Change Your World-NOT your Body

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What is a Man?

Are there any differences in being a man and merely passing as one? Does passing as male make you a male?

dirt
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44 comments:

  1. What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets. But enough talk, have at you!

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  2. A "man" is a construct of the patriarchy that includes all the trappings of masculinity -- fake toughness (that person is forced not to cry, show pain, feel (let alone show) empathy, etc.), fake confidence (always act like you know what you're doing and saying), fake bravery, fake intelligence (always act like you know things, especially when you don't). A male is a biological reality -- you are born with one X chromosome and one Y chromosome and we can tell you were because you have the external genitalia to prove it. Humans being the fearful creatures they are need ways to group everyone into one lump or another and so have determined that when one is male, one must also take on all the trappings of "man" and if one is female, must take on all the trappings of "woman." When a female hates those trappings, she gets confused and thinks she should actually be a "man" instead of saying, hey, wait a minute! I AM a female and if this is what a female IS, then fuck all those rules about "woman" and "man" I'm going to be MYSELF.

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  3. 10:30 - That was sorta poetic,

    A man is what I am. Transitioning doesn't make you any more a man, it just makes you more comfortable in your own skin. Transguys are always guys regardless of what they do to themselves.
    For me, being out as a male and being accepted as one makes me feel whole. I don't feel like I'm hiding anymore, I don't feel left out or the odd one out. It feels almost normal, which is strange. I feel like I'm being completely myself and not being so tense and depressed all the time. Being the gender you feel you are is freedom. Just like accepting your sexuality is freedom.

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  4. What is a man, you answer "A man is what I am". What makes an adult female like yourself a man. A man is an adult male. You say you feel like less of an oddball socially when you pretend to be not female. How is that different than all the females throughout history who have disguised themselves as male to work in medicine, or fight in the civil war? What makes them women who "pass as" males but you a man?
    It seems like the only difference is your fantasy-based belief system which says females produce sperm and males gestate offspring.
    If male and female aren't terms that describe reproductive categories then what do the terms describe?

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  5. "If male and female aren't terms that describe reproductive categories then what do the terms describe?"

    O, you know that one, it's the secret and hidden 'sex of the brain', the little voice that tells them they're male, despite what any other part of their body or biology says about it............

    "It feels almost normal, which is strange. " Nope, just a great big dollop of male privilege because you've managed to leave the rest of us females in the box labelled woman.....

    where not being allowed to be whole, feeling left out like the other female 50% of the human race, having to hide behind the dress and cosmetics that society thinks women should wear, and being tense and depressed....

    is pretty much the norm. Just not a GOOD norm.

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  6. " Some people would legitimately like to read something other than people arguing over this crap."

    If you don't LIKE it, go start your own blog! Dirt posts what interests her, and those of us who are also interested comment.

    Why someone who isn't interested would just bitch from the sidelines, I don't know.............

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  7. What is a Man?

    Are there any differences in being a man and merely passing as one?

    The difference as it relates to sex chromosomes XY male, man and an attached penis.

    I believe the real difference is not what hangs between ones legs that make them a man. It is who you believe you are in your heart and mind and how you feel about yourself. In my life I’ve known a few man with XX chromes, know as female with a pocket penis.

    Truly, the difference in a man and merely passing as one, it all comes down to perception. How you see yourselves, how you present yourselves to the world and how you feel the world perceives you.

    Does passing as male make you a male?

    In reality we are all XX and some of us make great men.

    Passion

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  8. Passion I really enjoyed your answer. : )

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  9. What is a man? Someone with XY chromosomes. End of story. The rest of it - the "Last Man Standing," the mythos of Old Spice ads - is all invented trappings. It's not unthinkable that some females, particularly those who don't fit into patriarchy's constructed gender roles and images, as well as those who have been brutalized by patriarchy because they are female would want to buy into that and have it. It's just sad that it would be expected for other females to stand by and cheer this on instead of questioning and criticizing the history of patriarchy that has created these ridiculous narrow roles of "what a man is" and "what a woman is." Ugh. That might be truly transgressive and most people dare not be so radical.

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  10. I define a man as a person with a BSTc neuron count within the average range for biological males. BSTc neuron counts have been shown to have large correlation with gender identity and no correlation with sexual attraction or the cultural constructs that are femininity and masculinity.

    It has nothing to do with masculinity, femininity, sex, sex or even identity (though that is the only/best way to estimate said neuron count, seeing as it can't actually be seen in living people). It just has to do with this one part of brain structure that appears to affect how people identify.

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  11. "BSTc neuron counts have been shown to have large correlation with gender identity and no correlation with sexual attraction or the cultural constructs that are femininity and masculinity."

    Except that:
    "In 2002, a followup study by Chung, De Vries, and Swaab found that significant sexual dimorphism (variation between sexes) in BSTc did not become established until adulthood."

    And the science is still out on this one.

    Not exactly a USEFUL definition is it? Might as well base your definition on hat size, or any other measure that has some significant statistical difference between the sexes.

    "It just has to do with this one part of brain structure that appears to affect how people identify." Brains are plastic, and are effected by hormones, and just life itself. Hence you can't be totally sure that this is causation rather than just correlation.

    Plus another problem -- the sexual dimorphism in this structure doesn't appear until adulthood, hence offers no explanation of supposed trans people who feel that something is up when children.

    Even if there is some correlation, it doesn't necessarily have to mean that differeng numbers MEANS man or woman, just that atypical numbers (we are only talking one very simple measure here anyway) might predispose or be a consequence of some other process, which might be viewed instead as a propensity to be 'confused' about your gender/sex, or have some sort of body dysmorphia, rather than as some holy grail of the brain sex theory trans agenda.

    Plus in some of the studies, they had ONE F2M person, and only SIX M2F. Hardly stunning sample numbers on which to base your definition.

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  12. "I define a man as a person with a BSTc neuron count within the average range for biological males..... "

    Sorry, couldn't resist being all sciencey and pedantic over this.

    The point here is you're trying to define a discrete label using what is probably a continuous quantity. Even if the distribution of whatever for men and women really is two distinct clusters, there is probably always going to be a few outliers.
    Strictly speaking, such classification usually works best if you use several features, rather than just one. But then again, you can often classify whatever you want, by picking the right features............

    Unlike (say), the chromosomal definition, which (whatever natural variation and/or various abnormalities that may arise), STARTS from a discrete system (X is distinct from Y, and basics are either XX, or XY). Unlike, say, crocodiles, where the exact temperture during incubation determines whether you get males or females (I kid you not, ain't nature fascinating!).

    "though that is the only/best way to estimate said neuron count, seeing as it can't actually be seen in living people"

    Okay, claim here is that our BEST GUESS of the neuron count is based on someone KNOWING they are male, and assuming that they ONLY say this if they have a male BSTc neuron count (and don't say it otherwise). And all this is based on (as far as I can see from the papers at the moment), ONE F2M who had been on hormones anyway (which physically alter the brain BTW).

    All boils down to -- we BELIEVE that people know deep down inside whether they are REALLY a man or REALLY a woman (despite the fact that FABs or MABs don't seem to do this or bother that much about this innate gender business), and we BELIEVE that no one has ANY reason to actualy lie/be deceived/mistaken about this, AND that this correlates with having a certain number of neurons in a particular bit of your brain that they counted after people were dead and had been on hormones for years anyway..........

    Like christians who claim they KNOW they have a soul, even if the rest of us aren't convinced about it.

    Sorry, this is just trying to tart up your beliefs with a few bits of misunderstood science. The science is what it is, but what it ISN'T is an in yer face PROOF of the trans brain sex theory........

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  13. And again with science we have to take into account this:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/

    dirt

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  14. DD, I use Old Spice deodorant and I'm still firmly female. I love breaking those old patriarchal myths!

    dirt

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  15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XX_male_syndrome

    http://www.gendercare.com/library/italiano_paper3.html

    Although these are the exception, rather than the rule, it does show that we cannot rely solely on chromosomal makeup in order to determine sex or gender (if being used interchangeably.)

    From what I have observed, the difference between a biological female who identifies as male, and a woman who "passes" as male is simply the internal identity.

    Whether gender identity is solely determined by stereotypical assumptions of men and women or if some other factor being involved is up for debate and I'm not taking sides here. I just wanted to present some new information that may allow others to see chromosomes in a different light.

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  16. Its interesting that one never hears men saying they "feel like a man" or "always felt like a boy" from their earliest memories. Interesting that it is only females speaking these trans tropes.

    dirt

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  17. In the BSTc article from 2000, we have:

    "In addition, we had the exceptional opportunity to be able to study the first collected brain ever of a female-to-male transsexual (FMT)."

    I say that again -- ONE transman brain, and you want to base your supposed definition of male on that?

    AH, plus when you look at the actual DATA, the distributions overlap between het males, homo males, females, and trans anyway. SO, although MEANS of males and females are different, that DOESN'T mean you can use neuron number for one individual as a classifier, since distirbutions overlap, even if the mean+std don't.

    To my eyes, the NUMBERS (9 het males, 9 homo males, 10 females) involved make this totally daft. Let's face it, with numbers this small, you don't really care about snazzy statistical tests to tell whether or not the groups are different, it just reduces to -- possibly slightly different, but with the usual high degree of overlap, and you'd need a MUCH bigger sample to really tease out how different the means were.

    Paper itself says stuff like:

    "with males having almost twice as many SOM neurons as females"

    Oooh, sounds REALLY different -- except this is the MEANS of the two very small groups. 33 versus 19 were actual figures. Except that of the 9 het males, two had lower figures than 3 of the 10 het females.

    MEANS being seperable (and this being statistically significant), DOESN'T mean that you can use this to classify a single individual. The error on the mean ISN'T the same as the std of the population (alhtough related, see any stats text book).

    Sorry, don't want to blind with stats, but from the actual data, if you tried to use this to classify your non-trans, het males and females sample, you'd get it wrong for about 4-5 out of the 19 wrong based on this.

    You can't use this to define a man, it doesn't work. The difference between the means for females and means for trans looks to me more like possible effects of hormonal treatment than anything else, despite the use of persons with hormonal inbalances to try and assess how hormones MIGHT shift numbers.

    Plus inclusion of ONE F2T means nothing, apart from they got all excited about having a new brain to slice and dice.............

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  18. "The difference between the means for females and means for trans looks to me more like possible effects of hormonal treatment than anything else"

    Sorry, this should have been means for males (both homo and het) and trans (M2T)....

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  19. O, and finally the study referred to above used some of the same individuals (well, they obviously only have so many brains all sliced and preserved to play about with!) as in another study, so the existence of the two different studies isn't as significant as you might have thought.

    You don't need stats, you just think -- if I wanted to say ANYTHING significant about the differences between men and women, or the supposed similarity of M2T to females, do I really think sample sizes this small would do?

    No, as becomes obvious when you look at the scatter plots of the actual data.

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  20. The whole discussion is a moot point and entirely theoretical. Humans can only guess at shit and make up words attempting to have shared meanings. I am a man because I fucking say so, and the world agrees when they see me. End of story. No validation from dirt or baddyke necessary.

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  21. yes, everybody is anything they fucking say they are

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  22. In the heat of the moment, all you have to do is unzip their pants and have a look. Clear differences between women on T and even very unendowed men.

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  23. "In the heat of the moment, all you have to do is unzip their pants and have a look"

    Sick twisted rapist freak.

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  24. I can't believe that idiot anon would even utter those violating/triggering words. Any part of anyone that would "unzip" me against my will is getting severed and nailed to a wall.

    Is this the sort of company you keep, Dirt. You women are sick.

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  25. "In the heat of the moment" would mean both people involved. Nothing like rape. I guess trans don't/can't undress with their partner.

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  26. Or...you're just a grossly despicable human being trying to save face from a dehumanizing comment.

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  27. In defense of the BSTc neuron studies-

    If the neuron counts are not a dichotomy, that does not rule them out as an indicator for gender, it merely means that gender is not (at least 100%) dichotomous. Not surprising seeing as sex isn't really, either. BSTc neuron counts not being dimorphic in childhood is hardly problematic, either. It would just point to gender not being fully developed in childhood. Separate studies have shown that sex hormone levels have little to no effect on BSTc counts, so that as a cause can be pretty much ruled out, as well. And, I will admit that the numbers in the studies are small, but the p values (chance of a fluke based on the numbers in the study) of each study are still very small, plus multiple studies have been conducted.

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  28. I have never use the phrase I always felt like a guy. My convos with people go like this.

    Them: how do you know your a guy?
    Me: I just am
    Them: but how?
    Me: how do you know your a lady?
    Them: I look down?
    Me: so do I.
    Them: but you have female parts.
    Me: and I know they don't belong there.

    It's probably not the best approach but I haven't found another that works better. I have this convo a lot because I dont hide who I am.

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  29. How do you know they don't belong there?
    (You: How do you know yours do belong there?
    Them: Because they're there.)

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  30. All role-playing in gender theory class aside, why is it that FtM's don't get the bottom surgery as first priority? We all know the bottom surgery results suck, but so do the top surgeries. It's what's between your legs that counts - FtM's know it too - otherwise there wouldn't be all the packing, STP drama, etc.

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  31. Top surgeries suck aesthetically. Bottom surgeries suck functionally *and* aesthetically.

    Many/most of us feel like the results of bottom surgery aren't really meaningfully closer to a penis than what we're starting with...not enough to justify accepting a lifetime of leaking piss and probably anorgasmia, even if we get through the surgery and healing process without horrible complications like infections, necrosis, and hemorrhaging.

    Plus, at least for gay trans guys, it makes our range of potential partners even smaller. There are plenty of gay guys who are OK with my current genital arrangement. I've never met even one who wasn't grossed out by the results of bottom surgery. And frankly, I don't blame them, because I am too. There's a lot more to a penis than just a vaguely tubular dangly thing.

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  32. gay trans guys = straight women.

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  33. "yes, everybody is anything they fucking say they are"

    I'm so sick of that statement. No, people are fucking not what they say they are. In that case, I could say that I'm a strawberry. Am I a strawberry? By anyones definition, ever? No. But maybe I feel like a strawberry!
    Apparently I really AM a strawberry, as long as I say I am, according to you Anon.

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  34. hey 5:05, that was me and I was being sarcastic- I agree with you

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  35. Biologically a male is some one with a penis, and no breasts, and a box shape (the male body). A male in society is one that appears as a male physically, as well as one who portrays the correct male gender roles. If you ask me this society is fucked up, they already havephyrae nephew saying what's for boys and what's for girls.

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  36. You can only be biologically male. No such thing as stereotypically "male in society," etc. Compare a flamboyant gay man from SF with a construction worker from AK. There's a reason why they both have "M" on their drivers licence.

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  37. @1:44 - That's fine. My partner's quite amused that in your world he came out to his family in the '80s, got kicked out, disowned, gay-bashed, went through a decade of hell as a single gay man in the fallout of the initial AIDS epidemic, and finally managed to reconcile with his family, just to end up secretly dating a straight woman 15 years later.

    In his words: "Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, I've found the cure for homosexuality! Someone go tell Exodus!"

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  38. XX partner + XY partner = heterosexuality

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  39. 7:20
    is he keeping it a secret from others, your female biology? do gay men like vaginas i wonder?

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  40. Why can't people take it that male = a biological state and nothing more? I am a female and I picture myself with a male body (against my conscious will). I am a female who likes the body I have in reality. I have a quirk in my brain that lacks scientific understanding, it doesn't make me a man.

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  41. "Separate studies have shown that sex hormone levels have little to no effect on BSTc counts, so that as a cause can be pretty much ruled out, as well. And, I will admit that the numbers in the studies are small, but the p values (chance of a fluke based on the numbers in the study) of each study are still very small"

    Sorry, I don't CARE about the p-values -- I just looked at the scatterplot of the actual data -- it's all over the place, although the figures for men TEND to be higher than for women (but not always).

    Plus results from other studies show that taking hormones alters brain volume. From a 2006 paper:
    "We know that sex steroids have much in common with neurotropins. For instance, like neurotropins, they regulate cell death. Indeed, the most important mechanism by which steroid hormones alter neuron number in sexually dimorphic regions is by influencing cell death. . . . Thus, our reported volume changes in the brains of transsexuals following cross-sex hormone treatment may represent alterations in neuronal cell numbers"

    Plus scientific biggie -- the results have not been replicated (two seperate studies on the SAME brains doesn't count).

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  42. "How do you know they don't belong there?
    (You: How do you know yours do belong there?
    Them: Because they're there.)
    "

    We've all got what we've got, whether or not our heads get convinced that certain things 'don't belong there'. It's just the same ole brain sex and the brain knows best what SHOULD be there theory from another angle.

    Just because you personally are CONVINCED that you should have different bits doesn't mean that that is anything other than a rather complicated delusion. Removing bits and replacing them with an awful and disfunctional surgical simulacrum doesn't actually solve the problem.

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  43. "If the neuron counts are not a dichotomy, that does not rule them out as an indicator for gender, it merely means that gender is not (at least 100%) dichotomous. Not surprising seeing as sex isn't really, either."

    Sorry, NONSENSE. Sex, in terms of XX or XY, has a penis or has a vagina is pretty unambiguous for most people. Take such people, and you'll STILL get a spread of range of values for whatever brain structure you care to measure, with a lot of overlap.

    Taking this result and CLAIMING that women who are biologically female in all possible ways (including having given birth to 6 children), are SOMEHOW slightly male because of the size of some brain structure is ludicrous.

    What it ACTUALLY says (if you want to use such measurements as a 'basis' for gender assignment), is that gender is a made-up load of nonsense. So, what we might have in reality is a whole load of brain structures which vary in size, neuron number, shape etc. You take all that data, in umpteen dimensions, where what you get is too fuzzy and grossly overlapping clouds, then you try and PICK one special direction that best separates the cloud from males from the cloud from females. Then you claim the axis you have just detected (cos you like nice simple one-dimensional spectra) is the GENDER axis...........

    Pick enough attributes and enough data, and you'll always be able to find SOME acis that does the split to some extent (especially if males are convenient enough to be somewhat larger than females in the first place -- in fact, what you'd probably discover is hat-size in that case.......).

    You only think it is gender if you already believe that the gender binary/spectrum, with male at one end and female at the other ALREADY EXISTS.

    As I pointed out before, in humans the basic biology of sex in terms of sex chromomsomes is digital at the root, not analog. So trying to claim sex is not a dichotomy is nonsense (not dissing people who aren't just saying that in terms of basic human biology, we evolved two sexes for reproduction, not 3 or 6, or one.).

    The problem here is that you're not open to thinking of things the way that biology is telling you -- sex is basically a dichotomy, but in terms of brains and other human abilities, we are multi-dimensional and complex, not to be reduced to some simple masculine/feminine spectrum.

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  44. "You take all that data, in umpteen dimensions, where what you get is too fuzzy and grossly overlapping clouds, then you try and PICK one special direction that best separates the cloud from males from the cloud from females. Then you claim the axis you have just detected (cos you like nice simple one-dimensional spectra) is the GENDER axis..........."

    To those of you in the know, what I've just described is either PCA (Principal component analysis, and possibly first mode of variation), or linear discriminant analysis (LDA). Just cos you can DO it doesn't mean that the results mean anything significant in terms of the 'axis' or 'mode' you have discovered. Which is what 'gender' is in this case..........

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