Tag Archives: transgender

The Medicalization of Gender, Part 97

11 Dec

Study: Paying for Transgender Health Care Cost-Effective

“A new analysis led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that while most U.S. health insurance plans deny benefits to transgender men and women for medical care necessary to transition to the opposite sex, paying for sex reassignment surgery and hormones is actually cost-effective.

The researchers, reporting online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, say that the cost of surgery and hormones is not significantly higher than the cost of treatment for depression, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, all of which are highly prevalent in those who are transgender but are not in a position to medically transition to the opposite sex. In 2014, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services began paying for sex reassignment surgery and other transitional care, after a 33-year-ban on covering those costs was lifted.

“Providing health care benefits to transgender people makes economic sense,” says study leader William V. Padula, PhD, MS, MSc, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School. “Many insurance companies have said that it’s not worth it to pay for these services for transgender people. Our study shows they don’t have an economic leg to stand on when they decide to deny coverage. This is a small population of people and we can do them a great service without a huge financial impact on society.”

This article does not present any details of the research, which makes it difficult to critique it. However, the fact remains that using only an economic analysis, they are promoting invasive and permanently damaging procedures known to have serious complications and toxic side effects, in order to treat a condition with no proven biological markers, a condition that is purely psychological and has strong correlations with socially codified gender scripting of behaviors and preferences. Previous research has indicated that these procedures do not reliably treat the psychological distress of these patients. I call that creepy.

“Most U.S. health insurance policies still contain transgender exclusions, even though treatment of gender identity disorder is neither cosmetic nor experimental,” he says.”

Now that’s just plain dishonest. Genital surgery is without question cosmetic surgery, these procedures do not recreate functioning genitalia of the opposite sex, and treatments for medical transitioning involve administration of hormones of demonstrated toxicity, not to mention untested puberty blockers used on children who are often groomed by adults into believing themselves transgender. How is this not experimental?

Johns Hopkins should be ashamed of themselves for publishing such claptrap.

http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2015/study-paying-for-transgender-health-care-cost-effective.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/opinion/no-reason-to-exclude-transgender-medical-care.html?_r=0

Are Personality Traits Genetic?

23 Feb

In the midst of the transgender debate, a thought came to me that perhaps personality traits that are gender-enforced as “male” or “female” might indeed have a genetic component, though not a sex-linked one. 

This is interesting to me because it would create a kind of bridge between people who insist they are “born this way” and those of us who are more focussed on addressing cultural conditioning.

I’ve heard from and read mothers who say their children clearly have different personalities from the beginning of their lives. So what I’m positing here is that people who identify as transgender are not just responding to cultural conditioning, but are actually genetically predisposed to personality traits that the culture brands as male or female, qualities that aren’t sex-linked at all, but that run aground in the face of cultural gender role enforcement.

What’s especially interesting to me about this hypothesis is that it doesn’t challenge radical feminist thought, but also it acknowledges the experience of people who identify as transgender. It doesn’t just dismiss such people as delusional or simply victims of culture.

Instead, it suggests that humans indeed are born with a wide variety of personality traits, and it’s gender that enforces them onto one sex or the other. And that if your genetic predispositions don’t match your sex, this culture will make your life a living hell.

On Being Gender Critical

18 Feb

It is worth noting that the DSM-V continues to consider gender identity disorder, or gender dysphoria, a social anxiety condition resultant from not being treated with cross-hormones and sexual reassignment surgery, while transgender advocates have taken to arguing that they should be allowed to cross gender and be treated like members of the opposite sex even if they do not wish these medical treatments upon themselves.

I do not advocate for SRS, as it is major surgery and not only destroys healthy genitalia, but also may result in medical complications such as perforated bowels, and requires ongoing maintenance, including daily dilation of the neovagina that the body reacts to as the open wound it is. And even after screening, some people are not happy with the outcome and want to have the surgery reversed. I can’t say how unspeakably tragic this is.

And this is just for men who want SRS. It’s even worse for women.

But not advocating for SRS does not automatically equate to advocating for gender-crossing without medical intervention. It is an unfortunate fact that some predatory men will take advantage of the destruction of safe spaces for women and girls by invading them and engaging in lewd and sexually aggressive behaviors. We have laws against indecent exposure for very good reasons.

Gender identity disorders have no proven physical cause, though many have tried to demonstrate otherwise. Thus these confused people must be seen as victims of a culture that enforces gender roles. It’s astounding how deep this conditioning can run.

Gender critical people are often accused of being of the conservative right. This could not be further from the truth. The conservative right treats women as individual property, of the father and then of the husband. The left celebrates the prostitution of women and generally expects us to act as communal sexual property if we do not take on the role of being owned by one specific man.

Being gender critical is about freeing everyone from the constraints of gender. It is not about promoting the abuse of people who are confused about gender. But it is also not about women being the catch-all class for non-conforming men, or otherwise being expected to tend to male victims of male violence.

Women like Lierre Keith are brave enough to speak out about the evils of socially pressuring everyone into these roles, even with the threats and violence directed against her. Seriously, what kind of “real woman” threatens a woman with rape if she does not agree he is a woman?

A very sick one, and not a woman at all.

While I do not argue all transgender activists are as crazy and violent as some of the more high profile ones, I do not see many transgender people making any attempt to distance themselves from these people. As long as this situation continues, I can only sadly conclude that transgender people are comfortable with being associated with terrorists.

Oh, Mommy

16 Feb

So why are you transwomen so obsessed with lesbians? I keep reading all this “You’re such bigots because you don’t want me to insert my ladystick in you.” Geez people, can’t you just date each other? What with your all being so much better women than lesbians? So much more svelte and better put together and stuff?

I think a lot of you have a serious lure-of-the-receding-object problem. All women must desire your ladystick, or else we’re all bigots.

So where does that come from? Wanting to do Mommy, perhaps? But Mommy is off limits, because of the whole incest taboo thing.

Shrine

Hmmm. Maybe there are some other off-limits women to be fixated upon. Ones who aren’t protected by the incest taboo.

Enter (unwittingly) lesbians. An overall pleasant cohort of women born women who mostly just want to be left alone to date and even sometimes fall in love with each other, and who often work to promote women’s rights and women’s organizing. Women who have no sexual interest in male bodies. Women who are oh so frequently intelligent and thoughtful and considerate and supportive, especially to each other.

The perfect target. A whole bunch of mommies to go after! Mommies who do not care about boys (you) more than they do about each other!

Mommies To Be Invaded!

Successful Invasion Of Mommies Solves Everything!

Well, except climate disruption, racism, pedophilia, rape, environmental disasters, assorted poisonings, sexual trafficking of women and children, pollution, vicious behaviours of assorted stripes, nonhuman abuse, fresh water shortages, famine…

No worries. Once the Mommies submit, they’ll fix all this. That’s what Mommies are for. 

Texas Court Rules Transgender Marriage Legal

13 Feb

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/13/1277354/-Texas-Court-rules-transgender-marriage-legal

(Blog post by Robyn Serven)

I agree with Robyn that it would be better if Texas let people who identify as transgender marry anyone, not just people who identify as members of the opposite sex.

I would go as far as to say I believe this should go for people who don’t identify as transgender as well. Marriage is discriminatory, it provides rights civil contracts do not. A salient example is that in some states unmarried couples are forbidden from adopting. There is no benefit to this other than job security for those working in the orphan business. 

And what happens to unwanted children who age out of the foster care system? They have no familial fallback position, poor training, and often become part of the homeless population and fall into all sorts of abuse. If they are gender-nonconforming, it can be even worse.

Those who argue civil contract law language can be changed to enable those not allowed to marry, ignore the huge amount of law involved in various jurisdictions and levels thereof. And saying some people should be allowed to marry and others only allowed civil contracts is just another flavor of separate but equal. People should be able to marry whatever consenting adult wants to marry them, and the only restrictions on child adoption should be related to the likelihood of the child being provided a reasonable and non-abusive home. Because it beats hell out of winding up on the streets.

Transgender Suicide

12 Feb

Here’s Horace’s latest piece about transgender people, regarding a report from the Williams Institute:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/12/1276969/-What-is-Genocide

Quote from the report:

“The study suggests that several minority stressors – negative experiences related to anti-transgender bias – may contribute to elevated prevalence of suicide attempts among transgender people, such as experiences of harassment, family rejection, housing instability, and discrimination in health care. Over half of those who experienced harassment or bullying in schools reported lifetime suicide attempts, as did 57 percent of those who reported that their family chose not to speak/spend time with them.  High prevalence of suicide attempts was also found among those who had ever experienced homelessness (69%) and those who reported a doctor or healthcare provider refused to treat them (60%).”

These are going to be stressors for anyone and clearly all constitute circumstances no one should have to tolerate. But self-reports of attempted suicide are problematic without external confirmation. If your agenda is to get people to believe something that they are disinclined otherwise to believe, threatening to kill yourself if they don’t go along with it might well be an attractive stance to take. But since some transgenders also periodically threaten to kill feminists, that throws such proclivities for violence in a somewhat different light. Perhaps it seems healthier to direct one’s violence outwards than inwards, but it’s no solution to anything.

Overall, those who claim radical feminism do help stir this pot when they mock transgenders (and please note not all radical feminists engage in this), but a conflict arises when suggesting they not do so, because women are so weary of being told to shut up thusly, when we are subjected endlessly to being mocked by men. So we’re angry at oppressive men, transgenders are angry at everyone who doesn’t believe in transgender philosophy, and thus we can fall into framing each other as the enemy.

Transgenders can be explosive about being “misgendered,” as if this is tantamount to being murdered or called subhuman, as opposed to simply a different understanding of what gender is.  Transactivists frame this as their not being accepted as their “real” gender, radical feminists frame this as the culture at large being unaccepting of and feeling threatened by those who do not conform to prescribed gender roles. This is about the difference between actual sex, and expected gender performance.

What we don’t see, from inside this culture, is what things would be like for people in a culture that does not engage in gender role conditioning. Would there be male violence in such a culture, including suicidal ideation and actions? Would there be people with intense identifications with one biological sex or the other? Would there be all this anxiety and searching for belonging via specific gendered roles?

We can’t answer this without changing the culture, and we can’t change the culture as long as people cling to gender roles and identities. Thus we are at something of an impasse. It is unfortunate, as gender roles are really just another kind of prison.

“A cage went in search of a bird.” – Franz Kafka

No, We Are Not Sockpuppets

10 Feb

Wall Nietszche

We are individual actual humans who want all of us to be free from the constraints of patriarchy, including you who identify as transgender.

We support the right of humans to marry any other consenting adult they wish. I doubt you could find a DGR member who thinks it important that “sex” even be a box on a marriage contract.

We do not support violence against humans who identify as transgender, even though some of you do it to us.

We fully support freedom of gender and sexual expression, as long as it does not encompass pedophilia or non-consensual sexual behavior. 

We deplore the abuses of pornography and prostitution, but also abhor punishing humans, mostly women, who are used thusly.

Our work is to encourage respect for all life, and such must start at home, with our own species.

 Biological sex just is what it is, and can’t be imagined away. But gender roles are damaging constructs that are hardest on women. When XY people want to be considered XX people, they ignore how hard it is on XX people who are born, bred and socialized as women, to be expected to give you top billing, because of your oppression.

We know non-conforming XY humans have a hard time of it. Because Gender is really strict. You have a penis and want to wear pink? The gender police will go after your ass. 

You are XX and have zero interest in performing femininity, like me?

The gender police will go after your ass too. 

We’re all being victimized by this crap.

But we’re also all colonized by it, including XY humans who talk themselves into female spaces and behave like gender-colonized men; sexually acting out, scaring women and girls. And yes, even raping them, when XY people with intact genitalia are housed with XX people in prisons.

This happens. We’re not just making it up.

Radical feminists and allies are not out to get people who have gender identity issues. Our hopes are that you can work your way past the horrible things this culture has done to you, and understand that our goal is to free everyone from the horrible laws of gender.

But meanwhile, we work to protect women and girls, who have been sadly abused for centuries. We can’t put men first, even when you have been sadly abused yourselves. We especially cannot do this if you insist on invading women’s spaces. 

We have so little, and men have so much. We’re not just here for you to lean on. We have our own goals that often have nothing to do with supporting human males. Sometimes we even want to work to save our world from imploding into self-destruction.

Is it so much to ask of women that you let us do this? 

The essay in question:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/08/1276144/–Lierre-Keith-DGR-feminist-and-transgender-exterminist-slated-as-a-PIELC-keynote-speaker

One of Xavier’s comments. It’s worth reading them all, he did such an excellent job of debating here. 

Read them all. All the DGR radical feminist advocates, both male and female, handled this with integrity. 

http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1276144/52599507#c105

Tell Daily Kos To Stop Libeling Radical Feminists

8 Feb

Tell Daily Kos To Stop Libeling Lierre Keith

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/08/1276144/–Lierre-Keith-DGR-feminist-and-transgender-exterminist-slated-as-a-PIELC-keynote-speaker

Being gender critical is not being a “transgender exterminist.” 

Click on the “help” link at the top right of the page and tell Markos to stop letting his members libel feminists. 

Also, this:

Thank you all so much for your support of Lierre Keith, feminism, and free speech! Those mobilizing to blacklist Lierre are pushing back strongly, and we want to make sure that the University of Oregon gets the message loud and clear: LET HER SPEAK!

We’re at over 700 signatures, and we want to keep up the momentum. The more signatures we can gather, the more powerfully we can speak the truth: there is a vast community of support behind this woman, and we will not be intimidated.

Our opposition is resorting to smears, misquotes, and misinformation in their campaign to tarnish Lierre’s reputation and bully the University of Oregon into cancelling her talk (as you can read about on their petition here: https://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-oregon-cancel-lierre-keith?utm_source=supporter_message&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=petition_message_notice). We can’t let them win!

Please share this petition via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, post it to your websites, email your friends, and help us get to 1,000 signatures. This is a rare case when petitions can make a difference – take the time now to share this widely!

A Letter To A Pastor

28 Nov

A Letter To A Pastor

Something I emailed to a local liberal pastor today, after perusing his church’s website. 

~~~

Hi. I have a question for you.

Regarding your noting that you are welcoming of everyone regardless of gender identity, does this mean that you do not believe women have the right to any public spaces that are penis-free? Including, but not limited to: public restrooms, locker rooms, shelters, and prison cells?

Because that’s where this goes, legally. See California.

I don’t see how that constitutes radical unconditional love, though it does come off as rape-enabling.

Men should have every right to present any way they want without being discriminated against or abused. But they should not have the right to decide they are women. It’s an insult to women and dangerous. It’s also unscientific. There is no solid science to support gendered brains, it’s all been debunked.

I really wonder how much you’ve looked into this. Overall your mission statement etc. and activities in this community are commendable and admirable. I’ve always thought you a delightful joyous person. I appreciate your non-discrimination policy about homosexuals no end, especially since this is a difficult town for such.

But men, as a class, are dangerous to women, and transwomen profile the same (or worse) than other men with regards to violence. They run high with personality disorders, IV drug use, prostitution and HIV. While I agree wholeheartedly that these damaged people should not be shunned, they do tend to insist they are really women, which is an imposition on women. They mostly do not have vagioplasties. Some also insist they are lesbians, including the intact ones, and claim lesbians discriminate against them for not wanting to date them and their “lady-sticks.”

Women who insist they are men are a whole nother ball of wax. Gender role enforcement drives all of this, though, and women are not a trash can caste in which to dump non-gender-conforming men. In fact, it can be argued well that transgender philosophy is homophobic, as children who identify with the opposite sex often grow up to be gay or lesbian, if not interfered with.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Miep Rowan O’Brien

Blaming Bad Mommy

2 Oct

http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/belgian-woman-is-euthanised-for-gender-dysphoria-after-completing-treatment/

“Mr Verhelst had hormone therapy in 2009, followed by a mastectomy and surgery to construct a penis in 2012. But “none of these operations worked as desired”.

“I was ready to celebrate my new birth,” he told the newspaper. “But when I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself. My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be… a monster. “

The case will revive Belgium’s debate over medical euthanasia as statistics show a steep year on year increase in the number of patients killed by doctors after a request to die.

Belgium recorded a record number of 1,432 cases of euthanasia in 2012, up 25 per cent from the previous year and the country is currently deciding whether to extend “mercy killing” legislation to children.”

After much discussion:

http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/belgian-woman-is-euthanised-for-gender-dysphoria-after-completing-treatment/#comment-25999
 

…My favorite part about blaming bad mommy is not only how it disappears the guy who stuck his dick in mommy, but the army of women who undoubtedly cared for Nancy every step of the way. The women who changed her bandages after dudes cut into her. The women who had to scrub her apartment after her death to get it ready for the next inhabitant. All the women who’s care just wasn’t enough, who never had a meaningful say in the decisions that were being made, but still had to clean up the mess.

And I know women who HAVE been put in such situations.

Choose your own employment adventure: Crazy FTM runs out of the hospital stark naked in a snowstorm. True story. Do you follow her into the woods, risking your own job (against policy to exit the building) and safety? Or do you just hope the cops find her trail in time? Whatever you do, it sucks, and if it works out, you won’t become famous or be hailed as a hero.

But it *was* a dude who prepared the lethal injection or whatever.

And for all we know, he — or a less famous version of him — is preparing to do the same thing to some trafficked Ukrainian woman after she’s outlived her usefulness, too, because pain and desperation = consent. And all perfectly legal there, I’d imagine.

There’s probably a rape-industry special psychologist who is paid to sign off on it. “Natalia has had a rough go at it because she had a bad mother and she wasn’t a ‘true sex worker’ so her identity didn’t let her do her job effectively.”

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