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Pravda
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22 Oct 2016, 6:15 pm

Honestly, both can be used for either gender or sex, it's not really that one is used for one thing and one for the other.

Usually people are speaking in a social context, how someone identifies and presents themselves. Like, we don't have a term separate from "woman" or "female" for intersex people who were raised as or identify as female, because you'd usually have no way of knowing we have weirdness below the belt unless it was explicitly stated. Both terms are used, they're interchangeable.

If you're speaking biologically, then you'd use the terms "woman" or "female" differently and that'd be inferred from the context of your sentence. You'd probably only be doing this day to day if you work in a medical profession.


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Don't believe the gender tag. I was born intersex and identify as queer, girl-leaning. So while I can sometimes present as an effeminate guy, that's less than half the time and if anything I'd prefer it say "female" of the two choices offered. I can't change it though, it's bugged.


pddtwinmom
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22 Oct 2016, 6:28 pm

Very helpful - thanks!



Pravda
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22 Oct 2016, 6:30 pm

pddtwinmom wrote:
Very helpful - thanks!

You're welcome! :)


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Don't believe the gender tag. I was born intersex and identify as queer, girl-leaning. So while I can sometimes present as an effeminate guy, that's less than half the time and if anything I'd prefer it say "female" of the two choices offered. I can't change it though, it's bugged.


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22 Oct 2016, 6:59 pm

Well, a woman is an adult female human. We don't say, "My cat is a woman".
A female, on the other hand, is not necessarily an adult and not necessarily a human. "My kitten is a female."

Outside of medical, scientific, and other "official" uses, we don't usually speak of other people as "females". In fact, the use of the word in casual discussions is (in my experience) often a red flag that the person using it is about to spew some misogyny. In those cases, the word is used in an attempt to give nasty statements a veneer of authority and objectivity.



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22 Oct 2016, 7:03 pm

Barchan wrote:
The_Blonde_Alien wrote:
is it her helplessness to act or defend herself againts an instance of rape or violence?

No, and that's really not something you should aspire to. :?


If any man tried to do that to me, I'd make a point of breaking every bone in his body.


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Pravda
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22 Oct 2016, 7:34 pm

YippySkippy wrote:
Well, a woman is an adult female human. We don't say, "My cat is a woman".
A female, on the other hand, is not necessarily an adult and not necessarily a human. "My kitten is a female."

This is all true, yeah.

Quote:
Outside of medical, scientific, and other "official" uses, we don't usually speak of other people as "females."

Not really. I mean, I guess "women do X"/"I'm a woman" is more common than "females do X"/"I'm a female" as a statement in general, sure. And the latter is the more common of the two if you're talking medically. But: you might be filling out a form, whether at the DMV or just a fun internet quiz, and "male/female" might be a question. In that case, it's referring more to your encultured social identity than what you have at your pelvis. Meanwhile, a doctor might make reference to a disorder being more common in "women," not "females," which is still a biological statement. There's an inherent fuzziness, ambiguity, and overlap in the terms that makes context all-important.

I judge it by how I'd respond to a situation. If I'm talking with someone or filling something out, usually "woman" or "female" is always acceptable. Unless it's a medical form at the doctor's office. Then my response is "N/A, XXYY" or if no fill-in option is present, like with every intersex disorder that includes a Y (most of them) "male" is the anatomically closer option.


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Don't believe the gender tag. I was born intersex and identify as queer, girl-leaning. So while I can sometimes present as an effeminate guy, that's less than half the time and if anything I'd prefer it say "female" of the two choices offered. I can't change it though, it's bugged.


Last edited by Pravda on 22 Oct 2016, 8:11 pm, edited 6 times in total.

YippySkippy
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22 Oct 2016, 7:46 pm

Quote:
But: you might be filling out a form, whether at the DMV or just a fun internet quiz, and "male/female" might be a question. In that case, it's referring more to your encultured social identity than what you have at your pelvis.


Pretty sure the DMV doesn't care about social identity. They only want to know what's on your birth cert. or other legal papers.



Pravda
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22 Oct 2016, 7:49 pm

YippySkippy wrote:
Pretty sure the DMV doesn't care about social identity. They only want to know what's on your birth cert. or other legal papers.

Which will, in a transperson, generally be changed over the course of transitioning. The document identifies someone's gender. If a transwoman, the gender is listed as female, if a transman, male. Also legal papers will generally list people with ambiguous genitalia as one gender or the other, depending on the parents' choice at birth. Again, they'll use male/female, not man/woman.

The terms are basically interchangeable, one is just more formal than the other. Context is what determines whether it's being used for gender or for sex. Mostly it'll be the former, medical situations aside.


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Don't believe the gender tag. I was born intersex and identify as queer, girl-leaning. So while I can sometimes present as an effeminate guy, that's less than half the time and if anything I'd prefer it say "female" of the two choices offered. I can't change it though, it's bugged.


Last edited by Pravda on 22 Oct 2016, 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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22 Oct 2016, 8:04 pm

YippySkippy wrote:
Outside of medical, scientific, and other "official" uses, we don't usually speak of other people as "females".


Hm, really? Guess I'm just weird, then. O.o


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Pravda
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22 Oct 2016, 8:09 pm

AnaHitori wrote:
Hm, really? Guess I'm just weird, then. O.o

In my experience, you're not? I actually use "female" more than "woman" too, as a self-description. The latter lends an air of maturity that makes me feel awkward. I hate growing up, damn it. :lol:

I do tend to say "woman" more than "female" when referring to other people though. But again, basically interchangeable for me.


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Don't believe the gender tag. I was born intersex and identify as queer, girl-leaning. So while I can sometimes present as an effeminate guy, that's less than half the time and if anything I'd prefer it say "female" of the two choices offered. I can't change it though, it's bugged.


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22 Oct 2016, 9:14 pm

As I said, the term female is for "official" use. That's why the DMV asks if you're female, not if you're a woman.

If you don't believe me about the casual usage of "female", it's easy to check for yourself. Wait until the next time you see a heated discussion of gender issues on the internet, and browse the comments. See how many men say "female" versus how many women do. Also check how many of those men are making misogynistic statements. I think you'll see there's a correlation.



Pravda
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22 Oct 2016, 10:32 pm

YippySkippy wrote:
As I said, the term female is for "official" use. That's why the DMV asks if you're female, not if you're a woman.

Yeah, one is more formal than the other in most cases. Even then it's not a rigid law though. "I'm a female" doesn't really sound weird at all, and in fact sounds less odd to me than "I'm a woman" considering the latter implies a level of maturity I don't feel like I have.

You also seemed to imply that it's a term specifically related to sex, with the sex-based cat example contrasted with "we don't usually refer to individuals as females" in conversation. That doesn't seem to bear out, considering forms related to gender will often use male/female and doctors will speak about sex-based predispositions using both male/female and man/woman totally interchangeably.

The only difference seems to be that one is used on forms where the other generally isn't, and even then that's not the be-all of its usage.

Quote:
See how many men say "female" versus how many women do. Also check how many of those men are making misogynistic statements. I think you'll see there's a correlation.

There might be, I don't know. Maybe some assholes do use it as a term of derision as well. That doesn't really have bearing on the above though?


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Don't believe the gender tag. I was born intersex and identify as queer, girl-leaning. So while I can sometimes present as an effeminate guy, that's less than half the time and if anything I'd prefer it say "female" of the two choices offered. I can't change it though, it's bugged.


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22 Oct 2016, 10:42 pm

Sex and gender are the same thing to me. I support peoples' right to live their lives any way they please, but I don't personally think transgenderism is a physical thing.



Pravda
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22 Oct 2016, 10:49 pm

YippySkippy wrote:
Sex and gender are the same thing to me. I support peoples' right to live their lives any way they please, but I don't personally think transgenderism is a physical thing.

The two terms are defined differently. One is what's between your legs, the other is where on the masculine/feminine spectrum someone is comfortable presenting themselves considering the fact that our society has a gender binary.

Also, a number of studies on brain activity would disagree with you there. It's new and should be treated cautiously as a result. But the data seems to show that transsexuals' brain activity better matches the population average for their gender of identification as opposed to their sex, which would be a neurological explanation for dysphoria. https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... der-brain/ and https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... rain-scan/


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Don't believe the gender tag. I was born intersex and identify as queer, girl-leaning. So while I can sometimes present as an effeminate guy, that's less than half the time and if anything I'd prefer it say "female" of the two choices offered. I can't change it though, it's bugged.


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23 Oct 2016, 12:00 am

Wow, you don't see a lot of old school TERFs around anymore. I thought they were a dying breed.


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23 Oct 2016, 11:09 am

Quote:
The two terms are defined differently. One is what's between your legs, the other is where on the masculine/feminine spectrum someone is comfortable presenting themselves considering the fact that our society has a gender binary.

Also, a number of studies on brain activity would disagree with you there. It's new and should be treated cautiously as a result. But the data seems to show that transsexuals' brain activity better matches the population average for their gender of identification as opposed to their sex, which would be a neurological explanation for dysphoria. https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... der-brain/ and https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... rain-scan/


The gender binary thing is human-constructed nonsense, though. Boys like cars and girls like dolls, etc. is just culturally imposed, imo. And now we're telling people that if they don't fit society's made-up baloney standards for their sex, then they're transgender. As opposed to trying to get rid of the baloney so that everyone can just be people and not think everything about their personality is (or should be) related to whether they have a penis or a vagina. There is a good argument to be made that the concept of transgenderism is an attempt to prop up the patriarchy by re-categorizing anyone who doesn't conform to its narrow, established gender roles (and thus undermines the legitimacy those roles). For example, if a woman likes fixing cars then it must be she's actually a man - thus preserving the idea that "real" women don't fix cars.