Talk:Passing (gender)

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Origin[edit]

This article was recently split from Passing (sociology) and Talk:Passing (sociology) may contain some previous discussion on this subject. --AliceJMarkham 06:32, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

you do realise that this should be entitled passing (sex), right? you're not trying to pass as another gender, gender is a social construct, it's chosen by society, you can't do a bloody thing about it. if a female passes for male, she is passing on sex, if she comes off as an effeminate male then her gender has not changed (assuming she was feminine beforehand - most females behave that way). perhaps her goal was to be masculine also, but she is able to behave masculine without trying to pass as male. it really is a shame that gender even exists, just like race and class and any other silly social construct. but if you buy into the gender = sex crap, then you're just perpetuating the problem that trans people have in the first place, i.e. the belief that they cannot express their true "gender" without being the socially acceptable sex for that "gender". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 151.201.14.27 (talkcontribs) 02:53, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

As a transgendered person, I am disappointed to see such an outdated view espoused as if it is current thinking.
Yes, both passing and gender are social constructs (as are social class and ethnicicty and arguably race and disability). Yes, this is an article on a sociological activity related to those constructs. It is also now generally accepted that to change one's "sex" would require X/Y chromosomal changes and the regression of the development of primary and secondary sexual development of the birth sex and subsequent development of the new sex. Such a process is not currently feasible and unlikely to ever be allowed to be researched for ethical reasons.
The distinction between sex and gender pre-dates the adoption of the term "transgender". Much of the related terminology has changed where appropriate to match the current distinction. For example, what was once referred to as "Sex Reassignment Surgery" (SRS) has been referred to as "Gender Reassignment Surgery" (GRS) for many years now. This article, as it exists, is correctly named based upon current usage and contains reference to "sex" rather than gender where relevant.
Oh, and please remember to sign your posts on talk pages. --AliceJMarkham 21:50, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
wow, you're not even transgendered, you're a cross-dress, quite a huge difference. unless you simply don't understand the terms, then who knows. it's people like you that perpetuate the misuse of gender instead of sex. gender cannot be changed but by culture: a skirt in scotland is masculine, a skirt in the us is feminine. these are genders, not sexes, it doesn't matter who is wearing them. a single person cannot change this, but they can pass for another sex than the one they were born as. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.162.175.159 (talkcontribs) 22:12, 23 February 2007
Support This does appear to be a flaw in the article's title. A MtF transgender person would surely be trying to pass (assuming they are trying to pass) as a member of the female sex. They are female in gender and are trying to appear as just another member of the female sex. 58.175.223.66 (talk) 03:35, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

ummmmmmmm. this sentence is traumatising to me: "gender is a social construct, it's chosen by society, you can't do a bloody thing about it." there are absolutely many things one can do about the way their body is interpellated. the fact that gender is a social construct makes it necessarily malleable... not fixed. sex is biological and that cannot be changed except with surgery and even then one's chromosomes won't change. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.21.60.242 (talkcontribs) 02:41, 16 December 2006

you've essentially got a strawman argument here. gender is a social construct that a single person cannot change. if one changes their body in a temporary way in order to pass as the opposite sex, they are not changing the social construct and are actually buying into the social order of things. a social construct is chosen by society, not the individual. you don't have to be male to be masculine, nor female to be feminine. as such, a masculine male acting feminine does not indicate anything about him passing, he could simply be knitting. and if a masculine female wears a dress? it says nothing of passing, she may be an obvious female no matter how well she binds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.162.175.159 (talkcontribs) 23:12, 22 February 2007
A lot of stuff that you'll see written in wiki talk pages can be insulting and/or traumatising. That's reality.
The concept of gender is much a social construct as clothing. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to wear gender like clothing and change at will. :)
Sex is biological and unchanging. What was once commonly referred to as a sex change has been more commonly referred to as gender reassignment for some time. Surgery will not change sex as the surgeon cannot cut and splice the Y chromosomes to be X or vise versa.
Oh, and please remember to sign your posts on talk pages. --AliceJMarkham 21:52, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
"Sex" itself is a social construct. In terms of biology, it's quite flawed--many things go into our concept of sex: genitals, chromosomes, hormone levels, even the brain, and many other things--scientific studies between the differences between (cisgender) men and women, I'm sure, are many and ongoing and will be ongoing for some time. Chromosomes are also very complicated and the majority of individuals have no idea what chromosomes they have unless they have had a karyotype test. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightmaresleuth (talkcontribs) 20:46, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

That woman in the army[edit]

How could anyone not notice the breasts, complete with nipples, protuding out of her unifrom? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 88.109.185.159 (talk) 21:56, 8 April 2007 (UTC).

Well, the photo that commonly circulates is actually doctored (sad but true). The lighting and shadows has been changed to emphasize the breasts. Glamrockboy (talk) 09:32, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Gender-bait[edit]

copied from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject LGBT studies/Archive 11#Gender-bait

Hi. We're wondering (as part of the improvements to the William Gibson articles) if there is somewhere appropriate that the article Gender-bait could be best merged to? "...males who represent themselves as females online to elicit a positive response from other males". Is there a more official/standard term for this? Or is it already a recognized/notable term by itself, that warrants expansion instead of merging? Thanks for any suggestions :) --Quiddity (talk) 18:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

The best I can suggest is to create an online section in the article Passing (gender). I'm not sure enough of the context to know whether that is the right place to put it. --AliceJMarkham 00:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
end copy
Does that sound good? or are there any other suggestions from this page's editors? Thanks :) -- Quiddity (talk) 05:11, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I guess now we'll wait a couple of months to see if anyone else is even watching this page... :p
As I said before, I don't know enough about the context to know if it fits here. If it is about convincing others that you are te gender that you claim to be, with no ulterior motives such as trying to befriend someone online in order to convince them to meet you, it is analogous to passing in the physical sense. In that case, the word bait doesn't seem to make sense to me. If, however, the goal is to trick people for ulterior motives, then it isn't analogous to passing and is more related to predatory stalking. The word bait gives me the impression that the latter is meant. --AliceJMarkham (talk) 06:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't think that gender-bait fits here at all, it would be better suited to merge with a subject about online harassment. It has nothing to do with transgender issues, so it would be a bit innappropriate to place it here. Also, "Passing" has to do with face-to-face situations, not online. Glamrockboy (talk) 09:29, 17 December 2007 (UTC) 09:28, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
As a belated followup, that all sounds clear. We'll leave gender-bait as a standalone article for now, and encourage expansion (or possible renaming, see talkpage). Thanks for your advice :) -- Quiddity (talk) 01:30, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Section title Read to Clock[edit]

Hello. I was just browsing past and I found a potentially confusing point. The term "read", "being read", and "reading" have two distinctly different meanings in the TG community. There is the sense described here. Then there is the sense described in all of the google results here linked. I don't think that should be written about here but just to avoid any confusion a little change of name would do. Comments. --Hfarmer (talk) 00:52, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

The link that you provided seems to only relate to reading (process). I don't think that the section of this article would be confused with that, as it starts by explaining the meaning of the term in this context. I can't see an alternate meaning within the TG community in the link that you provided. As far as I've been able to find out, "clocked" appears to be a significantly more geographically limited term for the same thing. Can you provide more information? --AliceJMarkham (talk) 06:08, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
 :-? What? Perhaps that googleing was not clear enough. I'll just point you at this [1].--Hfarmer (talk) 06:31, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
For some reason, I don't get audio from youtube. I can play the video but I can't lip-read, so I can't get anything out of it. The other results on that google search are things like "Hand painted glass lamp shades" and "Book lamp structure - US Patent 6419370". I don't know what you were expecting the google search to show. Sorry, I can't get any idea of this other meaning of read that you're referring to. --AliceJMarkham (talk) 08:08, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I tried the google search with SafeSearch turned off in case the results you were trying to link to were being filtered out and still got the exact same results. --AliceJMarkham (talk) 08:12, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Yeah it's hard for me to find a combination of search terms that will zero in on just what I am talking about. The word "read" is so common that to zero in I need to add some more terms. I got this from Gooleing Shade reading vogue. A particularly interesting reference is this website which offers a dictionary of house-ball slang. I can guarantee you that when a transsexual from an urban and young background uses the word "read" it is in the sense that it is used in that dictionary.
Yes I said slang. But the way the word "read" is being used in the article now is also slang. The only difference is who uses it. I have noticed a difference of race, class, and age that determines which sense a given TS will use. The use of the word that I am pointing out is at least as common as that one in real life.--Hfarmer (talk) 18:54, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh, okay. According to the home page of the dictionary that you've provided a link to, you're talking about gay/lesbian ballroom dancing slang. By extension, I'm guessing that it also applies to drag performers? I note that the dictionary probably doesn't really meet WP:RS but if we can't find something more authoritative, I'll use it to add a little here to disambiguate between "read" as used in this article, and "reading" as defined there. --AliceJMarkham (talk) 22:44, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Why would that not be a reliable source? Or why is a source needed all we are talking about is the various uses of a word. In this case the word "read" is used in the TG/TS community in different ways, very different ways.

Also the Ball culture is more about various different kinds of drag than any kind of ballroom dancing and is more populated with gay/ MTF transgender / MSM's.

What I will do and I think this is what's needed. I will google search a specific combination of terms which will show just how common this use of the word is. That should suffice.--Hfarmer (talk) 00:44, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Let me take that back. I already have a reliable source the movie Paris Is Burning (film) in which Dorian Corey explains what "reading" is and Venus Xtrava demonstrates... there are people in that scene who quote that movie when they want a definitive of what reading is. I think you should find out why the sound did not work for you on you tube. Are you using windows? Macintosh or linux... I have all three and it works on all of them. Perhaps check your settings?--Hfarmer (talk) 00:56, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Joan of Arc[edit]

Joan of Arc did disguise herself as a man, but only to gain acceptance, not fight in battle. While she may have worn armor, Wikipedia is by no means sexist, saying that only men should wear armor. She was discovered to be a woman long before she was burned at stake. 71.131.199.25 (talk) 03:43, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

d'Arc's male guise was in fact supported by the Church for the purposes of maintaining purity and to symbolise that her work was "a male's". Additionally, the refusal to allow her to dress as a male resulted in her being sexually assaulted while being held in prison - as one can read in Wikipedia's article on her. Because of this, I believe that further detail regarding d'Arc would only improve the article as whole. --Muna (talk) 02:31, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Image[edit]

I don't think the image i rmved is very representative of most attempts at passing. MtF transexuals would generally have had a least a masculine haircut, and generally do a better job with makeup.YobMod 14:50, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Context tag[edit]

This article seems to assume that the reader has a basic awareness of transgender topics - the first section jumps straight into discussing transgendered individuals despite a complete lack of introduction to the topic in terms of its applicability to such individuals, or even a link in the article to pages where such information can be gleaned - the article notes that passing might be relevant to individuals for reasons other than gender identity but makes no explanation as to why passing for the purposes of gender identity should be relevant. I'm by no means an expert with regards to transgender issues, though I have enough knowledge regarding the topic to understand the article and recognise that if I didn't already have the requisite knowledge, the article would be inaccessible to me. If someone who was better acquainted with the topic (and as a result, hopefully less likely to potentially offend) could address this problem, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :) --90.192.90.189 (talk) 01:49, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

That was me. Didn't realise that I wasn't logged in - whoops. --Muna (talk) 01:50, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Questionable Quote[edit]

"The public is the primary participant by virtue of their incessant need to gender every person they see as either female or male." As if gender is just some social construct and not the way Homo Sapiens reproduce. This is why people say Wikipedia has a liberal bias. Cut it.

The article makes it pretty clear that the quote in question is from writer Julia Serano. It's not an official Wikipedia position or something. Pburka (talk) 04:31, 3 January 2013 (UTC)
It seems to be an official Wikipedia policy to always have the opinions of a transgender person who thinks society is at fault for his/her own psychological problems while not having the opinion of the vast majority of people that a "transgender man" is really a confused woman and visa versa. I would add it but it would just get deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.96.173.212 (talk) 01:46, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
If you have content which you would like to add which is supported by reliable sources, I'd be happy to help you add it. This page is the right place to discuss such additions. Pburka (talk) 04:24, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Fiction Reference[edit]

Madame Butterfly (play) is an example of passing that should be included. Mme Butterfly is a male spy living life as a female actress. Yogator (talk) 02:46, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

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Review of Passing (gender)[edit]

This is a great article so far. Grammatically and structurally the article is great. I would recommend perhaps adding in a section on the controversy surrounding the idea of passing. Furthermore, in the history section I would say that you might be able to expand a little with more current history. Since passing is currently changing so much in it's construct, you could talk about the importance of passing in the mid 1980's versus now. Just a few thoughts, overall I think the article looks great! — Preceding unsigned comment added by RT896713 (talkcontribs) 19:44, 9 March 2016 (UTC)


This is a pretty well organized article. Though the subsections are small, I think that the separations are important and allow for easy further contributions. I think the term "female bodied" (used in the Music section discussion Billy Tipton) should be reconsidered. This term is dated and can be offensive. A possible augmentation is "female assigned at birth." This also potentially offers an opportunity to talk about the nature of that term--or link to the Sex assignment: Gender assignment page. Would it be relevant to discuss the "fishiness" in the terminology portion? Sadiemeade (talk) 22:47, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

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Origin of 'passing'[edit]

It's typical of postmodern nonsense to completely fail to acknowledge that the word 'pass' in this context is a contraction of 'to pass muster' i.e. to be considered good enough to pass inspection. It is simply a normal part of the English language in reference to anything animate or inanimate. Of course the faux sociological backdrop - which does no favours for transgender understanding - has to have its jargon and 'concepts'. This is really a non-article.145.130.113.142 (talk) 22:13, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

A mysterious reference about the definition of passing[edit]

This article says "passing refers to a person's ability to be regarded at a glance to be either a cisgender man or a cisgender woman.". The only reference of this sentence is Whipping Girl.

But I can't find this sentence in Whipping Girl --TGpower (talk) 16:03, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

The sentence or the concept? A quick Google Books search indicates that the concept (including the word) is discussed in the book. Sentences from copyrighted works aren't generally supposed to be inserted into Wikipedia articles—certainly not unless it's made clear that a direct quote is being made. A couple other things: it's the lead sentence of the article, and as such it normally shouldn't require a citation because it's supposed to summarize sourced content from the body of the article. Also, there is parallel usage of the word "passing" in many contexts, and the general meaning (without regard to gender) is in most major dictionaries. (For future reference, there is a template for instances where a reference doesn't support a passage in an article: {{failed verification}}. If you ever use it, you should be prepared to discuss it on the article's talk page.) RivertorchFIREWATER 16:39, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
We need the information that which page of Whipping Girl defined passing. This article does not contain it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TGpower (talkcontribs) 01:52, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Do you have a hard copy of the book (or can you view the whole thing online)? RivertorchFIREWATER 04:49, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
@Rivertorch: Yes for First (2007) edition. --TGpower (talk) 06:27, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, my sense of it, as I said earlier, is that there is no reason for the lead sentence to be referenced and that the concept is a general one, applied in this case to gender. The article is about the concept, not the term, so I'm not sure that a definition per se is required at all except merely to identify what the article is about. The concept is widely discussed, in articles and books. Finding a precise definition in a reliable source may be a tall order, but I haven't looked extensively. RivertorchFIREWATER 15:48, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Serano discusses passing in "Excluded," Chap. 14, "How Double Standards Work," section "The Pass/Reveal Double Bind."
I find the quoted sentence about passing to be problematic, as it appears to give psychokinetic agency to a transwoman for what goes on in someone else's head, i.e., it says that passing is "[their] ability to be regarded..." etc. Serano talks in Excluded (and, afaicr, also in Whipping Girl) how this makes the trans person appear to be "the active party" i.e, that "they are working hard to achieve a false appearance, and that the perceiver is merely a passive and objective observer who is 'fooled' by the marked individual."[1] There's much more, and it's worth reading.
Serano talks about passing specifically, in Whipping Girl, chapter 8, "Dismantling Cissexual Privilege", section "Passing-centrism," where she talks about the problematic nature of the term "passing" being interpreted as the transsexual "duping" or "not duping" someone who is "just" a passive observer by their "performance", But she responds, saying, "I would argue that the reverse is true. The public is the primary active participant by virtue of their incessant need to gender every person they see as either female or male." Comments earlier in the chapter address the issue without using the word, in the section "Gendering" where she talks about "perceived sex", and where she talks about "conditional cissexual privilege" in the section "The Myth of Cissexual Birth Privilege."[2]
If I had to come up with a definition based on Searno, I'd base it on her comments in Excluded, where she says, "Indeed, the verb 'pass' is routinely applied to anyone who has a marked trait but is nevertheless perceived by others as an unmarked person," and that the concept is borrowed from other marked traits like race (thus, "pass as white") or sexual orientation (thus, "pass as straight"). In the case of trans people, passing would mean a transsexual who is "perceived as cissexual." So, attempting a definition: Passing, in the context of gender, applies to a transgender individual who is perceived as cisgender. (Serano wrote in 2007, and I believe usage has changed since then.) I would definitely strike "has the ability to be regarded," which Serano specifically attacks in her comments in chap. 8 of Whipping Girl. Since "cisgender" is still more jargony than "transgender" and might trip some people up, I might substitute "not transgender" in the first sentence; or perhaps leave it in, with a parenthetical '(not transgender)' immediately following. Mathglot (talk) 04:00, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Serano, Julia (1 October 2013). Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive. Berkeley, California: Seal Press. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-1-58005-504-8. OCLC 978600133. Retrieved 4 February 2018. 
  2. ^ Serano, Julia (8 March 2016) [1st pub. Seal 2007]. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Berkeley, Calif.: Seal Press. ISBN 978-1-58005-623-6. OCLC 975221617. Retrieved 4 February 2018. 

Rewrite lead[edit]

Nothing in the current version of the lead is verifiable, or depends on reliably sourced body content. It needs to be rewritten, starting with the definition, which is dubious. Some thoughts on a new definition can be found in previous section above. Mathglot (talk) 12:06, 7 February 2018 (UTC)