Why can't human beings change sex?

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Z6IIAB
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Post by Z6IIAB » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:33 pm

What? You mean they both are risks, but because you think one is "valid" and the other isn't that's your whole point? I did not get that.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

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Z6IIAB
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Post by Z6IIAB » Sun Jun 02, 2019 12:36 pm

Mama Immo wrote:
And finally, who on earth are we to decree what these people do or do not need? Just because you do not see the need for it does not mean the need is non existent.
And can you PLEASE cut this "who r u" crap?? It's a fucking FACT that blocking puberty is BAD for a child's health! Stop acting like a mindless enabler for one second! I'm done with this.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

AnonFan
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Post by AnonFan » Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:11 pm

Hello,

I don't think that anyone here will disagree that blocking puberty is a pretty bad idea. You are of course correct, this is very bad for a child's health. I don't think that Mama Immo is suggestion this is a good idea. I believe she is instead discussing choices that adults may make with respect to their bodies. I will continue under that assumption, as I would not condone anyone at such a young age making such a significant choice without fully understanding the potential (significant) consequences.

I definitely agree that it shouldn't matter what people look like, and shoudn't feel the need to change how they look just to match some societal expectation for how a given set of preferences/emotions/etc is expected to look. I also agree that nobody in our lifetime will be able to change their sex, as indeed scientifically we have no possibility at the moment to discuss changing chromosomes and who knows what would happen if we did have such a capability and tried to use it. This is a (scary) topic for the future, and I hope that humanity proceeds extremely cautiously.

While none of this should matter, it is not uncommon for people to tie their own self-worth to how they look, and how they are perceived. Therefore, some people do genuinely feel better after having some form of "sex change", even if their biological sex is unchanged and the name is a complete misnomer. I agree that this is an extremely dangerous activity, but I also agree with Mama Immo that a person has a right to do what they think is best for themselves so long as it does not infringe upon others. The risks may be the same, but the "benefits" will depend on the individual, and so I cannot rightly judge an adult (not a child!) for making such a choice if that is truly their wish.

That said, I think this is primarily linked back to the patriarchy itself. People think that they will "fit in" if they change their gender to better match their preferences/interests/etc, which society says does not match their sex. This is a clear enforcement of patriarchial gender roles, which is definitely a bad reason to undertake such a significant change. As I wrote in the other thread, "it would be better to discard the notion of gender roles, to live your life as yourself, and to discover who you are independent of what the outside world says you should be."

In summary, this is of course a terrible idea for kids. Assuming Mama Immo is discussing choices made by well-informed adults, I don't agree with making such a choice, but I can understand that for some people they would find value in such a perilous path. Nonetheless I think that most of these cases are informed by societal expectations, and thus the patriarchy is to blame. So it would be best to just discard the notion of gender, and let people be who they are, without people feeling the need to change themselves to fit some mold.

--AnonFan

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Mama Immo
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Post by Mama Immo » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:15 pm

Thank you, AnonFan, you are indeed correct that I'm talking about the choices of adults, not actions taken on children, and I very much appreciate the points you bring to the table.

I'm not certain that these changes have as much to do with societal expectations as it seems. I'm not saying it never does or anything of that ilk... but at least on an anecdotal level, the trans people I have known don't make these changes to look like what society defines they should be... but to look and feel like themselves. The most amazing woman I know is a trans woman who could not give a single fuck about what anyone else thinks she should look like. She's not trying to be some hyper-feminized parody of what Cosmo magazine says a woman is, she's just being her. Head to toe. And the comfort she feels in her body as it is now shows. She takes great care with herself and is very healthy. Because she knows the risks, stays educated, and does everything she can to navigate her physical transition in the most successful way possible.

On another personal example, I'm somewhat non-binary myself. Personally? My occasional dysphoria is nowhere near intense enough for any sort of surgeries or treatments to be remotely worth the risk. The cost-benefit ratio for me is skewed way to far into 'cost'. But that's just me, and I understand that someone else can be in a different place and feel different needs.

All I need to be content is a decent binder and sometimes to 'pack'. But I'm not about to turn to someone who's on a waiting list for top surgery and tell them it's too dangerous and they shouldn't. It's not my choice to make for them.
"If you find yourself falling into madness... Dive."

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RikkiTikkiTavi
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Post by RikkiTikkiTavi » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:35 am

To be very clear, I don't seek to dissuade anyone from pursuing the choices they wish to make. As long as they are adults and as long as what they are pursuing does not infringe on the rights of others.

I mean, who cares what I think -right? I have no arrogance about it. This is a forum where we share ideas and opinions. I read something and it moves me to share what I feel is a valid opinion and can add value to the discussion. This helps to provide a well rounded clarity.

That being said, I do feel that cosmetic surgery is misrepresented by the medical community and this is done for profit.

In working with my clients I have witnessed the results of cosmetic surgery, both good and bad. Many of these surgeries followed breast cancer surgery. Let me tell you, the pressure on these women to submit themselves to further surgery at a time in their lives when they are the most vulnerable is an abuse.

They have just endured the horror of hearing they have cancer, then the surgery to remove the cancer - probably courses of radiation and chemo to come - but also - hey, you gotta have TITS! so even though that choice will severely complicate your recovery, increase your risk of death and infection and cause you a lot more pain - let's just stuff these plastic bags in - or worse - let's take a perfectly functional muscle from somewhere else to prop up the bags of plastic.

Because we all 'know' a woman stops being a woman without TITS.

Yep - I am stating my opinion about surgery right here - but to their faces, I am love and acceptance to anything those poor women wish to do. 'Tell me what you are doing and I will help you get over it' - that is what I say.

But really I am so angry at our society - at the mindless push for 'big boobs' that drives teen girls into surgery. At the labiaplasty and face lifts and gender reassignment, and all that crap.

It is a horror no better than foot binding or genital mutilation. It does not matter that they 'choose it' because they are not 'free' - how can anyone be really free when all we have is 24/7 constant advertising that the only important thing is that you LOOK right.

Once a person takes a journey down a certain medical path then there can be no end to that journey. Surgery follows surgery. Drugs must be taken. More drugs must be taken to make up for the injury the other drugs create. And life and ability and health suffers.

Believe me, I totally understand why a person would chose to 'make themselves over' - But they are being lied to and those lies are hurting them. Our surgical methods are not much above using stone knives and bear skins. The results are a crap-shoot.

We are all perfect enough just the way we are. I really wish we could all just love ourselves enough. There is nothing that makes me sadder to know that we live in a world that constantly tells us that what we look like is more important than who we are.

TL;DR - the choices people make are skewed by the fucked up rules of society so much so that there really is no 'informed consent' that is not part of some marketing/merchandising/profit induced scheme. Since I love people, this make me very, very sad.

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Mama Immo
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Post by Mama Immo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:32 am

I hear what your saying about the risks and social bombardment, RikkiTikki, I really do. But I do still feel that talking in absolutes about other peoples choices is a disservice to their own agency.

Is it an absolute that there are severe risks and complications? Certainly. Is it an absolute that social media and the over all culture of society plasters ideals and pressure on people to behave/look/exist in a particular way? Oh heck yes.

What isn't an absolute is the motivation of others within that society and in the face of those risks.

I'm not saying that no one ever submits to these procedures because they've been misguided as to what gives them worth, etc. etc. I'm just saying that I do not believe that every single one is such a case. I don't understand painting people with so broad a brush.
"If you find yourself falling into madness... Dive."

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RikkiTikkiTavi
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Post by RikkiTikkiTavi » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:45 am

Mama Immo wrote: I'm not saying that no one ever submits to these procedures because they've been misguided as to what gives them worth, etc. etc. I'm just saying that I do not believe that every single one is such a case. I don't understand painting people with so broad a brush.
I don't think every choice to is such a case - but honestly, I believe most do not really know the physical implications of what they are undergoing. (The internet makes me lazy enough to make statements without fully signifying the boundaries within my thoughts. After all, I am already way too long winded as it is...)

Do I see someone who is trans and body modified and think 'what a fool'? Not at all - I think 'I hope they are okay'.

I am raging against a system (cosmetic industry) that profits from the inadequacies of our society and preys upon people when they are vulnerable. Mind you I can also get pretty riled up about what high-fructose corn syrup has done to people's health as well...

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Post by AnonFan » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:30 pm

Hello,

Mama Immo, my apologies, you are correct that I was speaking too decisively. There are of course exceptions to every rule, or in this case exceptions to every generalization. It may even be that the exception is the norm, I can't say. It is clear that some people independent of society would still want to change their physical gender representation. I do believe that this is a much smaller fraction than those who currently do, but I may be wrong about that, and we really cannot say because (as RikkiTikkiTavi says), it is impossible to know what the public would naturally think at this point given the constant bombardment of advertisements pushing the importance of looking hyper-feminine (or also hyper-masculine).

RikkiTikkiTavi, I completely agree that most cosmetic surgeries and especially breast enlargements/similar are a terrible thing. Societal influence on body image is monstrous; the patriarchy has a lot to answer for.

--AnonFan

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Mama Immo
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Post by Mama Immo » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:43 pm

RikkiTikki, AnonFan, I would like to take this moment to thank you both for how this conversation has headed. I think I have rather a lot of research to do into the medical, and particularly cosmetic surgery, industry to widen my knowledge on the subject. You've raised some very poignant information that I wasn't really taking as much into thought as I could be.

I'm on board with you both wholeheartedly that societal pressures about image are just... well... ridiculous. I'm a far cry from what the patriarchy would say a woman should look like. A fact that has, at times, had detrimental impact on my self image, my mental health, and has even lead me to making unsafe choices regarding my health for the sake of 'looking right'. It's a mountain of bullshit that does nothing but harm to so many, and it's long overdue to be burnt to the ground.
"If you find yourself falling into madness... Dive."

abbreviation
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Post by abbreviation » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:31 am

We can't forget that the people seeking these surgeries are not mentally stable people - they are often threatening suicide, they are severely distressed and they are suffering from psychiatric issues. If they were not, there would be no indication for those performing the surgeries to do so. Medical personell don't go along with "sex changes" for people who are completely happy as they are. This is not a discussion about sane, adult people being able to make sane, adult choices within the limits of their own bodily autonomy. This is a discussion about people suffering from psychiatric issues that they think will be healed by surgery. Gender identity disorder is no different from regular body dysmorphic disorder, and very few people would argue that people who have BDD should be able to freely undergo plastic surgery to ease their mental pain.

Disregarding the fact that this concerns people who are suicidal or otherwise severely distressed (which is usually a reason not to let them make life-changing decisions or have cosmetic surgery), we're talking about people who want to appropriate the other sex. As a woman, I have every freaking right in the world to voice an opinion about whether men should be allowed to appropriate womanhood. And I say no, no they should not. If they only asked to have cosmetic surgery, I wouldn't care more about this than about other people having cosmetic surgery (which I'm against but since it doesn't limit my freedom or appropriate my experiences, I let them be). But it's not. It's people looking to gain access to our sex-segregated spaces, demanding that I change my language to accommodate them, requiring legal changes making it impossible to track men's violence towards women, accessing our sport teams, and appropriating the label "lesbian". (Regarding trans-identified men - when it comes to women, the issues are different.)

I don't think that a male should have the freedom to identify his way into women's prisons, women's sports competitions, women's shelters, women's bathrooms, women's locker rooms or women's dormitories. I don't think that a male should have the freedom to label himself a lesbian. I don't think that such freedoms are innocent and without real danger to women.

Trans-identifying men are not only too mentally unstable to be able to make reasonable choices regarding surgery and medical treatment - doing so is also stepping way beyond what limit personal freedom has. It intrudes on the freedom of others - and since I belong to the group who is expected to give up their spaces to these men, I have every right in the world to say NO, I will not comply.

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Post by Mama Immo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:14 am

Speaking as someone who medicates daily to control their own mental instabilities... and as someone who has seen hormone treatments and surgeries turn a friend's life around entirely for the better... I will have to respectfully disagree with you, Abbreviation.

I do agree that you have every right to your opinion on the matter, and I don't even 100% disagree with what you've said. But mentally unstable people have to make life-changing decisions all the time. They aren't always great choices, but they're the best ones we can think of at the time. Which is something that holds true for the mentally stable populous as well.
"If you find yourself falling into madness... Dive."

abbreviation
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Post by abbreviation » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:27 pm

Mama Immo wrote:Speaking as someone who medicates daily to control their own mental instabilities... and as someone who has seen hormone treatments and surgeries turn a friend's life around entirely for the better... I will have to respectfully disagree with you, Abbreviation.

I do agree that you have every right to your opinion on the matter, and I don't even 100% disagree with what you've said. But mentally unstable people have to make life-changing decisions all the time. They aren't always great choices, but they're the best ones we can think of at the time. Which is something that holds true for the mentally stable populous as well.
Do you think that people who are actively suicidal and threaten suicide should be considered mentally stable enough to choose surgery as their medical treatment?

These people do not medicate. You can have mental instabilities and still be able to make good and reasonable choices, but if you have mental instabilities that require medication, you should be taking that medication before you make decisions. If you are suicidal, you should not make life-changing decisions. The same goes if you're schizophrenic, bipolar or suffering from another serious mental disorder and not successfully treating that.

There are limits to when someone is so mentally unstable that they should and can be legally restricted from making decisions. People threatening suicide usually fall into that group when it comes to stuff like whether or not they should be taken into a psychiatric ward. Why should they then still be allowed to choose surgery as a treatment for a part of their disorder?

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Mama Immo
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Post by Mama Immo » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:09 pm

I cannot imagine anyone who is actively suicidal being let to do anything other than exactly what professionals insist upon for their own health. I have been under the control of said professionals after an attempt on my own life. I could do nothing until it was abundantly clear that I was behaving rationally again.

But what would you say then to someone who was not threatening suicide, was taking medication for any diagnosed conditions, and still wanted this change?
Trans-identifying men are not only too mentally unstable to be able to make reasonable choices regarding surgery and medical treatment...
All of them? Across the board? I'll believe that there are some who are... maybe even a sizeable number... but all? Highly unlikely.
"If you find yourself falling into madness... Dive."

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Post by RikkiTikkiTavi » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:10 pm

abbreviation wrote: Gender identity disorder is no different from regular body dysmorphic disorder, and very few people would argue that people who have BDD should be able to freely undergo plastic surgery to ease their mental pain.
I don't think that all gender identity issues are the same as body dysmorphic disorder. Sure, some are and some people with this issue are definitely mentally unhinged.

But there have always been people who have felt 'different' as in 'I am in the wrong body' kind of way. They may have felt this from their earliest memories. I don't think this is a mental illness. It might be a natural variant, somewhat like the autistic spectrum. Just another way for minds to be.

It used to be that a person was stuck with what they had (back in the old days...). Most people probably just dealt with the 'offness' and went on to become regular folk with regular lives. Heck, they probably were more likely to be creative and artistic due to this internal controversy. Some might go so far as pretend to be the opposite sex - more successful in women pretending to be men (due to the whole facial hair thing - we accept a clean shaven man more than a women growing a beard after all). Some might dress up in the privacy of their own home, but cross dressing is not the same as trans. Many cross dressers are totally heterosexual.

Society began to screwed things up because of the option of surgery. But if it were just the surgery, a few might opt for it (such as Renee Richards 1975 tennis era) but it would just be a few.

What happened is that the idea of trans folk (a very slight percentage of the population) became a great target for people wanting to push agendas. The general acceptance of gays and gay marriage (not a perfect acceptance - but hey, laws were changed) was used as a wedge to drive the trans agenda.

I do not even know why this agenda became the darling that it is - but it is the public eye now. It is getting attention and anything that gets attention will pull and sway people towards it.

That sway is picking up the people that are a little 'off' and pushing them in a direction that is demanding they take a stand. Decide what you are! No tolerance for the normal fluctuation of a personality on its way to full development. Nope! Take a stand and make a full blown medical decision so there is no going back.

Peer pressure, group think, media bias - agenda - it all amounts to a crushing amount of influence on a group of people that quite frankly are somewhat easily influenced because of reasons (family dysfunction, absent parenting, poor social values, ignorance, etc). So, people who would be just fine wavering in their feelings of 'things not quite right' are pushed to define themselves along narrowly defined roles.

Tat has it just right with the strips - boys over here, girls over there - pink or blue - nothing in between.

This is not just mental illness of an individual. This is like people being brain washed into lockstep beliefs. They are caught up and being washed along.
(*disclaimer additive* not everyone - some are bat-shit insane - some are totally sane and making deliberate choices)

I really, really hurt for them. There are many cases of people regretting their gender reassignment - many. There are also people committing suicide because the surgery did not fix what was wrong.

I really wish that surgery was not being promoted. It is the wrong solution to an incorrect question. We will know the true horror of it in the years to come.

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Post by jam3 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:54 pm

RikkiTikkiTavi, I appreciate your posts.

Gender 'reassignment' surgery is hugely expensive (~150k USD). As is the frequent meetings with psychologists that most people who undergo it engage in. These are the medical communities that promote gender 'reassignment' surgery as the solution.

Follow the money.

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