Recently I received an e-mail from On the Issues magazine one of the many left wing and feminist publications I read.
And y’all thought I was brilliant enough to think up all the stuff I write and report on myself but I actually do quite a bit of research regarding some of the things I write and call upon a number of sources beyond the internet. This one fell into my lap as I was pondering how to follow up last week’s major post.
I came to some pretty radical conclusions once I realized that both Tree and Laurent were compulsive liars who poisoned the entire pool of information regarding intersex people in a way that Agnes never did.
Remember Agnes didn’t let the doctors keep on thinking the conclusions they had come to regarding her. I’ve been around long enough to recognize there are all different levels of honesty and ethics among those of us who were born transsexual but none the less I am saddened by the blatant liars whose sheer lack of ethics cause them to think nothing of creating a whole level of fantasy that both harms actual people with physically apparent intersex conditions and allows them to trash people born with transsexualism, a less obvious form of intersex condition.
The catalyst, the motivator for the original article was a “spazzer”* on a GID reform list who had loudly accused Dr. John Money of surgically mutilating her and making her into a boy. This person posted from New Zealand. This immediately set off my bullshit detector. John Money wrote thousands upon thousands of pages reporting on research regarding the development of sex and gender. He was in the nurture school but even he postulated that sex/gender identity was fixed before 18 months. John Money didn’t do the circumcision in the David Reimer case that went awry. For that matter, while John Money probably observed surgeries preformed on intersex/transsexual people it is highly doubtful he ever wielded the knife as he was a psychologist and not a surgeon.
Further his career as a professor and professor emeritus was at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and a world away from New Zealand. The story told by the spazzer combined both elements of ignorance regarding actual intersex with geographic improbability.
Nonetheless there non-consensual surgery is routinely performed on male infants, circumcision is at best of questionable medical value but considering the rarity of actual adult SRS prior to 1970 I found myself asking the question. “What sorts of non-consensual sex related surgery are historically the most common? The answers were circumcision, female genital mutilation and castration.
I also have the feeling that one of the more common cases dealing male infants is probably bringing down non-descended testicles along with hypospadias repair.
Many other forms of intersex are not apparent at birth. Forms such a CAIS, extra x or y chromosomes or conditions such as those alleged of Caster Semenya have something in common with transsexualism in that they are not discovered until the person is later in life.
This brings us back to those basic procedures: Male circumcision is perhaps the most widely practiced in the Western World. It was initially circumcision gone awry that led to the unfortunate case of David Reimer, not surgery aimed at correction of an intersex condition. While Dr. Money appears to have acted unethically and far too enthusiastically regarding the opportunity to study some one with the potential to prove or disprove some of his theories regarding gender identity development, this was not dealing with an intersex person. Further, even though male circumcision is considered a simple procedure it quite probably has more consequences than commonly thought as well as more complications.
Female circumcision is a euphemistic name for a barbaric practice once far more wide spread than it is today. While it is now most commonly found in Muslim as well as non-Muslim African nations it is still practiced in certain circumstances in the West. As misogynistic and monstrous as this is this is not where I am going in this article.
Male castration is another practice that is limited in Western society. Freud aside, males including male Doctors tend to view castration on someone else with the same horror with which they would view it if it were performed on them.
In the late 19th and early 20th Clitoridectomies were performed on girls and women as a way of curing masturbation. Freud’s misogynistic theories may have inadvertently furthered this practice as he ascribed to the idea that clitoral orgasms represented an immature form of female sexuality and that wholesome mature female orgasms were vaginal.
As I said in the earlier piece on this subject in adult sex reassignment surgery it has always been easier to surgically reassign people from male to female. Interestingly enough many of the early male to female procedures were aimed at creating a “sensitive vagina” rather than a clitoris and often left people like myself without a clitoris.
Male doctors place a high value on the role of women being to please a man, so much so they ignored the fact that natal female’s vaginas are not the source of orgasms and that their clits are. What were they thinking? Oh well this was before Our Bodies, Ourselves and feminist writings about the “myth of vaginal orgasms”. On the upside as a result of the work of Lonnie Barbach and Betty Dodson as well as consciousness raising sessions at the Women’s Building in LA helped me find the remaining nerve bundles and with the help of a Hitachi Magic Wand I learned how to reach orgasm.
When looking at the probability of a number of alleged infant intersex procedures given the taboos that were until recently in place regarding adult transsexuals one has to assume that most of these procedures were aimed at placing the infant in the category they were perceived as truly belonging in rather than “reassigning the infant” based on arbitrary factors.
That brings us to the following article first published in On the Issues
The Tyranny of the Esthetic Surgery’s Most Intimate Violation
by Martha Coventry
Big clitorises aren’t allowed in America. By big, I mean over three-eighths of an inch for newborns, about the size of a pencil eraser. Tiny penises, under one inch, aren’t allowed either. A big clitoris is considered too capable of becoming alarmingly erect, and a tiny penis not quite capable enough. Such genitals are confounding to the strictly maintained and comforting social order in America today, which has everyone believing that bodies come in only two ways: perfectly female and perfectly male. But genitals are surprisingly ambiguous. One out of every 2,000 babies is born with genitals that don’t elicit the automatic “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” Many more have genitals that are perceived as “masculinized” or “feminized,” although the child’s sex is not in doubt.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends surgically altering these children between the ages of six weeks and 15 months to fashion their bodies into something closer to perfection. Everyone can then breathe easier, except for the child, who may well spend the rest of her or his life trying to let the breath flow easy and full through the fear and shame created by such devastating surgery.
On a November night in 1958, I was playing in the bathtub in the cheery, country home of my childhood. I was six years old. My mother came in and sat on the edge of the tub, her kind face looking worried. I glanced up at her, wondering, “Time to get out so soon?” She told me that I had to go to the hospital the next day for an operation. I knew this was about something between my legs. My chest felt tight and there was a rushing sound in my ears. I begged not to go. Please. But my mother told me only that I must. Not a word was said about what was going to happen or why. The next day, it took the surgeon 30 minutes to make a U-shaped incision around my half-inch clitoris, remove it, and put it in a specimen dish to send to the lab. He then closed the wound and stitched the skin up over the stump.
Take no comfort in the fact that this took place 40 years ago. Today, most parents and doctors in this country are still unable to see that a child has a right to her or his own sexual body, even if that body is deemed “abnormal” by their standards. If a parent is uncomfortable, a doctor can be found who will be willing to make irreversible changes in the child’s body, in order to ease that discomfort. My gynecologist told me about a case in which he had been involved the year before: A woman brought her five-year-old daughter to his office in Minneapolis; the mother felt that the child’s clitoris was too big. He examined the girl and assured the mother that her daughter would grow into her clitoris, which was no longer than the end of his little finger. The mother left. A few weeks later, he was called into an operating room to help another doctor who had run into trouble during a surgical procedure. On the table, he found the same little girl he had seen earlier. She was hemorrhaging from a clitorectomy attempted by the second doctor, from instructions he had read in a medical text. My physician stopped the bleeding, and managed to keep the girl’s clitoris mostly intact.
Continue reading full article at:
Yet when one looks at all the “intersex” narratives in Transworld one rarely sees mention of this most common of all procedure and instead one hears all sorts of fantastical stories that there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of coverage of in medical journals.
Given the temptation to plead intersex surgical treatment as a reason for my less than perfect genital with their lack of a clitoral structure along with the graft site scar as a way of avoiding suddenly becoming “Transsexual Suzan”** in the eyes of someone I was hoping to develop a serious relationship with I can empathize with someone exercising that option.
However once that story gets repeated too many times by too many people giving into the same temptation we find ourselves faced with a fictitious monster of a transsexual created myth. All created due to shame of admitting the truth about ourselves.
Call it stealth, call it compartmentalization of information or what ever you want but too many of us have lied out of shame and have created a myth that goes far beyond the harmless sweet loving lie of intimate relationships.
Further these trans-created fictions threaten to prevent serious research that may show a real biological cause from being taken seriously.
I promise that this is not the last post regarding this subject and that more will follow.
* “Spazzer” British slang for a person who fakes being learning disabled or simply fakes terrible ignorance to which they are firmly attached.
**”Transsexual Suzan” One of the realities of our lives and one which encourages us to be stealth is that our medical histories supersede all other factors in our lives. We could win a Nobel Prize and yet were our medical history to come out the piece of information that would precede our name would not be “Nobel Prize Winner” but rather “Transsexual” or worse “Transgender” ______ formerly _____ would be deemed the most important aspect of our entire life and all our accomplishments.