therefore doesn't conform to a standard distribution), there is little doubt that gender is a continuum, not a duality.

DM

JMN2
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Re: Gender

#95536

Postby JMN2 » November 14th, 2017, 9:53 am

In other words, gender is like a slider bar adjustment knob on a 70's hi-fi, and now I finally understand fully what is meant by binary versus non-binary.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Gender

#95549

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 14th, 2017, 10:31 am

dionaeamuscipula wrote:
UncleEbenezer wrote:Your birth certificate should presumably record your sex. That's biological and almost-always well-defined according to chromosomes and body parts.


While the spread of gender is unusual in that most people are at the extremes rather than in the middle (and therefore doesn't conform to a standard distribution), there is little doubt that gender is a continuum, not a duality.

DM

"Gender" is far too politicised for me to try and argue. But in terms of sex, any concept of "in the middle" is unhelpful, and could easily push you towards muddled thinking.

The ancient greeks had a much better word ἑρμαφρόδιτος for those exceptional cases of a person with biological attributes of both sexes. But then, they didn't get hung up on the bizarre sexual politics of the modern world.

UncleIan
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Re: Gender

#95553

Postby UncleIan » November 14th, 2017, 10:41 am

JMN2 wrote:In other words, gender is like a slider bar adjustment knob on a 70's hi-fi, and now I finally understand fully what is meant by binary versus non-binary.


He said "Knob" [snigger]

GoSeigen
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Re: Gender

#95563

Postby GoSeigen » November 14th, 2017, 11:11 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:
The ancient greeks had a much better word ἑρμαφρόδιτος for those exceptional cases of a person with biological attributes of both sexes. But then, they didn't get hung up on the bizarre sexual politics of the modern world.


Er, pardon my saying, but far from being exceptional, surely virtually every person has aspects of both sexes. [To put it another way: any perceived differences are merely a matter of definition.]

Even if we leave aside obvious things like feet, hands and arseholes which seem to be almost universal to both sexes, even overlooking long hair (which, according to most kids commenting on my former pony tail, is a female feature) you have to admit that most males possess nipples, and many including me of late, fairly prominent boobs/moobs. Ever seen a male breastfeeding? Yet why the hell do we accept these as a "male" feature, yet a clitoris is female, though not much different to a penis which is male and if the two are slightly mixed up in an individual we throw our hands up in horror?

To anyone who thinks about this for more than a minute in an unprejudiced way it should be obvious that sex is a very slippery thing, certainly not ordained by any god or God and our division into "male" and "female" is a matter of convenience and taxonomy, not a description of scientific definitude. That's not to say such a division is not socially useful, and the correlation between conformity of two people to traditional definitions of male and female, and their ability to procreate is compellingly good. However, even that corellation is far from perfect, many "females" being unable to bear child and many "males" being unable to fertilise for a wide variety of reasons. Such reasons include the many individuals who as a natural product of nature's messy evolutionary mechanisms fall into the midle ground between "male" and "female".


GS

bungeejumper
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Re: Gender

#95633

Postby bungeejumper » November 14th, 2017, 4:00 pm

GoSeigen wrote:To anyone who thinks about this for more than a minute in an unprejudiced way it should be obvious that sex is a very slippery thing, certainly not ordained by any god or God and our division into "male" and "female" is a matter of convenience and taxonomy, not a description of scientific definitude. That's not to say such a division is not socially useful, and the correlation between conformity of two people to traditional definitions of male and female, and their ability to procreate is compellingly good. However, even that corellation is far from perfect, many "females" being unable to bear child and many "males" being unable to fertilise for a wide variety of reasons. Such reasons include the many individuals who as a natural product of nature's messy evolutionary mechanisms fall into the midle ground between "male" and "female".

Yeah, but.

As a poor old normal bloke with enough other things to think about, do I really have the daily brain space to allow for all that? Am I going to analyse the thirty-odd potential sexual/gender/whatever permutations before I decide whether to address somebody as he, she, he-in-a-state-of-transition, she ditto, gender neutral, Jedi or any number of flavours in between?

And am I going to spend time trying to remember whether somebody's gay marriage consists of two husbands, two wives (much less common, for some reason), or something else entirely, on pain of being socially snubbed forever? Am I heck. The eskimos may have 32 words for snow, but around these non-urban parts we haven't met with quite that degree of complexity. We understand gay, we understand straight, we understand bi, we almost understand non-sex and polyamorous, but otherwise we're busy doing other stuff. Sorry, get used to it.

There's nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight


BJ

GoSeigen
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Re: Gender

#95652

Postby GoSeigen » November 14th, 2017, 4:38 pm

bungeejumper wrote:As a poor old normal bloke with enough other things to think about, do I really have the daily brain space to allow for all that?

BJ


Nope, if you can't be bothered then don't bother. It's fine by me.

But don't work in a zoo. "Birds get seeds to eat. Mammals get beef and grass. Fish get maggots, everything else can fend for itself. Easy!" ;-)


GS

Rhyd6
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Re: Gender

#95656

Postby Rhyd6 » November 14th, 2017, 4:52 pm

Thank you for your answers and the ensuing discussions - worthy of any pub ;) The one aspect of all this gender business is those that decide to be male one day and female the next, sorry but life is complicated enough without having to remember whether or not you want to be addressed as sir or madam. My head hurts, I need a large brandy as I'm sure the sun must be over the yardarm.
I am so glad that I was young in the 50s and 60s when all I worried about was Elvis or Cliff.

R6

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Re: Gender

#95685

Postby Slarti » November 14th, 2017, 5:50 pm

Rhyd6 wrote:Thank you for your answers and the ensuing discussions - worthy of any pub ;) The one aspect of all this gender business is those that decide to be male one day and female the next, sorry but life is complicated enough without having to remember whether or not you want to be addressed as sir or madam. My head hurts, I need a large brandy as I'm sure the sun must be over the yardarm.
I am so glad that I was young in the 50s and 60s when all I worried about was Elvis or Cliff.

R6


There is one person I am aware of who is "gender fluid" and can present either way.

They don't use their name and don't like being called sir or madam preferring either their name or they/them as personal pronouns.


As I go to many and varied organisations for work, I stopped using anything other than names some years ago when I realised with a couple of individuals I had no idea what they were and their names didn't help me. :shock:


Whatever people want to be called, so shall I call them and if it annoys me, I'll avoid them as far as possible.

Slarti

supremetwo
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Re: Gender

#95688

Postby supremetwo » November 14th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Rhyd6 wrote:Thank you for your answers and the ensuing discussions - worthy of any pub ;) The one aspect of all this gender business is those that decide to be male one day and female the next, sorry but life is complicated enough without having to remember whether or not you want to be addressed as sir or madam. My head hurts, I need a large brandy as I'm sure the sun must be over the yardarm.
I am so glad that I was young in the 50s and 60s when all I worried about was Elvis or Cliff.
R6

The issue as I see it is the proliferation of mostly-public sector jobs to deal with this and the consequent need for even-more taxation to pay for it.

The NHS and schools are already spending increasing amounts on the psychiatry and treatment of gender and, unless their budgets are upped accordingly, this will be to the detriment of the treatment and education of normal males and females.

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Re: Gender

#95690

Postby Lootman » November 14th, 2017, 5:59 pm

Slarti wrote:As I go to many and varied organisations for work, I stopped using anything other than names some years ago when I realised with a couple of individuals I had no idea what they were and their names didn't help me.

Names can be a minefield as well. As the nation has become more multicultural, names have become harder to pronounce. We have a lot more African names that appear to be almost completely composed of vowels. Whilst Eastern European names can have few vowels and a blizzard of consonants, along with some Asian names that have no vowels at all.

Perhaps this is why Americans invented the term of address "Yo" which can be neutrally used to address everyone, including those of indeterminate gender and with undecipherable names.

bungeejumper
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Re: Gender

#95694

Postby bungeejumper » November 14th, 2017, 6:04 pm

Slarti wrote:There is one person I am aware of who is "gender fluid" and can present either way.

They don't use their name and don't like being called sir or madam preferring either their name or they/them as personal pronouns.

Just watch me not care. If they've set up their own private rules for how they want the world to address them, then that's their problem and not mine. Sorry to be so blunt.

BJ

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Re: Gender

#95700

Postby Lootman » November 14th, 2017, 6:18 pm

bungeejumper wrote:If they've set up their own private rules for how they want the world to address them, then that's their problem and not mine. Sorry to be so blunt.

Reminds me of the Rachel Dolezal story where she spent her whole life "identifying" as black but it turned out that both her parents were white. She even got to be a President of NAACP. It was more of an issue perhaps because being non-white can entitle you to certain benefits, scholarships and legal protections. She refuses to apologise for the deception and continues to insist that she is black.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Dolezal

Which comes back to the central question. Can we each decide what we are? Or is it for society to tell us?

Slarti
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Re: Gender

#95845

Postby Slarti » November 15th, 2017, 9:50 am

bungeejumper wrote:
Slarti wrote:There is one person I am aware of who is "gender fluid" and can present either way.

They don't use their name and don't like being called sir or madam preferring either their name or they/them as personal pronouns.

Just watch me not care. If they've set up their own private rules for how they want the world to address them, then that's their problem and not mine. Sorry to be so blunt.

BJ


But if it was somebody that you wanted to communicate with, you'd have to care, at least enough to be civil.

So above I said "preferring either their name or they/them as personal pronouns" where I should have said "preferring either their initials or they/them as personal pronouns".

As using this convention causes me no problem, that is what I do.

Slarti

bungeejumper
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Re: Gender

#95859

Postby bungeejumper » November 15th, 2017, 10:16 am

Slarti wrote:But if it was somebody that you wanted to communicate with, you'd have to care, at least enough to be civil.

So above I said "preferring either their name or they/them as personal pronouns" where I should have said "preferring either their initials or they/them as personal pronouns".

Fair point, good policy. :)

(Always civil) BJ


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