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Stature

Story Friday May 12, 2017

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This has gone a different direction than which I thought it would. I thought it'd lead to Elliot trying to convince Tedd to make the TG technology more available for transgender people. Instead, it's become an introspection about whether or not Elliot's sexual identity is changing. Looking back, I can see the foreshadowing, but the full-bore dive into Elliot's feelings instead of the former subject still comes as a bit of a surprise.

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The question this strip raises is, to me, a truly fascinating one - how is Elliot different from Tedd?  Both regard their ability to switch genders as a core part of their identities.  Is this not the basic definition (within the context and "rules" of EGS) of gender fluid?  Up to this point I had regarded Elliot as a hetero male who was developing a taste for cross dressing.  Now its not clear at all what his gender identity is, other than that he appears fully comfortable with being either.

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Just now, Stature said:

http://www.egscomics.com/?id=2347

It became part of his psyche by circumstance.

Did he dig a bigger hole by transforming?

I wouldn't say dug a bigger hole. As I said in the previous thread, Elliot's ability to adjust to this was always part of his nature, it sounds like he was worried that Ellen knowing he likes changing to female might devalue her situation? At least initially it might have, like "I can do this, but Ellen can't, it's not fair!" but more recently it might have extended to Tedd, realizing Tedd's been suffering disphoria for a long time might have made Elliot feel he was given something that Tedd needs more. And there's the thought of losing that ability making Elliot feel like he was just told several limbs need to be amputated.

Basically, Elliot's struggle with this seems to be "Is it wrong to like something that I don't need?"

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Last line of last panel sums up a reason why being gender-fluid would matter -- if part of who you are is only accessable from one side and part is only accessable from the other, being able to change is necessary to being all of yourself.

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Just now, Nayl said:

The question this strip raises is, to me, a truly fascinating one - how is Elliot different from Tedd?  Both regard their ability to switch genders as a core part of their identities.  Is this not the basic definition (within the context and "rules" of EGS) of gender fluid?  Up to this point I had regarded Elliot as a hetero male who was developing a taste for cross dressing.  Now its not clear at all what his gender identity is, other than that he appears fully comfortable with being either.

The hugest difference between Elliot and Tedd, and I even ran this past a friend who's trans to make sure, is the dysphoria. Elliot doesn't feel any regardless of what form he's in, but Tedd does. When Tedd's male, there will be a point where he feels the need to be female, and while female, she'll eventually feel the need to be male again. The need to be female might arise more often, but it's not constant or else Tedd would be trans female instead of genderfluid.

That's why I don't feel like genderfluid, or even gender-meh is appropriate in describing Elliot, and I don't believe CIS applies here either, Elliot's probably something that all CIS gender people should be though.

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10 minutes ago, animalia said:

Honest question. Does anyone know what causes Dysphoria? Not what it is but what causes it to occur.

Honestly, I'm not sure anyone does. Trying to "correct" it by force very, very rarely ends well and may as well be considered brainwashing. One would think that if the cause was known, better methods would have been developed.

As it is though, trying to "fix" the mind to match the body is a backwards way of dealing with it, it'd be less stressful and easier in the long run, to fix the body to match the mind.

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One reason I ask is because if there is no known physical reason why it occur why is it we only hear of Gender dysphoria and not stuff like racial dysphoria? Since I am not an expert on these kinds of subjects I wanted to try to get some facts before kicking open any potential cans of worms.

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24 minutes ago, animalia said:

One reason I ask is because if there is no known physical reason why it occur why is it we only hear of Gender dysphoria and not stuff like racial dysphoria? Since I am not an expert on these kinds of subjects I wanted to try to gets some facts before kicken open any potential cans of worms

I would strongly urge you to tread cautiously on these topics. Systemic racism and oppression comprise a wholly separate set of issues. Gender dysphoria deals with biological factual differences. It is aggravated by social issues but is not actually caused by them. Racism, on the other hand, is a purely social issue. The difference between male and female is quite noticeable when it comes to hormones, biological mechanisms and the like. Not quite so much when dealing with the differences between, say, a male with low skin melanin content and a male with a higher skin melanin content.

Of course, society applies oppression in an even-handed manner not caring about biological differences at all, only about how much each individual diverges from what is considered socially acceptable. Societies have existed and do exist where gender roles are far more flexible than they are in modern Western society. For society, your true crime is not what you actually are but how much you have dared to deviate from its norms.

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50 minutes ago, animalia said:

One reason I ask is because if there is no known physical reason why it occur why is it we only hear of Gender dysphoria and not stuff like racial dysphoria? Since I am not an expert on these kinds of subjects I wanted to try to gets some facts before kicken open any potential cans of worms

It's a phenomenon in the brain. That kind of specificity of understanding is still in the minority in neurobiology... especially with things which are rooted in prenatal and neonatal gene expression, rather than genetics. (ie. which genes are activated at which stages of development, rather than which genes are present)

I don't have citations, but the way it was explained to me is that just as with the instincts like hunger and sexual attraction, we also have a deep-seated instinct which tells us what gender we are.

It's already a well-known fact that glitches during prenatal cell division can send different regions of the body off on divergent plans, so it makes perfect sense to me to think of being transgendered as just a neurological counterpart to the myriad of intersex conditions the body can express, similar to things like having one ovary and one testicle, being physically female but with testes in place of ovaries, etc. (In this case, it would be a glitch that triggers the development of the "wrong" identity instinct compared to the path the rest of the body is on.)

...and, given that being gay isn't a choice and identical twins can have different sexual orientations, it'd make sense that a similar mechanism would be involved in sexual orientation.

Autism Spectrum Disorders are another example of something we're still working to pin down, which have a developmental component, and I recently saw an article about how there's a correlation between autism and the child's grandmother smoking during pregnancy, which should give you an idea of how complicated this whole gene expression mess is.

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1 minute ago, The Old Hack said:

I would strongly urge you to tread cautiously on these topics. Systemic racism and oppression comprise a wholly separate set of issues. Gender dysphoria deals with biological factual differences. It is aggravated by social issues but is not actually caused by them. Racism, on the other hand, is a purely social issue. The difference between male and female is quite noticeable when it comes to hormones, biological mechanisms and the like. Not quite so much when dealing with the differences between, say, a male with low skin melanin content and a male with a higher skin melanin content.

Of course, society applies oppression in an even-handed manner not caring about biological differences at all, only about how much each individual diverges from what is considered socially acceptable. Societies have existed and do exist where gender roles are far more flexible than they are in modern Western society. For society, your true crime is not what you actually are but how much you have dared to deviate from its norms.

Could you give me more details please. I ask BECAUSE of my lack of knowledge., and I am TRYIING to tread careful as I am aware this is sensitive.

On a related issue I want to point out that a LOT of these things tend to be power plays at the heart it. 

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1 minute ago, animalia said:

On a related issue I want to point out that a LOT of these things tend to be power plays at the heart it. 

Do you guys mind if I elaborate on this?

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27 minutes ago, animalia said:

Do you guys mind if I elaborate on this?

I strongly suggest that you take the entire topic to the Off Topic forum and start a new thread there. Please phrase your concerns as clearly and politely as you can and I at least will do my best to answer.

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I have absolutely no idea how to respond to a question like that. I'm pretty sure there is not one single answer that covers all situations and individuals.

What I do know is that there are other forms of dysphoria, though they are not as often mentioned. For instance there are people who have a deeply set feeling that they have the wrong number of limbs. Some has even had perfectly working limbs amputated in order to make their body match their mind, though it takes a lot to convince a doctor to amputate a leg or an arm when there is no conventional medicinal reason to do it.

Given things like that happens I'm pretty sure there are people suffering from race dysphoria, but I have no idea how common it might be. If you can imagine it there is a good chance someone somewhere can identify with it.
 

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37 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

I strongly suggest that you take the entire topic to the Off Topic forum and start a new thread there. Please phrase your concerns as clearly and politely as you can and I at least will do my best to answer.

First post down. I am making a few do get my thoughts down.

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44 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

I strongly suggest that you take the entire topic to the Off Topic forum and start a new thread there. Please phrase your concerns as clearly and politely as you can and I at least will do my best to answer.

May I request an example of a link (with appropriate warnings about content disallowed in this forum which is allowed in the off-season topic forum) to that location?

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10 minutes ago, Haylo said:

May I request an example of a link (with appropriate warnings about content disallowed in this forum which is allowed in the off-season topic forum) to that location?

I am working on it. As soon as I finsh the final version I will send you a link

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10 minutes ago, Haylo said:

May I request an example of a link (with appropriate warnings about content disallowed in this forum which is allowed in the off-season topic forum) to that location?

ok?

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6 minutes ago, animalia said:

I am working on it. As soon as I finsh the final version I will send you a link

 

Just now, animalia said:

ok?

 

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7 minutes ago, animalia said:

I am working on it. As soon as I finsh the final version I will send you a link

 

11 minutes ago, Haylo said:

May I request an example of a link (with appropriate warnings about content disallowed in this forum which is allowed in the off-season topic forum) to that location?

 

Just now, animalia said:

ok?

 

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1 hour ago, Haylo said:

May I request an example of a link (with appropriate warnings about content disallowed in this forum which is allowed in the off-season topic forum) to that location?

 

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Let me see if I am understanding this comic.

Specifically being male or female in not important to Elliot's sense of self.  But the ability to change between male and female is now ESSENTIAL to Elliot's sense of self.

Or something like that?

 

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