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View Poll Results: Who are you?
Male, I prefer to explore, but would rather she not see other dudes. 1 7.69%
Female, I prefer to explore, but would rather he not see other chicks. 0 0%
Male, I want to explore, and she's free to pursue other men. 3 23.08%
Female, I want to explore, and he's free to pursue other women. 9 69.23%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11  
Old 02-15-2012, 11:06 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Originally Posted by Sociopath View Post
AT,

I think we're butting heads over the classic case of semantics. What's apparent, only, is that you and I use the word gender differently.

We're speaking through the English language, and most English-speaking people have reached a consensus on what the word means. It gets an eye roll at best, and is obnoxious at worst, when somebody insists that his or her new definition of a word prevails.
The "consensus" definition you have in mind seems to be a mash-up of two distinct properties: biological sex and cultural gender role.

(To the best of my understanding, this is a long-standing distinction in the literature of feminism which, if it isn't mainstream, really ought to be. It clarifies things mightily. I get the impression, from other recent posts on this forum, that even this two-way distinction is too simple!)

It may be that, in the minds of people who don't have occasion to think about such things, the two are fused: all women (biological sex) are (or should be) feminine (cultural gender); all men (sex) are (or should be) masculine (gender), and there isn't (or shouldn't be) anything in between.

(I mean, that would be queer, wouldn't it??)

Even a cursory look around will tell you it's not that simple, along either dimension.

Biological sex is more of a continuum than most people are willing to recognize . . . and, to some degree, it may be hidden, as there is a long history of surgery on "intersex" babies to make them appear "normal" . . . one way or the other.

Cultural gender is also much more of a continuum than most people are comfortable acknowledging. The way the postmodernists put it (based on a gloss on Derrida I picked up in graduate school), gender is a field of play between two poles, the masculine and the feminine . . . and some are quite happy to play on different parts of that continuum in different times in different contexts.

It's not just semantics. These distinctions are easily describable in ordinary language to anyone who takes a moment to think about the complexity of human experience.

Reducing everything to only two categories, indexed to the biology of reproduction, not only does (conceptual) violence to that complexity, but it locks in stereotypes of appropriate relationships and behavior that have been taken as justification for (physical) violence against people who don't fit in one little box or the other.
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Last edited by hyperskeptic; 02-15-2012 at 11:22 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2012, 11:29 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
(based on a gloss on Derrida I picked up in graduate school)
In case anyone is concerned, this is a chronic condition, but not usually life-threatening. It mainly causes disorientation, deconstructive tendencies, and fre(que)nt (out)breaks of (un)necessary (pa(rent))(he)ses.

I've been taking antisemiotics since graduate school, which reduces the frequency and severity of flare-ups.
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Last edited by hyperskeptic; 02-15-2012 at 11:39 PM. Reason: hyperbole
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2012, 11:30 PM
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I think we're butting heads over the classic case of semantics. What's apparent, only, is that you and I use the word gender differently.

We're speaking through the English language, and most English-speaking people have reached a consensus on what the word means.
When you say "it takes two genders to make a baby," it really does prove that you do not know what the word gender means. Gender is not the same as biological sex. Duh.

From Core Concepts in Health, which was the textbook for the basic Health Education class I was required to take a few years ago:
The World Health Organization defines sex as the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women; these characteristics are related to chromosomes and their effect on reproductive organs and the functioning of the body. Menstruation in women and the presence of testicles in men are examples of sex-related characteristics. Gender is defined as roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. A person's gender is rooted in biology and physiology, but it is shaped by experience and environment--how society responds to individuals based on their sex.
From the WHO's website (http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/index.html):
"Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories.

Aspects of sex will not vary substantially between different human societies, while aspects of gender may vary greatly.

Some examples of sex characteristics :
  • Women menstruate while men do not
  • Men have testicles while women do not
  • Women have developed breasts that are usually capable of lactating, while men have not
  • Men generally have more massive bones than women
Some examples of gender characteristics :
  • In the United States (and most other countries), women earn significantly less money than men for similar work
  • In Viet Nam, many more men than women smoke, as female smoking has not traditionally been considered appropriate
  • In Saudi Arabia men are allowed to drive cars while women are not
  • In most of the world, women do more housework than men
About gender identity, which I believe is what Magdlyn was mostly referring to when citing 33 genders, from Encyclopedia Brittania:
Gender identity is not fixed at birth; both physiologic and social factors contribute to the early establishment of a core identity, which is modified and expanded by social factors as the child matures.

Basic gender identity—the concept “I am a boy” or “I am a girl”—is generally established by the time the child reaches the age of three and is extremely difficult to modify thereafter. In cases where biological sex was ambiguous at birth and errors in sexing were made, it has been almost impossible to reestablish the proper identity later in childhood or adolescence. Furthermore, a secondary gender identity can be developed over the core identity, as sex-associated behaviours may be adopted later in life; heterosexual or homosexual orientations also develop later.

Like an individual’s concept of his or her sex role, gender identity develops by means of parental example, social reinforcement, and language. Parents teach sex-appropriate behaviour to their children from an early age, and this behaviour is reinforced as the child grows older and enters a wider social world. As the child acquires language, he also learns very early the distinction between “he” and “she” and understands which pertains to him- or herself.
From Planned Parenthood's website (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/hea...der-4329.htm):
Each of us has a biological sex — whether we are female, male, or intersex. Our gender is our social and legal status as men or women. And sexual orientation is the term used to describe whether a person feels sexual desire for people of the other gender, same gender, or both genders.

Each of us has a gender and gender identity. Our gender identity is our deepest feelings about our gender. We express our gender identity in the way that we act masculine, feminine, neither, or both. Some of us are transgender — which means that our biological sex and our gender identity do not match up.

Each of us also has a sexual orientation. You may be bisexual, gay, lesbian or straight. Or you may be “questioning” — unsure about your sexual orientation.

The more you understand biological sex, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, the more you may understand yourself and how you relate to other people. Because sex and gender are so complex, you may have many questions. You may wonder about your own sexual orientation or gender identity, or you may wonder about someone you know. You may have questions about how society views sex and gender — including homophobia, sexism, and transphobia.
Both sex and gender have a range of possibilities. See: Breaking through the binary: Gender explained using continuums

And polyamory has a range of possibilities. You designed this poll only to ask about male-female couples and how they feel about a partner getting it on with someone of the opposite sex, while claiming that "most people are in some form of heterosexual relationship." You are coming from a hetero- and couple-centric viewpoint, and therefore, your poll cannot be answered by very many people who are in polyamorous relationships.

I think that, not only do you not really know what gender is, but you also don't really understand polyamory and the many configurations possible, nor do you know enough about the poly community. Maybe after learning more, you could devise a poll that would be useful. This one is not.
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Last edited by nycindie; 02-15-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-15-2012, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
From Core Concepts in Health, which was the textbook for the basic Health Education class I was required to take a few years ago:
The World Health Organization defines sex as the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women; these characteristics are related to chromosomes and their effect on reproductive organs and the functioning of the body. Menstruation in women and the presence of testicles in men are examples of sex-related characteristics. Gender is defined as roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. A person's gender is rooted in biology and physiology, but it is shaped by experience and environment--how society responds to individuals based on their sex.
Both sex and gender have a range of possibilities. See: Breaking through the binary: Gender explained using continuums
Thanks for this! It would seem the distinction is more mainstream than I thought.

Something occurred to me, reading another thread last night. If people who play along the continuum between heterosexual and homosexual are "queer", and people who play along the continuum between masculine and feminine are "genderqueer", are people who play along the continuum of numbers of intimate relationships "numberqueer"?
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  #15  
Old 02-16-2012, 12:05 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I think that, not only do you not really know what gender is, but you also don't really understand polyamory and the many configurations possible, nor do you know enough about the poly community. Maybe after learning more, you could devise a poll that would be useful. This one is not.
Yup, this sums it up.

You say you want to keep things simple, but poly isn't simple, sorry.

This frankly just comes off as kind of dickish because it would force me to choose one of my relationships to answer about, the hetero one, while ignoring my lesbian relationship. It would be easy to tweak this to say "Female, and my partner can see other people", etc, to get rid of the implied-heterosexuality problem, but that would still force me to choose ONE of my partners to answer about. Since the whole point of poly is to have more than one partner, how the heck is that supposed to work??

"This is why the polyamorous community will never gain traction in mainstream society." <-- Hey, so? We care about our lives and about being true to ourselves more than we do about society's acceptance, obviously, otherwise we wouldn't be doing this period.

And yes, sex does not equal gender. Trans people DO exist, I live with one, and it just makes you look silly when you say someone is risking being "obnoxious" by trying to redefine a word, when in fact they're using it correctly.
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  #16  
Old 02-16-2012, 11:24 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Default More Options needed.

Just to be pedantic:

Even if the poll is only directed at purely heterosexual "primary" relationships with a distinction as to biological sex (which, as others have pointed out, excludes a large portion of the relationships discussed here) the poll is still missing several answers.

Male, I DO NOT want to explore, and she's free to pursue other men.
Female, I DO NOT want to explore, and he's free to pursue other women.

(As well as the neither party "exploring" options...)
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


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  #17  
Old 02-16-2012, 07:41 PM
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Ok, let me see if I can answer in a serially monogamous way. Get it, get it? I made a joke. Ah... never mind.

drtalon, you did a good job. You disagreed with me, and supported why in a graceful manner. You were not a kiss-ass about it, nor did you respond as if you're bleeding out your twat or dealing with an irritating head ache. I wish some of the seniors with 10 posts a day under their belts would take a similarly patient approach.

How some of them manage to have 5 relationships, presumably also a job, and sit on the internet for long enough to be able to read and reply to, on a daily basis, to almost every post here... totally escapes my mind. Do they even sleep? It's like Jewish entrepreneurs have made their way into the love business.

Magdlyn, 33 genders? Respectfully, I ask with a raised eyebrow. Where would the line(s) be drawn, if there were even the concept of discreet lines? Am I misunderstanding to think that a guy who, born with a penis, who's sexually attracted only to women, but who has easily recognizable feminine traits, is of a different gender than a guy exactly like him except for instead loving cars, babes in bikinis, and aggressive competition over romantic comedies and fluffy animals?

If those two are of a different gender, who's to say there are no fewer genders than there are humans on this planet? After all, isn't everybody unique to some extent with respect to masculine and feminine extremes? It just gets too vague after a point, and becomes unnecessarily complicated.

Kinda like the starving artist who insists on injecting meaning into the vomit he projected onto a canvas. I mean, it IS interesting in its own way, especially if you're high on pot, but at the end of the day, it's still vomit on a canvas. When that artist starts getting pissy 'cause somebody points out a fact, "How DARE you insist it's merely vomit on a canvas? IT'S A SPECIAL RENDITION OF MY INTERNAL WORLD!"

Thing is, it's BOTH. It's both a rendition of his internal world, to him and all those who've been made privy. And it's also NOTHING except for vomit on a canvas. Both can be, at the same time, true. (Maybe he wouldn't be so starving if he held the food down? See, another joke).

hyperskeptic, I was wrong. Whoops. Tom-ay-toe...

But justification for physical violence? Eh, I don't think stereotypes should be blamed for violence. It's the douche bags who commit the violence, themselves, who need to be blamed.

Like, say a homophobic dumbass beats up a gay dude for making out with another guy. Uhm, it's unkind to beat someone up. Period. The act itself is unpleasant to the one being beat up. But to say, "I can't believe he beat him up for being gay!" is a bit retarded. It's arrogant, and proves that YOUR moral compass is the absolutely correct version.

The gay dude gets bruises and scuffs. Those bruises and scuffs hurt NOT because he's gay, but 'cause he got his ass kicked. And the guy who delivered the beating because, in HIS head, simply in contradiction to what's in YOUR head, the guy's homosexuality warranted what seemed like an appropriate response: violence.

Does the gay dude have a right to love and make out with another man? FUCK YEAH! But that's how I think, and that's how most of you here think. The guy, however, who beats up gays, does NOT think that.

We do NOT, I repeat, WE DO NOT have absolute rights. Rights are something we secure for ourselves by being able, even by force if necessary, to prevent anyone or anything from infringing on those afterwards de facto rights. And if we're too weak to secure such rights, we can still have them IF through the generosity of somebody strong enough (a gang, a body guard, the government) secures them for us. But if neither a stronger entity or we ourselves are able to secure those rights, they in that instant disintegrate.

Try explaining to a tiger that you have a right to not be murdered while she's gnawing on your bones to fulfill her right to food.

AnnabelMore, lazy maybe. Ignorant, maybe. Disregardful, maybe. But dickish? You insist that somebody as uninformed as I am be considerate of all the, many, many, sometimes confusing options that would make sense to self-identified polyamorists.

I mean, if a biped with tits and a slender face walks up to me and starts meowing, it's unfair to call me an asshole for asking her if she's ok. "How DARE you disrespect HER god-given right to be a MALE cat if she so pleases to be a cat!" Eeeesh.

I just don't know any better! Who's the dick now...

Quote:
"This is why the polyamorous community will never gain traction in mainstream society." <-- Hey, so? We care about our lives and about being true to ourselves more than we do about society's acceptance, obviously, otherwise we wouldn't be doing this period."
Ok, c'mon, we know this is simply not true. YOU might not care, which is respectable and, to me, commendable. But we know there's a coalition brewing, ready to attack legislation to legalize plural marriages.

This probably makes me an asshole, but I remember a few years back attending a gay rally to kill prop 8 (legalized gay marriage in California). I came with my girlfriend. I made it happily known that we are NOT married, and will NOT be getting married. And that she means to me no less than any of you mean to any of your other significant others.

This goes back to the whole rights thing. Why do people even want to get married? It is, ultimately, a piece of paper with sometimes financial benefits. If you feel your love for another is somehow more "legitimate" by being accepted by a society who couldn't possibly appreciate your type of love anyway, then... sorry, you're shit out of luck and the joke's on you.

Benefits? Hospital visits? Stop being a freakin' cry baby. If you want to make it work, you'll find a way, and won't let petty laws get in the way. Otherwise you're just stuck in a cage you're built yourself, pleading for the mercy of others to unlock you.

JaneQSmythe, I appreciate your response. Again, it adds something to the conversation without being a personal attack under the guise of debate.

For argument's sake, I could have also added this one: "Totally single and looking to explore with others, and people who aren't in my lives are free to explore others."

I can't cover all bases even if I tried.

I think, fundamentally, my mistake was in placing a poll designed for a majority, on a website evidently frequented by minorities.

Say, for example, though, that if I were to go to a forum discussing all things secular, I could write: Are you 1) Christian, or 2) Muslim.

YES, that poll does not include other options such as Buddist, Wiccan, etc.

Nonetheless, the correct answer for an agnostic atheist would be to not select any of the above, and to forgo answering.

If the poll was carefully designed, it would be only for purposes of comparing the number of Christians to the number of Muslims, WITHOUT respect to the number of those practicing other faiths.
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  #18  
Old 02-16-2012, 09:09 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Wanting to spend your loved one's dying moments peacefully and legally holding their hand rather than having to "find a way" to get around the law (fight your way past the security guard that's barring your path? ninja-crawl up the side of the building?) makes you a cry-baby.

Yeah, ok. Now I feel dumb for having spent this much time feeding the troll.
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  #19  
Old 02-16-2012, 09:11 PM
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Fight? Who said anything about fighting? Just pay off the poor underpaid sap. Or create a distraction. Or find somebody to flirt with him or her.

The key is to look for solutions, not problems.
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  #20  
Old 02-16-2012, 09:18 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Originally Posted by Sociopath View Post
Fight? Who said anything about fighting? Just pay off the poor underpaid sap. Or create a distraction. Or find somebody to flirt with him or her.

The key is to look for solutions, not problems.
Wouldn't equal marriage rights be a solution? I can't believe I'm still engaging...
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