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Sojourner
06-12-2015, 03:54 AM
I noticed the other day that an Aikido site listed a Women's introductory class and beneath the advertisement pointed out that this class is trans-inclusive - Brittania Ki-Aikido - http://www.canadiankifederation.com/clubs.html

Perhaps I am naive, but I figured that any Aikido for women classes would be open to trans people if they wished to attend? My hope would be that an Aikido dojo would be the last place that anyone would find discrimination based on race or gender, especially if we take the founders philosophy on Aikido being the art of peace for all people?

Good on them for advertising that they are inclusive of all people though, I hope people do not feel that they have to hold back from attending training at an Aikido dojo because of a race or gender issue. If that is the case them perhaps more dojos should take their lead and seek to address it?

lbb
06-12-2015, 07:03 AM
Good on them for advertising that they are inclusive of all people though, I hope people do not feel that they have to hold back from attending training at an Aikido dojo because of a race or gender issue.

It's great that you think that way, but that's not reality. I've got some close friends who are trans, a coworker who is in transition, and in my experience it's definitely not the case that the average person thinks of "women" as inclusive of MTF trans women. Mind you, they may not have a hard-set attitude against such inclusion, but their mental picture of "women", and their assumptions of what a "woman" is, do not include trans people.

kewms
06-12-2015, 09:59 AM
The Girl Scouts of America made news and attracted conservative ire when they announced that any young person who identifies as a girl and is recognized as a girl by her family is welcome in the organization. It is by no means safe to assume that any organization is trans-inclusive.

Aikido is a Japanese art, and Japan is one of the most culturally homogenous nations on earth. Moreover, aikido dojos are made up of people, with all the same biases of people anywhere. It would be nice to believe that an aikido dojo is the "last place one would find discrimination," but I very much doubt that it's true.

Katherine

Erick Mead
06-12-2015, 12:29 PM
... their mental picture of "women", and their assumptions of what a "woman" is, do not include trans people. With all all charity toward those suffering from such a disconnection between subjective conception and objective physical reality, a woman is not a "mental picture" but an objectively real condition and kind of human being. A man is likewise. They differ -- not merely in apparent, secondary or perceptual differences -- but in their real irreducible and essential sexual differences. The exceeding rarity of true developmental intersex conditions -- which in nature typically lack the reproductive functions of either sex -- only belies the problem with this modern mushing-up of truly essential differences. And this has impact in what Aikido teaches.

In Eastern wisdom, "It is first necessary to call things by their right names."
君子於其所不知,蓋闕如也。名不正,則言不順;言不順,則事不成...
""If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success." (Legge, tr.)
Or, as Francis Bacon said, in the Western mode: "Nature, to be commanded, must first be obeyed."

This essential polarity defines and -- literally-- produces human existence. Such an understanding of essential sexual difference (Izanagi/Izanami) and its inherently creative productivity (takemusu aiki, ubuya) deeply informs the conceptual world of Aikido and its role in resolving real human conflict.

The practical art is defined precisely by its manipulation of dually-opposed, inextricably linked and yet irreconcilably different poles of action: In and Yo. The essential polarity of the dually-opposed in-yo components of aiki, require clear understanding of their essential difference, and their proper and intimately connected association and inter-operation. This cannot be accomplished by a mind that begins with a sense that the one and the other are simply interchangeable and indistinct labels of nothing more than a cultural or personal choice. The immediate topic is simply one example of a far broader and deeper problem affecting many areas of our culture -- but is most starkly seen in this example.

One problem in teaching someone operating from this perspective, is that they plainly are not disposed to receive the essential teaching about the inalterable polarity of in-yo ho. To put it bluntly, if the nature of unblended polarity is not deeply understood and maintained, aiki cannot function. Harmony of opposites -- aiki -- is only necessary, and only operable as a principle, when there are in fact two such categorical differences that cannot truly be mixed into any third synthetic thing. Inflections and intersections of the two are ubquitous in the world, but in and yo cannot arbitrarily be assigned or altered at will without doing injury to the reality of their action in martial encounter. To do so destroys the effectiveness, in the case of Aikido, of the art that is to be learned.

Having said that -- I would not for a minute exclude anyone. I contend that this art can even correct and inform this deep truth: There are real differences that are innately creative and productive BECAUSE OF the inescapable reality of their difference. Our culture, now clearly committed to be undiscriminating to the point of irrationality, has fundamentally failed to teach this. It may yet be learned through the art and the stubbornly real and concrete instrument of the human body acting in and through overt conflict.

Cliff Judge
06-12-2015, 01:50 PM
Okay, we're doing this on General. Seems like a better fit for Open Discussions.

Erick, I appreciate that your thinking is highly nuanced but I want to address the base level of what you are saying. Feel free to correct me if I don't seem to be hearing you correctly.

Sex is anything but deterministic. Whatever the level of rarity of intersex conditions, the fact that they happen at all is proof that sex is not binary in nature. The "reality" of an individual's physical sex is essentially the entire story of how their body developed from the time they were a zygote up through puberty, and beyond. And its none of your business. :)

And sex has nothing to do with gender. Gender is entirely a social construct, the same as race. if you think you know a person's gender better than they do, that's an act of aggression against their right to live their lives.

Transgender people don't deserve your "charity" they deserve your respect and admiration for being brave enough to be themselves amid casual and generally accepted transphobia.

These points are all essentially moot. Someone may be able to ban transgendered people from practice at their dojo, or force them to use the wrong bathrooms or changing rooms in certain localities today, but that's changing. Eventually we'll get to the point where they have the same rights as cisgendered people and you will be facing lawsuits if you discriminate.

P.S. the idea that a transgendered person cannot be taught Aikido because they cannot understand the proper relationship between In and Yo is not just transphobic, it is sexist. Just so you know!

Janet Rosen
06-12-2015, 04:30 PM
Okay, we're doing this on General. Seems like a better fit for Open Discussions.

Erick, I appreciate that your thinking is highly nuanced but I want to address the base level of what you are saying. Feel free to correct me if I don't seem to be hearing you correctly.

Sex is anything but deterministic. Whatever the level of rarity of intersex conditions, the fact that they happen at all is proof that sex is not binary in nature. The "reality" of an individual's physical sex is essentially the entire story of how their body developed from the time they were a zygote up through puberty, and beyond. And its none of your business. :)

And sex has nothing to do with gender. Gender is entirely a social construct, the same as race. if you think you know a person's gender better than they do, that's an act of aggression against their right to live their lives.

Transgender people don't deserve your "charity" they deserve your respect and admiration for being brave enough to be themselves amid casual and generally accepted transphobia.

These points are all essentially moot. Someone may be able to ban transgendered people from practice at their dojo, or force them to use the wrong bathrooms or changing rooms in certain localities today, but that's changing. Eventually we'll get to the point where they have the same rights as cisgendered people and you will be facing lawsuits if you discriminate.

P.S. the idea that a transgendered person cannot be taught Aikido because they cannot understand the proper relationship between In and Yo is not just transphobic, it is sexist. Just so you know!

Pretty much says everything I thought while reading Eric's post. So thank you.

Erick Mead
06-12-2015, 04:50 PM
P.S. the idea that a transgendered person cannot be taught Aikido because they cannot understand the proper relationship between In and Yo is not just transphobic, it is sexist. Jargon aside, since I specifically said that such a person may well be taught -- and that I would teach them, I fail to understand your point. That he or she will have likely difficulty because of their habit of thought about such things, I think I made my point already.

The "reality" of an individual's physical sex is essentially the entire story of how their body developed from the time they were a zygote up through puberty, and beyond. And its none of your business. :):confused: I may be mistaken but I thought it was just raised in a forum that I participate in, about an art I teach, as an issue we should address. What part of that is thus suddenly "not my business"... since I certainly did not introduce it ? :) And if isn't "our" business, why are YOU talking about it, too ? ;)

How we think about the world matters to what we do in the world. Aikido is framed in terms of the male-female -- Izanagi/Izanami -- life-death, fire-water, in-yo dynamic -- I did not frame it that way, but I get it, and I agree with it -- but more critically in terms of Aikido, I must continue to frame it that way so as long as I intend to to remain true to the source of the art.

We stand equally concerned about the welfare of such people -- you and I just have very different ideas about what constitutes their true challenges and essential needs to which our concern and sense of charity is directed.

Sex is anything but deterministic. Everything material is deterministic. Even true intersex conditions are grimly deterministic in their occurrence. It is spiritual things that are not deterministic... and humans are widely understood to be a bit of both -- East or West, take your pick.

We can, by virtue of our spiritual being -- make a new material order out of the existing material order -- our ideas can shape things that have never existed before -- the Eiffel Tower, fireworks, an iPhone, but also the Berlin Wall, Dachau, televised beachside beheadings -- and many other things high and low, kind and wicked, beautiful or grotesque. The human spirit can choose to magnify its material being -- or to destroy it. The latter is generally regarded as a grave misfortune -- East and West.

Aikido's sensibility as a art is at least as strongly aesthetic as it is practical. It is the same spirit as mathematics -- elegance is a sign of the operation of a sound principle. In terms of aesthetics alone, it is an awful thing to reduce a wild maple to a pile of woodchips to carve the mere dead image of a tulip -- which can never be the true beauty of the real tulip nor true beauty of the real tree.

I grant that we humans are capable of and regularly (and rightly or wrongly) shape our material being as much as our spiritual being. But even carefully manicured bonsai achieve superlative beauty by their careful attention to the true nature and habit of the tree in a trained form, which blind nature achieves by mere happenstance. Something like that should be readily in mind on this topic as well, in my view.

kewms
06-12-2015, 05:49 PM
Let's skip the philosophizing and cut to the chase, shall we?

As a teacher, do you believe that you have the right to know what set of genitalia is attached to any of your students? (Assuming that they do not create an issue with their own behavior.)

Do you believe that people "choose" to be transgender? And, conversely, that they can choose not to be?

To what extent (if any) do these characteristics affect the person's ability to learn aikido and your ability to teach them? That is, does the particular set of genitalia *by itself* have any relevance? Or are you simply associating "male" characteristics like aggression with male genitalia, and assuming (for example) that owners of male genitalia will be more aggressive than owners of female genitalia and will need to be taught accordingly?

Katherine

Hilary
06-12-2015, 07:45 PM
We should have a quick show of hands (maybe somewhere else), what percentage of dojos are unisex? I don’t know of any, but that and $5 will buy you a half a Venti Coffee somewhere. I expect most classes are open to all, so that part is not an issue in most cases. The only real question is the dressing room question. I can’t speak for any women, but I do think they have a right not to confront a penis, be it trans, straight or gay in their dressing room. Not a hard problem to solve, but the only real issue that is anyone’s business. All else, for better or worse, is politics.

Riai Maori
06-12-2015, 08:15 PM
And Bruce Jenner can get changed in the hallway. Sorry I mean Kaitlyn.

sakumeikan
06-13-2015, 12:43 AM
Let's skip the philosophizing and cut to the chase, shall we?

As a teacher, do you believe that you have the right to know what set of genitalia is attached to any of your students? (Assuming that they do not create an issue with their own behavior.)

Do you believe that people "choose" to be transgender? And, conversely, that they can choose not to be?

To what extent (if any) do these characteristics affect the person's ability to learn aikido and your ability to teach them? That is, does the particular set of genitalia *by itself* have any relevance? Or are you simply associating "male" characteristics like aggression with male genitalia, and assuming (for example) that owners of male genitalia will be more aggressive than owners of female genitalia and will need to be taught accordingly?

Katherine
Dear Katherine,My views on your comments is No. I think the question of somebodys sexual orientation or genitalia has no bearing on the question of training or the teaching of Aikido.cheers, Joe

Erick Mead
06-13-2015, 08:34 AM
Let's skip the philosophizing and cut to the chase, shall we? Oh! ... by all means. Let's. And skip the New Inquisition as well, perhaps.

As a teacher, do you believe that you have the right to know what set of genitalia is attached to any of your students? (Assuming that they do not create an issue with their own behavior.)Speaking martially, it may well be important to recognize that one sex has certain overt, anterior vulnerabilities the other one lacks. Beyond that, the point of the question is simple provocation.

Do you believe that people "choose" to be transgender? And, conversely, that they can choose not to be?

To what extent (if any) do these characteristics affect the person's ability to learn aikido and your ability to teach them? That is, does the particular set of genitalia *by itself* have any relevance? Or are you simply associating "male" characteristics like aggression with male genitalia, and assuming (for example) that owners of male genitalia will be more aggressive than owners of female genitalia and will need to be taught accordingly? What "I believe" has zero relevance in martial encounter, except and to the extent there is strategic deception in the engagement. The absolute concrete reality of a sharp thing swinging at my neck is the nature of reality in martial encounter, unmediated by belief, self-identity, or any philosophy for that matter. Life and death requires no belief, it just is.

People who get that reality does not shape itself to our beliefs about it, get beyond their insistence on the categories of belief, and begin to deal in the reality presented in an attack. In this regard, people who insist on this kind of existential campaign against the reality of their own bodies, may have one or two things to overcome or dispense with in reorienting to the reality of a body attacking theirs. Or, as I may hope, the reality thus presented may balance the appreciation of all realities.

The trick of aikido is to put that attacker into the frame of loving protection -- brutal loving protection-- but still, the difference is real and determinative. In the form of a question, how does one learn the spirit of loving protection of the body of another, if one has difficulty with loving protection of one's own body?

Somehow, I suspect you may yet disagree... ;)

sakumeikan
06-13-2015, 10:28 AM
Oh! ... by all means. Let's. And skip the New Inquisition as well, perhaps.

Speaking martially, it may well be important to recognize that one sex has certain overt, anterior vulnerabilities the other one lacks. Beyond that, the point of the question is simple provocation.

What "I believe" has zero relevance in martial encounter, except and to the extent there is strategic deception in the engagement. The absolute concrete reality of a sharp thing swinging at my neck is the nature of reality in martial encounter, unmediated by belief, self-identity, or any philosophy for that matter. Life and death requires no belief, it just is.

People who get that reality does not shape itself to our beliefs about it, get beyond their insistence on the categories of belief, and begin to deal in the reality presented in an attack. In this regard, people who insist on this kind of existential campaign against the reality of their own bodies, may have one or two things to overcome or dispense with in reorienting to the reality of a body attacking theirs. Or, as I may hope, the reality thus presented may balance the appreciation of all realities.
the phrasee overt
The trick of aikido is to put that attacker into the frame of loving protection -- brutal loving protection-- but still, the difference is real and determinative. In the form of a question, how does one learn the spirit of loving protection of the body of another, if one has difficulty with loving protection of one's own body?

Somehow, I suspect you may yet disagree... ;)

Dear Erick,
What is a New Inquisiton?Is it some kind of Auto Da Fe? Again the phrase overt , anterior vulnerabilities the other lacks.Have you been revising you legal jargon?Could be wrong here but has plain speech been overtaken by statements that does need a Philadelphia lawyer to interpret the words. Erick , please use the phrase KISS.Ie KEEP IT SIMPLE SIMON when you write an article. By doing so brain dead guys like me can follow your line of debate.I guess Perry Mason might have found you a tough cookie. Not like Hamilton Burger his adversary.Poor Hamilton, never won a blinking case against Perry [RaymondBurr]Mason.Cheers, Joe.

Erick Mead
06-13-2015, 10:55 AM
Dear Erick,
What is a New Inquisiton?Is it some kind of Auto Da Fe? Aiki da fe :D

Again the phrase overt , anterior vulnerabilities the other lacks. KEEP IT SIMPLE SIMON when you write an article. I coulda said "Chicks ain't got balls to bash." Seems kinda crude put like that. The truth of the matter is actually painfully crude -- and important in a fight.

But I guess I assumed that those that prefer the trans-cis-meta circumlocutions around the cruder truths of the world might prefer more circumspect language -- and we aims ta please.

But your point is well taken. A difficult chasm to bridge, I'll grant you -- hard to find firm foundations on the other side of it. It is hard to keep up when a self-identified "black" woman of apparently pure "white" ancestry cannot be genuinely "black" -- but a world class Olympic male athlete now self-identifying as "female" must be a genuine "woman." I confess the confusion - although I am not certain it is mine to own.

Carsten Möllering
06-13-2015, 12:31 PM
... that they plainly are not disposed to receive the essential teaching about the inalterable polarity of in-yo ho. Seems you are not disposed to receive the essential teaching about the ever-changing inter-relation of yin and yang.
Your statement contradicts the most basic conceptions of Daoist philosophy.

Erick Mead
06-13-2015, 03:07 PM
Seems you are not disposed to receive the essential teaching about the ever-changing inter-relation of yin and yang.
Your statement contradicts the most basic conceptions of Daoist philosophy.Your observation is a Western error in understanding Daoist doctrine, based on a fallacy of abstraction. Yin and Yang are not abstract qualities -- but concrete vectors or patterns of development or change that one can immediately identify in nature. Yang develops. Yin develops. They mutually influence the development of the 10,000 things. They are not analytical objects to be substituted for one another.

A Taoist of traditional doctrine would find this modern biological engineering mindset a deep affront to the sublime nature of the Way. One cannot in Taoist teaching simply "excise" the Yang of the male and "drop in" the desired yin of some female qualities and have any actual female. The artificially interposed yin qualities would destroy the developing yang of the male -- but without developing any real yin of the female, which must of its nature grow and flower as a real human being does -- it cannot be transplanted or imposed willy-nilly. It would be seen as a serious wound to the human being at issue because trying to evade the nature of things is to evade the Way, and evading the Way is the road to death, not life.

Chinese Taoist medicine seeks restoration of a disturbed natural order -- not to impose some arbitrary engineered order. Or, back to Bacon -- "Nature, to be commanded-- must first be obeyed."

kewms
06-13-2015, 05:03 PM
A Taoist of traditional doctrine would find this modern biological engineering mindset a deep affront to the sublime nature of the Way. One cannot in Taoist teaching simply "excise" the Yang of the male and "drop in" the desired yin of some female qualities and have any actual female. The artificially interposed yin qualities would destroy the developing yang of the male -- but without developing any real yin of the female, which must of its nature grow and flower as a real human being does -- it cannot be transplanted or imposed willy-nilly. It would be seen as a serious wound to the human being at issue because trying to evade the nature of things is to evade the Way, and evading the Way is the road to death, not life.

I suspect that a transgender person would say that they are trying to *follow* their own inherent nature, not evade it. I have no personal experience in the matter, but I certainly don't see why anyone would take such a hellishly difficult path if they felt any other options were available.

Katherine

kewms
06-13-2015, 05:05 PM
What "I believe" has zero relevance in martial encounter, except and to the extent there is strategic deception in the engagement. The absolute concrete reality of a sharp thing swinging at my neck is the nature of reality in martial encounter, unmediated by belief, self-identity, or any philosophy for that matter. Life and death requires no belief, it just is.

What you believe may not be relevant in a martial encounter, but it is absolutely relevant to your effectiveness as a teacher.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
06-13-2015, 07:50 PM
Or, back to Bacon -- "Nature, to be commanded-- must first be obeyed."

So why is it not YOU disobeying nature when you choose a gender for someone else? How is it that you know their nature better than they do?

Erick Mead
06-14-2015, 03:26 PM
So why is it not YOU disobeying nature when you choose a gender for someone else? If you are speaking of biological sex, I don't choose; they don't choose, no one chooses -- unless nature does. But nature is not a person and does no choosing. Things become what they become. As things go, sex is a materially determined process of genetic development modified to some extent by epigenetic factors. Sex is caused -- it is not chosen.

Gender began as a grammatical concept. As applied to biological sexes it refers to culturally mediated roles or expected behaviors for each sex. To say that gender roles are more or less fluid between cultures -- this is readily observed. To that extent,one ought not over-categorize such roles in any culture or between cultures. I have not here.

Though fighting is a role ostensibly expected of men in most cultures, women can fight and fight well, especially in a technological age that diminishes the statistically undeniable physical differences between them as a class. But to extend that somewhat movable boundary of expected behaviors of the sexes to the categorical equivalence of or the interchangeability of the actual sexes is simply, to be blunt -- a move toward insanity -- the insistent denial of a plain reality.

How is it that you know their nature better than they do? How is it that they don't ?

Erick Mead
06-14-2015, 03:35 PM
What you believe may not be relevant in a martial encounter, but it is absolutely relevant to your effectiveness as a teacher. How so? The teaching is about martial encounters -- so, where does belief enter into it? We're not teaching defense against fresh fruit. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5gqILMUfaU) Practical arts have to be taught from experience not belief, and Aikido is a practical art. Aikido is effective and people can learn to deploy it effectively. I teach people to become more effective in doing so. This is not a belief because I know it to be so from the facts of experience. What belief is relevant?

Erick Mead
06-14-2015, 03:47 PM
I suspect that a transgender person would say that they are trying to *follow* their own inherent nature, not evade it. I have no personal experience in the matter, but I certainly don't see why anyone would take such a hellishly difficult path if they felt any other options were available. Their inherent sexual nature is physically manifest, and undeniable. Their spiritual dissonance with those facts of their physical being is the cause of the problem. People take "hellishly difficult" paths for all sorts of reasons -- good and bad alike. Judgment lies in determining which is which. Lots of people make poor judgments, about all sorts of things.

Generally speaking, there are good things about being male -- and there are good things about being female. Generally speaking, it is best to pursue the increase of a good by magnifying the goods you have rather than to try to destroy them as a means to other goods you do not possess-- and may not ever gain. The old wisdom is this: "Happiness lies in the exercise of vital powers along lines of excellence in a life affording them scope." Whatever the transgender motivation seeks -- it is not happiness in those terms.

Riai Maori
06-14-2015, 03:49 PM
Snookered!

kewms
06-14-2015, 04:35 PM
How so? The teaching is about martial encounters -- so, where does belief enter into it? We're not teaching defense against fresh fruit. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5gqILMUfaU) Practical arts have to be taught from experience not belief, and Aikido is a practical art. Aikido is effective and people can learn to deploy it effectively. I teach people to become more effective in doing so. This is not a belief because I know it to be so from the facts of experience. What belief is relevant?

How can you teach someone you believe to be incapable of learning, or incapable of understanding a particular set of concepts?

This is a challenge of particular relevance in the traditional Japanese arts, which non-Japanese people are sometimes said to be incapable of understanding.

Katherine

kewms
06-14-2015, 04:36 PM
Their inherent sexual nature is physically manifest, and undeniable. Their spiritual dissonance with those facts of their physical being is the cause of the problem.

And your reason for this belief is?

Katherine

Sojourner
06-14-2015, 07:01 PM
Some really interesting comments and responses here so far, Cliff makes several good ones, yet your terms can be confusing Cliff if people do not know what they mean, with that in mind and some of the publicity currently surrounding Caitlyn Jenner, I have been seeing a number of articles on this and would like to post this one here. I have to confess that historically I have made an incorrect assumption that TransGender and Gay were the same thing and clearly I have been made aware that this is not the case. I came across this article which looks at different terms and found it quite helpful to delve a little deeper into how people feel and how mutal respect can work. Here is a small cut and paste of some relevant information, the article continues on at the link,

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Transgender FAQ

To learn more about how to be an ally to trangender people, check out GLAAD's Tips for Allies of Transgender People.

What does transgender mean?

Transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex the doctor marked on their birth certificate. Gender identity is a person's internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or someone outside of that gender binary). For transgender people, the sex they were assigned at birth and their own internal gender identity do not match.

People in the transgender community may describe themselves using one (or more) of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, and genderqueer. Always use the term preferred by the individual.

Trying to change a person's gender identity is no more successful than trying to change a person's sexual orientation -- it doesn't work. So most transgender people seek to bring their bodies more into alignment with their gender identity.

Many transgender people are prescribed hormones by their doctors to change their bodies. Some undergo surgeries as well. But not all transgender people can or will take those steps, and it's important to know that being transgender is not dependent upon medical procedures.

Transgender is an adjective and should never be used as a noun. For example, rather than saying "Max is a transgender," say "Max is a transgender person." And transgender never needs an "-ed" at the end.

How is sexual orientation different from gender identity?

We use the acronym LGBT to describe the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The first three letters (LGB) refer to sexual orientation. The "T" refers to gender identity.

Sexual orientation describes a person's enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person (for example: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual), while gender identity describes a person's, internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or someone outside of that gender binary).

Simply put: sexual orientation is about who you are attracted to and fall in love with; gender identity is about your own sense of yourself.

Transgender people have a sexual orientation, just like everyone else. Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a person who transitions from male to female and is attracted solely to men would typically identify as a straight woman. A person who transitions from female to male and is attracted solely to men would typically identify as a gay man.

What name and pronoun do I use?

For some transgender people, being associated with their birth name is a tremendous source of anxiety, or it is simply a part of their life they wish to leave behind. Respect the name a transgender person is currently using. If you happen to know a transgender person's birth name (the name given to them when they were born, but which they no longer use), don't share it without that person's explicit permission. Sharing a transgender person's birth name and/or photos of a transgender person before their transition is an invasion of privacy, unless they have given you permission to do so.

If you're unsure which pronoun a person prefers, listen first to the pronoun other people use when referring to that person. Someone who knows the person well will probably use the correct pronoun. If you must ask which pronoun the person prefers, start with your own. For example, "Hi, I'm Dani and I prefer the pronouns she and her. What about you?" Then use that person's preferred pronoun and encourage others to do so. If you accidently use the wrong pronoun for someone, apologize quickly and sincerely, then move on. The bigger deal you make out of the situation, the more uncomfortable it is for everyone.

How do I treat a transgender person with respect?

To learn more about how to be an ally to transgender people, please visit GLAAD's "Tips for Allies of Transgender People" page.

For a guide to basic terminology - including defamatory terms and slurs to avoid, please see GLAAD's Media Reference Guide.

http://www.glaad.org/transgender/transfaq

Erick Mead
06-14-2015, 07:20 PM
How can you teach someone you believe to be incapable of learning, or incapable of understanding a particular set of concepts?

This is a challenge of particular relevance in the traditional Japanese arts, which non-Japanese people are sometimes said to be incapable of understanding. I'd teach them like everyone else. Whether they receive the teaching is a different question, and one I can't answer before the fact. Personally, I'd say that Japanese cultural chauvinism has proved wrong. I may yet be wrong -- but fighting the reality of one's own body is less conducive to grasping the reality of another body in conflict. Or so it seems to me....

Erick Mead
06-14-2015, 07:26 PM
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Their inherent sexual nature is physically manifest, and undeniable. Their spiritual dissonance with those facts of their physical being is the cause of the problem.And your reason for this belief is?

Katherine That's not a belief. The first is a fact, the second is a deduction, since by eliminating a material cause not present , the remaining cause is necessarily mental or spiritual - as you may prefer to describe it.

Janet Rosen
06-14-2015, 11:06 PM
That's not a belief. The first is a fact, the second is a deduction, since by eliminating a material cause not present , the remaining cause is necessarily mental or spiritual - as you may prefer to describe it.

You are assuming gender is easily "read", so one simply ought to be in tune with his or her outward manifestation or else has a psych or spiritual problem. This is not so. There are known chromosomal variances that create functioning humans who "appear" to be one sex but do not have all the traits of that sex. There may well be other hormonal or neurotransmitter issues at play that we simply do not understand. I for one am perfectly happy to believe people who say they KNOW they are manifesting the wrong body for who they are.

kewms
06-15-2015, 01:35 AM
That's not a belief. The first is a fact, the second is a deduction, since by eliminating a material cause not present , the remaining cause is necessarily mental or spiritual - as you may prefer to describe it.

As Janet pointed out, it is entirely possible that there is a physical cause of which neither you, the person in question, nor medical science generally are aware.

Barring that, you conclude that "correcting" the person's "spiritual dissonance" is the only option to fix "the problem." This conclusion actually contains several assumptions that reflect your beliefs, not necessarily the world as the transgender person experiences it:

* That it is the "spiritual dissonance" that needs to be "fixed," rather than the person's physical body.

* That "fixing" the "spiritual dissonance" is even possible. Most transgender people and most medical experts in the field will tell you it is not.

* That the mere state of being transgender is a "problem," as opposed to society's reaction to it.

Katherine

Carsten Möllering
06-15-2015, 02:10 AM
Your observation is a Western error in understanding Daoist doctrine,:D :D :D

Ok. I'll tell my teachers.
To be honest most of them are Asian. And live in Asia. :p

Man, you seem to have no idea, what you are talking about. :(

Anyway, if you are actually willing to learn something about gender issues in relation to Asian culture, religion and philosophy, you will easily come to know that transgender people played a role in the societies of India, China, Japan, just to name a few Asian countries, for centuries and centuries. So in China transgender persons where commonly known in daily life and simply recognized as a third gender about two thousand years ago ...

Actually what you think to be Daoist thinking is a orthodox Confucian position. The Daoist point of view in this case is more connected to the Buddhist understanding.

Nevertheless it is correct that certain Daoist practices indeed depend on or are affected by the biological sex of the practioner. But if you have a qualified teacher (who is Asian and lives in Asia and for that reason is much more experienced in dealing with transgender issues ... ;) ), he will find ways to adapt.

So please:
If you have a problem with transgender issues, don't use Daoist philosophy or practice to justify them.

Carsten Möllering
06-15-2015, 02:46 AM
Barring that, you conclude that "correcting" the person's "spiritual dissonance" is the only option to fix "the problem." Interesting enough Daoism indeed is about correcting our seemingly natural way of moving, being, thinking behaving, ...
Because what seems "natural" or "given" to us in the Daoist view actually is just acquired, learned, man-made.

So the Daoist way is to shed this acquired nature and to return to our original nature. Or - like a Buddhist might say: To let go, to shed our ego.
So breaking our social character, letting go our biases and our learned way of saying "I", aswell as learning to move and use our body in the way it was meant to be, is a, maybe the, crucial Daoist - and Buddhist - issue.

So if society, your own thoughts and whatever have tought you to be a man. But being woman is your original nature, it is actualls "your Daoist duty" (;) ;) ;) ) to realize and to return to that orinigal nature.
Let your teacher work on the question whether you have to have your right hand on top. Or whether your left is correct. Or whether you have to save your semen or your blood.
I think he will like questions like that ... :D
And it is my experience if someone ever comes so far that those question become really relevant, he/she will have learnt enough to deal with that.
It is also my experience that a teacher will say: "Don't think so much! Practice!"
Student: "Yes, ... um, ... but, left hand, uhhm or ... right?!?"
Teacher: "After all those years of practice: What feels more adequate to you by now?!?" ... ;)

With regard to in-yo-ho in aikidō or kenjutsu: I never encountered any situation that would have suggested any relation to the biological sex or the gender of the practioner.
And we are doing a lot of internal stuff in the line, I practice ...
So please ...

Erick Mead
06-15-2015, 06:56 AM
:D :D :D

Ok. I'll tell my teachers.
To be honest most of them are Asian. And live in Asia. :p . "No true Scotsman... ". Eh? Does living somewhere privilege wisdom? Does one's race impart mysterious knowledge? Most people of " Asia" (it is a big continent) have only what snippets of local folk culture preserve of any serious teaching. Those evolve on their own, largely divorced from the body of thought whose symbols the culture appropriates and puts to other purpose. We are not immune to this process either. Asia ? Really?

Anyway, if you are actually willing to learn something about gender issues in relation to Asian culture, religion and philosophy, you will easily come to know that transgender people played a role in the societies of India, China, Japan, just to name a few Asian countries, for centuries and centuries. So in China transgender persons where commonly known in daily life and simply recognized as a third gender about two thousand years ago ... ... And mutilated women's feet for erotic fetish, and forcibly castrated men as court eunuchs, killed millions in incessant wars (giving rise to the foundations of our art FWIW) -- Which of these is also anciently authentic and worthy of faithful emulation ? Should we disregard O Sensei's adoption of a radical "Budo is Love" innovation as an intolerable addition to the Pure Budo of slaughter ? In short, neither blind repetition of supposedly ancient forms (are they really?) or a magpie's compulsion to shiney novelties are worth anyone's time.

The question is, how do you judge the difference between what is good and what is evil ?

Actually what you think to be Daoist thinking is a orthodox Confucian position. The Daoist point of view in this case is more connected to the Buddhist understanding. Lao-tsu ( or the book attributed to him,, anyway) was roughly contemporaneous with Gautama Buddha .Daoism had 400 years development before Buddhism came to China. Parsing the current influences of the three great teachings in China and Japan in a history so spotty in documentary continuity is a task that will never be ended or beyond debate.

Nevertheless it is correct that certain Daoist practices indeed depend on or are affected by the biological sex of the practioner. But if you have a qualified teacher (who is Asian and lives in Asia and for that reason is much more experienced in dealing with transgender issues ... ;) ), he will find ways to adapt. Which is it? Something inherent in Daoist teaching or something to which Daoist teaching must adapt? You can't have it both ways.

So please:
If you have a problem with transgender issues, don't use Daoist philosophy or practice to justify them. I don't have a problem. Some people evidently do. I just cannot in charity see some taking what I view as a self destructive path and say nothing about it, much less pretend that self destruction is somehow noble and courageous because politically correct opinion now demands golf-clap affirmation of it.

KD5NRH
06-15-2015, 08:32 AM
I coulda said "Chicks ain't got balls to bash." Seems kinda crude put like that. The truth of the matter is actually painfully crude -- and important in a fight.

Not really; most people of either gender protect the groin in a fight because it's still sensitive, and there are plenty of other places on everybody that are sensitive to the point of incapacitating and easier to hit.

Cliff Judge
06-15-2015, 08:54 AM
Not really; most people of either gender protect the groin in a fight

Especially the women with big testicles.

lbb
06-15-2015, 08:55 AM
With all all charity toward those suffering from such a disconnection between subjective conception and objective physical reality, a woman is not a "mental picture" but an objectively real condition and kind of human being. A man is likewise.

Erick,

Even if I thought your rigidly dualistic view of gender had any basis in fact (I don't), you have completely missed the point of my comment. The "mental picture" exists in the minds of each one of us. What you, Erick, think of when you hear the word "woman" is not Grand Ultimate Objective Truth; it is your conception of what a "woman" is. It includes assumptions about chromosomes, but also about body size, length and style of hair, manner of dress, and a thousand behaviors. Whether you acknowledge it or not, these are part of your idea of a "woman". My point is that for most people, their mental picture of a "woman" does not include a MTF trans person. I suppose I should thank you for demonstrating my point so conclusively.

lbb
06-15-2015, 09:06 AM
. "No true Scotsman... ". Eh? Does living somewhere privilege wisdom? Does one's race impart mysterious knowledge?

He brought up his Asian teachers in response to your played the "you're thinking like a westerner" card, Erick. And now you want to move the goalposts again?


I don't have a problem. Some people evidently do. I just cannot in charity see some taking what I view as a self destructive path and say nothing about it, much less pretend that self destruction is somehow noble and courageous because politically correct opinion now demands golf-clap affirmation of it.

Perhaps you should tell us exactly what you're talking about, because this sounds awfully specific -- it's got to be, because it makes no sense as a blanket statement. What's the "self destructive path", who's taking it, what are they to you, and why are you obligated to shove your oar in? And, if you want to continue this discussion, do you think you could have the courtesy to let people speak for themselves and take what they say at face value, rather than claiming to know their motives better than they do (specifically with the apparently random accusation of "politically correct opinion")?

Fred Little
06-15-2015, 12:30 PM
.

I don't have a problem. Some people evidently do. I just cannot in charity see some taking what I view as a self destructive path and say nothing about it, much less pretend that self destruction is somehow noble and courageous because politically correct opinion now demands golf-clap affirmation of it.

Well, that's right white of you, Erick!

kewms
06-15-2015, 12:41 PM
I don't have a problem. Some people evidently do. I just cannot in charity see some taking what I view as a self destructive path and say nothing about it, much less pretend that self destruction is somehow noble and courageous because politically correct opinion now demands golf-clap affirmation of it.

Given the staggeringly high suicide rates among transgender people, it seems to me that acknowledging and trying to come to grips with one's condition is far *less* self-destructive than seeking to "fix" what cannot be changed. And offering the respect due to any human being is a far superior alternative to the rampant violence and discrimination that transgender people face.

Katherine

Keith Larman
06-15-2015, 12:41 PM
Well, that's right white of you, Erick!

Fred, I would offer up a golf clap for that, but I'm afraid I'd be accused of just being politically correct. Thank Vishnu we have Erick here to help us out. :)

Dan Rubin
06-15-2015, 12:50 PM
The only real question is the dressing room question. I can't speak for any women, but I do think they have a right not to confront a penis, be it trans, straight or gay in their dressing room. Not a hard problem to solve....

Could someone address Hilary's "only real question?" Unlike her, I think it could be a difficult problem to solve, especially if the class includes children.

Keith Larman
06-15-2015, 12:55 PM
Could someone address Hilary's "only real question?" Unlike her, I think it could be a difficult problem to solve, especially if the class includes children.

Sure.

https://www.glad.org/uploads/docs/publications/trans-students-bathrooms.pdf

And by the way (and oddly ironic saying something like this in a thread like this), but Hilary is a man, baby!!!!

Not a her.

You're welcome for the clarification, Hilary. :P

Keith Larman
06-15-2015, 01:08 PM
I've heard of mansplaining, so is some of this stuff trans-splaining?

And on a more focused note, having known a few from that community... Erick, seriously, just stop. The hole is getting *really* deep, so I'd advise against continued digging.

To the original poster, just talk with the people involved if/when it comes up and try to find a reasonable accommodation that helps everyone involved feel comfortable. I hear people get weird about some stuff then ignore the fact that there are grown men changing with the boys. Bottom line is making some small private space available for those who don't feel comfortable changing in front of others for whatever reason.

Hilary
06-15-2015, 01:32 PM
Keith I suspect you have figured this out by now, I'm always in it for the irony! And yes thanks for protecting my honor. In retrospect my misuse of unisex renders some of what I said oblique, but the main point stands. And is easily solved, yes each dojo will figure a way that fits their constituency. Aikidoka, be they innie or outie, tend to be rather considerate people, I expect those exhibiting new interpretations on the duality of yin and yang, will be equally considerate.

Erick Mead
06-15-2015, 02:50 PM
Given the staggeringly high suicide rates among transgender people, it seems to me that acknowledging and trying to come to grips with one's condition is far *less* self-destructive than seeking to "fix" what cannot be changed. Hence my pity and concern on this point -- But which is easier to change -- your mind or your bodily organs? Which is harsher -- a sober reflection and acceptance of an unwanted truth of the body -- or a bloodied scalpel to try to cut way the parts that do not fit a mere image drawn in the mind.

This topic seems far afield from budo. But it really isn't. The deep reflection of O Sensei on budo and love require one not simply to acquiesce in a position of Love = Hallmark-card-emotive-piety about anything. Love, in the context of budo, often means having to hurt people -- causing them serious pain -- or even injury -- in service of a larger conception of love than that of merely trying not to any offend or harm tender sensibilities -- when harm is already in the cards, no matter what. Violence ought never be admissible as a means to an end -- but as a present reality for whihc I am not responsible for introducing -- some violence may be inevitable. I do not except self-violence from this standard, and to do so is a misplaced sense of social propriety.

What you all see as a courageous decision to transcend biological limits in service of some metaphysical image of the self -- I see as a simple tendency toward objective self-harm. Budo, in the sense of loving protection meant by O Sensei, does not stand idly by and let that merely happen without some action. Am I required to be complicit by silence in the harm of another -- who appears to be operating from a self-induced phantasm? It is undeniably a powerful one -- it even sweeps in such as yourselves. But the simpler truth -- though perhaps harder for everyone to hear -- may help them to avoid it.

Dan Rubin
06-15-2015, 02:54 PM
Thus the "FATHER of twins" notation in his Profile. Sorry, Hilary.

Of course considerate people will approach all of the issues from the start in a considerate manner and work out a reasonable accommodation.

Erick Mead
06-15-2015, 02:54 PM
I've heard of mansplaining, so is some of this stuff trans-splaining?

And on a more focused note, having known a few from that community... Erick, seriously, just stop. The hole is getting *really* deep, so I'd advise against continued digging. This particular rabbit hole is not of my creation.... and we were well though the looking glass long before I arrived on scene...

kewms
06-15-2015, 02:58 PM
What you all see as a courageous decision to transcend biological limits in service of some metaphysical image of the self -- I see as a simple tendency toward objective self-harm. Budo, in the sense of loving protection meant by O Sensei, does not stand idly by and let that merely happen without some action. Am I required to be complicit by silence in the harm of another -- who appears to be operating from a self-induced phantasm? It is undeniably a powerful one -- it even sweeps in such as yourselves. But the simpler truth -- though perhaps harder for everyone to hear -- may help them to avoid it.

I think declaring that someone else is suffering from a "self-induced phantasm" is the height of arrogance. Particularly in the absence of professional training and experience in the subject area.

And I agree with Keith. It's probably time to stop digging. So I will do my part by refraining from handing you additional shovels.

Katherine

Hilary
06-15-2015, 03:12 PM
No worries Dan I have dealt with this my entire life and occasionally get to have fun with it. My old high school put me in girls gym at the beginning of each year. No matter how I slouched and pulled my very long hair down in front of my face, I never made to the locker room.

mathewjgano
06-15-2015, 03:26 PM
What you all see as a courageous decision to transcend biological limits in service of some metaphysical image of the self -- I see as a simple tendency toward objective self-harm. Budo, in the sense of loving protection meant by O Sensei, does not stand idly by and let that merely happen without some action. Am I required to be complicit by silence in the harm of another -- who appears to be operating from a self-induced phantasm? It is undeniably a powerful one -- it even sweeps in such as yourselves. But the simpler truth -- though perhaps harder for everyone to hear -- may help them to avoid it.

"Enlightenment or delusion?
Who is to say which person has which..."

"As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter."

All you can do is encourage people to investigate their own heart and mind for matters of self-determination. Love and logic both suggest to my mind the need to not overly define things just because it satisfies the mind's compulsion.

So I will do my part by refraining from handing you additional shovels.
I just had the one unused shovel here. :)

Cliff Judge
06-15-2015, 03:27 PM
Hence my pity and concern on this point -- But which is easier to change -- your mind or your bodily organs? Which is harsher -- a sober reflection and acceptance of an unwanted truth of the body -- or a bloodied scalpel to try to cut way the parts that do not fit a mere image drawn in the mind.

Most transgender people do not seek sex reassignment beyond hormone therapy. For transgendered men there aren't many more options anyway.

Erick Mead
06-15-2015, 03:53 PM
"As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter." For what it's worth, the context of the quote is against testing and competition -- not about judging good or evil acts or choices. But see:
Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.

To see a mistake that is not recognized -- and fail to point it out -- that is a failure to teach. For more in the quote-quest:

The Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish, the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within. On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor.

In order to establish heaven on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed. It must follow natural principles and harmonize the material with the spiritual.

mathewjgano
06-15-2015, 04:47 PM
For what it's worth, the context of the quote is against testing and competition -- not about judging good or evil acts or choices.

"Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you." This is the rest of the quote I found. I think it extends beyond shiai, but maybe O Sensei would disagree with me.

I agree we should all offer our views where we think they have merit, but there is a fine line between the kind of criticism I think he was talking about and the altruistic instruction you seem to be referring to. I also think you could have used better terms, that were more respectful, and you're seeing the natural consequence of that.
It's one thing to be in the role of chosen teacher and it's another thing to be in the role of self-imposed teacher. You're dismissing a lot of people's worldviews as mere phantasms, and while you might be bringing the proverbial thunder to shake up the sleeping mind, be careful you don't forget to listen, too, lest your dream of thunder causes you to miss the real thing.
...and of course, I'll be doing my best to do the same, because really, who can tell who is delusional and who is not. Were that there was an easy litmus test and not this sloppy, self-discovering-as-we-go, petri dish, floating through bloodboiling space. (Feeling poetic today :D )
Cheers!

Keith Larman
06-15-2015, 07:42 PM
What you all see as a courageous decision to transcend biological limits in service of some metaphysical image of the self

Now you're projecting. Whether it is "courageous" or not is a different topic altogether.

-- I see as a simple tendency toward objective self-harm.

And that is in direct contradiction with modern research and displays a profoundly ignorant, naive and simplistic point of view. You simply do *not* know what you're talking about and *every* comment you have made has reaffirmed that observation. This area is not controversial in any of the circles where these issues are studied. Your gross oversimplification and callous "waving away" of the nature and emotional import of this issue is a huge problem for those dealing with these issues and it is disturbing to say the least to see it here.

I spent all of 10 seconds in google to find this page. Those interested might start here.

http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx

Sheesh. :(

lbb
06-16-2015, 07:29 AM
I don't think that we want to get into a contest of credentials here, but I must agree with Keith's observation that Erick's view seems unleavened by experience or exposure to transpeople beyond shallow caricatures. I think of the transpeople I know -- mere acquaintances, close friends, coworkers, people, PEOPLE running the gamut of human expression. Some of them I only knew after transition; others, I was there for the whole ride. That doesn't make me any expert on the trans experience, but it does disprove Erick's assertions, each and every one. That's good enough for me.

If a transperson were to join our dojo, I believe my dojo community would find a way over any awkwardness with an open heart. I honestly don't think having a MTF transperson in the women's dressing room in this dojo would be an issue for the women of our dojo -- yes, I'm guessing, but I'm guessing about people that I know very well. It may help that for us, being in a dressing room is not a sexualized experience -- an attitude that I think all grownups should share, but as illogical as it is, I understand why they don't. But then, you get the same fear from some heterosexuals that there might be a gay person in the locker room, looking at them with lust in their heart. This is illogical again: while heterosexuals in most western cultures have very limited experience in situations combining nudity and members of the attractive-to-them gender, gay folk deal with this from the time we first enter a locker room, and quickly learn that bad porn aside, the reality is really not a sexualized situation. Nor need it be for transpeople. My main concern would be to respect the transperson's privacy and doubtless complete exasperation with many cispeople's prurient curiosity. I think once the transperson got to know our dojo, it might just be a complete non-issue. But that's all speculation on my part. What I feel I can say with certainty is, we'd handle it with decency and compassion and a lack of judgment, and it would turn out okay.

Mary Eastland
06-16-2015, 07:47 AM
What Mary said, for sure.

And that everyone treat each other with respect including the transgender person.

PeterR
06-16-2015, 09:28 AM
I still remember the shock (names and places not mentioned) when an aikido teacher I had previously visited informed me by letter that he was now a she and then the basic feeling how little difference it made - at least to me - followed. I had heard later that not all previous relationships were so accepting but really, for the life of me, I don't understand what this has to do with aikido.

Do I understand what causes a person to go that route - no. Do I personally think this is a viable way to go - no again. But neither negative affects how their aikido affects me or their ability to do aikido.

Dan Rubin
06-16-2015, 10:12 AM
I honestly don't think having a MTF transperson in the women's dressing room in this dojo would be an issue for the women of our dojo -- yes, I'm guessing, but I'm guessing about people that I know very well.

Do you think it would be an issue for parents of female children in your dojo?

kewms
06-16-2015, 10:35 AM
Do you think it would be an issue for parents of female children in your dojo?

I can't speak for Mary, but it probably wouldn't even come up at my dojo. Most of the kids don't change at the dojo anyway, and when they do they are generally gone before the adults arrive. There's also the restroom down the hall for anyone -- adult or child -- who wants a bit more privacy.

Katherine

Keith Larman
06-16-2015, 10:45 AM
I can't speak for Mary, but it probably wouldn't even come up at my dojo. Most of the kids don't change at the dojo anyway, and when they do they are generally gone before the adults arrive. There's also the restroom down the hall for anyone -- adult or child -- who wants a bit more privacy.

Katherine

I'll echo Katherine's comment. We have a large kids program and without exception the little ones come in their little gi (cute as hell too). A lot of them wear their gi right over their jeans and t-shirts. When they get older (as in 13 and up) they sometimes start changing at the dojo dressing rooms. But again, if *anyone* ever feels *they* (notice where the emphasis lies here) need more privacy, the bathroom is always an option. But for the kids it is basically a non-issue.

lbb
06-16-2015, 12:26 PM
Do you think it would be an issue for parents of female children in your dojo?

I don't know, because 1)there's a lot more turnover in the kids' program and 2)I don't know any of their parents that well. No doubt they've sucked up the standard bigotries of the society around them, so statistically, I am willing to bet that someone would have an Issue.

But I also think we need to distinguish between substantive issues involving another person's actual honest-to-god problematic behavior, and one's own feeling of discomfort in the presence of difference. If a person is leering at others in a dressing room, or making personal comments, or god forbid making inappropriate physical contact, those are substantive issues. If a person is merely present in the dressing room, doing what everyone else is doing there and minding their own business, and you feel uncomfortable because they're there and they're somehow different than you? At that point, I think it's on you to change your own attitude or your own behavior. Either remain in the uncomfortable situation (and hopefully learn to get over it), or leave. Expecting someone else to leave because you're uncomfortable with who they are? Not reasonable and not an option.

Here in the US, we've seen a lot of uproar caused by this sort of discomfort. In my lifetime, I've seen a lot. I've heard people make slighting comments, express that they were disturbed, make remarks to the effect of "why do you have to ruin it for everyone" when a mixed-race couple came to a function. Flip the calendar, I've heard the same kind of remarks about same-sex couples. Jews in the country club, a black ballerina in the New York City Ballet, a male city councilor talking about "my husband" instead of "my wife", a woman in a computer lab...why do they have to do this to us? Really, why do they all have to be so pushy? Why do they have to shove it down our throats? Why can't they just...just...go somewhere else? Why do they have to be here, ruining everything???

I am not a transperson. I am not a trans-rights activist. I'm just a human being. It's just, in my lifetime I have seen so much of this kind of bullshit. I've seen it directed at others, I've seen it directed at me. When challenged, the perpetrators and apologists frequently claim that it's really not that big a deal, and why can't Those People just let it go? But I don't think you get to say whether it's a big deal when it's not your nose being skinned. I don't think you get to say that your comfort is more important than someone else's educational opportunity, job opportunity, career advancement, political participation, you name it.

On one side of the scale, we have substantive issues.
On the other side, we have mental comfort.
Do you think the two sides weigh equally? Do you?

Erick Mead
06-16-2015, 04:18 PM
And that is in direct contradiction with modern research and displays a profoundly ignorant, naive and simplistic point of view. You simply do *not* know what you're talking about and *every* comment you have made has reaffirmed that observation. ... http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx Hmmm.... The then-trendy "modern" research of eugenics told Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes it was just peachy to sterilize a woman against her will just because she was deemed of below-average intelligence and "three generations of imbeciles are enough ..." He is worth quoting: The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. It later appeared that the unfortunate 18 year-old Carrie Buck had been committed as "feeble-minded," only after she had been raped by a nephew of her guardian, and the whole cruel endeavor was a ruse to save face for the family. Her sister Doris was sterilized without even her knowledge during an appendectomy. Much evil is done in the name of "modern research," so forgive me if I take more critical view of such authorities.

There are not enough pixels to unpack the problems of basic thinking in that APA link, beginning with the first sentence:
"Sex is assigned at birth, refers to one's biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. <<sigh>> I'll just take that apart, and the gender sentence that follows and leave it at that.

1. Sex is not a quality that is "assigned," and does not merely "refer to one's biological status." Sex IS that biological status. All experts lay claim to is their opinion based on their learning. No consensus of experts can change an empirical fact. As Senator Moynihan said, we are all entitled to our own opinions; we are not entitled to our own facts. Sex is among those facts, notwithstanding that the binary categories do not capture some very narrow margins of indeterminate type.

2. To be perfectly correct, the APA still fails to include the 0.2% of all manner of chromosal or development inter-sex conditions, and who truly are either persons of "other sex," or functionally speaking, "non-sexed" persons as a consequence. In a perfect world such conditions,would be a simple observation like "non-redheaded." Alas, it is not a perfect world. There is nothing at all wrong with "other" where that is simply the factual truth. There is a lot wrong with it when the facts are plainly otherwise.

3. The APA "gender" definition that follows is adequate as far as it goes -- and for people whose biological condition places them into a "tween"-gender or non-gendered social category, there is a genuine need for education and a better way for such people to feel they have a welcome place in a strongly gendered culture. IMO the current way is only strengthening the binary and superficial aspects of gendered appearance and manners over the much less categorical substance of a person's being and actions.

4. An earlier time held that socially-deemed binary gender roles should absolutely control over those with true biological intersex conditions, and a sad era of "sex-assignment" surgeries for such children ensued -- The "sex is assigned" view of the world should rightly be sent to the dustbin of history, and right behind it, the "sex is chosen" view. Absolutist engineering approaches have since been rejected in cases of biologically-acquired gender confusion. Why this is suddenly OK for people with culturally-acquired gender issues and no sexual ambiguity at all is mystifying to me. It is a category error of exactly the same type to say that personally-deemed gender should control over one's biological sex to the point of physically altering it. A seeming bizarre place for the Nieztchean will-to-power to assert itself over the ontological or phenomenological approaches to life and its problems, but here we are.

Keith Larman
06-16-2015, 06:19 PM
Gigantic balls on you there. I suppose the APA just doesn't know what it's talking about. After all, you quoted Oliver Wendell Holmes! Very, very good! And brought in Eugenics. And because they get that wrong back then, well, that's why we should ignore all research today. Yup, solid, Erick, as usual. Cherry picked, dishonest irrelevant, and self-serving. You are a real piece of work.

Keep digging, Erick, if only to convince yourself.

Ignore.

Erick Mead
06-16-2015, 10:41 PM
Gigantic balls on you there. I suppose the APA just doesn't know what it's talking about. . Well, when you've deposed a couple of neuropsychologists, let's talk, shall we ? Until then, yeah. They don' t, in my professional forensic opinion, on this point. "Psychology" is the study of the mind and mental processes in terms practical and adaptational. Their purpose is to make people more mentally and emotionally functional... not to make moral or metaphysical changes in their points of view.

The American Psychological Association has nothing authoritative to say about the nature of the body, its sexual functions or the primacy of mind over body or body over mind. The first are biological questions and the latter are metaphysical issues. Psychologists simply observe what people do and how they think and feel about it, and how adaptive or effective those are or aren't to their circumstances. Useful generally, but hardly definitive on this topic.

Unless you just look for any colorable authority to end a discussion. In which case, let me accommodate you, kind sir:

oh. please. stop. make it stop. aaagh. the authority. it burns..... stop. please.

Better now?

kewms
06-16-2015, 11:41 PM
My hope would be that an Aikido dojo would be the last place that anyone would find discrimination based on race or gender, especially if we take the founders philosophy on Aikido being the art of peace for all people?

Sadly, I think this thread answers your question.

Katherine

kewms
06-16-2015, 11:44 PM
I keep trying to escape, but they keep dragging me back...

The irony of using the history of eugenics to justify a thoroughly patronizing, paternalistic attitude would be quite amusing if it weren't so sad.

Katherine

lbb
06-17-2015, 07:53 AM
. Well, when you've deposed a couple of neuropsychologists, let's talk, shall we ?

Credentialism: the refuge of those who would really rather not deal with the facts on the ground.

mathewjgano
06-17-2015, 10:52 AM
This has clearly devolved into a discussion of transgender itself and has nothing to do with how it fits in a dojo student/teacher setting. It's one thing to slide in an opinion while talking about how to deal with potential issues...this is something else.
Take care.

KD5NRH
06-17-2015, 11:35 AM
Cherry picked, dishonest irrelevant, and self-serving.

Ok, no cherry picking then; I once met a guy who absolutely believed without any doubt that we were holding him captive in our future-Mennonite-like enclave where we insisted on living like it was the early 21st century, and not letting him return to the rest of the 24th century world. If reality is what any fool wishes to believe it is, then why is that guy insane but someone who refuses to accept the genitals they were born with is gloriously enlightened and able to transcend physical reality? If you don't want the delusions cherry picked, then explain all of them.

(And yes, I was working for a mental health facility at the time.)

Keith Larman
06-17-2015, 12:01 PM
Ok, no cherry picking then; I once met a guy who absolutely believed without any doubt that we were holding him captive in our future-Mennonite-like enclave where we insisted on living like it was the early 21st century, and not letting him return to the rest of the 24th century world. If reality is what any fool wishes to believe it is, then why is that guy insane but someone who refuses to accept the genitals they were born with is gloriously enlightened and able to transcend physical reality? If you don't want the delusions cherry picked, then explain all of them.

(And yes, I was working for a mental health facility at the time.)

So let me get this straight. You're equating severe paranoid delusional behavior with gender identity issues.

Wow.

You guys can have this conversation. And this entire forum. So please, carry on.

And I sincerely hope these issues never affect any of your family members. For their sake if nothing else.

KD5NRH
06-17-2015, 12:48 PM
So let me get this straight. You're equating severe paranoid delusional behavior with gender identity issues.

Refusing to accept the reality of one's genitalia and DNA is hardly different from refusing to accept any other concrete fact.

mathewjgano
06-17-2015, 02:51 PM
Refusing to accept the reality of one's genitalia and DNA is hardly different from refusing to accept any other concrete fact.
There are differences in how people deny facts. For example, refusing to admit you have a penis is different from refusing to identify as a man. It's much easier to define a penis than a man, for one thing. Some folks prefer to think in binary terms for gender, some do not. Personally I think it's more fluid than many would like to admit, and we can see examples of some animals who literally shift their gender biologically. You can argue that's apples and oranges (or frogs and people), but I interpret the facts differently and am not afraid of people trying to define themselves how they see fit. So what you call a denial of facts I call a different interpretation of the facts.
So all that said, how do you apply this to a dojo setting? Refuse to allow them to join "because they're the same kind of delusional" as the person you described? That's the implication I take from your remarks so far.
My view is that I am ignorant and whatever my opinions are, I am still ultimately quite ignorant and as such must maintain a degree of judgment suspended, as I do with a lot of other so-called facts I have been presented by all the many self-described authories I encounter. If I see a person who is sincere and cares about the people they're training with, I will do my best to train with them: period.
Side question, since you mention it in a way that seems to suggest an air of authority: what was your function at the mental health facility?

KD5NRH
06-17-2015, 03:36 PM
You can argue that's apples and oranges (or frogs and people), but I interpret the facts differently and am not afraid of people trying to define themselves how they see fit.

Well, if I ever run into 24th century guy again I'll be sure to send him your way. Same for the one who believes he's the resurrected (not reincarnated, but actually raised from the dead) John of Patmos sent back to clarify his writings. Brilliant classical and blues guitarist, but you'd expect him to know Revelation a bit better - and maybe even speak Greek - under the claimed circumstances.

So all that said, how do you apply this to a dojo setting? Refuse to allow them to join "because they're the same kind of delusional" as the person you described?

Neither of those showed any inclination to cause harm, (in fact I kinda wondered about future dude for a while since he was a big guy and certainly could have tried to escape by violence) so unless and until they did, I would welcome them at a dojo. I wouldn't tolerate them demanding some imaginary right to wag their wangs around the girls' locker room though.

Side question, since you mention it in a way that seems to suggest an air of authority: what was your function at the mental health facility?

Records and scheduling. I never claimed to diagnose any of them, just chatted with them a lot because the job was so damn boring and part of my office opened onto the waiting room. Probably talked to some of them more than any of the psychologists or the psychiatrist did since some would show up an hour early for a 15-30 minute appointment.

Janet Rosen
06-17-2015, 03:46 PM
Thread devolved into morass appropriate for Open Forums, NOT Aikido.

Erick Mead
06-17-2015, 05:50 PM
Credentialism: the refuge of those who would really rather not deal with the facts on the ground.Rhetoric: the refuge of those with bad facts ?

The fact -- or the denial of the fact -- is precisely the issue. It is the desire to alter a basic fact of human being by way of technological and rhetorical illusion and destruction that is in question -- not the fact itself. The fact just is -- and needs no defense.

Why this is relevant to budo as the spirit of loving protection: Those who ignore facts are apt to get hurt by such willful ignorance -- and I'd much prefer that they not actually be hurt -- more so than I care whether they feel hurt about being denied the comfort of destructive illusions. Nodding bland affirmations in misplaced politeness at self-destructive behavior is not loving protection.

Erick Mead
06-17-2015, 05:51 PM
Thread devolved into morass appropriate for Open Forums, NOT Aikido.Not if you believe in the spirit of loving protection as more than just pretty words.

Erick Mead
06-17-2015, 05:52 PM
The irony of using the history of eugenics to justify a thoroughly patronizing, paternalistic attitude would be quite amusing if it weren't so sad. The comparison is totally inapt. Who holds the commanding heights of the culture and policy at the moment, such as is seen in sources such as the APA ? Not those who agree with me, I assure you.

Cliff Judge
06-17-2015, 06:21 PM
Refusing to accept the reality of one's genitalia and DNA is hardly different from refusing to accept any other concrete fact.

DNA? So you think males and females are different species?

sakumeikan
06-17-2015, 06:26 PM
Dear All,
As far as I am concerned if the person is a good , sincere student , trains hard, pays the subs and does not harm anyone be it mentally or physically and has good standards of behaviour I would not mind if the person was gay, straight , transgender or a hermaphrodite.Life is hard enough for people .Why give somebody grief? Live and let live says I .Surely we all have better worry about or think about other than whether somebody has had a sex change?Cheers, Joe.

Janet Rosen
06-17-2015, 10:38 PM
Dear All,
As far as I am concerned if the person is a good , sincere student , trains hard, pays the subs and does not harm anyone be it mentally or physically and has good standards of behaviour I would not mind if the person was gay, straight , transgender or a hermaphrodite.Life is hard enough for people .Why give somebody grief? Live and let live says I .Surely we all have better worry about or think about other than whether somebody has had a sex change?Cheers, Joe.

Cheers back at ya, Joe :)

Rupert Atkinson
06-17-2015, 10:45 PM
If the person has a P then it's the guy's changing room.
If ther person has a V then it's the girl's room.
Pretty simple really.
If they do Aikido - let them in - who cares.
At the end of the day, Yudansha wear skirts. Ha ha.

Riai Maori
06-17-2015, 11:53 PM
At the end of the day, Yudansha wear skirts. Ha ha.

Yes I am very concerned about this. I don't wear a Hakama yet and have all these questions:

Will I need to shave my legs?
Are sheer stockings the preferred attire?
Are there mini skirt variety of Hakama?
Can I wear different color Hakama?
Am I allowed to wear suspenders under the Hakama?
Will I be considered a cross dresser?
Gender issues?
Will I start wearing my wife's clothes?
The list is endless...

I need Paracetamol. There are some tough choices I have to make soon!:D

Sojourner
06-18-2015, 01:10 AM
Sadly, I think this thread answers your question.

Katherine

I have to say that I am inclined to agree with you after reading through the responses. It is interesting to make the observation that perhaps the Aikido dojo linked into the opening post was not wrong to make a distinction on their Aikido class list to note that a specific class was in fact Trans-Inclusive. - I suspect that we may see a shift in Aikido to similar notations where classes are advertised as being Inclusive. To my way of thinking it remains a shame that someone might feel that they are unwelcome at training yet perhaps people do need to be aware that some Aikido dojos are not neccessarly inclusive and some are, again reflecting the advertising of the Brittania Ki Aikido group?

JW
06-18-2015, 02:14 AM
I promise to make an aikido-related comment!

But first, I have to get something off my chest, like everyone else here:

The transgender bathrooms pdf (https://www.glad.org/uploads/docs/publications/trans-students-bathrooms.pdf) that Keith found contains a pretty strong argument against Rupert's P vs V criterion:

Let's say you're a woman in the dressing room, changing, and you see a man walk in. Let's say he then starts to take off his shirt... then his pants. Still has boxers on though. Do you really think everyone is fine with this, just because the omniscient eye of Erick's god of "everything is absolutely so" sees that this person has no penis? Surprise, it was a female-to-male transgender man.
While I personally agree with Mary that dressing rooms in gyms and dojo are not sexualized situations, the situation I just described (paraphrased from the GLAD pdf) is likely to be considered inappropriate in general. I've never seen penis in the mens' dressing room. I assume it is similar in the womens'. So if we aren't "checking the answers" constantly, Rupert's criterion doesn't work and the GLAD recommendation does.

And it is from this "I've never seen penis in the dojo" point of view that I sympathize with the OP's shock that it would have to be stated explicitly in the ad. Seriously, the whole point of women's classes has to do with common barriers felt intrinsically by some women themselves after their life experience in the society (but let's not go there (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14455) again!). So sex isn't relavent here, only gender (intrinsic self-identity).

---------

Now as promised, the aikido-related stuff!
This is in reference to Erick's idea that transgender folks don't understand yin and yang. (Comment of the year)

Erick, I don't know how much you have done sparring. I used to do it a lot in TKD-- I sucked at it. I had two main problems, both of which I am working on now. We know Ueshiba did not suck at it. (He was considered good even before he met Takeda... ) One good way to suck at fighting (or defending against an attacker) is to be totally obvious and easy to read. In martial arts, at any moment, if there is a "truth" about what is happening, it is not clear to the adversary. If it is clear to him, you are dead. Counter and defense have to be one. Out and in have to be wound up together as one. What looks at feels like a strike has to be in reality a request for a reaction.
The idea of yin and yang as being absolute, and simple, and clear is clearly, simply, absolutely laughable!

Sure, sex and gender are commonly correlated. In martial arts, if you have movements that are tightly correlated it's called a tell, and it gets you punched in the face. Similarly, in true budo we can use the attacker's sensorimotor preconceptions against him and trick him. We shouldn't let a complex, multifaceted phenomenon (be it bipedal balance, sensorimotor integration during volitional movement, or gender) be imprisoned by a single determinant that is commonly correlated but has no overriding, "truthful" connection (like sex organs, which determine sex but not your sense of self).

Well, I'm you kohai, just my two cents, doesn't mean it's right.

PeterR
06-18-2015, 02:59 AM
DNA? So you think males and females are different species?

No he did not say that and they do have different DNA - XX and XY (sorry could not help myself).

And with some well defined exceptions (involving triple chromosomes) that is what defines our sex and no amount of hormone therapy, surgery or fashion choice is going to change that. Identifying with the opposite sex to the degree that you become trans is another question - as is how people are expected and should accept that.

It's a given that it may make some people uncomfortable in the changing room and here is the nod to the original poster - it could affect those who choose to attend a women's only class. The UK advert made the parameters clear so the choice to attend could be informed. That is a good thing.

lbb
06-18-2015, 06:39 AM
Neither of those showed any inclination to cause harm, (in fact I kinda wondered about future dude for a while since he was a big guy and certainly could have tried to escape by violence) so unless and until they did, I would welcome them at a dojo. I wouldn't tolerate them demanding some imaginary right to wag their wangs around the girls' locker room though.

Three questions for you, then.

Do you have no women in your dojo? Only girls?
Do people in your dojo, yourself included, stare at each others' genitalia in the dressing room?
Do people at your dojo, yourself included, "wag their wangs" or otherwise parade their genitalia in the dressing room?


I'm just wondering, because people of all genders typically have some sort of genitalia and use changing rooms without it being an issue unless it's One Of Them. Then, suddenly, both they and you are supposed to have some kind of different relationship with their genitalia vis a vis getting changed for an aikido class. I'm wondering just who has the problem here. And the "girls" thing? Wow.

lbb
06-18-2015, 06:41 AM
Rhetoric: the refuge of those with bad facts ?

You don't have any facts, Erick. Not one. Not a single one. You have assertions that you label as "facts", and every time you're called on it, you just yell "FACT FACT IS IS IS IS IS INFINITY EVERYTHING". No, Erick. Something's not a "fact" just because you say so.

Why this is relevant to budo as the spirit of loving protection: Those who ignore facts are apt to get hurt by such willful ignorance -- and I'd much prefer that they not actually be hurt -- more so than I care whether they feel hurt about being denied the comfort of destructive illusions. Nodding bland affirmations in misplaced politeness at self-destructive behavior is not loving protection.

Wow. Could you possibly be more paternalistic?

GMaroda
06-18-2015, 07:33 AM
[QUOTE=Peter Rehse;343837]No he did not say that and they do have different DNA - XX and XY (sorry could not help myself).

[\QUOTE]

What about genetic chimera? Is someone with both XX and XY chromosomes a man or a woman? Do they have to use a different changing room?

hint: This will always be more complex than one thinks it will be, even if one is well versed in the issues.

Demetrio Cereijo
06-18-2015, 09:00 AM
When you're sent airborne, nage's gender is irrelevant.

Cliff Judge
06-18-2015, 09:20 AM
No he did not say that and they do have different DNA - XX and XY (sorry could not help myself).

And with some well defined exceptions (involving triple chromosomes) that is what defines our sex and no amount of hormone therapy, surgery or fashion choice is going to change that. Identifying with the opposite sex to the degree that you become trans is another question - as is how people are expected and should accept that.

It's a given that it may make some people uncomfortable in the changing room and here is the nod to the original poster - it could affect those who choose to attend a women's only class. The UK advert made the parameters clear so the choice to attend could be informed. That is a good thing.

You are right about the DNA being different, I was wrong, but there are people born XY who develop female primary and secondary sex characteristics. Every human starts out as basically female. It is a long and complicated process by which we develop sex characteristics. Everybody is different.

Cliff Judge
06-18-2015, 09:31 AM
If the person has a P then it's the guy's changing room.
If ther person has a V then it's the girl's room.
Pretty simple really.
If they do Aikido - let them in - who cares.
At the end of the day, Yudansha wear skirts. Ha ha.

There will eventually be laws that protect a transgendered persons right to use the facilities of the gender they identify with. I expect Europe and blue states in America first, the Middle East, Florida, and Texas last.

In the meantime we can vote with our feet, transphobes can stick to their dojo. I don't get out much but I wouldn't train at a dojo that forced a transgender person to use the wrong training room.

kewms
06-18-2015, 10:34 AM
The comparison is totally inapt. Who holds the commanding heights of the culture and policy at the moment, such as is seen in sources such as the APA ? Not those who agree with me, I assure you.

That wooshing noise? It was my point sailing over your head.

Katherine

Cliff Judge
06-18-2015, 11:21 AM
The comparison is totally inapt. Who holds the commanding heights of the culture and policy at the moment, such as is seen in sources such as the APA ? Not those who agree with me, I assure you.

No you guys are more like the depths of culture and policy.

Erick Mead
06-18-2015, 11:24 AM
Wow. Could you possibly be more paternalistic?How can this art be anything BUT paternalistic ... Budo exists to defend oneself and others -- and in Aikido that purpose specifically extends EVEN to the one attacking you.

I struggle to imagine an art MORE paternalistic in its view toward the moral obligation of protection than is Aikido as the Founder clearly expressed it -- in vast, even world-altering terms.

Cliff Judge
06-18-2015, 11:56 AM
How can this art be anything BUT paternalistic ... Budo exists to defend oneself and others -- and in Aikido that purpose specifically extends EVEN to the one attacking you.

I struggle to imagine an art MORE paternalistic in its view toward the moral obligation of protection than is Aikido as the Founder clearly expressed it -- in vast, even world-altering terms.

You are talking about HARMING people. Your ignorance and lack or respect actually IS harm to these people.

Erick Mead
06-18-2015, 12:08 PM
I promise to make an aikido-related comment!
....
Now as promised, the aikido-related stuff!
This is in reference to Erick's idea that transgender folks don't understand yin and yang. (Comment of the year)...

The idea of yin and yang as being absolute, and simple, and clear is clearly, simply, absolutely laughable! Sure, sex and gender are commonly correlated.

Step back from the controversy and look at it more objectively There is, in fact, no such thing as an objective color called "grey." There is a real biological perception that almost everyone meaningfully describes as what we call "grey" -- driven by a scaling failure to distinguish very small divisions of black and white (or, optically speaking, a scattering of relatively reflected and absorbed light). Color itself exists only in your head. That doesn't make it an unreal perception -- but the perception is NOT in itself the optical reality being perceived.

However, in most situations and for most purposes common color perception correlates well enough to cause you to duck when necessary, and not to cross the street at precisely the wrong time. Color is a processing artifact of overlaying the signal strength of three different optical range sensors. And yet there are red-green "colorblind" people.

Now this problem affects up to 10% of men (an order of magnitude less if you are Inuit, perhaps) -- and almost no women at all, as it is a strongly X-linked defect. Does this make the color of stoplights invalid and requiring total social re-engineering? Is sympathy for some reason less for the colorblind people liable to be mowed down in the streets, than those who feel uncomfortable pushing one or the other restroom doors ? Of course not. It requires driver tests to distinguish the "colorblind" from the rest of us, so that THEY know they exist in a marginal and maladaptive category and can thus learn adapt to the signalization problem by other means.

You can still drive if you are colorblind and know it, but you must adapt YOURSELF to the rules of the road -- they will not and cannot adapt to you without doing much harm to far many more people. This is not without other personal limitations, either. You may reasonably be barred from occupations where other people's safety depends on your consistent perception of safety signals -- pilots and bus-drivers, etc. -- precisely because you do not perceive or understand clearly, the predominating binary categories on these highly important, though socially determined, rules are founded.

We shouldn't let a complex, multifaceted phenomenon (be it bipedal balance, sensorimotor integration during volitional movement, or gender) be imprisoned by a single determinant that is commonly correlated but has no overriding, "truthful" connection (like sex organs, which determine sex but not your sense of self).I don't disagree, but this is true only at the very slim margins on this issue (0.2% biologically intersexed), and even if we include psychologically gender-confused , we approach nothing like the margins of colorblindness in how we address societal rules, and that affects 10% of one half the population. Put another way, we disregard the problems of colorblindness at a national population margin of 17,500,000 out of 350,000,000 (and almost all male). The biologically intersexed are ~ 700,00 of that same population. There are no reliable data for psychologically gender-confused persons, but most data suggest it is of the same order -- despite its present celebrity.

A 4-sigma marginal deviation cannot -- and must not -- dictate normative rules for the 99.98% of the population that depends on norms for socialization, normative development and the indispensable functions of social interactions framed on sexual distinctions. My genuine concern for the 0.2% for whom such rules are not drawn -- does not alter the importance of the needs of the 99.98%.

Arrogance doesn't begin to cover the description of someone seriously making an argument that so narrow a population should drive rules for the rest. To allow that would cause extensive harm to the rest of the population for whom the norms exist to serve and protect them in normal life and development. Saying merely that these are culturally determined roles for the sexes does not diminish their importance -- anymore than culturally determined rules of the road do -- and I had really had better understand to adapt myself to look right -- and not left -- when crossing the street in Japan, Australia or the U.K. My life depends on it.

Someone who struggles with such a basic binary category (biological, cognitive or cultural, take your pick) of human existence, will struggle to grasp the martial case involved in making such clean-cut -- immediate -- unnuanced -- GO/NOGO distinctions in martial encounters as are involved in traffic lights. In fact, the cues are far more perceptually subtle -- but are equally clear-cut binary Go-NOG conditions. There are likewise operative, mechanically categorical distinctions involved in an art based on in and yo. People who confuse gender categories begin with a bias toward binary categories in the world as being mutable and indistinct. Grey.

Budo cannot afford grey. Budo necessarily needs to drill down to the finer scale of close perception -- distinct black vs. distinct white. GO, or NOGO. And must train that to a level of preconscious perception and immediate action.

Aiki also is not grey. Aiki is an operation on the order of black and white. If you do not begin clearly to perceive in-yo ho as black and white in their mutual inter-operation -- then you cannot really understand Aiki.

Erick Mead
06-18-2015, 12:26 PM
You are talking about HARMING people. Your ignorance and lack or respect actually IS harm to these people. If I break a guy's leg tackling him while he is looking the wrong way crossing the street into oncoming traffic - is this, or is this not, "harming him?" I grant you (and Mary) that it is highly paternalistic of me to do it, but this is not -- in my view, in the category of "harm" -- but protection from harm, though some incidental harm may result. Harm is not a binary category, IMO. The ground sometimes hurts me when I walk on it -- but I manage all right.

Conversely, if he does not break a leg -- but merely suffers hurt feelings at being knocked to the ground, and then begins to argue with me about my hurtful action merely because he never saw any car, then I think I am right to rely on the judgment of any of the vast majority of objective onlookers whether the tackle was in consequence of an oncoming traffic or not.

On this topic, though, I have the distinct impression that the people stepping off the curb looking the wrong way imagine the street is a welcoming space and that the cars give warm hugs ...

Erick Mead
06-18-2015, 12:43 PM
No you guys are more like the depths of culture and policy.Such a compliment, to be seen as deepening the discussion ... Why, thank you so very much, Cliff. :)

kewms
06-18-2015, 12:49 PM
It would help if there were some recognition that you are talking about autonomous HUMAN BEINGS who are quite capable of deciding for themselves whether they are being harmed or not.

The overwhelming consensus of those human beings is that interference in private decisions by self-appointed "experts" like yourself is far more harmful than the state of being a transgender person. It's not like saving someone from getting hit by a car, it's more like trying to "fix" someone who is naturally left-handed. They were doing just fine until you (or society in general) showed up.

Katherine

lbb
06-18-2015, 01:26 PM
Indeed. Erick, are you also a fan of conversion therapy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_therapy)?

Cliff Judge
06-18-2015, 02:04 PM
If I break a guy's leg tackling him while he is looking the wrong way crossing the street into oncoming traffic - is this, or is this not, "harming him?" I grant you (and Mary) that it is highly paternalistic of me to do it, but this is not -- in my view, in the category of "harm" -- but protection from harm, though some incidental harm may result. Harm is not a binary category, IMO. The ground sometimes hurts me when I walk on it -- but I manage all right.

Conversely, if he does not break a leg -- but merely suffers hurt feelings at being knocked to the ground, and then begins to argue with me about my hurtful action merely because he never saw any car, then I think I am right to rely on the judgment of any of the vast majority of objective onlookers whether the tackle was in consequence of an oncoming traffic or not.

On this topic, though, I have the distinct impression that the people stepping off the curb looking the wrong way imagine the street is a welcoming space and that the cars give warm hugs ...

If you want to "paternalistically protect" or whatever transgender people, you need to be helping them stand up for who THEY choose to be. Why don't you be quiet and listen for awhile.

Aikido should be the path of empathy. You keep talking charity and pity.

The idea that transgender people have an illness that needs to be corrected by forcing them to adapt to their bodies has been done for decades. The result has been a lot of addiction, alchoholism, and suicide. Confirmation therapy has been shown to lower these risks.

OH WAIT YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THE ENTIRE FIELD OF PSYCHOLOGY.

kewms
06-18-2015, 03:47 PM
Maybe if there were fewer reckless drivers, there would be less need to knock people out of the way.

Since the "harm" experienced by transgender people is mostly inflicted upon them by society, maybe it is society that needs to be fixed?

Katherine

JW
06-18-2015, 05:35 PM
This is long enough as it is, but hopefully entertaining to the reader!

Erick, I'm debating an actual in-depth reply. The bottom line here is that you seem to be unable to see gender as anything but the accurate or inaccurate perception of what biological sex characteristics a person's body physically displays (like color being the perception of what wavelengths are physically present in light).

I looked at your aikiweb profile, and just like in a dojo dressing room, I didn't see a penis. But isn't your sense of identity that of a man? Your online persona does not and cannot have reproductive capacity. Yet your personality has a clear gender. That personality doesn't come from you walking around all your life with your genitals hanging out on display. It develops within you (a cynic would say it is programmed by parents/others and by your own blind acceptance of society's norms as told to you).

On the phone, your physical sex characteristics don't all come through. But you remain a man. (I had a friend whose voice wasn't so deep. The short version of his name was androgynous. He didn't like being called ma'am on the phone even by a person he would never meet in person. Is that so weird? Is it so strange that self-identity, including gender, could be something that is embedded in the personality of a person, even within a venue completely separated from the physical body?)

Consciousness, personality, and self identity are generated primarily in the brain, not in the genitals.

Personality is a complex thing, and gender is a part of that. Personality is not "accurate" or "inaccurate" with respect to physical characteristics. If someone with a penis believes their body doesn't have one, ok, maybe they are delusional. BUT-- if someone perceives that they are..
- courageous
- timid
- ambitious
- curious
- happy and free when by the sea
- proud to be Chinese-American
- disgusted and ashamed at the idea of eating meat at a dinner
- lying in assuming the social persona of a man
then that is what is true about their sense of self. It doesn't have to do with their naked bodies in an empty room. It has to do with one's life experience and internal drive.

In short, a biological body's sex is sex, and a personality's gender is gender. Gender is involved in social interaction, sex generally isn't. Sex is involved in reproduction.
We as animals tend to correlate social interaction and reproduction. (Even sentient beings have roots as dumb beasts.)
Nowhere in that framework is there a requisite connection between sex and gender, because they are 2 different things. Unless you believe we must have sex with everyone we socially interact with. Not in my world.. but hey, sometimes I think Florida is another world!

Cliff Judge
06-18-2015, 08:30 PM
(I had a friend whose voice wasn't so deep. The short version of his name was androgynous. He didn't like being called ma'am on the phone even by a person he would never meet in person. Is that so weird? Is it so strange that self-identity, including gender, could be something that is embedded in the personality of a person, even within a venue completely separated from the physical body?)

That happens to me all the damn time, due to my shrill and squeaky voice. It especially ticks me off when it is somebody calling me to sell me something or ask for money. It's like thanks, you made get off my computer and leave the internet undefended so you could call me f'ing ma'am!!

I knew a guy in college who was named Yi. Really nice person, brilliant mathematician, comic book artist, absolutely no visible secondary sex characteristics besides a pair of huge brown eyes.

I had no idea what Yi's gender was until an instructor for a class we had together called him "she." He goes "excuse me, I identify as a boy."

So the class is in stunned, awkward silence. The teacher gets really red, and is sputtering and really embarassed and she says, "I am so sorry I confused your sex for female."

Yi grinned at her warmly, and he goes "Oh I didn't tell you what my sex was. That's none of your business."

I have another friend I have known for years who transitioned to a woman very abruptly two years ago when her daughter turned 18 and she didn't have to worry about her nasty ex-wife ruining the daughter's life before she got off to college. I still keep getting the pronouns wrong. It's a challenge.

Transgender people really are asking you to make a change in your perception of them. It is understandable that people are going to feel that this is a big request. But its harder for them than for you.

So Erick, come on man, get out of your comfort zone, go out and meet some trans people, stop building spatial arguments about matters of the heart, turn on your empathy circuit.

Dude from Texas who thinks trans people are crazy - knock it off with stuff like the dog gif, that's not humor that's contempt. Don't be a bully. Anyway itis considered a mental illness, and the best treatment we've found for it so far is to let 'em be who they want to be.

And fwiw thank you to just about everybody else on this thread for being open and inclusive.

Pauliina Lievonen
06-19-2015, 06:15 AM
I've trained at a few dojo in Holland and Germany that only had one changing room. Everybody changed together, or at home or in the bathroom if they were shy I guess. Problem solved. No need to worry about categories. :D

Seriously though, I don't care what kind of lumps and bumps people have growing on their bodies. I am not in the habit of checking out everybodys genitalia in the changing room. Which is what we apparently are talking about. Preposterous. And on the mat we all wear clothes I hope.

Pauliiina

lbb
06-19-2015, 07:12 AM
Like Cliff, I would also like to thank many of the participants in this thread. You've shown compassion and a sort of stubborn decency that I, as an adopted New Englander, particularly admire. You have shared insights and wisdom that I'll happily appropriate in the future when confronted with transphobia or trans-discomfort.

Today's doka seems apropos:

"Mobilize all (your) powers through Aiki.
Build a beautiful world
And a secure peace."

Isn't aiki about finding alternatives, about creating more options for ourselves than "rock" vs. "hard place" (or "your kick" vs. "my block", or "you win" vs. "I win", or whatever)? To have more options, we have to first step beyond dualistic thinking. True on the mat, true off the mat.

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 07:55 AM
Yes I am very concerned about this. I don't wear a Hakama yet and have all these questions:

Will I need to shave my legs?
... Will I be considered a cross dresser?
...The list is endless...
Nah, Boyo. Think kilt, man, think kilt.

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 08:17 AM
It would help if there were some recognition that you are talking about autonomous HUMAN BEINGS who are quite capable of deciding for themselves whether they are being harmed or not. One may question this assertion. The capacity for human beings for self-delusion causing themselves suffering on many fronts is apparently limitless. Gautama Buddha said this -- not me. Often they seek pleasure in desires that then resolve to deeper sufferings -- and Buddha's own life illustrates this. So, for that matter, does St. Augustine's.

People's suffering on this point is genuine -- but as Buddha also said -- people usually misidentify their mental processes of perception -- desire, fear etc.-- with the objects of reality, and this is among causes of their suffering. In this I heartily agree. And Christians and Jews would typically stop here in their diagnosis of the problem of self-delusions, and assert a different treatment. Buddhism goes on to contend that the objects of reality are themselves also illusory, and complete extignuishment of the attachment or non-attachment of the self to internal or external illusions, including the illusion of the self, is the only salvation. Brave -- and bleak, that.

I cannot go that far. My salvation, if it comes, lies not in extinguishment of the self that is participating in or generating these illusions, it lies in the example of identification with and transformation through the willing acceptance of suffering in love and so becoming one with God. On the whole, I think O Sensei's spirituality was more in keeping with the latter than the pure Mahayana. YMMV.

KD5NRH
06-19-2015, 08:43 AM
Transgender people really are asking you to make a change in your perception of them.

Demanding that others misperceive reality to conform to their own skewed views is bullying.
If you want to "identify" as something other than what you actually are, then I identify as your master, demand your recognition of that, and order you to hush.

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 08:52 AM
This is long enough as it is, but hopefully entertaining to the reader!

Erick, I'm debating an actual in-depth reply. The bottom line here is that you seem to be unable to see gender as anything but the accurate or inaccurate perception of what biological sex characteristics a person's body physically displays (like color being the perception of what wavelengths are physically present in light).

Your online persona does not and cannot have reproductive capacity. Yet your personality has a clear gender. ... On the phone, your physical sex characteristics don't all come through. ... Consciousness, personality, and self identity are generated primarily in the brain, not in the genitals.

In short, a biological body's sex is sex, and a personality's gender is gender. Gender is involved in social interaction, sex generally isn't. Sex is involved in reproduction.

Nowhere in that framework is there a requisite connection between sex and gender, because they are 2 different things. Unless you believe we must have sex with everyone we socially interact with. Not in my world.. but hey, sometimes I think Florida is another world!

Actually, Jonathan you have put your finger on the hinge of the problem. You are correct in your distinctions about sex versus gender. The problem though does not lie in the understanding of sex, but in our collective treatment of human behavior in terms of sex. Having objectified real people sexually -- as objects rather than persons -- we then overtypified and objectified gendered roles into the wide mix of market-based demands for satisfying every other demand for material objects. In this sense gender role debates are simply niche marketing in the sexual bazaar that we now inhabit. Human trafficking is not only happening in seedier corners -- there it happens actually -- among our class it happens virtually.

We started treating people like sexual objects and thus we began treating them like things to be modified -- not people to be loved and known for who they are and what they do. Now this objectifying illusion has sunk so deep that some people think that they must modify themselves into one of these overtypified slots of gendered roles -- merely because they have found discomfort in some aspects of the OTHER overtypified gendered role. One cannot interpret the living breathing cartoon that was displayed on the cover of Vanity Fair in any other way. I really don't see how actual women are not insulted by the whole tawdry, vain affair -- and so an aptly tilted publication for the effort. Deeply ironic, if one returns to the source of the name in Bunyan.

There are some truly basic, deeply sexual, gendered roles and these largely relate closely to reproduction, the family and how men and women relate in these basic aspects of human life. They are genuinely different and largely complementary in these respects that are deeply important to all human society and form the bedrock nucleus of what are truly healthy gendered roles. Beyond that core, though, in many other respects, and especially in a technological age, sex differences are less important or even dispensable distinctions.

But beyond that firm core of real sexual distinction, has been built this mushy accretion of an increasingly grotesque, and haphazardly constructed spongy superstucture of highly sexualized, objectified and overspecific gendered typologies -- becoming so byzantine and complex they have now begun to lose all meaningful shape or definition of even their superficial and artificially gendered distinctions. They have totally lost sight of the core (and real) sexual distinctions that underlie them, and which carry the true meaning of sex that gendered roles only point to. The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon. Pointing at a cow does not make the cow into the moon.

lbb
06-19-2015, 08:54 AM
One may question this assertion. The capacity for human beings for self-delusion causing themselves suffering on many fronts is apparently limitless. .

"Thou hast railed on thyself."

kewms
06-19-2015, 09:39 AM
One may question this assertion. The capacity for human beings for self-delusion causing themselves suffering on many fronts is apparently limitless.

Certainly. But the capacity of humans to fail to see the beams in their own eyes is also apparently limitless. (Jesus, since we're quoting spiritual leaders.) Better to keep one's mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Katherine

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 10:20 AM
OH WAIT YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THE ENTIRE FIELD OF PSYCHOLOGY.I think you misunderstand the nature of authority and truth:

Einstein's very controversial theory of general relativity was once subjected to the authoritative criticism of a wide range of conventional physicists in a magisterial book entitled "Hundert Autoren gegen Einstein" (A Hundred Authors Against Einstein).

Einstein famously replied: "Why a hundred? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!"

Truth and authority are only circumstantially connected, in many, many cases -- and the more controversial the issue -- the less connection there is.

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 10:22 AM
Certainly. But the capacity of humans to fail to see the beams in their own eyes is also apparently limitless. (Jesus, since we're quoting spiritual leaders.) Better to keep one's mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. .. but when so many other fools are already busy shouting joyously -- hey, who will notice anyway, huh ...? ;)

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 10:44 AM
"Thou hast railed on thyself."Yes. And it is notable what, exactly, Orlando's complaint was, isn't it?

You have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentlemanlike qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it. Therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament.

Who -- pray tell, my dear lady -- among those of varying opinions on this subject, is squandering our collective inheritance in this particular comedy of errors ? If you would, please bear my ungentlemanly impertinence to demand answer of so delicate a flower of virtue as thyself... :blush:

lbb
06-19-2015, 11:51 AM
Yes. And it is notable what, exactly, Orlando's complaint was, isn't it?

Who -- pray tell, my dear lady -- among those of varying opinions on this subject, is squandering our collective inheritance in this particular comedy of errors ? If you would, please bear my ungentlemanly impertinence to demand answer of so delicate a flower of virtue as thyself... :blush:

You're misquoting. "Thou hast railed on thyself" is part of Orlando's response to is brother Oliver's calling him a villain. "I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and he is thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying so: thou hast railed on thyself." An amusing paradox; Orlando's point is that if Oliver calls him a villain, he must be one himself. So with your tut-tutting over human tendency to self-delusion.

At this point I'm just about convinced that you have no interest whatsoever in dialogue and honest engagement. The condescending, sexist head-pats make it clear that talking down to others is what you're all about.

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 12:52 PM
You're misquoting. "Thou hast railed on thyself" is part of Orlando's response to is brother Oliver's calling him a villain. "I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and he is thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying so: thou hast railed on thyself." No, my quote is most assuredly from the play. If you would read just a bit more of it -- you will find the quote I offered, describing the origin of the dispute between them -- as opposed to their mutual recriminations.

On the whole, I find the real dispute they had more enlightening than their reciprocal aspersions of one another. YMMV.

lbb
06-19-2015, 01:19 PM
No, my quote is most assuredly from the play. If you would read just a bit more of it -- you will find the quote I offered, describing the origin of the dispute between them -- as opposed to their mutual recriminations.

Condescending again? I'm quite familiar with the play, Erick; where do you think I came up with my quote? Once again you try to move the goalposts onto a ground where you think you have authority, rather than address what is in front of you. Good luck with it! Any ground you try will prove to be equally shaky, as in this case, where your distraction tactic is to disingenuously ask "who...is squandering our collective inheritance in this particular comedy of errors". Perhaps you should begin by defining your terms, then. Just what "collective inheritance" do you think is at stake here -- the inviolable sanctity of gender roles, pink for the girls and blue for the boys? And how can another individual's different choices in any way diminish you? You make no sense.

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 02:33 PM
Condescending again? I'm quite familiar with the play, Erick; where do you think I came up with my quote? Once again you try to move the goalposts onto a ground where you think you have authority, rather than address what is in front of you. Good luck with it! Any ground you try will prove to be equally shaky, as in this case, where your distraction tactic is to disingenuously ask "who...is squandering our collective inheritance in this particular comedy of errors". Perhaps you should begin by defining your terms, then. Just what "collective inheritance" do you think is at stake here -- the inviolable sanctity of gender roles, pink for the girls and blue for the boys? And how can another individual's different choices in any way diminish you? You make no sense.

Disregarding the all the ad hominem -- you quoted but still did not answer my question: Who -- in the context of our debate -- is squandering our collective inheritance? That is the nature of the brotherly conflict referred to in the portion of the play YOU chose to introduce by quoting As You Like It. I fail to see how I am now condescending to you by simply pointing to the actual context of YOUR literary allusion.

Maybe you intended The Tempest instead? Our revels now are ended. /These our actors,/ As I foretold you, were all spirits and / Are melted into air, into thin air:/ And, like the baseless fabric of this vision / The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, / The solemn temples, the great globe itself, / Yea, all that it inherit, shall dissolve; / And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, / Leave not a rack behind.

My own recommendation is this:
You rub the sore, when you should bring the plaster.

Riai Maori
06-19-2015, 04:27 PM
Nah, Boyo. Think kilt, man, think kilt.

I would if I was Scottish. I am of Maori descendant, one of the indigenous people of our land Aotearoa (New Zealand) Our national costume is a piu piu worn by both male and female. A flax woven skirt.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/10390/piupiu:D

Erick Mead
06-19-2015, 08:47 PM
I would if I was Scottish. I am of Maori descendant, one of the indigenous people of our land Aotearoa (New Zealand) Our national costume is a piu piu worn by both male and female. A flax woven skirt.

http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/10390/piupiu:DWell, you know... island tribes, warlike, ancestral tradition of tattoos, seagoing, skirts, difficult history with the English -- that's my Scots-Irish ancestors... :D

Spiffy new flag BTW...
http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/files/images/maori-national-flag.thumbnail.gif

sakumeikan
06-20-2015, 01:06 AM
I would if I was Scottish. I am of Maori descendant, one of the indigenous people of our land Aotearoa (New Zealand) Our national costume is a piu piu worn by both male and female. A flax woven skirt.

htt://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/10390/piupiu:D
Hi Richard, Good morning, I see you are online.Hope you are well. Joe.

Riai Maori
06-20-2015, 02:51 AM
Hi Richard, Good morning, I see you are online.Hope you are well. Joe.

Hey Joe, all good in the hood. Fitness could be better. Hasn't this been an interesting topic for discussion. Some of Ironside's retaliatory comments have me aghast. But I suppose the truth hurts? Hope you are in good health and spirit. Training hard for me trip to Japan August. Can't wait!:)

JW
06-23-2015, 12:29 AM
Well Erick, although I share your distaste for a lot of the gender issues in our culture, I still am apalled by lots of the things you are saying.
The idea that there are certain core aspects of (cis)gender that are good and true (in contrast to a peripheral "superstructure" that is bad) for example is shocking. You seem to be suggesting that there are 2 distinct desireable gender roles, that all couples should be heterosexual, and that no one should be transgender. I wouldn't be opposed to humanity moving forward away from having gender at all, but you seem to be talking about moving backwards, not forward.

Actually, Jonathan you have put your finger on the hinge of the problem. You are correct in your distinctions about sex versus gender.

OK, so you agree that gender, like the other many attributes of personality, are generated by a brain, and are not the same as sex.

So fundamentally, what in essence is a person? A lump of flesh, or a consciousness? Which is primary and which is peripheral?

Your comments suggest you favor the flesh as primary. Meaning that consciousness is inarguably in error in transgender people.
Whereas I would say consciousness is the fundamental level of personhood: we are our personality, not our body. Thus the body is the one that could be wrong. (And furthermore I am not saying that in that case the body even has to be fixed.)

So what would the difference b/w transgender and crazy be?
A person who thinks he came from the future or was resurrected actually did not come from the future or get resurrected, so he is mistaken. But a person who is insecure is not accurate or mistaken, he is just insecure. A person who is passionate is just passionate. A tough person is just tough. We aren't taking lifelong behavioral data and comparing a person's claim/portrayal of being tough or passionate or insecure to some objective standard. It's just part of who they are. So in that sense a person as a consciousness and not a lump of flesh can be a man, and that is an attribute of that personality, completely distinct from the sex of the body that person inhabits.

At any rate, I am hereby coming out as a cisgender man, so I sure don't speak for the transgender community or anyone else, just explaining my point of view! I just don't think flesh is primary for personhood. (Yes, the flesh generates the consciousness, but once you have a conscious being, personhood is assigned to the consciousness, not the flesh.) If I get cut in half at the waist and live, I hope I am still a person and can vote, participate in culture, etc. The logical extension of that is that I would also still be able to be a man without being second-guessed by the peanut gallery.

And in the future if we figure out how to upload consciousness to a computer or something, I would hope to also still be a person.

Culture flourishes when information (ideas, personality) come to life, and it is inhibited in times when survival of the flesh is the only concern.

JW
06-23-2015, 12:42 AM
Well since I went and bumped the thread already:
Erick's idea that a transgender student would have a reduced ability to learn or do aikido is an idea uniquely suited to discussion here, so I can't bear to let it go.

It seems crazy to me, like suggesting that a less organized person (like me) would be bad at building a database; or that a person with poor math skills would have trouble using photo-editing software; or that a communist would not be able to be a good evolutionary biologist (given that capitalism-like competition drives selection).

Just to elaborate on the first example-- you can know exactly how things should be organized and accessed, and then program a database to employ the requisite relationships and user interface, all while being a person with a messy desk. Unlike on your desk, the database does the organizing of the records for you!

There are lots of reasons that your desk or life may become messy, and lots of those reasons don't interfere at all with your ability to make a nice database. In fact they may help make the database better (more nuanced fields improve a database of many similar records-- but that level of detail can make your real life messy because differences rather than similarities get emphasized in a world where tasks/issues are not always very similar).

A person can say, "yes I have a hard time keeping my desk clean, but I carefully made a slick database," and a scientist can say "yes I think communism is the best way for humans to live together, but that has nothing to do with biological evolution where we have competition, parasitism, hoarding, etc."

lbb
06-23-2015, 07:13 AM
I think people have to own their prejudices. If, at the heart, your reason for discomfort with a trans person in the dojo is "ick, I don't want one of THEM touching me", then for heaven's sake have the guts to say so.

Cliff Judge
06-23-2015, 08:49 AM
There are lots of reasons that your desk or life may become messy, and lots of those reasons don't interfere at all with your ability to make a nice database. In fact they may help make the database better (more nuanced fields improve a database of many similar records-- but that level of detail can make your real life messy because differences rather than similarities get emphasized in a world where tasks/issues are not always very similar)."

Heck, when you think about it, someone who has struggled for years with whether they are really a boy of a girl is going to have a very deep understanding of the interrelationship between the masculine and feminine principles that make the universal wheel turn. Just a simple matter of having spent more time thinking about it.

Erick Mead
06-23-2015, 11:47 AM
Well Erick, although I share your distaste for a lot of the gender issues in our culture, I still am apalled by lots of the things you are saying.
The idea that there are certain core aspects of (cis)gender that are good and true (in contrast to a peripheral "superstructure" that is bad) for example is shocking. You seem to be suggesting that there are 2 distinct desireable gender roles, that all couples should be heterosexual, and that no one should be transgender. I wouldn't be opposed to humanity moving forward away from having gender at all, but you seem to be talking about moving backwards, not forward. The idea of "progress" as a general condition applicable to all aspects of human society, is just an idea -- not an extrinsic reality. It presupposes some unspecified utopian condition toward which we are collectively destined. There is nothing of this sort in evidence. One or two extinct dinosaurs and an asteroid have a quibble to offer with that contention.

Our singular destiny, individually and collectively in this world is the grave. The range of human responses to this fact is of three general types: 1) resigned acceptance; 2) desperate denial; 3) belief in a revealed hope. The first tends to quietistic contemplation and measured living with little by way of desire for enduring material accomplishment. The second tends to degrees of decadent nihilism, of as much experience as possible, and either no desire for enduring material accomplishment -- or else extremes of monumental ego magnification. The third tends to be at once more serious and more carefree about life, and does not shrink from either seeking joyful exuberance or stoic, stolid accomplishments. I have known nominal Christians, Buddhists, atheists and others of all three types. I tend to think that the third is the most true -- or at the very least, pace Voltaire -- the most useful.

Your comments suggest you favor the flesh as primary. Meaning that consciousness is inarguably in error in transgender people.... information (ideas, personality) come to life. ... I just don't think flesh is primary for personhood. (Yes, the flesh generates the consciousness, but once you have a conscious being, personhood is assigned to the consciousness, not the flesh.) ... And in the future if we figure out how to upload consciousness to a computer or something, I would hope to also still be a person.
OK, so you agree that gender, like the other many attributes of personality, are generated by a brain, and are not the same as sex.
So fundamentally, what in essence is a person? A lump of flesh, or a consciousness? Which is primary and which is peripheral?
Neither. Your view of the primacy of mind is not anything new -- it is basically Gnostic. My point of view is not the primacy of matter over mind, either. My point of view is incarnational -- the mind/spirit and the body are one and inseparable. My hope is not the technological singularity -- but in the resurrection. Interesting transposition, though, -- don't you think?

A person is their soul/mind and the body that both shapes it and is shaped by it. Either or both can be rightly or wrongly ordered, and by virtue of one, the other can also become disordered in turn -- or can be put into a better order than it may be at any given point. For good or ill we are adaptable -- the question is whether we adapt ourselves toward good or toward ill.

A person who thinks he came from the future or was resurrected actually did not come from the future or get resurrected, so he is mistaken. How do you know that? You have no better claim to say that he is not from the future than to say that Bruce Jenner is not a woman -- if all that matters is their internal state of mind. But matter matters, too. The material evidence of time travel is far more debatable, depending on your standard of belief in evidence. You just lack trust in the crazy guy telling you that he is from the future. The material evidence that Bruce Jenner is a man seems less uncertain.

But in fact, you rely on a chain of witnesses even for that very reasonable belief as to the fact that Bruce Jenner is man. It is not dependent on the number in the chain -- you didn't believe the crazy guy from the future and he is telling you directly, and you still don't believe him. The only question is one of the degree of trust we respectively place in our particular chain of witnesses on the report of those facts of concern to us. When it comes to Bruce Jenner's maleness, I am no doubting Thomas, and will need no direct empirical evidence, thank you. :eek: -- What matters more than MY acceptance of it, though-- is HIS acceptance of it. He does not trust even himself, and that is not a healthy way to be.

Christians and Jews have a chain of witnesses they trust as to the aspects of truth that were given to them and its source. So, I have no more problem saying that a man was resurrected from the dead, or has travelled in time (as you might view the events on Tabor) than you might in saying that Bruce Jenner is a man, and with no more personal knowledge of that fact that you take on a chain of trust.

Culture flourishes when information (ideas, personality) come to life, and it is inhibited in times when survival of the flesh is the only concern. Amen. Alleluia. And I would add: Culture flourishes when the truth of the flesh also flourishes, and it is inhibited in times when ideas and personality become the only concern.

Jews, for example, were never any offense to the bodies of Germans -- they became offensive to an idea of some Germans -- a deadly, disordered and evil idea that possessed them and drove their actions against the bodily existence of the Jews. The parallel in disorders of a mistaken idea that our own bodies are an offense to our desires-- is a similar type of evil and affliction -- just writ smaller.

And when our trust dies in what makes us truly human -- culture dies with it -- and then we become -- not merely no better than other animals -- we indisputably can become far, far worse.

Fred Little
06-23-2015, 12:25 PM
I tend to think that the third is the most true -- or at the very least, pace Voltaire -- the most useful.

Perhaps you believe that this is what you tend to think, but you have yet to convince this reader that you have done anything more than concoct exceedingly verbose -- even by my standards -- pseudo-rational explanations for your (willfully unexamined) feelings, and pretend that these assertions are reasons for a well considered position, when there is every evidence that they are nothing more than after-the-fact rationalizations intended to prevent any careful examination of the feelings you express so vehemently that the entire exercise suggests that you yourself are the target of your own argument.

FL

JW
06-23-2015, 01:19 PM
Wow, unfamiliar gender states are akin to nazi anti-semetic genocide?? Good thing the thread didn't die or else I don't think I would have really understood the depth of your feelings on this. Let's see what else you might like to add.

The material evidence that Bruce Jenner is a man seems less uncertain.

Genders are abstract categories. There is no material evidence to be had. The time travel claim is a claim about an event (going back in time) that either happened or did not. The claim of being a woman is a claim about what abstract category a personality fits into.

Our mainstream culture has 2 genders. But a cursory internet search reveals to me that anthropologists have observed cultures with 5, 3, and even no genders. A cultural relativist might say they are wrong or stupid, and we are right.

To me, it seems instead that humans have an instinctual urge to categorize things. We categorize personalities as well as anything else. But the point of categorizing people seems to be simply to settle on a category for the purpose of socialization, without any right or wrong.
That explains
- culturally-dependent variability in number of genders
- most common number of genders being 2 (because biological sex can so easily dominate our perception)
- a rare but compelling feeling in some people that their gender doesn't line up with the common assumptions about sex and gender (because categorization does not completely depend on a single criterion that tends to usually dominate)

In other words the root of the phenomenon of gender would be that we want (as a group of sentient beings) to have some "types" of people. We each want to be categorizable, and want each other to be as well. From there, any number of categories would be valid, as long as the group adheres to it. So how many categories should a group pick? Some culutres say, well, flesh seems to have 2 categories so let's also have 2 categories for people. That's an arbitrary choice! Other people can choose 3 or 5, and none of them are "right." We just want some categories as a foundation for socialization of people (who, I assert, are fundamentally not flesh but are consciousness, which does not intrinsically have a sex to begin with).

------
ps
For the record, I was too sleepy before-- what I meant to say in the other post was that if I lost most of my body to an accident or to a medical intervention (like amputation), I would still be a person, even if I lost the maximum amount of body that is medically possible at the time (that fraction will only go up with time and technological advancement). So by the same token if I lose my genitals I would still be a man.

Erick Mead
06-23-2015, 01:52 PM
Perhaps you believe that this is what you tend to think, ... the entire exercise suggests that you yourself are the target of your own argument. KWATZ!

:D

.. and... to steal a line: "What I have written, I have written..."

Erick Mead
06-23-2015, 02:20 PM
Wow, unfamiliar gender states are akin to nazi anti-semetic genocide?? Good thing the thread didn't die or else I don't think I would have really understood the depth of your feelings on this. Let's see what else you might like to add. Hate of other begins in love of self -- or, more precisely, the image of the self. Both the other and the self are merely fun-house mirrors for desires. The first is merely the disillusionment of the second. This happens all the time in small ways, and in large ones -- like the notorious example given.

Genders are abstract categories. There is no material evidence to be had. Nonsense. Innie or outie -- there's a material distinction. Gender is the cultural expression of the incidents of sexual difference. The idea of gender can be more or less true to the facts of sex. The less true, the less valuable the idea or category -- at least in my world.

The time travel claim is a claim about an event (going back in time) that either happened or did not. Funny thing -- time travel can both never happen and always have happened -- depending on your point of view of or in the timeline. Plus, if I only can go forward in time -- is it time travel? Or is it the supposed violation of causality that excites with the idea of it? It is very interesting to me that time travel comes up, unbidden, as an example in this discussion. If Everett were right about the nature of the wave function and the multiplicity of reality -- it is probably a meaningless question -- either way.

To me, it seems instead that humans have an instinctual urge to categorize things. ... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God .... or to quote a naturalist on the character of God, He is "inordinately fond of beetles..."

... we want (as a group of sentient beings) to have some "types" of people. We each want to be categorizable, and want each other to be as well. From there, any number of categories would be valid, as long as the group adheres to it. Even in wholly arbitrary categories we nonetheless must mind which one we are operating at any given time. For the left-driving world a "Keep Left" sign is an important safety tip, for the right-driving world it is an invitation to a disaster. But some categories are true and some are false. Gender categories that adhere closely to the facts of biologically sexed human beings are more true to the facts that they culturally represent than those that don't.

The true outliers in terms of biological sexes (fitting neither category) are exceedingly rare cases that are simply non-sexed -- i.e -- not categorizable at all according to sex. But that has nothing to do with the actually sexed gender categories. To invent some new "gender" categories is to simply and totally sever the connection of the category to any sex at all. But then it is not any longer a set of gender categories, but something totally unrelated to sex -- and more like politics -- but I repeat myself.

JW
06-24-2015, 12:02 AM
Nonsense. Innie or outie -- there's a material distinction. Gender is the cultural expression of the incidents of sexual difference.
Erick, you are confusing sex and gender again. I thought we had moved past this. I invite you to reread my recent posts from the point of view that they are seriously presenting an idea that gender is truly a separate thing from biological sex. I'll highlight the connection b/w the two below.

The fact is we don't know how or why gender arises (biologically speaking). We do know a lot about how sex differences arise. And we know lots of species have sexual dimorphism. But we don't know how our brains pull off this possibly human-specific task of creating a sense of "I am a woman" or "I am not a woman," or "you shouldn't/can't do that behavior because you are a woman." And, we don't know why it happens in the first place.

You seem to think you know the answers: you suggest "man" and "woman" are just names of the sexes and their corresponding sex differences in body and behavior. You suggest the reason is simply to facilitate sexual interaction in human social culture. (I think that is what you are saying anyway.)

The fact is that across the globe (see this informative interactive map from PBS documentary (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/two-spirits/map.html)), there is lots of evidence that cultures develop an arbitrary number of genders in whatever way suits their needs. Western imperialism/colonialism may have changed how things play out in cultures, but it can never change the historical fact that when human cultures developed independently, they developed different gender categories-- even though we all share the same two biological sexes (anomalies aside).

What mechanism could account for this? Simply what I proposed before:
Humans have a built in propensity to categorize people into behavioral categories. (Remember I am also claiming that we perceive personhood in conscious minds, not in bodies.)

THAT then would be the root of gender, and you notice biological sex is not even in the picture yet. That comes next: species wide, there tends to be this one giant criterion that stands out, so that tends to commonly dominate the task of delineating categories. (I swear there were no puns intended in that sentence.) Other behaviorally relevant criteria can still be present as well, which accounts for cross-cultural variability.

So there you have it, a nice, simple model of where gender comes from, and it isn't from biological sex, at the basic level. It just commonly employs biological sex in the establishment of categories.


Gender categories that adhere closely to the facts of biologically sexed human beings are more true to the facts that they culturally represent than those that don't.

I'd be fine with that statement if it were true that gender categories' job is to represent the fact of physiological sex. Per above, I contend that their job is not that. Their job is to represent a behavioral category. (Roughly speaking, "if you do this behavior that is normal for your gender, but if you do that, we will throw rocks at you.") Yes, knowledge of sex differences get used by the brain to inform the delineation of the categories. But there is a difference between a criterion commonly being used and the criterion being the thing that is represented. But I repeat myself. And, maybe a KWATZ there too, but it seems pretty simple to me. (And I didn't have to talk about quantum mechanics or time travel or nazis or the existential crisis of those who are without god!)

Look I'm no expert but I've just been thinking about this and I don't think what I am saying is very strange, logically. It just isn't what we're used to, coming from a culture that demands 2 genders that must map 1:1 onto the 2 sexes.

bkedelen
06-24-2015, 01:12 AM
If, like me, you found this "conversation" to be of little use despite the likely good intentions of everyone except the dickweed who posted that image macro, here is a resource I use occasionally and have found to be edifying:

http://community.pflag.org/getsupport

The folks at PFLAG really know their stuff.

Erick Mead
06-24-2015, 11:23 AM
Erick, you are confusing sex and gender again. I thought we had moved past this. Not really.

I invite you to reread my recent posts from the point of view that they are seriously presenting an idea that gender is truly a separate thing from biological sex. I'll highlight the connection b/w the two below. Your kind invitation is accepted but ... you are just wrong.

The fact is we don't know how or why gender arises (biologically speaking). Yes. Yes we do. It arises because a certain ordered pair of primates behaving in a certain way that primates are fond of behaving make little primates. In advanced primates, where management of this eventuality becomes the business of culture, we assign varied aspects of sex-linked behaviors that are expected or frowned upon for each sex, and with varying degrees of censure. That's why gender roles arise -- because of sex and resulting little advanced primates that require lots and lots of care before they can help out much in the business of that culture not dying ...

You seem to think you know the answers: you suggest "man" and "woman" are just names of the sexes and their corresponding sex differences in body and behavior.

Which is where wecome to the budo aspect of this issue that was raised (and not by me). For human beings, sex, life, death and culture are intimately tied together. Culture is what makes us able to do things no other animal on the planet has every done or could do. We envision continuity -- continuity of cooperation across large numbers of individuals, and longitudinal continuity through survival of both progeny and culture. Aikido is an aspect of culture that transmits a means of survival -- and that means of survival is based on a manipulation of a dipole mechanical principle traditionally called in and yo.

In and yo as mechanical principles are expressed in traditional terms by various analogies -- male and female being chief among them. It is the teaching of the art that this male principle and the female principle are separate in their respective actions and never directly oppose one another -- illustrated by the Juuji + symbol, and this right angle relationship nevertheless enables an infinity of possible interactions (takemusu aiki) that result.

It is only by the understanding and application of their inherent separation that they can both manifest together without conflict, each magnifying the impact of the other, and becoming mutually productive. If not --then they are opposed and compete for predominant influence of one over the other. The dominant of the two destroys the action of the other and is itself diminished to the extent of the opposed action of the other. In order for the in-yo principle to function, the categories of their respective separate actions must be clearly applied. To be taught the nature of these categories must be firmly grasped -- whether the categories used in teaching are simply practical and demonstrative or intellectual in character, or any combination of the above.

The topic at hand muddies these categories deeply. Anyone who struggles with this kind of category in their own person is more likely than not to have difficulty grasping and applying the male and female principles as utterly separate but intimately complementary actions.

Humans have a built in propensity to categorize people into behavioral categories. (Remember I am also claiming that we perceive personhood in conscious minds, not in bodies.) Your first point is well-taken, but there is no such thing as any human person who is not in a body, so ... your premise begins well and then jumps on to some very shaky ground.

THAT then would be the root of gender, and you notice biological sex is not even in the picture yet. Sex precedes intellectual category -- in every way meaningful. Sex manifests before ANY behavior and before sexual behavior does, and drives sexual behavior. Notwithstanding, sexual maturity of our species is delayed long enough for the development of intellect to catch up. Thus we have the opportunity for a forming intellect to confuse things -- by allowing this type of intellectualized "just-so" story to confuse categories more basic than those of intellect. You are putting the cart before horse.

The fact that we can alter more basic categories by means of intellectual manipulations does not change their biological priority and the origin of the causes that we then manipulate to other purpose. We cannot safely or effectively alter them without acknowledging more fundamental priorities -- which can and do reassert themselves. The alterations remain secondary and derivative -- whether good bad or indifferent .

So there you have it, a nice, simple model of where gender comes from, and it isn't from biological sex, at the basic level. It just commonly employs biological sex in the establishment of categories. " "The most that can be expected from any model is that it can supply a useful approximation to reality: All models are wrong; some models are useful."

"Since all models are wrong the scientist cannot obtain a 'correct' one by excessive elaboration. On the contrary following William of Occam he should seek an economical description of natural phenomena. Just as the ability to devise simple but evocative models is the signature of the great scientist so overelaboration and overparameterization is often the mark of mediocrity." -- George Box (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_E._P._Box).
Look I'm no expert but I've just been thinking about this and I don't think what I am saying is very strange, logically. It just isn't what we're used to, coming from a culture that demands 2 genders that must map 1:1 onto the 2 sexes.

Sex is simpler than gender -- and explains gender as a derivative concept framed by the intellect. I'll take my lead from Dr. Box. Gender is a model. All models are wrong, some models are useful. In and Yo are useful.

Fred Little
06-24-2015, 01:02 PM
http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/27893/manyatta_a_-_04_copy.jpg

JW
06-24-2015, 01:41 PM
Your kind invitation is accepted but ... you are just wrong.


Oh. Is that by decree, or by parsimonious registration with evidence? Evidence can be anthropological, neurological, psychological, take your pick, but present something-- I have. All you've said is that sex is more simple than gender, and then assert that people have gender only as a cultural or mental model to represent sex. We don't know that gender is a model to simply represent sex. You think it must be, but all we objectively know is that gender is a phenomenon in human culture whereby people are categorized, such that acceptable appearance and non-sexual behaviors get doled out differentially.


Yes. Yes we do. It arises because a certain ordered pair of primates behaving in a certain way ... because of sex and resulting little advanced primates that require lots and lots of care before they can help out much in the business of that culture not dying ...


I don't think your hypothesis is wrong, or even unreasonable. In fact it's what I assumed too, before I started thinking and researching about this. But it's still just a hypothesis.

The truth ("best model," whatever) about what the mental phenomenon of gender is, and how it arises in people, has to take into account this evidence. See text in the PBS map for some elaboration:
- cross-culturally, humans tend to recognize more than 2 genders
- gender distinctions are accompanied by behavioral rather than sexual expectations within cultural contexts
- gender distinctions tend to be made by observing a variety of traits, not just biological sex
- gender identity can be preserved post-injury
- no evidence of gender in other sexually dimorphic species (only sex differences)
- at an early age (2 or 3 years old, when children are mastering the categorical distinctions critical for language vocabulary and syntax, but before much high-level thinking like "political correctness" is developed), children report dischord between their gender identity and their expected sex-based gender

That's just a start, I'm sure any of those are debatable.

At any rate I could still be right about what gender as a phenomenon generally is, and it won't change the fact that for one white guy in a western nation, a different and more familiar-to-him notion of gender is the only valid one. No amount of weird brown savage cultures or poor confused children of politically-correct liberals will change that, I'm starting to think.

What's relevant to me is not one person or one culture's experience. But that's not a given, it's just me.

Jeremy Hulley
06-25-2015, 07:39 AM
One more time
http://community.pflag.org/transgender

Riai Maori
07-08-2015, 06:11 PM
Good bye spam and eggs

lbb
07-09-2015, 07:05 AM
Good bye spam and eggs

Another nation heard from, weeks after the fact. What was the point of this?