I'm partly waiting for TRAs to start saying that women with narrower hips and a smaller bust are less female and men that are shorter with narrower shoulders are less male and that kind of shit to claim its a spectrum. I mean, they're already insanely sexist, why not just be straight up offensive about physical differences while we're at it!

I once posed that question to a TRA coworker, if I was less female because I have androgen-induced acne. She wasn't sure how to respond. Lol

Lol! Well of course you're not, you're still 100% female but boy does gender ideology make me feel shitty about that kind of crap.

They already sort of do. I've seen tweets that make fun of certain women for being "trans passing" as if women who don't fit their idea of beauty are less of women

They see women of color as less female as well. Lots of comments like "if black women get to be considered women, then so do I!" God I hate these men, they really are the worst that that gender has to offer and they'e all forcing their way into our spaces. What a nightmare.

Hate to tell you but they got there years ago. Have you seen the Mermaids Gender Spectrum diagrams? Pay attention to the proportions on their little stick-n-boob figures.

[–] furyosa MERF 22 points

It's like the RGB spectrum that measures red, green, and blue in 256 levels. For sex this is called the FMN spectrum that measures female, male, and the elusive non-binary in 256 levels. For example, if you are F=0, M=0, N=255 you are of the pure non-binary sex. If you have an 'innie' you get a measureable positive F value. If you have an 'outie' you get a measureable positive M value. If you have colorful hair you get a measurable positive N value. It's quite simple and easy to grasp.


[–] Lipsy #bornnotworn 15 points Edited

Wait huh? I've never seen this claim before, that a spectrum has to be quantified with units. And it's just flatly not true.

A spectrum is just a one-dimensional range between two poles—originally named after visible light, which is the Roy G. Biv spectrum within the much wider range of electromagnetic radiation.
(This spectrum, exceptionally, DOES have units—wavelengths of light in nanometers—but the spectrum itself was defined long, long before the units were known. And moreover, it's only that way because the spectrum of visible light is a tiny piece taken from a much larger, theoretically unbounded, range of all wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation.)

Height is NOT a spectrum, because it doesn't have two poles that represent actually defined opposite extremes.
There's no upper end of height at all in theory, and the "lower end" is zero, which isn't a valid pole for a spectrum either (because there's no such thing as being zero nothings tall).

Also, there are tons and tons and tons of things commonly described as spectra that do not have 'units' and are not quantifiable. The political spectrum from left to right is probably the most famous, but, practically every individual human psychological trait is also on a non-quantifiable spectrum—including each of the standardized set of personality factors (the set with "Agreeableness" and so on in it), plus others like tendency to violence at one pole vs. peaceable character at the other.

Conversely, most numerical quantifiers with units specifically ARE NOT spectra, because most things with units range from a zero value to theoretical infinity.

Thank you. Yes. I thought the same. The spectrum that sprang to my mind was the autism spectrum. No "units" of measurement.

I find Zach Elliot very irritating. He's not nearly as clever as he thinks he is.

but the spectrum itself was defined long, long before the units were known

But you could see that there were at least six different colors. The rainbow is a spectrum and you can't pinpoint exactly when orange starts and red ends, but red is definitely not blue, orange is not green. The obvious colors were the units, I guess.

[–] Lipsy #bornnotworn 4 points Edited

Those are "categorical values", not units. They're not rlly appropriate here, because visible light is a spectrum—there are infinitely many colors blending together.
Categorical values are discrete and can be counted with whole numbers, like the grade school formulation of the rainbow—which is basically just arbitrary, and, notably, not the same from one language to another (e.g. many Asian languages use the same word for blue and green. Other colors, like violet and orange, are named for fruits or flowers and don't correspond well between languages; Chinese people call hot pink "rose red", but have a different word for baby pink).

Units are numerical; the very name itself tells you in Latin that the unit represents exactly 1 of whatever thing. (The "one" in any romance language—un, une, uno, una, etc—is pretty visible in there too.)

Oh no. This one has a come-back: gender is undefinable; an ever-shifting, unknowable constellation.

Perfect. It's just like a constellation too. A pattern and meaning being ascribed to a set of unrelated points based on nothing but the power of human imagination.

Everyone knows you measure gender fluid by light spectroscopy. Duh!!


But with light spectroscopy, the unit of measure is wave lengths, right? Which means that gender fluid must emit waves of light around a person like an aura. An aura that presumably consists of shades of pink and blue and rainbow stripes in varying degrees of intensity and different combinations. Though always with the pink and blue parts most dominant.

Some of us measure gender fluid the old-fashioned way, by using a traditional dip stick. It's not as sophisticated as your method, but it's a a reliable method for finding out if the fluid level is sufficient or it's time for a refill.





I've wondered the same thing about the "autism spectrum" which I gather is falling into disuse for precisely this reason.

Degrees of heart impairment, insulin resistance, or even depression can be quantified (poorly in the latter case, to be sure.) Applying this to "I feel feminine today teehee" is ... peculiar.

For the autism spectrum there are specific traits that apply to individual autistics in varying degrees. Such things are for example social impairment, sensory issues, motor issues, restricted interests and so on. Like, one autistic person might have very severe sensory issues but good motor skills while another one might have the opposite. That makes the spectrum make sense

You can't apply that to sex though. What female or male "traits" would there be that apply to varying degrees

Thanks - I appreciate this, I wasn't aware.

One of the issues that comes up in qualitative research, where there isn't a clear cut "your cholesterol is X" sort of standard, is inter-coder reliability. So if two researchers are assessing the same interview to see if the same indicators come up, do they independently end up assigning similar scores, etc.

Do you happen to know, is autism usually diagnosed fairly consistently, in terms of two competent therapists could evaluate the same patient and come up with similar assessments? I now with "gender identity" it seems extraordinarily subjective, and based upon self-reports that are easy to fabricate.

(I don't mean to draw an analogy with fabrication for people with aspects of ASD, I don't think that happens, but we know if does with gender identity.)

At least in my country the autism test seems pretty thorough and I would expect it to be pretty consistent. There are multiple tests you take where you answer questions and get numeric scores. Then multiple interviews with different people. In my case, first a school nurse, then a nurse specialized on mental health, then a psychiatrist, then a psychologist. They also interview parents, look through school records and teacher feedback and medical records since childhood.

After diagnosis I was also put in a group with 5 other newly diagnosed autistics and 2 occupational therapists where we talked about what autism is, how it impacts us and how all the traits apply to us. There were six 90 minute meetings to discuss and make sure we all properly understand and are comfortable with our diagnosis and to adress any potential concerns or questions about why we were diagnosed.

The issue is of course that there is no clear blood test or anything you can take that 100% guarantees correct diagnosis. With autism diagnosis there is always some room of interpretation that is up to the professional. But I think that the fact that so many professionals are involved in the process might mitigate inaccuracy to a certain degree

A lot of autistic people don’t like the “spectrum” part because it suggest the very real differences between different autistic people are linear on a scale when they aren’t. Doesn’t make any sense to compare that to gender woo though and I would avoid that so you don’t accidentally imply legitimacy to their nonsense

Makes sense, thank you.

Autism sounds more similar to, perhaps, multiple sclerosis, which I know a bit more about due to family members with it, in that there are many symptoms, and not everyone has the same ones, or the same severity - so a linear spectrum is also not a helpful analogy.

Yes that’s exactly it. It’s similar to MS but instead of just symptoms I would say traits would be better when talking about autism because some time autistic traits can be very positive instead of a symptom or a pathology. But yes not autistic person has the same traits or to the same degree.

[–] Lipsy #bornnotworn 1 points

Autism sounds more similar to, perhaps, multiple sclerosis, which I know a bit more about due to family members with it, in that there are many symptoms, and not everyone has the same ones, or the same severity - so a linear spectrum is also not a helpful analogy.

Migraine, too.

There is no unit because it isn't a science. It's all pure conjecture.

Gender's as real as a belief in an immortal soul.

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