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June 28, 2008

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If the Neanderthals or some similar species had survived until the present day, presumably there would be a similar case. Probably Neanderthals had brainware quite different from ours (although quite possibly not as different as the difference between women and men, since this difference goes back a lot longer.)

Thanks Eliezer - well written. I'm surprised people think they can read so much about my attitude toward women from the few words I wrote in that post. I do find women a bit harder to comprehend than men, but most men are pretty hard to comprehend as well. I was mainly wondering if the glory-relations male-female correlation could help explain disinterest in our blog. I still think that theory has some plausibility, but mostly I'm just very uncertain. And I find it pretty plausible that it is just some feature of you and I that women are reacting to, rather than our official topic per se. At the meta level I fear our cultural taboo against honestly discussing the ways in which we find the other sex/gender puzzling leaves us even more in the dark.

"Understanding the opposite sex is hard."

Some people don't think this is difficult at all, and/or that psychological sex differences are trivial. What relative proportion of these would you say are unusual for their sex, unusually empathetic, and just delusional, respectively?

We seem to have an influx of angry commenters on Overcoming Bias, offended by Robin Hanson's posts on gender. Indeed, many of them seem to have decided that Robin Hanson is a faceless representative of some evil class of Men. Ah well, but most people don't see the overwhelming irony of their lives; and very few humans of either sex make the effort to cross the gap.

In an ideal world, this would be a reasonable comment. In the real world, with the history of male oppression of women that comes with it, there is an asymmetry that means these things are not equivalent.

I've never found women to be particularly hard to understand: in fact, I've often felt that it's easier to understand the opposite sex than my own. I know there are others who share the feeling - I'm under the impression that hormone levels during fetal development have a big role in determining where on the male/female spectrum you end up psychologically. Even after you're born, hormones have a big impact on it - the hormones you take during sex-reassignment therapy cause a noticable impact on the way you think. (Haven't studied the topic in any depth, but I know people who have, and that's the message I've gotten from them.)

As a friend pointed out, that's reason to be somewhat suspicious of how well evpsych considerations apply to modern men and women - if much of the psychological side is hormonally mediated, then with things like taking the Pill and putting off childbirth until the early 30's, at least the female hormonal function is going to be considerably different than it was in the EEA.

My impression is that the negative response to Hanson's comments was not prompted by the apparent uncertainty he displayed. In fact, it was prompted by the apparent _certainty_ he displayed. "Is Overcoming Bias Male?" listed two possible explanations for OB's lack of female readership, and described these as "two main possibilities," with the implication that these were the _only_ main possibilities. The comments on the post seem to be bothered by how far Robin was able to pare down the "main possibilities." The commenters seem to think there are "main possibilities" other than (or instead of) these two. That's different from saying that Robin found women too incomprehensible, and is sort of the opposite (he found them too comprehensible and homogenous, after too little explicit argument).

One thing that I think is important, and was not mentioned in this post: the majority of the human population is (exclusively or almost exclusively) heterosexual, so there is an entire sphere of interactions that many people only have with the opposite sex, and not with the same sex. If we assume that romantic and sexual interactions make people more confused about each others' motives than the average interaction--which seems reasonable enough, and of course "romance is confusing" is a popular meme on par with "women/men are confusing"--then that could be one factor in why the opposite sex tends to seem more confusing. This claim is pretty easily testable, just by studying people with different sexual orientations. I wonder if there is already data out there on this kind of thing?

rfiel, I've added an explicit disclaimer to that post.

Good question Z.M Davis. I don't know Eliezer's answer, but mine is that men who think women are easy to understand are typically unusually non-empathetic men who don't know that anyone cares about really understanding anyone else. By "understand" they mean "know a few tricks for manipulating that pretty reliably work as expected". It's the equivalent of knowing how to aim a cannon and thinking that one is done with physics. A smaller number simply have belief in belief that the sexes are identical and believe that they would be bad people if they seriously considered the alternative. Since people don't draw inferences from beliefs that they just believe they hold, this misstatement doesn't harm them and so just like God it isn't really a delusion in the clinical sense. Least common are unusually feminine men and unusually masculine women who socially restrict their interactions to the limit of their ability to members of some sub-culture (business, academia, sf fandom) where behavior strongly characteristic of one gender over the other are disapproved of and somewhat repressed. These people can then honestly say that among their type of people the two genders act pretty similar and simply dismiss outsiders as a defective Other who don't merit consideration. In this case the complexity remains but isn't identified with gender. Sadly, because male is considered the default gender (and possibly because there are more highly masculine women than highly feminine men?), women in these cultures are required to shift their behavior far more than men are required to even when both are present in equal numbers. This prevents potentially valuable regions of social design space from being explored.

rfriel: Maybe "romance with women is confusing?" My impression is that homosexual male romance is much less confusing than heterosexual romance and that homosexual female romance may the most confusing of the three.

Maybe that's just my incompetence... but I am skeptical that any man fully understands women or vice versa.

Does any human fully understand any other human?

most people don't see the overwhelming irony of their lives

This is an intriguing comment - but what exactly does it refer to? :-)

michael vassar:
"My impression is that homosexual male romance is much less confusing than heterosexual romance and that homosexual female romance may the most confusing of the three."

Not at all. From an insider perspective, it appears confusing and jumbled too. Can't tell how much more or less confusing than heterosexual romance, since I lack that bit of information.

There may also be the fact homosexuality has long been, and is still to some extent, taboo, rife with self denial, prejudices, shame, etc., which perhaps could have made it, and the associated romance more confusing than what it could have been for the partakers. Then again, the same would be true of heterosexuality for as long as it has been subjected to the burden of puritan and judeo christian morality.

In an ideal world, this would be a reasonable comment. In the real world, with the history of male oppression of women that comes with it, there is an asymmetry that means these things are not equivalent.

Shouldn't we be trying to move our "real world" in the direction of an "ideal world"?

I sometimes get the impression that contemporary sex/race-oppression consciousness is analogous to the Jewish Yom Kippur ritual as Eliezer described it, in which the point is confessing sins, not trying to avoid them and keeping track of how well one has done. Just as it would be a violation for a participant in the ceremony to say e.g. "Actually, I'm happy to report that I didn't steal anything this year, so I'm going to leave that part out, thank you", so too is it something of a faux pas for a member of contemporary Western polite society to fail to treat the historical oppression of women and minorities as if it were a currently potent social force in his/her own culture.

I think you have to be careful when you say,

trying to use your brain to understand something that is not like your brain.

We can't use our brains to understand brains that are like our brains. We don't have that kind of access. Empathy is a function and not something you just get for free on account of similarity. Where we have obvious faculties in this area - understanding the emotional state of another person - I don't see any strong differences between same sex and opposite sex empathy. We can all tell when a member of the opposite sex is distressed; the hard part is figuring out why. Where there are such differences - as with motivations - I don't see much evidence that we're particular talented at getting it right with members of the same sex either.

Anecdotally, the few times I've had to wrestle with the motivations of a member of the same sex to the same degree one does in relationships on a regular basis, they've been completely opaque to me. But it's rare that a member of the same sex is in the position to really screw with you to the point that you dwell on their motivations. Nor are we particularly concerned with pleasing them or self-conscious about how they perceive us. If you listen to a man or woman talk about the motivations of a problematic same sex family member, an area where we often do have volatile relationships, it can be quite similar to how men and women talk about their partners (i.e., total confusion, disbelief, etc). Even the way people talk about their bosses can be similar.

So while I'd never claim to understand women, I'd challenge the claim that I understand men.

I have noticed that communicating with the opposite sex is challenging even in the workplace (not just romance). When it's just "a bunch of guys" we somehow get the engineering meeting done a lot faster.

Eliezer, I expect clearer thinking from you.

"Yes, there are two different sexes in the human species... "Sex" is the biological difference."

Anne Fausto-Sterling's (and others) work on intersexuality proposes that up to 2 percent of all human children born show some biological sexual ambiguity. A significant fraction of them, have the physical appearance opposite to their genetic code. This is in addition to gender dysphoria, where people have one physical sex but feel themselves to be 'truly' the other sex.

Human sex, gender and behavior are much more fluid and complicated than our common sense labels suggest.

Evelyn, wouldn't you say that transsexuals who grow up looking externally like boys [girls], are treated like boys [girls], but who know their whole lives that they're one of the girls [boys], tends to show the existence of genuinely different sexes determined by brain patterning rather than outward form or socialization?

Here is a nice breakdown with graphics of how to maintain an optimal relationship:
http://crap.fi/archive/6497.jpg

Regarding pick-up artists. This is very interesting, they reverse-engineer the female brainware through social experiments(approaching girls). If you look at the results that some of them get it is quite amazing. I heard of guys who went out 8 nights in a row and got laid 7 times, each night with a different girl they met on the same night. This means in each of these situations they only had a few hours(1-4) from the time they approached the girl until they ended in bed.

If you read or watch some of their materials it is amazing how much thought and structure goes into their procedures. I agree that they don't have a full understanding of the female brain, but most of them are result oriented so they are happy enough with getting laid.

What is even more interesting: most of them are much better dating advisers to other men than the best women. Women itself are not good dating advisers for men, which seems paradoxical. While a woman certainly can tell when she is attracted to a man she can't break down why exactly this man is attractive to her and will say general things like: "He is charming", etc... A pick up artist can break it down to you and tell you exactly what you have to do to cause the "charming" impression.

Addendum regarding pick-up artist:

Most of them will tell you that you can't think logically when trying to understand women and that their brain is wired differently. So they are well aware of this gap between the sexes.

I know of at least one male writer who has managed to write women convincingly, at least according to book cover blurbs and online reviews.

Being transsexual myself I tend to agree that there is some inherent brain differences but I think they are fairly small. In fact I think taking the correct hormones for my sex had a greater effect on my brain than my inborn differences did. I thought about the subject a lot and after some research I decided it was probably just a birth defect that caused my brain not to develop into a male pattern correctly. So I grew up with a bug in my software and all my experiences kept returning corrupt data that built up more and more until I just couldn't take it any more. Now being in this unique position I have both a greater and lesser understanding of the aspects of both genders. I have not been able to separate out what the specific differences would be thought in absence of hormones.

I don't believe I even understand myself.* So it's no wonder I don't really understand others (those of the opposite gender in particular).

_______

*The irony being that it probably takes an unusual degree of self-understanding to understand this.

men who think women are easy to understand are typically unusually non-empathetic men who don't know that anyone cares about really understanding anyone else. By "understand" they mean "know a few tricks for manipulating that pretty reliably work as expected"
But of course! That's what everyone means by "understanding other people".

If humans actually understood other humans, we wouldn't be stumbling and groping blindly towards constructing a true science of psychology. We'd have had one decades or centuries ago.

Humans intuitively grasp the mechanics of gravity acting upon moving objects. They can solve, in real time, the partial differential equations that describe such motion. That does NOT mean humans understand calculus intuitively, nor does it mean they understand physics. It means they evolved to be able to throw spears and hit targets with them - nothing more.

Only people with little insight into how minds work believe they possess an understanding of them. Rather in the same way that incompetent people tend not to be competent enough to recognize their own incompetence, actually.

Because men have been and are currently considered human and women Other, the reinforcing of this trope by a man carries a lot more force and hurt than if a woman were to speak about men as if they were strange, unsympathetic Others. Robin is a person with privilege denying the humanity of disprivileged people. He's following a pattern that's been used to justify the rape and abuse of women for thousands of years.

If a woman says something about how strange and foreign men are, she's not supported by that kind of history, and she's not speaking as a member of the dominant group. Also, she wouldn't be saying it on an Oxford Institute supported blog, would she?

Because men have been and are currently considered human and women Other, the reinforcing of this trope by a man carries a lot more force and hurt than if a woman were to speak about men as if they were strange, unsympathetic Others. Robin is a person with privilege denying the humanity of disprivileged people. He's following a pattern that's been used to justify the rape and abuse of women for thousands of years.

So Robin isn't a human to you, he's a part of a pattern? What you're saying doesn't sound to me like Robin at all, and if you just stuck around and looked at him you'd see that.

Now you're managing to offend me, not so much by your insensitivity to Robin, as by your deciding that seeing patterns instead of people is allowed for you. That you don't even need to try to make an effort to see Robin as Robin. You justify this by saying that you're part of a disprivileged class; but sorry, Angel, the healing road doesn't only go one way. I haven't raped anyone and neither to my knowledge has Robin; we are not anything other men have done, we are only our own deeds.

>Robin is a person with privilege denying the humanity of disprivileged people. He's following a pattern that's been >used to justify the rape and abuse of women for thousands of years.

I think it's bad form to imply that Robin wanted to deny the humanity of anyone, let alone justify their rape or abuse. Regardless of whether Robin is a member of a dominant group or not, he is a fallible individual human being, and we should assume in good faith that he honestly wanted to know whether this blog is off-putting to women without jumping to the conclusion that he intended harm, consciously or otherwise. It's unfortunate that the post itself gave offense to some women (and I imagine there were plenty of women who read it who took no offense) but it would be better to ask ourselves how we can do better in the future, rather than make accusations.

komponisto, "trying to move our 'real world' in the direction of an 'ideal world'" is different from "pretending our 'real world' is already an 'ideal world';" the latter action often undermines the former goal.


If the 'real world' merely had a history of male oppression, it would not be a problem. The problem is that the 'real world' has substantial ongoing male oppression, some of which is contingent on the past environment, and is better detected when you know something about past, in exactly the same way that knowing something about the human ancestral environment enables you to discover things about present day human psychology. This is what is being referred to when one speaks of history.

Tom, when Robin asked me for concrete examples of how the site could do better, I gave four suggestions, and he told me he didn't want my silly "wishlist."

That experience has made me somewhat doubt his good faith, so his following a pattern of thinking (Othering women) which has been used so negatively for so long doesn't look terribly good upon reflection.

I'd like to mention that Eliezer was kind enough to make the distinction between bio sex and gender very clear in this post, which is one of the things I suggested, and which I appreciated. Despite disagreeing with the assumptions underlying other parts of the post, it was good to have that there.

Angel, I agree that he comes across as a bit arrogant in that thread, but that's just his way. I think he was trying to ask for a list of don't's and you gave him a list of do's, and the ensuing communications breakdown led to this thread. But I think we have an opportunity now to correct this. So a question we might ponder is, what mistakes (not omissions) should be avoided in order to (to some extent) overcome gender bias?

Angel,

When someone "talks about women as if they were a strange incomprehensible unsympathetic Other" (as Eliezer put it), are they necessarily "denying the humanity of" women? I agree that "talking about women as an incomprehensible Other" is a trope that has often helped men exclude women from groups and conversations. If a group of men talks a lot about how women are mysterious and incomprehensible, then that's surely going to make it harder for women to become accepted members of that group. However, that doesn't mean that the group is denying the humanity of women, as they may only be speaking for themselves, not for humanity. As I read it, Robin's post only dealt with his own ability (or lack thereof) to understand of women, and not the ability of "men," "humans," or any other group.

Of course, he is writing for an audience, so insofar as he expects his readership to have the same level-of-understanding that he does, he _is_ claiming something about the level-of-understanding of the group "OB readers." But I'm not sure he actually expected that. Like many posts on OB, I took his post to be a set of discussion-starting suggestions that are open to revision by readers who know more about the issue than he does. An clearer expression of his relative lack of qualification would have been nice, though.

Personally, I have two big issues with Robin's post, but neither of them have to do with treating women as an Other. (I agree with Eliezer that this is not a problem, _so long as_ one makes sure to emphasize that one is only making claims about one's own ability to understand, and not the ability of some group that one belongs to.) My first complaint is that he implied that there are only two possible explanations for OB's low female readership, and that the cited explanations did not nearly seem to cover all the potentially important factors. He has now added a disclaimer precluding this interpretation, so I guess he never intended it in the first place? My second complaint is that he seems to conflate the questions "is OB's project 'male'?" and "why does OB have relatively few female readers?" It makes sense to quote gender-essentialist epistemologists by way of answering the first question. I'd imagine that people who say "OB's project is male" are subscribers to that kind of epistemology, as otherwise it'd be hard to say how the abstract philosophical issues that concern (much of) OB's project could be considered "male." On the other hand, "women judging OB's project to be male" is only one of many imaginable factors in OB's low female participation, and acting like it's the only one is just bizarre.

Without intending offense to people who have posted about the issue (as, after all, I'm one of them), I hope this doesn't just become a discussion of Robin's old post, as there are other interesting issues raised in the OP. Although, most of those issues are relevant to Robin's post, at least to the issue of whether he views women as an Other and whether this is bad.

I don't see where Robin used the word "silly".

eli: thanks for setting a few things straight here!

Angel suggests that we don't have more women here because we need more "diversity of opinion within feminism" and more use of distinctions popular with academic feminists, such as gender vs. sex. So let me note that my original post consisted almost entirely of quoting from academic feminists. Also note that while Eliezer did make the requested gender/sex distinction in the above, it actually was not used in his further discusison - it appears to be there just there to signal.

Roland:
If you read or watch some of their materials it is amazing how much thought and structure goes into their procedures. I agree that they don't have a full understanding of the female brain, but most of them are result oriented so they are happy enough with getting laid.

Is this stuff available online somewhere? I'd be curious to see what those procedures are like, and what sort of reasoning there's behind them.

(I'd add the standard "I'm just curious, I'm not interested in actually applying such things" disclaimer, if I thought that anybody reading this would actually believe me. ;))

Robin, on the contrary, I felt that it framed the discussion nicely, discouraging people from conflating the two in their comments as has happened in previous OB posts. It, along with Eliezer pointing out that "A good deal (perhaps a majority) of what we think of as 'manly' or 'womanly' is gender rather than sex," combines to set the tone for a clearer, more civil discussion by getting two points of misinformation and bias out of the way to begin with.

Robin,

Your post included two quotes from academic feminists, both of which took the view that traditional concepts in philosophy need feminist revision. I took Angel's point to be that this view is not the only one in academic feminism (despite what the second quote says about "virtually all feminists"). It is undoubtedly possible to quote two scholars in an academic tradition while still importantly ignoring diversity in that tradition.

rfriel, that's about the sum of it, yes. One perspective within a tradition shouldn't be selected out to represent the entire tradition. Gender essentialist feminism isn't anathema by any means but it cannot alone claim the label "feminist thought"; there are other perspectives and arguments which need to be considered. This could have been accomplished prior to the post going live with the mere addition of a single sentence saying "it is true, though, that not all feminists agree with this outlook, so maybe things aren't as clearcut as they seem" and a link. The cherry picking of one feminist POV leads directly to the limited "main possibilities" the problems with which you explained well in an earlier comment.

Men don't understand men - even given that a man's way of thinking may be more similar to another man's than a woman's would be.

Do not confuse "having similar reactions as another person" with "understanding that person". We do not understand ourselves, much less others, and agreeing implies very little about the method of reaching agreement.

Kaj Sotala:

Is this stuff available online somewhere? I'd be curious to see what those procedures are like, and what sort of reasoning there's behind them.

Yes, here we go:

How to build stories from your life(scroll down past the podcast announcement).

Good demo video of Mystery.

A good book.(free sample chapters download).

Free podcasts.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you are a torrent fan, join bitseduce while it is open to join. Tons of stuff there.

(I'd add the standard "I'm just curious, I'm not interested in actually applying such things" disclaimer, if I thought that anybody reading this would actually believe me. ;))

Why do you feel the need to add this disclaimer? It's interesting that a lot of men feel embarrassed to seek pick up advice. What conclusions can we draw from this? Btw, I'm not implying that you are seeking advice but you still felt the need to add that disclaimer. It's a sad fact that men are mostly on their own when it comes to picking up, while women on the other hand have no problem in turning to their peers to seek advice and talk about it. Fortunately the pick up community has changed this!

Robin: The gender/sex distinction was there to support additional items that got taken out and saved for future posts (which I'll probably do eventually). I don't regret leaving it in here, as it stands as an important general observation.

Among the controversial ideas I would propose, is that until men start thinking of themselves as men they will tend to regard women as defective humans.

It's also worth noting that feminists don't necessarily speak for women any more than philosophers of science speak for scientists.

Angel, the logic of your discussion with Robin seemed clear to me: Robin asked for examples of what this blog could doing to drive away women. A direct answer might have been "You talk about us like we're aliens, well, we don't like that" or "As soon as I saw the header image I wanted to leave." You replied with a list of general things you thought Robin should do, which is not at all the same as saying, "I think this is driving away your female readers." Which latter would be, to some extent, testable, and something we could ask other readers about. I didn't think your list was unhelpful, but ultimately Robin is not obligated to do something just because you want him to do it.

If Robin sinned against you in that thread, then I, myself also a male, cannot see it. And remember that there is a male sex and a female sex, not a wrong sex and a right sex. So it is not that the truth is laid out plainly, and you see it, but we are blind. That is treating us as defective versions of yourself. If you can point out an exact specific moment where you were offended, we may be able to cross the gap and see this thing that is in your brain and not in ours. If you only tell us that you were offended, we can only guess.

Kaj Sotala

I tried to post a list of good links here, but the spamfilter blocked it. It is now awaiting the approval of the blog owner. If this doesn't show up later I will try again.

Eliezer, feminists speak for women in the sense that feminism(s) have the effect of expanding the definition of what it is to be "women" to include the true diversity of people who are biologically female. There are women who are misogynistic and racist on varying levels of virulence, just as there are misogynistic and racist men of all sorts. Anti-racist, anti-sexist women aren't going to be able to speak for those women anymore than anti-bias men speak for their racist, sexist brethren.

It seems more beneficial to give a list of concrete things that would work to improve the atmosphere of a discussion than to give a list of Don'ts. Even if I knew everything that every woman could possibly find offensive (which I don't), the list would have to be much longer. Why not address the root of the problem and clear the air that way, instead of dogging at every single problematic instance I can see?

If Robin sinned against you in that thread, then I, myself also a male, cannot see it. And remember that there is a male sex and a female sex, not a wrong sex and a right sex. So it is not that the truth is laid out plainly, and you see it, but we are blind. That is treating us as defective versions of yourself.

Eliezer, I'd hope for better than this for you.

This is a straw man argument, since I never generalized by problems with Robin to the entire male sex. Not once have I taken his behavior and extrapolated conclusions about all men from it. Doing so would actually be a violation of my own feminist beliefs about the diversity of human beings, for cripe's sake.

If you'd like an example of something that offends me, putting words in my mouth is a good place to start.

*from, not for.

Angel, I'm not arguing that you so generalized - let us both be careful not to put words into the other's mouth. It seemed to me, though, that your discussion with Robin - and certainly your commentary in conversations elsewhere - had an element of "How can they possibly not see it?!?" Now, this blindness could be due to a gender gap rather than a sex gap, or even due to personal incompetence of Robin and myself. But it seems to me that there is an element of "naive gender realism" here, in which you suppose that you directly see the universe the way it really is, and the annoying Other is blind. It is necessary to take a step back from this and realize that "annoyance" is not a direct element of external reality. If you are annoyed and someone else isn't, it doesn't mean that one of you is right and the other is wrong, it may mean that you are different people. Whether or not this is due to sex is ultimately irrelevant, but sex difference is certainly a famous generator of such gaps.

In truth, I don't expect people to be able to identify exactly what bugs them, because I don't expect human beings in general to be that good at understanding their own brains. But your advice to Robin, well-meant as it was, was not based in the same goals that Robin pursues, or myself for that matter. Still if you have specific suggestions for "things that male writers on rationality inadvertently do that turn off female readers", or even just "Here's the exact sentence where I stopped reading", then I am, according to my own goals, interested. I am not solicitous of growing female rationalists for the same reason you are, but nonetheless I care that they should not depart the Way, male or female. I am not going to adopt your goals, but we may have common ground for discussion nonetheless.

i think adding an additional dimension does at least not loose any precision. so we have now not ownly "two kind" of people, but "four kind" of people. People={male,female}x{man,women} or however you may call 'em. but then, why stop there? i'm sure we can dissect the whole thing even further, if we only wanted to. why do then some people think that their choice of cutoff point is naturally superior to any other?
for some subspace of topics this distinction is indeed relevant, and i understand it when some people do strongly insist on exact wording. but then again, see, what the sender sends is only half the message. the other half of the message comes from the receiver. (and, yes, 50:50 is just another arbitrary border i set - and i expect you to allow me that. the reason for this is that i do not normally want to have to write all those disclaimers.)
well, now see if that rant made any sense.... =)

kind regards, frank

acutally, i suggest an alternarive using a few more dimensions:
we={male_built,female_built,...}x{male_image,female_image,...}x{sexually_aggressive,sexually_passive}x{attracted_to_males,not_attracted_to_males}x{attracted_to_females,not_attracted_to_females}

how is that for a start?

kind regards, frank

i suggest an alternarive using a few more dimensions:
we={male_built,female_built,...}
x{male_image,female_image,...}
x{sexually_aggressive,sexually_passive}
x{attracted_to_males,not_attracted_to_males}
x{attracted_to_females,not_attracted_to_females}

sorry, it seems like it does not wrap... (at least here on opera, forgive reposte please)

kind regards, frank

Angel: "If you'd like an example of something that offends me, putting words in my mouth is a good place to start."

Eliezer: "Angel, I'm not arguing that you so generalized - let us both be careful not to put words into the other's mouth."

I believe this confusion is over the referent of "we" and "us" in the Eliezer's statement, "So it is not that the truth is laid out plainly, and you see it, but we are blind. That is treating us as defective versions of yourself." Eliezer meant Robin and himself; Angel read it to refer to all men.


Frank, I've heard it said that there could be at least 6 genders, if people weren't arbitrarily silenced or excluded for fitting nicely in the dual gender boxes like good little girls and boys. I don't see why a broader set of options would be a negative thing: whatever is human should not be foreign to us; we shouldn't erase people from existence who don't fit neatly into our categories; people are more important than categories.

Anyway. The sex/gender division isn't the be all end all of gender discussion, but it's a pretty fundamental point that has to be got across before the effects we observe can be understood more clearly. It's one of the stepping stones to seeing the territory as it is, instead of the map.

*for not fitting nicely, rather

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