I'd like to talk to some LGBT LWers.

post by Solvent · 2011-12-30T10:39:10.249Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 72 comments

When _ozymandias posted zir introduction post a few days ago, I went off and binged on blogs from the trans/men's rights/feminist spectrum. I found them absolutely fascinating. I've always had lots of sympathy for transgendered people in particular, and care a lot about all those issues. I don't know what I think of making up new pronouns, and I get a bit offput by trying to remember the non-offensive terms for everything. For example, I'm sure that LGBT as a term offends people, and I agree that lumping the T with the LGB is a bit dubious, but I don't know any other equivalent term that everyone will understand. I'm going to keep using it.

However, I don't currently know any LGBT people who I can talk to about these things. In particular, the whole LGBT and feminist and so on community seems to be prone to taking unnecessary offense, and believing in subjectivism and silly things like that.

So I'd really like to talk with some LWers who have experience with these things. I've got questions that I think would be better answered by an IM conversation than by just reading blogs.

If anyone wants to have an IM conversation about this, please message me. I'd be very grateful.

EDIT: Wow, that's an amazing response. Thank you all for your kind offers. I'll talk to as many of you as I can get around to.

72 comments

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comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-30T13:17:08.862Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

However, I don't currently know any LGBT people who I can talk to about these things. In particular, the whole LGBT and feminist and so on community seems to be prone to taking unnecessary offense, and believing in subjectivism and silly things like that.

You clearly don't appreciate other kinds of knowing.

But to be serious I extended a fair amount of effort trying to get value and some understating from the feminist blogosphere and some academic papers, but I've been mostly bitterly disappointed with the horrible epistemology that routinely goes unchallenged and the generally low level of discourse that dosen't seem to have much to do with reality, even worse it doesn't seem to be useful in any way.

I began my project as a sort of detox for my exposure to some of the less than pretty aspects of PUA practice and theory, after 3 to 4 months I abandoned it, after realizing it was making what I planned to solve worse.

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2011-12-31T18:16:51.777Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's true that there is a lot of painfully bad epistemology in feminist discourse. However, the proportion of bad epistemology is typical of most human discourse concerned with advocacy. Theorists concerned with advocacy often fail to work according to the following dictum:

First make a dispassionate and disinterested effort to figure out whether X is true. Then worry about whether it is right or wrong to assert X.

That said, I think that I've benefited from reading feminist theory. I think that I sympathize with its claims more often than most people. Reading feminists helps me to overcome the Typical Mind fallacy. For example, the "put myself in a woman's shoes" heuristic wouldn't be enough to make me realize how uncomfortable some women are with being propositioned by an undesirable person in an elevator.

Also, I'm struck by the extent to which feminism and PUA theorists provide independent confirmation for each other. They often join each other in opposition to the conventional wisdom. For example, feminists and, say, PUAs of the Roissy variety will agree that some innocuous-seeming action is intended to infantilize women. The feminists and Roissy just disagree about whether it is right to act that way with that intent. They agree about the "is" claim; they just disagree about the "ought" implications. I typically side with the feminists on the "ought" questions in these cases, but I can appreciate the PUAs for corroborating the underlying "is" claim.

comment by FiftyTwo · 2011-12-31T19:51:23.140Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A related issue is that a lot of rather bad philosophy has labelled itself 'feminist' as a way of avoiding the same level of scrutiny it would otherwise have (e.g. look up feminist epistemology or metaphysics). [I'm not saying theres nothing good in them, but theres little benefit from lumping it together outside the mainstream debates.]

This damages 'real' feminism because its associated with these, when most proper feminist statements are fairly logically coherent (e.g. the morally relevant things about humans are found in both genders, therefore we should treat both genders as equal).

comment by J_Taylor · 2012-01-04T03:57:22.337Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would wager that current epistemology labelled 'feminist' is not reliably worse than mainstream epistemology.

comment by HughRistik · 2012-01-01T23:22:22.500Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's true that there is a lot of painfully bad epistemology in feminist discourse. However, the proportion of bad epistemology is typical of most human discourse concerned with advocacy.

That's true. As far as ideologies go, feminism isn't that bad. It's really in a similar category to men's rights, and pickup. Mainstream politics (democrat vs. republican) are at least as ideological, and religion and multi-level marketing organizations are much worse.

What makes feminism special is that in white, middle / upper class society, people often don't look on feminism with the level of skepticism that they might apply in mainstream politics. Feminism has very high status relative to how ideologically biased it is. Pickup and men's rights are also ideologically biased, but they aren't high status, and pickup artists and MRAs don't have a powerful government lobby like feminists do.

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2012-01-02T01:24:13.688Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Feminism has very high status relative to how ideologically biased it is.

Among all similarly-biased ideologies (similar in degree, not necessarily in direction), feminism is unusually high-status.

But is feminism unusually biased for the level of its status? It doesn't seem to me that it is. If feminism weren't occupying that position of status, some other ideology would be, and I wouldn't expect this other ideology to be less biased.

comment by HughRistik · 2012-01-02T05:14:50.769Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

But is feminism unusually biased for the level of its status?

I'm not sure.

If feminism weren't occupying that position of status, some other ideology would be, and I wouldn't expect this other ideology to be less biased.

An alternative is that feminism would share space with other gender political ideologies in liberal political dialogue. Just like both liberalism and conservatism share status among different parts of the population, feminism would share status with other gender political movements.

Unfortunately, in white middle/upper class, educated liberal gender politics, feminism is the single party in a one-party system. I would like to see more forms of gender politics that are progressive, so there can be competition in the gender politics space.

comment by _ozymandias · 2012-01-02T05:54:38.822Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

To a certain degree, different brands of feminism could function as different parties (certainly in academic feminism they do). A Christina-Hoff-Sommers-esque conservative feminist is unlikely to agree much with a Dworkinite radical feminist. For instance, "rape is a subset of violence with no particularly gendered component" and "rape is the natural outgrowth of a culture in which women's subordination to men is eroticized" are two substantially different positions (both of which I disagree with).*

Admittedly, the average person is not particularly clear on the distinct branches of feminism; hell, there is still a widespread belief that radical feminist means "a feminist who's really extreme" as opposed to a distinct framework of theories and political beliefs. And even among the different groups of feminists there are usually some common premises (gender being at least partially a social construct, men being privileged over women, etc.).

That said, I too would like more variation in the gender politics space; some groups (most notably, men) are distinctly underserved by the current gender discourse, and more competition in the marketplace of ideas can only be a good thing. :)

*I am somewhat cheating here by picking an issue on which there is a lot of disagreement among different branches of feminism, as opposed to (say) the gender gap, in which the primary disagreement is between feminists who do and do not suck at math.

comment by HughRistik · 2012-01-05T19:58:08.715Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

To a certain degree, different brands of feminism could function as different parties (certainly in academic feminism they do).

You are quite correct. There are large disagreements and fissures within feminism. These disagreements might not be obvious or cared about by non-feminists (similar to how many feminists don't recognize the differences within MRAs and PUAs). See out-group homogeneity bias.

As you also observe correctly, there are some common premises (and biases) even within these different groups of feminists. Although there are widely varying feminist opinions on porn, trans people, race issues, etc, there unfortunately seems to be a lot of homogeneity in how feminists view men's issues.

For example, the notion that "men are privileged over women" is very common, and I wish that there was more debate within feminism about whether that was an acceptable generalization, and what it means.

The acceptance of these concepts is merely a case of the availability heuristic. Women's oppression (and men's privilege) is more cognitively available to feminist women, so their theories often fail to account for oppression towards men and female privileges. This bias is not completely universal across feminist factions, but it's very broad.

I hope that if examples of male suffering, female perpetration, and female advantages were more cognitively available to feminists, then some of them would eventually update their theories into a form of feminism that is more inclusive.

I think you've been taking a step in that direction with your blogging, with your posts on undiagnosed brain injury in the military, how sexual violence, domestic violence, and abuse are much less gendered than the traditional feminist portrayal according to new surveying, and the underreporting and cover-up of sexual violence towards men in African conflict zones.

That said, I too would like more variation in the gender politics space; some groups (most notably, men) are distinctly underserved by the current gender discourse, and more competition in the marketplace of ideas can only be a good thing. :)

I couldn't agree more.

comment by MugaSofer · 2012-12-15T20:05:29.204Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I too would like more variation in the gender politics space; some groups (most notably, men) are distinctly underserved by the current gender discourse, and more competition in the marketplace of ideas can only be a good thing. :)

What if an idea is highly competitive but factually wrong? Or even actively harmful?

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2012-01-02T06:27:21.730Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Unfortunately, in white middle/upper class, educated liberal gender politics, feminism is the single party in a one-party system. I would like to see more forms of gender politics that are progressive, so there can be competition in the gender politics space.

At this point, we probably have to pin down the meanings of "feminism", "liberal", and "progressive" a bit to make some progress. So, what would be an example of a "gender politics" that is "liberal" and "progressive", but not represented by any "party"?

All "liberal gender politics" are going to look similar in some ways just in virtue of being liberal gender politics. You are evidently claiming that the only actual liberal gender politics is contingently feminist (in the de dicto sense), but that feminism is not among those features that it has just in virtue of being liberal gender politics. I'm trying to delineate which features you'd say that liberal gender politics has qua liberal gender politics, and which you'd say that it has only contingently.

comment by HughRistik · 2012-01-02T09:50:46.841Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

So, what would be an example of a "gender politics" that is "liberal" and "progressive", but not represented by any "party"?

The men's rights movement and pickup are both gender politics movements. Some segments of those movements are "progressive" (defined later), and some are not (just like feminism: some of it is progressive, some of it is not). These movements are not "parties" because they have very little political power. Feminism has quite a lot of political power.

First, some definitions.

In gender politics, a "traditionalist" is someone who believes that our ideas and cultural practices around gender are better the way they are, or were better in the past. A "progressive" is someone who believes that gender politics is flawed, and should be changed according to a set of values. These values might include equality, autonomy, bodily integrity, and more.

Feminists had a problem with gendered cultural practices, and they created a successful movement. By changing gender norms and fighting sexism against women, feminists managed to change society towards greater equality and autonomy for women. In these ways, feminism is a progressive gender political movement.

Unfortunately, feminism hasn't been a consistently progressive gender political movement. Thanks to bias in feminism (self-serving biases, typical mind fallacy, availability heuristic), there are many traditional ideas that are unchallenged by feminism. In some cases, feminist arguments or behaviors reinforce tradition.

Feminists don't believe that they are being traditional, because their typical idea of tradition is a "patriarchy" where men where unilaterally advantaged over women of similar class and race. Yet that portrayal is only sometimes accurate throughout history. Men have experienced disadvantages throughout history that feminists haven't fully recognized (see forced labor for instance). Yet since feminists haven't recognized them, feminists typically seem to think that to be "progressive," the only (or primary) thing activists need to do is to improve the situation of women.

As an abstract example, let's say that is a culture with 4 ideas or practices around gender:

A and B: disadvantage women C: disadvantages men and women D: disadvantages men

Here are how the arguments look to me:

Traditionalists: Pro-A, B, C, and D

Typical feminist: anti-A, anti-B, "C disadvantages women more than men, or women exclusively"

What feminism thinks tradition is: A, B, and C disadvantaging women only. D is not recognized as tradition, even though it is.

Progressive non-feminist: anti-C, anti-D, opposes how feminism misrepresents the effect of C on men

Right now, in the wider culture, there is a two party system in gender politics: feminism (a partially progressive movement) and conservatism (a mostly traditional movement). Yet this two-party system under-serves many people. Conservatism doesn't serve any progressives at all.

There are a lot of possible positions for people who want to change how cultures treat men and women, but neither towards the past, nor in the exact ways that feminists typically want to change things. There are lots of people like this, but they don't have an influential and high-status movement like feminism.

So for people who want change things, there is only one party in gender politics: feminism. The men's rights movement and the pickup community are growing into contenders in the gender politics space, but they lack influence and status in white middle/upper class liberal discourse.

Yet without status, organization, representation, or a political lobby, non-feminists who are progressive about gender politics just get stomped on by both feminists and conservatives. They remain isolated, or they get folded into feminism, the men's rights movement, pickup, or libertarianism. Furthermore, there are feminists who like to portray vocal non-feminists as wanting to put women back in the kitchen, when that's not true of progressive non-feminists.

Simultaneously, a lot of the people who criticize feminism have traditional views that will be unattractive to progressives, leaving feminism without any competition among progressives, even though competition should exist to either incentive feminism to evolve in a more consistently progressive direction, or replace it if it won't.

comment by SilasBarta · 2012-01-03T16:29:04.910Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

For example, the "put myself in a woman's shoes" heuristic wouldn't be enough to make me realize how uncomfortable some women are with being propositioned by an undesirable person in an elevator.

Their epistemology, however, leads them to give insufficient distinction between the elevator issue and the undesirable issue. I followed that discussion when it was big, and I never saw attention being paid to it. And frankly, if it's more about the "undesirable" part -- if it's okay to proposition women in an elavator as long as she deems you hot -- I just can't sympathize.

"How dare he proposition me in an elavator ... without being desirable, I mean!"

I saw it as another case of, "Give the 'don't's but not the 'do's" -- extremely unhelpful and lacking rigor.

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2012-01-04T05:21:28.992Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

And frankly, if it's more about the "undesirable" part -- if it's okay to proposition women in an elavator as long as she deems you hot -- I just can't sympathize.

"How dare he proposition me in an elavator ... without being desirable, I mean!"

Even if feminists said exactly that, it would still be helpful.

Sympathy is not yet relevant at the stage I'm talking about. Such a remark would still be helpful as a correction on a factual error into which the Typical Mind Fallacy would have led me. Setting aside for the moment how anyone ought to feel, the "what would I feel" heuristic would not suffice to tell me that many women are in fact uncomfortable being propositioned by someone undesirable — in an elevator at least. I can't even get to the stage of judging the appropriateness of that reaction until I know that that reaction is in fact happening. That knowledge is one bit (of a very simple sort) that I have gotten from reading feminism.

comment by SilasBarta · 2012-01-04T15:59:07.601Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I thought I made clear that my evaluations of sympathy would be given at a later stage, similar to when you would do so, and after a (predictable) response is given.

Also, having to turn a man down is always going to be uncomfortable; the relevant question is whether doing so on an elevator is more uncomfortable in any relevant sense, and whether women would apply the rule hot guys..

comment by Tyrrell_McAllister · 2012-01-05T00:11:36.132Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I thought I made clear that my evaluations of sympathy would be given at a later stage, similar to when you would do so, and after a (predictable) response is given.

Okay, then we are on the same page here.

Also, having to turn a man down is always going to be uncomfortable; the relevant question is whether doing so on an elevator is more uncomfortable in any relevant sense,

I agree that the nature of the discomfort is relevant, such as whether it is affected by being in a confined space. I am persuaded that the confinement of an elevator makes it more uncomfortable. More generally, I am persuaded that the possibility of violence is a more prominent feature of these kinds of interactions for women than it is for men.

and whether women would apply the rule hot guys..

I don't really see this as so important a question, at least not for my purposes.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-01-03T16:42:11.208Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It makes perfect sense to me. Presumably the women in question are actually uncomfortable turning someone down in an elevator. If you turn out to be desirable, you dodged a bullet, but it still had the chance of being bad.

Similarly, if I point an unloaded gun at you, I'm breaking basic rules of gun handling, but you could argue that "it's okay" because you're not in any danger, in much the same way that "it's okay" to proposition women who think you're hot in an elevator.

comment by SilasBarta · 2012-01-03T17:32:59.873Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It makes perfect sense to me. Presumably the women in question are actually uncomfortable turning someone down in an elevator. If you turn out to be desirable, you dodged a bullet, but it still had the chance of being bad.

It always has the chance of being bad. But once you accept that it's okay for hot men to do it, then you have to allow for the possibility that some men will honestly overestimate their hotness to you.

Similarly, if I point an unloaded gun at you, I'm breaking basic rules of gun handling, but you could argue that "it's okay" because you're not in any danger, in much the same way that "it's okay" to proposition women who think you're hot in an elevator.

The analogy doesn't work. It is unconditionally bad to point a gun at someone -- "every gun is loaded" as the saying goes -- so you still violated protocol even if it's unloaded. In contrast, propositioning someone in an elevator retroactively becomes okay merely on the basis that you're not part of the rabble.

A consistent policy would be that elavator propositioning is wrong, regarless of how desireable you are, AND that these places {...} are acceptable for propositioning. As it stands, the complaint reduces to "How dare the rabble think they have a chance with me!" ... which, again, I can't really sympathize with.

comment by [deleted] · 2012-01-03T18:21:11.502Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't want to get into a drawn-out Elevatorgate discussion, but I would say that the majority of opinion is in agreement with you: NO ONE should proposition people in a "stuck" situation (such as an elevator, parked car, or any other "trapped with no one around and no way to get out" place). "Hotness" does not come into that decision.

comment by SilasBarta · 2012-01-03T18:34:28.452Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

NO ONE should proposition people in a "stuck" situation

I agree.

I don't agree that the event would have made the news if the propositioner had been sufficiently hot.

I don't agree, based on the previous, that "Hotness does not come into that decision."

Side note: a lot of what bothers me about conventional advice is that I saw my most romantically successful friends trample right over advice like this.

comment by BlackHumor · 2012-01-04T00:42:17.434Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The analogy doesn't work. It is unconditionally bad to point a gun at someone -- "every gun is loaded" as the saying goes -- so you still violated protocol even if it's unloaded. In contrast, propositioning someone in an elevator retroactively becomes okay merely on the basis that you're not part of the rabble.

Wait, what? The analogy works exactly; you're just assuming a priori that the bit you think doesn't fit actually doesn't fit. The analogy logically goes that if it's wrong to point a gun at someone regardless of whether you think it's loaded because it might be anyway and that would be Very Bad, it's also wrong to proposition women in elevators regardless of whether you think they'll accept because the situation where they don't would be Very Bad.

I don't know how you missed this; you seem to me to have pointed yourself directly to this conclusion and then walked past it.

comment by SilasBarta · 2012-01-04T03:11:41.513Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Wait, what? The analogy works exactly; you're just assuming a priori that the bit you think doesn't fit actually doesn't fit. The analogy logically goes that if it's wrong to point a gun at someone regardless of whether you think it's loaded because it might be anyway and that would be Very Bad, it's also wrong to proposition women in elevators regardless of whether you think they'll accept because the situation where they don't would be Very Bad.

No, the position of skepchic et al is (as best I can tell) that it would be no big deal if the propositioner were hot, at least to the extent that e.g. she wouldn't be making a blog post about, "hey, this guy I was really into asked me to his room [different terminology because she likes him] when we were on the elevator, and we had a great time, BUT YOU SHOULD NEVER DO THAT and don't take my acceptance on this occasion as an indication that it's okay, and I made this clear to him and informed his friends that he did something obviously very dangerous and which they should not repeat."

Now, you may have a point that there is a similarity between the two ("danger justifies erring on safe side as a rule"). However, there is a more important difference between how they're handled: specifically, that correct guessers on propositioning in elevators are rewarded, while correct guessers with gun handling are still punished (even if it's just a verbal rebuke). Yes, I suppose you "should" err on the safe side in both case, but as a practical matter no one is anywhere near giving a damn on correct guesses in one case, while they are very concerned in the other.

And this has fundamentally screwy incentives effects.

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-31T20:08:58.420Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also, I'm struck by the extent to which feminism and PUA theorists provide independent confirmation for each other. For example, feminists and, say, PUAs of the Roissy variety will agree that some innocuous-seeming action is intended to infantilize women. The feminists and Roissy just disagree about whether it is right to act that way with that intent. They agree about the "is" claim; they just disagree about the "ought" implications. I typically side with the feminists on the "ought" questions in these cases, but I can appreciate the PUAs for corroborating the underlying "is" claim.

Indeed, I noticed several such similarities when it comes to "is" as well. Perhaps if I had never been exposed to PUA, my perception of the gain when it comes to rent in anticipated experience from feminism might have been quite a bit higher.

comment by lessdazed · 2011-12-31T01:51:30.897Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

In particular, the whole LGBT and feminist and so on community seems to be prone to taking unnecessary offense

But to be serious I extended a fair amount of effort trying to get value and some understating from the feminist blogosphere and some academic papers, but I've been mostly bitterly disappointed with the horrible epistemology

I'd like to think that were I gay, being grouped with the feminist rather than transgendered people would be the offensive thing, if any. Not just for its epistemology, but because it is a set of beliefs and ways of acquiring beliefs rather than an orientation, regardless of its epistemology.

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-31T15:47:04.875Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Nice catch, I specifically spoke of the feminist blogosphere to avoid that implication.

comment by NancyLebovitz · 2011-12-30T14:50:11.298Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Tentative theory for why those venues are apt to be toxic-- people really do make both routine and targeted efforts to lower each other's status, and this really does exact a cost to those with frequently lowered status, but it's crazy-making to focus a lot on other people lowering one's status.

comment by Solvent · 2011-12-31T00:57:32.832Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

You clearly don't appreciate other kinds of knowing.

Sorry, what do you mean by that?

comment by duckduckMOO · 2011-12-31T01:16:47.376Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

it's a joke about subjectivism. I think its roughly supposed to be what a subjectivist would say, roughly "this is something a subjectivist would say" because of the original comment saying that subjectivism is silly.

comment by Solvent · 2011-12-31T01:24:00.824Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Um, okay. Thanks for the clarification.

comment by Emile · 2011-12-31T08:00:45.098Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I assume it's a reference to "knowing" in the biblical sense.

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-30T16:16:19.849Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If people can promise not to start going flamey, then I would love to see this as a non-private discussion here.

Otherwise, you can PM me: I'm a feminist, heteroflexible (I'm attracted to both, but tend to date guys, because it's easier), polyamorous person. Also, until recently I was an exotic dancer. Almost all of my best friends are pro-dom(mes).

For feminist blogs, I recommend Skepchick and No, Seriously, What About teh Menz.

Skepchick's Rebbeca Watson often says things which women tend to agree with, but men find threatening. (For those of you who are on the atheist subreddit, an example would be the recent blog post re: not upvoting rape joke comments on a pic of a pretty 15 year-old girl holding a picture of a Sagan book.)

What About teh Menz focuses on the male side of the coin. I suppose you could call it "masculinist", but it still fits under my definition of feminism which is about gender equality for everyone (ex. men should be ok to wear dresses, which are super comfortable, and able to cry in public/express emotions without being called "sissy")

comment by Solvent · 2011-12-31T11:24:53.860Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I talked with Ozy from What About teh Menz today. It was quite enlightening. Thanks for the links.

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-31T11:33:10.990Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I talked with Ozy from What About teh Menz today. It was quite enlightening.

If you two wouldn't mind sharing, I'd be really interested in knowing what you guys discussed, and what in particular you found enlightening. I'm sure others would too!

comment by Solvent · 2011-12-31T11:40:06.709Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd be fine with giving people a copy of the chat logs, perhaps with one slight edit to remove something personalish I said. I don't think I discussed this with Ozy ahead of time, and I'll ask zir about it.

EDIT: Having reread the log of the chat, I think that there is quite a bit of useful information in it, but a few bits are probably private. I'll ask Ozy.

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-30T16:21:58.674Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

.

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-30T19:49:00.891Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

tend to date guys, because it's easier

In what way(s)?

The shortest and easiest answer is availability. When I meet a guy, I can assume he is interested in females. However, when I meet a girl, I generally assume she is interested in males.

Also, more men than women fit my "pre-reqs" which include: Interested in females, atheist (or similar), geeky, polyamorous.

Example of differences in availability- In my search parameters on OKC who comes up with a match rating of 90% of higher?

Males- 35 of them. I have never seen one looking for "just friends". 23 of them are listed as Single.

Females- 11 of them. Some looking for "just friends". Only 4 are listed as "Single". Most already have serious primaries. (long-term SO, or married) This is fine, but means that the relationship will be unlikely to move past secondary. Also, 6 are "bi", which on OKC is sometimes just used as signalling, and "bi" girls aren't necessarily bi IRL.

A longer answer is that it is easier socially, and dating guys is society's (and my own) "default". I might post another answer explaining that, if I feel like writing a decent amount.

comment by Nick_Roy · 2011-12-30T22:57:04.825Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Interesting! What do you think a "bi" listing can signal? Openness to experience?

Edited for clarity. Also: I'm not complaining, but I am genuinely curious as to why this comment has been downvoted. Is this a sensitive topic?

comment by Solvent · 2011-12-31T00:55:13.535Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

According to OkTrends, 80% of people who claim to be bi on OkCupid only send messages to one sex.

This suggests that bisexuality is often either a hedge for gay people or a label adopted by straights to appear more sexually adventurous to their (straight) matches.

comment by arundelo · 2011-12-31T01:26:19.332Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Or they really are bi but find it easier to date one sex (like daenerys, although I don't know what her OkCupid orientation and messaging behavior are).

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-31T05:03:44.310Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

although I don't know what her OkCupid orientation and messaging behavior are

When I was only messaging guys on okc, I set my orientation to straight, even though I considered myself heteroflex, because I didn't want to falsely advertise to women. However in the match questions I answered the relevant questions as bi.

When I realized it was stupid for me to not message women on okc (I had been messaging guys as a default behaviour, even though okc allowed me to search only for bi/gay females, thus eliminating my primary reason for not dating girls in the first place), I changed my orientation to bi.

comment by Solvent · 2011-12-31T01:27:58.590Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2011-12-31T03:21:30.099Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Conversely, it might mean that 80% of bi people on OKC with a preference for one gender or another send messages only to their preferred gender.

comment by drethelin · 2011-12-31T07:40:05.088Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Or you can simply be bi and really picky about one gender. I used to be bi on okcupid but switched to straight when the only people looking at my profile were bears I wasn't at all attracted to.

comment by Nick_Roy · 2011-12-31T01:08:15.168Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fascinating, thank you. I also realize that I should have Googled that before asking.

comment by Alicorn · 2011-12-30T15:01:58.472Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm an immortal bisexual polyamorous superbeing. I'll talk to you. PM me with AIM, MSN, or Gtalk details.

comment by FiftyTwo · 2011-12-31T01:35:24.122Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Some of those terms would require a higher burden of proof than others....

comment by Alicorn · 2011-12-31T01:49:56.146Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm signed up for cryo (I may or may not actually be immortal) and have apparently unusual powers of applied luminosity.

comment by shminux · 2011-12-31T02:24:32.499Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm wondering whether you project your power into your Elcenia fic characters.

comment by Alicorn · 2011-12-31T03:06:59.178Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I try not to make Elcenia characters overly luminous.

comment by wedrifid · 2011-12-31T04:20:53.254Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Some of those terms would require a higher burden of proof than others....

Does it still count as murder if you test the first and she fails (both the first and the fourth)? Surely you could reduce it to manslaughter...

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-30T16:05:13.160Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm an immortal bisexual polyamorous superbeing.

Somehow that reminded me of I am a sexy shoeless god of war.

If someone can make a good illustration it's definitely a slogan for a t-shirt.

comment by Nornagest · 2011-12-30T22:38:13.480Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's not a perfect match by a long shot, but the first thing that came to mind was this comic.

comment by Vaniver · 2011-12-30T16:41:06.330Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm a homosexual male. I identify as 'individualist', and have gotten into a number of arguments with feminists on the xkcd forums. (There is significant tension between the 'anti-sexist' view and the 'sex-blind' view, and I prefer the latter.) Like Konkvistador, I am not impressed by the quality of feminist thought in general.

comment by wedrifid · 2011-12-31T04:18:09.609Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There is significant tension between the 'anti-sexist' view and the 'sex-blind' view, and I prefer the latter.

Is the "anti-sexist' view something along the lines of "You should be more sexist in favour of females (so long as they are behaving like good feminists)"? If not, what is the difference between anti-sexist and sex blind?

comment by Vaniver · 2011-12-31T16:10:39.811Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It is along those lines (the 'good feminists' part is becoming less and less meaningful as time progresses).* Unnamed is right to point out the prominence of bias in anti-sexist thinking: 'fight fire with fire' comes to mind, though I'm not sure I've ever seen an anti-sexist put it that way.

Anti-sexists are sometimes prone to thinking sexism cannot negatively affect men, but thankfully that's less and less common these days. (It helps that men who are being discriminated against on sexist grounds generally tend to want to be feminine, which is not very threatening.) Anti-racists, who share much of the same philosophical backing (and support) are much more ready to claim racism cannot negatively affect whites, or if it does, it's not worth worrying about. (That's not a LGBT issue, but I need to disclose that as there's a chance I'll conflate the epistemological sloppiness of anti-racists and anti-sexists and paint a picture of anti-sexism that's a shade too dark.)

A large difference between the sex-blind and the anti-sexist view is that sex-blindness is what they focus on. There's a great story about how the percentage of female orchestra members jumped after candidates began playing behind screens during auditions (and so were being judged almost entirely on their ability to play). The sex-blind view would celebrate the increased efficiency in the judging process- better orchestra members were selected because bias was lower- even if it resulted in less female successes. The anti-sexist view would celebrate the increase in female success, even if it resulted from making the process less efficient.

I think I would characterize anti-sexists as sexists, just with new values, whereas I would characterize individualists as seeking a third option.

*Edit: because feminist values are growing more and more diverse as time progresses, and so there is more and more disagreement over what makes a 'good' feminist.

comment by Unnamed · 2011-12-31T06:19:37.218Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd characterize the anti-sexist view as: "There are many ways in which people and society are sexist against females, often without realizing it, so in order to be non-sexist you have to work to identify those biases and counteract them."

comment by [deleted] · 2013-03-30T18:55:45.390Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Are “individualist” and “sex-blind feminist” the same?

comment by Vaniver · 2013-03-30T21:35:59.701Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I know what an individualist is. I don't know what a sex-blind feminist is, but my guess looks a lot like an individualist.

comment by MixedNuts · 2012-01-02T03:06:19.627Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Bi, trans, male-leaning genderqueer. PM me to talk or for IM information (MSN or AIM).

"LGBT" is very much a natural category. There's much overlap (straight trans people usually start out thinking they're gay; people one kind of queer are more likely to be another kind); there's usually common political interest; there are historical links (Stonewall drag queens and all that). If you absolutely want an umbrella term, "queer" appears to be the norm, and doesn't gain a letter every time someone notices we forgot a group.

Things that get my goat: gay culture doesn't notice bisexuals exist; queer-pan-trans culture is epistemologically challenged; feminists have some good problems to have.

comment by dbaupp · 2011-12-30T12:20:01.306Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If this were done, I would be interested in seeing a summary published (or, if it's easier, just the whole chatlog). (Obviously, only if all parties are comfortable with it)

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-30T16:17:06.708Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Or just keep the discussions public (if people are comfortable publishing the logs anyway, might as well)

comment by Sush · 2011-12-30T16:55:31.970Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would definitely like to hear what people have to offer and would be comfortable having a public discussion

comment by TimS · 2011-12-31T05:13:39.101Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's hard for me to express why, but this posts bothers me a lot. I'm a married, straight male. I'm also a feminist, and I think that post-modern thought on morality is generally quite insightful. But because I'm not LGBT the post seems to say that I have nothing interesting to say,

It sounds like your question has to do with theoretical debate of activists for minority groups: should the minority population accommodate and work around majority prejudice (the position of Booker T. Washington) or should the minority population demand integration and an end to prejudice (the position of W.E.B. Du Bois).

If instead, you are asking about today's on-the-ground issues with the political alliance known as LGBT activism, I have less knowledge. But if that's what you're asking about, ask about THAT. Don't make generalizing references to "[a] community [that] seems to be prone to taking unnecessary offense, and believing in subjectivism and silly things like that." It is neither necessary nor sufficient to talk to a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person in order to find out the political realities of LGBT activism.

comment by Solvent · 2011-12-31T11:23:49.579Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not talking about political stuff as much as asking practical questions about being LGBT. I agree that if I were interested in only the activism I wouldn't need to talk to an LGBT in particular. I think you misinterpreted that from my post.

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-31T16:23:03.855Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

If instead, you are asking about today's on-the-ground issues with the political alliance known as LGBT activism, I have less knowledge.

I find that a unlikely interpretation. Politics is a mostly respected taboo here. Only in very rare circumstances where the benefit to the refinement of the art outweighs the mind-killing caused by the political analysis or example is politics directly discussed.

comment by Sly · 2011-12-30T22:45:06.933Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I am a bi male in a serious relationship with a transgirl that also reads LW.

Edit: Feel free to PM or post here.

comment by Sush · 2011-12-30T16:22:24.349Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm bisexual but have never really been involved in the 'community', perhaps because I'm never come out to anyone except the same-sex people I've dated. This might restrict what I could say as representative of the community, but i've spent countless hours thinking about the topic itself so if you feel like it you're more than welcome to message me.

Kind of relieved that there are other 'LGBT' members at LW...

comment by TheOtherDave · 2011-12-30T17:46:56.926Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh, there's a bunch of us.

comment by Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) · 2011-12-30T13:48:41.276Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm bisexual and I've been involved in the bi community for two decades - and I really, really know what you mean. I'd be interested in an IM conversation such as you describe - email me with your Jabber details and a suitable time and I'll add you.

comment by ata · 2011-12-31T05:00:59.138Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm trans (MTF) and bi leaning a little bit toward gay.

I'm better with non-real-time communication than with things like IM, but in any case feel free to PM me if you'd like to ask anything.

comment by beoShaffer · 2011-12-31T04:01:42.868Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm bi. Was there something you wanted to ask?

comment by Multiheaded · 2011-12-31T08:41:34.965Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Bisexual, slightly leaning straight. Only ever had an intimate relationship with a guy, though, due to how much easier it is emotionally and socially (we're just friends with benefits now). Only discovered that when I was 19 or so; during my teenage years I never felt even a twinge of attraction to a male. I suspect that I could've gone from 1 to 2 on the Kinsey scale around that time after exposure to Japanese pop culture on the Internet or literature featuring LGBT relationships, which both happened around that age.