Blokes and birds

Someone who gives birth to a live child is a bird:

A Man Who Gives Birth Is Not A Man, Sorry, She Isn’t

Is I being transphobic?

Around here we’re fine with whatever social politesse people decide they want to follow. I’m prepared to agree – in public at least – that Diane Abbott is the Right Hon, that Harriet Harman is actually a QC. Just as I’m entirely willing to be polite and address those who let me know by their favoured pronoun of Miss, Ms, or Xe.

However, there are limits to such and that’s when these differences are important.

36 comments on “Blokes and birds

  1. Nurse: “What would you like to be called?”

    Me: “Sir Walter”

    Her: “All right, darlin'”

  2. Tim – not at all, because “transphobia”, like most “-phobia” neologisms, isn’t even real.

    The link goes to a piece about weed and wetbacks though.

  3. To go full nerd on you: bird sex determination is on the ZW genes. Males are ZZhomozygotes and females heterozygotic ZW. Sex determination of the zygote in the egg is from the female, the opposite of the mammalian system. Only females are capable of laying an egg or carrying a baby in a uterus.

  4. Schizophyllum commune is a species of fungus in the genus Schizophyllum.

    “It has 23,328 distinct sexes, properly called mating types.[4] Individuals of any sex are compatible for mating with all but their own sex. However, there are two genetic loci determining the mating type, locus A with 288 alleles and locus B with 81 alleles. A pair of fungi will only be fertile if they have different A and different B alleles;[5] that is, each sex can enter fertile pairings with 22,960 others.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophyllum_commune

  5. @Ljh
    Which is how female cuckoos parasitise specific, different species and lay eggs with an appropriate appearance. The genes for all this are carried on the W chromosome. I think Dawkins (or Gould?) explained this in one of his books.

  6. Mushrooms aren’t people, Niv. So meh. People aren’t just blank slates for national or international socialists to program.

    Men can’t have babies. There’d be nowhere for the embryo to gestate.

    If surgery ever gets to the point where that changes, maybe you could jump between the two states. Sexual dimorphism is a thing in humans. Deal with it.

    Whatever mental or genetic untidiness is underlying the human condition, the real difference between men and women, is that men are disposable and women are crucial to the survival of the species.

  7. “they would simply sign a statutory declaration, akin to an oath”

    Oh dear, can’t do that, Quakers don’t do oaths.

  8. @Ljh April 22, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Only females are capable of laying an egg or carrying a baby in a uterus

    Unless one is a Sea Horse or Arnold Schwarzenegger

  9. Schizophyllum commune is a species of fungus in the genus Schizophyllum

    So you’re a fun… gal?

  10. Pcar: the female sea horse lays the eggs which are fertilised by male sea horse’s sperm then the male carries the fertilised eggs in his pouch. Eggs are several orders of magnitude larger than sperm and remain the female contribution.

  11. “Mushrooms aren’t people, Niv. So meh. People aren’t just blank slates for national or international socialists to program.”

    Nor are they blank slates for right-wing/religious ‘moral policemen’ to program, either.

    Nature and reality are more complicated than the simplified picture of the world you live in, and with greater scientific knowledge of how it works, Western society has expanded its definitions to better fit reality, rather than doing what the blind and stupid authoritarians always do, which is to carry on trying to cram real people into fitting their simplistic definitions.

    People consist of mind and body, which are usually the same sex but can sometimes be different. When they’re different, there is no simple single ‘right’ answer. It depends on what definition you’re using. And the definition that people use nowadays is that the mind defines the person, not the external body. If your brain dies while your body is perfectly healthy on life support, you as a person are legally dead. If your brain lives while most of the rest of your body is missing, or transplanted from someone else, you are still legally the same person. A male eunuch is still male. If you got a heart or lung or liver transplant from a woman, you’d still legally be entirely a man. The new organs are yours now. If surgery advanced to the point where they could transplant the genitals and womb and ovaries in, you’d still be the same you, the same person you were. If people are born with both sets of genitals, or neither, or a mix, it’s still the brain that defines the person.

    The definition society uses nowadays is different to the one you’re used to, but it’s not so complicated that I believe you’re incapable of understanding it, or the reasons for it. At the end of the day, you’re refusing to accept it because you simply don’t want to. Because you want reality to conform to the familiar simplistic picture in your head, not vice versa. Because you don’t want to hear that for all this time the traditional insistance on a simple all-or-nothing answer was wrong.

    Tim’s point about ‘when these differences are important’ is one we’ve dealt with before. To a barber, the difference that matters is that men have beards and women don’t. He puts up his price list of men’s and women’s services with ‘beard trim’ listed under ‘men’. If a woman with PCOS goes in for a beard trim, she’s still a woman, even though for the barber’s purposes and by the barber’s operational definition she’s a man, because she still has the mind of a woman behind the beard of a man. She is, strictly speaking, a mix of both. You need to expand your categories so that somebody can be a man for one purpose (trimming beards) and a woman for another (polite chit-chat with the customer while trimming). Because that’s how reality is.

    “So you’re a fun… gal?”

    Ho. Ho. 🙂

  12. People consist of mind and body, which are usually the same sex but can sometimes be different.

    Nah, that’s not true.

    I’m trying to think where this daft idea originally came from – gnosticism? Dunno, but it’s an old, old mistake.

    (The Christians and Old Testament Jews understood better, which is why they preach the resurrection of the body rather than just discorporeal souls whizzing up to heaven in a cloud of ectoplasm or something.)

    For the mind is not a separate thing from the body. It’s an emergent property of the body. So, no, the mind can’t be a different sex from the body. Even Iron Age folks knew this.

    However, a mind can be, and often is, ill. Apparently 1 in 6 British people suffer from a mental health problem. Madness runs in many families, but it gallops in mine.

    Occam’s ladyshave suggests the obvious conclusion that, rather than 40 year old fathers somehow magically possessing pink, fluffy Mummy minds (how?), they’re just suffering from a mental pathology which could probably be treated with therapy and crazy pills.

    It’s not a coincidence that the rate of self-diagnosed transgenderism is rapidly rising alongside other social pathologies, such as inceldom and porn addiction, mind. The modern world may as well be designed to make people go nuts.

    Jordan Peterson of Canadia talks about the crowdsourcing of sanity – i.e. you’re not a loony if you behave and talk in ways that the people around you agree is sane. This would’ve worked pretty well until the age of globalisation and instant global communication, in the days when most people lived in towns and were forced to interact with their neighbours. (With obvs outliers and failed experiments in sanity – Nazi Germany, say. Or isolated cannibal tribes that worship Prince Philip).

    What if the social atomisation of modern life, combined with the internet making it possible for people to self-segregate into weirdo niche communities, is basically the same thing as living in a remote jungle with people who eat long pig and pray to Phil the Greek? Would there be anywhere near as many decepticons without the internet?

  13. “For the mind is not a separate thing from the body. It’s an emergent property of the body.”

    I take it, then, that you believe the old trope about how men do their thinking with the contents of their underpants? 🙂

    The mind is an emergent property of the gonads?

  14. I take it, then, that you believe the old trope about how men do their thinking with the contents of their underpants?

    Not entirely, but it’s true that we live in a sexual marketplace, are a species of sexually dimorphic mammals who are biologically driven to procreate, yadda yadda.

    The mind is an emergent property of the gonads?

    This may be truer than you think.

    So we know eggs are dear and sperm is cheap. We also know that virtually all of the inventions, the great discoveries, the most sublime art, the great empires – both physical and commercial – are made by men.

    So what if there’s a relationship between the two?

    Male risk-taking and obsession is rooted in the biological reality that – unless they commit rape, and that’s generally a poor survival strategy – men need to achieve in order to get the choicest women and procreate.

  15. Steve said:
    “failed experiments in sanity … isolated cannibal tribes that worship Prince Philip”

    They seem more sane than a lot of the stuff his wife’s church is getting up to these days.

  16. “NiV – it hardly matters, does it?”

    Yes, it does matter. My point was that the genitals and the brain are distinct parts of the body, and each can respond to hormonal signals differently, resulting in them having different sexes (more precisely: result in one developing with the male-typical design and the other the female-typical design). To try to keep things simple (people complain when I stuff in too many technicalities) I was using ‘mind’ to mean the brain and ‘body’ to mean everything but the brain, which is a fairly common everyday way of talking.

    Desperate to find something wrong with what I was saying, Steve decided to pick up on this common expression. The mind is what the brain does, and the brain is a part of the body, so the mind is emergent behaviour of the body.

    Except it’s not emergent behaviour of the testicles/ovaries, as his argument would require to be able to overturn mine. It’s emergent behaviour of the brain, in a separate part of the body, and there’s nothing in his argument to say that you can’t get a brain wired like a male and genitals plumbed like a female (or vice versa) in the same body.

    Because he’s speaking of ‘body’ singular, he’s hoping to argue that brain and genitals must therefore develop according to the same pattern, but the body isn’t singular, it’s made up of many independently developing organs, and the mind isn’t in the genitals. They are distinct and can develop with different sexes. Thus, it’s a valid objection to my terminology, but not my reasoning.

    So yes, it does matter, which is presumably why Steve has given up on that line of argument.

  17. Flubber,

    Yes. It’s a sad indightment on the modern state-educated generation, that they cannot manage to read a passage of 5 paragraphs. If you can’t fit it into a Tweet or sound-bite, they don’t want to know.

    We used to have these things called ‘books’

  18. “a brain wired like a male and genitals plumbed like a female (or vice versa) in the same body.”

    What about brains wired like a nutcase who wants his cock chopped off? Do we pander to them?

    Why just cocks though? Someone’s brain might be wired so he thinks he’s a penguin. Do we chop his legs off below the knee, glue on some swimming flippers and sew his fingers together?

  19. “Why just cocks though? Someone’s brain might be wired so he thinks he’s a penguin.”

    That’s highly unlikely. Both sexes have the genetic blueprint for the body plan of the other sex – it just has to flip a switch to activate its development. Nobody has the genetic blueprint for penguin brains.

    “We still have books…”

    Yes, but they’re far too long for modern people. If 5 paragraphs is considered too long to read, what would they make of a book containing thousands?

    Unless it’s one of those books with more pictures than words and the thick, chew-proof pages…

  20. “So do you think we should pander to their beliefs?”

    Medically, they should use whatever treatment the evidence shows works best. As a matter of social liberty, it’s the same as letting people smoke, or engage in dangerous sports. It’s their body, so it’s none of your business.

    The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

  21. It’s their body, so it’s none of your business.

    Except when it is our business.

    If these people want to play dress up, chop bits off themselves, glue bits on, call each other by new and exciting pronouns, etc. then they can. Have at it, preferably somewhere in private. I’d rather not pay for it at gunpoint via the NHS, but that’s OT.
    What I (and quite a lot of people) don’t want is to be forced to take part in their world. You can quote science all you want, it still doesn’t change the fact I want nothing to do with them. In the same way I want nothing to do with Hipsters, Communists or people convinced they’re Napoleon.
    I also don’t want this forced down my children’s throats when they’re far too young to be exposed to head-fuckery like this. Mid-to-late teens at the earliest. Tolerance can be taught (whether we should tolerate is a different argument) by simply saying “People are different. Some are more different than others. If you don’t like someone, leave them alone.” But you or people like you insist on teaching it, hiding behind a facade of “it’s science”. Well, your science is just propaganda boyo. Designed to force people to bend to your wishes. So quote all the studies you want, I still don’t give a Shit. Because I don’t trust the people writing the studies either.
    I don’t want people put at risk by being forced to share bathrooms with the opposite sex. Rape or false allegations – the chance of both goes up if you force sharing.
    You are the one forcing your life choices onto others, in a very real way. Using the threat of calling people bigots as a weapon to force them to back down. You don’t exist in a vacuum, none of us do. “is my body, my choice, so everyone can just accommodate me” is very narcissistic.

    The problem is, the population West has lost its martial spirit – demonstrated by not fighting back against massive changes to society inflicted by a small number . Heinlein was right, any society that loses it is doomed. We need to regain it soon.

  22. “they should use whatever treatment the evidence shows works best.”

    Which is nonsense of course and dodges the question.

    Who decides what’s “best”?

    I would conclude that someone who thought they were a penguin was mentally ill.

    You conclude that we should pay for reconstructive surgery?

    “It’s their body, so it’s none of your business.”

    So you’re against seat belt laws? What business is it of yours if someone is happy to take the chance of being thrown headfirst through a windscreen? You’re against compulsory helmets for motorcycle riders? It’s their head. Is it any business of ours if they are happy to take the risk of their head being smashed to a bloody pulp hitting the road?

    You talk shit. Cut and paste something that squares that inconvenient circle.

  23. “What I (and quite a lot of people) don’t want is to be forced to take part in their world.”

    Yes, I understand. And everyone else is the same. Muslims don’t want to be forced to share their world with non-Muslims. Feminists don’t want to be forced to share their world with non-Feminists. The Woke don’t want to be forced to share their world with the non-Woke. Racists don’t want to be forced to share their world with people not of their own race (or nationality, or ethnicity, or whatever). All believers in a particular way of life as the One True Way don’t want to be exposed to people who do things differently.

    But we’re all ‘freaks’ to somebody else. So the other side of the coin to saying you can exclude them from your world is that they can exclude you from theirs. (It being the same world, of course.) They don’t want to hear your freakish right-wing views on social media, or in universities. They don’t want your views forced on the ears of their delicate snowflake children. They don’t want a debate. They don’t want free speech. They don’t want freedom, (except of course for themselves). They want their owns social norms to be the dominant norms, enforced on everyone else (certainly in public, and if they can get away with it, in private).

    I’m well aware that quite a lot of people don’t want to be forced to share their world with people they find disagreeable. That they don’t want their children exposed to other beliefs. But what seems obvious to me is that they are mirror images of one another. The power to drive them out of your world is the same power that lets them drive you out of theirs. If you can force them to hide what they are and what they believe from public view, they can do the same to you. This is what political correctness looks like from the inside.

    “You don’t exist in a vacuum, none of us do. “is my body, my choice, so everyone can just accommodate me” is very narcissistic.”

    It’s the opposite side of the coin to saying it’s your body, so it’s your choice, which isn’t. Do you think the health nazis should be able to ban smoking and drinking and ‘junk’ food and sugary drinks? On the basis they don’t want to pay for your treatment by the NHS? Because they don’t want to smell your stinky smoke, or deal with drunks on a Friday night, or look at your hairy beer belly at the beach?

    For society to have power over their bodies means society has power over yours. You can’t have one without the other – they are the same thing seen from different perspectives.

    And this is the huge problem I have explaining all this. How do you get someone to see what they’re doing from the other person’s perspective? The inability to see that is what I would consider to be narcissistic!

  24. “So you’re against seat belt laws? What business is it of yours if someone is happy to take the chance of being thrown headfirst through a windscreen? You’re against compulsory helmets for motorcycle riders? It’s their head. Is it any business of ours if they are happy to take the risk of their head being smashed to a bloody pulp hitting the road?”

    Yes! That’s exactly my view!

    So are you in favour of banning smoking? And banning the sale of alcohol? And imposing maximum portion sizes of low-calorie low-salt tasteless health-food?

  25. …and there’s nothing […] to say that you can’t get a brain wired like a male and genitals plumbed like a female (or vice versa) in the same body.

    In the case of Pippa/Philip the brain is apparently wired vice versa every other day. Or he’s just madder sometimes.

  26. NiV

    God you are an idiot.
    I didn’t say I didn’t want to share the world with them. I said I don’t want to take part in their world. As in, happy for them to do it, leave me and mine the fuck out of it. Changing the bathroom system, decrying people as bigots who don’t use the correct xe pronoun – that’s forcing your views and life choices onto other people, no surprise you get pushback.

    So the other side of the coin to saying you can exclude them from your world is that they can exclude you from theirs. (It being the same world, of course.)

    You’re almost there!
    Freedom of association.
    And please, please, please can you exclude me from the trans world. I’d be grateful.
    Ta.

    Do you think the health nazis should be able to ban smoking and drinking and ‘junk’ food and sugary drinks? On the basis they don’t want to pay for your treatment by the NHS? Because they don’t want to smell your stinky smoke, or deal with drunks on a Friday night, or look at your hairy beer belly at the beach?

    No.
    And the nhs is an abomination that needs taking out back, given a biscuit and then both barrels. Take care of your own damn health. Same for seatbelts and motorcycle helmets. Wear them if you want, but don’t come crying to me when you have an accident and wake up dead.
    Nobody is forcing them to look at beer bellies at the beach. There’s plenty else to look at. Or go somewhere else.

    They don’t want to hear your freakish right-wing views on social media, or in universities. They don’t want your views forced on the ears of their delicate snowflake children.
    An adult is perfectly capable of deciding whether to read my opinions or not. The indoctrination of children at school through forced diversity sex ed propaganda is abhorrent. They are too young and not sufficiently mentally developed to resist.

    For society to have power over their bodies means society has power over yours.
    Like it or not, society does have some power over your body. You can’t take it where it isn’t permitted – try wandering onto an army Base uninvited.
    We also have other rules, like no men in women’s bathrooms and vice versa. Some are more flexible than others. Like no drinking in certain public areas. Some will get you arrested on the spot, others just a warning or moved on.
    Since we have a public health system that provides all the health care for people, which I am forced to pay for, then I get a say on how the money is spent and whether it should be spent on trans operations. Don’t like it? Campaign to scrap the NHS. I’ll even support you.

  27. “God you are an idiot. I didn’t say I didn’t want to share the world with them. I said I don’t want to take part in their world. As in, happy for them to do it, leave me and mine the fuck out of it.”

    You’re still not seeing it! There’s only one world. We all have to live in it. Which means the public parts of it are shared.

    “And please, please, please can you exclude me from the trans world.”

    Nobody is asking you to enter the trans world. Which is to say: you’re not going to be asked to wear a dress, or to go into the ladies toilets, or be called ‘she’. Being trans – i.e. part of the trans world – is entirely voluntary. All you’re being asked to do is stop enforcing *your* stupid rules on *them*. You don’t get to tell them what to wear, or what they can do with their own body, or where they are allowed to go to the toilet. You can always stay out of *their* world. If you don’t like the fact they’re allowed in a particular toilet, then don’t go in.

    You have the choice to stay out of their world. Don’t go where they go. Don’t use the public toilets. Don’t use public changing rooms. Don’t work at companies where they do, or shop where they do, or join clubs they’re members of. You’re free to avoid them. Freedom of association means you can choose not to join. It doesn’t mean you can forcibly prevent them from joining.

    A, B, and C form a club. D and E join it, and are welcomed. F asks to join too, and A, B, C and D all welcome him, but E hates him and wants him excluded. However, A, B, C, D, and F have freedom of association. E cannot forbid them associating. All E can do is withdraw from the association.

    Or if you would prefer it that one potential member of a group can get another potential member excluded, then the same applies to you too. F can come along and demand that E be thrown out, so they can safely join. If you want it so that people can be banned from places, then it means transphobes can be banned from those same places too. Because it’s the same thing.

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