Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard

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Definition of "trans woman"

The trans woman page currently starts with the following sentence:

A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a woman who was assigned male at birth.

This is problematic for various reasons, mostly relating to neutrality. The question of how exactly 'woman' and 'man' are defined, and as such whether transwomen and transmen respectively are truly included under those terms, is a rather contentious topic. Common dictionary definitions of 'woman' and 'man' are based on biological sex, and a 2017 Pew Research poll unsurprisingly shows that 54% of US adults are of the opinion that whether a person is a man or a woman is determined by their birth sex. Opinions split significantly among Democrats and Republicans, indicating that the topic is political. Even the Wikipedia article woman, which is linked in the sentence starting the article, starts out by defining women as female people, presumably because this is what most reliable sources state. It adds at the end of the lede that "woman" may also refer to one's gender identity.

To make the article neutral, I've proposed the following wording:

A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a person who was assigned male at birth but identifies as a woman.

This proposal was struck down repeatedly by several editors based on what I cannot see as substantiated reasons. I think it's most likely to be the strong personal views of most editors who keep watch over transgender-related articles, that makes them reluctant to make such articles neutral. This is part of a more general problem I've faced repeatedly while editing such articles, although most of the time we have been able to reach a compromise, or reluctantly accept one another's position after served with sufficient evidence. This time it seems I've hit a wall. (This is not an accusation of bias on part of any individual editor, but seems to be more of a group-level problem.) I think that it's unlikely to be coincidence that I've had the biggest problems with this particular edit in my months of editing, and that "trans women are women" is at the same time a core slogan (if not the core slogan) of transgender political activists.

Disclaimer: I unconditionally support the human rights and dignity of all people who don't conform to traditional gender norms, which includes people who identify as transgender, lest anyone doubt it. Taylan (talk) 17:44, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

I agree for the purposes of an article that does not attempt to identify any person, that for clarity and neutrality, the second passage should be used, it's more precise (given that we are a global encyclopedia). If we were talking about any specific individual or identifyable group, then I would completely agree for respect of the subject that the first approach is more proper, but in talking in broad general terms for an encyclopedia, the second is proper form to introduce the topic. --Masem (t) 18:53, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
As an editor uninvolved with the discussion, I think the main problem is the difference between transgender and transsexual, which as far as I can see isn't explained in the lead section of the article. Personally I think both forms should be included since, to the best of my knowledge, both are correct. --Jamez42 (talk) 20:59, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - I frankly don't care a whole lot between the two proposed wordings, but prefer the first one a bit. However, the OP has been rather relentless on this, despite no consensus for such changes at the article's talk page and this amounts to POV-pushing, FORUMSHOPPING ([1]), and equine carcass abuse. They often cast aspersions on editors who disagree with them, claiming (as said above) that we are " reluctant to make such articles neutral", unreasonable ([2]), and " lose [our] shit" ([3]) (see also [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]). EvergreenFir (talk) 21:08, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment The first is potentially confusing, especially for readers from parts of the world where perhaps the gender debate is not occurring. The second version is an indisputably factually accurate statement and to the point so it gets my vote. To be honest though I question whether gender can actually be an identity, because an identity is a social construct whereas transgender people claim their gender is innate rather than constructed. Personally I think "A transwoman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a biologically male person whose gender is female" would be even better. Given a choice between the two versions above though the second is superior IMHO. Betty Logan (talk) 21:14, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
    • An issue I see with this is that it seems that "transwoman" can be used by a person that may have been biologically born as a man but have gone under gender transition operations to become female, in addition to persons that are biologically male but have not undergone transition operations, and simply have a female gender identity. Also we get into the tricking meaning of "gender" here. This is a case to be extremely precise to avoid terms that have multiple meanings in this context , like standalone words "woman" "man", and "gender". --Masem (t) 22:12, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
    • Support Betty Logan's suggestion I was going to say that I think the second sentence above is better because this terminology is confusing for people who are from areas where this isn't common, but I think this version is even more clear. I'm imagining trying to explain this to my grandparents, both the ones from America and from another country, and I think this is the best way to go. I don't see how any of these 3 lead sentences are non-neutral POV though. They aren't indicating anything anti-trans (or explicitly pro-trans for that matter). Natureium (talk) 01:50, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Before we can define "trans woman" we surely have to define "trans". I don't know what it means. Is it an abbreviation of something? If so, what? HiLo48 (talk) 23:04, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it can be defined in isolation. It is generally a component of a another word (e.g. transform/transfer/transfusion/translate) which has no direct meaning of its own. You can see from those examples there is a common theme though. Betty Logan (talk) 23:20, 15 June 2018 (UTC)
To me the common theme is the creation of neologisms, whose meaning the inventors and other people in the same grouping are certain of, but which are totally unclear to those a little removed from the centre of the action. HiLo48 (talk) 01:32, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
English prefix trans- is derived from Latin preposition trans, meaning "across". Both trans·fer and trans·late derive from trans + fer[re] (ppl. latus) "carry", thus "to carry across". Trans woman is a shortening of transgender woman, a woman who is transgender. Transgender is from 1965, and trans woman was first used in 1996. But although decomposing words into parts is the basis for their etymology, it doesn't always help you see what they mean, otherwise trans·late would mean "carry across", and "under·stand" would mean something different than it does. You have to consider how a whole word is used, irrespective of its component parts. Mathglot (talk) 08:28, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't see any discussion of sources here. Such matters should be decided not by editors' personal opinions or opinion polls or what editors think may be confusing but by reference to reliable sources.Smeat75 (talk) 03:10, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • On a procedural note, that the OP started this discussion because every other edtior (AFAICT) on the article talk page opposed their POV, and that the OP failed (AFAICT) to give notification/a link to this discussion on that talk page, would seem to add to the question of whether this is forum-shopping, as I see another editor has already noted. -sche (talk) 04:17, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    • Should a talk page message have been left? Yes. However, I read the talk page and do see some issues there where editors seem to be taking the stance on the lede sentence from the "respect for the trans women" side, while the OP here is logically arguing towards the possible confusion of the term "woman" (not "trans woman") within the context of a global encyclopedia where English is not clear in context (the point Betty Logan makes). WP is not a safe space, we have to be clear about what the term is considered to mean, even if this might offend those that align with the term. As long as we're not directing this to anyone specific or not, this should not be a problem in terms of WP's neutrality. That all changes if we're directing that towards any one or group personally identifiable, at which point respect for that person/group takes precedence. --Masem (t) 04:52, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
      • Re your second sentence, yes, I have noticed that a few editors may be basing their views not as much on WP policies as we would all like. I also notice other editors (there and in the related discussions on Talk:Trans man) appearing to be doing likewise in the "discredit the trans women" direction. But it has seemed like, for the most part, policy-based arguments have been prevailing. This article's body does need to more fully explain the topic ... I would guess it is relatively short at the moment because editors have mostly focused on [[Transgender]] (which is four times this article's size). -sche (talk) 19:46, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Betty Logan's suggestion, which runs counter to the the spirit and the letter of MOS:GENDERID and introducing contentious concepts ("biologically male person") which are irrelevant to the article in question. The article is about a gender identity, and apart from sex assignment, I see no reason to invoke terminology about biological sex. Newimpartial (talk) 06:10, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    The current version of the article states that a transwoman is somebody who "was assigned male at birth". How is that not "invoking terminology about biological sex"? After all, saying someone was "assigned male at birth" is simply a euphemism for saying someone was born with male anatomy. Betty Logan (talk) 07:19, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    But "biologically male person" is not a helpful term since it includes the phrase "male person" which factually incorrect for a transwoman. "Assigned male" is a neutral and preferred term. --bonadea contributions talk 07:32, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    "Assigned male" is a euphemism and obfuscates a fact. These designations are not handed out via a lottery. If you object to the term "biologically male person" that can easily be converted to a "a person born biologically male" or something along those lines. I disagree with with Newimpartial that this article is about gender identity; it is actually about gender and biological sex because both are defining traits of transgenderism i.e. you cannot be transgender if your gender matches up to your chromosomes. Betty Logan (talk) 07:46, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    It's not a euphemism, it's technical jargon. Also, the last statement above is incorrect. See for example, an XY trans man with androgen insensitivity syndrome and typical external female anatomy.
    Also, you say that the term "biologically male person" is "not handed out via lottery". If by this you mean to say that babies are pronounced "biologically male" (or female) based on a biological test, you would be mistaken. In no case that I am aware of are biological tests performed on infants presumed healthy at birth; instead, a birth attendant merely observes the neonate's genitalia and assigns them a gender by saying "it's a boy" or "it's a girl" without performing any test at all. This observation (which may or many not match chromosomes, hormones, or internal anatomy) goes on the birth certificate and becomes the basis of legal gender, even though it may be wrong, as in the example of the AIS trans man. Mathglot (talk) 09:18, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    No animus directed at Betty Logan, but this disiscussion is a perfect example of why articles on trans topics should be edited by people who have read and understand the literature and not based on the POV and OR of all arrivals (perhaps especially from the noticeboard).
  • "Assignmed male" is not a euphemism and is in fact the virtually universal term used in recent RS. The conflict in these terms is not between "biological" sex and "subjectively experienced" gender but between the gender identity socially assigned at birth and that experienced and affirmed later. As pointed out by others, chromosomal tests are seldom administered at birth, but rather gender is assigned by nurses or midwives by anotomical observation. So, for example, for someone whose anatomy at birth does not represent their chromosomes, they are not transgender if their socially assigned gender corresponds to their gender identity even when the latter might conflict with their chromosomes: a chromosome test could not suddenly make them a trans woman. Similarly, if a person in this situation were to experience a gender in conflict with that assigned at birth, they could identify as trans even if their identity matches their chromosomes. (There is however no requirement that gender discrepant and nonconforming individuals identity as "Trans Men" and "Trans women" - these are identities rather than "objective terms, which Betty Logan's appears not to understand.)
    Since the terms "Trans woman" and "Trans man" do not make reference to "biological sex" according to the RS, it would be misleading to readers (and apparently also to editors) to use the term in the respective articles - in fact, it represents what I have called elsewhere "the worst KIND of POV OR". Newimpartial (talk) 12:46, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    No, it's actually a good sign why this area needs uninvolved eyes. Our goal is clarity for a global readership, many who may be from areas of the world where LGBTQ is culturally suppressed, or face hostility, or just not considered at all. While most of us are likely from Western countries and readily understand that terms like "woman" and "man" when talking about this area generally mean how the person identifies, this is in no way a clear fact in other parts of the world. We have to have to bite the bullet, recognize that we might have to step on sensitive terminology issues so that for a generic article not specific about any person or group (eg, GENDERID does not apply) that we need straight-forward, clear and simple language that cannot be confused with other terms to define the topic. That's a simple, factual starting point that every English reader cannot be confused about regardless where they came from. After that, then I would fully expect the article to delve into the sensitivity around the issue, how trans women are considered "women" in most of the West, etc. The attempts based on the talk page to try to obfuscate the plain, basic definition that would be understood worldwide is an issue here. I fully agree that fight must be done where GENDERID applies, but this specific article is not that case. --Masem (t) 13:04, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    The threading here is already horribly mangled, but I wanted to make a second reply to Masem's comment here that has, I think, continuing relevance to this discussion. There aren't "talk page efforts to obfuscate" and certainly "biological sex" would not be part of the "plain, basic definition". I think the reliable sources show that worldwide, the term "woman" is used not to indicate xx chromosomes but to mean something like "people accepted as women within my culture". From where I stand, it is the chromosome folks that are obfuscating... Newimpartial (talk) 12:49, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
    (bringing this in as to keep some threading elements). You are talking about a very narrow section of RSes that apply to women and gender studies. When we look at all RSes throughout time, "woman" remains defined as "a human female". (Oxford, MW, Cambridge). And a good related discussion I found in trying to search on other examples is from Salon here about the issues lexicographers have with the new meaning of these terms. As that article points out, they are trying to stay middle-ground conservative and thus not yet changing those definitions. And that's only considering the English language. If/when sources like Oxford and MW actually do reflect the fact that the primary definition of "woman" should be "one that identifies as a human female", then we can use that version. Basically, the core issue here is that we know that there is a cultural push to respect how some people identify as gender, which requires a new approach to the vocabulary. Where we can on, we will respect that new vocabulary and what identities known persons and groups want to use, as long as we can stand key notable facets without this play on the language (eg at one point, Caitlyn Jenner completed in sports as a man, we can't hide that at all). But when it comes to the general terms, where there is no single specific individual group of discussion, we need to be direct based on the meaning of the words that everyone else in the world would understand, not just those that are deep into the reading of gender studies. But we are dynamic, so if there is this shift that the world (outside of gender studies) is shown to accept the definition of "woman" as "identifies as a human female", then great, we will adapt to. Unfortunately, right now, we have to follow where the English language is now to stay neutral rather than favor a small minority of sources. --Masem (t) 13:21, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Feel free to rethread or insert an arrow.

Thing is, we are not talking about the article for Woman, we are discussing Trans woman. So the OED definition of"woman" is not even tangentially relevant here (and q.v. NOTDICTIONARY). The existing text AFAIK represents the majority of current, reliable sources and any reference to "biological sex" clearly would not. The article Trans woman is an article on gender identity, and if readers don't understand what that is, the article should explain it. What the article should not do is to apply misleading simplifications e.g. with appeal to the red herring of "biological sex". What's more, this is not a gender studies article but one about the lived experience of millions of people. MOS:GENDERID suggests to me that we should not violate the language in which that experienced is described without very good reason. Newimpartial (talk) 14:56, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

It is relevant because while this is a topic that would fall within women's/gender studies, it is not a technical article about it (where we're introducing a uncommon English word that requires background knowledge to understand), nor written in a manner that identifies this as a women's/gender studies topic as to set the expectations for what some words might mean. It is a "top level" article, written for 100% of the audience. Take a person from Russia or China with English-as-a-second-language, they are going to take what is currently there to assume that "transwoman" only applies to those that have transitioned gendered, because the meaning of the word woman they know, and what is first in the blue-link, is "human female". That misses out on those men that haven't transitioned gender but identify as a woman.
Which is the other problem is that you're insisting on a definition that is from the RSes that are cleared favored in this area. There's volumes more outside that, and I'm sure some very critical and opposed to that definition (I personally do not hold their opinion), that are likely RSes too. Using a biased set of RSes without considering the larger context is a problem too. That's why JARGON comes into play, we're not writing for only readers interested in gender studies but all readers. We need 100% crystal clear language, and whether that is to say "now identifies as a woman" or "is a woman by their gender identity" or some aspect to make it clear we're talking about the secondary definition of "woman" is needed. And again GENDERID does not apply, because we are not talking about a single individual who could state their preference but by a broad category that lacks any singular voice. --Masem (t) 15:16, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
We are taking about the group of people who identify as Trans women, and we can be reasonably certain that they identify as women and not as male. The whole reason we are having this discussion is that the OP doesn't believe that they are women and has edited the article repeatedly based on their POV, including the current attempt to be "neutral" about whether they are women or not. And this particular subthread is about Betty Logan's proposal, which is objectively worse in that it makes an entirely unnecessary appeal to "biological sex" that is unsupported by current RS and seems to be a throwback to 1980s transsexual discourse. Newimpartial (talk)
  • In what sense are the articles Trans man and Trans woman not articles about groups of people to whole MOS:GENDERID would apply? I am at a loss to understand what Masem means here. Newimpartial (talk) 17:36, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    It's the difference between a specifically identifyable person or named group (where we are giving some type of Proper Name that leads to clear identification of an individual or group), rather than a general category of people. For example, if the article was about GLAAD, we would very much likely respect GENDERID in talking about trans-women/-men within that, since people can be identified from that group name. But in the broad category of trans-women, we're not identifying anyone specifically. GENDERID does not apply. --Masem (t) 18:52, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    In this case wouldn't anyone who identifies as a trans woman clearly belong to the group trans women? Also unclear on the reasoning for why GENDERID should be taken to apply to trans people when they are only referred to singularly. Rab V (talk) 19:11, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
    It's a broad category, it is not a specially named group. There's a significant difference here. --Masem (t) 20:13, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm not convinced by Masem's reasoning here. The relevant paragraph of the MOS is: Any person whose gender might be questioned should be referred to by the pronouns, possessive adjectives, and gendered nouns (for example "man/woman", "waiter/waitress", "chairman/chairwoman") that reflect that person's latest expressed gender self-identification. I don't see how it is restricted to "Proper noun" identification as Masem suggests. People quite literally and publicly identify themselves as individual Trans women, and indeed the article has a section on "Notable trans women". It seems evident to me that the current text is fully compliant with GENDERID, while Betty Logan's "biologically male" is incompatible (quite apart from being nonsensical in context). Newimpartial (talk) 19:32, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

What's up with the scare quotes, Masem, at trans women are considered "women"... above? Just because someone may have uninvolved eyes, doesn't mean those eyes are unbiased. For all the good will in the world you may have, uninvolved sometimes implies uninformed. Mathglot (talk) 20:15, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Keep in mind we are writing an encyclopedia aimed for the "uninformed". Given the world population, it is a minority that know about the sensitivity here. Trying to promote that minority view in light of generic article is a problem. --Masem (t) 21:29, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict)You are exactly right, that is who we are writing the encyclopedia for. However, you probably don't want the uninformed writing the articles about complex topics, or at least, not just off the top of their head without referring to sources every step of the way. Mathglot (talk) 23:40, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Biological context is not nonsensical. Biological sex is a fact. XY-sex determination is a fact, albeit with a few atypical cases. What is nonsensical is the idea that "sex" is arbitrarily assigned: it is not. Take the case of David Reimer for instance; after a botched circumcision as a baby he was castrated and given a sex change i.e. he was born biologically male (i.e. with male anatomy) and then designated female as a result of a sex change. As he grew older he rejected the female identity assigned to him and embarked on hormone therapy to restore his male characteristics. Having a female identity forced onto him did not make him a transgender male, by merely being assigned female shortly after his birth. If this is the criteria then it makes the whole transgender definition arbitrary. Sex designations are not random: they are distinguished by distinct biological features, and it is the mismatch between these biological features and gender that gives rise to transgender people. If you want a clear definition of what a transgender person is then it is impossible to avoid the biological context. Betty Logan (talk) 22:29, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
The DL;TR for the above interention is simply ICANTHEARYOU. For goodness' sake, if Davis Reimer now has the gender identity of a man but not a trans man, it is because he identifies as a man but not a trans man. Chromosomes only enter into it if they enter into David's process of identification. I feel like I am hearing from Betty a transsexual politics and science of the 1980s; those sources are simply no longer reliable. Newimpartial (talk) 23:24, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Newimpartial, Love that initialism; can I steal it? Assuming it stands for "desultory logorrhea; tough read", but wasn't completely sure. Mathglot (talk) 01:05, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
LOL. If there's a word for a Spoonerism of an initial ism, I don't know that word. Newimpartial (talk) 01:27, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
1.6% of the population being intersex is not " a few atypical cases". The lack of basic understanding of what it even means to be transgender (to not identify with the gender assigned at birth) is astounding. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:29, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Betty, you are correct: XY-sex determination is a fact; it just never happens at birth, except in the most extremely rare of cases. However, you don't seem to understand the difference between genetic, anatomic, and biological.
The Reimer case is a complete red herring here, since Reimer was never trans, and he was never DNA tested. DNA testing didn't even come into existence until he was already 20, and by then he had already been living as a male for six years. But I find it interesting, even amusing, that you raised it. If you accept the Reimer lesson you are proposing, namely that gender identity is innate and cannot be altered, then you align yourself with the transgender activists criticized by some here, who say precisely the same thing. You make an odd couple, to say the least. Mathglot (talk) 23:42, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I bear transgender people no animosity, and have no problem with sharing facilities etc. I do believe that gender is largely innate, simply because I have never met anyone or heard anyone talk who feels like they "switched" gender. I have a transgender colleague who tells that "in her mind" she has always been female and I don't see how you can really dispute somebody else's sense of sentient self. Dual-gender people may exist out there, but I suspect gender is overwhelmingly static even in transgender people. I also don't see how you can divorce the concept of transgenderism from biological sex, male anatomy or male physiology or whatever you want to call it. If you were to randomly assign sex designations then pretty much half the population of the planet would be transgender (following the definition currently installed in the transwoman article), which seems like a logical fallacy to me. Betty Logan (talk) 00:17, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
  • If the article has a section on "Notable trans women", meaning we know they were born biologically male but identify as female, then that means that trans- aspect better be covered by sources and essential to the person's notability per GENDERID, so that the fact that they were male at birth should be part the BLP article and thus on the list (eg like Caitlyn Jenner). Thus, there's no incompatibility there. Its the case where the person's notability has little do with them identifying as "trans"; that is the case that GENDERID was written towards, to prevent things like deadnaming, etc, where their earlier life has present little impact on their current notability. In such cases, we're not even support to call out to this transitional nature. We'd call them a "woman" or "female" and that's it, and act like the trans part was not there; these people should definitely then not be on the list in the current article to prevent calling out an aspect that is not covered by their article. That's the type of respect that GENDERID aims for. But when we are talking the broad category of these people, we need to weight precision of the English language over sensitivity. --Masem (t) 20:13, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

Masem, you are skipping a key step here. They are notable trans women if they identify as trans women; we don't have to know anything about a person's chromosomes or anatomy in RS to know how they are identified in RS, so the sex (as opposed to gender) aspect is quite irrelevant to this as other sections of the article. Newimpartial (talk) 23:24, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

If they have clearly and publicly identified as a trans woman, that better be sourced in the article. (I would readily assume there's trans women that are activities for supporting other trans women, so establishing they were that before via self-identification makes a lot of sense). What we don't want are people that through word of mouth or bad journalism (the likes of TMZ) identifying people as trans-women without self-identification or clear past notability on their previous identity. That's the who point of GENDERID. --Masem (t) 23:51, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - The proposed wording seems perfectly factual and doesn't run afoul of MOS:GENDERID, despite claims above. The OG wording might be confusing to those who are just now learning about the subject and we need clarity for those readers. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 07:53, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose both – Why use a decidedly non-neutral expression such as "assigned male"? We would be clearer for readers of all backgrounds if we simply stated "born male", or "born a biological male", to avoid any ambiguity between biological sex and self-identifying gender for the word "male". My suggestion would be:

A trans woman is a person who was born a biological male and identifies as a woman.

Note this proposal also avoids opposing biology to identity with "but", rather using "and" to show both are not contradictory. Sounds a lot more neutral imho. — JFG talk 08:30, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Maybe because it doesn't correspond to sources or reality? Nobody is born "biologically male" except a tiny minority of babies who have to undergo chromosome or other tests. Everybody else is just presumed male (or female) based on appearance. And where's your source that "assigned male" is non-neutral, or is that just an opinion? You did add "imho", so maybe that answers that. Mathglot (talk) 09:31, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Slightly more than 50% of people are born biologically male. Natureium (talk) 20:23, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Nature in, "biologically" is still a nonsensical term here. By it, you seem to be conflating anatomical and chromosomal sex, which are (1) imperfectly corellated and (2) strictly irrelevant, since it is the social gender label applied at birth (or shortly after) that is relevant to the article.
Also, completely unsourced factoid. Noice. Newimpartial (talk) 12:26, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Comment: A while ago I felt uneasy with "assigned sex" terminology also, as I agree it's used euphemistically for trans people so as to avoid offending them, but a compromise I made with myself was to improve the sex assignment article to clarify that 1) in most cases, sex assignment is accurate with regard to biological sex (as revealed by studies about the frequency of disorders of sex development [DSD]), and 2) intersex/DSD issues (where sex assignment is indeed inaccurate) are separate from gender identity issues. So long as the sex assignment article makes these points clear, I think it's a good compromise to use "assigned female/male" terminology when referring to trans people, linking to the sex assignment article. As a bonus, it includes the tiny minority of people who are both intersex and identify as transgender. Taylan (talk) 12:31, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I agree with Taylan's point 1; in the vast majority of cases, sex assignment most likely aligns with biological sex. (Tough to find data on this, but I concede the point. Williams Institute says 1.6% of one population identify as trans, implying 98.4% cis, but this is an identity statistic, not a biological one.) However, there is a small minority of cases in which they are not in alignment, and the locus of this discussion resides squarely in that sliver, or we wouldn't be having it. (As Taylan pointed out, intersex issues are an independent variable, and orthogonal to this discussion.) Mathglot (talk) 20:42, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
Support this optional also. Very clear, neutral, and doesn't include any euphemisms that might be confusing for anyone reading this overview article on wikipedia because they aren't familiar with the topic. Natureium (talk) 20:23, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose As already stated, a blatant case of FORUMSHOPPING. The OP has not presented any concrete evidence that the existing wording is POV. Denying "transwomwn are women", despite governments, NGOs and academics working towards acceptance of this, could well be interpreted as transphobic and in support of the POV of minority groups such as Anti-transexual feminists. --John B123 (talk) 09:36, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment on WP:FORUMSHOP concerns and a related question: Firstly, apologies for not linking this section from the trans woman talk page. I don't like bureaucracy and haven't used the ANI before; I just read the banner on top of this page to get the basics. It should be clear from the talk page that there was no intention to hide this discussion. Secondly, the principle of forum shopping seems to be to use forums where one is likely to gather people who sympathize with one's position. I decided to use the ANI not because I hoped to fish for people who are antagonistic to trans issues, let alone who support radical feminist gender abolitionism(!) like I do outside of Wikipedia; I came here hoping that people would be more unbiased. I find it very noteworthy that the only people here who opposed my proposed change to the trans woman page so far are those who come from the talk page of that article. Everyone else either supported my proposal or asked for more radical rewording which I wouldn't have dared to suggest, such as to bluntly call transwomen "biologically male." This supports my idea that trans-related articles are often kept in line with a certain POV by groups of editors who are probably naturally drawn to such articles through their interests in life. (Again: not an accusation towards any individual, or an accusation of intentional bad faith.) As such, a question (if I may ask it here): how to best deal with such a problem on Wikipedia? (I imagine it affects many other groups of articles also.) In my experience it takes an undue amount of patience and resilience to bring neutrality and/or fair representation of oppositional positions into trans-related articles by discussing things on the talk page. Surely I shouldn't be using the ANI every time? How else do I best get impartial editors to join in on a discussion? Taylan (talk) 13:09, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
As, by your own admissions, those who disagree with your POV are biased, your question "How else do I best get impartial editors to join in on a discussion" boils down to "How do I get editors who agree with my point of view to join in the discussions". As the OP has been trying unsuccessfully trying to change this wording since 19 February 2017, I think it's time to draw a line under the matter once and for all. --John B123 (talk) 15:06, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per John B123. Rab V (talk) 19:03, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
(Following up on my comment earlier in this section,) I remind everyone that we're talking about the first sentence of an article that continues on for another ~30,000 bytes, so pace the user who didn't know what trans meant, if you go to any article with no prior knowledge, you may need to read more than one sentence; even WP:LEDE says the whole lead is summarizes the article. This article's lead is very short, though, and could use additional sentences, including perhaps one better explaining (rather than just linking to the article on) transgender, but the current wording of the first sentence seems broadly like a good summary; everything after it goes into the details. There is always room for improvement, but we should be wary of switching to language that casts doubt on what reliable sources say about this topic / that reduces it to "identifying".
(People will always find imperfections in comparisons, but one I made on the talk page is that the first sentence of the article on Barack Obama does not say he "is a politician who identifies as an American", nor does the first sentence of the article on Donald Trump say he "lost the popular vote but won the electoral college and identifies as the 45th President of the United States" or indeed that he "identifies as having won the popular vote". There are guidelines against wording that casts doubt on the veracity of things reliable sources report; the lead sentences of those articles just say that Trump "is the 45th and current President" and Obama "is an American politician".)
I also agree with those who oppose this on the grounds that it may constitute forum-shopping. -sche (talk) 19:34, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
The issue is that, at least in context of speaking of a person, "American" is clearly well defined, being a person that resides or is a citizen of the US; there's no other definition to worry about. The phrasing presently use uses "woman" but in a version (generally to be a person that identifies as a female) that is not synonymous with the normal definition of the word that the whole world uses (being simply, a biologically-female human). There's ambiguity that we need to be more precise about in the lede of that article to meet the needs of the global world readership. Until there's near worldwise acceptance that "woman" would mean the identification rather than the biological meaning, we need to be very precise on this terminology article. --Masem (t) 20:18, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This keeps getting run up the flagpole and finding no one saluting, so now it has been brought to a different flagpole so that well-meaning users with little or no understanding of the topic might, without having read the discussion, be more likely to salute it. (Surprise, so far it's working!) I'm not going to reargue this here, but in short: the established wording is consistent with relevant WP policy, is not in conflict with recent reliable sources, and is clearly written in such a way that is unlikely to confuse readers. The discussion that spawned this noticeboard thread is a textbook example of IDHT. (Other letters worth fishing from the alphabet soup and examining include SPA. The soup may have a hint of MEAT in it, too; I can't be sure, but recently there have been uncannily similar efforts at related articles.) RivertorchFIREWATER 20:23, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

I'm sorry everyone but his conversation has become far more confusing than the original problem appeared to be. People are using and trying to justify language that is (politically?) "correct" in their own cultural niche, but that clashes with that used by others. Using different language does NOT imply criticism or negative views. It is a difficult topic because it is relatively new, and the English language does not have certainty in the area. As others have said many times, our audience is global, and includes many who are not close to the politics of the evolving language in this area. We need to be able to write about this in ways that are clear to readers who don't know any transgender people, and who have not kept up with the latest in what is considered offensive or non-offensive by those close to the world where these issues arise. HiLo48 (talk) 22:30, 16 June 2018 (UTC)

The idea we need to dumb ideas down for our readers is farcical. We are not writing like Judith Butler. No language used is any more complicated than an intro to women's studies book. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:32, 16 June 2018 (UTC)
I said neither that we should dumb things down nor that the language is too complicated. Your contribution is unhelpful. It suggests you either didn't read or didn't understand my comment properly. HiLo48 (talk) 00:16, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Apologies HiLo48, that comment was more directed at Masem. But your last sentence does seem to suggest that this is somehow too confusing for folks As to what is offencive or not. EvergreenFir (talk) 05:57, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
If "trans woman" was a term only used in woman's studies, so that the likely reader of such an article would be expected to be familiar with that, you're right. But this term is being presented in a broad, global society context. We have to ignore the specialization of terms until we can establish enough context to explain the term, especially since it overlaps with a very different meaning that is much more common in the world. Once you have context established, then you can use the word as it would mean in the field. Think about how this would work for readers with English-as-a-second-language, or people using translation tool, or people from Eastern countries where LGBTQ are prosecuted; we are not just writing for the Western audience where the context may seem clear. --Masem (t) 00:00, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
I think using language similar to that found in RS while explaining any terms that may be too technical is a fairly common way to deal with this. Rab V (talk) 00:05, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense. The problem is finding the language to explain technical terms. This thread alone demonstrates that people cannot agree on the language to do that. HiLo48 (talk) 00:16, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Masem, I grant your good faith on isues of ESL, foreign readers at en-wiki, or translation, and you will find me an extemely sympathetic audience in anything having to do with those topics as I spend a good deal of my time with them. In thinking about this problem, however, the last thing you want to do in this article (or any article) is cater to users using a translation tool. This is not the venue to go into details about that, but come over to WP:TRANSLATION or WP:PNT if you are interested, and I'd be happy to discuss that further. I absolutely support using clear English here, or anywhere. Nevertheless, the realities of certain topics are such that they are not easily conveyed to those who do not have the vocabulary for it or unfamiliar with the jargon, and that includes not only ESL folks, but also native speakers who haven't been exposed to the topic and the vocabulary before. I remember wandering into a Philosophy article, and getting slapped on the wrist, because I assumed a word was used in the normal, everyday, English sense, and "fixed" it, but actually it meant something else very specific in that context. So, now I know. Anyway, when the jargon is complex but clearly supported by reliable sources, then we should use it, and then wikilink it, and possibly add inline or footnote type explanatory notes[a] if further clarification is needed. We should not try to explain something assuming the lowest common denominator; for one thing, there would never be any agreement about "how simplified" it should be. After all, the "trache shave" article is not called Trache shave, is it? And tell me how many people know that word, even including those who have had the operation? Best to stick with the proper words, and explain as needed. Mathglot (talk) 01:27, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
The core point is this: The word "woman" that, without any other context, has a meaning that 100% of the world understands without question (a biological female), and has a rather centuries-long meaning. The argument being used here is to use on the first instance of the term (lede sentence) to use a meaning of "woman" that a small fraction have come to use it over only a few decades. We cannot override common sense, common meaning, and long history here to favor a small group, at least to make our encyclopedic article perfectly clear to the rest of the world. Let's put it this way: it is not so much what RS define "trans-woman" as, but what RS define "woman" as, and the clear overriding meaning of RS in that sense is the biological female meaning. It may seem that we're not being sensitive, but WP is not censored nor a "safe space" for ideas. The reality of what "trans-woman" means to the rest of the world outside of women's or gender studies has to take precedence to make sure we don't confuse our readers. This is basically, MOS:JARGON, understanding that "woman" as "identifies as woman" is jargon at this point in time. --Masem (t) 02:10, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
@Masem:, you raise an interesting point by linking MOS:JARGON. At the link, they make this observation: For unavoidably technical articles, a separate introductory article (like Introduction to general relativity) may be the best solution. The fact is, articles about Trans issues are about unavoidably technical topics, as many of the "Support" voters here have taken some pains to point out. I don't disagree, but I don't think unwarranted simplification for an inherently complex topic is the answer. The {{Transgender sidebar}} links over 100 topics, and the Nav template links even more. It could well be that what is needed here, is a new, Introduction to transgender topics article, which speaks directly to these issues of what the words mean, and what the topic is about. This may not be an immediate solution to the current question at issue, but then again, this section alone is now 47,518 bytes, a decent size for a non-stub article. Maybe we should have all been collaborating there, where every one of these viewpoints could be accommodated, instead of spending this much time on one line. I dunno; just a thought. Mathglot (talk) 03:40, 17 June 2018 (UTC) update by Mathglot (talk) 03:42, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

::Call it what it is and make it basic reading rather than some convoluted gender studies text.Marketless (talk) 01:38, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Masem that is a terrific comment and sums it up. This is not a gender studies article.Marketless (talk) 02:18, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
@Marketless, congratulations on your fifth day at Wikipedia, and thanks for your contributions at Fleshlight, Artificial vagina, and Testicles as food. I notice you have four warnings on your talk page and a block already, but you managed to find WP:NPOVN well enough. Again, welcome. Mathglot (talk) 02:32, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

::Oh thank you very much but I didn't know this was the place to be sharing congratulatory messages. What have you been up to this weekend. any plans for your summer vacation. How's the family?Marketless (talk) 03:47, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose per John B123, FORUMSHOP, IDHT and other arguments. As far as technical jargon, call it what it is at first, wikilinked for those who want to follow terms they're not familiar with, and then explain as necessary in footnotes or explanations in the body of the article. Terms used should be those used by reliable sources. Mathglot (talk) 03:18, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

::Technical gender studies terms should be reserved for gender study classes. I do not oppose the change.Marketless (talk) 03:35, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

How is A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a person who was assigned male at birth but identifies as a woman not an improvement. It is easier for people to read. this not a gender studies class.Marketless (talk) 03:38, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Marketless, no need to make the same point four times. Everybody here reads English. Mathglot (talk) 03:56, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

:::::They are different points I've made. Sorry to disagree with your point of view but no need to get nasty now.Marketless (talk) 04:08, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

  • Neither. If we are going to stuff around with the lead, let's get it right. Why a mention of assigned male at birth. Who did the assigning? Isn't it simply a random outcome during conception? Moriori (talk) 03:49, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

:::That's actually a good point Moriori. The current one is not good and needs to be made easier for people who are not trans or from the LGBT community to understand.Marketless (talk) 03:56, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

@Moriori: you'll kindly notice the wiki links in both bold texts in the OP whereupon you may investigate the meaning of the term assigned male at birth for yourself if you are unfamiliar. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:01, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
@EvergreenFir: What a snarky response to a legitimate post.Furthermore you totally missed the point. I asked why we mention assigned male at birth rather than random outcome during conception. I have three children, and we knew the gender of each one months before birth (as do millions of other people). They weren't assigned gender at birth. They weren't assigned anything at any time. Their sex was decided randomly at conception. Moriori (talk) 22:31, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
You mistake a sincere post for snark and had you not, you'd understand what sex assignment is. As for your own children, I don't think it very appropriate to bring up their anatomy in this forum. EvergreenFir (talk) 00:09, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose on procedural grounds. A FORUMSHOP proposal from an SPA who has spent the last 18 months arguing from the POV that Trans women are not women and has even recently EW on this basis deserves a DENY response. Newimpartial (talk) 13:20, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose procedurally, per Newimpartial. Start an RFC at Talk:Trans woman if you're determined to argue this or if there's reason to believe other editors support your view, otherwise you should simply drop it and do something else. power~enwiki (π, ν) 22:47, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The quick version of why I oppose is that the lead is supported by the content of the body, the content of the body is supported by reliable sources, and in recent talk page discussion no one has been able to support alternatives without resorting to unreliable sources or original research. Here is the longer version:
    • There are people in relevant fields who can tell us who is and who is not a woman, and people in those fields say trans women are women. (And if you are wondering if there is disagreement about which fields are relevant, yes, there is, but it does not matter because the growing consensus in a person's pet field, whatever it may be, is that trans women are women.) Wikipedia often presents content that presents technical information that might not be found in everyday speech or in an unabridged dictionary; we should not make exceptions here.
    • If you are tempted to ask, "But what about dissenting views in those fields?" If you look at recent activity on the talk page, no one can seem to find any reliable sources expressing such views without resorting to original research.
    • Userwoman, the only other person on the talk page currently advocating a change like the one Taylan proposes, has been arguing that phrases in reliable sources that do not specify a trans person's gender -- in other words phrases like the phrase in the proposal -- are grounds for not indicating that trans women are women. As I have pointed out, this is like noting that a source that defines "otter" does not use the word "mammal" (it took me less than a minute to find one that doesn't!) and concluding that the word "mammal" should not be used in the lead of Otter. -- Marie Paradox (talk) 02:08, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Marie Paradox, your argument is so obviously flawed that I did not bother to reply to it. It logically follows that if otters are in the family mustelidae and all mustelidae are mammals, then otters are mammals. The definition could have chosen any level of classification in the definition, all would have been acceptable. I'm assuming that the use of the word mammal is simply more common than mustelid or carnivore and that is why it was chosen. Using logic does not count as original research. I've already posted 4 sources that state that trans women are not women. And again provide me with a source that specifically takes the position that trans women are women (without any inference or original research on your part) and I will have nothing else to say. Userwoman (talk) 02:21, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Marie Paradox I have to disagree with your assessment of what is going on here. As I've written below, there are a small number of editors who maintain a biased consensus on certain articles. Why they do this, I will not speculate. It does seem like many people (especially those who do not regularly follow the trans woman page) agree that this article is not written in a neutral manner and should be modified accordingly. Userwoman (talk) 16:10, 29 July 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Explanatory notes can be added if something needs explanation, but you don't want to mess up the running text by including it in line.

Straw poll for "assigned male at birth"

This debate seems to have lost a lot of focus. One of the main contentions throughout is this notion that sex is "assigned at birth". I am interested in finding out whether a consensus actually exists for the phrase "assigned male at birth". If a consensus exists then we can move on, but if one does not exist the phrase should be removed and replaced by a (yet to be decided) alternative. So, do you support the phrasing of "assigned male at birth" in the opening sentence defining at "trans woman"? Betty Logan (talk) 23:16, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose As myself and other editors in this discussion have pointed out, the sex is not "assigned". It is determined via a biological process and to state it is assigned is WP:JARGON at best, and a WP:EUPHEMISM at worst. It is worth noting that Encyclopedia Britannica defines a transgender person as somebody "whose gender identity varies from that traditionally associated with their apparent biological sex at birth." That cuts to the chase and does what an encyclopedia is supposed to do: it explains a confusing topic in clear terms for a general readership. At the moment the Wikipedia article is not achieving that. Betty Logan (talk) 23:16, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
    You are mistaken, and seem to have missed the import of apparent in the quote. The sex of a baby is determined by observation of genitalia, full stop. Only a tiny minority of births involve any kind of DNA or other sex-related testing. When a birth attendant says, "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy!" the baby's sex has been assigned, and goes onto their birth certificate that way without any kind of testing being performed to verify it. About 99% of the time, this is a correct assignment, and that's the end of the story. In discussing the minority of cases where someone is transgender, scholarly articles universally use the term, "assigned male/female at birth" or some variant of it. There are reliable sources numbering in the thousands that use this term. The fact that you are so unfamiliar with the scientific literature about transgender issues as to never have heard the term before, means your vote is based on pure opinion, and blithely ignores the consensus of a massive amount of independent, reliable, secondary sources. Mathglot (talk) 21:13, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
    The fact that I am unfamiliar with transgender terminology actually makes my point more relevant. These articles are for a general readership, and judging by the responses here I am not alone. There is a reason why Britannica does not use this "assigned at birth" terminology. The first two dictionaries I looked up (Merriam Webster and Oxford Dictionaries) don't use it either. They define the term in clear unambiguous English. Wikipedia has an entire article discussing Sex assignment and readers shouldn't have to read a whole other article just to understand the first sentence of this article. Betty Logan (talk) 22:45, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Clear and unambiguous. We don't want to say that trans women actually were men (not only as opposed to women in general, but as opposed to women with the wrong body) before their operation, do we?? Georgia guy (talk) 23:46, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Procedural oppose this is a content issue which should be debated at some other forum. Regarding that content issue: the sex chromosomes of transgender person are generally not in dispute, but whether that is the appropriate criteria to determine the gender of people (who are minors) in a social construct is disputed. I abstain from that discussion. power~enwiki (π, ν) 23:50, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Objection this is not a forum to debate the use of a widespread term that forms the very basis for the definition of transgender. If you need educated on the term, ask at the ref desk, visit related articles, and then discuss on the articles' talk page. This has nothing to do with NPOV. EvergreenFir (talk) 00:06, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - sources reflect and support the use of "assigned (fe)male at birth". It is used by all the major professional and governmental organizations I can think remotely relevant to this: American Psychological Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics. I'm seeing a lot of "opposes" below based on personal opinion, or at least presented without sources. EvergreenFir (talk) 21:39, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - Whilst the major professional and governmental organizations use "assigned (fe)male at birth", common usage of "assigned" suggests an arbitrary element in the decision. In practice, when a baby is born, the midwife doesn't assign a sex to the baby, she confirms his/her sex from the baby's external genitalia. The midwife's "It's a boy" is a statement of fact, not her assigning the sex of the baby. As "assigned male at birth" is being used in the lead section of the article, then the very specialised use of "assigned" doesn't help explain what the article is about to a lay person. MOS:JARGON and WP:NOTJOURNAL would therefore seem to be applicable. --John B123 (talk) 22:56, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
@John B123: that's WP:OR/your personal interpretation. We must go by what sources say. And these are not jargony academic sources. They're meant primarily for public consumption. We're not using terms like "cisnormative". But to address your concern that the phrase is WP:JARGON, here's what a quick Google search brought up with mainstream news outlets using the phrase: NBC News, Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, WBUR, Entertainment Tonight, NYTimes, and Newsweek. EvergreenFir (talk) 05:26, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
While in, say, 99% of the cases the midwife indeed merely confirms the sex. However there are cases (and there is quite an overlap between these cases and various TQ categories) - in which the midwife takes a look at the genitalia, calls over a doctor or two, and after a bit of head scratching (and these days - probably a CT or other scan and a few tests) makes a decision (and this decision, in some cases, is a personal judgement call - e.g. this paper says that for a particular syndrome (46XY cloacal exstrophy) 2/3 of the fellows in the Urology Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics would assign male, and 1/3 would assign female - and this is a paper study with no diagnostic uncertainty. This is the rationale for calling it an assignment - this is particularly relevant since when the assignment is questioned (e.g. a trans person making a decision to change the assigned gender) the statistics aren't at 99% accuracy.Icewhiz (talk) 07:01, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I think that John B123 is correct. Also, EvergreenFir this article is not about intersex, so your sources are entirely out of place. For every transgender person, the biological sex is obvious. If someone has ambiguous genitalia, they cannot be transgender because they do not have a particular biological sex with which their gender identity might conflict. In addition, EvergreenFir it would help the discussion if you toned down the editorializing. Just because people (and sources) disagree with you, this does not mean that people need to further "educate" themselves until they see things your way. Userwoman (talk) 16:10, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

If nothing had previously done so, this comment alone should be sufficient to disqualify Userwoman from contributing to this discussion as anything but an uninformed sounding board (which, granted, is a valuable role). Transgender, as opposed to Transsexual identities, are precisely defined in relation to one's Sex assignment, which applies as much to intersex as to other individuals, and not to "biological sex". The statement that "For every transgender person, the biological sex is obvious" is laughably ignorant as it ignores not only intersex bodies but also the effects of surgeries and hormone treatments that some transgender people undergo and which are also "biological" in their effects. Superwoman should, in fact, at least educate themselves to the point that they are no longer contributing only humour to the discussion here. Newimpartial (talk) 16:46, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

Newimpartial I would appreciate it if you refrained from belittling my contributions. Only comment on the issue and please avoid casting WP:ASPERSIONS Pills can certainly masculinize or feminize anyone, I'm not questioning this. But my point is that, transgender and intersex are not the same thing. Someone is intersex if they are born with an anatomy does not indicate a clear sex assignment. No transgender person is born with ambiguous genitalia. Can you name a transgender person who has ambiguous genitalia or is considered intersex? Userwoman (talk) 23:23, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Userwoman, if you believe that the Venn diagram between Intersex and Trans gender does not overlap, how about reading the literature on these actual topics and becoming informed? Or just edit Intersex based on your ill-informed POV and see how quickly you are reverted.
I stand by my previous comment, that you are basing your position on concepts that the actual research and practice in the field threw out 15-20 years ago, and that by refusing to read the most current sources you have disqualified yourself from participating in this discussion. Newimpartial (talk) 00:06, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Wikipedia reflects the consensus of reliable sources. That means we don't discount decades of science for the whims of far left social activists who earned their PhDs with theses like Dating violence in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. Male and female are biological categories and biology, an actual science, isn't subjective or "assigned." This trendy new religion has no more basis in reality than the old ones. (talk) 00:25, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
In a small number of cases the use of "assigned" is appropriate, as you point out. However that doesn't make it correct to use it as an overall term. Some children like to go to school, some don't but accept it and a small number have to be forced to go to school. When talking about children generally we don't say they are "forced to go to school" as most aren't. The same applies here, most babies aren't "assigned" a sex. Whilst some trans people are wrongly assigned at birth due to ambiguous genitalia, I'm not sure they make up the bulk of people who transition, so I don't see in this context (Tran woman) there is any further justification in the use of assigned. --John B123 (talk) 18:07, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Comment these last two comments are ridiculous IMO. The medical and psychological literature on the topic - both of those being actual sciences and not L. Ron Hubbard creations - have consistently used "assigned at birth" for the last 10 years, and it would be an absurd act of revanchist IDONTLIKEIT for WP editors to do otherwise, much less should it be reflected in editorial policy. Oh, and JohnB123, the article refers to the interpolated social identification known as Sex assignment, which does not equate to your imaginary "biological sex". Again, read anything written by specialists on this subject in the last 10 years if you have somehow missed this point; I am hearing 1990s "Transsexual" discourse again. Newimpartial (talk) 23:26, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

@Newimpartial: - You're fighting a battle that doesn't exist. I think it's accepted by all that "assigned at birth" is an accepted medical term in wide use in medical and psychological circles. However we're editing for WP not an item for a medical or psychological journal. This discussion stems from the wording of the definition of transwoman in the article of the same name. The basic principal of a lead section is to give an overview of the article, including defining it if appropriate, to a reader who may have no previous knowledge of the subject. As witnessed by many comments in this discussion, "assigned" has, in many people's eyes, a different, broader meaning than in the specific use of "assigned at birth". The use of the phase in the lead section does help to explain what a transwomen is, but potentially clouds the issue to some readers. The only thing I find ridiculous is that certain editors put perceived "correctness" ahead of clarity in the lead section. For the avoidance of doubt, imo the use of "assigned at birth" is correct within the body of the article but not in the lead. --John B123 (talk) 16:42, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
I am willing to AGF, but I would be more tolerant of the opposing view if its proponents did not keep suggesting terms like "biologically male" or "born male". Such proposals are 100% counterproductive in this context since the terms they introduce obstruct clarity while offering only unsourced obfuscation. Newimpartial (talk) 17:06, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Having looked at simple:Transwoman, I think that has a far better lead section. The initial definition is unambiguous and should be understandable by everybody, also the controversies of woman/person and assigned/born are avoided. The second paragraph expands the definition a bit and does include "assigned male at birth". Having already defined transwoman, I don't see the phrase introduces any ambiguity. (And to save someone the bother of posting it, that's a change in my position from objecting to the phrase in the lead, to objecting to it in the opening definition) --John B123 (talk) 18:03, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This has everything to do with NPOV and preventing Wikipedia from looking foolish. If anyone needs to be educated re this they need only read Wikipedia, which states, "A baby’s sex is determined at the time of conception.". Thank you for that Wikipedia. It is not assigned nine months after the event where it had already occurred randomly. Millions of parents know that already. Thanks for opening this Betty Logan. My beef is not with trans, but the assigned claim.Moriori (talk) 00:40, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Procedural oppose (the poll); this noticeboard is, as others have noted above, not a forum of first instance for a content question that should be decided based on what reliable sources say, and not on the opinions of commenters. And most reliable sources on this topic do discuss it in terms of sex assignment, not any of the permutations of "born a man" some commenters are floating. -sche (talk) 04:26, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Support the language and Oppose the poll. No !votes should count when posted by editors unable to distinguish sex from gender, for frack sakes. Newimpartial (talk)
  • Oppose Sex is not assigned. This language is common in certain circles, which are prominent online, but the majority of people are probably not familiar with this neologism and we should avoid it. It probably should be defined outside of the lead though because of it's use online. Natureium (talk) 14:49, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
    Are you suggesting that Wikipedia articles should avoid using terminology because the majority of people are probably not familiar with it? These terms are from the article Woman: medial labial consonants, gametes, karyotype, 47-XXX, mitochondrial DNA, pre-eclampsia, and sub replacement fertility rate; I wonder how many people are familiar with all of them. Should they be avoided too? The idea, of course, is silly. Encyclopedias are full of expressions we don't know; that's partly why we have encyclopedias, to find out what they mean. And the more technical the article, the more such unfamiliar terms there will be. And that's fine. In a paper encyclopedia, you might have to flip back and forth and read other articles in order to understand a technical topic. Luckily for us, in an online encyclopedia we have hyperlinks, which makes the process that much easier. Articles on transgender topics are still considered specialized or difficult and employ technical jargon. For the general reader, it's just an unavoidable fact that much of the terminology will be unfamiliar, and require some time consulting footnotes or other articles to understand some of the expressions. If we dumb down the article so they are never exposed to them, we will be doing a disservice to readers who came here to learn. With respect to this particular expression, even Simple Wikipedia's articles on transgender and Sex assignment use it. If it can use this expression, we can hardly expect en-wiki to do it simpler than Simple. Mathglot (talk) 07:55, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Object This isn't an NPOV question at all. It's a matter of settled science. The sex/gender distinction is not a subject of debate among experts. Nor is the definition of "transgender" (pdf). This RFC set up also seems destined to confuse users - since "oppose" in the first half section roughly the same thing as "support" in the second. Nblund talk 15:34, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
    • It's not asking about the science of it. I don't think that's in dispute here. They're asking if it should be described as "assigned at birth" or described in some other way that make be easier for people to understand who aren't familiar with that terminology. If I hadn't heard that before, I would think that "assigned" meant that the biological sex of the person was in question and had to be assigned (i.e. some for of intersex condition). Natureium (talk) 15:49, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Clarity isn't an NPOV issue, and there are plenty of ways to address that that don't require us to deviate from the language typically preferred by experts. As for the intuitive interpretation of the term: sex assignment is usually an educated guess based on the appearance of a baby's external genitalia. The language makes it sound like sex is ambiguous because sex is, in fact, somewhat ambiguous. Nblund talk 21:00, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Sex is biological and gender is social. I think we are all in agreement here. Sex is rarely ambiguous. Sex is often defined by presence of a functional SOX9 gene. There's not much ambiguity there. Natureium (talk) 22:21, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
That's really an oversimplification, but my point is that we generally don't examine the chromosomes of a healthy baby before writing a sex on the birth certificate, we assign a sex by eyeballing it. This is error prone and unscientific, and the language reflects that fact. Nblund talk 01:36, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Procedural oppose as per reasons already given by other editors. John B123 (talk) 16:05, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Why not "Born as a man", "Born with male organs", or something like that? Cambalachero (talk) 16:47, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
    It implies that trans women were men; not only as opposed to women in general, but as opposed to women with the wrong body; before the surgery. Thus it implies that they were born cisgender and points toward the idea that being transgender is something that works by choice. Georgia guy (talk) 17:19, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
That's because they physically were. Trying to suggest that they weren't is going to be extremely confusing. e.g. Why would someone have a surgery to become male if they were already male? Because they were born with female anatomy. Natureium (talk) 17:34, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose (edit conflict) with the exception of individuals who were born with ambiguous genitalia. If/when the preponderance of reliable sources start using this terminology then we can follow the general usage. Unless biology has changed radically sex is what it is while the social construct of gender may be evolving in out society. Besides not, to my knowledge, being typically used in the bulk of the developmental biology or obstetrics literature, the phrase "assigned male at birth" simply leaves those of our readers who are not on the bleeding edge of the new social consciousness going "huh??". Jbh Talk 16:58, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Per JBH, with rare medical exceptions, people are not 'assigned' at birth, and I would be interested to see a MEDRS compliant source (that is unrelated to those exceptions) that agrees. Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:23, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
    Sure; here are a few: (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30). Shall I give you some more, in batches of one hundred, say? Mathglot (talk) 19:18, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Um... first, not all of those sources actually are MEDRS compliant... and second, of those that are MEDRS compliant, only a few use the word “assigned”.
My point... If you are going to play the “Here is a long list of sources that agree with me” game... please at least make sure the sources actually support what you say. And remember, It is always more effective to make your point with a few well chosen examples, than to try to overwhelm your opponent with lots of poorly chosen ones. Just saying. Blueboar (talk) 22:00, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
I started with number 1, expecting to go through all of these because I thought it would be interesting, but even the first one was not what most of these comments are saying. The argument raised was that assignment is only needed in the case of unclear sex, which the article was specifically not addressing. Natureium (talk) 22:19, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
The term is used more often in those contexts because it tends to be a matter of dispute in those cases, but it applies to the classification of infants int general. If you want more sources, you can check American Psychological Association, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. All sources discuss "assigned sex" in the context of transgender and cisgender people. Nblund talk 15:00, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Object. This is not the place to seek to change content that is based on the most reliable and up-to-date sources, has local consensus across various articles among editors who have familiarity with the sources and their terminology, and would be quite stable were it not for the parade of SPAs, sockpuppets, meatpuppets, and sleepers that appears sporadically to disrupt the project and waste everyone's time. That some people are unfamiliar with the terminology appropriate to the topic isn't terribly germane; we don't dumb down content to placate the masses, we use wikilinks and, where appropriate, inline explanations. And we most certainly don't dumb down content because some people—or even most people—don't like it; that would be a misapplication of NPOV. RivertorchFIREWATER 17:43, 18 June 2018 (UTC) Further note: there is also something a little bit off about starting a straw poll where "oppose" means essentially the opposite of what it did in the related thread just above. It's as though someone didn't like the way things were going in the discussion, so they asked a different question in the hope of a different result. RivertorchFIREWATER 17:46, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak Support Whilst it is generally true that assigned an "actual birth" gender are the same it is not always the case. To thus assume that someone who is transgender was (say) male at birth when there was a slim change they may have been an Hermaphrodite or have some hormonal imbalance.Slatersteven (talk) 08:58, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, nowhere does it say that content issues cannot be decided on a noticeboard, on the contrary, it is common that the result of discussions here result in the changing of wording of articles. I object to "assigned at birth" as a euphemism. With the exception of Intersex individuals (which is a different issue to trasgenderism), sex is not assigned, it is simply a fact of nature evidenced by a persons chromosomes/body morphology/sex organs/etc. If that person decides to transition to a new gender, that's all well and good, but their sex was not 'assigned', its just what their sex was before they decided to transition. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 09:13, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Note that I struck this !vote because I accidentally !voted a second time below, and I don't want to get counted twice if someone does a tally. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 11:01, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Support The problem seems to be the ambiguity of the term "assign". I think in general usage, assignment involves an active decision about categorization, whereas determining sex at birth is a process of recognizing an existing category (from Sex assignment#History: The discernment of an infant's sex is almost universally considered an observation or recognition of an inherent aspect of a baby.). Gender can be "assigned" but sex cannot. I think the most clear way to present this would be something along the lines of the Encyclopedia Brittanica's definition, to avoid ambiguity between sex and gender, or between different uses of the term "assign". The key distinction between a trans person and a cis person is whether their gender identity and their biological sex at birth align in the way traditionally associated. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 11:27, 19 June 2018 (UTC) Never mind, I've realized there's an obvious flaw in my reasoning. "Assigned x at birth" may sound odd from the perspective of the usual meaning of "assigned" but it does appear to be the language used by medical sources when it comes to determining an infant's sex. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 22:37, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there are two problems with the phraise... first is the potential for confusion over the use of the word “assigned” (as several others have noted)... second is the issue of whether this assignation (if it exists) occurs at “birth”. The fact is, the majority of parents are told the gender of their child well BEFORE birth. This indicates that the entire phrase is flawed jargon. Blueboar (talk) 13:30, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Object to poll I’m not clear what this is meant to achieve. If we are discarding the wording found in reliable sources as “jargon”, presumably we will replace it with something cobbled together from our own inexpert opinions on sex and gender issues. What specific wording is being proposed to replace it?--Trystan (talk) 14:28, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Um... no. The Wikipedia community is perfectly capable of reaching a consensus that wording “X” is rejected ... without agreeing on a wording “Y” to replace it. If X is rejected, then X is rejected... regardless of what replaces it.
In fact, nothing requires us to replace it (at all). If we can’t reach a consensus on the definition of “trans woman”, one option is to simply NOT define it. Intentionally OMIT a definition, and trust that the reader will know what we are talking about without definition. Blueboar (talk) 16:05, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
And that would serve our readers how? I mean, I love our readers, but I don't trust all of them to know that the Earth is round. The more esoteric a topic (and transgender topics are definitely still in that category, even among many of our First World readers), the more important it is that we not make assumptions about what people know. RivertorchFIREWATER 20:22, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment: While assigned female/male at birth is used in many transgender-friendly sources (presumably to avoid offense), academic studies on disorders of sex development make it clear that said assignment is generally consistent with the actual sex of the person (although for the general population and not for transgender populations in particular). I'm not sure if this constitutes WP:SYNTH but it might be a justification to use phrasing such as "born female/male" in place of "assigned female/male at birth". Taylan (talk) 16:11, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
    Object to "born female/male". Taken literally, it is a variant of the statement that all people are born cisgender and that transgender people only become transgender by choice. Georgia guy (talk) 17:05, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
No, it means people are born a specific sex. Which is how it works. It does not in any way suggest that being transgender is a choice. Natureium (talk) 23:04, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Object per Georgia guy. I think I am starting to understand the problem the NPOVN editors are having. The current, reliable sources reflect the reality that while "biological sex" may be intended as an objective fact, what actually happens is that infants are assigned to a sex category by a combination of medical professionals, parents and others, and this is a cultural process: the anatomy cannot be interpreted and made significant without culture. But I don't think this perspective is understood by many editors here, in spite of its prevalence in the RS. Newimpartial (talk) 18:08, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
@Newimpartial: The perspective is understood and rejected. The idea that sex cannot be positively identified as a statement of fact is an opinion held by the majority of western gender studies professors, but not by most people around the world. To most people it is patently obvious what the sex of an infant is (intersex individuals aside). Specifically the article Sex and gender distinction outlines the conflict of the semantics in this field. You can't simply ignore one side of the argument and declare gender studies professors the only 'experts' on the topic. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 03:26, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
There simply aren't any recent, reliable sources that would make the "biological sex" (sic.) of infants both self-evident and relevant to a discussion of trans gender identities. The terminology currently in the article is not specific to "gender studies professors" but is in fact the generally used terminology in medical and scientific literature as well as for governments and international organizations. IDONTLIKEIT simply is not an argument to use to second-guess the literature used by all parties in the field. Newimpartial (talk) 04:53, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
I think that Insertcleverphrasehere is right. Newimpartial the notion that biological sex is socially constructed is flat out wrong. Are you suggesting that if you take someone from one culture and put them in another culture that their biological sex would change? When has this ever happened? In addition, how exactly does culture influence the interpretation of anatomy? If what you say is true, then how was it possible to create an international set of terms for describing human anatomy (Terminologia_Anatomica) Userwoman (talk) 16:10, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Userwoman, I am not arguing here that biological sex is socially constructed, I am arguing that it is not self-evident nor is it relevant to gender identity. In its modern, scientific sense, "biological sex" is defined in terms of chromosomes, anatomy, and hormone levels in some combination. Someone who is chromosomally female may not have typically female anatomy and/or may have hormone levels that disqualify them as being "female" for purposes of athletic competition, for example. Of course biological science has terms for anatomy and anatomical variations as well as language for chromosomal variations and hormone states. Literally none of that scientific language, however, is typically used for either sex assignment or for the attribution of gender roles, which are the aspects of womanhood relevant to the Trans woman article. Newimpartial (talk) 16:55, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Newimpartial, if you are going to eliminate any scientific terms from this discussion, then you need to at least follow your own rules. You have called me a chromosome supremacist in the past and labelled genetics as a pseudoscience. I agree that gender roles are a social construct, but do not agree that sex assignment is a social construct. Do you have any sources that show that scientific language are not used in sex assignment? You need to make a clear distinction here. As far as gender roles are concerned, "woman" is not a gender role. If this was true, then whenever a women did something masculine, she would no longer be a woman. This definition needs to make clear that trans women have a feminine identity/gender role, which is not synonymous with the word woman. Userwoman (talk) 20:02, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support keeping the definition with a reference to sex assignment. The idea of sex assignment is clear and precise in a way that phrases like born male are not, it is used in RS and is a long established in medicine and sociology. In general I prefer accurate phrasing and if there are concerns the phrase is confusing to readers it can be followed with quick definitions. Rab V (talk) 18:58, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - assigned male/female at birth (or infanthood) is the term used in the literature. In most cases the assignment is obvious. In a minority of cases (intersex, other conditions, and mishaps) it is not obvious anatomically (and in relation to comments above - xy gene tests are not so simple... See Foekje Dillema, XY gonadal dysgenesis, Androgen insensitivity syndrome). In other cases the assignment does not match the psychological identification. Assigned is neutral terminlogy that skirts around whether the assignmetn is/was correct or incorrect (treating the fact that this was the assignment) - and is the term generally used.Icewhiz (talk) 19:17, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Note NBlunds comment is one of the only ones here that directly references the language reliable sources use. "If you want more sources, you can check American Psychological Association, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. All sources discuss assigned sex in the context of transgender and cisgender people." I'd also add the American Medical Association to that list. I think this gives a lot of clarity on what language high quality sources use and I find that extremely compelling. The other side's arguments seem based more off own point of views, and some show they don't understand the concept of sex assignment and are mischaracterizing it. Rab V (talk) 19:19, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - per Icewhiz. Also I wanted to note that after I looked for citations, I found that under the World Health Organizations definition of transgender they use the term " assigned male at birth" when talking about transwomen. American Academy of Pediatric has also used the term when talking about transwomen. My point here is that the term seems to be backed by several very notable health organizations, when I actually went to look for what authorities in the field have said. ShimonChai (talk) 19:42, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per Icewhiz and ShimonChai. See also Judith Butler's argument that sex is determined by a speech act.[10] (I am not going to argue that Butler is right here, but I will say that Wikipedians qua Wikipedians should be deferring to reliable sources.) -- Marie Paradox (talk) 02:22, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Seems supported by the sources (Nblund's for example), and I find the oppose arguments generally unconvincing. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:20, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I think "assigned male at birth" is not clear and it seems it might give readers the impression designation of sex at birth is random instead of based on biology/anatomy. Sure there are cases where external genitals are ambiguous and mistakes can made, and more to the point not everyone's psychological gender identity matches their biological sex, but we shouldn't use wording in lead that suggests it's some sort of random assignment at birth. DynaGirl (talk) 03:25, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose biological sex isn't "assigned" and using such terminology is confusing for most. Using "assigned" suggests arbitrariness in the process, which is confusing. The usage of the term does exist in some circles as jargon, but for someone "out of the loop", as are most people, it's just confusing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ido66667 (talkcontribs) 08:22, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose – A confusing expression for most readers should not be used to define the subject of an article. There is plenty of room in the article to explain the nuances of sex assignment, but the first sentence is not the right place. — JFG talk 00:01, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are plenty of sources to support this wording, and also plenty that support different wording (it is a well established fact that sex determination in humans is due to the SRY gene, except there there is a genetic malfunction). The fact is that 'assigned' is nebulous and confusing, due to confusion between different meanings of the word 'assign'. In the most colloquial and common meaning of the word assign, the definition is something along the lines of "allocate (a job or duty)", but an alternate and more obscure definition (that is rarely used) goes something like " to fix or specify in correspondence or relationship", which is the definition that is meant to be used when saying "assigned male". The problem is that few people are familiar with this other definition, to the point that it doesn't even appear in some dictionaries.[11] This leads laypeople (i.e. readers) to assume the first definition, which incorrectly indicates that being "assigned male at birth" is an indication that the people around the baby at the time of birth choose the sex of the baby, rather than merely observing it and ascribing it. If I were a cynical person (which I am), I would point out that this confusion is largely intentional, as the origin of "assigned at birth" is from gender studies professors who largely hold the view of gender as a social construct. In any case it is somewhat unclear why this should occur 'at birth'; most parents know the sex of the baby (as determined by the SRY gene) well before birth. In terms of people choosing gender expression different from their sex determination, that's all well and good, but it is unscientific to suggest that sex is 'assigned' at birth, at least as most laypeople understand the term 'assigned'. 'observed to be' or 'determined' might be better and less ambiguous phrasing, but I realise that this is a political quagmire and I doubt that there will ever be a resolution with this sentence structure. I support the proposed wording of "A trans woman is a person who was born a biological male but and identifies as a woman" which was suggested by JFG in the previous section, and avoids the problem entirely. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 01:15, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for supporting my suggested wording. I need to reiterate that my proposal avoids opposing biology to identity with "but", rather using "and" to show both are not contradictory. @Insertcleverphrasehere: Please correct "but" to "and" in your quote of my proposal, or state that you support a different version. — JFG talk 01:23, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
I've corrected it. I'd support either; 'but' seems more natural to me, but both are factually and grammatically fine. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 01:29, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
This discussion should have been shut down weeks ago. Once again we have editors who don't understand the scientific or medical literature on trans issues inserting the complete canard of "biological maleness", which is utterly unsupported in the recent RS on the subject (one might be tempted to assume that those doing so are themselves, perhaps defensive, "biological males"). Personally, I would have no problem with using the suggested synonym "determined" rather than "assigned", but it is simply not the job of expert or non-expert WP editors to second-guess the terms used in the reliable, expert sources. Nor should WP editors be involved in re-litigating what it is that happens at birth, or before, or after, that creates "boys" and "girls" any more than we should be re-litigating evolution or the human genome. In all of these cases we need to be following reliable authorities, and those authorities use "assigned at birth" for which, in case readers don't grasp the concept, we have a convenient link to Sex assignment. Newimpartial (talk) 02:07, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
@Newimpartial: Your accusations (assumptions?) aside, it *is* the job of Wikipedia editors to weigh the sources and to determine what prose is appropriate and to avoid confusing our readers wherever possible. I clearly stated why I opposed it, because it is unclear to readers for the exact reasons you are claiming that I don't understand the topic (a quick read of my comment would clarify that I know about different definitions of 'assign'). Your comment about 'biological maleness' not being a thing completely ignores the entire discussion of Sex and gender distinction, which is ironic given your accusations of us being ignorant. Even our own article on Sex assignment defines it as "determination"; there is no reason to use a term that is potentially confusing to lay people when there are alternatives that are not confusing. It is strange that those people interested in "shutting down discussion" always tend to be those who are in favour of the status quo. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 03:07, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Clever phrase, you state here that editors must weigh the sources. Where is even one current scholarly source (besides the dictionary definitions and Wikipedia articles that your faction has constantly brought to this discussion) that would suggest that the standard terminology in the field is either controversial or confusing?
For my own part, I am most certainly aware of the discussion of "sex" and "gender", but there is absolutely no reason why an article explicitly about a *gender*identity* should also rehash tired notions of biological sex. Do our articles about penises and vaginas, or beards and breasts, discuss the variety of gender identities and representations of which they are a part? I do not believe that they do. Newimpartial (talk) 04:53, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I wouldn't talk like that myself, but we have a "Sex assignment" article so we may as well point to it from somewhere. Can't think of a more appropriate place than articles about women born as boys and men born as girls. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:23, July 26, 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose the original question in this section. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 11:08, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Partial oppose, whilst the link to the technical term/jargon "Sex assignment" should be maintained, it would be much clearer to use plain English and say "were identified as male at birth". This is a more accurate and clearer description of the 'assignment' process - someone looks at the genital area and comes to a conclusion, which in the vast majority of cases - there is no ambiguity about. Pincrete (talk) 10:46, 10 August 2018 (UTC)

Really need a broader discussion

While the community has already achieved consensus on how to handle individuals that would fall into this area of LGBTQ/gender identity, the above shows that there's a clear split on how to handle generalized topics like trans woman. This is probably because editors are coming from two different broad schools of thought here. There's clearly a group from women's/gender studies along with the sources for that, and then the other side are coming from the established medical field, where WP:MEDRS is a principle here. This is no way to suggest that the ideas of gender identity should be treated as fringe as MEDRS is set up to normally handle, only that we basically have two different fields covering the same topic, one long-established, one rather new, and there's a conflict of terms in play here, and we're pitting well-established concepts of human biology against reliable content from experts in the field of gender studies. We should recognize neither side is wrong, but they present a challenge of which way we should be presenting this material. This is a NPOV problem, though encompasses many other concepts in policy too.

That means, to me, we should have a broader discussion not so much on the point this discussion started with, but on how we handle the intersection of these sources on generalized articles (not about any specific person or group). That includes whether GENDERID should apply to generalized articles, how to write these articles for a global audience to be crystal clear in explaining the concept, and how to deal with the conflicting intersection of sources. I do not recommend this here, this is something to handle at WP:VPP to get wider audience on the matter.

I only post this to see if this makes sense as the next step. Note this would be a broad RFC (not like the above section on the question of "assigned at birth", but which terminology should we prefer and other related questions. --Masem (t) 20:17, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

It's not entirely clear to me which "side" you are calling the "women's studies" side and which one you think is the MEDRS side. MEDRS and other high-quality sources on this topic with which I am familiar generally use language like "sex assignment", while much of the argumentation in favour of wordings like "born a man" seems to come from people, including folks interested in gender studies, who disfavor MEDRS in favor of more pop-culture-y sources about sex and gender that more reliable sources highlight the oversimplisticness of.
Before the article on Chelsea Manning was renamed, editors spent time gathering sources on a subpage of that article's talk page, seeking to clearly determine which name was more common; perhaps it would be useful to similarly gather sources to determine what wordings reliable sources most commonly use with regard to these topics. (Or perhaps it would be a massive open-ended time-suck.)
-sche (talk) 21:45, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
By MEDRS, I'm speaking towards the sources that are based on physiology, rather that the psychology around gender identify, and its more than just the issue of "sex assignment"/"born a man/woman". It goes back to the original point, such as which definition of "woman" can we start with. By necessity, the whole of gender identify is based on the notion of overriding the normal medical definition of certain terms to be more respectful of individuals, but as I pointed out before, as a reference work, we have to be careful with such situations since globally, these concepts are not readily accepted. Hence the need for a larger policy discussion on which direction to take. --Masem (t) 22:00, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Has anyone looked at sources? Whether MEDRS or just RS, the language of "sex assignment at birth", as well as "birth sex" and "natal sex", are easily found. But the former is indeed used by medical organizations. American Psychological Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics, and a ton of academic medical research ([12]) to list a few. Unless folks can point to sources, preferably contemporary ones to best reflect the current language use, all these !votes are pointless and based only on opinion, not on NPOV. EvergreenFir (talk) 22:10, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Don't get too hung up on just the definition of "sex assignment", that's part of the issue. The issue is NPOV in an unusual sense: We nominally want to respect the gender identity of identifiable persons (from previous consensus) , but when it comes to general terms, trying to apply that same respect will lead to significant confusion due to differences in the definition of words between established medical practice and gender studies. I see buried in the discussions above that not respecting the class of individuals that would fall under the transwomen/transmen is seen as not being neutral towards these persons, so there is the NPOV here, or at least figuring out the balance of viewpoints here. --Masem (t) 22:26, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm "hung up" on it because it's being "debated" above. OP's is related, and as I said above I honestly don't care too much between the two wordings. I'm not sure which neutrality issue generally you are seeing, but I see a concerted effort by folks who wish to move away from what is clearly mainstream language in reference to and in description of transgender people. EvergreenFir (talk) 22:43, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
I know it's discussed above, but its clear to me we need to discuss the larger issue of how to approach generalized articles on these category of people, balancing respect for these people (a core part of gender studies), and straight-up clarity for our readership. You can't answer the question about sex assignment property until we know where we stand on the broader issue. --Masem (t) 22:47, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
I don’t agree that there is a distinction between established medical practice and gender studies along the lines of what you are suggesting. For example, the concept of sex assignment was used in medical journals long before anything resembling modern gender studies existed. It initially referred to sex assignment of intersex individuals. Its application to trans individuals isn’t a gender studies euphemism; it’s a continuation of that medical tradition. Specifically, it’s a way to avoid making unsupported, unscientific claims about the causes of transsexuality when those causes are poorly understood. (e.g., if the causes are biological in nature, describing a trans woman as being born “biologically male” is inaccurate.)--Trystan (talk) 22:41, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Reply to Masem I think that would be a sensible next step. The aim of the straw poll above was to determine whether the terminology had broad support or whether it presented a problem for a general readership, and I think the poll demonstrates that there is a problem. Yes, I take on board that this terminology is part of the "language set" of social science and gender studies, but general encyclopedias such as Britannica and dictionaries such as Merriam Webster tend to avoid it, mainly because they understand they are introducing people to these concepts and terms. We are not arguing that this terminology should be completely excluded but these concepts need to be defined in broad, easy to understand, English, especially in article leads. It seems to me this is specifically what WP:JARGON is supposed to prevent. Just focusing on one sentence in one article doesn't really address the problem, so we need to be striving for a general principle i.e. when defining something in this topic area, we should perhaps look to general texts rather than specialist ones for appropriate language. That is the sort of discussion I would prefer to see. Betty Logan (talk) 22:41, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
you have yet to provide any sources from any related area of study like gender studies, sociology, psychology, medicine, childhood development, etc. Which support your claim that this language is inappropriate, too technical, or not neutral. EvergreenFir (talk) 22:46, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Sources aren't needed to understand that trying to implicitly have "woman" mean "one that identifies as woman" instead of "a human female" in an article without any other context is a clear problem for us, and one not clearly resolved. And that's the tip of the iceberg here of what I can see going on looking at the above discussion and the talk page there. --Masem (t) 22:52, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
You're begging the question here. The sources EvergreenFir cited above all on the the medical/biology side. You mention the use of the term "woman" above, but "woman" doesn't have a precise medical definition, as far as I can tell. The assumption that "woman" and "man" are synonymous among lay people or non-westerners with biological sex is also dubious. Nblund talk 23:04, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
The definition of "woman" that means "one who identifies as a women" is a very young concept, contrast that to the long-established meaning of "human female" - and that's the English meaning, where gender studies have the most advancement. This is common sense that the bulk of the world is going to presume long-standard meanings over the ones preferred by gender studies. Mind you, in time, that could change (At one point until the early 20th century, we had certain words that were considered politically correct to call African-Americans, that's clearly changed), but common sense is clear right now we're not there yet. --Masem (t) 23:15, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
The more common colloquial definition is probably "a person who appears to be an adult female", and that definition is far from historically or geographically universal. The notion that a person with a female name, female legal status, and female external genitalia might be called a "man" under your suggested definition is probably just as foreign to many non-experts as the notion that self-identity is central. As far as I can tell, you're the only person who is citing gender studies, and but haven't provided any sources that point to any meaningful disagreement between medical and social sciences on this issue. It seems like this is more a question of dictionary definitions vs. the definitions preferred by relevant experts. In that dispute, there's really no question that Wikipedia policy favors expert sources. Nblund talk 00:44, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
How does their definition suggest that? That's not even how the scientific would necessary define sex. There is a difference between chromosomes and the genes on those chromosomes, and the expression of those genes (not "expression" is a social science way, it's an actual thing). If they have a female body, I find it hard to believe that they would, to use your preferred terminology, be "assigned male at birth". Natureium (talk) 01:11, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
You can read the entry I linked to: she didn't meet the IOC definition of a biological female because she had a Y chromosome, although she was obviously a woman by any normal definition of the term. Nblund talk 13:37, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Oh. That's a sporting authority, that's not a medical definition. Natureium (talk) 14:48, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
No one has provided a medical definition of a "woman" yet, despite several claims that there is a disagreement between the medical and social science definitions of the terms. The closest I can come are the 8 criteria listed here, which include both gender identity and presentation alongside chromosomes and genitalia. Nblund talk 16:47, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
This goes back to the core issue: are we talking "woman" by sex or by gender. If by sex, then a medical definition is going to follow the accepted biological one, which is a human female, and that's going to be based principally on what genitalia they have (though by chromosomes there can be exceptional cases outside that). If by gender, then that's where identity comes into play. Thus when we have a very general article about issues related to trans- persons and other gender identity groups, we have to be clear on context on the meaning of words. While we can absolutely ignore the "sex" based definitions on specific individual pages (per GENDERID), these general pages need a high degree of clarity for all readers. Hence a need for the discussion of how to handle these topics --Masem (t) 17:38, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
You haven't provided a biological definition of "woman" either, and the biological definition of 'female' isn't primarily based on external genitalia. Clarity is great, but staging an extended debate about a non-existent conflict between medicine vs. gender studies or imagined medical definitions of words doesn't clarify anything. I promise I'm not Sea-Lioning you here: you're making an assertion about some some supposedly well understood bio-medical definition of "woman" that you haven't been able to source, and I suspect it doesn't actually exist. Nblund talk 18:37, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm speaking on common knowledge and common sense. A biological definition of "woman" would be "a human female" (same as the main English definition) and of that, a female would be "member of the species that produces ova" and/or "gives birth to offspring". And yes, I am aware that "sex" itself may have multiple differences if you are talking physiology (what organs a person has), chromosome make-up, and more (eg this 2015 paper that has raised some skepticism in the area) that could create a "spectrum" of biological sex rather than the binary approach; this does not seem to be bad research.
But, and this is key: from strictly the biological sex standpoint, these are extremely novel concepts that haven't yet gained widespread scientific acceptance, though not necessary refuted as fringe science. That's where things like MEDRS requires us to be careful with how we present this information, since we're not yet had a scientific reasons to treat "woman"/"man" from the "sex" standpoint as anything but biological with limited exceptions. If the broad, global scientific community comes to accept that biological sex has a similar spectrum as gender identity, then things would be different. I personally believe, from observations of general sources, that while there is general acceptance that gender identity is clearly a spectrum and not binary (at least, in most countries), the scientific community and the world as a whole has yet to accept that biological sex is a spectrum, and per our policies, we're supposed to stick with this in areas of science.
But this argument is getting to the weeds, about the question of a larger RFC. There's clearly a conflict between traditional views, current scientific stances, and the concerns of those in gender studies alongside WP policies that is not easily answered by any discussion here. Its basically taking on the debate that, from the earlier Salon article I posted, that dictionaries are seeing in how to define these terms to reflect these modern ideas. --Masem (t) 19:12, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
To be clear, when I say "provide a definition" I'm asking if you can supply a medical or biological source for a definition of "woman". I strongly suspect this doesn't exist, and I don't think it's productive to start an extended discussion where we both just assert our own "common sense" definitions of the word.Nblund talk 22:23, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Given the policies and guidelines of Wikipedia, how could our approach to defining a topic such as trans woman be anything other than canvassing and compiling the definitions given in reliable sources? There is room to move using that approach. E.g., This Lancet article uses a definition similar to that proposed at the top of this discussion: “a person assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman or in similar terms”. But the approach of the above sections is that we should challenge the RS definitions, discarding elements we don’t like or that run contrary to public opinion polls. It sets us off on a path of original research and endless conflict.--Trystan (talk) 19:08, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
The issue above was the omission of the "identity" part in putting the word "woman" in context, as to understand it is the gender-identity definition, rather than the biological-sex based definition that most of the rest of the world would assume to mean. Adding the precision language, while may be insensitive to those that are trans-women, is in line with meeting our global readership. Now, Lancet has the identity part, which is fine, but I suspect if you compile the RSes that define the world, most which will come from those involved in gender studies, you will find a large number that might omit the identity part, on the basis that in their field, "woman" implies "identifies as a woman" (eg , showing respect for those that are trans-). That creates a conflict for us to present the definition presented by RSes. --Masem (t) 19:16, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Masem, I will suggest that before taking this to the VP the question is sketched out here first. We don't want to ask the wrong question, and we don't want to ask it in a way that either side feels it is "loaded" to advantage one side of the argument. Betty Logan (talk) 23:28, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I would definitely make sure we work out one or two simply-presented questions, and establish the goals of the RFC before posting. I still see this present section as figuring out the shape of those questions. --Masem (t) 00:22, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
I would support this idea. There is clearly a gap between the medical concept of transgender and the social/women's studies concept of transgender. People are really trying to push a scientific issue into a social issue. Natureium (talk) 23:09, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
@Natureium: what gap do you refer to? I provided all medical and scientific sources and I see no gap. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:41, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Note: I have notified three WikiProjects—Women, Gender studies, and Medicine—of this discussion. Someone else had notified LGBT studies already. If anyone is aware of other relevant WikiProjects whose participants might bring relevant insight or experience to the discussion, please let them know. RivertorchFIREWATER 03:00, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Reply to Masem Masem, I appreciate that you were trying to help, but like others I do not feel the dichotomy you have presented sheds light on this discussion. There is a growing consensus within various fields that trans women are women. Rachel McKinnon, a philosopher who makes gender one of her focuses, says, "I take it as well-established that trans women are women. Full stop."[13] (The emphasis is hers.) Lori Watson, a radical feminist philosopher, says, "I believe trans women are women." Julia Serano, a biologist, says, "Trans women are women."[14] We do not need to understand why trans women are trans women (we can leave that to the experts) to understand that there is a convergence of people from various fields saying that trans women are women. (Not incidentally, McKinnon is already cited in Trans woman as saying trans women are women.) -- Marie Paradox (talk | contribs) 04:56, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
    • I fully appreciate this intent, but realistically, this is only true for a very small fraction of the human population. In places like Asia, Africa, and South America where women's rights lag, and moreso LBGTQ rights are further behind, most people there only understand "woman" as the biological gender-based term. We unfortunately serve a global readership, and that is the lowest common denominator. (If only was meant to serve the US, then I would understand this to be more far). It is going to take time for the default meaning of "woman" to be "identifies as a woman" as opposed to the biological definition. That's unfortunate but out of our control. --Masem (t) 05:01, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

Straw poll for "born male"

In the straw poll for "assigned sex" terminology, there were 10 opposers, 6 supporters, and 6 objections. After some additional discussions, attention on this issue seems to have dissipated. (No contributions since 10 days.) To continue the discussion, this is the first of two steps I'm intending to take. First let's see how much support or opposition there is to using the wording born male when referring to trans women in the lead section of the trans woman article.

Rationale: I suspect there will be a similar, almost half-half split of support vs. opposition/objection, as there was a near half-half support/objection vs. opposition with "assigned sex" terminology. This will leave us paralysed as there is no third alternative I can think of, which both sides would agree on. As such, step 2 is to ask those who opposed "assigned sex" terminology (and presumably supported "born male" terminology) to reconsider their decision, as 1) there seems to be no third alternative, 2) while they may not like it as much as "born male," they probably prefer it over no change being made to the trans woman lead section at all (which already uses "assigned sex" terminology), and 3) it's actually quite well-sourced as Mathglot demonstrated somewhere above with a massive list of citations. Once we have consensus on "assigned sex" terminology, I hope we can re-evaluate support/opposition to the change I proposed at the beginning of this discussion. In short: to those who feel uneasy with "assigned sex" terminology, I would ask whether they would like my proposed change to be made, or whether they'd rather discuss this topic for weeks only to lose interest and ultimately leave the lead section of the trans woman article in its current state. But anyway, let's focus on step 1 now. Taylan (talk) 18:22, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

  • oppose "born male" as the language is unsourced and irrelevant to a gender identity article. Newimpartial (talk) 18:28, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • comment I don't know why you are prolonging this discussion. The reason, in your words "attention on this issue seems to have dissipated", is that people have had their say. You wanted to change the wording of the lead of the article Transwomen to suit your POV, against the wishes of others. When you failed to get support on the talk page, you brought the discussion here. Having again failed to get a consensus to change it, you still won't accept it. It's time to draw a line under the matter and move on. --John B123 (talk) 18:47, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • "Born male" is, unsurprisingly, not used by many reliable sources (is it used by any that would meet MEDRS-type standards?) because it is not neutral, compared to the more accurate and longstanding "assigned" language that reliable sources do use; for those reasons, one should not use it. Moreover, as John suggests, one should probably step away from the horse... -sche (talk) 19:01, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Born Male - Primarily since RSes do not use it. I'll note that some find this term offensive - but I don't give that much weight. What is of weight, is that determining who is "male or female" is a non-binary situation in human (and non-human) sexuality. In 97% of cases it is straightforward. In a small minority it is not, however there is a significant intersection between these minority of cases and trans-people - in particular, there are ambiguous cases which are assigned male/female at birth - at times (often in the past) - undergoing surgery during infanthood/childhood to change the ambiguous manifestation to the assignment - who identify (at some later stage of life when they are able to express themselves) as the sex opposite to the assignment. In this subset of cases - referring to the ambiguous gender identity at birth as "born male" or "born female" is technically incorrect. See for instance: Ambiguous genitalia, gender-identity problems, and sex reassignment, Sex assignment for newborns with ambiguous genitalia and exposure to fetal testosterone: attitudes and practices of pediatric urologists. (interestingly - noting difference in opinion between physicians for sex assignment on the same case type - For 46XY cloacal exstrophy, two thirds favored the male sex.Icewhiz (talk) 19:48, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment Clearly the poll above demonstrates there is no consensus for the terminology currently in use in these articles. That said I think this poll is misguided (do you honestly think this poll will produce a consensus for "born male"?). I support a new discussion as advocated by Masem at the Village Pump. Rather than focusing on wording at one specific article I would like to see a general principle emerge whereby we define topics on Wikipedia using the same neutral language that is also used in other general readership texts (such as Britannica, Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionary). Betty Logan (talk) 20:27, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Betty Logan no, if you read my rationale you would have noticed that I don't expect this poll to form a consensus. I thought it would be good to have it out of formality and for clarity. That's because the majority opposed assigned sex terminology, but that terminology is used currently in the article; my intention was to make it clear to those who opposed assigned sex terminology that there won't be a consensus for "born male" either. After they acknowledge that, hopefully they will turn to a more important discussion, such as whether the trans woman article should or shouldn't claim that transwomen are literally women, which is a strong ideological position. Taylan (talk) 11:12, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Strongest oppose to this tendentious disruptive nonsense. This is beyond equine abuse. Until you provide some basis other than your personal preferences, it's hard to take any of this seriously. Especially when we must neutrality reflect sources (WP:5P2 and WP:NPOV). To reiterate my point from earlier, "assigned (fe)male at birth" is used by all the major professional and governmental organizations I can think remotely relevant to this: American Psychological Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:11, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
  • oppose It all depends on context, but given that there is some evidence that (in a few cases admittedly) assigned birth sex was in fact erroneous to some degree I am opposed to a blanket assumption that because someone was assigned a make sex they were born male.Slatersteven (talk) 11:17, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose According to Wikipedia's guidelines on reliable sources, age matters. There is a trend towards using the term "assigned male at birth" instead of "born male". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marie Paradox (talkcontribs) 05:39, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose born male but perhaps would support "born biologically male", but not simply "born male" as these individuals at least later in life have female psychological gender identity and there is research to support this as present at birth or at least very early in life. DynaGirl (talk) 03:29, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't see the harm in using terminology from the relevant field in an article. If "assigned male at birth" is part of the language of the majority of reliable sources who discuss the topic then it is workable, it is still in fairly plain English. One small issue as Slatersteven pointed out is whether people who were born without a clear sex are considered "trans", which I have no idea about. This is primarily a social issue, so trying to make this about biology or hard science doesn't make sense to me. The essential topic is about "who do or should we describe as a woman", which is not a matter of science. I have a concern about whether this has become a battleground for opinions rather than strictly what is logical, if a distinction between opinion and what one feels is logical can be made. How anyone personally feels about how social sciences are considered reliable, or the use of "woman" to refer to people who are not biologically female, is really irrelevant here and I don't think all the editors in the prior poll kept that in mind. —DIYeditor (talk) 03:08, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose in case that wasn't made clear by supporting the alternative. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:29, July 26, 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose After reading the discussion above, I believe at this point that no one is beating a dead horse; instead, the greasy patch of soil where a horse carcass once was is being vigorously struck with a stick.Icarosaurvus (talk) 19:59, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
  • No It's more complicated than that. ~Awilley (talk) 20:51, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose this terminology is a subtle and pernicious means of legitimizing gender identity discrimination. To imply that someone is "born" male then implies that transgender identity is somehow less legitimate. --Jayron32 21:07, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above - especially Evergreen Fir. MarnetteD|Talk 21:14, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

Broader questions to be asked

In considering in opening an RFC at VPP to answer broader questions related to this, I think there are two fundamental questions:

  1. Does GENDERID apply to general articles related to trans-people and concepts (such as trans woman) that are not specifically about named individuals or groups? (Named individuals/groups may be mentioned in these general articles as, say, examples or attributed quotes, but the articles are not specifically about individual people or groups).
  2. In articles where GENDERID does not apply, and otherwise reference concepts around biological gender and gender identity, should we assume that our readership will recognize "woman" to mean "identifying oneself as a woman" (and same with "man" and any other related terms) or do we need specific clarity to differ between the biological and ideological meaning?

Please do not answer these here. I'm trying to suggest neutral questions that capture the problem that can be answered Yes or No (but of course room for in-betweens). I'm looking for input if these are neutral, simple, fair questions to ask for a wider VPP.

I know there's a deeper question on the subtle differences between "born", "identified at birth" "biologically" "genetically" , etc. I think that's far out of scope until we get an answer to both of the above. --Masem (t) 23:30, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

Comment there is nothing neutral about characterizing the meanings of "woman" in question here as "biological" vs. "ideological". Better terms might be "biological" vs. "sociological" or "cultural" (the latter in the anthropological sense), or simply "sex" vs. "gender". The specific question at stake here seems to be whether readers will accept the gender identity meaning of woman (which is widely documented and referenced, including in Woman) as the relevant intended meaning in an article on a gender identity. Newimpartial (talk) 23:37, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

To stay neutral, I was trying to avoid framing the second question as what "gender identity" editors would want. I'm asking, in no other context, do readers/editors understand the "identify as..." meaning. But again, this starts with whether these general articles fall under GENDERID. --Masem (t) 23:50, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
I recognize that you want the discussion to be more general, though I am not sure that is in fact advantageous. But in any event, you will never frame a discussion in a neutral way while using loaded terms like "ideological", which is why I provided so many alternatives. Newimpartial (talk) 23:54, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Given your framing of things here (which another user has pointed out the loaded language of: namely that despite how you present things, gender identity seems to have a biological basis, and the ideology that external anatomy should overrule how people present and are treated by others is just that—an ideological POV), and your loaded framings of things in the discussion above which I pointed out problems with, it seems like you may be having difficulty stepping back from your own point of view enough to be able to present the issue neutrally.
I also question if a "broader" discussion is useful: how many articles are actually affected? It seems like the dispute is about [[trans woman]] and [[trans man]]. And your question seems to be whether articles about gender identities should use 'gender' senses of terms, or 'sex' senses. It would be confusing, not to mention unsupported by most of the reliable sources on the topic I'm familiar with, for an article titled "trans women" to devolve to calling them "people" and contrasting them with "women"; at a minimum, one would need to clarify "women assigned female at birth" or the like, and clarify that trans men were or were not intended to be included under that umbrella.
If more than just a handful of the same users who've been beating this horse think continuing this discussion is a good idea, which so far does not seem to be the case, then I'll be happy to help workshop possible RFC questions' wordings. But so far, the discussion seems to be petering out. -sche (talk) 22:27, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
You speak of "a handful of users" but there are more people here who oppose the current wording in the trans woman article than those who support it (10 vs 6), or almost as many if you count the procedural oppositions in the first straw poll as "support" (10 vs 12). Clearly, the current lead section of the trans woman article is in line with one of two contrasting positions that are both well-represented on Wikipedia. (And one is much stronger represented in the general population, as the Pew Research poll that was linked a while ago. The position held in the current lead section is the minority position.) Taylan (talk) 11:18, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Pew is not a valid citation when it comes to parts of Wikipedia that are about established facts, on either side, you shouldn't advocate for a research poll of the general public to dictate what is and isn't true, what is and isn't the minority or majority position shouldn't be what this is orientated on. The major health organizations seem to be neutral, and use the term assigned male and birth. ShimonChai (talk) 14:59, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

For anyone who is unaware, EvergreenFir, Rivertorch, Newimpartial, -sche, Rab V, are all on the same ideological "team." They are unwilling to compromise even when provided with reasonable sources. This discussion has become very sided tracked and should merely answer the question of whether or not the definition needs to be changed. It seems that there is general support to do so. Not WP:Aspersions, just an observation. Userwoman (talk) 02:03, 18 July 2018 (UTC)

@Userwoman:, the links to the usernames there are red since it's linked as if those were mainspace articles rather than usernames.ShimonChai (talk) 02:41, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Edited, Thank you. Userwoman (talk) 12:33, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Aww, you guys/girls/enbies, why didn't you tell me we were on a team? I would've gotten us matching jackets or something, if I had ever met you to know your jacket size or, in one case, realized you existed (no offence!). Userwoman, can you remind me which cabal the various editors who don't agree with your point of view are a part of? I want to get the logo right: is it a bathrobe or some rouge? 😂 -sche (talk) 18:14, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Those are WP:ASPERSIONS, Userwoman, and not well-grounded ones. There is no WP:CABAL. For the record, I have no interactions with those editors outside the Trans man and Trans woman pages and related talk pages, not do I know anything about their ideological bent. There simply is one side to this discussion based on reliable sources, and another that relies on dictionaries and other Wikipedia pages. Newimpartial (talk) 23:46, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
There Is No Cabal (TINC). We discussed this at the last Cabal meeting, and everyone agreed that There Is No Cabal. An announcement was made in Cabalist: The Official Newsletter of The Cabal making it clear that There Is No Cabal. The words "There Is No Cabal" are in ten-foot letters on the side of the 42-story International Cabal Headquarters, and an announcement that There Is No Cabal is shown at the start of every program on The Cabal Network. If that doesn't convince people that There Is No Cabal, I don't know what will. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:50, 18 July 2018 (UTC)
Clearly you forgot rule one of the Cabal Club: You do not talk about Cabal Club. :) --Masem (t) 00:22, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
There is no cabal at all. Everybody knows it. And people are being brought out to the fore. So far that I know, virtually none of it related to the discussion on trans woman. So I have great confidence in my fellow editors, but I will tell you that Jimbo was extremely strong and powerful in his denial of any cabal. EvergreenFir (talk) 07:10, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
These replies are somewhat amusing. In any case, I think that a Wagon fort/corral analogy is more apt to what is going on here. A few people have decided to stake a claim (rightfully so or not) and protect it from any criticism. Every so often a few "savages" come along and try to point out that something is amiss, but never really make any progress. Userwoman (talk) 14:29, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
I am a bit late to this party, (my cabal app seems to be malfunctioning and I was only just notified of this discussion) but I can confirm There Is No Cabal. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 07:46, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

Proposal for RfC

Due to the significant objection in the above polls to both “assigned male at birth” and “born male”, I suggest the following wording for an RfC which avoids both phrases. This wording also affirms that transwomen are women prior to any other qualifies.

A trans woman is a woman whose biological sex does not align with their gender identity.

Any thoughts or other suggested wordings for a formal RfC? DynaGirl (talk) 21:44, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

Proposal: people should refrain from proposing RfCs that have no chance of obtaining a consensus. The problems with framing this in terms of "biological sex" have already been discussed above. Nblund talk 21:55, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Seems clear from lengthy discussion and votes in above polls that there is significant objection to current lead. It doesn't seem productive to tell editors at NPOVN to refrain from making suggestions. DynaGirl (talk) 22:02, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
  • The problem really is an issue with semantic disagreement on pretty much all of the terms which might be used to define sex or gender. 'Biological sex' might be clear to most people, and might be easy to apply to most individuals (the vast majority of humans provide no confusion with regards to determination of biological sex), but there are several grey areas between male and female with regards to biological sex, and these are not addressed in the definition above. I understand that in drafting this proposal the use of 'biological' is to indicate to the reader that the definition of 'sex' being used is similar to what the APA Dictionary of Psychology uses: "Sex refers to a person’s biological status and is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex (i.e., atypical combinations of features that usually distinguish male from female). There are a number of indicators of biological sex, including sex chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia.". The APA Dictionary of Psychology defines the difference between 'sex' and 'gender' as: "The traits that distinguish between males and females. Sex refers especially to physical and biological traits, whereas GENDER refers especially to social or cultural traits, although the distinction between the two terms is not regularly observed.".[15] There are two problems with the proposed wording. The first problem is that not everyone agrees with this definition of 'sex' or of a distinction between 'sex' and 'gender', preferring instead to use the two terms interchangeably, which confuses things considerably. The second issue revolves around intersex individuals, where 'sex' is not easily determined and it might not be clear and how to apply the definition used above (i.e. "is an intersex person who identifies as a woman trans?"). It is guaranteed that these questions are impossible to answer, as the answer depends both on a subjective determination of gender (in the case of intersex individuals), as well as the definitions being used for 'sex' and 'gender'. There isn't a great way to resolve this, but I suspect that the solution might lie in including labeled footnotes in the definition chosen, used to define what the words 'sex', 'assigned', 'gender', etc actually mean in the sentence we are using them in. I suggest that rather than proposing additional wording, we instead launch a discussion about the meaning of these words first, then decide how we will use them, and define them in-text using efn tag footnotes. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 23:09, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
    • I agree with Insertcleverphrasehere regarding footnotes / inline notes. One option that might address the concerns raised regarding “assigned male at birth” is to keep that phrase, but to add an explanatory note (Template:Efn) following it which explains (using WP:MEDRS sources) the frequency with which an assignment of male at birth (resulting from external genitalia examination) correlates with the presence of testis and presence of Y chromosome. If need be, this could be done without using the phrase "biological sex". If addressed this way, it seems this information should also be added to the body or article in a more detailed fashion than in the footnote and also using WP:MEDRS compliant sources. DynaGirl (talk) 23:22, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment I think the proposed wording is still problematic. Just try putting yourself in the head of somebody who knows very little about these issues. We are not just writing for millenials in the western world; approximately 40% of English Wikipedia readers access the site from countries where English is not the first language. We could have somebody's granny looking up this article or some kid in Saudi-Arabia from an ultra-conservative family. I would actually like to revisit a comment that John B123 made above when he referenced the equivalent article at simple:Transwoman. Perhaps something along these lines:
    • Trans woman (taken from simple:Transwoman):

      A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a male-to-female (MTF) transsexual or transgender person.

    • Transgender (bit in bold taken from Merriam-Webster):

      A transgender person has a gender identity or gender expression that differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.

The Simple English Wikipedia is doing this better than us at the moment, and the Merriam-Webster definition is carefully worded to capture the typical case and outliers. Betty Logan (talk) 00:38, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Betty Logan, I tend to agree your suggested wording is clearer and I would support it with solid sourcing. Wikipedia itself is not a reliable source, so seems we'd need to find good sourcing for male-to-female. DynaGirl (talk) 16:21, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Transsexual and and transgender would still have to be wikilinked for people not familiar, how is that better than biological sex and gender identity? I think it is less clear. —DIYeditor (talk) 16:35, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose on procedural grounds Let's wait for TaylorUB to provide reliable sources without original research to convince his fellow editors that a change needs to be made before resorting to NPOV/N. Let's respect Wikipedia's process. -- Marie Paradox (talk | contribs) 00:47, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Discussing possible wordings for a proposed RfC is not a violation of any WP process which I am aware of. This isn't the actual RfC, but rather discussion of possible RfC. The actual RfC, if decided upon, should be placed on the article talk page and listed appropriately, and of course it should be supported with sources. Sources are already part of the discussion. See above discussion of WP:MEDRS compliant sources and also sources added by Betty Logan in her proposal.DynaGirl (talk) 00:54, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia lists four pitfalls to avoid. The only reason a discussion is taking place here is that TaylanUB and Userwoman failed to avert three of them. Call it a violation or don't; coming here to beg for people to change a lead one doesn't like after one has failed to get one they did like through an edit war[16][17][18][19] is not the intended purpose of this forum. -- Marie Paradox (talk | contribs) 01:13, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
If TaylanUB or Userwoman have or continue to edit war, seems that should be addressed at WP:AN3. I in no was support edit warring, but I think bringing neutrality concerns with regard to the clarity of an article, especially for readers who are not already knowledgeable on the topic seems appropriate. Also noticeboards such as WP:NPOVN are an explicit part of Wikipedia:Dispute resolution requests. DynaGirl (talk) 01:24, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Forum shopping is explicitly something to be avoided while trying to reach consensus (which is what TaylanUB and Userwoman should have tried before coming here). We are not under any obligation to bow to the whim of everyone who comes running to the other parent. -- Marie Paradox (talk | contribs) 01:32, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
This is a violation of WP:AGF.
1. The burden of proof (or rather, the burden of WP:RS) lies on those who want to keep the statement "a trans woman is a woman" in the lede of the trans woman article. I and Userwomon challenged the "pro-trans" editors repeatedly and they haven't been able to provide any WP:RS which state that trans women are women. I've provided a Pew Research poll pointing out that less than half the US population believes that a male-born person can be a woman, which proves that the statement goes against public perception in addition to being unsourced. It also contradicts English dictionaries, and the Wikipedia article woman. It is a very clear incidence of political/ideological bias.
2. I have pointed out repeatedly, and documented (see history of my user page) systemic bias, groupthink, and unwillingness to accept WP:RS that contradict the world-view of "pro-trans" editors, in many Wikipedia articles that relate to these topics. (This is not a bad-faith assumption; it's a claim of biased thinking.) As such, your claim of me (and I suppose others) failing at three of the four pitfalls you link is wrong and a pernicious instance of WP:AGF violation: a) the perceived "edit warring" is a product of the hold "pro-trans" editors keep on trans-related articles. It's noteworthy that in many instances, what you call "edit warring" ultimately led to the "trans-critical" positions being accepted, because WP:RS were on their side after all. This "edit warring" style of pushing for well-sourced positions to be acknowledged has become a normalcy and necessity in articles governed by "pro-trans" editors, since otherwise it's impossible to overcome their bias. When I started out, people considered Feminist Current to be "not notable" while using The TransAdvocate as a source. It took weeks if not months of stubbornness just to change that! This should clear up the "tendentious editing" point that people keep raising against me. b) Regarding the claim of canvassing, sock puppetry, or meat puppetry: I assume you mean the instances in which Userwomon asked me (and I suppose others) to partake in the trans man talk page. The reason for that is clear: while "pro-trans" editors keep a hold on trans-related articles and end up having their ideology is represented as neutral fact, those who try to reinstate neutrality are painted as bigots, their edits held up to impossible standards of scrutiny, constantly faced with accusations of rule violations (curious that yet none of us received a warning from an admin in all this time!) and otherwise demoralized and discouraged from partaking in discussion. This makes it necessary to remind people to stand for their positions. If Userwomon had not pinged me, I might have neglected to partake in the trans man talk page not because I wasn't interested, but because I frequently have to take breaks and recover before coming back to tackle the next neutrality issue. c) Regarding the claim of forum shopping: the fact that support/opposition for the "pro-trans" positions has dropped to about 50-50 from 90% vs. 10% after being taken to this page is a perfect proof for the problem I keep mentioning: bringing neutrality into the relevant articles by using their talk pages is damn near impossible due to the hold "pro-trans" editors keep on these articles, unless you're extremely stubborn in which case you have "tendentious editing" slapped in your face instead.
DISCLAIMER: the terms "pro-trans" and "trans-critical" used (consistently with scare-quotes) for the sake of briefness. While I use "pro-trans" to refer to those with oppositional positions to me, I am in fact "pro-trans" in the sense of wanting universal human rights to encompass individuals who identify as transgender. The term "trans" here should rather be read as an abbreviation for "world views holding the position that it is a fundamental necessary to view transwomen as literal women and transmen as literal men to support their human rights." Taylan (talk) 15:50, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Taylan, you simply cannot state that a group of people are not what the specialist literature in psychology, the declarations of major international organizations, national laws, and the grammar of the English language itself states that they literally are, and then unilaterally place the the onus on those of us who actually participate in in consensual social reality to demonstrate that the sky is blue. Nor can you plead AGF once again after such a prolonged flogging of the horse. Your participation in this topic has represented the most egregious kind of Civil POV pushing on behalf of a FRINGE position. The fact that 30% of Americans might believe in young earth creationism does not make that position any less fringe.Newimpartial (talk) 16:03, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
TaylanUB I'm a Userwoman, not a Userwomon! Newimpartial You cannot be serious. If it was only Taylan or I responding to this issue, then sure we would be in the wrong, but it seems that many other editors on Wikipedia disagree with you and would like to see a change to make this article more neutral. The request is not at all FRINGE, as I have already provided several sources that do not take the position that trans women are women. This is original research on the part of a Wikipedia editor. Until this question is answered I will continue to propose it: It is becoming painfully obvious that you do not have any sources to back up the current phrasing of the lead. If you did, you would simply present them and I would have nothing else to say. I've already presented several sources that have an alternative definition, one that was actually used in the past and has more precedent than the current definition. Userwoman (talk) 16:10, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Userwoman Whoops, I somehow mixed up your username with that of a Twitter profile I've seen a while ago, apologies. :-) Taylan (talk) 15:12, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose To my understanding of Wikipedia, doesn't the position of authorities, APA, ACOG, WHO, CDC, AAP, have any value? There is professional consensus with the use of assigned at birth. Most arguments against assigned male at birth, are anecdotal, for instance the use of popular opinion by Taylan if I remember correctly, and dictionary definitions by Betty Logan. Also, to DynaGirl, dictionary definitions aren't WP:MEDRS in fact, if you read MEDRS, the word "dictionary" is not mentioned once, yet it mentions every type of valid source, and even goes so far as to mention common types of invalid citations, they probably assumed that no one would try and use the dictionary to overwrite the authority of APA, WHO, and the CDC. ShimonChai (talk) 11:57, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps we should go with something more closely aligned with the CDC definition which says:

Transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity or expression (masculine, feminine, other) is different from their sex (male, female) at birth.

Please see: Alternately, I think we'd need to clarify what "assigned male at birth" means with respect to anatomy and correlation of that anatomy with biological sex, and if we cannot use the phrase "biological sex", then correlation with testis and Y chromosome. But seems we need something to make it clearer to readers who may not already be familiar with the topic. DynaGirl (talk) 13:54, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
It is certainly interesting that the CDC has dropped the term "assigned" from the language used in their own recommended resources (e.g., <>). In this case the CDC web content folks seem to have caved to some perceived P.R. issues and in so doing make the definition less useful and less accurate than the sources, e.g., the denial of intersex intersectionality with trans identity, which is one of the problems "assigned sex" was designed to solve.
I still don't see any need to invoke "biological sex" in the lede - the CDC doesn't, either - particularly when WP has a perfectly good article on Sex assignment. Newimpartial (talk) 15:25, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
The CDC also uses assigned in a different article of theirs. The term "assigned" doesn't imply a lack of anything. I don't see how a reader would legitimately think that being "assigned male at birth" would mean that they don't have testicles or a Y chromosome. Also, part of the reason organizations like WHO used the term assigned is for intersex people, such as the case with klinefelters, and other intersex conditions that may end up being diagnosed much later in life. In which case, assuming that the that biological sex assigned at birth is always accurate is incorrect, and the word "assigned" has a neutral position regarding the action of assigning sex at birth. There are also transwomen who are intersex, but assigned male at birth, it's actually much more common for klinefelters people to suffer from gender dysphoria compared to the general population. Granted, that is still the exception rather then the rule. ShimonChai (talk) 15:31, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Seems the problem occurs because the current lead opens with "A trans woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth". Please see woman article. Woman is primarily defined as an adult female human. The current wording gives readers unfamiliar with the topic the impression that trans women are females who were mistakenly identified as male at birth, rather than clearly explaining that sex and gender identity do not match in trans people.DynaGirl (talk) 16:11, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Maybe the problem is with the woman article's lead then. —DIYeditor (talk) 16:15, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
That's what I thought, so I reverted it to the June version. Newimpartial (talk) 16:56, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Problem solved. —DIYeditor (talk) 17:07, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure how removing "adult" from the opening sentence and leaving "female" solves the problem. Now it opens with A woman is a female human being instead of previous A woman is an adult female human being. The addition later down that woman may also be used with respect to gender identity, helps, but with respect to the trans woman article, I still think clarity regarding difference between sex and gender identity seems important. The article Sex and gender distinction might be a good article to link to in the lead of Trans woman.DynaGirl (talk) 17:22, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
If someone wants "adult" back I certainly wouldn't object. But the woman article must, in line with the sources, acknowledge that it is describing a gender identity as well as a "sex".
And the problem I have with linking to Sex and gender distinction is that we would be linking to an article that essentially outlines the terms of a dispute. And not especially well, either: the key Judith Butler position (that sex/gender is social "all the way down") is currently buried in the "Limitations" section, giving those who don't read down that far the misleading impression that the key positons in the debate are one that accepts the distinction and emphasizes social and identity issues, and another that denies the distinction and tends to reduce gender to biology. By leaving out the parallel position on the "other side", the terms of the debate are skewed. Which is just to say that linking to the article on this particular dispute might not be the best way to inform those reading the trans articles. Newimpartial (talk) 18:18, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
You can't use a Wikipedia article as a citation on a Wikipedia artcle. ShimonChai (talk) 00:19, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment The current wording of "A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a woman who was assigned male at birth" is ok. If someone doesn't know what "assigned male at birth" means they can click on the link. It is in pretty plain English but the link will certainly explain it. At the most I would change it to "not assigned female at birth" to include intersex or other scenarios - that might have a little better logic, except that it doesn't address someone who would've been assigned female at birth but happened not to be. On the other hand I do not disagree with DynaGirl's description of what people mean by trans woman. —DIYeditor (talk) 16:01, 27 July 2018 edited 16:40, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
Casting my mind back to English lessons many years ago; if terms used in a definition need to be defined themselves then it's a bad definition John B123 (talk) 17:23, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
That's contrary to how dictionaries are written. —DIYeditor (talk) 17:32, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose for all the reasons I've already mentioned re. "a trans woman is a woman" being WP:NPOV. It doesn't have any WP:RS supporting it, contradicts the definition of "woman" in English dictionaries, encyclopedia, and on Wikipedia, and reflects a recently emerged political/ideological position held by less than half of the US population and probably much less of the percentile population on a global scale. As long as the trans woman page begins with a statement saying "trans women are women", it violates NPOV. Taylan (talk) 14:59, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Surely it's time to drop the stick --John B123 (talk) 15:43, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Except, Taylan, that all the reliable specialist sources and most of the recent nonspecialist sources, including Wikipedia's own GENDERID policy, describe Trans women as women (as indeed does the grammar of the English language itself) and specify that they should be designated as women. So your quest, Taylan, or rather your personal opinion that Trans women are not women, is FRINGE and the current text is actually NPOV. Is it finally time to drop the STICK? Newimpartial (talk) 15:45, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
In that case, Newimpartial, why haven't you linked us to one of those "reliable specialist sources" to this day? Why not do it now? I think you are simply stating a factual falsehood here. Repeating something wrong a hundred times then accusing your opponing of beating a dead horse for still opposing you is not very logical. Taylan (talk) 15:55, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
I'd like to point out that Newimpartial's claim that holding the "opinion that Trans women are not women, is FRINGE" is prime bullshit. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 16:04, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Then surely, Roxy, you can find a specialist source published within the last 15 years that supports your assertion. None have thus far been provided. Newimpartial (talk) 16:17, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
While I disagree with Roxy's tone, he/she is right. Taylan (talk) 16:22, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Pew is a reliable source on public opinion, not on gender identity. I have repeatedly stated that public opinion on the status of Trans people is relevant to the article, as are other forms of prejudice and discrimination, but public opinion cannot be used to define an article's topic per RS. Newimpartial (talk) 16:43, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
But I didn't make the claim, you did just up above when you said "So your quest, Taylan, or rather your personal opinion that Trans women are not women, is FRINGE". As always it is the onus of the claimer to substantiate bullshit claims with reliable sources. I'm waiting. -Roxy, the dog. barcus 16:28, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
In addition to literally all specialist sources, the governments if the UK, Canada and New Zealand have stated in basic English appealing to Taylan that Trans women are women. Period.
Trans women are women in the same sense that tree frogs are frogs. The claim that some kind of metaphor is involved is EXTRAORDINARY and faces the burden of proof. Newimpartial (talk)
You have failed twice (on the talk page and the initial section of this discussion) to convince other editors that your POV of "transwomen aren't women" is correct. The conversation has moved on since then and is constructively trying to find the best definition of "transwomen". Perhaps it's time to withdraw if you can't move on with the discussion. Everybody is aware of your views, repeating them yet again won't change other people's views or add anything to the discussion. --John B123 (talk) 16:10, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
It's hilarious how you say "everybody is aware of your views" after literally misrepresenting my position. :-)
My *private* view outside of Wikipedia is that a small subset of transwomen *could* be considered "women" under one of several working definitions of the word "woman".
My *point* on Wikipedia is that beginning the trans woman article with the statement "a trans woman is a woman" is a violation of WP:NPOV since it's not supported by reliable sources, contradicts public opinion, and is contradicted by English dictionaries, encyclopedia, and Wikipedia. So far, nobody has been able to argue against this point. Taylan (talk) 16:26, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
I.e., literally, ICANTHEARYOU. Newimpartial (talk) 16:48, 28 July 2018 (UTC)ă
To quote Roxy the dog "it is the onus of the claimer to substantiate bullshit claims with reliable sources". As the person who wanted to change the wording of transwomen, the onus is for you to prove the existing wording is NPOV not for people to prove your POV is incorrect. --John B123 (talk) 16:50, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
TaylanUB, you are essentially arguing something like "a model car is not a car" because it doesn't have every quality of what is typically defined as a car. That's why the qualifier is there. You might define it as a "miniature car" but you could as well say "a car that has been miniaturized". —DIYeditor (talk) 16:57, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
The problem with trying to focus on the specialist sources in this area is that they contradict a near-global understanding of the term "woman". Unless you start the article with a phrase "For purpose of this article, "woman" should be assumed to be a person that identifies as a woman" (eg explaining the specialist position) you are going to confuse a great number of readers. We need to assume "woman" on its first use is the 100% globally accepted definition of a biological human female. --Masem (t) 16:50, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
But Masem, that wouldn't be the near-global understanding; the near-global understanding of "woman" would be "those who are accepted as women in my culture". The idea that this definition can be grounded in biological science is both relatively recent and decidedly minoritarian. Newimpartial (talk) 16:58, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Here I disagree, "woman" has always been assumed to be an objectively true assessment in common usage. Like calling a cat a cat because it is a cat. The new idea is that this is subjective. —DIYeditor (talk) 17:00, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
I don't think the claim is that it's subjective, the claim is that it isn't necessarily rooted in biology. I hesitate to say "most", but lots of cultures have definitions of "woman" and "man" that are based on behavior and appearance. There's an illustrative exchange in this article on Brazilian trans prostitutes where an informant uses the word for "gay" and the word for "woman" interchangeably, and talks about her boyfriend "becoming a woman" when he changed his sexual practices. I don't see the basis for assuming that the behavioral definition of "woman" is less common than the western biomedical view. Nblund talk 18:34, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Well I think there are degrees of subjectivity - the term itself is relative. Whether someone is behaving like a woman is subjective compared to whether they have two X chromosomes, but there is a view as Newimpartial pointed out somewhere above that that even things like biological sex differences are arbitrary, vague or relative - that indeed all categories are. This is a newer way of thinking. I think what is salient here is that by using the term woman in the definition, then pointing out that in this use of woman we are not referring to the traditional assignment of sex, the logic is clear between being able to click on "woman" and "assigned male". The existing introduction works. —DIYeditor (talk) 20:00, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Just to be clear, when I object that to the claim that the biological science sense of "woman" is "near-universal", I am not proposing that woman as a subjective gender identity is "near-universal" instead. What do mean is exactly what I said above, that the "near-universal" definition of "woman" is "those who are accepted as women in my culture". Where I live - Canada, Wikipedia - the policy for defining women may be essentially the same as the subjective gender identity. Elsewhere it may be quite different. But almost nowhere is there a direct resort to biological science: for example chromosomal definitions, essential to contemporary sexual biology, are almost never used.
I do think that a hyperlink to the WP article for Woman is fine, so long as that article - in line with the RS - explicitly recognizes that one of the key definitions of "woman" is as a gender identity. In fact, if the article "woman" were well-organized, there would be a section Woman#Gender identity that could be linked directly. But nine out of ten sea lions would not approve... Newimpartial (talk) 20:32, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Well isn't the definition of any term "what is agreed to be labeled thus"? I don't think this would be useful or feasible to cover in the first sentence of Trans woman. I'm surprised there isn't such a section in Woman and that might be the best place to address this issue. The whole point of the hypertext concept is for people to follow links when they encounter a term they aren't familiar with or that is being used in a way they don't understand. —DIYeditor (talk) 00:56, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
"Whether someone is behaving like a woman is subjective compared to whether they have two X chromosomes" Are people with klinefelters, or de la chapelle syndrome women? ShimonChai (talk) 04:47, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
But Masem, that wouldn't be the near-global understanding; the near-global understanding of "woman" would be "those who are accepted as women in my culture". I strongly disagree. If you surveyed all 7 billion ppl on this planet, most would iterate a definition of "woman" as being a female human in the biological sense. The idea of woman meaning "a person who identifies as a woman regardless of their biological/genetic/assigned gender" is extremely novel (remember, the concept of even LGBTQ having rights is relatively novel), and it would only be a small subset of the 7 billion that would accept that as the first/primary definition. This whole situation falls within WP:NEO, we avoid new terms, or new meanings of well-established terms, until we can demonstrate they have sufficiently wide acceptance for all readers. This all goes back to this article [20] that we should be going by what lexicology experts in the English language use. Once Oxford and other dictionaries (who serve the same "lowest-common denominator" audience that we do) put "identifies as woman" as the primary definition of woman, then we can do. But we shouldn't move in that direction until those works do too. It's OR and to some extent POV to do it before then. --Masem (t) 06:29, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
From where are you deriving these standards about dictionaries? EvergreenFir (talk) 07:37, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Masem, I'd like to AGFA, but have you read any sociology or anthropology at all? People simply do not go around applying the concepts of biological science in deciding who are or are not women. The chromosomal definition, key to contemporary scientific definitions, is for examp!e almost never used in practice. This point is primordial and has nothing to do with LGBTQ recognition except tangentially - for example, the way women and men are defined in a two-gender system can be different from how they are defined in a more than two-gender system. Again, read the anthropology,
Also, from the position of your post I trust you read my clarification comment before posting, in which case why the digression on "a person who identified as a woman regardless of their assigned gender" (whut?). That would presumably be some kind of straw being argument, since it has nothing to do with what you and I are discussing here: the role of biological science in defining womanhood.
Suggesting that WP would follow a lexicology article in Slate rather than the practice of governments, international organizations, and the scientific, medical, and specialist communities is nonsense. We are writing an encyclopaedia, not a dictionary, and we have wikilinks to define the tough concepts like Sex assignment. Newimpartial (talk) 13:05, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
What I see is a lot of attempts to tiptoe around sensitivity issues - which do fully apply at named BLP - on a general topic, which is where WP:NOT#CENSORED comes into play. I look at the discussion above about the subtle differences between gender from assignment, genetics, or biological aspects, with many nitpicking that one type of definition isn't exactly right. I can understand that this could be important when talking about a specific individual, making sure we have captured how they present that argument, but in the broad general article like trans-woman, we're writing at the lowest-common denominator using the obvious and longest-established meaning of terms so the bulk of the readership understands it. Those words in general terms may account for 99% of the cases, and not account for 1% , but for a lede sentenece in an encyclopedia article, that's sufficient. Exceptions and details can be covered in the body. The whole point of the Slate article is not what Slate is saying, but what Slate says OED and other major reference works are saying - they are having the same problems trying to adapt for this new gender language and presently are staying with the old standards. Until they change, we shouldn't. I recognize that may seem insensitive, but again, NOT#CENSORED. BLP doesn't apply here, we're not worried about stepping on any named individual's issues here. --Masem (t) 15:15, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
So, in Antigone, when Creon says: "Now if she thus can flout authority unpunished, I am woman, she the man", do you think he's literally saying he is afraid he is going to sprout ovaries? Reasonable people can disagree, but if you think this is just hand-wringing about sensitivity, then I don't think you're following the discussion very closely. You've made an assumption about what the bulk of the readership believes without providing persuasive evidence to support it. Concerns about sensitivity don't really enter in to it, I just think you're wrong. Nblund talk 16:05, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

In reply to Masem, I for one don't see any appeals to "sensitivity" in this whole discussion; those defending the current language have appealed, rather, to WP policy and the terms used in Reliable Sources. NOT#CENSORED, however, is not an argument that can be used to set aside reliably sourced terms in order to appeal to dictionaries and public opinion polls. We are talking about the article Trans woman here, and the current lede covers 100% of the cases, while a link to Sex assignment explains the one potentially new term. I would also like to see a link to Woman#Gender identity but, you know, Sea lions. Newimpartial (talk) 17:05, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

The way our lowest common denominator will read the current lede of trans-woman, "a woman who was assigned male at birth" means that you are only including people that have undergone gender transition surgury, and omits people who are still biologically male but identify female, which as I read sources, should be included in this definition. This is because you want readers to assume "woman" means "identifies as woman", which would then be correct, but that's only for those that understand that meaning of woman. And coupled that with the fact that our article on woman doesn't all speak to gender identity in the early lede, so you are going to confuse people by using the specialist terminology. I know that a trans-woman person would want people to refer to them as "woman" regardless of their biological sense, and that's what we'll do on BLP pages where we can, but we can't do that here. (Why not just use what's on this page here "Trans woman generally describes someone assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman." --Masem (t) 17:25, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Don't you agree, Masem, that if there were a viable link for Woman#Gender identity that would've a more universal solution? The problem with including "identifies as a woman" in the lede, which has been proposed on the article Talk page, is that in "lowest common denominator" usage this phrase implies "identifies as a woman (but is not)", which his the actual belief of TaylanUB and Userwoman, among others, who are the ones insisting that the current language is not neutral. That is, the implication "identifies as a woman (but is not)" is precisely the effect desired by those proposing change to the lede.
The reliable sources on Trans women identify them as women. The reliable sources on Woman include Trans women in some cases and not in others, and it is this complex reality that WP must reflect, according to the best sources, rather than leaping to a "lowest common denominator". Newimpartial (talk) 17:37, 29 July 2018 (UTC)
Just to play devil's advocate here, since whether a trans woman is a genuine woman is an unclear matter of opinion for which we can point to no particular authority ("trans woman" sources say so but "woman" sources don't necessarily), isn't it acceptable to use language that is true from both points of view? "Identifies as a woman" is true from any standpoint so I don't see the problem with this. That someone might take it to mean "(but is not)" is not our problem, we are not here to force certain opinions on anyone. We don't spell out "(but is not)" or even to my mind imply it. I am happy with the current wording but I don't have a huge objection to the "biological sex doesn't match gender identity" or "assigned male but identifies as a woman" wordings. —DIYeditor (talk) 08:13, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
DIYeditor states my issue with the current wording perfectly. There is certainly a neutral way in which to phrase the lead. No major source that I have come across defines trans women as women. Because there is no clear academic consensus that trans women are women, Wikipedia cannot take a position on this issue. Userwoman (talk) 20:02, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
No, a link to an appropriate article/section that makes it clear that "woman" in this context means "identifies as woman" as most people will see "woman" (linked or not) and assume the standard definition (biologically-related), and thus will have no inclination to read the blue link. This is not the case where there's an unfamiliar word, or a common word but used in a strange context, where the blue link will help; we have a word that seems rather clear in context ("we're talking about gender, "woman" is about gender, what else could it mean?") so there's very little likelihood a user will use that blue link. And of course, that's the online version. Print/offline versions you don't have that luxury.
And your phrase "identifies as a woman (but is not)" is effectively the same as "someone assigned male at birth who identifies as a woman." - it incorporates that "exception" in there. We cannot be overly sensitive to the broad class of trans-women for purposes of precisely getting a definition across to the fuller readership. --Masem (t) 20:38, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
So Masem, you literally just endorsed text implying that Trans women are not women. There is no consensus of scholarly sources to this effect; if anything, the consensus is the opposite, in spite of Userwoman's unsourced assertions, so any such text would violate NPOV.
Current, scholarly sources clearly include Trans women as part of "Women, as a gender" in any case; the trick with the article Woman is that it deals with quite a bit more than "women, as a gender".Newimpartial (talk) 20:46, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm speaking from straight up practicality and what a common word has meant for centuries, and why trying to make it mean something else without context is harmful to a large portion of the readership.
If you go with your preferred version "A trans-woman is a woman who had been assigned male at birth", most of the rest of the world is going to read that and assume that a trans-woman must mean a person that has transitioned to the female gender. That completely excludes people who still are male biologically but identify as women.
If you go with "A trans-woman is a person who identifies as a woman who had been assigned male at birth", there is no question this includes those that have transitioned and those that haven't. We exclude no-one and there's zero confusion on the terminology. The only issue here is that some people may be upset we aren't recognizing "woman" to mean "identified as a woman", but that's where NOT#CENSORED comes into play , as long as we recognize this article is not directly subject to BLP since no individual is actually named. (That's why I point out that major dictionaries also haven't adopted this language yet either).
So its basically the weight of whether we want our readership to be unclear on an imprecise statement, vs whether we may slight or offend those that may take issue we aren't using a specialist term. NOT#CENSORED gives favored to the former: we're not hiding any encyclopedic information from readers for sake of potentially offending someone else.
Now, I should say that once you get into the body of the article, you can early on include that for purposes of the article, that "woman" implies "identifies as a woman" per the specialist sources, and you don't have to worry about that anymore. But you simply can't make that assuming on the lede sentence. --Masem (t) 21:05, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
The UK's Gender Recognition Act 2004 Section 9 states unambiguously "person’s gender becomes for all purposes the acquired gender". Most of Europe has similar legislation. The UK was one of the last countries in Europe to bring in such legislation. The UK's legislation was precipitated after losing a case in the European Court of Human Rights in 2002. In that case, Christine Goodwin v. the United Kingdom, the ruling was that the UK's refusal to recognise transwoman Christine Goodwin as a women and treat her accordingly, was a breach of her human rights under several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights. I did bring up the UK legislation previously, but Taylan seems to have overlooked it when recently stating that nobody had provided RSs that transwomen are woman. I think most European governments and the European Court of Human Rights qualify as reliable sources. --John B123 (talk) 22:22, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
Are governments a reliable source for what gender means? Laws are generally speaking only reliable sources on the laws themselves. The Soviet Union said that God does not exist, should the God article reflect that? If Trump & Co. passed a law denying global warming, should its article reflect that as a fact? Or are governments reliable when you (or we) agree with them and not otherwise? What fact checking and editorial oversight was involved in verifying that trans women are indeed women? Just playing devil's advocate here, I feel compelled to say, I am happy with the current wording of the trans woman lead. —DIYeditor (talk) 23:43, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
Surely you're not suggesting politicians are anything but honest, transparent and act with the upmost integrity! On a serious note, as a UK citizen I'm bound by UK law, which tells me a transwoman is a woman. To suggest, or support a suggestion that a transwoman wasn't a woman, is theoretically a criminal offence. I assume that is also true in most parts of Europe based on the ECHR ruling. --John B123 (talk) 16:59, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
FWIW, in Canada, Gender Identity has been a protected grounds of discrimination federal in human rights law since a 2017 statute, this having first been proposed in 2005. Newimpartial (talk) 18:47, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Although not all academics agree with this law. Jordan_Peterson#Bill_C-16 Userwoman (talk) 20:10, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
True, but then again not all academics agree with other academics. --John B123 (talk) 20:44, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I wasn't aware that "agreeing" with a law was necessary to be required to comply with it. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:17, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
SarekOfVulcan, what are you suggesting, that Wikipedia has to comply with a law dictating the meaning of a term in some particular country or countries? It's straight out of 1984. —DIYeditor (talk) 22:03, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
You might want to work on your reading skills a bit, DIYeditor. I said no such thing. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:18, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Whatever Jordan Peterson might be, he is certainly not a Reliable Source on gender identity or on Trans issues as a whole. Newimpartial (talk) 20:28, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Newimpartial feel free to educate yourself on Jordan Peterson Userwoman (talk) 23:09, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
The fact some gov't do support the concept "a trans-woman is a woman" legally supports what we try to do on our BLP on individual people, but that does not impact how we need to handle the definition in a general article not specifically about any individual. We're still talking about the fact that the bulk of the rest of the woman are still behind on this factor, and that for most people, "woman" without any other context is still going be assumed to be the "human female" meaning, not the "identifies as woman" one. --Masem (t) 20:41, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm speaking from straight up practicality and what a common word has meant for centuries... I kind of suspected that your views had little to do with what reliable sources have to say about the meaning of woman and more abut your unsupported assertions, but thanks for elucidating that and removing all doubt. Mathglot (talk) 03:15, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

Taylan, There seems to be numerous editors raising neutrality and clarity concerns, in this and the above sections, but little consensus regarding alternate wordings. It seems your original suggested wording may have the most support. You might consider starting an WP:RfC for this or other suggested changes on contentious issues. RfC’s are sometimes preferable to NPOVN because it will involve a formal decision at the conclusion by an admin or other uninvolved editor, unlike NPOVN, which might generate a lot of discussion, as well as new page watchers and contributors, but often not a formal outcome.DynaGirl (talk) 18:25, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't really understand why this debate is happening here. Clearly people are somewhat divided on the issue, so it's worth holding an RFC to determine consensus (probably better to have it on the talk page of the article in question). To those who are set against a change in wording, then the answer is simple: when the RFC is started, just comment there to explain your support for the current wording. Personally, I don't really care what the wording is, but these procedural opposes are ridiculous. It's completely unnecessary to hold a debate now over whether there should be a debate in the future. A more formal discussion would be helpful. If no one can agree on one specific change the RFC should propose, then include several options for people to choose from or rank in order of preference or something, including the existing wording. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 05:44, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
@Red Rock Canyon: I agree totally that this discussion should be on the talk page. The procedural opposes are based on the history. The OP failing to get support on the talk page for their proposed changes brought it here. Having failed to get the majority here, wants to take it to RFC. Many feel 2 bites of the cherry is enough and it's time to draw a line under the matter. --John B123 (talk) 17:01, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Looking over Taylan’s earlier talk page discussions on trans woman, seems he might consider toning it down a bit, but in the interest of accuracy, it wasn't Taylan’s suggestions in this sub-section which didn’t get majority support, these were suggestions by other editors. If you check the earlier sections, you’ll see his suggestion actually received substantial support. Additionally, TaylanUB did not say he wanted to start an RfC, that was suggested to him here at NPOV noticeboard.DynaGirl (talk) 16:59, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── DynaGirl wrote: "This wording also affirms that transwomen are women prior to any other qualifies."

I think that's the sticking point. The thing is, to affirm that transwomen "are" women is to declare that there is only one valid way of understanding womanhood, and that way encompasses transwomen. I'm not convinced that the editors here at the English Wikipedia really want to take sides on that question.

To give you an idea of what I mean, I recall a cis-woman vehemently insisting (in a non-trans context) that menarche is the identifying characteristic of womanhood, and if an eight year old has her period, then that child is "a woman" now. Conversely, if a 19 year old hasn't – well, she's not "a woman". She might be "an adult" but she's still "a girl" rather than "a woman". Under that definition, male-born transwomen have no realistic hope of ever being considered "women", because they will never experience menarche. (Ditto for anyone with intractable primary amenorrhea.)

I don't subscribe to that definition, but I'd like you to imagine a world in which she's not wrong. That would be a world in which I don't have to believe her definition of womanhood, but also one in which I (and we) don't get to say that her definition of womanhood is factually wrong. From that POV, using her definition, it's just nonsensical to affirm that transwomen are "women". Of course, from another POV, and using another definition, transwomen are all unquestionably women. But the outcome depends upon our definition of woman, rather than our definition of transwoman, and in this world, different people might prefer different definitions. Does that make sense?

Because editors are leery of taking sides between different definitions of womanhood (for example, the different views of womanhood held by the the trans-exclusionary and the trans-inclusionary radical feminists), "affirming that transwomen are women" (according to your definition of womanhood, of course) is exactly what many editors want to avoid. These editors want to find a neutral space in which all the points of view, including the POV that transwomen aren't exactly "women" (according to the variety of definitions of womanhood that are used by some people who are not you, of course), are represented in that sentence.

It is not actually possible to provide a definition of transwoman that both affirms that transwomen are women and also fairly represents all the verifiable POVs, including those that disaffirm the claims to womanhood made by transwomen. It cannot be done. We have to choose one approach or the other. The options are either:

  • that the first sentence erases the disagreement over this key point (which might be a violation of NPOV), or
  • that the first sentence doesn't affirm that transwomen are women, no matter how much this pains some people.

This, then, is basically your RFC question: Should the first sentence of the lead for this article directly affirm the POV that "a transwoman is a woman", on the grounds that certain reliable sources represent this POV as a mainstream POV, or should it avoid directly affirming the POV that transwomen are women, on the grounds that certain other reliable sources disagree with that POV? WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:44, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

I appreciate the clarity of that reformulation. However, while here are certainly sources on Women that exclude Trans women, as is reflected in the WP article Woman, I am not aware of any recent, reliable sources on Trans women that state that they are not women (not have any such sources been offered in this long discussion). If this contrast accurately describes the state of the sourcing, then it seems to me that the first option should be taken as a matter of routine WP practice and policy, and that the second option is not viable - not for reasons of "pain", but because it doesn't reflect the sources. Newimpartial (talk) 11:54, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing brings up a good point that we have to consider the different between a simple, English language definition of what a trans-woman is that is understood by any reader of the English language, and the social acceptance of trans-woman. The former is a fixed element, the latter is something that changes in time. Trying to take the first option is mixing these two up which is creating problems. There is no harm in saying "A trans-woman is a person that identifies as a woman but was assigned male at birth. Trans-women are broadly considered to be women in most cultures." (though you'd need to make sure that last point is cited in the body) That gets both points covered right off the bat, and avoids the disambiguity that the first option forces us to use. --Masem (t) 13:32, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Newimpartial, I suspect that some editors will define any source that explicitly says "a transwoman is not a woman" as being unreliable, since of course we are all aware that there are many religious sources that say exactly that, and Western society tends to value the "scientific" POV over the non-scientific POVs of art, history, religion, law, sociology, etc.
But more pointfully, even the reliable medical sources decline to either affirm it or disaffirm this POV of womanhood. Like many of the editors who seem unwilling to adopt this proposal, they avoid taking a side on the question of what constitutes "a woman". See, e.g.,
  • the APA: people who were assigned male, but identify and live as female and alter or wish to alter their bodies through medical intervention to more closely resemble their gender identity are known as transsexual women or transwomen
  • ACOG: Male-to-female—refers to someone who was identified as male at birth but who identifies and portrays her gender as female....Also known as MTF or transwoman."
  • CDC: Transgender women describes people who were assigned the male sex at birth but identify as women
I don't know why they choose to avoid taking sides, but I did notice that serious academic sources are remarkably consistent about it: Transwomen are always defined as people who have certain qualities; they are never defined as women who have certain qualities.
BTW, I did a quick check of the quoted phrase "transwoman is a woman" (also in plural) at .gov and .edu sites. I was surprised how rare the phrase was. If this was typical definition in academic and government sources, I think it would have turned up more than about four ghits for that, and there would have been at least one that was an actual definition (they were basically summaries of personal opinions, never in a reliable source for this point).
The opposite phrase appears in a few reliable sources, e.g., to describe the POV that "transwomen are not 'real' women because they have not experienced childhood and formative experiences that born women go through"[21], but that is also an uncommon phrasing. It just seems to be normal to avoid defining a transwoman in terms of either "is a woman" or "isn't a woman" in reliable sources. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:51, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

This has been rumbling on for over a year now. The discussion has gone round in circles many times and it doesn't seem any closer to being resolved. Can someone either start an RfC on the talk page or draw a line under these matters. --John B123 (talk) 19:35, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

Did you mean to say over a month now? This discussion was started on June 15 2018, although perhaps the debates on trans related articles has been going on much longer. DynaGirl (talk) 20:42, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
@DynaGirl: - The fist attempt by Taylan to have "trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a woman" changed was on the talk page 19 February 2017. The 2nd discussion querying ""assigned male" was started on 30 December 2017 by an IP on the talk page. The 3rd discussion "not a neutral article" was started 9 April 2018. The 4th discussion "Lead section, one more time" was opened on 9 June 2018. As you point out, the last discussion spilled over onto here on June 15th. So in excess of a year. --John B123 (talk) 21:17, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. ShimonChai (talk) 20:17, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I am just about done with an RfC. Someone uninvolved should take pity on this page and close this discussion once the RfC is started. —DIYeditor (talk) 20:30, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

RfC on talk page

An RfC on this has been started at Talk:Trans woman#RfC on introduction. It would be good if someone uninvolved would close the discussion here on NPOV/N and redirect any further comments to the RfC. —DIYeditor (talk) 21:09, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

@DIYeditor: I know you are making a good faith effort, but I'm not sure an RfC is needed. But I guess it doesn't hurt too much. But I agree that a close is needed here. EvergreenFir (talk) 21:40, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
It has turned into a predictable quagmire of transphobes writing text-walls for why their bigotry is "just being reasonable." Obviously there's no consensus. Simonm223 (talk) 17:09, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Or reasonable people being unfairly dismissed as transphobic bigots? Name calling doesn't do much to advance the discussion, but does make a 'quagmire' inevitable. Pincrete (talk) 18:24, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Discussion participation requested

Participation is requested here, I need neutral editors who are not coming from Pakistan to maintain NPOV as if we left this content to the mercy of editors only coming from Pakistan then this content will either be completely censored or coatracked. Sheriff | ☎ 911 | 19:00, 29 July 2018 (UTC)

Proposes changes to WP:BLP

There is a discussion here[22] about if/how to change BLP to resolve and alleged conflict between WP:BLPSPS and WP:PSCI. Tornado chaser (talk) 20:36, 31 July 2018 (UTC)


LumaNatic is inserting "enslaver" into the first sentence of many articles. I undid these changes and informed him that this is undue in the first sentence of articles on people who are notable for many things other than owning slaves in a time that it was very common. He reverted all my edits and left me a message about my "shocking ignorance". It's obvious from his user page that he is here to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS about what prominent politicians should be known for. Today, he's inserted it into George Washington‎, John Washington, Augustine Washington, Robert E. Lee, Henry Lee III, George Mason I, George Mason II, George Mason, George Wythe, Lawrence Washington (1718–1752), Lawrence Washington (1659–1698). He has reverted several editors and refuses to discuss. Natureium (talk) 01:28, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Pinging involved editors (Jojhutton, Tedickey) Natureium (talk) 01:34, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

This is false. It is well documented that racialized chattel enslavement is what made these people notable - they and their ancestors not only fled their countries of origins to engage in the practice, but committed treason and took up arms against their country in order to continue it. It is shocking that the comment “notable for many other things other than owning slaves” is even used to justify your attempt at an edit war. It is also well documented that “owning slaves...was very common” is patently untrue - most colonist did not own slaves. The fact that this is controversial is “shocking.” I don’t know what else to call it. I am discussing - there is no source material to back up your claims or revert edits.LumaNatic (talk) 01:34, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Articles, and especially the first sentence of articles, should describe what the person is notable for. It also seems you are unaware of how adding something to an article works. You do not have to prove a negative. The onus is on you to find sources to back up your opinion. Additionally, you should probably read about edit warring, because continuing to revert when someone has objected to your addition means that you are edit warring. It's impossible for only one person to edit war. Natureium (talk) 01:39, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
The people in question are indeed notable for enslaving others, they were Southern plantation owners who racially enslaved people. This practice is what not only defined them, but what they actively engaged in. How is this controversial? The systemic bias here is deafening - the fact that this is causing controversy is due to a very wide-spread systemic bias. Why would we not include that the very foundation of these peoples lives and livelihood was based on racialized chattel slavery? Again, how is this even controversial?LumaNatic (talk) 01:45, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
"Owning slaves" and "enslaver" are very different terms, considering the attitudes of the people at the time. This seems like an attempt to throw WP:PRESENTISM on the views of people at that point in time. It seems very much inappropriate to include that language. --Masem (t) 01:50, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
To “own slaves” one must “enslave.” This is not WP:PRESENTISM - MOST people in the colonies did NOT own slaves. So much so that there was an abolition movement (throughout all of Western colonialism!) from the very start and constant discussion about the legality of such practices. Again, I’m shocked (I don’t know how else to put it) that this is not known amongst editors engaging in an edit war on this subject. There seriously needs to be an internal review of systemic, institutional bias on the Wikipedia platform - it only hurts the platform to engage in this sort of bias (that does affect the larger tech industry- and many others, sure, but Wikipedia as an open-source platform should not engage in strenuous efforts to replicate such).
Despite this ongoing discussion, you are continuing to revert new editors that come across your spamming. Stop. Did you not read about edit warring? Despite the fact that you are reverting exactly 3 times on each article, this is still edit warring. Natureium (talk) 02:20, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I'm done trying to warn you about edit warring, but I'm sure you'll continue to be reverted based on how many editors have reverted you in the past hour. I suggest you disengage as well. If you're certain you're right, you can still be right tomorrow when others have weighed in on how this relates to wikipedia policy. Natureium (talk) 02:27, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Best not spam a controversial label in the first sentance that leads to zero information on the person Perhaps beat a non-involved editor link some suggested reading for this new WP:DUE.--Moxy (talk) 02:35, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
The label “enslaver” is only controversial for those involved in racially enslaving others during Western colonialism, if “anti-Semitic” is controversial for those involved in acts defining such during Germany’s Nazi period. Why is this causing an edit war and so much controversy? What am I missing here? This is beginning to be the digital version of Charlottesville - there’s already been editors who have made the case that “enslaving others was not the defining activities of... enslavers” (ie. “Good on both sides”). Colonists who racially enslaved were in the vast minority, fought tooth and nail to keep such an institution while abolition and other such discussions raged around them for centuries, leading to an actual division of “free states” and “slave states” (which spawned the historic phenom of the Underground Railroad as the enslaved fought to escape such “slave states”), the three-fifth compromise the Connecticut Plan vs Virginia Plan, constant slave revolts and ultimately a violent Civil War!... and stil, even so much more that is all well-documented. Again, what am I missing here? Is the bias so systemic and institutional that knee-jerk warring to defend the status quo (of not identifying people who enslaved, as...”enslavers”) lead to such ad-hominem attacks? Can anyone answer any of these questions without their emotional attachments taking front seat?LumaNatic (talk) 03:23, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
You are applying original research , and one that is biased and thus fails NPOV, to well-established historical topics. You need to prove to us that these historical figures are routinely called "enslavers" - and no, that can't be assumed to be applied just because they owned slaves. We have to go with how history called these people, not what you believe they should be called now. I will point out you have been warned about this, and yet made additional edits - you will be blocked if you continue to engage on mainspace articles with this, before this discussion is resolved. --Masem (t) 03:40, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
How is it “original research” - its well documented fact. How is it “biased” to call an “enslaver” an... “enslaver?” Are key figures in Nazism who are called “anti-Semitic” written in “biased” terms? If not, (since Wikipedia identifies key figures under Nazism as such) why is it biased to identify key figures in Western colonialism as “enslavers” since this is what they did - if they did. (Many key figures in Western colonialism did not racially enslave people - that whole “free state” vs “slave state” thing). “Prove” that “historical figures are routinely called ‘enslavers’” and “we have to go with how history called these people” - what does this even mean? “History” is not a person or organization...this all is ultimately the revealing of such deep-seated systemic and institutional bias that this discussion has now gone off of the rails. (FYI/FWIW, I ignore all threats and ad hominems, so if you would please stick to making salient points re: the discussion and facts of whether or not “enslaver” should be used on the worlds largest, free, open-sourced identify...”enslavers,” this could be resolved amicably and expediently). LumaNatic (talk) 04:16, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Because we use what reliable scholarly sources say about these figures, which I'm pretty confident did not call them "enslavers". It is original research to introduce contentious terminology that is not routinely used in academic context. (Whereas "anti-semitic" is frequently used to describe key figures in Nazism). We are not here to right great wrongs; if that's the bias in the sources, we can't do much about that. And I am pointing out that editing warring as you seem to be doing is grounds for a block or ban; that's not an ad hominem, that's a basic practice to deal with editors that edit war or continue to edit questionably after the point has been raised. --Masem (t) 04:26, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Dear User:Masem, this is all patently false. A cursory google search could have prevented you from expressing such falllacies, such wide ranging sources from NPR [1], to a local Albany, NY paper [2], to a leading R1 research university in our nation's capital (actually advocating for such very usage) [3], all use “enslaver.” And that’s just your quick-search standard three-source, tip of the iceberg findings. But it's not about reliable sources, really, is it now? And if its just a matter of terminology - “enslaver” vs “slaveholder” or even “slave-owner” (lets race to the bottom to see how far we can water all of this down) - you’re fighting over semnatics… and well, we can safely say that the initial issue has been resolved: people who racially enslaved other people should be identified as thus in the lede of their article.LumaNatic (talk) 06:10, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
User LumaNatic seems to be here at WP to assert a divisive POV, rather than an objective one. This individual has already been to the George Washington page and has twice inserted the term "enslaver" as the first item in the lede. If he/she wants to make some sort of statement about slavery I'd suggest going to pages like Slavery in Africa or Slavery in the Ashanti Kingdom where African tribal leaders sold other Africans to Arabs, Englishmen and others involved in the slave trade. Or how about Liberia, set up as a country for freed slaves, were they turned around and "enslaved" fellow Africans. Don't see any of his/her edits on those pages. Apparently slavery is an issue with this individual only when it involves Europeans and Americans. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 05:23, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
User:Gwillhickers False. Stick to the factsLumaNatic (talk) 16:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
There are basically three separate problems
1) First is what Blueboar addresses below. "slave owner" and "enslaver" are different terms and imply different things. It is commonly known that most of these figures in early American history were slave owners, and at least when America was founded, was generally acceptable, but even with the sources you give, this seems to be a new trends to want to label them as "enslavers" as to label these figures with more contentious language. That's the PRESENTISM issue.
False. If one is a "slave owner," one has "enslaved."LumaNatic (talk) 16:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
2) Even taking that you have sources that say we should call them "enslavers", you don't have sources to identify the specific people that should be called that. We'd need sourcing that shows for each individual that you've tagged that there are multiple sources that call them "enslavers" over "slave owner". (You're covering figures over a 100+ year span, so it's not appropriate to take a generalization and apply to all across that span).
If this is even true, lets get to work. Such sourcing exists.LumaNatic (talk) 16:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
3) The whole issue is WP:UNDUE. The ones I've seen you tag were not key figures because they owned slaves, even though they did own slaves. For example, it's a schoolhouse knowledge that George Washington owned slaves, but that comes as like a footnote after everything else he was to history. Even before you tagged it, there was no mention, nor need to mention, his ownership of slaves given the much more predominate aspects of his life that should be noted before it. We do have a section and a whole separate article for this factor, but there is no need to be nearly one of the first things a reader needs to know about him. History does not consider that Washington owned slaves as a defining train. This is also part of the PRESENTISM issue; today we renounce any type of slavery, but at that time, it was still an acceptable practice, and we shouldn't be judging the past by present-day values. --Masem (t) 14:08, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
False - slavery was never "acceptable" in the colonies, nor commonplace. From inception there was intense debate, abolition movements, The Underground Railroad. and the actual creating of "free states" and "slave states." There's a wealth of knowledge on this topic that you should familiarize yourself with before engaging in these discussions if you're ignorant of these facts. For all of your other conjeture and claims, there needs to be consensus.LumaNatic (talk) 16:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Dear User:Gwillhickers the abject ignorance and ad-hominem is astoundingly shocking, although at this point I guess it shouldn’t be. The racialized enslavement of Western colonialism’s “one-drop” inheritable chattel industrial complex and whether or not to immediately identify those who engaged in such enslavement of people in their article ledes , is what is up for discussion here. FWIW, I'm a SME in Virginia FFV history, of which the individuals initially listed are the subject matter on which the original dissenting editor started this discussion. But by all means, identify all others as well, with detailed, well-sourced facts - take it away, my fellow WPian. Is wikipedia always a such hotbed of angry knee-jerk systemic & insitutional white supremacy? Well, it is part of the tech industry, so I guess the same issues apply. Anybody else care to chime in? LumaNatic (talk) 06:10, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Insert : @LumaNatic: — Listen to yourself, and all the name calling you've resorted to. You sound like a college activist who's taken his professor(?) a little too seriously. That you have to wear your educational background on your sleeve only tells us you can't take the ball any further than to spout canned rhetoric and 60's stereotypes. Many of the "enslavers", like Thomas Jefferson, made it a point to keep families together and were actually active in advancing abolitionist legislation. You seem to be of the mindset that slaves in America were kept in chains, fed slop, wore rags and were constantly whipped while they were working. There were of course wrongs and abuses committed to some slaves, but that was not the big picture. Slave ownership is well covered in articles like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (who outlawed the international slave trade to America that African tribal chiefs were active in), and it's a far cry from the vision you apparently prefer to embrace. The first slaves brought to the New World arrived in Brazil and Cuba, and were literally worked to death in the sugar cane fields. Their life-expectancy was roughly 5-7 years. Slaves in America, however, experienced a completely different situation -- they actually prospered with a population increase the sames as whites, which can only happen when people are not brutally oppressed, not fed well, etc. Most slaves worked no longer than farmers did, and it was generally frowned upon if one was to mistreat slaves, even in the deep south. There is much more to that story, largely ignored by the victimhood crowd, but overall, there was much debate over slavery in the early days and it finally came to an end. There are only a couple of countries that still openly practice slavery today. One of those countries is Africa, and the "enslavers" are largely black. If your eyes are rolling back at this point it wouldn't surprise me, given your conjecture, choice of words and the manner at which you edited the articles you visited. Apparently you came to Wikipedia with one objective in mind. -- Gwillhickers (talk) 18:26, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

You most certainly need to familiarize yourself with this history before you engage. This is patently false. And apologism.LumaNatic (talk) 16:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Another canned response. No "apologism" here. Just putting your not so veiled condemnations back in the little box you seem to have surrounded yourself with. Who do you think you are that anyone has to apologize to you, or anyone like you? That you chose to put that particular racially charged term ("ensalver") as the first thing said, in the lede, about Washington, and others, tells us where your sentiments are and what your objectives are around here. Much was said above, so your sweeping claim that it's 'all' wrong suggests you place too much emphasis on your improvised "oral history", while cherry picking, or ignoring, various aspects of history to fit your apparently racist ideology. If you would like to square off with a particular episode in history, starting with the African slave trade, please let us know. ~~ Gwillhickers (talk) 18:50, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Gwillhickers may not have phrased it well, but he/she does have a point. The word "enslaver" isn't really the right word for what we are talking about. An "enslaver" is one who actually captures someone who is free and places them in slavery... the southern planters we are talking about did not do that... their slaves were already enslaved. OK, I admit that is something of a quibble... but I think there is a subtle difference between an "enslaver" and a "slave owner". The first initiates the slavery... the second perpetuate it. So, regardless of where we mention it (in the lead or elsewere), I would use the term "Slave owner" and not "enslaver". Blueboar (talk) 12:32, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
See above: a "slave owner" is an "enslaver."LumaNatic (talk) 16:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I would agree, the issue of where it should go being a different one.Slatersteven (talk) 12:37, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
In the opening lede, modeled after notable people under the Nazi admin in Germany, for example.LumaNatic (talk) 16:31, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
This seems to be this editor's sole purpose for editing wikipedia. They've been doing things such as changing "slaves" to "racially enslaved" for longer than I first found. example here. Going through just a few pages of their contribs has found numerous examples of this, as well as reverting anyone who disagrees with this. Natureium (talk) 14:11, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
False. Stick to the facts. (Granted, I'm a bit new at active editing, so am learning the ropes.)LumaNatic (talk) 16:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Take it to ANI then, this is not the place to discus it.Slatersteven (talk) 14:41, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Blocked 24 hours for edit warring across multiple articles, possibly also while logged out. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:01, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Ya'll Happy Now? ;) Let's get back to the topic at hand: adding "enslaver" in the opening lead of those who enslaved ("owned slaves" falls under this category. To "own a slave" is to "enslave" - no one is born a "slave," they have to be "enslaved") under the colonial administration of the Admerican colonies - my initial practice began with the First Families of Virginia of which I have SME-tise.LumaNatic (talk) 16:18, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
[23].Slatersteven (talk) 16:26, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Owning something and producing it are not the same thing.Slatersteven (talk) 16:29, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

This doesn't prove your point - the title of a book doesn't change the fact that people were enslaved - by those capturing them initially, and those actively enslaving them by buying and owning them, particularly as there are cases of enslavers actually freeing those they enslaved.LumaNatic (talk) 16:36, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
It proves that even the slaves felt they were born into slavery (it is how they described it). I am not a farmer because I just ate a salad.Slatersteven (talk) 16:39, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Non-sequiturLumaNatic (talk) 16:53, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
If you're trying to have a discussion, that's not how to do it. Natureium (talk) 17:31, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
That comment was not even worthy of a reply.LumaNatic (talk) 23:56, 3 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  • "And if its just a matter of terminology - “enslaver” vs “slaveholder” or even “slave-owner” (lets race to the bottom to see how far we can water all of this down)" Polemic-style aside, did you check Category:American slave owners? It needs work. Dimadick (talk) 06:24, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
    • Polemics seem to be the style here (this all started from including a linked "enslaver" in the lede of the small minority of colonists - of the First Families of Virginia who built their legacies on such, as opposed to the Boston Brahmins and other Northern elites who didnt enslave people). Category:American slave owners seems to be a great page to start identifying such people, maybe then the consensus will evolve.LumaNatic (talk) 23:56, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
      • You seem intent to make up your own terminology for this. That's not how Wikipedia works. You don't get to come here with an agenda and start inserting conjured English to promote that agenda. Encyclopedias and history books do not refer to these people as "enslavers". Feel free to fill out Category:American slave owners as far as there are WP:RELIABLESOURCEs for it. —DIYeditor (talk) 01:02, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • It is true that when plantation slave owners bought new slaves, they were not the "enslavers" of those people, the enslavement happened in Africa when they were taken by whomever -- frequently other tribes -- and sold to slavers-traders. It is also true that slave-owning as it was practiced in the antebellum South did involve a constant process of "enslavement", as the slave-owner became, by law, the owner of any children conceived by their slaves. That certainly can be considered to be a new act of "enslavement", although the entire establishment of law and social conduct which lay underneath American alavery must be indicted as well. However, all of this is totally off the point. This state of affairs, however heinous it seems to us now, was normal and accepted for that time and place (with exceptions, of course), and therefore to include "enslaver" in the lede sentence or paragraph of our articles of people of the period is a gross violation of WP:WEIGHT and WP:NPOV.
    As I said in the AN/I discussion connected to this, I have no objection at all to the fact that slavery was an integral part of Southern plantations being mentioned, with proper context, in those articles, but it is not a defining characteristic of those people, and therefore has no business being included in the list such as "lawyer, soldier, planter and enslaver." If LumaNatic is not going to abide by the consensus of editors in this discussion, and continues editing in the same manner as has been described here, they need to be blocked from editing, or, at the very least, topic banned from anything to do with slavery. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:53, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • @LumaNatic: I would urge you to read WP:BLUDGEON. You have, in fact, been BLUDGEONing this discussion by responding to almost every post by other editors, and repeating the same arguments again and again. You need to stop that. BLUDGEONing is itself a blockable offense. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:55, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
  • @Beyond My Ken: I am not BLUDGEONing. I am stating facts in a discussion. Please don't try to manipulate the rules or move the goalpoasts to disrupt and manipulate the conversation.— Preceding unsigned comment added by LumaNatic (talkcontribs) 13:19, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
  • You most certainly are blugeoning, and if you don't stop there is a very good chance that you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia. I am surprised that nobody has reported you at WP:ANI for blatant WP:IDHT, WP:BATTLEGROUND and WP:NOTHERE behavior already.
There once was a drunk driver who was driving the wrong way on the freeway. Upon hearing on the radio (over the honking horns) that there was a drunk driver who was driving the wrong way on the freeway, he peered through his windshield, noticed all of the headlights heading toward him, and exclaimed "My God! There are DOZENS of them!!" --Guy Macon (talk) 13:41, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

"Rule" versus "Occupation" in articles relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict

A question was brought to the fore on the Village Pump (see: QUESTION) where we had asked about the propriety of having two different distinctions for Israel and Jordan when it comes to their conquest of the West Bank, the one (Jordan) in 1948, and the other (Israel) in 1967, and where the one (Jordan) is universally referred to in Wikipedia articles as "rule over the West Bank," whereas the other (Israel) is referred to as "occupation of the West Bank." The reply given to us is that Wikipedia does not WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS... it merely chronicles what reliable sources say about a topic," and that 'occupation' is the term that is "used in the real world... by the overwhelming majority of reliable sources."

So, if we cannot expunge the fact that in the real world they do, indeed, use the term "occupation" with respect to Israel's hold of these territories, can we at least add as a supplement the lesser known view (as held by the majority here, in Israel, and even by the current government) that the Israeli government objects to its being labeled as "occupier" in the traditional sense, due to the absence of prior sovereignty? I call your attention to the following articles published by JSTOR, see: Why Is Israel's Presence in the Territories Still Called "Occupation"?, and The Need for Fundamental Change in the Law of Belligerent Occupation. In order to give a more neutral point of view - without expunging the word "occupation," is it permitted for editors in articles related to the Arab-Israeli conflict to write in the sub-section "Post-1967" in pages such as Jab'a, Khirbet Beit Zakariyyah, Husan, Battir, Nahalin, Beit Fajjar, Beit Ummar, Tuqu', Nablus, Beitin, As-Sawiya, Beit Iba, al-Khader, Burin, Nablus, Jenin, al-Eizariya, etc., etc., etc., that "such-and-such a town is under Israeli occupation in the absence of prior sovereignty"? (emphasis mine, according to page 46, of article Why Is Israel's Presence in the Territories Still Called "Occupation"?). We have already seen its precedence in the past, where arbitrators have agreed on a neutral wording with respect to Israeli settlements in the West Bank (See text here). Perhaps another way of preserving WP:NPOV would be to add after the word "occupation" the following: "While Israel's Supreme Court has labeled Israel's presence in the West Bank as 'belligerent occupation,' many in Israel dispute the notion of occupation, on grounds of its presence in the country before 1948." Be well.Davidbena (talk) 13:51, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

  • Yes... stating that Israel objects to the term "Occupation" (supported by reliable sources where they express their opposition, obviously) is a legitimate balancing of opinions and within the scope of NPOV. Blueboar (talk) 14:54, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
  • 2 cents - 100 years from now (however this turns out - e.g. also if Israel were to retreat tomorrow) sources will probably use "rule" for the 50 odd (and still counting) Israeli rule/occupation period (and the same goes for Morocco and South Sahara, etc.). However, sources (and Wikipedia as well) tend to suffer from recentism and apply the present tense POV label. Wikipedia, follows the sources.Icewhiz (talk) 15:05, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
  • Absolutely no...and Davidbena is forum shopping here, he raised the same issue over at here, having gotten no support there, he comes here. I will not repeat the arguments agains it, pleople can read there. Read also this BBC overview, Huldra (talk) 20:57, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Huldra, with no offense, the question posed on the Village Pump (which I've already pointed out in my opening statement here) had more to do with policy, in which they replied that the preponderance of reliable sources must be mentioned as a first. The question here is different, and has more to do with also mentioning the lesser known disputed view (namely, that held by many Israelis), as a legitimate balancing of opinions and within the scope of NPOV. In this regard, it does not differ from what we've seen with regard to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and where two diametrically opposed opinions are mentioned.Davidbena (talk) 21:44, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Sigh, even the JSTOR articles you bring up to allegedly support, don't actually do that. Why Is Israel's Presence in the Territories Still Called "Occupation"? ...yes, you might question it, but it does not change the fact that is is still called an occupation. Huldra (talk) 21:51, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. I think that you missed the point. The world does, indeed, call it an "occupation", but, according to many Israeli scholars, the premise behind the term "occupation" with respect to Israel is wrongly based. That is the second opinion that we wish to point out in these articles, to give them more balance.Davidbena (talk) 22:29, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
As I said, even the sources you mention place a question mark. To include it would be widely WP:UNDUE, Huldra (talk) 22:35, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Huldra, the author of the article, Why Is Israel's Presence in the Territories Still Called "Occupation"? (pp. 40–41), clearly points out the following distinction (from Israel's perspective), which does not make it undue, but rather a view that should also be brought-up under the aegis of WP:NPOV: "...The term 'occupation' is also employed in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to advance the argument that Israel bears ultimate responsibility for the welfare of the Palestinians, while limiting or denying Israel's right to defend itself against Palestinian terror, and relieving the Palestinian side of responsibility for its own actions and their consequences. The term is also employed as part of a general assault upon Israel's legitimacy, in the context of a geopolitical narrative that has little to do with Israel's status as an occupier under international law."Davidbena (talk) 22:53, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
A reminder that in WP:UNDUE, we read: "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources."Davidbena (talk) 22:59, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Some evidence would be required that the article cited represents a significant viewpoint of some prominence, rather than simple and gratuitous apologetics. Newimpartial (talk) 23:08, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps the way that we can do that is to cite other Israeli academic sources as references and which uphold and maintain the same viewpoint, such as Dore Gold.[1] These sources can be placed as references after the general claim that many Israelis dispute the view that it illegally occupies territories in the West Bank. -- Davidbena (talk) 23:23, 6 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Gold, Dore (16 January 2002). "From "Occupied Territories" to "Disputed Territories". Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (Israeli Security, Regional Diplomacy, and International Law). Retrieved 30 June 2017. 
  • Wikilink "occupation" or "occupied" to Israeli-occupied territories and add opposing points of view there if they are not adequately represented. A tiny minority POV is not very relevant and doesn't need to be repeated everywhere a commonly used term appears. It'd be like adding "But some people dispute that the earth is round" every time the word "globe" appears. —DIYeditor (talk) 22:41, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
  • No We need to follow what sources say rather than present our own opinions. The circumstances of Jordan's annexation of the West Bank differ from Israel's occupation and both differ from the previous British administration of the territory. But it is not up to us to analyze those differences and determine what they should be called. Incidentally, occupation is a neutral term. There's an article about Allied-occupied Germany for example. It merely means that the territory is held by military force before formal annexation or relinquishment. TFD (talk) 23:04, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
    • Yes, I agree that the word "occupation" has dual meanings, and can be used in a neutral connotation, as in "the Allied occupation of Germany." With Israel, however, it is used entirely negatively. Our appeal to this Noticeboard is that we be permitted to use the word "occupation," just as the international community has applied the term to Israel's hold of the West Bank, but that we also cite a reference to the fact that many in Israel disagree with that determination. This, mind you, we seek to do only for bringing a more neutral tone to our articles.Davidbena (talk) 23:12, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
      • And you want to insert this right after every mention of "Israeli occupation" on Wikipedia? You're kidding. Minority POVs are not given so much weight that they appear everywhere a term they disagree with does. Discussion of the Israeli POV belongs in Israeli-occupied territories and any other general articles on the topic, and only with due weight to reflect that most of the world disagrees on how to phrase it. —DIYeditor (talk) 02:09, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
  • No. Despite the claims, the official position of Israel is that the West Bank is held under Belligerent Occupation. That is what the High Court of Israel has ruled on many occasions, and that is what the Israeli government uses as the legal basis for its rule there, including when it is arguing before the High Court. It is true that politicians of the Israeli right wing like to make public statements to the contrary, and it is also true that professional propagandists like Dore Gold make a career out of preparing the world for annexation by Israel. But we should never present that point of view as if it is the official Israeli position, because it isn't. It is not even the uniform Israeli public position unless you ignore the large factions in Israeli politics and public life that call it "occupation" every day. One of the great victories of the Israeli right wing is that the phrase "pro-Israel" has come to mean "pro-Israeli-right-wing", including here on Wikipedia. It is a con and we shouldn't be taken in by it. Zerotalk 02:31, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
First, in answer to DIYeditor's question, I am only asking to say both: "While Israel's Supreme Court has labeled Israel's presence in the West Bank as 'belligerent occupation,' many in Israel dispute the notion of occupation, on grounds of its presence in the country before 1948." Specifically, I'm asking permission to say this in the sub-section entitled "Post-1967" in articles treating on those Arab-villages named by me above, and those with similar sub-sections, where the village is always listed there as being under "Israeli occupation," and where in the sub-section entitled "Jordanian era" the same village is described as being under "Jordanian rule" (a clear POV distinction). I do believe that editors on Wikipedia should be passionate about what they do here, and since this falls under the scope of WP:NPOV the suggestion should not be seen as frivolous, strange or unusual. In fact, it is similar to what we've seen with respect to Israeli settlements in the West Bank here. In my humble opinion, this would bring a semblance of balance to our otherwise good articles.Davidbena (talk) 03:11, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
It's not relevant to the village articles. This is termed "occupation" by almost everyone. Put the POV of some (or "many") Israelis in Israeli-occupied territories and link that article if you want. Don't cram minority POV into articles that aren't directly related to that POV. Like I said, flat earth theory belongs in its relevant article, not everywhere there is a mention of "globe". How does it help someone reading an article about an Arab village to know that, contrary to what almost everyone in the world says, some Israelis don't like the term "occupation"? —DIYeditor (talk) 03:39, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
Unlike the "flat earth theory," this is a real issue that will be around for a long time, a contentious issue though it is, but worthy of our mentioning in brief that, in Israel, the view is contested. Again, we will say that the village is under "Israeli occupation," but an alternative edit after establishing the international community's view on this subject is to add - if there's consensus to do so - that "such-and-such a town is under Israeli occupation in the absence of prior sovereignty." This statement is very terse and incorporates complete balance in a most subtle way. The words "in the absence of prior sovereignty" will include several references, and which fact, by the way, is not disputed by anybody. It is not a minority POV claim as you have surmised to say. It simply adds balance to the articles named.Davidbena (talk) 04:44, 7 August 2018 (UTC)
NPOV does not mean being mean giving equal balance to differing views but providing greater weight to majority views. Since the world described Jordan's control of the West Bank as rule and Israel's as occupation, Wikipedia should as well. In fact, as I pointed out, the circumstances are different. Jordan formally annexed the West Bank, Israel has not. TFD (talk) 02:31, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
Yes, we are aware of de jure annexation of the West Bank by Jordan, while Israel has chosen de facto annexation[1] which precludes any formal declarations. But this is irrelevant, since even in Jordan's case, annexation of the West Bank was considered illegal by the international community,[2] with only Great Britain, Iraq and Pakistan recognising it. The United States and the Arab states did not acknowledge the annexation. See The United States Policy toward the West Bank in 1948, by Sandra Berliant Kadosh, Jewish Social Studies, Vol. 46, No. 3/4 (Summer - Autumn, 1984), Indiana University Press.
In any case, the non-expressed reason for the use of "Jordanian rule" in the sub-section Jordanian era in those articles as opposed to "Jordanian occupation," was to disassociate the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank from the so-called Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank. This is unfair and not in keeping with WP:NPOV. While we CANNOT disassociate Israel's presence in the West Bank from being an "occupation" (based on Village Pump policy), we can at least add the distinction that the aforementioned villages in the West Bank are under "Israeli occupation in the absence of prior sovereignty."Davidbena (talk) 02:56, 8 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Aeyal M. Gross, "Human Proportions: Are Human Rights the Emperor's New Clothes of the International Law of Occupation?", pub. in: European Journal of International Law (1 February 2007), who says that, in his view, Israel's presence in territories captured from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War "appears more like a de facto annexation than occupation as anticipated in international law."
  2. ^ Benvenisti, Eyal (2012). The International Law of Occupation. Oxford University Press. p. 204.
  • Yes to wikilink: I think the sensible, balanced way to present the various views is to wikilink the occupation terms made in various articles, to another article that can better unpack the subject, for example in Israeli-occupied territories, as DIYeditor wisely suggested. In that article, if not already, various points of view can be laid out, giving the due weight according to their prominence.(talk) user:Al83tito 16:45, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  • No the bulk of sources call it a state of occupation; the UN calls it an occupation; and the Supreme Court of Israel calls it an occupation. Just because some small group does not like the term and want to play semantic games, which do not appear to have received any traction in national or international courts or even legitimacy beyond their own intellectual circle, is not a reason to give that view prominence here. Jbh Talk 17:55, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
    Technically the Israeli Supreme Court has not made such a ruling. The court does recognize that the Israeli authorities have chosen to apply the Geneva convention of their own accord, and that this has created a continuing legal framework (due to continuity). Some polemic pieces, that tend to not understand the Israeli rulings, misrepresent this - however this does not really matter either way.Icewhiz (talk) 18:12, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

85C Bakery Cafe

The article at 85C Bakery Cafe seems to have an excessive amount of negative stories about the business. The phrasing regarding China/Taiwan may also have NPOV issues. power~enwiki (π, ν) 01:06, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Classical liberalism

There's a fair amount of POV-pushing (WP:OR/WP:SYNTH) going on there, claiming it's responsable for a famine (which is equivocated to genocide). Can I please get a few eyes on this? Thanks. Kleuske (talk) 11:54, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

Maps at History of Islam called insulting

See [24]. User:Genghis khan2846 first removed the maps because " there is no map in the articles "Shamanism" and "History of Christianity"". I thought them useful and the rationale wrong so reverted. He's reverted me because "We cannot accept this. This is very much insulting to our religions." This doesn't seem to be an RS or NOR problem, so bringing it here. Doug Weller talk 18:01, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

WP:OTHERSTUFF would seem to apply here. What happens at articles about other religions is irrelevant. However, the pictures of historical mosques should not have been outright replaced by maps, and I would suggest to include both. — JFG talk 19:43, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

The Gateway Pundit

The editor of "The Gateway Pundit" entry is not neutral and has interpreted the sources sited from an extreme viewpoint, not neutral at all. This entry should be re-written with much less bias and accurate sources.

Wikipedia Policy Has Not Been Followed for "The Gateway Pundit" entry. All encyclopedic content on Wikipedia must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic.

NPOV is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia and of other Wikimedia projects. It is also one of Wikipedia's three core content policies; the other two are "Verifiability" and "No original research". These policies jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles, and, because they work in harmony, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one another. Editors are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with all three.

This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2606:A000:40C1:1E00:F8E3:E051:6DEF:1AA9 (talk) 05:23, 19 August 2018 (UTC)

What do you believe to be "not neutral" about it? The entry appears to discuss the site as mainstream reliable sources do. Wikipedia articles are based upon mainstream reliable sources. That you or anyone else disagrees with the conclusions of mainstream reliable sources in this case is not relevant. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 05:28, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
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