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The Rise of Gender-Neutral Names Isn’t What It Seems


Grim Reaper 6

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54 minutes ago, Arbenol said:

I don't know if you're referring to me but, if you haven't noticed, I haven't called you transphobic - and I don't think you are. It's a meaningless word that often gets thrown about to shut someone up. (Although I'm not claiming I've never used it - sometimes the cap fits).

Our discussion reminds me of many times we spoke in the past when you were a very conservative Christian. I used to believe you were quite virulently homophobic but discussions with you on the issue disabused me of that notion. I concluded you were basically a kind person who was the victim of a toxic ideology. 

I'm not talking about you.  The person I'm referring to has called me "bigoted" within this thread,  and suggested I have "disdain" for a group I have no ill feelings towards at all!

 

54 minutes ago, Arbenol said:

But to get back to our discussion. I just have a question. You say you don't reject the idea that gender fluidity has been present throughout human history. Do you know of any historical sources (acceptable to you as good evidence) that shows this to be true?

I've yet to see an ancient source that demonstrates a third gender. I've asked in this thread for sources,  I've been told it's "obvious", that there are "virtual libraries", but every time I've searched for specific claims,  things turn out less than clear.  

"Two Spirit" did not exist until 1990. "Sekhet" is based on "unreliable sources" (by Wikipedia standards, I'm waiting on email replies from Egyptian historians). "Wintke" is the closest I've seen,  and it's possible that trans insividuals were recognised by this standard, and at the very least if trans people were present they could live as a wintke without fear of persecution.   But it wasn't a "third gender", it was a class of men who took on traditionally female roles within Lakota society. 

There's also a couple of articles I've been shown that are behind a pay wall,  I will be trying to access those, but it's not a high priority for me,  I've got a mortgage and I'm currently remodelling my kitchen,  so I'm not exactly searching for things to spend my money on right now. 

 

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3 hours ago, Paranoid Android said:

I've yet to see an ancient source that demonstrates a third gender. I've asked in this thread for sources,  I've been told it's "obvious", that there are "virtual libraries", but every time I've searched for specific claims,  things turn out less than clear.  

"Two Spirit" did not exist until 1990. "Sekhet" is based on "unreliable sources" (by Wikipedia standards, I'm waiting on email replies from Egyptian historians). "Wintke" is the closest I've seen,  and it's possible that trans insividuals were recognised by this standard, and at the very least if trans people were present they could live as a wintke without fear of persecution.   But it wasn't a "third gender", it was a class of men who took on traditionally female roles within Lakota society. 

There's also a couple of articles I've been shown that are behind a pay wall,  I will be trying to access those, but it's not a high priority for me,  I've got a mortgage and I'm currently remodelling my kitchen,  so I'm not exactly searching for things to spend my money on right now. 

 

Fair enough. It's not a subject I know a great deal about. I'd never heard the term 'two spirit' before now. But it seems irrelevant to the discussion as it is (as you say) a contemporary phrase. But skimming through the wikipedia article makes fairly clear than many indigenous American societies recognised gender fluidity and non-heteronormative behaviours, and had their own terms for them.

It's always going to be nigh on impossible to glean accurate information from societies that passed on knowledge through oral traditions, but I think the balance of evidence from a variety of sources shows that it's a phenomenon that's probably been around as long have humans have got together in groups.

But, as I previously said, I don't think it's important to either side of the argument. Whether trans people have been with us forever or if it was just invented last year, they're a real part of our society now.

Edited by Arbenol
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24 minutes ago, Arbenol said:

Fair enough. It's not a subject I know a great deal about. I'd never heard the term 'two spirit' before now. But it seems irrelevant to the discussion as it is (as you say) a contemporary phrase. But skimming through the wikipedia article makes fairly clear than many indigenous American societies recognised gender fluidity and non-heteronormative behaviours, and had their own terms for them.

It's always going to be nigh on impossible to glean accurate information from societies that passed on knowledge through oral traditions, but I think the balance of evidence from a variety of sources shows that it's a phenomenon that's probably been around as long have humans have got together in groups.

But, as I previously said, I don't think it's important to either side of the argument. Whether trans people have been with us forever or if it was just invented last year, they're a real part of our society now.

I brought it up because anti trans complainers want to portray trans as a fad, or a temporary affectation that is new. It's part of dehumanizing a group to belittle or dismiss any history of a subset of people as not really existing. Ask certain posters on here whether they think trans is real. More than a few have made multiple posts they don't believe it. They portray it as a perversion. Certain posters want to say they aren't anti trans just debating history but use clearly dehumanizing language in their descriptions of transitioning now. 

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6 hours ago, Paranoid Android said:

From where I sit, that is an extremely dishonest way of framing the matter,  and basically makes expertise in a field a handicap to offering an opinion - oh, you're an expert,  you can't be trusted because you have skin in the game!!!! 

Ouch. I'm being dishonest in your view? I'm sure you'll understand, then, that that ends our conversation. Don't look to me for sympathy about your being falsely accused.

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Is this what the hoo ha is all about? 

Quote
There are approximately half a million hijras and other third gender individuals in India, plus smaller numbers in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The hijra identity is a unique blend of biological, gendered, and sexual identities underpinned by religion and bound by a tight-knit social structure.
26 Sept 2019  In 2014, India's Supreme Court officially recognized the third gender. The decision means the government must provide equal...
 
~
In Thailand, as elsewhere, one can find several different gender roles, identities and ... The Third Sex: Kathoey: Thailand's Ladyboys.
 
 
...
 
15 Jan 2015  BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's constitution will include the term “third gender” for the first time, a member of a panel drafting a new ...

~

 

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7 hours ago, SHaYap said:

Is this what the hoo ha is all about? 

~

 

I think the idea was to try and discredit transgenderism as a modern trend rather than a historical fact by ignoring any history or foreign cultural that states otherwise.

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25 minutes ago, Gromdor said:

I think the idea was to try and discredit transgenderism as a modern trend rather than a historical fact by ignoring any history or foreign cultural that states otherwise.

Not exactly "somewhere over the rainbow" now izzit? 

~

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13 hours ago, eight bits said:

Ouch. I'm being dishonest in your view? I'm sure you'll understand, then, that that ends our conversation. Don't look to me for sympathy about your being falsely accused.

I understand why you want to drop out of the conversation. However, I'm not sure how else to describe it when expertise in a field is used as an ad hominem attack against that field! If there is another term that would suit better than "dishonest", I'm happy to work with you, because I'm not arguing you are being intentionally dishonest, only pointing out that the method of presenting the data in the way that you did was dishonest (eg, the "hockey stick" climate change graph is also "dishonest" - even though it is presenting technically accurate information, the manner in which it is presented obfuscates other data).. 

Misleading might be more accurate and avoid claims of intentional dishonesty. Maybe "spurious reasoning" would work instead, if either term is more palatable than the alternative, I'll happily replace them. 

Otherwise, if this has ended our discussion here, then have a great week and enjoy your weekend :) 

~ Regards, PA

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16 hours ago, Arbenol said:

Fair enough. It's not a subject I know a great deal about. I'd never heard the term 'two spirit' before now. But it seems irrelevant to the discussion as it is (as you say) a contemporary phrase. But skimming through the wikipedia article makes fairly clear than many indigenous American societies recognised gender fluidity and non-heteronormative behaviours, and had their own terms for them.

Wikipedia is a good starting point to research, but it's not a great source in itself. 

 

16 hours ago, Arbenol said:

It's always going to be nigh on impossible to glean accurate information from societies that passed on knowledge through oral traditions, but I think the balance of evidence from a variety of sources shows that it's a phenomenon that's probably been around as long have humans have got together in groups.

Why do you suppose it is that it's only ancient oral societies that seemed to have pro-trans values? Why didn't this sort of thing happen regularly in societies that had solid written histories? I mean, it's still POSSIBLE that the Egyptians had a third gender, but that likelihood is shrinking to the point of vanishing by now, I think any reasonable reader would agree this is just a straight out misrepresentation of the truth (maybe not a straight out lie, good intentions paving paths to hell, as the saying goes)

It doesn't take much for oral tradition to be misrepresented. Oral tradition is what led that black American I mentioned in a previous post to go on a panel about racism and falsely claim that the "Master Bedroom" was a racist term! Oral tradition is what led that Aboriginal Australian to go on television and tell reporters that his ancestors were exterminated by dynamite!  .I'm not saying these people are intentionally lying, but they are spreading falsehoods as truth because of their respective oral traditions. And those instances go back less than 200 years, it's not like they had thousands of years to get it wrong, this is relatively modern history by the standards of modern civilisation. 

 

16 hours ago, Arbenol said:

But, as I previously said, I don't think it's important to either side of the argument. Whether trans people have been with us forever or if it was just invented last year, they're a real part of our society now.

No disagreements. Go through my posts and see what I have said about the existence of trans people in our society - chiefly, they should be respected and treated equally. As adults they can do what they want with their bodies, and if they are under 18 I believe that they should not have the option to have surgery or go through chemical castration, but short of that should be supported and given the space they need to explore their options! 

I don't see that as an unreasonable position to hold! I think it is very reasonable and treats trans people with the respect and values them as human beings. 

So I guess we agree, after all :) 

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A very disappointing response and an inadequate substutite for a retraction.

I used to respect you. I shall different mistakes from now on.

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1 hour ago, Paranoid Android said:

Wikipedia is a good starting point to research, but it's not a great source in itself. 

 

Why do you suppose it is that it's only ancient oral societies that seemed to have pro-trans values? Why didn't this sort of thing happen regularly in societies that had solid written histories? I mean, it's still POSSIBLE that the Egyptians had a third gender, but that likelihood is shrinking to the point of vanishing by now, I think any reasonable reader would agree this is just a straight out misrepresentation of the truth (maybe not a straight out lie, good intentions paving paths to hell, as the saying goes)

It doesn't take much for oral tradition to be misrepresented. Oral tradition is what led that black American I mentioned in a previous post to go on a panel about racism and falsely claim that the "Master Bedroom" was a racist term! Oral tradition is what led that Aboriginal Australian to go on television and tell reporters that his ancestors were exterminated by dynamite!  .I'm not saying these people are intentionally lying, but they are spreading falsehoods as truth because of their respective oral traditions. And those instances go back less than 200 years, it's not like they had thousands of years to get it wrong, this is relatively modern history by the standards of modern civilisation. 

 

No disagreements. Go through my posts and see what I have said about the existence of trans people in our society - chiefly, they should be respected and treated equally. As adults they can do what they want with their bodies, and if they are under 18 I believe that they should not have the option to have surgery or go through chemical castration, but short of that should be supported and given the space they need to explore their options! 

I don't see that as an unreasonable position to hold! I think it is very reasonable and treats trans people with the respect and values them as human beings. 

So I guess we agree, after all :) 

We do agree................somewhat:D

What I don't agree with is your cherry picking. I've done some quick research (if you can a google search that) and your two examples of misrepresentation of oral tradition appear very dubious. It appears that the term 'master bedroom' didn't appear until long after slavery was abolished. And whilst people generally don't use the term ( I still would - I've never associated the term with slavery) because of it's associated connotations with slavery. I'm thinking that's more of an American thing. What I can't find is anyone claiming that etymology for the phrase. Same goes with your first fleet and dynamite story. I can't find any such claim. I'm not saying that nobody ever said it. But we can all find examples of people saying stupid stuff - it's what the internet is for.

Whatever your objections it appears that none of these ideas are gaining much traction and you're creating a controversy where there isn't any.

Regardless, I maintain my opinion that the balance of probability makes it likely that gender fluidity was recognised - if not approved of - by societies. To use one of your favourite phrases: we can agree to disagree on that.

But you're probably wrong:P

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On 3/26/2023 at 10:02 AM, eight bits said:

A very disappointing response and an inadequate substutite for a retraction.

I used to respect you. I shall different mistakes from now on.

You're right, it wasn't a retraction. Framing academic consensus as experts towing the party line is not what I would call honest (really, all those climate scientists agree on climate change - of course they would agree, they are employed in universities, it must be because they are parroting the climate change status quo - do you see how this reasoning looks when you change the field of expertise to something else). ! As noted, I wasn't intending to suggest you did it INTENTIONALLY. And if you felt that I was saying you were being intentionally dishonest, I offer an apology for the misunderstanding. But I cannot offer a retraction! 

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On 3/26/2023 at 11:25 AM, Arbenol said:

We do agree................somewhat:D

What I don't agree with is your cherry picking. I've done some quick research (if you can a google search that) and your two examples of misrepresentation of oral tradition appear very dubious. It appears that the term 'master bedroom' didn't appear until long after slavery was abolished. And whilst people generally don't use the term ( I still would - I've never associated the term with slavery) because of it's associated connotations with slavery. I'm thinking that's more of an American thing. What I can't find is anyone claiming that etymology for the phrase. Same goes with your first fleet and dynamite story. I can't find any such claim. I'm not saying that nobody ever said it. But we can all find examples of people saying stupid stuff - it's what the internet is for.

And why should the instragram video from page 1 be excluded from the line in bold? The claims made in that video are just as founded in reality as the other claims I mentioned! 

 

On 3/26/2023 at 11:25 AM, Arbenol said:

Whatever your objections it appears that none of these ideas are gaining much traction and you're creating a controversy where there isn't any.

Regardless, I maintain my opinion that the balance of probability makes it likely that gender fluidity was recognised - if not approved of - by societies. To use one of your favourite phrases: we can agree to disagree on that.

But you're probably wrong:P

Yes, happy to agree to disagree, though there's less to disagree on than you may think! 

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2 hours ago, Paranoid Android said:

And why should the instragram video from page 1 be excluded from the line in bold? The claims made in that video are just as founded in reality as the other claims I mentioned! 

It shouldn't. Nobody should take the word of an instagrammer as gospel. Always best to check other sources.

 

2 hours ago, Paranoid Android said:

Yes, happy to agree to disagree, though there's less to disagree on than you may think! 

We really only disagree on this point...so far.

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Except it wasn't just an instagram video I posted. I also posted scholarly journal articles from university presses and archeologists. Then that poster said they were going to email the authors. Mmkay, as I pointed out some were written in the 80s. Do they have a time machine? All to prove the idea that trans is new (and therefore suspect, not real, dehumanize etc). Trans isn't new. Have those scholars returned your emails from 87?

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14 hours ago, darkmoonlady said:

Except it wasn't just an instagram video I posted. I also posted scholarly journal articles from university presses and archeologists. Then that poster said they were going to email the authors. Mmkay, as I pointed out some were written in the 80s. Do they have a time machine? All to prove the idea that trans is new (and therefore suspect, not real, dehumanize etc). Trans isn't new. Have those scholars returned your emails from 87?

The articles you provided for me haven't backed up that Instagram video! Your article on the Lakota people made it clear that "wintke" wasn't a "third gender" but a class of men who took on traditionally feminine roles in that society (as a school teacher, the majority of my colleagues are women, because more women go into teaching than men, that makes me a "wintke" by the standards of the Lakota). I have admitted that if there were trans people living among the Lakota that would have provided a safe space for such a person to live their life as they wish, including using make up and wearing women's clothing. But it's a class/culture thing, not a trans thing! Heterosexual males could be and were wintke!   

Then you linked an article on Ancient Egypt, but the preamble of the article doesn't say anything about gender, in fact makes it clear that Ancient Egypt was binary. But in the abstract, the author says they're going to look into gender, and you assume that it will talk all about the sekhet in the most positive terms possible (which wikipedia acknowledges is an unreliable source). Did you even read that article? Or did you just do a search for Egypt and gender and then assume that the article would back you up (as an historian, I thought you were providing sources you had read, but I'm questioning that assumption)? I'm still waiting for those Ancient Egyptian historians - but if they say this is a lie promoted by pro-trans activists, would you accept their words? Or would you find some reason to dismiss them (oh, they are white, they are male, they are part of a patriarchal system designed to keep minority's downtrodden, there's always an excuse)? 

On the matter of emailing experts - I said I would email ancient Egyptian historians at universities to ask them about Sekhet! I said nothing about emailing authors from studies in the 80s! 

Lastly, this is NOT to "prove the idea that trans is new". That is your interpretation of why I'm posting! I've already explained in other posts what my reasons are!  

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44 minutes ago, Paranoid Android said:

The articles you provided for me haven't backed up that Instagram video! Your article on the Lakota people made it clear that "wintke" wasn't a "third gender" but a class of men who took on traditionally feminine roles in that society (as a school teacher, the majority of my colleagues are women, because more women go into teaching than men, that makes me a "wintke" by the standards of the Lakota). I have admitted that if there were trans people living among the Lakota that would have provided a safe space for such a person to live their life as they wish, including using make up and wearing women's clothing. But it's a class/culture thing, not a trans thing! Heterosexual males could be and were wintke!   

Then you linked an article on Ancient Egypt, but the preamble of the article doesn't say anything about gender, in fact makes it clear that Ancient Egypt was binary. But in the abstract, the author says they're going to look into gender, and you assume that it will talk all about the sekhet in the most positive terms possible (which wikipedia acknowledges is an unreliable source). Did you even read that article? Or did you just do a search for Egypt and gender and then assume that the article would back you up (as an historian, I thought you were providing sources you had read, but I'm questioning that assumption)? I'm still waiting for those Ancient Egyptian historians - but if they say this is a lie promoted by pro-trans activists, would you accept their words? Or would you find some reason to dismiss them (oh, they are white, they are male, they are part of a patriarchal system designed to keep minority's downtrodden, there's always an excuse)? 

On the matter of emailing experts - I said I would email ancient Egyptian historians at universities to ask them about Sekhet! I said nothing about emailing authors from studies in the 80s! 

Lastly, this is NOT to "prove the idea that trans is new". That is your interpretation of why I'm posting! I've already explained in other posts what my reasons are!  

You only read the free bits.

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Not sure what the big deal is, growing up in knew girls that went by  Mel, Sam, Frankie and didn't think there was anything wrong with it. I also knew guys with names like Gale, Frances, Marie, I also knew a lot of guys that were Nancy's but the wasn't their name so don't really make much of names

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So has the argument gotten down to a position that since my grandpappy didn't do it that way, I don't want my grandkids to change anything?

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8 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

Not sure what the big deal is, growing up in knew girls that went by  Mel, Sam, Frankie and didn't think there was anything wrong with it. I also knew guys with names like Gale, Frances, Marie, I also knew a lot of guys that were Nancy's but the wasn't their name so don't really make much of names

Don't insult my friend Nancy by calling men you think are silly by her name.   Find an actual adjective, and my friends named Karen would like their name back as well.  My friend Nancy is tough, worked on a fire crew when she was in her 30's, does wood working for fun.   And all the Karens I know (except one) are very resillient and kind, would never consider making a scene about anything.

But you make a point I tried to make earlier.  There is no such thing as gender to names except because of society and I had some examples too, like my grandfather's friend Shirley, who was a man and a tough ranch hand.   John Wayne's real name was Marion.   My cousin and my mother had the name Lee.  

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3 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

Don't insult my friend Nancy by calling men you think are silly by her name.   Find an actual adjective, and my friends named Karen would like their name back as well.  My friend Nancy is tough, worked on a fire crew when she was in her 30's, does wood working for fun.   And all the Karens I know (except one) are very resillient and kind, would never consider making a scene about anything.

But you make a point I tried to make earlier.  There is no such thing as gender to names except because of society and I had some examples too, like my grandfather's friend Shirley, who was a man and a tough ranch hand.   John Wayne's real name was Marion.   My cousin and my mother had the name Lee.  

Hi Desertrat

Yes I shouldn’t have made the Nancy comment, my apologies as I have a cousin and a couple of girls by that name that are strong independent women.

Absolutely correct people have always have had names that were both masculine and feminine in use which is why I don’t see why now it is a problem. People want to be so petty over a nonissue like there aren’t real problems that they could focus on like selecting better politicians or doing their part in making their community a better place to live in.

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5 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Desertrat

Yes I shouldn’t have made the Nancy comment, my apologies as I have a cousin and a couple of girls by that name that are strong independent women.

Absolutely correct people have always have had names that were both masculine and feminine in use which is why I don’t see why now it is a problem. People want to be so petty over a nonissue like there aren’t real problems that they could focus on like selecting better politicians or doing their part in making their community a better place to live in.

It is the rule of the insane minority, we don't have to pay attention to the media, we can go take a walk, talk to our neighbor etc.  And if we encounter someone chastising us or another over something that stupid we can point out offense is taken, not given.   

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On 3/22/2023 at 6:55 PM, spartan max2 said:

 

While you're arguing about how something being done in the past dosen't mean it should be done now.

Ironic that Mid mentions child brides as if that isn't something republicans still engage in today. 

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On 3/22/2023 at 11:33 PM, Paranoid Android said:

The primary source that "two spirit" was coined in 1990, you mean? That's easy to find! 

Or this primary source (link) from the wikipedia page that denounces "two spirit" as a well-intentioned but harmful term, while pointing out that several Native American tribes had very clear anti-gay rules that made such relationships forbidden (and suggesting some other tribes that are quite welcoming of trans people - but again, the writer chooses not to cite the original primary sources for where these terms are found in ancient Native American writings, so there's no way I can possibly fact check her about the origins of these terms)! 

The word (in europen written history as applied anthropologoically to native americas) you're looking for is berdache

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