What is it like to feel gender?

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6 months 3 weeks ago #374276 by Tellahane

Kwitshadie post=374270 userid=42405If you want to wear clothes of the opposite gender, more power to you. I got eyelashes as long as the Ladies but with bulky muscles; plus my height that intimidates people at times. 
Just remember that your muscular-skeletal system is built differently. Trans-Females have been getting the upper hand and winning in Female sex sports in droves as of lately; woman’s sports were to put it gently established for a reason.
Personally, it would be better to start a trans-sports division.


Yeah, no. Jedi do not support this kind of ignorance. 

They're not 'wearing clothes of the opposite gender'. they're wearing clothes that match their gender. 

After a few years on hormones, there is negligable if any 'prior advantages' left. All these cases of trans women winning sports are highlighted because of their trans identity, not because of any records being won. How many trans people have won in the Olympics, please, remind me. 

Jedi do not agree with your statement at all. Right on the front page, "In a society that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or circumstances of birth such as gender, ethnicity and national origin."

Your ignorance on the matter isn't even what this thread is about. Its about what it feels like to feel gender. Instead, you regurgitated talking points that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. You saw the word gender and let yourself become blinded to what is, rather than what you wanted to be. 
 
There's far more ignorance in this reply then the above. Claiming all "Jedi" support or don't support, agree or don't agree is a false statement. Jediism is a Syncretic belief system that meshes in many ways with many different kinds of beliefs. There is no "only way", or "one way" to believe.

That being said my personal view points favor kwitshadie, you can push all the hormones you want there are significant changes in the human body during development based of genetics that gives physiological advantages in males, over females. Biological males will always have an advantage.

I also feel the point is relevant because it does bring an interesting view point for purposes of discussion on the topic at hand. There are physiological differences and the best way to explain them is the frog in the boiled pot analogy. One may not understand what it "feels like" because they have been in the pot for many years of their life. That tends to be in flux during puberty sure, but after awhile you've always noticed a bigger bone structure, a different bone structure, different anatomy, different center of gravity, innate muscle development and strength, all from your genetics. If there was a way to magically change that, you would notice a very different feeling, such as dropping the frog into a boiling pot of water already. So one could say that having been in their physical being and shape for such a long period they may not recognize so easily how they "feel in it". Though there are likely some meditative techniques and practices that could help with re-experiencing that.

All that being said lets not be quick to assume "all jedi" believe one thing or another. I personally don't believe trans anything is healthy, but it doesn't meant I won't respect others differing beliefs and views, even within this temple on that subject. Let's stay respectful here please.
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6 months 3 weeks ago #374280 by Wraith
so i read this welcome packet thing that said this place was LGBT safe. 

that obviously was a lie if someone can just say a trans woman is just a man in woman's clothing playing pretend with mental issues, or vice versa, without challenge and even worse just flat out support from a knight. I will reach out to my teacher with this information. 

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6 months 2 weeks ago #374282 by Tellahane

so i read this welcome packet thing that said this place was LGBT safe. 

that obviously was a lie if someone can just say a trans woman is just a man in woman's clothing playing pretend with mental issues, or vice versa, without challenge and even worse just flat out support from a knight. I will reach out to my teacher with this information. 
I'm fairly convinced that's not what just happened. Your very quick to assume, and judge, and your gaslighting attempt hasn't gone unnoticed. Still, if you wish to have a discussion on it I'm more then willing, find me on the temple discord and reach out.
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6 months 2 weeks ago - 6 months 2 weeks ago #374284 by Kwitshadie
Yeah, Autism runs deep in my family. The University of Washington threatened to put me in an institution for my Autism as an Infant so just to fizzle out the assumptions; this was in 1996 so we’ve come along way since then. ^_^

If you want to find a way to allow Trans community to compete; and also to allow Woman to have their own sporting events so they can win as well, I’m all ears. ^_^

I remember in my Highschool that they had Men’s, Woman’s and Gender Neutral Bathrooms and I personally preferred the Gender Neutral Restrooms for their cleanliness and is an inspiration. ^_^

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering ~ Yoda
Last edit: 6 months 2 weeks ago by Kwitshadie.
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6 months 2 weeks ago - 6 months 2 weeks ago #374285 by Carlos.Martinez3

I understand that there is a difference between sex and gender. Sex is physiological while gender is psychological; sex is easily recognizable while gender is internal; sex has many defined traits while gender doesn't seem to. But I've never experienced gender. I don't know what it means to "feel like a (man/woman/etc)". I suppose I'm recognized socially as a man -- though with my long hair, people have misgendered me before. I feel no urge to dress in a way specific to my sex, though I usually end up wearing "masculine" clothes since that's what family members have bought for me for my whole life. I'm not sure it means anything to "act like a (man/woman/etc)" because I see people of different sexes acting in many different ways.
So that got me thinking. I don't understand what it's like to experience gender. From where I'm standing it seems to be about stereotypes and historic gender roles. Like, you "feel like a woman" because you want to adhere to a stereotype of a woman, or you "feel like a man" because you want to fill a historically male social role. That's what appears to be happening, to me, when a person affirms their gender identity.
But outside of stereotypes (e.g. "men aren't emotional!") and gender roles (e.g. "I want to stay at home and cook and clean") I'm not aware of any observable behaviors which can be accurately deemed "gendered". And this kind of bothers me. When you say "I feel like a man" is it because you have an image in your head of what a stereotypical man is like, and you feel like that or you want to be that? Is that what is meant by gender? I see men and women perform different behaviors all the time which don't adhere to their sex stereotypes.
Is it the way they dress? Like, feeling like a woman means you want to dress in a certain way? If I wear a skirt, does it make me a woman? I've seen men and women wear all different types of clothing, so I don't think it's that.
Is it a way of thinking? Like, you think like a man, or you think like a woman? But surely you wouldn't know what it's like to think like another gender if you're not that gender? So how would anyone know they think like a man or like a woman when they have no experience in thinking like the other gender to reference?
Given the diversity of human thought and actions, I don't think it's right to label one group of behaviors or thoughts as being specifically gendered. But people do say that they feel like a gender. So is gender a feeling, rather than a thought or an action? If it is a feeling, how does it feel?



It has been quite some time, so just a reminder of the original post. At any given time, we as Jedi have the ability to learn and grow. No ONE person represents the entire Temple. That is not the way it has ever worked. We have many different leaders in many different lifestyles who serve in and in the heart of the Temple. Each of us brings a better and bigger understanding of what is inside the vessel and what else is possible. Each vessel and contents are sometimes seeming like water and oil but with time and practice, we can learn to create quite a bit of a stir together.  This place and people meet. We meet online and offline. Our orientations are sometimes what draw us closer and the fact that we are not the same is what bonds us around a campfire or at a gathering.  

Do remember, we are allowed the liberty of perspective. Each of us is. If you were given the grace to take your liberty, why would you take that from another? That is my two cents on the matter. It is worth that much. 

We do not discriminate on anything really.We Believe:In the Force, and in the inherent worth of all life within it.
All are welcome. Redemption can be found, had, and given at any time in our paths. Self-reflection is not gender specific nor is human development, if anything it is what binds genders not separate. 


 

Pastor of Temple of the Jedi Order
pastor@templeofthejediorder.org
Build, not tear down.
Nosce te ipsum / Cerca trova
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6 months 2 weeks ago #374288 by Cornilion Seadragon
I thought it might be useful to share some scientific background on the subject, as I think an underlying issue whenever the topic of trans people is brought up in any venue is that we assume that sex is exactly as simple as it is described to be in high school biology class. We are taught that people are either born with a 23rd chromosome pair of either XY or XX and that someone with XY has a completely male phenotype and a person with XX has a completely female phenotype. The reality WAY more complicated. Genotype is the genetic sequences a person has. Phenotype is how those genetic sequences manifest.

Starting just with genotype, there's a lot of issues with the assumption that everyone has either an XY or an XX. The first being that it's a lot more common than most people realize for XXY, XXX, or even just X to appear. The reason is that when the gamete (sperm or egg) divides from a cell with a full 23 pairs of chromosomes to two cells that each have 23, those chromosomes don't always split up the way they're supposed to. Down Syndrome is a classic example of a different set of chromosomes not splitting up correctly (the 21st chromosome). For the 23rd chromosome, Y can't occur because there are genes on the X chromosome necessary for fetal development, so spontaneous abortion or miscarriage would occur very early in the pregnancy, and X does generally render the person infertile so it is often detected. XXX would likely manifest fairly similar to XX since one X chromosome basically balls up and becomes unused anyway, but the XXY trisomy is where things get interesting. The body might develop using the Y, or it might not, or it might do a little bit of both. Statistically the XXY trisomy occurs in about 3-6 million people in the US (80-160 million in the world). Even this is just the tip of the iceberg, though.

Before splitting off into the separate gamete, the paired chromosomes intermingle with their pairs, swapping pieces of their genetic code with each other. Because of this a child's genetics will truly be a mix of both grandparents' genetics instead of just chromosomes from one or the other. Sometimes this causes significant genetic defects, but for the species as a whole it's been advantageous as it expedites evolution. Normally, this intermingling only occurs for the first 22 chromosomes and not the 23rd pair, but that doesn't always happen. In some cases The X and Y chromosomes of the father will swap genetic sequences before separating as well, meaning that some of the typically male genes end up on the X chromosome and some of the typically female genes end up on the Y chromosome. While the odds of this event occurring are pretty low, these errors get passed on to all future generations and over time the odds that this occurred for any one of our ancestors becomes much higher. Statistically this 23rd chromosome mingling (called aneuploidy) occurs in about 200,000 people in the US or about 5.5 million people in the world. There are also mosaicisms where a person actually ends up with multiple genetic lineages in the same person (again due to an error in mitosis, but in this case it's the production of too many copies of each chromosome instead of just the incorrect separation of the chromosomes) or chimera syndrome where the embryo of one paternal twin absorbs the embryo of the other. I recently encountered a story of a mom who got her child taken away because genetic testing revealed she wasn't the mother. Having literally given birth to the child she of course begged to differ but it would take a while for her doctors to realize that the issue was chimera syndrome and the genes of her daughter actually came from the twin she absorbed in the womb, so this stuff can get kind of wild.

Before I get into epigenetics a brief primer on what genes actually are is probably needed. Genes are essentially blueprints for proteins. These proteins might be enzymes, hormones (not all hormones, but some), receptors or channels, or a number of other things that make the cell and the body as a whole function a certain way. Some proteins function to turn genes on or off (called transcription factors, either promoters when they promote the expression of that gene or repressors when they, well, repress the expression of that gene), so even if a person has a certain genotype, that doesn't mean their phenotype will reflect it. Because most of the actual blueprints are on the X chromosome with the Y chromosome mostly just has transcription factors that promote the "male" genes on the X chromosome and repress the "female" genes, if there is an error in the function of these transcription factors, then the wrong genes will be expressed, as a result there are individuals who are labeled as male at birth who in fact have genotypes of X, XX, or XXX. Unless the person did genetic testing, they'd never know they didn't have an XY pair.

The reason all of this ties into epigenetics is that epigentics is basically transcription factors being passed down from parent to child. These can develop through many generations and is one of the reasons why the lifestyle of a parent can impact the child and pass on more than just the genotype of their genetics. As the parent's body turns on and off different genes in response to events in their life, the transcription factors that do this get passed on to their children. Sometime transcription factors get passed on that shouldn't have. (Technically speaking the father likely passes epigenetics down through the sperm and the mother whose eggs were formed before she was even born and thus are unaffected by her epigenetics gets passed down through her blood stream which supplies the embryo). This is a pretty simplistic explanation of epigenetics and in all honesty my understanding of the topic is very limited as it's a seriously complicated topic that is very difficult to research. The point here is that the expression of genes isn't just a matter of which genes are present, it's a matter of which genes are expressed and there's a lot of ways that can go wrong.

There are quite a few different sex genes (and not all of them are even on the 23rd chromosome). It's also worth noting that even a single gene will have many different alleles, or ways specific variations of that gene, which changes how the gene is expressed or how well it is expressed. Genes also aren't necessarily an all on or all off kind of deal. There are leaky promoters (which are sometimes a nuisance to me in the lab because they muddy results), and some genes that might be activated without promoters to a lesser degree. There's also variations in the promoters themselves that change how much they promote the gene they are attached to (they physically attach to the beginning of a gene that is going to be expressed). Because of this there can be a lot of variability in how strongly a gene is expressed. There are dozens of different genes contributing to sex characteristics (that we have so far identified), and a variety of weird ways that these can be activated, inactivated, or partially activated in unexpected or even contradictory ways.

So how does all of this manifest in phenotype or how the genes are actually expressed? There's a lot that goes into male or female. There are external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, breast tissue, hormones, brain chemistry, muscle development (as a result of those hormones, specifically once puberty has hit, before that there isn't really a significant difference in physical build), hair growth, and possibly a number of factors we have yet to identify. Each of these factors can be male, female, some combination of the two (since some are controlled by a combination of genes), or even somewhere in the middle (in the case of those leaky promoters, unusual epigenetics or other mistakes in the activation/deactivation of genes, and variations in alleles). While some of these factors are obvious, (such as external genitalia) many of them would not be visible without extensive testing, or even impossible to identify short of cutting a person's brain open... which we frown on for living individuals if it's not necessary.

About 1-2% of the population is born intersex. This is where there is an obvious combination of both male and female physiology. (Some people are born with one teste and one ovary, male genitalia with female reproductive organs, etc.. In these cases it has previously been common practice for doctors to basically pick the one they believe is most prevalent and perform a surgery to change everything to that gender (or at least everything obvious and surgically alterable). Some other phenotypes might become obvious later in life (like the development of breast tissue), and some phenotypes may never be identifiable.

In practice, this means that testosterone levels (the hormone that impacts build and athletic performance) can vary widely. Studies among world class athletes have found that while female athletes on average have less testosterone than male athletes, the range between the high and lows isn't actually very different, there's just more female athletes on the lower end of that range and more male athletes in the higher end of that range. Sports that require significant upper body strength obviously tend to favor those at the higher end of the range. It's worth noting that athletes are probably not a sample that accurately reflects the population at large (especially elite athletes), because those with higher testosterone are naturally going to be more inclined to be involved in sports.

So how do you define male or female from the perspective of sex? Do you define it as someone born with or without a Y chromosome? Do you define it as someone with male or female genitalia? Do you define it as someone with male or female reproductive organs? Do you define it by the development of breast tissue? Do you define it by hormone levels? Each one of those categories will give you a different group of people. Each one of these, however, does get used as the definition in different settings. Do surgeries that change these characteristics change a person's sex or is that based on a how a person was born? How this all translates into discussions on trans people, and in particular trans athletes, as well as topics like gender as a whole is a much more complicated topic that sits at the intersection of biology, sociology, and probably psychology and inevitably political science as well.

There have been a number of instances over the years where female athletes born female were barred from world competitions like the Olympics because their testosterone levels were too high (and caught in the anti-doping testing since testosterone doping is indeed one way to gain an advantage). They've had to appeal, often requiring a lot of evidence from their doctor that they just naturally produce more testosterone than average.

I think there's no denying that there have been at least a few specific examples of trans female athletes who out perform female athletes they compete against in strength-related sports. Lia Thomas is a classic example of someone who after transitioning and sitting out the required waiting period following that transition performed far better against female athletes than previously against male athletes. The question of when a person needs to transition or how long they need to wait before competing following transition to be fair is definitely a serious question that a lot of very smart people have struggled to come to a conclusive answer on. Someone who begins hormone therapy before the onset of puberty would have no advantage in athletic performance since they would have the testosterone levels controlled by the hormone therapy. Those who transition after the onset of puberty raise much more complex questions that a lot of very smart people have struggled to find good answers to.

As I said, how this all interacts with the topic of this thread lies at the intersection of many fields of study, but I wanted to at least share how the biological factors fit in to the best of my understanding, since I often notice these types of conversations being driven by a fundamental misunderstanding of how complex genetics really is and how many different ways it complicates topics like sex and gender.

It is also important to note that a lot of studies have been conducted on mental health and other factors involving transgender individuals. Transgender individuals have far higher levels of mental health issues, homelessness, disability, and physical health issues than other populations (and a WAY higher suicide rate). What's notable about this is that these rates level out with the larger population for individuals who have a supportive family, live in areas where there are laws supporting transgender individuals and anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws or policies. That is to say that while transgender individuals do face a lot of significant and even deadly challenges, those are sociological challenges that reflect how society around them treats these individuals, and not caused by biological factors. This is why conversations about this topic are so critical, because it is literally a matter of life and death for many people and how society as a whole handles these topics is the key aspect that controls that, so having honest open dialog and working together to come to a better understanding of the topic really is important.

How all this factors into gender as a whole, is again, a bigger can of worms that is probably as much sociological as it is biological and my couple semesters of sociology certainly don't make me all that knowledgeable on that topic.
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6 months 2 weeks ago #374301 by Adder
I think the approach generally taken is to avoid discrimination insofar as it doesn't discriminate on others.

And when that intersection does happen then the discussion changes from one of understanding one thing, to understanding at least two sides and the dynamics of the 'conflict' for want of a better word.

I'd say when groups feel anti-discrimination of one group is discriminating on other group/s, then some type of distinguishing is probably required to be extended to try to mitigate it and minimize it, if not ideally remove discriminating anyone.... even at the expense of inevitably having to have some duplication of characteristics - which inherently is likely going to be identified by those very contested differences. Which in these cases are likely going to be remnants of said confliction unfortunately. But I don't view that process as discriminatory, for the intent is to minimize discrimination and maximize equality, fairness, and accessibility in a situation. It's usually the best anyone can do when two sides claim their rights are conflicting.

Which yes, then it rightly begs the question are the claims valid (on both sides)! And that to be fair always needs to be considered in a framework of real or perceived impacts of all realistically possible solutions to and from both sides. Not an easy thing to do when conflicts generate emotions on both sides, and are supported by history or science. I think it's why most folk I know seem to think the easiest and fairest solution is creating new groups in those environments when people are being divided into groups (eg sport competitions etc), but no it's not going to appease everyone to address ideals which might favour one side or the other. When there are actual arguments against the claims of the other side they must be considered in the same spirit of fairness and equality even/especially if we disagree; since we all carry bias and presumptions and especially, albeit different types depending on whether an issue is foreign to us or not. Most people won't be willing or able to get into the detail that impacted people will.

So it's interesting to consider it from the social identity theory aspect, even if it's a parallel and totally simplified paradigm for it; when how one group wants to join another group it really needs to be given entry by the existing group, rather than forcing entry into an existing group. The later creates conflict which will continue until one side wins and the other loses or the conflict is ceased by avoiding the conflict entirely by some other means. So back to my intro, the theme I tend towards is, if not being able to avoid conflict, then to minimize it in a manner which endeavors to most fair and most equitable to the competing sides. Part of that might be both sides acknowledging they both might have to lose something to win something and negotiating that becomes the main effort to achieve a peaceful outcome.

 

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
Jou ~ Deg ~ Vlo ~ Sem ~ Mod ~ Med ~ Dis
TM: Grand Master Mark Anjuu
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6 months 2 weeks ago #374305 by Cornilion Seadragon
I think that raises some interesting elements to the conversation, some that address the most recent direction the thread has gone and some that go back to the beginning of the thread. I'm going to set the conflicting rights, desires, and viewpoints aside to first address an interesting perspective that you bring up with social identity.

One perspective is an outside group asking for admission into a group, but I imagine (and anyone who is trans, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) most trans people would view it the opposite, as being rejected by the group they are a part of or being told by others in society that they are not a part of the group that they consider themselves to be a part of. I'm going to view this through a lens of less emotional topics. First, I imagine people being split up according to favorite color. Imagine your favorite color is blue so you go stand with the blue group and then people tell you "No, you're not a part of that group, you had a yellow blanket when you were a baby so you can't like blue. Go back to the yellow group." Now imagine you could only wear clothes of the color from your group, drive a car, live in a house decorated with, and have everything else in your life defined by that color. You may hate yellow, but you've now been told you don't get to be blue even though your favorite color is blue. You were born with a yellow blanket which was the most identifiable colored object when you were a baby, so it doesn't matter if you're blue, society won't accept that. (I'm leaning into the fact that genitals are only one of dozens of different sex characteristics, with the blanket analogy here). What's especially interesting about this lens is that it also begs the question: what about people who just don't have a favorite color, or are color blind? Does everyone have to have one clear favorite color or is it possible that some people might just have zero affinity for any one particular color?

Another interesting lens comes from my own life: hair color. When I was born I had brown hair. I always knew that my hair was brown. If you look at my profile picture you may notice that my hair is now black. The transition was so gradual that I never noticed. One day in second grade we were splitting up into groups by hair color and I ended up getting into an argument with people who told me my hair wasn't brown. They were right, of course, it wasn't. It was a bit of a shock, though, to realize that my hair color was different than I was born with, different than on my birth certificate (slight exaggeration, I don't think hair color is on birth certificates, though eye color might be and I have experienced a similar change there). Either way I no longer fit in with the brown hair group. I truly wasn't one of them even though that's the group I was born into. It would have been even more jarring if I then went over to the black haired group since that's the group I was now clearly in and they told me I wasn't welcome because I was originally a brown hair kid. Again, imagine basically every aspect of society was built around hair color: what sports teams I can be on, what bathroom I can use, what clothes I wear, but I'm not really welcome in any group, not the one that I was born into, nor the one that I now fit. Instead I have no bathroom where I'm welcome, no sports team that I can participate in, or stores where I can go shopping for clothes. I can't imagine being in that position, and I'm very glad I'm not, but I can have empathy for those who are.

Now setting all that aside, Master Adder brings this back to a really important conversation: there are two sides to this, and at least some of the concerns on each side are valid. For those who are trans they want to be free to be themselves and still enjoy all the same opportunities as everyone else in the world, free from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. They want the government to stay out of their healthcare decisions and leave it to them and their doctor (and their parents if the are kids). They want to be able to participate in sports just like everyone else and strive to accomplish great things. They want to not be treated like pariahs in society or have to constantly face commentary about who them are being invalid and how them just trying to be themselves is a sign of mental illness (which notably the idea of it being a mental illness has been soundly rejected by the APA, WHO, and other leading authorities on the subject). They want to not face discrimination when looking for a job or trying to get an education.

On the other hand people are worried about fairness. There have been at least a few notable examples where a trans person (usually a trans woman) has had an unfair advantage, and perhaps even a couple situations which have created a dangerous environment in middle school and high school sports which leaves people understandable concerned. There is also a fear of sexual predators. While the data doesn't support the fear that trans people are somehow more likely to be sexual predators, it doesn't mean the fear itself doesn't exist. I would argue that it is largely people projecting, men thinking about what they'd be doing in a women's bathroom (as though anything private isn't happening inside a stall anyway). in part I think this fear is also just a fear of what is different. We are hardwired to fear the unknown and that which is different. That instinct protects us, it keeps us away from things we don't know are safe. There's also a lot of rhetoric and hype on the issue, causing people to rally to the aid of people who don't need it and are actually harmed by the aid provided (that aid being legislation that limits that person's freedom to make their own healthcare choices).

The sports issue is a complex one. It was generally held that after a few years of being on hormone therapy the effects of the higher testosterone would have worn off and the person would no longer be competing in the same fashion as the higher levels of testosterone. This may not account for the impact of a person continuing to very actively use those muscle groups through the transition, though, such as an athlete continuing to train. Even if they took a few years off of the sport, if they had been actively training during that time their muscles may not have atrophied enough to shift to the levels normal for a different level of testosterone. The human body is very efficient and doesn't leave extra muscles that aren't being used (so for those getting older, please stay active so your muscles don't atrophy), but if you are using them, and using them to the fullest, the body isn't going to break them down and reuse those resources elsewhere. For someone who has transitioned before puberty (including hormone therapy), their muscles would never have developed to that higher level in the first place, but for those who have been lifelong athletes and didn't transition until later in life, particularly if they transitioned during their peak around 20 which is not uncommon since 18 is when many are able to make their own choices, I can see there being some issue with the body fully adapting while actively continuing to train those muscles.

It's also important to recognize, as Master Adder pointed out, that this is conflicting needs and desires going against each other and that means there's no easy answers. Understanding the other side of the issue and not just writing them off. Having had a number of patients who are trans, and knowing others who are trans besides, I certainly am biased toward protecting trans people as I've seen the level of discrimination and the challenges they face every day of their lives. Still, I recognize that there are some genuine concerns, some of which are perceived issues and others that are valid problems that haven't been fully addressed. We're not going to be able to address those as a society until we have an honest conversation about them.
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5 months 4 weeks ago #374480 by ZealotX
I think this subject is probably a little overcomplicated because society is currently in a state of rejecting a previous social order as it relates to gender roles. And that's a good thing. Saying "It's a different time" doesn't go far enough. For too long women have been oppressed and not simply forced into a gender role, but basically a glorified servant depending on their culture.

For men, realizing how wrong this always was it may feel somewhat embarrassing for lack of better terms, that this still needs to be addressed. But that's the thing. If a problem still exists then it's still going to have consequences even as those consequences fade over time. Rejecting societal norms is a process. But just because men (generalized) were wrong doesn't mean we can just switch. Sometimes accepting responsibility for something is best done by making sure you're not adding to the guilt and are instead trying to make things better by treating women as equals, not literally trying to become them.

That being said, I think (**MY OPINION**) is that a lot of the "I think I'm____" is BS. I apologize for any feelings rubbed the wrong way but we do need honest conversations in order to understand and deal with the issue. It's not that anyone is lying, but rather I think it is a consequence of this rejection of norms. On some level, problems and issues are internalized much like psychological trauma. Pieces of the traumatic memories stay and create a type of psychic infection. 

In this case, the male identity is really just a social construct that we all feed into. What does it mean to be a man? That's subjective. Being a man and being a testosterone-filled macho man isn't the same thing. Confusing being macho with being a man is therefore a mistake. There is a female equivalent to "macho" but just because only men are called macho doesn't mean macho is a standard of manhood. If you don't like that, you don't have to. 

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5 months 4 weeks ago #374481 by ZealotX
But because identity itself is a construct, subject to our ideas, if our ideas about something become corrupted by an infection of negative ideas, then it makes it difficult to hold on to that mental image of that identity. So it's not purely accurate that people feel like they are _____ but rather that they are not ______. It is a judgment about the thing they don't want to be. But instead of saying "I don't want to be macho", assuming that is what society wants and expects, it's confused with "I don't want to be a man." 

And this is why I say it's BS. Because it's based on negative judgments and assumptions about what being a man or woman is about. And now that people are "allowed" to simply think they know what the other gender is about then switching isn't even something you have to go through a psychologist to do. It's becoming fashionable and therefore all of the "transitions" cannot be trusted. 

Let's say that historically men have had the role of protector and provider. Is there something wrong with that? No. But that doesn't mean women cannot do both. Men have a slight advantage physically but that can be easily negated by weapons and skill. So instead of saying "that's not me" I feel like we should be saying, "Women can do it too" and really uplifting women for what they can do which then frees these identities and roles from their gender assignments. The fact that women can do what men can do is not a new concept. It's been the case forever. By the same token if you're weak and you have no job prospects does it mean you're not a man because, in your current state, you can't provide or protect? If that were the case then what about boys? 

So the problem isn't men or women. It's trying to tie other ideas to what it means to be a man or woman. Gender isn't something you feel. It's what you are. I think what we need to fundamentally realize is that men are related to a masculine designation that is simply physical. And there is a spectrum of masculinity that all males fall into. On the other side, there are women which is a feminine designation that is partially being rethought because it comes from men and often even the rejection of which is also... coming from men.

Not only are women dealing with the oppression of being cast into gender roles, but they're also being told by males who reject masculinity that they are women because they feel like women; thus claiming to know what being a woman is. And there is no way they can even communicate that without mansplaining because they are literally men. 
The following user(s) said Thank You: Serenity Amyntas

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