First, I'd like to ask you to read the second pic from >>26309
and then see the attached pics of this post. I'm asking because I think it is crucial to understand "dysmorphia" as one of the series talked about in that post's pic. "Dysmorphia" in etymological terms quite literally means "having a bad/ugly form". Obviously, the first question arises: "badly formed" or "ugly form" according to whose judgement? And from this question arises a second, more systemically inclined question about general human psychology: how does one assess his or her "proper/pretty form," so to speak, if not from society itself?
But this is mere schematism so far (even if a pertinent/satisfactory one, for all intents and purposes), so we need to put it into motion, so to speak. In concrete terms how does the individual come to the realization that he's "formed" in a "sub-optimal" way, that is to say, come to realize that something is "wrong" with him? Allow me to describe two (IMO) typical examples I've seen.
1) The case when the person in question gets constant negative or discouraging feedback from his social surroundings, typically starting from a young age, and typically in institutional settings, such as a school system. For example: a 13 years old boy might get constantly reminded (if not bullied) by his peers about him not being "in accordance" with the "normal" gender stereotypes/stereotypical behavior, e.g. "Tom, you act so girlishly all the time." Now what any society means by "girlish or boyish" behavior is another can of worms I'd like not to open for now, but I think you get the point. This will initially lead our Tom to inquisite into that supposed "normal" and so on, that might leave him concluding that yes, in fact, he does not meet these terms. Upon further investigation he might find out that certain other descriptors (gay, queer, trans, etc.) might more accurately describe his condition
being, and at that point he might wish to conform to those stereotypes instead consciously.
2) The case when the person in question doesn't get direct and constant negative or discouraging feedback from his social surroundings, yet feels that nevertheless, something is wrong with »him«. You might think that these two cases are the same essentially, but I'd like to point out that the directionality and causality of these two aren't homologous. A typical example would be a "well adjusted person" (lol, what does that even mean?)
finds out in his thirties that "it's just not working," and by "it" here what is meant is him,
as a social being. I think that this second example brings out the more "normal" persons ripening in society. As opposed to (1) he didn't get a constant negative feedback, yet, after considerable (personal) time passed, concludes that something is "off."
I'm certain that my two examples don't cover the whole spectrum of the "trans phenomenon" or experience, but that these two examples cover a majority of so called trans-experience. What unites the two is the way the "personal" and the "social" interject, but I believe that these two are already abstract schematism in themselves, which limits could be expressed in the contradictory (social) dichotomy between the "individual" and "society at large". In the first example "society at large" in a normalizing fashion intervened with the individual, forcing him to obey; in the second example the person in question, after finding discord in his personal life, wished to conform to the norms of "society at large."
(This is a rather peculiar and long winded way of mine to underpin the thesis that the "society vs. individual" dichotomy is retarded, since society is constituted by individuals and since individuals are end-results of the society at large, not unlike the "chicken" vs. "egg" problematic, but there you go.)
>how our conception of gender dysphoria arose in society[?]
Given all that has been said above, I'd like to shift this to a more substantive one: how do norms arise, and how does the individual, faced with society at large, which is to say, in a quite literal sense, it's maker
, can or would react to this constitutive question?
(Constitutive, in the sense of every individual has been molded by its society at large.)
But your question misses the target IMO. Because so far you (maybe someone else ITT – idk, since this is an anonymous forum) have been going on about how "dysmorphia" is a kind of pre-social (i.e. biological) phenomenon, with which I vehemently disagree as somebody who has a communist understanding of social (and therefore individual) ontic constitution. "Gender" – a recently invented (or discovered – depending on your position, really) category that in its original use denoted basically the "way of thinking and acting in a socially determined and/or corresponding way" relating to our underlying sexual dimorphism
But to answer this question: "How did it arose?"
Well, how does anything arises regarding "proper" and "improper" social
positions? Always in a socially mediated way.
>with regards to biology
Well, this is another topic, isn't it? Because we can more freely talk about sociological shit and its connection to biology now than in, say, feudalism… In fact, I'd say that this "freedom," meaning the very "marking" of one's "gender" or "conformity" couldn't have arisen in the same way in feudalism, slave holding societies, or primitive communism. This is to say that, yes, there is obviously the "biological behind the social" in all of these class configurations, but essentially the relationship which you inquire about is the same.
If you ask me, our current stage of (class-based) development (i.e. capitalism) does two things. On the one hand it marks as """spooky""" "biology-based" prescriptive notions (e.g. "women should…
"), since it literally brings out its calculable social components under capitalism, hungry for a working force. On the other hand it literally obliterates really existing biological dependencies of our species, namely the need for intimacy, caress, (to a certain extent biologically determined needs for) child rearing, etc.
>dysphoria arose in society with regards [to] culture and how it compares to earlier expressions [of similar expressions]
I would like to emphasize the fact that cross-developmental comparisons, especially in between different class societies have their obvious limitations.
A neutral example: Althusser talks abut how the "class function" of the medieval priesthood was replaced by the capitalist university system. We get the point: what priests offered as a service to the Monarchy is similar to what the university offers to the capitalists. Still, to equate "feudal priest" with "capitalist professor" in toto
would amount to nonsense.
A completely different dialectic is going on if we look at the actual mechanisms going on. This is the reason I'd would advise against "trans people" to look for "ancient trans examples" from history. Inadvertently it WILL
end up in ahistoricism and so on, since every period has its very own logic of social reproduction and with it come the unique laws of its development and the relative freedom of the superstructure.
With that concluded I'd like to say 2 last things: 1) stop trying to compare the current "trans phenomenon
" to that "unique case of that Roman Emperor who wished to become woman" (Heliogabalus) and its derivatives, because the two don't and can't compare: one is a systemic phenomenon (modern trans), and the other is a quite literal curiosity. (Just look at the numbers, lol.) 2) Try do develop a materialist understanding of said phenomena, or otherwise you'd end up in liberal idealism.