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  #21  
Old 06-11-2015, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Lupusdeusest View Post
Zombie and I were discussing trans in WoT a couple weeks ago and I will raise the same point now as I did then:

The World and the Power are built from the same gunk - reality is to am extent built from the Power in a different form. What if the reason there are no natural trans channelers in the world of WoT is because their very ability to channel alters their physical form, correcting it in early development?
We would need to essentially chromosome check all channelers to see if it is maintained (rather than a "quick fix" at conception), and could even try stilling a few to see if the effects can continue on without the Power.
We know already the Power affects longevity, mending the body as it ages, if not perfectly. Why can't it fix this, too?
Interesting idea. A woman's soul is born into a male body. The one power thinks "this is an abomination" and "cures" the male body so that is in line with the soul.

Good thinking.

I was reading this post with my wife, who has stopped messing around on the boards, and I was saying "why haven't we seen any other transgender people in the series? The ones who aren't channelers and can't be "cured" that way?"

And she responded by saying that "because you haven't met the entire world. There could be any number out there BUT even if there are there is no technology to actually perform the operation." Makes sense.

I'm sure there were every bit as many transgender people in the equivalent era in our own world as there are today. They just couldn't do anything about it.
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  #22  
Old 06-11-2015, 04:02 AM
GonzoTheGreat GonzoTheGreat is offline
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Originally Posted by Lupusdeusest View Post
We would need to essentially chromosome check all channelers to see if it is maintained (rather than a "quick fix" at conception), and could even try stilling a few to see if the effects can continue on without the Power.
On the one hand, I applaud your scientific approach to things.
On other hand, I'm glad you're practising that far away from me.
All in all, well done!

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Originally Posted by Daekyras View Post
I was reading this post with my wife, who has stopped messing around on the boards, and I was saying "why haven't we seen any other transgender people in the series? The ones who aren't channelers and can't be "cured" that way?"

And she responded by saying that "because you haven't met the entire world. There could be any number out there BUT even if there are there is no technology to actually perform the operation." Makes sense.
There is even support for this view in the wolf-man that Perrin meets, who is happier as a dream wolf than as a human.

I wonder whether Nynaeve would be able to give him a real wolf body. Would be an interesting moral conundrum for her.
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  #23  
Old 06-11-2015, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Daekyras View Post
Forgetting about the transgender issue- do you think if a girl was discovered with the spark she could learn to channel saidin?

Or a boy could simply learn to channel saidar it was his first experience??
No, I don't think the Wheel/Pattern would set up a situation where either of those situations was possible.
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  #24  
Old 06-11-2015, 08:58 AM
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Then again, it would've been very interesting if Moiraine had accidentally taught Rand how to channel saidar, and he then couldn't learn to wield Callandor anymore.
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  #25  
Old 06-11-2015, 10:20 AM
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If I recall correctly (and I'm too lazy to check) Shaidar Haran commented on how Aran'gar's body was the best the Borderlands had to offer. From that I would deduce that it was originally a normal body and the possibilities are:

1) Channeling is more about the soul than the body and the Wheel simply sees to it that that bodies and souls match.

2) Normally a body's gender stops the channeling of what would be the wrong half of the True Source even if the soul could channel it in a body of the other gender and this was altered in Aran'gar's case.

3) When does a soul enter a body? At the moment of birth? At the moment of fertilization? Some time during pregnancy? Is it always the same moment or is it for example in a certain two month period of the pregnancy? At all these times the gender is already set. The y-choromosome either is there or it isn't. Are channeling souls incapable of entering a body of the wrong gender without DO's tricks?

4) Channeling is decided by the body and DO had all his Chosen rebirth bodies altered to match their skills and Talents as retraining would have been a waste of time.

For myself I like to think that only the Heroes of the Horn are fixed rebirts and with more than just gender. Rand and LTT were the same height for example. There are too many points where the ability is hinted to be genetic. The soul might have an affect as well in form of strength and Talents, but the ability to do anything at all is up to the body. It might even be that all souls are able to channel but the vast majority is weaker than Morgase.
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  #26  
Old 06-11-2015, 10:59 AM
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3) When does a soul enter a body? At the moment of birth? At the moment of fertilization? Some time during pregnancy? Is it always the same moment or is it for example in a certain two month period of the pregnancy?
All it takes to get these questions answered is one Draghkar and a plentiful supply of pregnant women. And some experimentation, with good record keeping.
Where can we get a research grant for this?
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  #27  
Old 06-11-2015, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat View Post
All it takes to get these questions answered is one Draghkar and a plentiful supply of pregnant women. And some experimentation, with good record keeping.
Where can we get a research grant for this?
Our only option is the Shayol Ghul Memorial Institute and they won't give us a Hershibian half-dong if we can't provide evidence of having captured a living Draghkar.
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  #28  
Old 06-11-2015, 12:02 PM
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Our only option is the Shayol Ghul Memorial Institute and they won't give us a Hershibian half-dong if we can't provide evidence of having captured a living Draghkar.
At first I thought "there surely are some in Australia". But then I remembered that there aren't any known marsupial-based Shadowspawn. That seems very suspicious, now that I think of it.
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  #29  
Old 06-11-2015, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat View Post
At first I thought "there surely are some in Australia". But then I remembered that there aren't any known marsupial-based Shadowspawn. That seems very suspicious, now that I think of it.
True, but even supposing there were some in Australia, we'd still have the problem of first finding one and then capturing it alive. Even if we somehow managed this we would have to prove that it was a healthy individual with no genetic flaws and thus a reliable test subject. All of this has to be done before someone makes a legally sound claim on it and takes it off our hands.
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  #30  
Old 06-12-2015, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Nazbaque View Post
All of this has to be done before someone makes a legally sound claim on it and takes it off our hands.
I thought to solve this by saying "let that person kiss the Draghkar to prove it was his". But then I realised that the most likely person to be sent on such a mission would be a lawyer, and it is highly debatable whether those have souls. So now we have yet another Draghkar-related conundrum to solve.
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  #31  
Old 06-12-2015, 08:05 AM
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We have souls, but they give us this nifty jar when we pass the bar to keep them safe.
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  #32  
Old 06-12-2015, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by GonzoTheGreat View Post
I thought to solve this by saying "let that person kiss the Draghkar to prove it was his". But then I realised that the most likely person to be sent on such a mission would be a lawyer, and it is highly debatable whether those have souls. So now we have yet another Draghkar-related conundrum to solve.
Technically the lawyer would not be able to perform this on behalf of his client. He would simply be the legal representative and the client would still have to perform all the niceties themselves such as signing documents or kissing Draghkars. In this sense that might be a working strategy but we would be in danger of having the tables turned on us and while it is possible that our souls might make the Draghkar puke, I only kiss people I might want to marry which does not include Draghkars.
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  #33  
Old 06-13-2015, 03:05 AM
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I need to make a couple of points before I respond to the meat of this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daekyras View Post
Interesting idea. A woman's soul is born into a male body. The one power thinks "this is an abomination" and "cures" the male body so that is in line with the soul.
I'm quite sure you didn't mean to say this, but it could be read as you suggesting trans people are abominations here. That's a very objectionable, offensive, and hurtful thing to say, and I'd respectfully ask that you consider your words more carefully in future to avoid that. I happen to know for a fact that we do have members on this board who are trans*, and it ought to be a safe space for anyone to visit regardless of gender status.

Quote:
Yes, there IS a gender bias because the Creator said there was. If Gender-confusion doesn't prevent the concentration necessary to Channel successfully, then the gender-of-the-moment determines what gets Channeled -- and yes, Gonzo, the True Power first is a very remote possibility.
Similar point to be made here: gender dysphoria (not confusion) is the term you're looking for, and whilst it can interfere quite a lot with one's mental health and state of wellbeing, it doesn't affect one's concentration so much that it would ordinarily prevent the forming of the mental state necessary to channel, especially since experienced channelers like Aes Sedai are trained to channel in high pressure situations.

I've also seen numerous references in this thread to "gender of the moment" "body gender" etc. Just to get terms straight, "body gender" is referred to as sex. Gender specifically refers to the way a person feels, so while "gender of the moment" isn't entirely an incorrect thing to say - people's behaviour and expression can change moment to moment, and many people of course revel in presenting as multiple genders - it's fair to say that for most people, even if they have been incorrectly assigned to one gender at birth and are presently presenting as that gender, will strongly feel that they "should" be one gender. In that sense "gender of the moment", for a MTF trans person, would still be female, even if they're presently in the closet.

So to get into actual WOT stuff, is it gender (which we can take to be determined by the soul) or sex (which we can take to be determined by body) that affects the ability to channel and which half of the power is channeled? To answer that question, first of all, a bit of suspension of disbelief is required. Robert Jordan's world, unlike our own, is one in which two clearly defined sexes called male and female seem to be strictly tied to two genders called male and female and match one to one.

This isn't the way the real world works at all. Aside from transgender people, there exist a wide range of intersex conditions that make the biological sex of a person difficult to determine, ranging from androgen insensitivity which causes a person with an XY chromosome to develop in a way typically associated with females, to genetic mosaics, who have cells that are both XY and XX. In our world, sex isn't so easily determined by the body as we often think; male and female just happen to be two convenient categories. Culturally, while Western cultures generally hold the two sexes and genders to be simply male and female, Classical Judaism for instance held there to be at least six genders, and genders such as kathoi and hijra are still widely recognised in Asia today. My personal favourite is a five gender model: male, female, neither, both, and giant robot (I wish to the Light I could transition to giant robot). I'm not quite taking the piss with this either - it's only as ridiculous to consider someone always one gender or another as it is to consider them a giant robot.

Anyway, gender and sex don't work the way in WOT that they do in the real world. This is because Robert Jordan was writing from a certain cultural perspective, and applied a kind of gender essentialism to his work, which is the root of what some see as his sexist views. However, he wasn't completely blind to gender issues. He was quite happy to include queer characters in prominent roles (Moiraine and Siuan, for instance) which shows he at least understood that sexuality could be uncoupled from gender, if not sex. Nevertheless, with Robert Jordan's world, there are only two kinds of people: men and women.

So what then for the trans and the intersex and genderqueer? Is WOT totally devoid of representation for them? Of course it isn't. Robert Jordan wasn't just defining gender, he was commenting upon it, and the main way that he did this was through the main character of the series, Rand al'Thor. Rand is a male channeler, a thing regarded by most denizens of WOTworld similarly to how Daekyras commented about trans people above. His entire process of struggling to learn to channel, struggling to control his behaviour, fear of losing or hurting his friend, is directly comparable to the experience of a trans or gay person coming out of the closet. For Rand it goes even further than that. Rand is the only male member of an organisation that for 4000 years has admitted only women, an Aes Sedai:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEOTW, 53, The Wheel Turns
Every woman is an Aes Sedai, he thought mirthlessly. The Light help me, so am I. Bleakness held his tongue.
Rand has powers - and a role - which in the world of WOT are usually only permitted to women. He crosses the gender boundary. He is allowed to transgress in other ways, as well, for example by having three lovers instead of just one, and by being married to an Aes Sedai himself.

This extends to his followers, the Asha'man, as well. They also have powers only permitted to women, and as such perform a "female" role. They are hated and feared by the general populace, and the subject of numerous myths and outdated ideas; that they will go insane and die may once have been a fact, but it is now a myth, much like AIDS as an imminent death sentence is.

Other seemingly genderqueer people include Min, who finds it very uncomfortable when she is expected to play a stereotypical female role, but I do not believe that within the world of the Wheel of Time that transgender or intersex people exist at all. Halima is NOT transgender at all - he is a man who has been magicked into a woman, which isn't the same as being trans at all. Instead, the role of alternative genders is played by the male channelers, who transgress across the strict gender boundaries of Randland, and who are as such punished for it. Thus, to answer the question of which half of the power a trans or intersex person might channel, the answer is probably Saidin.

*No, I'm not outing anyone.
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  #34  
Old 06-13-2015, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael View Post
I need to make a couple of points before I respond to the meat of this thread.


I'm quite sure you didn't mean to say this, but it could be read as you suggesting trans people are abominations here. That's a very objectionable, offensive, and hurtful thing to say, and I'd respectfully ask that you consider your words more carefully in future to avoid that. I happen to know for a fact that we do have members on this board who are trans*, and it ought to be a safe space for anyone to visit regardless of gender status.
.
The post I responded to specifically said "why can't if fix this too?". I was responding in a tongue in cheek manner and put "this is an abomination" and "cures" in inverted commas to indicate this. I should have thought before I typed but I did think it was clear that it is not my own personal view and that all af my comments have been very much accepting of everybody for who they are.

I genuinely did not mean to cause offence to anyone. I really hope that I did not.
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  #35  
Old 06-13-2015, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Zombie Sammael View Post
I need to make a couple of points before I respond to the meat of this thread.


I'm quite sure you didn't mean to say this, but it could be read as you suggesting trans people are abominations here. That's a very objectionable, offensive, and hurtful thing to say, and I'd respectfully ask that you consider your words more carefully in future to avoid that. I happen to know for a fact that we do have members on this board who are trans*, and it ought to be a safe space for anyone to visit regardless of gender status.
.
The post I responded to specifically said "why can't it fix this too?". I was responding in a tongue in cheek manner and put "this is an abomination" and "cures" in inverted commas to indicate this. I should have thought more before I typed but I did think it was clear that it is not my own personal view and that all af my comments have been very much accepting of everybody for who they are.

I genuinely did not mean to cause offence to anyone. I really hope that I did not.
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He just got carried away a bit this time, probably as a result of his marriage-gonzothegreat

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  #36  
Old 06-13-2015, 09:48 AM
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I genuinely did not mean to cause offence to anyone. I really hope that I did not.
This is the Internet. Everything you could possibly say will be considered offensive by someone. The only relevant question then is: did that someone read your post?
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:51 PM
Hugh the Hand Hugh the Hand is offline
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http://www.collegehumor.com/post/701...e-to-everybody

and again everyone is making fair points, but for once Gonzo is right
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  #38  
Old 06-14-2015, 03:22 AM
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GonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond reputeGonzoTheGreat has a reputation beyond repute
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This is the Internet. Of course I am right.
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I do not anticipate the invention of a working time machine in the foreseeable future.
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