I feel like non-binary genders are just a ploy for attention and are actually disrespectful towards trans men/women


I believe that gender is a product of socialization, and therefore you cannot be of a gender that isn't recognized by society.

I get trans women/men, because they essentially are assigned to one out of the two recognized genders (male/female) but identify themselves and want to be socially recognized as the opposite.

Non-binary genders aren't really a part of society. There are no gender roles for a "demi-boy" or a "agender" person. It makes no sense that someone wants to be recognized in one of these categories because these categories essentially don't exist to society.

How is it not just a term for saying that you act outside the gender norms that were assigned to you? How can one identify with these genders if there is no such thing as a social product? And if it is indeed just about behavior/ how is this not offensive towards trans people? How is this not trivializing gender identity??

EDIT: about the "ploy for attention" thing, I'm truly sorry if I offended anyone. As /u/_mach pointed out, this is likely confirmation bias of my part because most of the exposure I've had to non-binary people was on the crazy realms of the internet/tumblr. The fact that some people are doing this for attention shouldn't mean that everyone is.

EDIT2: I think I genuinely have a better understanding about this now. I don't doubt there people exist or that their experiences are valid. I guess I'm still having some trouble with concepts, as I explained in a lot of my comments in this thread. It's not as much as I can't believe a non-binary experience is real/valid, but that I can't really understand how it's more than just a gender performance/expression and actually constitutes a new identity. Most of the comments were super helpful though at broadening my understanding of the topic. Special thanks to all the non-binary and trans people who chimed in on this.

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    2 years ago

    Let me tell you a little bit about my experience. I've always hated activities that divided people up by gender. It seemed arbitrary to me, and I always felt a little out of place in the boys' group. I wondered why people cared so much about it. I didn't really get the point of men's bible study groups, or wanting a confidant of the same gender, or things like that.

    It took me something like 20 years of social life to start to realize that other people might feel differently than I do about gender. See, gender isn't really part of my identity at all. I obviously can't do anything but speculate about this, but I suspect that if I woke up tomorrow and had a female body, I wouldn't feel like my self had changed any more than when I change my hair length. I knew this about myself, but I just kinda assumed that it was the same for other people, but they went along with what society expected of them, because that's what you do. It took me that long to realize that some people might actually care about their gender, and might have it actually part of their sense of who they are.

    It took me that long because I didn't really have words for these concepts, and because we never really talked about different experiences of gender. So I don't know if "agender" is the right word for it, or if "cis-gender but don't care" is the right word for it, or if "weakly cis-gender" is the right word for it...but we need words to describe different experiences. We need words to be able to tell each other about who we are when it comes to gender in more nuanced ways than "man" and "woman", because those two words do not capture the range of human experience. I have a different kind of sense of self when it comes to gender than some other male non-trans people, and if we don't have language to help us describe that, it's really easy to just assume that other people feel the same way you do, but act differently.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      Would you say you have some specific demands about how society acts/acknowledges your gender in a way that traditional genders don't encompass?

      Would you say it's more about describing how you feel towards gender rather than how you perform/act it out?

      Do you think you felt out of place in the "boys group" because you didn't act in the way it was expect from boys or do you think this feeling of non-belongment comes from something else?

      I mean, I have no problem with people wanting to express themselves inbetween the spectrum os male-female, but at what point does this stop being a "expressing thing" and becomes a "gender thing"?

      I guess I'm thinking of gender as a quasi-political concept, as in that a gender needs to have some sort of expectations on how to be treated by society in order to be so. But then again, I feel like it's necessary to make this distinction between gender (as an identity) and something else (that would be how you perform in the spectrum).

    • 2 years ago

      Would you say you have some specific demands about how society acts/acknowledges your gender in a way that traditional genders don't encompass?

      Not really. I'm fine using male pronouns because it's an easy default. I get a little bit uncomfortable if someone calls me "one of the guys" or whatever, but I don't get offended. I get angry at people who tell me I need to act a specific way because I'm male, but I like to think I'd get angry at that whether or not I actually has maleness as part of my identity.

      Would you say it's more about describing how you feel towards gender rather than how you perform/act it out?

      That's a pretty good summary, yeah.

      Do you think you felt out of place in the "boys group" because you didn't act in the way it was expect from boys or do you think this feeling of non-belongment comes from something else?

      I think some of both. It's actually really hard for me to tell, though.

      I mean, I have no problem with people wanting to express themselves inbetween the spectrum os male-female, but at what point does this stop being a "expressing thing" and becomes a "gender thing"?

      I think these are totally separate. My gender expression is pretty much within the realm of normal male. The fact remains, though, that my maleness is not an important part of who I am.

      I guess I'm thinking of gender as a quasi-political concept, as in that a gender needs to have some sort of expectations on how to be treated by society in order to be so.

      This is where I definitely disagree with you. I think there is a political aspect to gender, but the fact that I don't feel the need to advertise my gender identity (or lack thereof) and have it acknowledged in day-to-day interactions doesn't mean my experience is not real.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      This is where I definitely disagree with you. I think there is a political aspect to gender, but the fact that I don't feel the need to advertise my gender identity (or lack thereof) and have it acknowledged in day-to-day interactions doesn't mean my experience is not real.

      ∆. Thanks a lot for your answers. If we think of gender like that, I can agree with you on non-binary genders. It seems to me that my issue is with how I define gender, then. I guess I'm stuck on trying to find a "social purpose" (for lack of a better term) for gender, while it seems (at least some) non-binary that it's indeed more about an "internal" sense of identification...

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    2 years ago

    Don't think of the burden of proof as being that non-binary genders exist but rather that non-binary transitions exist, which they clearly do. There is only one actual label once any social construction is removed from the equation: gender dysphoric. So both a trans man and a trans woman are actually just gender dysphoric individuals. As gender dysphoric individuals they have a number of medical options available to themselves to attempt to cope with gender dysphoria. Sometimes for various reasons an individual may feel they are better suited by pursuing only a partial change in physical parts and social role. I know a non-binary individual who is gender dysphoric and whom if you listen to their story it is immediately clear that pathologically they are indistinguishable from a trans man but whom nonetheless identifies as transmasculine non-binary. Why? Because he identified as a lesbian feminist for 20 years and that became an integral part of his identity which he finds difficult to let go of. On some level he even struggles with feelings of guilt over it, like he would be dishonering himself and abandoning feminism to shed that identity completely. He's on testosterone so he's taking measures to cope with gender dysphoria. He's clearly not doing this for attention.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      Because he identified as a lesbian feminist for 20 years and that became an integral part of his identity which he finds difficult to let go of

      ∆. That kind of makes sense to me. I guess I was just overexposed to angsty teenagers on tumblr who seem to change genders every other day.

      Follow up questions out of curiosity about this person who identifies as transmasculine non-binary: So he still partly identifies as a female/lesbian? Does he presents/performs his gender any different than a trans man, for example? If so, how? And how is it different than a trans man how presents as a "feminine" guy?

      Edit to add: and if not, is this just about an internal conflict or does he still wants to be recognized/treated as a transmasculine non-binary person? and how would this recognition/tretment differ from what is usually addressed towards trans man?

    • 2 years ago

      Insofar as the differences are concerned he still lives a little bit in and out both worlds. He's not fully out at work, so still a she in some contexts and seems to have no intention or desire to go stealth. Presentation is firmly 100% masculine. He passed as male before even starting T and has always had a deep voice so he didn't have to change much beyond starting T. I use male pronouns with him but he technically alternates between he/they and sometimes seems to prefer they/them although the majority of his friends just go with male pronouns. For him the non-binary part is mostly a personal thing. I think it's for his own peace of mind more than anything.

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    2 years ago

    I'm FTM, fall within the binary, and have a bit of a unique perspective on gender; but eh, I'll shoot.

    I believe gender could be comprehensively defined as what physical sex characteristics one is most comfortable with having, while expression and presentation on their own have little, if anything, to do with it. If all gender roles were entirely abolished, I'd still greatly prefer the way my body looks now than before I began transitioning, so it makes sense to me that gender goes further than just social behavior. After all, there are feminine men and masculine women out there who are perfectly content with their physical sex, so it's important to recognize a difference between gender and behavior traditionally exhibited by males or females.

    Completely disregarding a theoretical person's biological/birth sex and social behavior, if this person truly desires no physical sex characteristics, or a combination of characteristics from both binary sexes, I would have no problem agreeing that the person fails to fit within the gender binary. I also have no reason to suspect any attention-seeking, assuming the person is being genuine.

    Now, as far as gender goes when you combine it with tumblr, that's...yeah. No. I would find that nonsense funny if those kids weren't also making it harder for legitimately trans people to be taken seriously. I've taken to using transsexual instead of transgender for myself, just because I have yet to see one of those types of people use the former for their own bullshit.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      I believe gender could be comprehensively defined as what physical sex characteristics one is most comfortable with having, while expression and presentation on their own have little, if anything, to do with it. If all gender roles were entirely abolished, I'd still greatly prefer the way my body looks now than before I began transitioning

      That actually helps a lot. Thanks for putting it into words (: !delta

      Would you say then that gender is at least in part a biological feature?

      Now, as far as gender goes when you combine it with tumblr, that's...yeah. No. I would find that nonsense funny if those kids weren't also making it harder for legitimately trans people to be taken seriously.

      I have to admit that this was poor judgement on my part, as as it has been pointed out to me, this is likely not representative of how non-binary people feel/identify, but just what I happened to have been exposed to.

    • 2 years ago

      Would you say then that gender is at least in part a biological feature?

      It might be, if you're referring to the nature vs. nurture matter. From what I can tell, nobody has yet to find concrete evidence proving either theory when it comes to why some people end up being trans and not others. I'm more interested in the psychology and/or physiology of transgenderism than anything, as I don't really consider it an important part of my overall identity, if that makes any sense.

      I have to admit that this was poor judgement on my part

      Oh no, I didn't mean "you" as in you specifically, my bad. To be honest, I have yet to personally come across someone who identified as neither male nor female that actually suffered from any sort of gender dysphoria. I could go on about that, but I definitely understand how your first impression was of...well, what most people think of when they hear "non-binary."

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    2 years ago

    It makes no sense that someone wants to be recognized in one of these categories because these categories essentially don't exist to society

    That's exactly the point of their revendication, what is said is that it's a mistake to consider only two genders. The argument is about saying that exterior socialisation factors have enforced categorizing into genders, the two legitimate genders. And thus because this has been done quite often really violently towards individuals it's a good enough reason to question our freedom in identifying ourselves.

    Non-binary genders aren't really a part of society.

    Well as long as nobody talks about it, if it's starting to be such a phenomenon it begins to be part of society even if most social institutions like school, work and families don't yet know how to interpret the situation and just ignore the phenomenon for now.

    How can one identify with these genders if there is no such thing as a social product?

    Obviously because genders are a social construct nothing prevents the creation of new social products no? Take the working class for example, shifts in workplaces and culture lead to an entire class of people with their own story, practices, culture and values.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      Obviously because genders are a social construct nothing prevents the creation of new social products no?

      I mean, yes, new constructs can be formed. But what is the endgoal, then? How the social validation that "identifying mostly as male but presenting some "feminine behaviour"" is a certain "gender x" benefit this people? What are they achieving that couldn't be achieved by simply having society accept that one can be a male and yet present "feminine characteristics/behaviours"?

      And again - not to sound rude - but how is this a matter of identity as opposed to a matter of how you perform your gender?

      For instance, a trans person still identifies with the opposite gender even if they are not performing it (and arguably even have some biological traits that align with the gender they identifiy with).

      But if a person identify with my hypothetical "gender x" but don't perform the "feminine traits" (say because society doesn't accept it), how is his gender identity any different than say a male homossexual who also refrains from performing "feminine behaviours" because he is afraid of how people will react?

    • 2 years ago

      But what is the endgoal, then?

      I'm not sure people of these community agree about it, in the same way that there's a loooot of different feminism for example!

      All the questions which both are deep and about details are not answered by people who do not identify in one of the two genders

      but how is this a matter of identity as opposed to a matter of how you perform your gender?

      It's actually funny because it's representative of a certain way of thinking of sociology compared with more mainstreams one. Sure, you can see gender as only a role that we perform, but allegedly this social rule sticks with in every situation and is part of your identity.

      I think it's obviously hard for non-binary gender to actually create from nothing, totally different social practices an norms, there's always inspiration from the norm. The two genders appear to be two extremes and it seems that society should consider the grey areas.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      It's actually funny because it's representative of a certain way of thinking of sociology compared with more mainstreams one

      would you care to elaborate/link me to something about this? it's actually something that interests me a lot...

      I guess I kind of understand the concept, but as I said before, I have a hard time fitting these in the "gender box", since it seems like it's only a behavioural thing. I mean, sure people should identifiy with whatever makes them happy, but I guess I fail to see the point if there's not a demand towards society that arises from this identity.

      Also, pretty much every trait/behaviour is attributate to either males or females, so I agree that its hard to "create from nothing", but maybe this is precisely why I can't understand it. I don't really have an issue with the idea that people can fall in between the extremes, but I see the "gender spectrum" more as a "gender performance spectrum"...

      Anyways, thanks for your insights (: ∆

    • 2 years ago

      Thanks for the delta!

      I was making a reference to a school of thought in sociology named Symbolic interactionism in which to resume individuals have roles in which they play, like in a theater. So what you see in your social interactions are performances of people who play in a context where rules and the goal of the interaction is implicitly established.

      I will leave you with this article!

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      Thanks. I'll definitely read into that.

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    2 years ago

    While I am not non-binary, I don't understand why you believe they cannot exist. I do not feel especially manly, but rather have a deep feminine side and have always related better to women. I do my own shit, and if cooking, liking the color pink, and an appreciation for women's shoes are feminine and grunting like Tim Allen is masculine, then I am probably closer to being a woman than a man. At Easter dinner today, I will prefer to hang out with the women and feel out of place in a group of men.

    We all should understand that gender is a social construct, society says these are female traits, these are male. I don't see it is too much of a logical leap to deny the current social structure in regards to gender, and not immediately identify with a group because society says you should be one or the other.

    In another example, take something like gay vs straight vs bisexual. If someone likes both, they are bi, why isn't identifying with both genders not allowed?

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      It's not as much that I think they don't exist, but that I don't get it as a "gender".

      I am myself a very feminine gay guy and I usually feel very unconfortable around cis-straight-guys because I just can't perform what is expect of a "man". But this doesn't mean I identify as a woman. It just means that I'm a guy who fails to comply with my gender's social roles. But how exactly is this being of a third gender? If it is just about how one performs his gender, then everyone would be a different gender, because I think it's highly unlikely that two people would perform on the same exact spot of the spectrum.

    • 2 years ago

      I think you said it best yourself. You do not conform to female or male. Since you are not bound by female or male gender traits, how would you classify yourself? You display traits of both female and male genders. If you had to fill out a checkbox list of Gender Traits, either Female or Male, where would you boxes mostly land? maybe according to the list and the societal expectations, you would be mostly female. Maybe you feel quite manly, or not manly at all, either way.

      So, if gender is a social construct, and society sees you as having primarily female specific gender traits, and you are uncomfortable around men, wouldn't it be fair to say that you are pretty much non-conforming? Not saying you are uncomfortable being male or female, just that you don't especially feel that Feminine or masculine can adequately describe you? Not trying to change your gender here, just pointing out how someone in your situation could come to the conclusion that gender is bullshit and they just are who they are.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      I identify as male because (i) I'm read by society as one, and thus treated as one (albeit sometimes as "less than a man", because of my feminine traits/sexual orientation) and (ii) I don't feel unconfortable enough with this to want to be seen/treated as a female.

      I wouldn't expect to be treated as anything other than male/female because that's not how society currently works. I identify with male because when you group people into guys/girls, I'd rather be grouped with guys, but this doesn't mean I entirelly conform/act like one. But this also doesn't mean that I'm "partly female" because there are a set of experiences that females go through that I don't (and don't "want to").

  • 🤔Changed Author's View
    2 years ago

    The ploy for attention argument is generally hard to argue against because it's so mean-spirited. no. I am not agender as a ploy for attention. In fact my lack of gender isn't particularly visible and I do not talk about it unless asked. this is true for many many non-binary people.

    how about this argument: we be who we are because it is who we are, we are no more insulting to trans people than trans women are to cis women.

    How is it not just a term for saying that you act outside the gender norms that wew assigned to you? How can one identify with these genders if there is no such thing as a social product? And if it is indeed just about behaviour/ how is this not offensive towards trans people? How is this not trivializing gender identity??

    I feel like your argument hinges on the idea that social constructs are in any way rigid, which society never has been or ever could be. challenging gender is the same as any social influencer, but especially potent due to it being an essential part of our being. it's not like "trans" was really a part of the social biosphere until recently either. does that mean that the "Trans" part of trans-woman cannot be a part of their identity? A lot of trans people would take issue with that.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      I really am sorry if I came out disrespectful. As it have been pointed out to me, my idea that this is "a ploy for attention" is likely product of confirmation bias and generally not really knowing what I'm talking about.

      does that mean that the "Trans" part of trans-woman cannot be a part of their identity? A lot of trans people would take issue with that.

      Well, that actually is a reflection for me, because I don't think I'd dispute that at least some trans-woman identify as womand but would still like to be recognized as trans. !delta.

      I guess I'm trying to understand gender as a "social category" when it seems to be more about an internal feeling.

  • 2 years ago

    I do believe that there are only two genders male and female. I am not really sure I agree with your reasoning for that however.

    Feminists define gender in terms of the role played in society. So you see feminists see gender as a social construct, hence essentially they force their definition of gender to be malleable, because society changes. What those non binary people seek to do is take up roles that are different (or a mix) of the roles traditionally held as male or female. So essentially having accepted the definition given in the beginning we are forced into seeing people who do non traditional gender roles as something new.

    What I believe is that how gender is defined by feminists is completely hijacking the word to force it into a feminist/nom binary world view. It seems to me that by looking at different societies/cultures, gender is always constructed around physical sex. As a result it seems to me to be completely hypocritical and nonsensical to force gender to be defined in the way feminists want it to be defined. That male and female roles today are different from what they were 100 years ago doesn't mean that modern society gave birth to new genders. Because in the end, we are all so innately tied to the biology we were born with, and the hormones and physical characteristics they give each sex, which whether we like it or not influence a lot of our thinking and our capabilities, and fundamentally limits the roles one can play in society. For a physical woman to identify as a male is completely ridiculous because even if she takes up the gender roles of males she still has to go through distinctly female experiences like having a menstrual cycle and all the distinctly female hormones in her body. Similarly for "non binary people", they are still tied to the sex they were born into, and no matter how absurdly they live, they are still tied to their biology.

    To elaborate, the roles we play in society change and that is normal, and quite frankly not surprising in the least bit, which is an indication of nothing more than that we are growing up as a society. To try and pass this as the creation of a new gender is anti intellectual and creates a false sense of being oppressed. I would argue that gender should be defined as it has always been: in terms of how one physically appears, as common sense dictates we cover our genitalia, the way we appear which is our gender is meant to tell what is our sex beneath. Transsexual/transgender people can appear as whatever sex they transitioned into and hence gender but medically they remain the same sex they were on birth. So in this case gender and sex can be opposite.

    To be honest, this entire non binary thing is a first world problem in the most obscene way possible. Feminists should look on how to help females gain rights in places that are not the west, places like the middle east.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      I guess even though I say I believe gender is a social construct I actually agree with you that there is a sex/biological component to it, so I may be failing to express what I think....

      For a physical woman to identify as a male is completely ridiculous because even if she takes up the gender roles of males she still has to go through distinctly female experiences like having a menstrual cycle and all the distinctly female hormones in her body.

      Don't agree as much as this. Isn't this exactly what HRT prevents? trans people from going through this "biological/hormonal" experiences from a sex/gender they don't identify with?

    • 2 years ago

      Don't agree as much as this. Isn't this exactly what HRT prevents? trans people from going through this "biological/hormonal" experiences from a sex/gender they don't identify with?

      Sure but medically speaking they are still the sex they were born into. My statement was more about regular females. For transexuals when they transition they possess the opposite sex's genitalia and are of the gender of the opposite sex as a result.

  • 2 years ago

    I think it's also very important to know that having only two genders and two sexes is a very christian/western point of view. There are and were widespread cultures out there that had more than two options. Multiple northern American Tribes have so called Two-spirit People, and in South Asia there's Hijra people officially being recognised as a third gender.

    In human biology there's also more options than Male/Female, about 1 in two thousand (or less) people is intersex (born with sex characteristics of both male and female). These people also have no strict gender roles, and are also often told to just adapt to one gender.

    I agree with you that there is trivialization of gender identity happening. I disagree with you that this trivialization happens because of people who struggle with gender identity in a different way.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      Thanks for your insight. It has been brought to my attention that my view that this is trivvializing might be because I have been more exposed at "crazy" genders on the internet/tumblr instead of meeting real-life n-b people.

      If you don't mind a follow up question, do you think that these cultures recognize other genders because they inherently exist, or because they were socially created in thatt environment? And if the latter, would it make sense for someone to identify with say, hijra, it they are outside the culture where it is recognized?

    • 2 years ago

      Now that I think of it, internet has been a great thing for all sorts of LGBT movements. It's easy to anonymously talk about experiences, so you often don't risk your physical self when you come out of the closet to someone you don't know. That's been a huge progress.

      But think of this: non-binary people are in such small minorities that they practically never met when they came out of the closet before internet. in a western society where man and women were the only acceptable options, these people were often silenced. Fast forward to the modern day, where there's teenagers and twenty-somethings meet each other online while also discovering themselves and the world. They recognize certain feelings (Hey, could it be that I'm not completely boy and not completely girl?), they are finally able to easily find cultures that do acknowledge people like them (on Wikipedia there's full pages on genders, sexualities and sexes), they meet people like themselves thanks to anonymity (it makes it safer to tell more people about your experiences), and can build communities around those aspects.

      The thing you have issues with is mostly that last step, I think. Tumblr, Deviantart, and some Reddit subs are spirals of death, because you personally select who you want to communicate with. The "crazy" genders happen mostly here, because within the community people set up their own sub-categories, and within these communities these sub-categories are more important self-identifiers. If everyone you know online is, for example, agender and you seemingly don't exactly fall within their parameters, maybe you should create an exception for yourself? and soon there's a few people who identify themselves more with your exception than they do with the general rule, and suddenly there's a sub-subcategory treated as a full category.

      But on the other hand, if you often run into these people on tumblr and you don't like that, you should maybe just follow other people. These young people are exploring a whole new world, and that cannot happen without people making mistakes. They are a minority inside of a minority (non-binary people) inside of a minority (LGBT people). Do you really think that you need to be that worried about it?

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      The thing you have issues with is mostly that last step, I think

      I guess you're right on the why I said it seems "a ploy for attention".

      Other than that, it's not really that I'm worried about wether these people are real/genuine/legit, and more a conceptual thing with gender identity/performance, and I have said in some other comments...

      I guess it just boils down to how you actually define "gender", and as long as everyone ir being heard and acknowledge, I feel like whether I call it gender identity/expression/performance is a secondary discussion that is not nearly as important as the fact that these people exist and need to be respected...

      I guess I am/was way too obsessed with defining/categorizing things rather than just understanding then...

    • 2 years ago

      I guess I am/was way too obsessed with defining/categorizing things rather than just understanding then...

      Isn't everybody on some topics? good for you on opening up for other opinions, dude.

      I see gender as a summary of how you want to be addressed, and barely anything more. But it should be noted here, that gender as a concept or category doesn't really mean much to me personally, if anything at all.

    • 2 years ago

      I think that when a society accepts the fact that there's more sexes than male or female (sexes that fall in the intersex category), that society would find it easier to accept genders outside of a male/female binary.

      Human beings like to categorize things. It's how we learn. That much inherently exists in us. It doesn't really matter how much gender and sex categories there are, and how we divide those is irrelevant too. That's cultural and often even personal. To me it matters more how we treat them.

      To adress your question directly, if one wasn't raised with southern indian influences, it would most likely border on cultural appropriation, which is a whole another discussion on how, when and why that can be bad.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      Thanks for your replies. I guess I'm a bit stuck in the idea of gender as a "category" created by society instead of just understanding it at a personal/internal level.

      I absolutely agree with you that we should respect these peoples (and everyones) individuality. I guess my issue is more with what constitutes a gender as opposed to wether this personal experiences are valid or not...

    • 2 years ago

      I get that completely, but what constitutes as a gender differs from person to person, just as well based on personal experiences.

      I see the world mostly in three categories: male/female/other. The fact that non-binary sexes and genders exist should be more publicly acknowledged, but are so many different categories in such a small minority, that they should largely treated as a single group.

  • 2 years ago

    I realize I'm late to the party, but I'll add my experience here. Salt incoming.

    I am non-binary and agender, which is something I knew pretty early in my life but didn't have the vocabulary for. One of the most obvious indicators of this for me was gender dysphoria. If I grew up on a deserted island, completely detached from society, I still would have noticed that my body and brain didn't match. This was a torturous experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

    Coming out as non-binary was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life (right behind experiencing a gender dysphoric puberty). I lost my entire family and many friends, and to this day I'm ridiculously lonely a lot of the time. I often feel rejected from society because there's so many ways in which it doesn't account for me. I get jealous of my binary trans friends fit into the mold to a large degree after transitioning. And occasionally someone comes along and implies I'm just doing things for attention.

    "They're just doing it for attention" is something we said about gay and trans people at one point, but that argument quickly fell apart in the face of the negative consequences of being out as gay or trans. There are also negative consequences to being out as non-binary depending on what context you're out in and what transition steps you take. (You can also be non-binary without negative consequences and good for you if you've found an environment where that's a thing.)

    There are absolutely people who identify as non-binary for attention or because they're young and figuring themselves out (I'll note this latter one is perfectly reasonable--some people need a transitional stage in nailing down who they are). There's a certain class of people that are just insufferably obnoxious about this, and yes maybe if you get all your gender theory from Tumblr, this would be your experience. As much as I'm annoyed by this situation, I can't truly distinguish and it would quickly devolve into oppression olympics...so I just assume that everyone I meet is genuine.

    In general this is a hard topic, but I think it's best to assume no bad intentions of folks, especially if you don't know them too well.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      If I grew up on a deserted island, completely detached from society, I still would have noticed that my body and brain didn't match

      Would you mind expanding on this?? What were the markers/signs for you that were independent of how gender is construed in modern society?

      Also, I apologize for my coment about the "ploy for attention". I edited the original post to try and explain were I was coming from, but I realize this is offensive to some people.

    • 2 years ago

      No worries, man. If I sounded salty, it's just because I've come across this a lot from less well meaning people (including other people posting here), and it wasn't really directed at you. Don't worry about it. The whole point of a CMV is you're concerned your view might be offensive but you still kinda have to explain the view.

      To answer your question, it's not a "social construct" that people have different bodily sex characteristics. When I started hitting puberty my brain said "nope!". It's like if you had a random tumor growing out of your arm, you'd probably notice and not be okay with it. Hope that makes sense.

  • 2 years ago

    I mean if you are like me who is part of the camp that genders are 100% a social construct and sex is biological. There's male and female, and a few rare cases where XYY and other "abnormal" 23rd chromosomes exist, even then most of those are still medically considered male or female.

    Genders to many are just something that's a relic of stereotypes where women and men genuinely couldn't fill certain roles of society.

    Let me ask you this, if a male loves to knit every day while their husband goes to work , they wear a dress and are called Jo without an e, has breast implants and cooks and cleans the house as a home maker while taking care of an adopted child, are they a transwoman? Only if they say they are, they could be all that and still identify as a man. The one and only thing that differentiates a trans person from a person who acts exactly like a transperson but still identifies as the gender that their sex would lead to them being defined as "by default" in almost all societies is them identifying as such.

    And to critique agenderness, you agree gender is a product of society yet if someone chooses not to subscribe to made up stereotypes they are the one at fault? That's not much different from claiming atheists are in a religion, being agender isn't a gender, you are saying that someone who doesn't believe they belong as either stereotype is some how a slight to people who believe they belong to a different stereotype than is typical for their sex. Just seems illogical to me.

    I mean I never really thought about it but I guess I'm technically agender too.

    You claim non-binary genders have no roles in society, but aren't we past a point where genders have any role in society? Do you have to identify as a man to do anything you couldn't if you were a woman? Only some things are necessarily separated (usually by sex not gender) for the sake of a more even and interesting competition, such as sports, and even some things like chess.

    Perhaps it is trivialising gender identities, but is that a bad thing? Aren't stereotypes a detriment? Does anyone fit neatly in a box? If you told me my next boss was a transman, it wouldn't effect me in anyway shape or form, I wouldn't know if they were smart or stupid, competent or incompetent, nice or mean, tall or short, fair or cruel, violent or docile, it's just a meaningless label. If it makes them feel better, great, I don't care if I call them Mr or Mrs, I don't even mind if they're a Harry Potter-kin and want to be called Harry despite legally still being called James or something.

    Also, where is the threshold? Because many people in society DO recognise any gender you can think of, does it have to be 50%+ before it's the same? Many people don't recognise trans people either.

    I hope my rambling tangents at least were food for thought.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      Let me ask you this, if a male loves to knit every day while their husband goes to work , they wear a dress and are called Jo without an e, has breast implants and cooks and cleans the house as a home maker while taking care of an adopted child, are they a transwoman? Only if they say they are, they could be all that and still identify as a man. The one and only thing that differentiates a trans person from a person who acts exactly like a transperson but still identifies as the gender that their sex would lead to them being defined as "by default" in almost all societies is them identifying as such.

      But there are some studies that show that transgender people actually have biological similarities (such as differences in the brain) that correspond with their gender identity.

      You claim non-binary genders have no roles in society, but aren't we past a point where genders have any role in society? Do you have to identify as a man to do anything you couldn't if you were a woman? Only some things are necessarily separated (usually by sex not gender) for the sake of a more even and interesting competition, such as sports, and even some things like chess.

      Well, actually they still play a role in society and I believe this is precisely why people identify with either of the options. Also, I believe sports are slowly being separated by gender now, and not by sex.

      Many people don't recognise trans people either.

      Wether or not society validates their identity, they still identify with genders that are by itself recognized (male/female), and at least for me this is what seems to diferentiate it frono non-binary genders..

    • 2 years ago

      But there are some studies that show that transgender people actually have biological similarities (such as differences in the brain) that correspond with their gender identity.

      Your point being?

      And trust me, if and when biological males start taking 1st place in women's Olympics events all the time, it will change back.

      Well, actually they still play a role in society

      Really? Please share. Do men work and women stay at home looking after the kids?

      You also failed to acknowledge or address my point on agenderness.

      Also, is trans race okay? To use YOUR words, "they still identify with [races] that are by itself recognised"

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      Your point being?

      My point was that there may be something else that differentiate you hypothetical man who loves knitting and transgender women other the just "how they feel".

      Really? Please share. Do men work and women stay at home looking after the kids?

      Well, yes. Even if to a lesse extent than before, this still happen, and this is why things like feminism exist.

      You also failed to acknowledge or address my point on agenderness.

      I guess you're right there. I guess I was thinking of gender more about how society perceives you rather than how you perceive yourself.

      Also, is trans race okay? To use YOUR words, "they still identify with [races] that are by itself recognised"

      To me this is different because even though we could argue that transgender has a physicial/biological component to it, race is purelly phenotypical.

  • 2 years ago

    I feel like expanding the concept of gender beyond binary renders the concept meaningless in an objective sense. I also feel like that's okay, because gender as a social construct really exists only to minimize individual people, obscure the things that make them unique, and place arbitrary limits on countless aspects of their lives.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      well, I agree that as with any classification system you are bound to minimize some individualities. But isn't it useful from a sociological POV to be able to group people according to certain social characteristics?

      I mean, even if no two women experience femininity in the same way, isn't the concept of women still useful to talk about some harships that affect a substantial amount of that group, because of the defining characteristics of the group?

    • 2 years ago

      So many of those shared experiences are the result of social pressures stemming from the enforcement of gender roles, so it may follow that eroding those roles will also erode the consequent hardships that make grouping by gender a useful cognitive and communicative shorthand.

      But I mean, maybe not, too. It is not always clear how much of any kind of gender grouping is rooted in hard biology.

  • 2 years ago

    If gender is an artificial type created by society, then why not simply agree to create a new types of gender? A subset of society believes "type XYZ" gender exists. Their belief brings that form of gender into existence.

    Whether or not this kind of thinking trivializes gender identity is a different matter.

    • 🎤Author
      2 years ago

      But that's now really how social rules work, are they? We can't summon a council and make new social rules... They are essentially "there", aren't they?

  • 2 years ago

    Hi! Trans person here :) Being transgender, at its core, is about gender dysphoria. This can be roughly split into physical and social dysphoria: physical is discomfort from the body (ie, having breasts makes me unhappy and uncomfortable), social is discomfort from social aspects of gender (ie, being called a man feels wrong and makes me feel out of place).

    A binary transgender person usually will both physically and socially desire to look, be treated as, and at their core /be/ the opposite gender from what they were assigned at birth. That one is pretty straightforward.

    Now to change focus for a second-

    Sex is a combination of characteristics about the body: hormones, genitalia, chromosomes, gonads, secondary sex characteristics. None of these items have strict either-or choices- there is wide variation in sexed characteristics in many ways. Current research also points to gender being innate (not just socially constructed- I can go into this more if you want but it's not the main point of this) as well as also not a binary trait- while there are structures and patterns in the brain that are more typically male or female, many people's brains are not 100% one or the other- there's a lot of mixing and mingling. Transgender people, again according to current research, have brains more typical of their actual gender than their assigned gender- even before hormone therapy.

    Now it seems pretty reasonable that, similar to people with intersex conditions who have physical sex characteristics that are not clearly male or female, there could easily also be ambiguity in gender in the brain leading to nonbinary genders.

    Bringing this back to dysphoria, this would likely be reflected by partial or changing dysphoria- maybe a nonbinary person would have little physical dysphoria but strong social that makes both common types of gendering uncomfortable, or vice versa. They might have strong discomfort with their breasts but also be repulsed by the idea of a penis- or be uncomfortable with having any sexed characteristics. They might feel that their dysphoria and the sex characteristics they feel are correct change from day to day- which I imagine would be pretty distressing, given that it's hard to pick a reasonable endpoint for transition if what would be correct for you changes daily.

    In the end, it's not unreasonable that gender can vary in the same manner that many other sexed characteristics can vary, causing at times variations in dysphoria that individuals understand as being between male and female, other than male and female, or fluid in some way.

    And to add, my personal take as a binary trans person is that nonbinary people are just as real and reasonable as I am, and that the view that they hurt the trans community just leads to exclusion that won't really make a big dent in our eventual acceptance or lack thereof anyway.

    • 2 years ago

      I'm trans and I am in no way offended by non-binary genders at all, some of my closest friends are non-binary and I can't imagine why I would ever have a problem with that.

      • 🎤Author
        2 years ago

        I can understand that. I do have a transwoman friend who is very verbal about her "oppositions" to non-binary genders, so that's the main reason I asked.

        Though I don't think it would be fair to put all non-binary people in the same group here, since she is usually refering to people that identify with genders such as omniaromantic, familiargender and other genders that seem to only exist on the internet.

        Also, not sure how this dinamics is in the US, but over here in Brazil, most of the people who identify with these more "questionable" genders want to be seen as transsexuals/transgenders, and I guess this is a problem for her aswell...

    • 2 years ago
      • 🎤Author
        2 years ago

        For a while there I though you said you identified as a genderbread person and I was ready to flip the fuck out... Then I remembered I had seen this image before and re-read your comment...

        I mean, from that definition of gender identity I guess I can see non-binary people in that. But then I get back to my issue of "where do we put the line". If gender identity is how you feel and it doesn't matter whether you are treated differently or expected different things for that, then just how much "non-male" do you have to feel in order to go from a a guy that likes "girly things" to a non-guy??

      • 2 years ago

        I guess then the question at the end of the day is what rights do we have as a society over defining others sexual identity? While I might not wholly agree with or understand the vast array of identifying going on, I don't think it's my place to make that determination. The same way I wouldn't brook some SJW coming along and saying that Male-ness isn't real either, and I have seen my share of tumblr posts saying that very thing.

        As soon as we say "You can't be that thing." we're limiting people, and forcing a wider definition on who and what they are. I'm all fine with that around common ground stuff (like you can't be a killer), but I think for something as personal as gender or sex, it's too personal to be something I should have a say over.

      • 🎤Author
        2 years ago

        Well, I get you point. I guess my issue here is that I'm looking for a "hard" definition on what is and is not a gender, and maybe it's not that black and white...

      • 2 years ago

        I've always tried to think of myself as a hetero-sexual guy that just hasn't come into the right situation that would change my entire perspective. Maybe tomorrow I'd meet the right man/woman/other and my whole world would change.

        But so far, it's hasn't happened. I think if it did, my wife would be pretty pissed. :)

    • 2 years ago

      I think the addition of all these pronouns and identities is just adding a word to describe how one feels and making them feel like they belong. Gender is largely a socially enforced concept but since everyone is allowed a different bandwith of gender performance by their society (Some places a man can get away with embracing femininity while other places they risk getting their ass kicked) it's veneer can feel more like a prison than a description. So while in most cases you can perform your gender however you like, not being able to relate to people in your same gender group can feel awfully isolating.

      And I mean that's why we have language, we create terms and concepts to bring people in common together. I understand you seeing it as trying to get attention, but at large I don't think most agender or genderfluid folks are trying to get the attention of the world or even their community. I think they're trying to get the attention of other people who feel the same way they do.

      A year or two ago I chose to identify as genderfluid and found I was able to better relate not only to people in that community but everyone else as well. And while I personally believe we should eradicate the concept of gender entirely, I recognize its much easier to add concepts than it is to take them away.

      • 2 years ago

        Your question seems to answer itself.

        If genders are a social construct, then society can 'construct' changes to what we view as valid genders.

        Changes in society don't happen overnight, they take time, and perhaps what you are witnessing is the start of such a change.

        • 2 years ago

          I don't understand the sentiment of "People are only doing this for attention."

          1) Everyone does pretty much everything for attention, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Artists paint so that people will look at their paintings. Football players play well so that more people will watch them play. Doing something "for attention" is not inherently a bad thing.

          2) There are so many people, like you, shitting on them for doing what they want to do, you think people choose that? People used to think gay people were just doing it "for the attention" and that trans people were too. But the attention they get is almost entirely negative. People call them names, say they're mentally unstable, say they're wrong. Who would choose that? How is that the attention someone would want? Sure, there are people who crave any sort of attention and will do bad things to get it, but how does saying, "I'm not a boy or a girl" hurt anyone?

          3) Why do you give any fucks at all how someone views themselves? They say, "I'm non-binary". You're reaction should be, "Oh, okay, so anyway, let's continue with our lives because literally nothing has changed"

          What is the deal? Who gives a flying fuck if they're just doing it for attention? It hurts no one, so just leave them alone.

          • 2 years ago

            I've always been curious as to how one can "feel" like a gender that they aren't. Because, as a man, being male doesn't "feel" like anything. The only thing that makes me feel like a man is that I'm in a male body. If I was in a female body I would feel like a girl.

            • 2 years ago

              I would love to share a piece of my story, if that's alright. I hope it shines a little more light on why many people are who they are.

              Last spring, I was sexually assaulted. It was a horrible experience and I look back on it with nothing but fear and sadness. I have realized since then that girls grow up being taught that they should be this, that, anything, and everything that their future husband may like. They are taught to be afraid of men and to avoid them at night. They teach themselves how to get out of 'let me buy you a drink' situations. They hope that their drink won't be drugged after a trip to the bathroom. Long story short, from the moment I realized that being a girl meant being afraid and getting looked down upon, I wanted no part of that life. But being a boy, that was being someone to fear. That was changing everything. I didn't want that, didn't feel it was right for me. So I have plopped myself on the 'in between' area that so many people call comfortable. I like it. I like not having to worry about fitting in, because this gender is so new in our society that there is nothing to fit in to. If someone looks down on me for my choice, screw them. If someone is confused, I'm happy to explain to the best of my ability. I just want an escape from 'you SHOULD be', 'you HAVE to be', 'you NEED to be'. I feel more confident, more happy with my life, than I ever did.

              • 2 years ago

                Isn't it as simple as trans people feel strongly uncomfortable in a body of one biological sex and comfortable or less uncomfortable in that of the opposite.

                Non-binary people on the other don't possess a strong preference for either in particular.

                And ditto for the social constructs around those sex characteristics.

                There can both be binary states and sliding scales of preference for those binary states.

                • 2 years ago

                  Everything on earth can be divided into Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral. Three kingdoms! Nothing can exist outside of these three classes.Through research we found that is just not true and not a good way of classifying things. We discovered atoms and DNA, and now nobody believes the original three kingdoms breakdown.

                  Gender is the same, we broke things down to masculine and feminine, used it while it was convenient, and now it appears as we have learned more and understand the spectrum better, we can decide on different things.

                  So to your point that "these categories don't exist", they do. They always have. My mother used to refer to people as fags or faggy, when describing someone who is an effeminate male. She would call girls Tom-boys to describe a woman who is masculine, or dykes in modern vernacular. Not saying these are the proper terms, but they have been around forever, so the recognition is there. Since science has not been able to clear up the definitions of gender, then we are stuck with only two. There are always labels, and if gender is a social construct, then using a different term socially is the only way to give a title to something that has always existed.

                  • 🎤Author
                    2 years ago

                    So you treat gender as something inate (i.e., that exists by itself), and humankind is just discovering it?

                    I mean, I can see your analogy working if we assume that. But if gender is constructed through socialization, the three-kingdoms analogy don't necessarily work, because it's not really about finding a "natura" truth

                  • 2 years ago

                    Just discovering it, no. Just finding that the current definitions are not adequate and that gender is a spectrum. As social norms and roles are breaking down, we are redefining what it means to be a man or woman and finding that the old definitions don't work. Society has changed and the old definitions just don't necessarily work as we now accept men to be nurturing and women to be tough. So we narrow both definitions with so much cross over, that it just doesn't seem fitting to try and cram people into either box.

                    At one time, a woman was a fragile human being who faints when distressed and a man stoic and emotionless. Unless you were a dandy, in which case you were "feminine".

                    This doesn't detract from transgendered persons, who feel squarely in one camp, but helps defines those who feel neither is enough to describe them.

                • 2 years ago

                  At the end of the day it should be up to the individual how they choose to identify. And non-binary clearly works as a definition for some people. The only issue I'd have with a gender identity would be if it somehow excluded other people from defining themselves and I don't think non-binary does that, or at least the way NB people I know define themselves doesn't do that.

                  Societys are hetrogenous and dynamic, it's perfectly normal for gender roles and perceptions to shift so why not let new gender identities be produced too. NB people too are products of societies and the way they have been socialised has produced a need for such an identity.

                  Also questioning and critiquing gender roles doesn't necessarily mean saying such gender identities shouldn't exists it's more that we need to develop more healthy roles for such genders. E.G. critiques of the way masculinity manifests in modern Western society should be welcome but they don't necessarily suggest we destroy the concept of masculinity just the more toxic elements of it.

                  But I'm a white cis-het so have less experience/knowledge of such issues.

                  • 2 years ago

                    you cannot be of a gender that isn't recognized by society.

                    Who are "society?" Because vast numbers of people do recognize these things, including psychological professionals, medical professionals, spiritual leaders, education professionals, creative professionals, ad nauseam. And this is ignoring cultures where people have more than two words for gender.

                    From personal experience, this is what hammered home the idea of non-binary genders for me:

                    I'm male, and was born male.

                    I remember thinking, when I was a very young boy, that I was glad I was a boy, and that being male kinda rocked. I liked what I was, and didn't want to be anything else. Those thoughts were a distinct part of my nascent mental map.

                    It seems very easy to imagine a person who had the opposite reaction to their gender as it related to their sex, but for whom femaleness also holds no appeal. And since people exist who seem to fit this description, who am I (or anyone else) to tell them "your thinking is invalid."?

                    • 2 years ago

                      Honestly I think the more worthwhile fight (instead of gender equality) is to fight to get rid of gender altogether.

                      Gender isn't real. Those traits attributed to men and women aren't real. The way you dress or communicate as some sort of sign as to whether you are "masculine" or "feminine" or somewhere in between is ridiculous. We are all individuals and we all have things we do a little differently and we all have things we do kinda the same. It makes no difference what parts you were born with.

                      All these new obscure genders really aren't doing anything to fight gender equality because the only way to fight gender equality is to break out of the box and realize that separate is not equal. As long as we're dividing ourselves into categories, nothing is really going to change.

                      • 2 years ago

                        Why would people seek negative attention though? If it were a ploy for attention, that would assume it's desirable attention. Identifying as anything but your biological gender is still really hard. You're going to face abuse for it at some point in your life. Nobody would choose that.

                        • 2 years ago

                          It is trivializing gender identity and you are right to question the claim that non-binary genders are just as much "genders" as the classic options, however it is not just a ploy for attention and sometimes disrespect is a price we pay for change. It may be more useful to say that those identifying as non-binary are participating in an experimental kind of culture and building something new from the old. History might end up judging what is being done now as a weird unnecessary deviation on the messy hike towards progress, but its possible that this is a useful shift that can produce benefits to how we think about identity more generally. Maybe it will ignite a debate that incites more analysis and resolve around what the true boundaries of gender are, and we may end up back where we started and see ourselves clearly for the first time.

                          • 2 years ago

                            Here's the way I've come to think of it..

                            There are people born with both or no sexes. And those people generally get to choose which gender they want to be. (or, often, their parents choose...) If they feel like a girl then that's what they get claim to be. Doesn't matter what sex they are, they get to be whoever they want.

                            So, why do they get this choice, but no one else? What if you're born with boy parts, but feel like a girl, or visa versa? Should you be forced to a live a life that you're not happy with simply to conform to what some people see as "normal" ?

                            What if you don't really feel like either? Why do you even need to conform to either option? Why not just be allowed to be whoever you feel like? Be and do whatever it is that makes you happy?

                            • 2 years ago

                              I hope it's okay if I respond to this, even though it's a little old.

                              I'm non-binary/agender, to start.

                              You said: "How can one identify with these genders if there is no such thing as a social product?" And I think that's where the major weakness in your argument is. You're making the assumption that we are functioning only in a society that only recognizes male and female genders, therefore, you cannot identify as something that has not been displayed for you before (such as a trans man looking at the male gender by examining other males and determining this fits his identity).

                              The problem is, this is only the case for western society, and doesn't hold true for many other cultures across the globe. I know a number of people here have mentioned this, but the concept of "non-binary gender" (as defined as outside male and female) shows up in a lot of cultures, and some even have four or five genders that show up in their culture, or even more. Some folks mentioned the hijira of India, but there's also: the genderfluid of Japan (Xジェンダー), the third gender of Nepal, the X-gender of New Zealand, the khwaja sira of Pakistan, the bakla and binabae of Tagalog, the bayot of Cebuano, the katheoys of Thailand, to name a few modern civilizations that recognize non-binary genders.

                              It's also worth noting that non-binary genders are not a recent fad or a recent invention, for that matter. Non-binary genders can be found in a wide variety of ancient civilizations, such as: third gender in Mesopotamia, third gender in Sumeria creation myth, third gender of Babylonia, Sumer, and Assyria, sht (sekhet) of Ancient Egypt, third gender of the Vedic culture in ancient India, the androgynous gender described by Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium, the androgynous and unknown genders present in Ancient Israel, and the third gender of the Ancient Incans.

                              A good question to ask would be - if so many forms of third gender or non-binary exist in other cultures, why doesn't it exist in Western culture? That, I don't have an answer to. But just because our culture doesn't recognize genders outside of male and female (at least, traditionally - this is certainly changing) doesn't mean that our culture is necessarily correct. It is simply what we are used to. Take this analogy for instance: let's say there are ten cultures, and in nine of these cultures, the following tastes are recognized: sugary, salty, meaty/umami, sour, and bitter. In the tenth culture, there is no food available in their region with a sour taste. No lemons, no limes, nothing sour. If they categorize four types of tastes (sugar, salt, umami, and bitter) does that mean that sour doesn't exist? Or does it rather mean that the people of that civilization simply have no experience with sour flavors? I see gender much like that, some civilizations may not have citizenry that historically had experience with non-binary genders, but other civilizations did.

                              For the second part of this comment, I wanted to get into how you know you're agender or non-binary, since I saw a lot of confusion on this thread regarding how that works. To start, we have to go to the experience of dysphoria. A trans man might look at his breasts and vagina and experience dysphoria. He may look between his legs and experience dysphoria to not find a penis there. Similarly, a trans woman may look at her penis and feel dysphoria, and look at her lack of vagina and lack of breasts and feel dysphoria.

                              While I cannot speak for other agender or non-binary people, my dysphoria speaks like this: as a person that was born with breasts and a vagina, I look at my breasts and vagina and feel dysphoria. My brain does not want them to be there. But I do not feel dysphoria when I think of my lack of penis. Rather, I feel dysphoria thinking of looking between my legs to see a penis. My agender mind seeks a body that does not speak to either male or female in shape. This is more complicated of course than just breasts, vaginas, and penises, and also has to do with body shape, distribution of fat, tone of voice, and other secondary sex characteristics, but that's about the easiest way that I can explain it. My brain does not want characteristics on my body that gender my form either male or female.

                              I have thought at length about whether our ancestry has anything to do with our prevalence of non-binary or agender identities. For instance, I talked earlier about how western civilizations typically had little experience with third gender identities, hence not having a word for them in the English language. But since my blood can be tracked back to civilizations where there were third gender identities, does that mean that my historical ancestry had prevalence of non-binary identities and thus, this prevalence was passed on to me? I do find it interesting that on the side of my family with connections to the Incans, we have three of us (two millennials and one baby boomer). On my other side of the family, who are European, there are none. Coincidence? Who knows.

                              But it's something to think about.

                              • 2 years ago

                                But there are plenty of cultures that have more than two genders. "The recognition of more than two sex/genders is recorded in India as early as the eighth century BCE”. As members of Western society we might be used to a gender binary, but not all cultures prescribe to one. Society grows and changes and this could be us slowly arriving at a nonbinary system. Western society isn't exactly known for being static. The linked Wikipedia article will give you a rundown of some examples. Edit: typos

                                • 2 years ago

                                  I believe that gender is a product of socialization, and therefore you cannot be of a gender that isn't recognized by society.

                                  If gender is a social construct, not merely a function of XX or XY DNA, then why can't new genders (or something that significantly differs from existing norms) be "invented". Society is fundamentally the collection of its member humans, and if one or more people conceive of a "new gender" or even "concept that's different than gender", why can't the existing social constructs be changed or at least significantly challenged?

                                  • 2 years ago

                                    Internal gender identity is 99.9% hormonal and .1% cultural interpretations of those hormonal fluctuations. External gender expression is 100% cultural as are the reactions to it. [this stat is not hyperbole, the former stat is obviously a hyperbolic estimate meant to illustrate how wrongly we currently understand gender as being one thing, instead of the complex biological, cultural, and temporal thing that it tries to describe in one word, leaving people to understand it as one thing]

                                    The concept of masculine and feminine or only one or the other is related to our human obsession with duality thanks to the nature of our earth day/night. You're welcome [jk I don't know where our collective obsession with duality comes from, probably yes or no questions. If you can't follow me yet, it's ok, you'll get there. Someday or somenight, because there is only one or the other...oh wait or is there? dawn, dusk, what are these?] There have always been more than two genders and countless expressions of internal gender based on hormone production. (gee I wonder why so many westerners are increasingly hormonally weird, and some asians have been hormonally weird for long enough to be recognized by their culture for thousands of years? Anyone know anything about soy and estrogen? How about the hormones we feed our meat? Birth control side effects? Possible effects of environmental pollutants on our hormones? Anyone want to chime in with any other potential hormone distruptors?) Whether any society has recognized them or not and for the record asian cultures and plenty of native american cultures have recognized MTFs or NBs of some kind, for thousands of years. Western culture, like any human culture, leaves out a LOT that's plenty factual. It's called "erasure" and "oppression".

                                    What is considered masculine and feminine also changes dramatically over time (pink used to be for boys, all children wore dresses, heels and makeup were for men, blah, blah, more historical examples of western cultural norms that would be considered counter-cultural today, blah)

                                    I have more but the Fact that internal gender is largely hormonal (or doctors wouldn't be able or willing to administer HRT) as well as cultural, is the one that's killing me that people don't, won't or can't just grasp.

                                    Also, to my knowledge, all human's have hormones that fluctuate with a lunar? or circadian? cycle, not just people with uteruses. Some fluctuate a lot more frequently or extremely, we call them genderfluid.

                                    • 2 years ago

                                      Of all of the foreign life ways Indians held, one of the first the Europeans targeted for elimination was the Two Spirit tradition among Native American cultures. At the point of contact, all Native American societies acknowledged three to five gender roles: Female, male, Two Spirit female, Two Spirit male and transgendered. LGBT Native Americans wanting to be identified within their respective tribes and not grouped with other races officially adopted the term “Two Spirit” from the Ojibwe language in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1989. Each tribe has their own specific term, but there was a need for a universal term that the general population could understand. The Navajo refer to Two Spirits as Nádleehí (one who is transformed), among the Lakota is Winkté (indicative of a male who has a compulsion to behave as a female), Niizh Manidoowag (two spirit) in Ojibwe, Hemaneh (half man, half woman) in Cheyenne, to name a few. As the purpose of “Two Spirit” is to be used as a universal term in the English language, it is not always translatable with the same meaning in Native languages. For example, in the Iroquois Cherokee language, there is no way to translate the term, but the Cherokee do have gender variance terms for “women who feel like men” and vice versa.

                                      https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/opinions/two-spirits-one-heart-five-genders/

                                      Edit to add: A documentary on the subject of gender roles: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/two-spirits/

                                      • 2 years ago

                                        More than two genders is nothing new and has been around for a long time. Arguably even most of western culture has a third gender with the concept of androgyny. Myself, I am Two Spirit, this is a third gender amount many Aboriginal people. What that is exactly depends on what specific Nation you are looking at. Amount the Navajo there are actually 6 genders because they also consider sexual orientation when labelling gender. In my culture, Metis, Two Spirit is considered a person with both male and female spirit, making them more balanced. India have the Hijra and Thailand had Ladyboys. Since gender is a social construct it makes sense that different societies will construct different genders.

                                        I do agree that some of the genders are...not great. Such as 'growlgender' which I saw someone claim once and is supposed to be like a gender where you growl and claw at things a lot? But most of them are people trying to fill the gap Western culture has created. It can be nice having a label because it puts you in a group you can be part of. I would guess that trans people probably have the greatest instances of body dysmorphia but other genders experience this too. I experience it a bit but as a Two Spirit person transitioning to a male body would be pretty useless because then I'd experience dysmorphia for that too.

                                        • 🎤Author
                                          2 years ago

                                          but do you think that these genders are "inate" to the human existence, or do they exist only inside their cultures?

                                          I mean, would it make sense for someone to identify with hijra outside indian culture or as two spirits outside aboriginal culture?

                                      • 2 years ago

                                        You have too stop assuming what gender is, the issue has only been up for debate for a few decades and as such there is no conclusive result as to what it is although most of the peer reviewed studies in this area seem to suggest that it isnt a social construct since animals also exhibit gener roles but although it might bee to early to tell whether gender roles are societal or genetic it is well due to prove what it is not and that is an unnatural maybe divine thing that you seem to suggest how did you suggest this you might ask the thought procees that gender is societal suggest that since no other animals have the same society as us their views of the genders would be different ingnoring reality it would suggest that such a society would be impossible naturally as in nature males of any mamal spexies are naturally agressive and females less so which would mean this would carry over when humans eventually created society but in your version since gender is entirely societal some magic man force must have instilled the idea of gender roles into man. I gues what iam trying to tell you is your question is flawed like asking if you should feel bad if a imaginal horse kicks an imaginary organ of yours.

                                        • 2 years ago

                                          I feel like whenever anyone says a certain way of living is just "attention seeking" it translates into "I don't understand it and refuse to acknowledge people live life differently than I do.

                                          When someone says they're non-binary that just usually means they don't want to feel restricted by traditional gender roles, they don't view themselves as what society typically thinks of "man" or "woman". If you identify as a man you're expected to act and look a certain way, same if you identify as a woman, this is true even for transgender (MtF and FtM) individuals. Non-binary is simply choosing to not let your biological sex determine your appearance, behavior or role in society and refusing to identify with either binary gender to not restrict yourself or put preconceived expectations on you.

                                          Obviously different people have different opinions and ideas about gender identity, so no one person cannot speak for anyone else, one's idea of what non-binary is could be different from someone else's.

                                          I'm trans and I don't think non-binary lessens, insults or takes away from other gender identities, it's simply another way of expressing your identity.

                                          • 2 years ago

                                            I'm gonna ask you something and then answer it myself to show what i mean.

                                            Think about yourself. How you think of yourself, describe yourself, what you characterize as you.

                                            What part of you in that sea of thoughts is the part that is your gender?

                                            Until i was an adult, i never really thought about it. To be more specific I was in my late 20s before someone put words to what i thought. https://youtu.be/hmKix-75dsg This video helped put the thought into words. I'm a heterosexual male but if i was asked what part of my brain is male or what part of my personality is male, i'd shrug. I have some things that are stereotypically male in some aspects but as we move toward both genders being equal in ability to do things, they're less gendered. I have female friends who can work on cars while i cannot. I personally nurture and care for people and kids. Those use to be gendered concepts but they aren't anymore. So i'm fine with being a guy but it's not important to me.

                                            • 🎤Author
                                              2 years ago

                                              Yeah, I kind of get this. But then I go back to my initial problem: at what point the fact that I, a man, would rather paint my nails then work on cars stops being just a way that I don't conform to societal expectations of masculinity and starts being a gender on its own?

                                              I get that people most often than not don't behave on the extremes of what is expected of a man/woman. But at what point is this not a performance thing anymore?

                                            • 2 years ago

                                              Like the video says in case you didn't watch it, some people maybe do have a piece of their brain that says male/female or whatever. All I know is I don't have it. My suspicion is people attach certain characteristics to a gender and therefore that's the part of their brain they think of as male or female. So I guess my argument is that there might be no genders or infinite genders. Just characteristics attached to them. Moving forward i think we'll get to a point as a species where aside from reproduction, gender will be irrelevant. Men will wear dresses and women will have short short hair without getting a second look. I'm unconcerned about gender. I'm sexually attracted to female bodies but if she's a tomboy or wears makeup i find both attractive.

                                              I guess i'm not performing anymore than the average person. I just don't really care about gender and It's not something i devote my time to thinking about. If I described myself I might leave off that i'm a guy for example. Not intentionally, it's just not a large part of my identity. I care about people, i love working with kids, i enjoy music, and i'm fairly tall. Those i think are more a part of me than the thought i'm a guy.

                                          • 2 years ago

                                            I believe that gender is a product of socialization, and therefore you cannot be of a gender that isn't recognized by society.

                                            Being "agender" isn't "being of a gender", it's not being of a gender.

                                            That's what "a-gender" means. Like in "a-theist", or "a-moral".

                                            What you're basically saying is 'atheism isn't a real religion so no one should be allowed to say they're an atheist'. No shit atheism isn't a religion...

                                            _

                                            About "demiguy", this is literally the first time in my life I'm ever hearing that term or anything remotely like it.

                                            It sounds like a pretty normal thing that maybe doesn't need a technical term, and the etymology sucks, but if we're gonna draw the line there, then why should anyone tolerate you who finds your "identity" far more offensive than a bunch of kids with a special word for themselves? I'm all for having a referendum on what identities are ok and what ones are evil, getting those suppressed views out of the closet, but why would you be?

                                            • 2 years ago

                                              Gender identity is trivial by it's very nature. The fact of the matter is that trans people have a mental disorder, and there is an entire political movement revolving around the assertion that society should accept and endorse this disorder. It's a view that has a basis in pragmatism at the expense of principled truth.

                                              Gender is a set of characteristics that are choices. I choose my clothes. I choose my haircut. I choose my pronoun. As a society, we coordinate gender with sex. These people challenge that tradition. That's all there is to it. Is the principl that makes dress like men and females dress like women an important principle? No, not really. That's why the pragmatic approach is correct in my view. Just call the trans person whatever pronoun they want. It's not worth the argument.

                                              • 2 years ago

                                                There are third genders that are recognized by society. Like the hijra in India.

                                                • 2 years ago

                                                  "Non-Binary" is exactly as you have said - a ploy for attention. The best course of action is to ignore these people and hope that they eventually grow out of it.

                                                  Criticizing and arguing with them on any intellectual level legitimizes them in their own mind, and fuels them, like the trolls they are.

                                                  Once they are starved of the attention and "oppressed status" they so desperately crave, they will go away.

                                                  If you ever have the misfortune to encounter someone who tries to play the "non-binary" game, stonewall them. Do not engage, simply walk away. Ignore anything they say or do.

                                                  Do this in memory of me.

                                                  The law defines a person as being male or female, if you are neither of these, you are not a person.

                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                    Well, using your logic, if non-binary genders become socially recognized, then they'll exist.

                                                    My favorite are those different forms of romantic, like aromantic. They have one for people who feel romantic feelings quickly. They have one for people who need to go on a few dates first before they develop romantic feelings. They have one for people who only feel romantic feelings sometimes, but not all of the time. In other words, they have special names for normal people who feel romantic feelings in all of the normal ways.

                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                      You absolutely need two genders to have human reproduction. There's no way around this. One gender provides sperms, the other ovules and gestation.

                                                      But if you are not reproducing, then you can be whatever you desire to be, because it is just meaningless. Just as the fact that girls using skirts, high heels and make up is meaningless in a biological reproductive level. Long hair, short hair, that affects nothing about genre.

                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                        Maybe think of it less as a 'third gender' and more as an absence of gender.

                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                          Gender as a social product is only and can only be dictated by the chromosomes present in your DNA. XX and XY

                                                          Gender as a mental preference however can be essentially whatever the particular person believes. This doesn't mean they deserve special rights either. If that were the case every​ narccisist would be ruling the world

                                                          • 2 years ago

                                                            Here is what I think happened, historically, and I think it's making a lot of people really unhappy.

                                                            Christianity (and other religions) hated gay people, because early religions were formed just to make sure the human race kept breeding. Biologically, that's what we are built to do, so the species survives. early religion created punishments for "getting off" that didn't produce babies.

                                                            Well, people...ALL people, like getting off. In a variety of ways. So the church has been hunting gays for centuries.

                                                            Now, I don't think sexually/gender is "how you are born", any more then liking one kind of cake over another is genetic. I also don't think it's locked in. You might like chicks now, try dudes and enjoy that for years, then come back to liking chicks, etc. I've watched people go back and forth on their sexuality a lot.

                                                            And that's great! They should! THIS ONLY MATTERS BECAUSE THE CHURCH MADE YOU ALL FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. None of this should matter to anyone.

                                                            "I can't help it! I was born this way". That's bullshit. ANYONE can abstain, so technically anyone could stop being straight, gay, bi, etc.

                                                            Let's say a bi girl gets married, and her New husband/wife doesn't want a poly relationship. Now this girl is no longer bi.

                                                            Sexuality isn't how you were born, it's what you do.

                                                            Gender is the same way: you could be the straightest dude in the world, and just decide to wear s dress this month. Not you are tran. And you can go back at any time. (Physically. Emotionally your gender might be super important to you, but I'm talking about the actual biology here).

                                                            And, see, there is nothing wrong with people being fluid! It fine! It might even be superior to people being fixed, and thinking they have no choice.

                                                            Problem is still the Church. They say it's bad, and you should stop. And they made a million ways to punish you for any non-reproductive sex.

                                                            So the gay rights movement had to convince the world this is a biological thing, not just a personal taste. If people don't have s choice, you can't punish them, right? So they invented the "born this way" ideology.

                                                            But this has made a TON of people unhappy, as they are stuck in place. "It was such a huge deal coming out, I can't go back on it!" Or "I just don't want my wife to know I think I'm turn on by dudes right now", or a million other horrible scenarios.

                                                            The utopian future is one where ALL gender and sexuality is fluid, and the churches opinions are not given any credit.

                                                            Now, I get most of you find this blasphemous to the LGBT agenda (even though it's healthier then that agenda). But it's still correct.

                                                            Let me tell you about my situation:

                                                            My wife is BI, and has been on and off for our 17 years of marriage. For months at a time we'll sleep with other women, then she'll just lose the taste for chicks for a year or two. the chicks we sleep with: some have been bi, some have been mostly straight, and a few have been completely gay...but in bed, when bodies are curling around each other, suddenly all gender and sexually drops away. Suddenly that "only gay" chick really likes making out with a dude, or really enjoys going down on him. Suddenly that 100% straight girl is grinning like a kid in a candy store, going down on my wife. Girls that were 100% gay admit they only can orgasm with a cock. Girls 100% straight have the biggest/fastest orgasm of their life when my wife is going down on them.

                                                            My guy friends are like that two. Guys been gay as long as I've know him, suddenly he's dating a chick! And happier then I've seen him before. This isn't because he was wrong all along...it's because gender doesn't really matter.

                                                            It's about people, who you click with. They could be any gender. It doesn't matter. People should just enjoy their lives, and stop making gender into a huge fucking deal.

                                                            Because without the church, gender isn't important.

                                                            • 2 years ago

                                                              What societies recognize now is not what societies recognized 25, 50, 1000, or 5000 years ago. Question relevant to either keeping or changing your view: Do you think that any given new societal recognition has emerged instantaneously? If not instantaneously, how? How do numerical majorities and minorities relate to an emergent recognition?

                                                              • 2 years ago

                                                                I believe that gender is a product of socialization, and therefore you cannot be of a gender that isn't recognized by society.

                                                                That is your belief, but gender is a biological trait that involves many aspects of one's body. Some aspects such as DNA cannot be changed, at least with current technology.

                                                                Of course you have the right to believe whatever you wish to believe. I'm also ok with people doing anything they wish to their own body.

                                                                I would agree with you if you said "gender identity is a belief" since you'd be referring to the psychological/cultural aspect and not the biological aspect of it.

                                                                • 2 years ago

                                                                  You mentioned "ploy for attention" is this CMV but I didn't find any reference to why you think this in your post. Could you clarify?

                                                                  I think there's a difference between thinking that cis-gender and agender are not viable due to social construct and thinking that they are a lighting rod for attention.

                                                                  • 🎤Author
                                                                    2 years ago

                                                                    This is probably something to do with what I have been exposed to and likely a product of confirmation bias, as it was previously pointed out to me.

                                                                    I guess I said this because I haven't really met a lot of non-binary people IRL, and the exposure I had to it on the internet was much more "intensive" for the "crazy" genders of tumblr (like people identifying with a cat for a gender).

                                                                • 2 years ago

                                                                  If you apply this argument to sexual orientation and not gender identity, are homosexuals just seeking attention to disrespect heterosexual people? I would say not.

                                                                  Transgender and non-binary are two different things, and being one takes nothing away from the other.

                                                                  • 2 years ago

                                                                    If people can be bisexual then they can be bi-gender. The same hormones and effect on brain development are involved, the effect just takes place at a different time during gestation when different parts of the brain are forming.

                                                                    • 2 years ago

                                                                      binary trans people don't feel disrespected by us. you don't need to feel disrespectful for them just so you can be hateful.

                                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                                        What, in your mind, makes a gender identity valid?

                                                                        • 🎤Author
                                                                          2 years ago

                                                                          As an identity, the fact that it is socially recognized and that it has some identifiable characteristic in the way that society treats/reacts to it.

                                                                          This is not to say that I don't think that people who "don't feel entirely female nor male" aren't real of that their feelings are invalide, but in the way I see it, this "non-belongment" is about how thei perform/express their gender. So basically I'm treating gender identity and gender expression as conceptually different. What I don't get is how you can identify in the middle of the spectrum, and how is this different than just displaying/performing your gender in the middle of the spectrum.

                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                          So it's up to society to determine whether your identity is valid or not?

                                                                        • 🎤Author
                                                                          2 years ago

                                                                          From the conceptual definition that I'm seeing gender, yes.

                                                                          The way I see it, gender is a way that society divides/categorize people by expected gender roles. So in this sense, I'd argue that the hijra gender (as other redditors have used as an example in this thread) for the people that were socialized in a region/community that acknowledges it.

                                                                          But also, that they are recognized as such by society because there is a fundamental way in which how they identify with the group differs more than only the way they perform it. For instance, the hijra people not only express their gender in a way that is not encompassed by the traditional definitions of man/woman, but they also have a particular set of identifying cultural traits that are unique to them.

                                                                          Sorry if I'm not making a lot of sense, I already find it hard to explain this in my native language, and doing it in english doesn't make it any easier...

                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                          But, by your definition, if society does not recognize someone identifying as something other than their sex, then that identity is invalid.

                                                                        • 🎤Author
                                                                          2 years ago

                                                                          Well, not exactly. It's more about wether that set of social conventions are recognized as a gender rather than if a certain person is indeed that gender.

                                                                          For instance, a transexual woman would identify with a "valid" identity because society recognizes "women" as a gender, whether or not hey believe you can be assigned the wrond gender at birth.

                                                                          It is different if you say you identify with "a semi-feminine-male" because this is not recognized and you'll either be read and treated as a male or as a female, regardless of having some diverging behavior/performance than expected. I mean, if you are being discriminated because you don't fully comply with the social rules is another issue, but the fact is that there isn't a set of rules se in place for "semi-feminine-men", and therefore you can't identify your gender with that because that's not an option...

                                                                          I guess the way I'm defining gender is basically a model that simplifies human behaviour in order to fit you in a certain box, that will trigger a certain responde from society. If your gender identity doesn't have this, than I fail to see how it is any different than just having a non-conformant gender performance.

                                                                        • 2 years ago

                                                                          They're only recognized as a gender, if that gender is recognized as being something separate from sex, and as possible to be the opposite of one's sex. This is still a point of view that would cause people's (both trans and third-gender people) genders to be able to be rendered invalid by societal views.

                                                                      • 2 years ago

                                                                        I'm non-binary. I have a mohawk and I bind my chest. I go by they/them.

                                                                        I've always felt like I wasn't feminine, and I've never wanted to be masculine. So I'm neither. I don't care what you think of me, as long as I can look in the mirror and be happy with what I see.

                                                                        • 🎤Author
                                                                          2 years ago

                                                                          Not trying to be rude, geniunely trying to understand.... When you say you "always felt like you weren't feminine and never wanted to be masculine" are you referring to gender roles, or is it something else?