August 28, 2015
A hunger strike was started by ten transgender activists calling themselves “No Pride In Prison” demanding that a male convicted of a violent crime in New Zealand who says he “identifies as female” be transferred to housing among confined females. The man, Jade Follett, was convicted for stabbing another man in the back three times as the victim tried to run away. The two had met via social networking for a sexual encounter. Follett was offered home detention and anger management training for his 21 month sentence but declined it, opting instead for voluntary incarceration.
Calls were issued for volunteers who would sit with and administer juices and teas to the “Transwomen” who pledged to die of starvation so the voluntarily confined individual could achieve his goal of placement among women confined involuntarily by the state. This action was informed by New Zealand’s adoption of “Gender identity” laws that eliminate the basic human rights of women prisoners to be confined separate from males in favor of the self-reported “gender feelings” of any male who claims they have female brains in their male bodies.
No hunger protest took place to demand Conner MacCalister be placed in male prison in accordance with her long term identity as a man. No transgender activists have protested her “misgendering” as female after a decade of testosterone medical treatment. No transgender legal advocacy organizations have demanded her identity as a man be respected in her prison placement. Her gender identity rights have not been affirmed by transgender advocates. No hunger strike has been announced for the identity rights of Conner MacCalister to be affirmed by placement in the male facility she identifies with. This is because Gender Identity rights apply solely to males. No female benefits from “Gender Identity” rights, ever, including females who identify as male and are “post-transition”.
* The hunger strike for the male inmate was halted after 5 hours when prison authorities agreed to house the violent male inmate among the state confined female population in deference to his belief that he is female-brained. Reports say dinner was early for the hunger strikers, but celebratory.
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/ ]
With a name sounding more like something out of a sci-fi film, the US National Institutes of Health in partnership with former medical leaders of transgender industry group WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) have formed “TransNet”, a research consortium merging commercial, academic, and government interests in data collection, funding, and regulation of the medicalization of gender. The project aims to set the groundwork for the mainstreaming of transgender medical care by conducting research that supports the practice.
Recent Obama administration changes to Medicare/VA/IRS regulations allow for taxpayer subsidized cosmetic breast implants, facelifts, genital re-shaping and off-label drugs as treatment for transgender individuals. These patients seek to alleviate distress caused by possessing what they believe are innate psychological or mental traits related to the reproductive biology of the opposite sex. The goal of the treatments is an attempt to create the appearance that their bodies are the opposite sex: the sex the patient believes is congruent with their experienced personality traits. But such interventions (and beliefs) have no established scientific rationale. While there is indeed a political will behind performing these treatments, a very profitable medical/psychiatric/therapeutic industry to accommodate them, and an increasing number of patients demanding the treatments, there is an absence of science to support them.
Self-diagnosed consumer-driven “pathology” that mainly afflicts objectively healthy patients seeking off-label care has been a boon for providers and suppliers such as cosmetic surgeons, pharmaceutical companies, rogue physicians and gate-keeping therapists but there comes a point- say, when government bureaucrats become involved, that certain boxes need to be checked and forms filled out.
None of the only fifty or so “sex-change” surgeons worldwide that provide genital reconfiguring for this population accept Medicare reimbursed clients. And why would they? Their specialty has thrived as an underground economy. Their procedures are incredibly risky with high rates of complication. Long-term outcomes are, objectively, poor. Yet their clients will pay through the ear, and sign waivers to boot, and are lined up on waiting lists.
You would think surgeons would be clamoring to get aboard this gravy train but they aren’t. New York State and Massachusetts provider networks have been aggressively recruiting surgical providers for over a year since their states’ Medicaid began covering these procedures, to no avail. The only surgical group that stepped up in California when the Department of Corrections mandated the high-profile state-funded surgery for incarcerated murderer Jeffrey “Michelle” Norsworthy was Brownstein and Crane, whose practice specializes in bilateral mastectomies for healthy genetic females who believe their personalities are in conflict with their secondary sex characteristics.
The mainstreaming of medical body modification for those who clamor to look like members of the other sex has outpaced the usual steps that precede any generic medical care: basic scientific research. While authorities in medicine, government, and the highest courts have jumped on an opportunity to “correct” those who struggle at conforming to social sex-roles (not coincidentally rolling-back decades of gains made by the women’s liberation movement), they did so using the aegis of WPATH, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health, a transgender industry lobbying group comprised of two groups: those who seek such body modification and those who make a good income providing it.
WPATH had never based their suggested practices on any scientific study, which was unnecessary to represent the interests of their two codependent groups of constituents. The American Psychiatric Association however, who invented the pathology of Gender Identity in the first place, lurched awake in 2008 after thirty years of slumber and decided that maybe now was the time for some follow up to their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual GID (Gender Identity Disorder)/ GD (Gender Dysphoria) diagnosis. Some sort of data or guidelines related to the care of this population would be appropriate, in light of the explosion of numbers of patients now presenting with this diagnosis. WPATH, whose last transgender “Standards of Care” had been issued in 2001, realized that they needed to start presenting themselves as an evidence-based authority. They publicly resolved to create new, updated, plausibly authoritative Standards, this time including research citations.
But there was no science. The WPATH board was infested by grifters such as Randi Ettner,PhD who specializes in pseudoscientific “energy” and “body meridian” psychology and her husband Frederic who runs a family practice for anti-vaxxers and sponsors testosterone mills (“Low T?”) for men desiring rejuvenation.
In 2009 two mainstream doctors, both providers to transgender clients, saw the pseudoscientific writing on the wall and attempted to stay the inevitable WPATH disaster. They collaborated to produce a document pointedly suggesting evidence-based revisions to the WPATH standards of care. These physicians were Dr. Jamie Feldman, a family practitioner specializing in transgender care and doctorate of anthropology and associate professor at University of Minnesota and Dr. Joshua Safer, an endocrinologist and associate professor at Boston University.
Their paper: “Feldman, J., & Safer, J. (2009). Hormone therapy in adults: Suggested revisions to the sixth version of the standards of care.” was cited 22 times in the eventual 7th edition WPATH standards of care [PDF].
Despite the efforts of Feldman and Safer, the APA announced they rejected WPATH Standards due to the overall lack of scientific research supporting them, and would begin the long process of formulating their own evidence-based recommended treatment guidelines. The APA issued press releases to calm the resulting panic in the transgender patient population. They affirmed APA support of the Gender Identity diagnosis and their intent to continue authorizing medical body modification services to those so afflicted. “The quality of evidence pertaining to most aspects of treatment in all subgroups was determined to be low; however, areas of broad clinical consensus were identified and were deemed sufficient to support recommendations for treatment in all subgroups.”
Doctors Jamie Feldman and Joshua Safer are at the helm of the new NIH TransNet project.
Project Goals at the initial TransNet meeting, “TransNet: Developing a Research Agenda in Transgender Health and Medicine”, which was held this May in Washington DC, included:
“1) further develop a productive transgender health and medicine research consortium that would become a national forum for an evolving comprehensive research agenda in transgender health, as well as a mechanism for interdisciplinary collaboration in research on cross-sex hormone therapies, surgical interventions, STI/HIV prevention, and trans-appropriate primary and mental health care; 2) develop new research methodologies effective in conducting clinical research with transgender people, a stigmatized, vulnerable, and underserved population; 3) develop and use of standardized approaches to data collection, management, and analysis across a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings; and 4) incorporate community engagement in the research process within the structure and function of the consortium, including transgender community advisory representatives, LGBT community health centers, and community engagement procedures throughout the research process.”
|Project Number:||1R13HD084267-01||Contact PI / Project Leader:||FELDMAN, JAMIE|
|Title:||TRANSNET: DEVELOPING A RESEARCH AGENDA IN TRANSGENDER HEALTH AND MEDICINE|
One of the interesting implications of the TransNet project is the development of a National Institutes of Health “national database of transgender persons”. From the Daily Free Press:
“Members of the NIH are hoping to develop a national database of transgender people to see what trends appear from different types of intervention. “They want to know what kind of things we could be learning over the next five or ten years depending on how much money is available for research, and the purpose of this conference is to set that strategy and create some priorities for NIH,” [Dr. Joshua Safer] said.”
Such a database has been a long-running goal for Dr. Safer, author of “Out of the Shadows: It is Time to Mainstream Treatment for Transgender Patients (2008)”.
Safer created one himself at Boston Medical Center but due to HIPAA regulations patients were required to give informed consent to being listed in the registry:
“[O]ur work includes the development of a Transgender Health Registry at BMC. All transgender-identified individuals who have had hormone therapy or other transgender health care management at Boston Medical Center (BMC) who give consent to participate will have their name, date of birth, and medical record number recorded in a registry. By compiling a list of those treated here at BMC, researchers (approved by the Institutional Review Board) will be able to access more complete data when studying the long term effects of hormonal treatment and/or other aspects of care. It is our hope that by establishing the first BMC registry of Transgender Health, we will be able to better serve individuals who identify as transgender within our community both now and in the future.” [sic]
The coming TransNet national database of transgender people, operating and funded by the National Institutes of Health under the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, using standardized and regulated data collection, promises to be the most vast and comprehensive pool of research subjects ever studied in the history of the medical industry practice of treating gender.
July 28, 2015
GUEST POST by Cheryl
I am watching “I am Cait” and I don’t know how to express the sadness and pain I feel.
I feel so invisible.
My love and care for a man named James for 35 years meant nothing.
I was 17 and he was 24 when we met.
He used me all those years.
And you know what was unforgiveable?
He let me think all those years, there was something wrong with me.
I wasn’t quite pretty enough, I wasn’t quite thin enough and because of my independence “I wasn’t Officer’s Wives material”.
Because of my upbringing, I was too damaged to have a baby with him and raise a healthy child, so we…I remained childless.
He let me BELIEVE that.
Then I wasn’t youthful anymore.
He was in his fifties when he “blossomed” and couldn’t contain “Jamie” anymore.
We were on vacation in Hawaii when he told me…
I was so scared.
Then when we got home, one beautiful summer morning when we had just woke up, we had this silent sexual standoff. .
He had on his nightie and matching panties to sleep in which I tolerated because it made him so happy and I loved him and felt he should be comfortable in the privacy of our home.
But that morning he wanted me to change roles.
He wanted me to “unveil” him as a virginal teenage girl and I just couldn’t.
It was unnatural to me.
It was abhorrent.
And just like that, he tossed all those years of love making away.
I didn’t know it then, but he tossed me away as well.
“Jamie” killed the Jim I knew and loved.
He expected me to be “her” audience and applaud as “she” applied moisturizer on freshly shaven skin among all the other countless, superficial, meaningless, beautifying tasks which in his misogynistic view defined a woman.
I’d just escape onto the deck with a jug of whiskey and pack of cigarettes and plan my liberation.
I’m fine now.
I’ve made a lovely new life for myself.
I built a small, comfortable home for myself on the shores of a beautiful lake.
But when I see the Bruce Jenner’s and the Bob Tur’s etc. celebrated for the path of pain and destruction they leave behind…
I want my voice to be heard.