Transgendered kids

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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Indrajala » Wed May 29, 2013 6:04 pm

ball-of-string wrote:Using the same logic... The majority of rape is perpetuated by heterosexual men onto female victims. Ergo, if we are going to allow heterosexual men to wander around freely in our society, we have to legalize rape.


This makes no sense.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby ball-of-string » Wed May 29, 2013 6:11 pm

Indrajala wrote:
ball-of-string wrote:This makes no sense.


Nor does your attempts to link transgender issues to zoophilia. Fundamentalist Christians have been making the same arguments for years. They are scare tactics that are devoid of logic or rationality, and impossible to debate.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Jikan » Wed May 29, 2013 6:34 pm

Indrajala wrote:
Jikan wrote:...


They're all lifestyle choices.


Prove it.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed May 29, 2013 6:38 pm

My personal opinion is that people care too much about state sanction for what they do. If a community doesn't want boys being Prom Queens, it is not the business of the state to intervene. The state should look after the commons, defence, basic infrastructure, etc., and not be a nanny to the citizens.

If you want to live an alternative lifestyle, what does it matter if the state recognizes this or not? Best that the state has no business in such matters anyway. Leave it to communities to decide for themselves.


There are grey areas in some corners...i'm willing to concede, as well as (IMO of course) the seeming fact that the gay community has in places a severe identity crisis about what it wants. Things like letting boys be prom queen etc. throw me for a loop too, not to do with gender or sexuality itself, only with the fact that they seem to so based on getting approval, to me some actions like this border on obsession, even if I might agree with some of the politics behind them. I also recognize though that I am in a position to feel this way, as I just get to be a straight male, there is very little to make me feel bad about that in my society, despite what kooky Men's Right's activists etc. say, there is a huge set of privileges that go along with being "normal".

Something like gay rights is not an issue of "caring about state sanction" any more than something like the civil rights movement was an issue of caring about state sanction. Funnily enough, this is also the exact kind of deflection (disruption of social harmony especially) that was used to discourage the civil rights movement.

Naturally there is no direct comparison, but the argument against these things simply based on social harmony is nonsense, as if nothing else social harmony is a subjective concept, and naturally those who benefit the most from the current social order will see the status quo as "harmonious", whereas as those on the other end will see it as anything but.

I am sure many people thought the outlawing of slavery disrupted social harmony. Hey, look, I can make big jumps of logic and use only extreme examples too.

Point being, social harmony can be used as an argument for pretty much anything, and has been.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed May 29, 2013 8:10 pm

Johhny Dangerous:
Naturally those who benefit the most from the current social order will see the status quo as "harmonious", whereas as those on the other end will see it as anything but.


This is exactly the myopia I'm trying to express to you, Indrajala.

Indrajala: any case, you can throw antagonistic liberal pejorative terms at me, but that might as well be an ad hominem attack. You might think there is a lot of "subtle and pervasive bigotry, heterosexism, and racism" and that I'm somehow propagating this, but you'll have to logically demonstrate this, otherwise you're basically unfairly branding me as some kind of monster responsible in part for today's social ills because I disagree with you.


Please ignore the heat of my language if it seems pejorative; I'm not attacking you, I'm trying to assert that your opinions have arisen out of your relative privilege and, when applied to those who don't share that privilege, they illustrate the whole dynamic of power and exclusion that exists in (all patriarchal) cultures. In spite of how I may have come across, I'm in no way trying to say you are a monster, that you're perpetuating evil or something. I'm trying to point to the fact that your specific subjectivity is a product of a lot of privilege and that your statements tend to buttress and support a worldview that I think you have benefited from. Many others have suffered immensely from the ideologies and social structures that you believe in, and it makes sense that you would be less sensitive to that.

It's easy for us never to notice which entrances and exits, which floors, which rooms have wheelchair access until we break a leg. For that reason, when somebody in a wheelchairs tells somebody who walks that there should be more ramps, it makes a lot of sense for the person who walks to recognize their relative ignorance and think about why the person in the wheelchair would have more sensitivity and perspective on the issue.

((This is one of the hardest things about confronting bigotry, racism, heterosexism, etc. Nobody wants to examine themselves if they get called out. The first reaction is almost always defensive rather than curious. Even though I have no animosity in intention, "you're privilege taints that opinion." or "that sounds bigoted." triggers immense aversion and anger. People are averse to the possibility that they may actually have a racist or sexist worldview and they often lash out and try to put the person(s) who called them out on the defensive. I don't want that to happen here so let's keep talking openly and please don't take anything I say personally. I'm talking about vast trends of oppression in Western culture. We play small roles in that, I'm pretty sure.))


Indrajala:
Personally, I think you should follow your birth gender as it will save you a lot of problems and suffering in life.


Personally, I think your opinion is what I'd have myself, if I were born with similar causes and conditions as my trans friends. However, I'm not omniscient and I can't know what their reality is like. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they think the suffering incurred is better than the alternative. When people are willing to inject hormones, go through a tremendously painful and agonizing process of transition, sacrifice tremendous amounts of money, endanger their lives, etc... I trust that they have exhausted the simpler ways of dealing with their situation. That they really feel they have no other choice. And knowing them afterward...they are somehow so much more "themselves" than before, that I can't doubt they have done the right thing.

Nilasarasvati: How are we as practitioners to include and affirm their identity and merit when so much of traditional Buddhism operates on a strong gender binary?

Indrajala:
Buddhism isn't about making you feel nice and accepted. Buddhism isn't about being happy. It is about identifying the causes of suffering and eliminating them. That's why getting involved in gender politics is a waste of time.


I agree--Buddhism isn't about being happy--nor is it about making people feel nice and accepted. True, true.
But I'm talking about social justice, which is about far more than making people feel nice and accepted. Your words trivialize the effort to affirm, protect, include, liberate people who don't fit the mould of your experiences and worldview. It hardly seems an attitude of lovingkindness and compassion.
I'm not advocating transwomen or men getting pratimoksa vows. Don't get me wrong, there's no need nor scriptural precedent nor justification for that. I don't think any transmen and women I've ever heard of want that, either.

What do you mean by gender politics?
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 29, 2013 8:14 pm

Indrajala wrote:They're all lifestyle choices.
No they are not. a) Children do not make lifestyle choices. b) Take the time to go ask a gay/queer/lesbian person how much of a choice they had in how they felt.
The issue is really what is acceptable in the eyes of society. Once you acknowledge and legally protect one alternative lifestyle, you set a precedent for every other alternative lifestyle not protected and recognized by law.
Bzzzzzztttt... Wrong! Being gay/queer/lesbian is not an alternative for gays/queers/lesbians it is what they are. Being straight is their alternative and just like most straight people opt for their natural bent and don't choose the alternative, in the same way gay/queer/lesbian people opt for their natural bent and do not choose the alternative.

You see, you are being incredibly myopic when you consider the current social situation as the natural order, if you were born in Ancient Greece the natural order was paedophilia and homsexuality and if you did not "indulge" you were considered rather strange. Take off the blinkers my dear Venerable.
If it wasn't for the gay right's movement, transgendered children wouldn't have special privileges afforded them in public schools. Likewise zoophiles would have no precedent to refer to with respect to having their lifestyle recognized and legally protected.
Zoophilia and homosexuality are not even in the same ball park let alone the same game. There are ENORMOUS differences, one of the main ones being issues of consent. And, if you ever get the chance to talk to somebody that has been raped, you will find that consent is a MAJOR factor in sexual relationships. Just like (heterosexual) rape and (heterosexual) sex are not comparable as activities even though they use the same "bits" homsexual an zoophilic activities are not comparable so please refrain from making the comparison as it is actually VERY offensive to our LGBT members.
These issues are all connected, though many people would be reluctant to acknowledge this.
They are only connected in your view, actually you will find that most logical people will not consider them connected in the slightest.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed May 29, 2013 8:18 pm

Indrajala wrote:I don't have an agenda in this respect. I generally hope for social stability and community well-being, which I feel is best achieved through conservative values and traditional family models.
So you do have an agenda. If you think the current social situation is not based on an agenda then you are very wrong. Supporting the status quo is an agenda. Supporting the status quo is getting involved in gender politics.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Nilasarasvati » Wed May 29, 2013 8:23 pm

Greg Kavarnos:
You see, you are being incredibly myopic when you consider the current social situation as the natural order, if you were born in Ancient Greece the natural order was paedophilia and homsexuality and if you did not "indulge" you were considered rather strange. Take off the blinkers my dear Venerable.


Exactly what I'm talking about; the Power and those duped into believing it will dehistoricize and normalize the status quo, the conservative, and the privileged and speak as if:

A. Things have always been that way
B. They can speak for everyone
C. They are objective, neutral, detached from personal agendas.

So you do have an agenda. If you think the current social situation is not based on an agenda then you are very wrong. Supporting the status quo is an agenda. Supporting the status quo is getting involved in gender politics.
:sage:

Amen, amen amen.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 30, 2013 1:41 am

Jikan wrote:
Indrajala wrote:
Jikan wrote:...


They're all lifestyle choices.


Prove it.


You can decide not to pursue relationships of a certain type. Likewise you can simply pursue no relationships at all and be celibate. Celibacy is as much as lifestyle choice as living an active heterosexual lifestyle, or a transgendered one just as well.

What you feel and how you live don't always have to be the same thing. You can be vegetarian, but still desire meat, yet refrain from it.

Likewise, you can desire to live an alternative gender lifestyle in the face of strict binary genders, yet not do so because it might cause a lot of undue stress to you and your community.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 30, 2013 1:49 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Naturally there is no direct comparison, but the argument against these things simply based on social harmony is nonsense, as if nothing else social harmony is a subjective concept, and naturally those who benefit the most from the current social order will see the status quo as "harmonious", whereas as those on the other end will see it as anything but.


I don't really benefit that much from the current social order in my home country, which incidentally is now very very liberal and encouraging of alternative lifestyles. There's even affirmative action whereby certain demographics like white males are at a disadvantage when applying for certain lucrative state jobs. I'm at a disadvantage in some ways.

In any case, I believe binary genders and traditional family life are conducive to healthy children and thus social stability. I know this opinion of mine won't be popular amongst the liberal minded folks which generally make up western Buddhists, but here in Asia it is just common sense.

On the other hand, I'm not advocating legislation or political action based on my views. That's why I don't have an agenda strictly speaking.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Nilasarasvati » Thu May 30, 2013 2:47 am

http://www.library.wisc.edu/edvrc/docs/ ... apsack.pdf

Please read peggy mackintosh. This article is from 1988. IF you've already read it...I apologize for assuming you haven't.
Please read the numbered list, if you don't have time for the whole thing. It's a stunning eye opener.

Some of this is really interesting because you've mentioned that you live outside the U.S. and I get the impression you are in Japan for some reason; anyway I believe a lot of this will actually be turned on its head for your present situation as a gaijin, (although I'm not sure if your social status as a monk changes that) if that is the case, you may have a lot of insight about this specific constellation of phenomena from a perspective I've only tasted during my time in China.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu May 30, 2013 2:52 am

Indrajala wrote:I don't really benefit that much from the current social order in my home country, which incidentally is now very very liberal and encouraging of alternative lifestyles. There's even affirmative action whereby certain demographics like white males are at a disadvantage when applying for certain lucrative state jobs. I'm at a disadvantage in some ways.



Straight up man, if you truly believe this, then despite your travels and considerable academic brain, I suspect you have lived a sheltered, and probably a little bit privileged life, in one sense or another.

You can chalk your views on this stuff as being somehow connected to "here in Asia" all you want, but your politics are your own, and near as I can tell they are very typical North American conservative/libertarian type views. You're welcome to them naturally, and in places I think the things you say serve as an important critique of some of the more naive areas of typical liberalism that show up in Buddhist circles, but no way are you going to convince me that somehow your viewpoint is somehow trans-cultural, it's pretty obvious that it's not.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 30, 2013 2:56 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:Please ignore the heat of my language if it seems pejorative; I'm not attacking you, I'm trying to assert that your opinions have arisen out of your relative privilege and, when applied to those who don't share that privilege, they illustrate the whole dynamic of power and exclusion that exists in (all patriarchal) cultures.


Generally speaking people will hold views that put themselves at an advantage rather than a disadvantage. I like the idea of religious freedom because otherwise I might not be able to openly practice as a Buddhist, for example. But your argument here against me is weak because it is based on some dubious premises.

For one thing, you don't know me, my background and my current state of affairs, so you have no right to judge that I have relative privilege.


Many others have suffered immensely from the ideologies and social structures that you believe in, and it makes sense that you would be less sensitive to that.


If such ideologies and social structures did not exist, people would still suffer ... arguably more.


Nobody wants to examine themselves if they get called out. The first reaction is almost always defensive rather than curious.


Again with the subtle ad hominem attacks!

You are trying to paint me as some insensitive over-privileged bigot. This is unfair and dishonest.


When people are willing to inject hormones, go through a tremendously painful and agonizing process of transition, sacrifice tremendous amounts of money, endanger their lives, etc... I trust that they have exhausted the simpler ways of dealing with their situation.


Imagine if you lived in circumstances where none of that was possible. You'd simply get on with life.

In some ways the transgendered movement is an indication of economic prosperity. I.e., you can afford to change your gender both socially and physically.


Your words trivialize the effort to affirm, protect, include, liberate people who don't fit the mould of your experiences and worldview. It hardly seems an attitude of lovingkindness and compassion.


What about greater social stability and stable family life? These arguably are more pressing than lifestyle choices of individuals.

I could just as well argue that you lack concern for greater society by pushing views that arguably undermine otherwise stable arrangements (binary genders, traditional family models, etc.).


What do you mean by gender politics?


Initiating political processes and advocating legislative changes based on notions of alternative genders.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Nilasarasvati » Thu May 30, 2013 3:01 am

Johnny dangerous, this is way off-topic, but everytime you say something that I agree with, I can't help but thinking that Mr. Furious from the mystery men is coming to my rescue. :lol:

Indrajala wrote:I don't really benefit that much from the current social order in my home country, which incidentally is now very very liberal and encouraging of alternative lifestyles. There's even affirmative action whereby certain demographics like white males are at a disadvantage when applying for certain lucrative state jobs. I'm at a disadvantage in some ways.


Indrajala, it's far from my place to judge you and I have tremendous respect for the perspective and experience, scholarly knowledge and for the rare role model you are...but I have to agree. It's hard for me to fathom that somebody of your insight still thinks white people's disadvantages in the narrow realm of affirmative action scenarios can even compare with the endemic and pervasive oppression of people of color, trans people, women, etc. etc. etc.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 30, 2013 3:09 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:http://www.library.wisc.edu/edvrc/docs/public/pdfs/LIReadings/InvisibleKnapsack.pdf


Oh, I see. White guilt.

I ain't buying it.

Please read the numbered list, if you don't have time for the whole thing. It's a stunning eye opener.


It strikes me as very American-centric. It doesn't apply to me. Unfortunately a lot of Americans tend to project their own cultural issues onto others as some kind of universal norm.

Growing up I had few notions of race. I also never felt particularly privileged coming from a working class family where we constantly had to struggle to make end's meet. I also had to pay for my university tuition in full, unlike one of my friends who came from a reserve (native Canadian) and got his tuition paid for by the state plus a monthly stipend.

So, no, I have never felt I was privileged as a heterosexual white male in my home country.


Some of this is really interesting because you've mentioned that you live outside the U.S. and I get the impression you are in Japan for some reason;


I lived in Japan and Taiwan before coming to India. As far as East Asia goes, I am part of an ethnic minority.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu May 30, 2013 3:20 am

Indrajala wrote:I don't have an agenda in this respect. I generally hope for social stability and community well-being, which I feel is best achieved through conservative values and traditional family models. On the other hand, I won't censor or condemn someone who doesn't fit in with that model (I personally don't -- I'm a Buddhist monk from Canada in India), but on the other hand I won't demand that stable social arrangements be disrupted to meet the needs of a few people. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Unfortunately social stability is often paid for with unfair arrangements. I dislike hierarchies, but I recognize that when followed they generally lead to stability and community harmony.


Whose "conservative values" and what "traditional family models"? The nuclear family disrupted much older extended family models at the time of the industrial revolution when a mobile workforce became a key requirement. Our societies are constantly in flux. You could use your argument to say that we shouldn't allow refugees from Somalia to come here because their culture will be disruptive, or that only those that meet the religious standards of the majority should be allowed in. These so-called stable social arrangements include high rates of divorce in Canada and the US. You are arguing for something that doesn't exist.

This is not about the "needs of the many". This is about the prejudices of the few, specifically your bigoted approach to a large segment of the population that did not choose who they are attracted to and love, nor how they will find fulfillment (by transitioning or otherwise). Fortunately, here in Canada we do not make arbitrary legal distinctions based on gender identification and protect our citizens from intolerance.

Indrajala wrote:In any case, you can throw antagonistic liberal pejorative terms at me, but that might as well be an ad hominem attack. You might think there is a lot of "subtle and pervasive bigotry, heterosexism, and racism" and that I'm somehow propagating this, but you'll have to logically demonstrate this, otherwise you're basically unfairly branding me as some kind of monster responsible in part for today's social ills because I disagree with you.


You are not responsible for the larger society's social ills, but you are responsible for your own words and ideas in this discourse which clearly demonstrate your bigotry.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 30, 2013 3:30 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:It's hard for me to fathom that somebody of your insight still thinks white people's disadvantages in the narrow realm of affirmative action scenarios can even compare with the endemic and pervasive oppression of people of color, trans people, women, etc. etc. etc.


Well, like I said, I never felt like I particularly benefited back home on account of my ethnic background. I always had to struggle with poverty and debt. Maybe if I was middle or upper class I might have seen the perks of being a white heterosexual male (social connections and so forth), but as a lower working class guy being crapped on by employers and the government I never felt like an agent of oppression. I was part of the proletariat. I was never afforded special privileges that I was readily aware of. Here in Asia I get special treatment in some ways, sure, but I'm just a visitor all things considered.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Karma Dorje » Thu May 30, 2013 3:31 am

Indrajala wrote:I don't really benefit that much from the current social order in my home country, which incidentally is now very very liberal and encouraging of alternative lifestyles. There's even affirmative action whereby certain demographics like white males are at a disadvantage when applying for certain lucrative state jobs. I'm at a disadvantage in some ways.


When you're in a hole, stop digging. You grew up in Winnipeg. Do you seriously not think you were better off than people that grew up in the North End, dealing with alcoholic, often illiterate parents and high drop out rates? Look at the incarceration rate for natives in Manitoba and northern Ontario. We have marginalized native culture when we haven't destroyed it outright. We have rarely met the terms of our treaty agreements. The unemployment rates in minority communities throughout Canada are much, much higher than for "white males".

Floating the idea that you were somehow at a disadvantage, with a university education and the ability to travel compared to nameless minorities is beyond the pale (pun intended). In Canada, almost every single corporation to speak of is headed by an executive team that is both white and male. Attempting to balance this out by affirmative action is good social policy not to mention compassionate.
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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby kirtu » Thu May 30, 2013 3:42 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:....as I just get to be a straight male, there is very little to make me feel bad about that in my society, despite what kooky Men's Right's activists etc. say, there is a huge set of privileges that go along with being "normal".


Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, .... somewhat dangerous - I was dragged years ago by older Gay friends to a mostly Gay Men's Awareness kind of thing out in the woods - mud, nudity and sweat lodges .... so I made a mistake in speech and accidentally caused one of the few straight males to burst into tears - he then related that he was kept from his biological kids apparently just because he was male (so there was a major custody battle going on and he was a younger male in a former relationship with an older female who he claimed knew how to manipulate the legal system).

So privileges or not, people are not categories and injustice can be perpetuated against anyone.

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Re: Transgendered kids

Postby Nilasarasvati » Thu May 30, 2013 3:43 am

you have no right to judge that I have relative privilege.


No, I assumed.
Correct any of my assumptions that are wrong, but only if they invalidate the majority:
you're straight, you're male, you are white caucasian who speaks fluent English and comes from a Western country. You are not saddled with children who came as a result of rape or arranged marriage. You were raised in a country where most figures of government, police, educators, lawyers, and doctors were of the same race as you. You do not have an abusive partner you cannot get rid of nor escape. You were not at any point in your life confused about your gender, sexuality, or racial identity because in general it conformed with role models you were exposed to through media or readily accessible figures of your culture. You are not a forced conscript of Miltary service nor a slave to a pimp, landlord, or madam. You have enough spare time to practice, study, and contemplate the Dharma in a monastic capacity.

That puts you at about the crispiest level of permafrost on top of the iceberg of privilege, Sramana. You are not Bill Gates, you're are not pulling in billions and living in a palm-tree shaped mansion that floats outside of Dubai, but you (and I) belong to the most privileged sliver of Humanity.

Nilasarasvati wrote:
http://www.library.wisc.edu/edvrc/docs/ ... apsack.pdf



Oh, I see. White guilt.

I ain't buying it.


That's a 5th grade interpretation of MacKintosh. Come on, Indrajala. Until you find Nagarjuna more threatening to your worldview than a woman named Peggy, you should leave your white guilt at the door and really see if her article has valid observations.

It's way more nuanced and articulate than telling you "You're a bad person because you're white." If that's what you see when you read it, though, it gives me a lot of perspective.

I'd say most of my arguments at least deserve some consideration, which you haven't seemed to acknowledge. It's not through logic that I'm doing this; we're talking about lived experiences and qualitative evidence, not quantitative. Those arguments exist; statistics about discrimination etc. but I'd rather be a human being and tell you that I've experienced just the tiniest fraction of what some people I know have suffered because of your worldview.

Finally, this is totally a diversion, but these "alternative" genders as you call them aren't just made up fancies of perverts. Like I mentioned before, plenty of children are born with anatomical, hormonal, and chromosomal differences that make the myth of the gender binary painfully obvious. The Gender Binary is invented. It's constructed. If you aren't willing to smash that rigid, dualistic fixation in the interest of helping people live more honestly, less painfully, just so you can insulate this monolithic, unchanging, abstract "social stability" you talk about, you're gonna have a hard time cutting off limbs to feed a tigress.

And if you aren't willing to smash it, me and plenty of other Buddhists have our hammers and mauls set to the task already.

http://www.inquiringmind.com/Articles/C ... ender.html

Lopon Rita Gross wrote this. I hope you read it with some more charity and than with McKintosh.
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Nilasarasvati
 
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Location: Trāyastriṃśa. Just kidding. What a cool sanksrit word, huh?

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