August 1, 2015
[photos and captions added by GenderTrender]
JULY 31, 2015
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz by MARY LOU SINGLETON
Like many Americans, I have been paying attention to the current marketing of gender, the unquestionable system that tells us what constitutes male vs. female in our capitalist patriarchy. With morbid fascination, I am witnessing our culture move away from the old women’s liberation values that told young people they could participate in any activity they enjoyed, wear any clothing they liked, play with whatever toys they wanted, and think any thoughts they thought without these behaviors and beliefs being labeled male or female by forces then known as sexism. Not only have the categories of “boy’s toys” and “girl’s toys” returned with a vengeful backlash, now children and the rest of us are being told that an affinity for “girl’s toys” and dresses and make-up actually defines the true essence of girlhood. If a child really, really likes what is being sold by the capitalist patriarchy as female, that child IS female. And vice versa for children who reject female toys and stereotypical female interests. Even if they have two X chromosomes and a vulva, these children are now obviously boys. These children are especially to be considered boys if they hate their female physiology and despise their female bodies. Through the miracle of capitalist cooptation, we have progressed from the women’s liberation war cry of “Start a Revolution, Stop Hating Your Body” to hating the body being framed as revolutionary.
With particular interest, I have been watching and reading about Jazz Jennings, the biological male who from the time of toddlerhood strongly preferred the toys, clothes and mannerisms marketed as female. Because Jazz rejected the products and behaviors sold and enforced as male, and because Jazz never had opportunities to see males who identify as males playing with “girl things” and wearing “girl clothes” and “acting like girls,” and because Jazz had no interest in the products marketed as “boy things” (the guns, the robots, the buzz cuts, the army men), Jazz began identifying as the kind of person who likes “girl things.” Jazz’s parents agreed that if Jazz shopped and talked and threw like a girl, obviously Jazz was a girl. Happily for them (if money can buy happiness), Jazz was born at the perfect time in our post-feminist, post-modern, bread-and-circuses phase of late stage capitalism. Jazz’s family landed paid appearances on talk shows, paid interviews, and now a reality TV show, all promoting the idea that sex-role stereotypes (aka gender) are the only definition of male and female that matter. Jazz Jennings has become the literal poster child for Gender Incorporated, telling and selling us all what it really means to be female in a capitalist patriarchy.
Like Honey Boo Boo and Miley Cyrus, and Michael Jackson before them, Jazz appears as a happy, fun-loving child with a caring, supportive family. Jazz continually smiles while doing the things girls do: posing in a mermaid suit, cheerleading, being pretty. In several articles and appearances, however, Jazz has hinted at sadness, worrying about finding a boyfriend, stating that many biological boys Jazz encounters do not view Jazz as a girl. Jazz reports plenty of female friends, though. While I’m sure Jazz’s life will have its difficulties (life-long hormone replacement, plastic surgery, and childhood fame all carry significant risks), the majority of biological females Jazz encounters will offer comfort and kindness to Jazz, as they have been socialized through gender to do. Gender after all normalizes female self-sacrifice. Most adult females, even those who identify as feminists, exhibit an unexamined acceptance of gender. Women reflexively label every creature they see as male (unless said creature is portrayed with breasts or fake eyelashes and lipstick). They fear more than anything not being liked and they work hard to never, ever commit the sin of hurting someone’s feelings. They have been enculturated to accept their own erasure and to serve the interests of biological males. Jazz’s life will have problems, but these will be buffered and mitigated by female caretaking.
Jazz will inevitably encounter people who refuse to accept the belief system that asserts gender as fact and biology (i.e. the living, material world) as a mere social construct or inconvenience to be fixed with chemicals and technology. Some of these people will be females who resent being told that femaleness can be reduced to performance of “femininity” while they themselves do not appreciate the patriarchal gender system that defines female this way. Others will be males and conservative females who support and revere the patriarchy, but want to maintain a social order like the good old days when men were men and women were women. Because Jazz and the rest of us are being strongly indoctrinated to view “misgendering” as violence, Jazz will have many tales of such violence to report through the gender-promoting media. Those who have participated in the crime of misgendering will be appropriately shamed for refusing to capitulate to the new rules of gender (they may also lose their jobs or speaking gigs at universities or be sued for discrimination).
Because Jazz was born into a violent patriarchy, Jazz may also encounter physical violence, almost certainly at the hands of males. Should it occur, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t, this violence will be labeled a hate crime, a crime more worthy of social outrage and attention than the rapes, murders, torture and beatings suffered by biological females at the hands of males. Unlike biological females, Jazz legally belongs to a protected class, and violence toward this protected class of people is taken more seriously by the media and liberal activists (and sometimes even the legal system) than the routine, all day, every day male violence against biological females.
I do not predict an easy or peaceful future for Jazz. I, however, am even more concerned about what the future holds for Jazz’s sister and all of the girls she represents: the less special kind of female, the kind who doesn’t automatically get awards of bravery for declaring herself a woman and devoting herself to the performance of her assigned gender role. The kind of female conditioned to take up as little space as possible, even if this means starving herself. The kind of female whose body is not legally her own. The kind of female who is viewed as a state regulated incubator, worthy of public debates in mainstream media venues about whether or not she should be allowed to end an unwanted pregnancy or give birth at home. (Such debates about what women should and shouldn’t be allowed to do with their bodies currently receive less social criticism and outrage than the crime of misgendering, by the way. When it comes to forced pregnancy and birth, “good people can disagree.”)
A recent article in Cosmopolitan (a magazine designed to enforce the rules of gender to the female population; a magazine which recently ran a cover story promoting torture porn and telling women that we should learn to enjoy being tied up, beaten, choked, and having men ejaculate on our faces), featured Jazz Jennings talking about his sister. Jazz tells the interviewer and the world that he views his sister’s body as something that can be used to serve his reproductive desires. Like so many gender non-conforming children today who would have once grown up to be happy gay people with intact bodies, Jazz is being sterilized through the process of transitioning into a cultural stereotype of femininity. The medical industry will remove his testicles, if they haven’t already done so, and through plastic surgery create a simulation of a vagina for Jazz. Jazz wants very much to be a parent. Lucky for him he lives in a world where women’s bodies are for sale and rent. In the Cosmo interview, Jazz brags that he is “convincing” his sister to serve him as incubator so he can fulfill his dream of being a mother. Jazz, speaking of his sister’s vagina (which he calls her “vag”), says, “We’ll take my hubby’s sperm and throw it in there and fertilize it.”
[Read the rest of this post here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/31/gender-patriarchy-and-all-that-jazz/ ]
Portland’s TransActive Gender Center embroiled in Controversy: Founder responds by posting bizarre “Transgender Children Conspiracy” video
May 12, 2015
TransActive Gender Center, the Portland-based transgender children’s lobbying group that bills itself as “the only transgender youth nonprofit in the country with actual office space,” came under fire last week when it was revealed on GenderTrender that the organization had falsified its status as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization. TransActive announced that it is actually sponsored under the purview of another non-profit organization, which it then refused to name. Their spokesperson further admitted that TransActive had never in their 8 year existence made their financials publicly available as required by 501(c)3 non-profits under federal law. “We will, of course, make our financial statement public… on our timetable, not yours.” Said founder, director, and spokesperson Jenn Burleton on Friday, going on to insist that “zero percent” of TransActive funding comes from individuals or organizations that financially profit from the experimental practice of medically transgendering children. (The process espoused by TransActive renders the children both sterile and lifetime-dependent on an off-label pharmaceutical regimen). “We choose not to disclose our fiscal partner’s identity because we operate in most respects independently of them.” Burleton stated, clarifying in all caps when questioned: “They are the fiscal SPONSOR, not partner.”
Criticism was also leveled at TransActive for their “In A Bind” program, which sends out chest binders directly to children in unmarked packages so they can compress their rib cages and crush pubescent breast tissue without their legal guardian’s awareness or consent.
TransActive continued to court controversy today as founder and director Jenn Burleton uploaded a bizarre self-produced video about a Transgender Children “Conspiracy”. The video, which has been characterized as “unhinged” by some observers, plays portions of videos by transgender activists Mark Angelo Cummings and Lynna Arielle (hosts of the long-running Transition Radio program) overlaid with commentary by the TransActive head.
Burleton accuses the two of endangering children by engaging in frank public discussion of transgender de-transition, and also claims that children who transition in adolescence change their minds zero percent of the time. “…research shows that adolescents who present with gender variance, or transgender identity go on to be transgender older adolescents and adults 100% of the time.” [sic. bolding by him]. Burleton accuses de-transitioner “liars”, the “radical feminist left”, the “radical christian right” and the “black helicopter fringe” of…. It isn’t clear what. A conspiracy to create a conspiracy?
More confusingly, Burleton posts statements confirming that the medicines that his TransActive group lobbies government health agencies and legislatures to normalize have serious side-effects, are controversial, and he even posts part of a New York Times article from 2001 regarding an $875 million dollar settlement paid out by the manufacturers to settle criminal charges they had “illegally manipulated the Medicare and Medicaid programs”. Whew! Which side is Burleton arguing?!
It gets stranger as he posts a long montage from conservative media sources (Fox news, etc.) criticizing the practice of medically transgendering children. Then Jenn posts a definition of autogynephilia, followed up with accusations that transactivist Mark Angelo Cummings is “currying approval” from “radical feminists” as part of a “scam” , the point of which Burleton doesn’t define, (but it certainly wouldn’t include any monetary gain!). Anyway the whole thing goes on and on in a very long, breathless and disjointed fashion, tons of verbal abuse is heaped onto Burleton’s purported enemies, most especially Mark Angelo Cummings. The whole presentation is alarming, in the sort of way that one hopes that some members of Jenn’s support system might want to check in on him. It’s alarming in the sort of way that one might be concerned that this individual heads an organization that works largely with vulnerable children under the age of twelve. Only one part of his message is perfectly clear: TransActive Gender Center’s Jenn Burleton is very, very upset at whatever it is that Mark Angelo Cummings has to say.
*UPDATE: Mark Angelo Cummings and Lynna Arielle have just uploaded a new video, where they discuss the TransActive controversies on GenderTrender last week (without mentioning the source, naturally), as well as the practice of medically transgendering children in general. Watch it here:
April 29, 2015
I’m planning to sterilize my seven year old son before he sexually matures, then freeze my own eggs so he can one day find a surrogate and raise my offspring (his siblings) as their “mother”. Is that weird?
April 26, 2015
submitted 2 hours ago * by jamiemommax3
I have a transgender 7 year old daughter. She has become a beautiful, happy, vibrant person since she started transitioning a year ago. I have no reason to think her identity will change and neither does her therapist.
Because she is so young, she will most likely go on puberty blockers before she ever creates sperm. If she then goes onto hormone treatments directly from the blockers, she will be sterile. She will never create sperm.
She’s too young to tell me whether she might someday want biological children, and I strongly suspect, knowing her personality as I do, that she will not want to give up hormone treatments for the length of time it would take to create sperm, because the effects on HER would be, well, significant.
I am in a “Parent of Trans kids” group online and several of the moms mentioned that they were freezing their own eggs for their transgender daughters, so that their daughters could someday have the option of having children who are at least partially related to them. On the one hand, it seems like a huge expense for my daughter to be able to have a child who is a genetic half-sibling… but on the other hand, I see the reasoning. I am also a chronic worrier and I wonder if doing this would cause the child to feel pressured to use the eggs even if they didn’t really want to. :-/
November 11, 2014
We’ve all seen the television shows and news reports on “Transgender Children”. They all state that “Nothing permanent is being done to children before the age of consent! Oh gosh no!”
Here’s a typical example of this rhetoric from yesterday’s Irish Examiner:
“Young children don’t need treatment yet,” explains Lacey. “They can make a social transition at home and at school. But older children may need hormone suppressors to delay puberty for a while. This gives them and their families breathing space to decide what’s best for the future.”
Hormone suppressors ((known as anti-androgens) delay the development of breasts, facial hair and other secondary sex characteristics. Males who identify as female take anti-androgens to block testosterone while females identifying as male take anti-androgens to block oestrogen.
“These suppressors are 100% reversible,” says Lacey. “Young people resume puberty if they stop taking them.”
The article continues:
“Prescribing cross-sex hormones is taken more seriously than hormone blockers. Teenagers must have socially transitioned and be aged over 16 to qualify.
“We have to be sure it’s the right thing to do,” explains Dr Brinkmann. “Cross-sex hormones have irreversible effects on fertility. There’s no going back.”
Guidelines from various pro-gender lobbying and medical groups back up this claim. The Endocrine Society states that no child under the age of sixteen should ever be administered cross-sex hormones by physicians under “parental consent” for the purpose of physically disguising the reproductive sex of the child to promote gender conformity. Even WPATH, the powerful pharmaceutical-industry funded transgender lobbying group acknowledges that decades of research show the majority of children who claim a “cross-sex identity” do not mature into transgender adults if left untreated, and in fact many grow up to be well-adjusted lesbian and gay adults. WPATH also states that children under sixteen should not be given cross-sex hormones which cause permanent changes (including sterilization). None of the “transgender children” clinics in the Netherlands, which pioneered the practice, have ever administered cross-sex hormones to children under sixteen. In the UK, parents who desire to have their children placed on puberty blockers (which paralyze the pituitary gland) must meet strict guidelines and be entered into a government research protocol. Cross-sex hormones are not administered prior to the age of sixteen. In Australia, a court order is required to provide “blockers” in an attempt to formalize oversight of these practices and protect children from abuse.
In the United States, however, it is coming to light that “transgender children” physicians, (that is, the doctors who have been championing and pioneering this practice without oversight), have been “going rogue” since the very start, ignoring all research and guidelines and pushing the limits of what the human bodies of these gender-nonconforming children are medically able to endure.
Last month, in a program specifically addressed to medical students, Dr. Johanna Olson, director of the LA Children’s Hospital transgender children clinic, admitted that she has been “skipping the blockers” and placing children as young as twelve directly on cross-sex hormones, starting with her very first patient. Read the rest of this entry »
October 22, 2014
From a reader:
I just wanted to make you aware of something that is going on a lot in the various trans communities on reddit: they are falling all over themselves encouraging underage kids to order and take puberty blockers/hormones without doctor supervision and without their parents knowing.
“Just do your best to get a job, or ask your parents for allowance and order meds online. You probably can’t buy much with the amount a 14 year old would make, but it’s better than nothing, since you’re that upset about it.”
A fourteen year old kid (same kid that is featured here btw: http://bbrightstar.tumblr.com/post/98511520156/thirdwaytrans-atranspaige-does-anyone), is encouraged to get puberty blockers without his parents knowing about it.
In this post, commenters tell the kid that “puberty blockers have no side effects” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jitun/im_not_allowed_to_transition_even_socially_im/clchmu1)
They also tell him to “Just DIY secretly. Make friends with a transgender who lives near your area and ask them to help you get hormones.” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jitun/im_not_allowed_to_transition_even_socially_im/clcacyk)
Telling 14 year old kids to befriend random adults for favors is absolutely appaling.
And lastly: yesterday, that same kid made a post titled “What’s the safest way to DIY hormones(mtf, age 14)” (http://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/2jx9hm/whats_the_safest_way_to_diy_hormonesmtf_age_14/)
And again, the posters are being very “helpful”, telling the kid to go ahead and import presciption drugs illegaly and behind the backs of his parents. Some posters tell him that it is dangerous, but they are downvoted. The kid also explicitly says that his pediatrician has advised against blockers and hormone treatment, but that is apparently not relevant to the good posters at r/asktransgender.
I’ve read a lot of this kids’ posts, and not surprisingly his parents are extremely rigid enforcers of gender stereotypes. He’s not allowed to grow out his hair or paint his nails.