omgryebread wrote:Out of curiousity, and to tie it back to the topic, wouldn't we all agree that there's no objective reality regarding gender?
You can't answer this without defining what gender is. And if you define it in such a way that it comes purely from a person's own belief, then you shouldn't be surprised to discover that there's no objective reality there. But that doesn't reveal anything profound; it's just a product of your definition.
The Great Hippo wrote:Yes, but some people think there is, and that subset of people may include transgendered people, and I want to find a way to simultaneously reject that gender is 'real' while simultaneously respecting those who believe gender is 'real', in much the same way I reject God, but accept that God is of incredible importance to those who believe.
It's tricky and I'm not very good at expressing this nuance.
The difference is that the gender debate isn't about belief; it's about definition. If we all agreed that gender was about genitalia, then there's a simple objective metric for gender for most people. And we can extend this to any objective test, be it based on testosterone, chromosomes, or whatever. But if people want to define it in a subjective way, then the truth about gender differs from these objective metrics because of how we defined gender.
So when people are arguing over whether a transsexual person is really male (or whatever), they're not arguing about reality. Rather, they're both treating their own definition of gender as factual without really taking into account that the truth of the definition comes from us, not the universe around us.
By the way, I think this type of belief (the belief about what gender means, not about whether person X is a specific gender) falls into a category that's between objective and subjective. It's subjectively defined, but people by and large treat it as if it's objective. There's a lot of things that we treat as factually true that are really like this (like our concept of self, morality, etc.).