#1 [url]

May 15 17 9:46 PM

oreb wrote:
[url=

Has any of you read the manga series? Any thoughts?[/url]
 

I kept up with boku girl until shortly after Takerou's sister appeared.  At that point I think I got more into "Osananajimi wa Onnanoko ni naare."  I might pick it back up again.  I really didn't notice the performance aspect thought.  Maybe that part showed up later; but, I thought it was mainly trying to be a raunchier version of "Ranma 1/2" without quite going fully ecchi like "Futaba-Kun Change."  

https://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=103345

I think my main contention with the video is that what they call Gender, I consider Gender expression.  Gender, in my opinion, is a much more complicated concept in that it seems involve several different concepts from bodily anatomy, to neurology in gender identity, to cultural ideas of what is masculine/feminine to one's one personal opinion on what constitutes a man or woman.

I feel that we have a certain neurological state, gender identity, that tells us that we are male or female and compells us to find ways express this gender to others.  This is pure biology.  The thing is, that we don't come preprogrammed with male or female behavior.  Because of this, long ago, our ancestors arbritarily decided on what was masculine or feminine.  Thus, feeling compelled to express our gender we look at what our culture has declare male and female and use that to express that part of our pysche: ultimately resulting in Gender expression.

The behavioral part of this, I think, is probably what they mean by "performance."  Our culture dictates that X or Y behavior is male/female and we perform that behavior in order to communicate our internal gender identity to others.

The problem with declaring all gender as performance, again imho, is that view completely ignores all evidence of the biological etiology of gender identity.

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#2 [url]

May 16 17 6:21 AM

I think that's a good way of putting it. 
So let's think, stripping away all fripperies and looking at it totally abstractly, what are we actually biologically compelled to do?

What's a must-have, a nice-to-have, and what's a 'I don't really emotionally want this or want to be doing this, but I only do this not to lose 'face''?
Then you decide what is a 'performance' and what is essential biology. 

Personally I seem pretty biologically compelled to stay physically safe, stay well fed, stay warm, not appear as a threat to others, collect massive amounts of somewhat useless information which I want to share with others with similar interests, not appear to be wrong or to be screwing things up too badly, collect lots of random useless objects and sort of build a lovenest I guess, and feel like I am actually working towards some kind of eventual goal, whatever that may be, so that today always goes better and more efficiently than yesterday, which seems to be taking far longer than what part my psyche really has much patience for, oh and occasionally I'd really like someone to have sex with me, which never happens at all.

The rest I don't honestly care much about, and only really do not to upset those around me too much, but I imagine that were I part of a peer group of same-age women, now going through their early thirties, I'd already be well invested in having a husband and kids by now and I'd be teaching them how not to behave. 

Some of those goals conflict with the other ones, so you can see why someone like me might still end up getting someone pregnant even if they didn't much feel like having sex. 
So see how that fits together with 'Asperger's Syndrome' or 'Plastic Brains' if you like. 

Then you see that a lot of the things that someone like Judith Butler rails against as being purely a cultural convention which she is being forced to uphold, are things that I'd really like to be doing that I feel I am not allowed to do because to do them would imply a dramatic fall in implied 'status', and probably vice-versa. 

I mean, if I'm really honest, I think I'd be perfectly happy, perhaps even ecstatic, to be like another Trisha Paytas, and anything more than that seems like extra unnecessary hard work just to try to keep up with everyone else. 
image
I'm not saying I can't do it, some of it I occasionally do really well, it just seems like it's lots of extra effort that doesn't get me any closer to my goal. 

Last Edited By: Xora May 16 17 6:35 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#3 [url]

May 19 17 3:56 AM

Lost247365 wrote:

I kept up with boku girl until shortly after Takerou's sister appeared.  At that point I think I got more into "Osananajimi wa Onnanoko ni naare."  I might pick it back up again.  I really didn't notice the performance aspect thought.  Maybe that part showed up later; but, I thought it was mainly trying to be a raunchier version of "Ranma 1/2" without quite going fully ecchi like "Futaba-Kun Change."  


https://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=103345

I think my main contention with the video is that what they call Gender, I consider Gender expression.  Gender, in my opinion, is a much more complicated concept in that it seems involve several different concepts from bodily anatomy, to neurology in gender identity, to cultural ideas of what is masculine/feminine to one's one personal opinion on what constitutes a man or woman.

I feel that we have a certain neurological state, gender identity, that tells us that we are male or female and compells us to find ways express this gender to others.  This is pure biology.  The thing is, that we don't come preprogrammed with male or female behavior.  Because of this, long ago, our ancestors arbritarily decided on what was masculine or feminine.  Thus, feeling compelled to express our gender we look at what our culture has declare male and female and use that to express that part of our pysche: ultimately resulting in Gender expression.

The behavioral part of this, I think, is probably what they mean by "performance."  Our culture dictates that X or Y behavior is male/female and we perform that behavior in order to communicate our internal gender identity to others.

The problem with declaring all gender as performance, again imho, is that view completely ignores all evidence of the biological etiology of gender identity.

 

You sound like an expert in gender swap anime. Which one would you recommend the most?  Ranma was quite popular growing up, but I somehow managed to avoid it. I'm really good at avoiding things.  

I don't think the video is referring only to gender expression, but I'm not sure the meaning of the term is to me.  The problem for me is more that it glosses too much over over details while losing too much time with references and boilerplate abstract statements that don't always add that much.
Physicality + social expectations constrain behaviour; repeated behaviour generates identification.  That seems to be the idea, more or less.  

I agree that we don't come preprogrammed with male or female behaviour.
There are certain instinctual behaviours (mostly having to do with mating) where there is a consistent difference between male and female; this also seems to be true, although to a much lesser extent* for certain temperamental variables. Sure, it is absurd to think that all the miriad of minute gendered behaviours that a culture has is preprogrammed in some way. Particularly since those can change a lot from culture to culture.

However, I don't think those behaviours can be written off as only "arbitrary conventions" for some fundamental gender identity to latch on.
They form a system with a certain degree of internal consistency (in a loose sense of the word, not the logical one) and consistency with people's bodies, which are obviously gendered. Let me try to give some example.

I remember reading how in the Stanford Prison experiment prisoners, who were forced to wear some sort fo gown, started behaving in ways which were more stereotipically feminine. No, I don't think that was because they were feeling "emasculated" [;-)]. There is probably a certain extra degree of perceived physical vulnerability that comes with wearing that type of clothing (probably the reason why it was chosen) which compels any person who wears it to move in a certain way.
Also how when I was an adolescent and obsessed about my gynecomastia I acquired a couple of pacifying gestures around my chest which one could see as feminine. This was a time where I was protecting my "100% normal boy"-identity with KGBesque efficiency, so I really don't think any sort expression of a female identity was involved; I think in that case it was more that the thought of your chest as vulnerable and potentially a subject of negative attention tends to trigger the same set of responses regardless of who you are.

One could say culture then comes and abstracts all of this into some genereal feminine and masculine categories and a bunch of other stuff. The meanings it imposes on all of this mess of behaviours can be totally removed from this more basic bodily and social mechanisms that partially power them. Actually, there are all sorts of complicated feedback loops. Examples as those above are just the base level; those behaviours will in turn trigger certain reactions and so on and so on. And culture informs those reactions from the very first iteration in ways that are mostly not under conscious control.
My point is that it is not as simple as somebody actively chosing certain behaviours among those culturually codified in a certain way. You are swimming in the midst of very strong currents.

Having a more bulky body might imposes certain mechanical constraints on the ways this body can move; the possibility of being perceived as threatening by other people (at a basic instinctual level) might further constrain this body's movement. Eventually this constrained movement might end up being expected from all of the members of the class of people who tend to have bulkier bodies, regardless of whether they are actually bulky or not, as well as entangled with all sorts of connotations like "practicality", "lack of emotion", "lack of empathy", "stoicism" or even "competence", "authority" (:-s). (directly or just through a middle notion of masculinity? is not clear)

Some of this connotations might still bear a certain connection with certain "basic mechanics" of human interaction, some other might be rather random and others in turn might be have been politically engineered in order to control a certain class of people.
A conservative might tend to think of everything as robustly following from real differences between the sexes and those sorts of "mechanics" as the above, and consider all of it is "natural" and should not be countered in the least (or else... "Nazis!", "Stalin!!!", "NAZIS!!" as some academical youtube celebrities would put it xD). A radfem might see a direct political oppressive behind each and every feature of the whole thing.  A liberal might think of those systems of meaning as purely conventional by now ( the end of history, that is :-P), a code there for we free liberated individuals to express themselves; sort of open source, so you can hack it, etc..  Sorry, I've beend doing some Adam Curtis to cope with my anxiety lately.

Now, can repeated socially and physically constrained behaviour generate identity? I think it definitely can. The problem is what kind of identity, how deep this identity can be.
The experience of wearing a uniform and being treated by people accordingly can definitely generate an identity. But does this identity have the same qualities as, let's say the identity attached to a political ideology which was chosen upon conscious reflection?  Do they stand on equal footing? How does each kind of identity work? We lack appropriate vocabulary. Deep, shallow, core... these metaphors do not seem very good tools to work with. Can we come up with better notions?  And provide operational definitions of them?  I'm rambling now.


(*) almost to the point of irrelevance, if we are to listen to the  Daphna Joels and Cornelia Fins out there; not everybody agrees


 

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#4 [url]

May 19 17 4:24 AM

Xora wrote:
(...)
Some of those goals conflict with the other ones, so you can see why someone like me might still end up getting someone pregnant even if they didn't much feel like having sex. 
So see how that fits together with 'Asperger's Syndrome' or 'Plastic Brains' if you like. 

Then you see that a lot of the things that someone like Judith Butler rails against as being purely a cultural convention which she is being forced to uphold, are things that I'd really like to be doing that I feel I am not allowed to do because to do them would imply a dramatic fall in implied 'status', and probably vice-versa. 

I mean, if I'm really honest, I think I'd be perfectly happy, perhaps even ecstatic, to be like another Trisha Paytas, and anything more than that seems like extra unnecessary hard work just to try to keep up with everyone else. 


 

Thanks for the reflection, Xora.
What is this "plastic brains" thing?  How does it fit here?
I'm not entirely sure that's what Judith Butler says, but I haven't read her.
She gives a gist of her ideas in the video below. Maybe I'll try to find some more detailed introduction.

[url]

 

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#5 [url]

May 19 17 8:51 AM

Well the plasticbrains thread came up here a few days ago
http://crossdreamlife.lefora.com/topic/992/Plasticbrains

but it's essentially just another way of describing the 'nerd', clustering. 
'HSP', mild autism, slowed physical and social development, indigo children, ADD, immaturity, high IQ, androgyny, queer, mental reality model building and process optimising mindset. Whatever it is you want to call it this year.

I mean, the 'Aspergers' self-identity thing only massively took off after the 'geek syndrome' article in wired, before that we were just the weird kids I guess. 

http://theviewfromhell.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/trying-to-see-through-unified-theory-of.html

So to me it's sort of not quite getting 'it', or implicit social reality, and not knowing why, and mentally working overtime internally trying to bridge the gap between what other people claim as, or at least seem to perceive as, totally obvious in any given situation, and what you perceive, which is often just a kind of confusing sensory overload. 
http://bit.ly/2ru5hD7

Well, people like me would often say that 'NTs' are the ones with the problem, because they perceive everything though a lens of social-status-mediated rose-tinted reality goggles, and so can't see the real world, which makes them react in herd ways and makes strong emotions frighteningly contagious and makes them dangerously easy to manipulate en-masse through demagoguery.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/aug/23/neurotribes-legacy-autism-steve-silberman-book-review-saskia-baron

But, we are also just as easy to manipulate in slightly different ways, like the extreme defensiveness against the insinuation that we might not be getting 'it' leads to all kinds of overcompensatory behaviours and we go scurrying off to research the issue in greater depth and write long emails or blog posts to each other desperately vindicating our position, which to those who do just get 'it', seems utterly dysfunctional in its own way. 

I've had brief glimpses of 'it' on and off during my life, but it was never really long enough for me to figure out what was happening. 
When I ramped up my hormones and found a perfect 'sweet spot' the usual 'fuzz' I experience finally totally disappeared and I did just get 'it', I was just totallly one of the girls and part of the tribe, and seem to perfectly synch up between my body/emotions and physicality.
But it only lasted like a day, and the next day was back to fuzz and defensiveness again, and I couldn't really understand how I could have said/done the things I had the day before.
It really is better to be on the inside of the tribe than the outside and I often really envy those that have never had to do it all 'the hard way', even though I often also can't respect them, if that makes any sense.
They have seemingly just glided about protected by their tribal cohesion and social bubble land and haven't had to do the hard job of cognitively understanding things in greater depth, and so just seem really vapid on any in-depth topic you care to bring up, but at the same time I envy their ease and charisma. 

But I do now know roughly what I'm missing out on in terms of subconscious pro-social group cohesion, and it's something that I really want to experience again for a bit longer, and that I now know I probably do have the capacity to be fully socially functional as a female, if I was prepared to go that far, when I would probably still physically stick out a mile. 
It is something you just 'feel' rather than learn, but it would have helped a lot just to have felt it and synced up properly from the age of 10 onwards and skipped years of confusing 'fuzz' and extreme defensiveness. 

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#6 [url]

May 20 17 3:30 AM

I see. I can relate to what you say. I guess NTs stands for "neurotipical" here. One thing one realizes after talking a lot to people that "get it", is that each of them might get something very different from the same situation. That's a consolation, I guess.    

Did you have any theories regarding what set you out of sync with people again? Was it some sort of fear response? Some situation where you felt compelled to overrationalize the interaction again? How would you describe it?

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#7 [url]

May 20 17 6:30 AM

Well, again I think people mix up cause and effect here. 
Basically neurologically/emotionally I am at the Trisha Paytas end of the gender 'spectrum', so it's kind of like I'd naturally just want to flip my hair and try to act all cute and bubbly, and people would give me lots of free stuff because they really really want to get into my pants. 

Except well, what's in my pants isn't what they want to see, and boys who act too much like they are entitled princesses really don't go down well with other people. 
So it's not one particular traumatic experience that cause me to socially disconnect, from my point of view it's a whole lifetime of them, starting well before I was even consciously aware of what I could possibly be doing 'wrong' or what that might imply to other people. 

Like by the time you are 6 or 7 you've already figured out 'I better not play with that again or express a preference for this if I don't want to get beaten up again', but it isn't very obvious what you should do instead of that, except to stay safely out of everyone else's way. 

So sitting quietly by yourself in the library is considered relatively harmless if not even marginally socially desirable behaviour, and then you find that reading lots of books and building up a complex abstract model of reality actually feels really good. That's where you pick up the addiction for so-called 'insight porn', which you can actually use as the basis for a career in academia or STEM.

I didn't conciously figure out that I actually did emotionally 'ping' with more really-feminine flirtatious activities and being around girly-girls, until I was about 14, and by that time I was already several years into a single sex school, so barely saw any girls till I was 18, and by that time it was so deep in the kind of 'you must never let on to anyone else that you are a tranny', that while I found it really emotionally comforting being included in a group of girls, I still didn't conciously want to 'go there' and tell anyone about it or ever get too close to anyone. 

I also think that the rising levels of testosterone from male puberty make things a lot worse. Like before I was 14 I might have been bottom of the heap socially, but I was actually near the top of the heap academically. You know, if you act like a bimbo you are just painting a target on yourself a mile wide, but if you curb virtually everything excessively feminine about yourself and aim for the Hermione Granger type, well other people might still find you bookish and a really annoying know-it-all, but at least you can block them out and still aim for the top, job wise. 
If you then find you can't even concentrate enough to reach what you think is your real potential academically, well then you are screwed, you are just a bumbling loser with a constant low-level headache, who can't do very much outside of school and mandatory extra-curriculars but curl up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself, so no social life at all, and you also fail to turn in any required coursework, or what you do do isn't anywhere close to the standard you expected, so you're a total failure in every dimension. 
I'm more like this one, like that
http://transsexual.org/mystory.html

So I knew I felt really bad, but I had no idea what I could do to feel better, except I could get some relief by blocking everything out and spending all my time 'studying', what I was studying didn't matter, it was just a constant need for mental stimulation just to calm me down enough to barely function in other areas.

So a deep level part of me will always feel like people should be happy just to have me around and I'm owed a bunch of stuff just for bothering to show up, which still doesn't go down well with other people if you act like to much of a diva, even if you maybe have developed some vaguely useful enough computer skills to think you can justify it.
So I'm still kind of constantly disappointed with life, no matter what happens, because not only am I not and now can't ever be a really hot girl, I'm also not yet rich enough not to have to continually care to moderate my personality down to an acceptable enough level anymore, because it always costs me way more energy that other people think just to come across as a total nerd rather than an out and out bimbo.
I can just about pull it off, but not while holding a full-time job. I'm currently working 3 days a week and just basically sleeping through the rest. 

Doing the HRT thing takes a lot of that low-level constant stress away, at which point I can slightly more frequently work up to using my brain a bit more, and so do enough to attempt to justify the more diva aspects of my personality, where my software or general technical problem solving skills actually sometimes make other people enough money that they are prepared to put up with me and to keep me marginally employed.

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#8 [url]

May 20 17 7:24 AM

That's very interesting. I like the term "insight porn" very much. I went into STEM following this insatiable lust as well.

Doing terribly there lately, partly because the cognitive and emotional loads of trying to figure all "this" stuff out are crushing me.
«If you then find you can't even concentrate enough to reach what you think is your real potential academically, well then you are screwed, you are just a bumbling loser with a constant low-level headache, who can't do very much outside of school and mandatory extra-curriculars but curl up in a ball and feel sorry for yourself, so no social life at all, and you also fail to turn in any required coursework, or what you do do isn't anywhere close to the standard you expected, so you're a total failure in every dimension. »
Yep...

However, my question was not referring to the phenomenon in general, but to that particular moment when you felt connected to other people for a while and then you lost it (so the word theory was maybe misleading). I wasn't thinking in terms of trauma (I'm not a trauma fan), but rather more dynamically. Was what the thing that triggered the disconnection on that particular occasion. On view of what you say it seems the connection was not on a very solid base. But I'm wondering whether certain thought patterns could allow one to sustain that state long enough for it to put down roots.
[ I'll grab the chance to recommend the work of this guy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Watzlawick
It's only tangentially connected to the discussion, but anyhow . ]

«I am at the Trisha Paytas end of the gender 'spectrum', so it's kind of like I'd naturally just want to flip my hair and try to act all cute and bubbly, and people would give me lots of free stuff because they really really want to get into my pants. »

You do seem absolutely convinced it is immutable. How did you come to the conclusion this is really something hard-wired and not a reaction to years of deprivation and being forced into a personality completely skewed to the opposite side?


 

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#9 [url]

May 20 17 8:09 AM

Oh, I see, well I think what caused the disconnect to happen again was just that it took a particular confluence of my cyclical biochemistry to achieve that state of peace and clarity, which was a state that couldn't be maintained long term, and may never be reached again without completely reversing my body chemistry. 
https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/how-female-hormones-can-make-a-bloody-mess-of-your-mental-health

Say I have a brain module that really really wants to be a girl, and another brain module that really really doesn't want to admit defeat, and the two continually fight it out, and my outward behaviour is usually a compromise between the two positions. Survive, don't lose face, protect your reputation, get at least some of what you want and some enjoyment out of life, do a good job etc.
Objectively I do not need to behave like a total slut, even if I want to be, even if my 'mirror neurons' trigger really strong copying desires when I'm around sexy girls. But, my female sexual orgasm response is really really mindblowingly strong, like someone could literally fuck my brains out and I'd absolutely love it physically, but I'm equally determined never to submit to another man, and put myself at that kind of physical risk, so I never let it happen in real life. 
It's possible to get by with that kind of compromise in place, but not indefinetly, basically about once a year I really really need to have an orgasm somehow, or I'll go into a spiral of paranoia or depression, but I can't do anything to myself to make it happen, and for a long time the 'best' thing I could do was binge eat a whole large pizza from somewhere, follow it with a bunch of ice cream and go watch a movie or something, something to totally futz with my bodychemistry and let my mind escape for a couple of hours.
I can use my willpower to choose not to behave how I emotionally want, but I can't will myself into behaving how I emotionally don't want, if that makes any sense. I just don't get those kinds of emotional drives to beat anyone else, not sexually, not physically, nor even sublimated into things like office gossip or computer games. I don't care, I can't learn, that stuff just isn't in my head, ok, I guess I have some small urges for revenge, and I have on occasion pinched other peopls stuff when I thought they wouldn't notice, but the idea of ever doing something to prove how physically strong/tough I am just never ever enters my head. I play computer games to have adventures that I can't have in real life, and to act in ways that I can't in real life, like actually being a pole dancer, or rocking out in rock band or something, but not because I want to get a higher score than the guy down the road. 

So you can strongly motivate me with reverse psychology, accuse me of being wrong or less than perfect, and if it's in an area I pride myself in, I will fight tooth and nail to prove I am right, even if nearly kills me, I will try to prove I am right, try to maintain my self-percieved innocence, and try to do the 'right' thing, but don't expect me to enjoy watching other people play football, it ain't never going to happen, I'd rather see a broadway show.
Those kinds of experiential/emotional-response/and perceptual filter parts of my personality are fixed and immutable as far as I can tell, and not the result of any kind of social experiences after birth. 

Last Edited By: Xora May 20 17 8:21 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#10 [url]

May 21 17 1:48 AM

oreb wrote:
You sound like an expert in gender swap anime. Which one would you recommend the most?  Ranma was quite popular growing up, but I somehow managed to avoid it. I'm really good at avoiding things.  

More in Manga, and not an expert, but I have ferreted quite a few out in a few obsessive crossdreaming episodes.  Ranma is my favorite, but not really for the TG aspect.  I find the whole manga series (and I HIGHLY recommend reading the manga first as the anime is no where near as good) hilarious and I love the character of Ryouga.  He reminds me of myself in so many different ways both in personality and in our lack of any sense of direction!

I really loved the anime movie "Kimi no Na wa" or "Your name."  It is the source of my current avatar and I made a post about it a while back:

http://crossdreamlife.lefora.com/topic/467/Upcoming-Japanese-CROSS-DREAMER-Movie#.WSFZaesrK7Q

Comedy-wise I would  recommend "Boku to Kanjo No XXX" also known as "Mine and Her's secret" or "My Barbaric Girlfriend."  I also Loved "Osananajimi wa Onna no Ko ni Naare."  If you like ecchi Humor I would recommend Futaba-kun Change.  It is what Ranma 1/2 would be like had Ranma been written by a pervy dude.

For a more serious read I would recommend "Nozomi Nozomu" and "Balance Policy"  

That said, we actually do have a TG Anime/Manga thread here.  But no one has posted to it in a while:

I don't think the video is referring only to gender expression, but I'm not sure the meaning of the term is to me.  The problem for me is more that it glosses too much over over details while losing too much time with references and boilerplate abstract statements that don't always add that much.
Physicality + social expectations constrain behaviour; repeated behaviour generates identification.  That seems to be the idea, more or less.  
That could be.  But that is the way gender seems to come off as according to my admittedly limited exposure to Butler et al.  As if they treat gender as if it was only about expression.  I feel it is vastly more complicated than that.  

I agree that we don't come preprogrammed with male or female behaviour.
There are certain instinctual behaviours (mostly having to do with mating) where there is a consistent difference between male and female; this also seems to be true, although to a much lesser extent* for certain temperamental variables. Sure, it is absurd to think that all the miriad of minute gendered behaviours that a culture has is preprogrammed in some way. Particularly since those can change a lot from culture to culture.

However, I don't think those behaviours can be written off as only "arbitrary conventions" for some fundamental gender identity to latch on.
They form a system with a certain degree of internal consistency (in a loose sense of the word, not the logical one) and consistency with people's bodies, which are obviously gendered. Let me try to give some example.

I remember reading how in the Stanford Prison experiment prisoners, who were forced to wear some sort fo gown, started behaving in ways which were more stereotipically feminine. No, I don't think that was because they were feeling "emasculated" [;-)]. There is probably a certain extra degree of perceived physical vulnerability that comes with wearing that type of clothing (probably the reason why it was chosen) which compels any person who wears it to move in a certain way.
Also how when I was an adolescent and obsessed about my gynecomastia I acquired a couple of pacifying gestures around my chest which one could see as feminine. This was a time where I was protecting my "100% normal boy"-identity with KGBesque efficiency, so I really don't think any sort expression of a female identity was involved; I think in that case it was more that the thought of your chest as vulnerable and potentially a subject of negative attention tends to trigger the same set of responses regardless of who you are.

One could say culture then comes and abstracts all of this into some genereal feminine and masculine categories and a bunch of other stuff. The meanings it imposes on all of this mess of behaviours can be totally removed from this more basic bodily and social mechanisms that partially power them. Actually, there are all sorts of complicated feedback loops. Examples as those above are just the base level; those behaviours will in turn trigger certain reactions and so on and so on. And culture informs those reactions from the very first iteration in ways that are mostly not under conscious control.
My point is that it is not as simple as somebody actively chosing certain behaviours among those culturually codified in a certain way. You are swimming in the midst of very strong currents.
I am pretty much in total agreement with you on the first part, and I think you make a great point on the second.  That said, my own point was that most of gender behavior is cultural and learned.  But, I agree that some behaviour were probably adapted due to actual physical differences between men and women.

Having a more bulky body might imposes certain mechanical constraints on the ways this body can move; the possibility of being perceived as threatening by other people (at a basic instinctual level) might further constrain this body's movement. Eventually this constrained movement might end up being expected from all of the members of the class of people who tend to have bulkier bodies, regardless of whether they are actually bulky or not, as well as entangled with all sorts of connotations like "practicality", "lack of emotion", "lack of empathy", "stoicism" or even "competence", "authority" (:-s). (directly or just through a middle notion of masculinity? is not clear)

Some of this connotations might still bear a certain connection with certain "basic mechanics" of human interaction, some other might be rather random and others in turn might be have been politically engineered in order to control a certain class of people.
A conservative might tend to think of everything as robustly following from real differences between the sexes and those sorts of "mechanics" as the above, and consider all of it is "natural" and should not be countered in the least (or else... "Nazis!", "Stalin!!!", "NAZIS!!" as some academical youtube celebrities would put it xD). A radfem might see a direct political oppressive behind each and every feature of the whole thing.  A liberal might think of those systems of meaning as purely conventional by now ( the end of history, that is :-P), a code there for we free liberated individuals to express themselves; sort of open source, so you can hack it, etc..  Sorry, I've beend doing some Adam Curtis to cope with my anxiety lately.
I am still following and have little to no disagreement.

Now, can repeated socially and physically constrained behaviour generate identity? I think it definitely can. The problem is what kind of identity, how deep this identity can be.
The experience of wearing a uniform and being treated by people accordingly can definitely generate an identity. But does this identity have the same qualities as, let's say the identity attached to a political ideology which was chosen upon conscious reflection?  Do they stand on equal footing? How does each kind of identity work? We lack appropriate vocabulary. Deep, shallow, core... these metaphors do not seem very good tools to work with. Can we come up with better notions?  And provide operational definitions of them?  I'm rambling now.
I think, that in a way it can go both ways.  Behaviour can generate an identity; and an idenity can generate behavior. Lets say an adolescent's best friend becomes a goth and said adolescent decides they want to be a goth with their friend.  Thus they have formed an identity and seek to display this identity to others through their behavior.  They start wearing white make up and won't wear anything but black clothes.  

Ultimately, how one identity one assumes measures up depending upon how much one values those identities.  A political identity might be more important to a person who loves arguing, and not so much to a person who hates conflict.

One of the nice things about vocabulary is that if you lack the words for something, you can always create it.  Whether it catches on, and to what degree depends on the rest of society.    

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#11 [url]

May 21 17 3:41 AM

About the "acquired a few pacifying gestures around my chest" bit, 
you are thinking cause and effect again, 

I'm a boy, I'm growing boobs, I mustn't let anyone see that I'm growing boobs or they will make fun of me, exposing my chest around other people makes me feel vulnerable, therefore I'll keep my arms folded over my chest which feels good.., that behaviour that I've clearly adopted lately is often classified as feminine, so feminine behaviour must be learned behaviour not innate, and so relatively arbitrary behaviours are being culturally enforced on us unwillingly, or something to that effect.  

But maybe you just always felt vulnerable and didn't know why until you had a conscious thought connecting that emotion with your conscious aweness of your gynecomastia, then pinned a pre-existing effect to a cause.  Maybe you always folded your arms like that but just didn't notice you were doing it until you thought you actually had a reason to hide something. 

But then you see something like this, where having decided on an outcome, she's now looking back and identifying previously unknown or unconsidered causes for effects that she had previously catergorised or maybe not even considered before. 

https://the-orbit.net/splainyouathing/2016/09/05/trans-autistic-weird-common/

It wasn’t (just) a sensory sensitivity making me want to shave all my body hair, or that made it feel good, right, and mandatory to keep it down. It wasn’t nothing that I occasionally felt flashes of terror related to removing my shirt in public, long before I had breasts. It’s not cis for my entire fantasy life to start with the idea of my body being feminized. It’s not cis to have detailed fashion preferences for the women in one’s life, that somehow also feature in that fantasy life. All of those things didn’t make sense before. And that’s over now.

Which is kind of what I did once before on having been formally diagnosed with Aspergers at 27, pinned things I had previously considered to be my personality flaws on the dreaded 'disease model', as it separated my actual anxiety feelings from my guilt over having those feelings and so forth, and made me feel less bad about being 'weird'.

But the 'disease model' is sufficient for explaining your past, and giving you the 'not guilty' resolution over everything you feel you had previously suffered without a sufficient explanation, but it isn't very much good for thinking about your future, except as a perpetual continuation of the same kind of anxiety and suffering till you drop dead from exhaustion or whatever.

Learning to escape the disease model and co-creating/accepting the existence of a naturally occuring if slightly unusual variations of human sexual dimorphism model, with a path to some kind of treatment, not gene therapy or psychological or behavioural therapy, but hopefully with an eventually happy outcome, seems like a much better personal resolution, until you also have to consider the potential future stigma you will inevitably face for accepting the incredibly scary treatment path, which yes can set off another multi-year cycle of rumination, and a lot of defensiveness aimed not so much at yourself this time but at the 'oppressors' who are clearly just 'transphobic' and 'heteronormative', or your parents who couldn't see how much you were suffering because they always saw your natural to you but apparently aberrant to them behaviour entirely through the medically authorities constructed 'disease model' and didn't just look on you as their daughter struggling so terribly hard to pretend to be the wonderful boy that they had always wanted or expected him to be. 

Last Edited By: Xora May 21 17 9:46 AM. Edited 5 times.

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#12 [url]

May 22 17 4:25 PM

Small disclaimer. I was simply trying to argue against the idea that the phenomenon of gender (the difference in behaviour between men and women) can be explained by the model  (identity->mirroring of social convention) by imagining certain small casual chains of a different kind that might explain a (very tiny) part of it. It seems thtat Butler wouldn't agree with that model either, but I doubt that she thinks much of that sort of explanations either.
I proposed that kind of examples where behaviour sort of follows from "physical nature of the situation" because they don't require a lot imagination on what is going on people's mind so it's easier to do, not because I think it is the most relevant one when it comes to explaining gendered behaviour. In fact, I would say that abusing of that sort of explanations is a conservative vice of sorts. I wouldn't throw them completely away, though.

Lost247365 wrote:

That could be. But that is the way gender seems to come off as according to my admittedly limited exposure to Butler et al. As if they treat gender as if it was only about expression. I feel it is vastly more complicated than that.


 

Again, it's not entirely clear what is the scope of the term "gender expression". Does it refer to conventional ways of signalling gender or does it refer to other behavioural differences as well?
Is "gender" vs "gender expression" like "genotype"/"genotype and phenotype" vs "phenotype"?
Lost247365 wrote:

Ultimately, how one identity one assumes measures up depending upon how much one values those identities. A political identity might be more important to a person who loves arguing, and not so much to a person who hates conflict.


 

That's a good point and makes things even more complicated. Is one subconcious gender identity an identity in the same sense as the conscious one is,
or more like a "proto-identity", and is the latter in turn an identity in the same sense as a "political identity"? Is not just how strong different identities are. Do they really work the same way?
Lost247365 wrote:

One of the nice things about vocabulary is that if you lack the words for something, you can always create it. Whether it catches on, and to what degree depends on the rest of society.


 

Yeah. It's a lot of fun as well. Unfortunately a lot of people out there are obsessed with owning the true authentic meaning of words and any attempt to create a tenptative new notion with which to carry on a conversation is seen by them as threatening to devalue their precious property.

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#13 [url]

May 22 17 5:32 PM

Thanks for the recommendations, Lost247365.

Xora wrote:

But maybe you just always felt vulnerable and didn't know why until you had a conscious thought connecting that emotion with your conscious awareness of your gynecomastia, then pinned a pre-existing effect to a cause. Maybe you always folded your arms like that but just didn't notice you were doing it until you thought you actually had a reason to hide something.


 

Sure. There are hundreds of possible explanations and no reliable way to know which one is true.
But let me insist. You seem to be very sure about your own explanations. Where does this certainty come from? What is your system?
It sounds as if, for example, you do experience a qualitatively distinct "mirroring sensation". Is that right?

As much as I'm fascinated by this "unified theory of nerdiness" and seem to fit a lot of it, I think there are still huge differences
between our experiences. I see myself more in the schizophrenic spectrum than the autistic one. I didn't present any sort of autistic symptoms as a child. There was a time in later adolescence when I really struggled a lot making sense of things socially. I had then very fucked up periods of disorganized thoughts and paranoid ideation, although it never got "clinical" (that was in peripheral Europe: in the States the story might have been different). The point is that during that period I was emotionally and cognitively quite impaired in general (even more XD); add to that the lack of practice.
It is not the inability to filter sensory output that tends to send me into states of confusion, but rather the loud noise constantly produced by my own mind. I know by experience I have to mistrust any "sensation", "feeling" or "impression" coming from that cacophony, regardless how real or immediate they feel.
Xora wrote:

potential future stigma you will inevitably face for accepting the incredibly scary treatment path, which yes can set off another multi-year cycle of rumination, and a lot of defensiveness aimed not so much at yourself this time but at the 'oppressors' who are clearly just 'transphobic' and 'heteronormative', or your parents who couldn't see how much you were suffering because they always saw your natural to you but apparently aberrant to them behaviour entirely through the medically authorities constructed 'disease model' and didn't just look on you as their daughter struggling so terribly hard to pretend to be the wonderful boy that they had always wanted or expected him to be


 

Sounds like a wonderful scenario, actually.

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#14 [url]

May 23 17 3:50 AM

Where does this certainty come from? What is your system?


Well I guess it's complicated, or at least, it was complicated to work out, but not really complicated to understand.
It's more a matter of deprogramming yourself more than it is learning.
Are the mind and the body the same thing? Do we have an ethereal 'spirit' that 'inhabits' a physical fleshy body, or do we just have a 'brain' which is the seat of our personality, and what is personality anyway and how does it form, and why are people so completely different from one another?

My parents kind of belonged to different 'classes', my mum was kind of middle class and falling, while my dad was working class and rising. So in a sense he married up and she married down. (They might not agree with that, but it kind of felt like that to me, in terms of the relative wealth of her relatives vs. his at least).

The concept of that difference of classes/cultures has been one of my abiding fascinations during my life, what is it exactly, how does it come about, is it actually 'nature or nurture' that people divide themselves like that, and can and 'should' something be done about it, or are we just destined to be so unequal?
At the same time, well I was kind of brought up to be 'left wing', to believe in inequality as something that shouldn't really exist, and only did exist because people had historically been really mean and exploited each other, and so we are left in a country with a landed gentry on the one hand and so-called 'sink-estates' on the other. Some people eat caviar and go skiing in Switzerland every year, while another lot just get drunk and have fights every Friday night and live on minimum wages, or nowadays 'zero-hours contracts', and even benefits, and an awful lot of people seem to think that's just how things should be. That the people that have more deserve it because they just worked harder, and everyone could work just as hard, so the people that don't have it clearly didn't work hard enough, and so don't deserve it.

But that left-wing ideology, also kind of leads to the belief that we are originally 'created equally' and then by difficult circumstances and cultures that are inflicted on us, we are pushed so far apart as to be effectively unable to communicate with each other by the time we are 30, and so as to almost live in totally parallel realities.

It's one of the reasons I've always loved Pygmalion / My Fair Lady, (and I guess things like Educating Rita and Blood Brothers), as it shows how someone can be taught a different culture from their parents circumstances and can change their position/outlook, though with some difficulty. It's like, I have competing instincts going off in my head now, one part says I should be in charge, I've earned the right through education and intellect to decide what should happen for other people, and so as to at least present an image of perfection I should guard my so-called reputation/respectability jealously, and behave appropriately not only in public but also in private.

Another really strong part of me wonders why I should care so much. I'm an aspie/tranny right, I have no social skills or charisma apparently, like people probably only talk to me to be nice and make me feel better, not because they actually want to, so 'respectability' wise, I'm already bottom of the heap through a mistake of biology, so why not enjoy just being slovenly, or slutty, or sexy, and get to do what I want, and why is it my responsibility to guide other people when I really don't have much of a better idea in my head than anyone else what I should be doing, let alone anyone else?

https://ianology.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/in-which-queer/
https://ianology.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/on-being-myself-and-other-animal-traps/#more-505

Kinky Boots Trailer: 
I watch that stuff and I want to be that person, or I wish I was brave enough to be that person, because ever since I was 6 or 7 I've been longing to have a pair of thigh-high glossy boots like that. I mean, I did a regular male voice choir concert on Saturday night, and my 'stage shoes' currently have a bit of heel that's quite about 1/2 inch and quite solid, and just walking between the concert hall and the car park it goes 'clack-clack-clack' on the pavement, and there I am, wondering what it would really feel like to have 6 inch platforms on and be showing off my legs.

image

Only now I have size 10 feet, so I can't exactly go into a shop and pick them off the shelf somewhere, and I'd have to go mail-order them from a specialist tranny supplier, and somehow that just spoils the whole idea of what was supposed to be a bit of freedom being something that is 'kinky' and has to be done in secret.

Well I was in choirs through school and at my local church growing up, and one of the perks was that as well as getting ~50p a week for turning up every Sunday, if we did the wedding services on Saturdays through the summer we got up to £5 a time, which when I was 12 still seemed like a lot of money. So I guess I went to quite a lot of strangers weddings and heard the same service being given multiple times, so much so that I practically memorised all the words..

So where I might not actually believe in 'God', I do kind of believe in this..
We have come together in the presence of God, to witness the marriage of N and N, to ask his blessing on them, and to share in their joy. Our Lord Jesus Christ was himself a guest at a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and through his Spirit he is with us now.

The Bible teaches us that marriage is a gift of God in creation and a means of his grace, a holy mystery in which man and woman become one flesh. It is God's purpose that, as husband and wife give themselves to each other in love throughout their lives, they shall be united in that love as Christ is united with his Church.

Marriage is given, that husband and wife may comfort and help each other, living faithfully together in need and in plenty, in sorrow and in joy. It is given, that with delight and tenderness they may know each other in love, and, through the joy of their bodily union, may strengthen the union of their hearts and lives. It is given as the foundation of family life in which children may be born and nurtured in accordance with God's will, to his praise and glory.

In marriage husband and wife belong to one another, and they begin a new life together in the community. It is a way of life that all should honour; and it must not be undertaken carelessly, lightly, or selfishly, but reverently, responsibly, and after serious thought.

This is the way of life, created and hallowed by God, that N and N are now to begin. They will each give their consent to the other; they will join hands and exchange solemn vows, and in token of this they will [each] give and receive a ring. Therefore, on this their wedding day we pray with them, that, strengthened and guided by God, they may fulfil his purpose for the whole of their earthly life together.

 
reverently, responsibly, and after serious thought


Not, 'well I guess that sex thing doesn't really apply to me, as I'll probably always prefer to be penetrated than do the penetrating', but if I get married at all it has to be to a woman who is expecting me to be 'the man', or else my family will disown me and I'll lose my job and so forth, and somehow I will always just have to forever resist the strong temptation to dress up and prance around in my wife's bra or whatever, and god only knows what it'll be like when we have kids and they wonder why their dad doesn't take them to football matches and things..

http://marshallbrain.com/geek.htm

Because I think far too many people are already getting divorced far too easily, and I don't want to be one of them, and if there is anyone you ever want to be entirely honest, even if it can't be your parents, it's with the person you actually marry, because at least in our culture that close relationship is supposed to be an entirely free choice and not inflicted on you by circumstances or someone else.

Erm, that wasn't exactly what I was aiming for when I started, maybe I'll come back a bit later and add some more details of actual neurology and shit...

Last Edited By: Xora May 23 17 3:35 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#15 [url]

May 23 17 2:16 PM

«I am at the Trisha Paytas end of the gender 'spectrum', so it's kind of like I'd naturally just want to flip my hair and try to act all cute and bubbly, and people would give me lots of free stuff because they really really want to get into my pants. »
You do seem absolutely convinced it is immutable. How did you come to the conclusion this is really something hard-wired and not a reaction to years of deprivation and being forced into a personality completely skewed to the opposite side?


I don't mean I have to act as a personality like that, I just mean that it's kind of my base thought process, so I can be sensible acting, but I can't seem to pull it all together and actually be 'effective', if you see what I mean. My mental process still just seems to flit back and forth all the time.
Oh, and as an example of someone AS+TS, here's Lucy 'LainWest' on YouTube.


Like her, I don't think I can really do 'boy' and appear natural, I'm not that good an actor, even a 'girl' I'm probably kinda ditzy, and wouldn't really be self-sufficient the way a lot of you others seem to be able to manage. I really seem to need someone looking after me or I'll just drop of the radar entirely for months.
Like if I put all my effort into doing my job, then I don't seem to have the resources left to look after my appearance at the same time, and it kinda sucks when you are 30+.

I couldn't really put a finger on my limitations before, even I was putting it down to a lack of effort, even though I couldn't really figure out what I was doing wrong.
Seeing other examples people kinda like me, like her, sort of show me probably what actually is and what isn't possible to do.

Last Edited By: Xora May 23 17 2:21 PM. Edited 2 times.

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#16 [url]

May 24 17 3:18 AM

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I didn't learn to be a normal 'boy' much less a 'man' because I physically/biologically/neurologically just couldn't, given the constraints unknowingly imposed on 'me' by my subconscious mind (or 'spirit', if you will..), (which is in fact not a non-corporeal entity, but is an emergent property of the physical properties of my brain, and so is a measurable 'thing' in it's own right existing in the here-and-now, and largely already set in place and fired into motion at the time of my birth.. http://www.ajnr.org/content/33/1/83.full), but at the same time I also didn't learn to be a fairly natural thinking/acting 'girl' much less a woman, or if I did I didn't think I was so I never took much advantage of it, because though I biologically probably could have, I was kept under the very strong misapprehension that being a 'man' was in fact something that one could or did learn, if only one applied oneself sufficiently strongly to the task, and that being a woman, if one was born with a penis, was something that only sick perverts and fetishists did, and my ego didn't want me to be seen that way. 

I didn't figure out that it wasn't something that was actually learn-able through sufficient efforts until, after decades of applying what I considered to be super-sufficent efforts, and finding that I wasn't actually getting anywhere, I put the effort in to learn what gender neurology actually was, by reading neuroscience and psychology books, and by observing other people and their personalities in the real world, and by understanding how other people actually thought both in public and in private by reading loads and loads of personal blogs and things for years and years, until I found I had a few mental shortcuts into understanding what really makes other people tick.

I did this rather than just believing in what I was taught, which is what had got me confused originally. Only by that time it was rather too late to do anything physically about it, (I can't now magically make my feet actually shrink to fit into the kinds of shoes that I'd like to wear which they only make up to size 8 or whatever), and now I feel like I've missed out rather both ways, I never even got to experience a youth having fun or feeling natural, and as an adult I only seem to become the kind of person that a lot of people now younger than me will still want to point at and laugh at, which my rather strong ego still doesn't want to allow to happen.

From my perspective, I've found that it's just a self-protective mental delusion to actually grow up thinking you are male when you pretty much cognitively aren't. From other's perspective it's just as much of a mental delusion to 'suddenly' as an adult say you are female, when you've just-about managed for years without apparently outwardly showing much sign of your inward difference and ongoing mental/emotional difficulties, which from your perspective only seem to increase with increasing age.

So why can't we just tell the truth and save future generations from even entering this kind of tortuous mental labyrinth when they are young?
https://www.quora.com/Would-you-support-your-kids-gender-transition 

Oh, because it's against Gods will, and people like us are just deluded freaks, or failures, a bunch of people who could have succeeded but just didn't try hard enough, who are now promoting a so-called 'pathogenic meme' of transgenderism, which is only a faulty post-modern over-intellectual concept, not an actual 'thing', and which leads people to unnecessarily mutilate their bodies. So all the people who go down this path must obviously be 'sinners' whose so-called 'spirits' are destined to end up in hell in the hereafter..

image

Yes, but if you continually force people to try to pretend to be what they aren't, then you aren't condemning them to 'hell' in a probably-imaginary spiritual afterlife, you are more likely condemning future generations of physical flesh-and-blood humans to live in a kind of post-apocalyptic 'hell' on a non-imaginary planet earth. 

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/latter-day-leftism-rabble-of-squabbling.html
http://voxday.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/economists-still-puzzled-by-2008.html#c3770070399510381876

image

image

Oh, nevermind.. it's really just hopeless isn't it?

Last Edited By: Xora May 24 17 3:42 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#17 [url]

May 24 17 10:26 AM

Interesting video.

Your mind is software. Program it.

Your body is a shell. Change it.
Death is a disease. Cure it.
Extinction is approaching. Fight it!

© "Eclipse Phase" by Posthuman Studios

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#18 [url]

May 24 17 11:10 AM

So Xora, long story short: you applied the empirical method (even if you only had the inner personal experience of a single person, but oook). With some inspiration from your readings you came up with a model that made a lot of predictions which you were able to verify for yourself (there must be like many many disparate predictions, all following from a simple model, otherwise we are left just with an ad-hoc narrative).

Suppose I want to check the validity of your model, which seems to apply to a lot of people, for myself. Can you provide me with a list of predictions for me to verify? Hopefully some that will surprise me and apply to me personally. Of course, they can be complex predictions, with conditionals, alternatives, etc.
 

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#19 [url]

May 29 17 9:18 AM

OK, Kinky Boots I saw (my first musical anyway).  The gender-bending protaganist said something interesting to the females who worked with him and adored him at the shoe factory where he ended up working.  He said that the reason why females loved him is because they love the characteristics in the females that they are seeing in him.  This is helpful to me in several ways:

1. The gender bender likes females, therefore, not necessarily a gay man, as is conventionally thought of transvestites.  
2. When females like the gender bender, are they a sub-group of females that prefer female traits in their male mates?  Are females liking themselves?  Are we all looking for ourselves in others?
3. If the above are a sub-group, would that make their interest......... paraphilic?  Why would the majority of females prefer alpha males?  Evolutionary remnant? 

Last Edited By: lal2828 May 29 17 10:24 AM. Edited 1 time.

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