Transition is no casual matter, and we need to talk about those who regret it

The high visibility of trans-identified people like Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono has made society more accepting of transgenderism, but we are failing to ask important questions about this trend.

Supporting both my girls today @joanjett and @laurajanegrace

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There’s no doubt that “gender” is having a moment. The same year that Bruce Jenner was reintroduced as Caitlyn, via a Vanity Fair spread, Miley Cyrus announced that gender is over and, last month, Vogue featured model Gigi Hadid and her boyfriend Zayn Malik on the cover, claiming the two were representative of a new generation embracing “gender fluidity.” While, on the surface, it might seem we are breaking away from gender stereotypes, there are some worrying consequences to the new trans trend.

It has become cool to “blur the lines” between the sexes: from musicians like St Vincent and Grimes, to actresses like Ruby Rose, the list of celebrities who claim not to subscribe to society’s traditional gender codes are myriad and seem to be growing daily. And it’s not just celebrities either — regular folks, from school kids to CEOs are reconsidering what gender really means and deciding they want out of the so called “binary.” Often, this means transitioning or coming out as “transgender.”

But this new enthusiasm for all things trans should come with a caveat, especially when young, impressionable kids are making serious, potentially irreversible changes to their bodies they may one day regret. It doesn’t make you a right wing fundamentalist or “anti-trans” to be concerned that the decision to transition might be fueled by social contagion or society’s misogynistic attitudes.

I speak from personal experience. I’m a trans person who has major questions about my own transition.

Born biologically female, I always had trouble reconciling my gender with my personal identity and expression. Put simply, I was never comfortable with society’s expectations of what a woman should be. I was loud, opinionated, undomesticated, a gamer, a nerd, and what might be called a tomboy — much more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt than in a dress or skirt. I always felt constrained and limited by the gender that had been imposed on me at birth. And then there was the fact I liked girls. Social gender roles said I was unnatural for being who I was, looking the way I did, wanting what I wanted, being attracted to who I was attracted to, and dressing the way I liked.

So, in October 2013, after spending a year researching the process of transition, I decided to “come out” to my partner, friends, and family. I was 28. I spent the next two years living and presenting as male before deciding to take the next dramatic step — hormone therapy.

At this point, I decided to approach professionals. After securing a referral from my GP, I was sent to the London Gender Identity Clinic, where, after three consultations with a psychiatrist, I was officially diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder.

With my diagnosis official and my trans status confirmed, I thought any doubts I had would dissipate. But instead of experiencing a sense of resolution to my inner turmoil, all I had were questions.

Once I started hormone therapy, changes happened quickly. I got much more muscular as my body fat started to redistribute. My jaw became stronger, squarer, and more defined, and body hair sprouted everywhere. After six months, my voice broke. I was high on becoming the man I thought I was.

But after a year of taking testosterone and still not passing as male, I realized the change I had actually been seeking — validation and self-acceptance — was still not mine, and I began to wonder why.

In some ways I felt newly empowered and hopeful. I couldn’t wait until the day I could speak and be listened to, instead of being dismissed. Until men stopped looking at my ass when I shopped for groceries. I wanted people to treat me with the automatic respect they would give me if I were biologically male. But I still didn’t feel authentically “me.” I felt as if, somehow, I was giving up a part of myself.

Late at night I would cry into my pillow for the wounded female me I had rejected.

The realization that it would never be acceptable for me to be the “masculine” person I am, unless I appeared male, was a hard one for me to process. After a while, I decided to take a break from injectable testosterone, as I had developed high blood pressure (something that had never happened to me before). But I continued to struggle with society’s inability to tolerate me as a masculine woman, and I couldn’t reconcile myself with what I understood to be my “gender identity.” I felt as though if I were seen as female, I couldn’t be myself. And so I went back on male hormones (though I’ve since switched to low dose testosterone gel).

I still don’t pass.

People perceive me as female because biology dictates certain characteristics that mark us as such, like facial features, bone structure, size, and height. Because I don’t “pass,” I also don’t fit society’s description of what either a man or a woman should be.

I also don’t feel like a woman or  a man — at least not based on current social understandings of those categories. In a perfect world, people like me would just be accepted for who we are — females who behave or appear “masculine.” In a perfect world, females would be liked, respected, and admired just as much as men.

But because we don’t live in that world, I feel I need to appear male in order to get respect, to be able to express myself, and to wear the clothing and hairstyle I prefer.

I know it’s not possible to change my sex — I will always be female, biologically. I’m no longer ashamed — only sad — that society won’t accept me for who I am.

I have come to the conclusion that my decision to transition was due, in part, to the misogyny in our society and the subsequent feelings of discomfort that misogyny generated in me.

While some people who decide to embark on the long and arduous process of transition say they are happy with their decision, for many others, it’s not that simple.

I spoke with my friend Michelle, who was born female but came out as a transman when she was 24, after deciding the gender she had been born into didn’t match how she wanted to express herself. Like me, Michelle was diagnosed as suffering from Gender Identity Disorder and started on a course of testosterone therapy, with the aim of passing as male.

Once she hit her thirties, after having taken testosterone for two years, Michelle started to have some serious questions about what she was doing. She was in therapy, working through sexual abuse and self-esteem issues. Once she began to process her feelings and experiences, she realized the decision to transition was wrong for her. Today, she lives as a woman, and admits that even at the start of her transition, she had doubts.

Michelle told me:

“I had always suffered from quite low body image and self-esteem but when I began to develop acne rosacea in my early twenties, that was when my confidence really began to spiral. Also, being part Mediterranean, I had really dark body and facial hair, and it may sound shallow, but I just didn’t feel feminine at all. All around me I received the message that, to be acceptable as a woman in this society, you had to look a certain way, and I just didn’t match up. I felt people didn’t treat me with respect because of the way I looked, and the way I saw it, that was mostly because of my sex.

One day, I found an article online, featuring FTM transsexuals and it just felt like someone turned on a light switch inside my brain. It gave me hope that I could have power and respect, and it also provided me with a way to escape the desperation, depression, and humiliation I felt at failing to be attractive.”

Poor body image is a huge problem for girls and women — the pressure to live up to hyper-feminized ideals seem greater now than a few decades ago. In a body image survey of more than 10,500 women and girls carried out by Dove in 2016, seven in 10 girls reported denying themselves food in order to appear thinner, 89 per cent of Australian women admitted they would cancel social or work dates because of how they look, and only 20 per cent of UK women said they felt good about their appearance.

When I was growing up, we had KD Lang, Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna as role models; now young girls have Miley Cyrus and Rita Ora, who may be talented, but are unarguably hypersexualized in a particularly feminine way that we did not see in the 90s.

Millennials suffer from a worrying rise in body image issues, with young girls expressing far more disgust at their bodies than they ever did when I was growing up. Twenty years ago, most models weighed eight per cent less than average American women. Now, they weigh 23 per cent less. Eating disorders have increased over 400 per cent since 1970. Only five per cent of women in the US have the  body type popularly portrayed in advertising today. Self-harm, suicide, and depression are all on the rise, as are anorexia and bulimia. Ever younger girls desire cosmetic surgery to carve their faces and bodies into the beauty ideals. A BBC poll found that 45 per cent of women under 35 are considering cosmetic surgery.

This could be, in part, due to a misogynistic backlash against the perceived progress made by women in public life. As women become more visible in politics, sports, culture, and the arts, misogynist anger rises, and so does the desire to punish women for their success. The recent explosion of Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) gives vent to this anger, which can sometimes culminate in fatal violence, and we see alt-right websites like Breitbart publish articles such as, “Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?”

The rise of porn culture and what’s called “revenge porn” is another clear example of this — indeed, 90 per cent of revenge porn victims are female.

The high visibility of trans-identified people like Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono has made society more accepting of transgenderism, but we are failing to ask important questions about this trend.

Because people are transitioning earlier and earlier, it is much harder to know who might regret these serious decisions later, perhaps when it’s too late.

There are deeper issues that we need to examine and questions we need to ask.

Why should a girl feel as though she is less than (or maybe not even a girl at all) because she doesn’t like to wear dresses? Why should a boy feel ashamed because he enjoys ballet or wants to express himself in a “feminine” way? Why do I still feel inadequate because I don’t resemble the female faces or bodies on the covers of glossy magazines? Why do I still feel a pang of fear when I leave the house with unshaven armpits, worried someone will take me as female and stare at or harass me?

It isn’t true to say transition is simply a personal choice, considering that women and men are punished severely if they don’t fit gender norms.

While the trend of transitioning appears to be connected to people’s desire to escape the misogyny, homophobia, and restrictive gender norms that exist within our society, it is inextricably bound up with other issues, such as low self-esteem and depression. Sari Reisner, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, found that the rate of psychiatric disorders and substance dependence among transwomen was 1.7 to 3.6 times greater than in the general population.

These issues are complex, but the irreversible nature of the procedures and hormonal therapies people must embark on if they decide to make a full, physical transition mean we must take the matter seriously.

Testosterone is an extremely powerful hormone that induces irrevocable changes in a biological female body, including clitoral growth, male pattern baldness, and atrophy of the ovaries, which causes infertility. When taken by a biological male, estrogen causes long term changes over time, and can lead to thrombosis, blood clotting, infertility, and sexual dysfunction. In addition, we ought to consider the changes wrought by the powerful anti-androgens a lot of male-to-female transsexuals opt to take, such as Lupron, and the permanent effects of surgeries such as mastectomies and orchiectomies.

Kids today are transitioning when they are incredibly young — more than 80 children as young as four years old are currently seeking treatment for gender identity disorder in the UK alone. Children and teenagers are making serious decisions to surgically and hormonally alter their bodies — decisions that will compromise their future ability to have children — often before they’ve even gone through puberty.

Maybe Miley Cyrus has a point after all. Gender really should be “over.”

If we as a society can evolve to a place where gender really is irrelevant, where a so-called “feminine” man or “masculine” women’s appearance and expression is accepted, and where behaviour is not gendered, would we need to be trans at all?

The way forward is surely a world where women and men are not expected to live up to superficial, unrealistic ideals. And perhaps in that radically different, brave new world, the rising and worrying percentage of those who transition, then later regret it, will fall to zero.

Thain Parnell is a feminist blogger who is currently writing a book on why radical feminism is a healthier alternative for women and trans-identified people.

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  • Jane

    Gender is over and not a minute too soon.

  • Karla Gjini

    Thank you for sharing your story, Thain.

  • Cassandra

    Thank you, Ms. Parnell. So glad you wrote and shared this. So glad Feminist Current published it. The more of these stories that get out, the faster the conversation can start. I predict (as do others) that someday this part of history will be seen as barbaric and that hormone therapy and the people pushing it will be regarded as big tobacco is now, if not worse. Gender has got to go. It’s literally killing people.

    Hope you find some peace.

  • Cassandra

    Backlash.

  • Atheist

    Great article. I am not butch and I am more of a plain jane. Even though my fashion sense is already very boring and would be less likely to attract unwanted harassment, I still find myself doing stuff like choosing dark and neutral colors over bright colors, or wearing solid color with no patterns or graphics (I sew my own clothes using old clothes as patterns). It doesn’t help that I’ve been followed around while shopping and have even had to approach customer service and ask for an escort into the parking lot. It seems being female in public is dangerous no matter what you do.

  • Independent Radical

    It is another example of thoughtless, superficial “defiance”. Who needs to actually try to change the world when you can just look defiant, right?

  • Meghan Murphy

    (Added in after purple sage’s comment 🙂

  • This is so important.

    I grew up androgynous (autistic female), but that was back in the ’70s when androgyny was cool. I didn’t consider transitioning until I was in my late teens (I think – it was the early ’80s), but decided not to bother given the shape of my pelvis, and my height. I would never have passed. It was a lot harder to transition then and I would probably have had to travel to Toronto to get treatment (from Ottawa), and I am so glad it was so much harder, because testosterone would have been so tempting.

    It was trauma that made me want to not be female anymore, not androgyny. And once I discovered feminist neopaganism (goddess imagery/culture) age 21, I completely turned around and chose a goddess name when I changed my name, not a man’s name. (Hey, I was still traumatized.) Our social environment is so important. If we’re given permission to just be ourselves, then it doesn’t matter how atypical we are for our sex, we’re fine. If we’re not given permission, it doesn’t matter how average or typical we are, we’re not fine.

    Thank goddess (literally) I didn’t transition.

    • Thain Parnell

      I’m so glad you worked through your trauma the healthy way. I wish more did.

  • corvid

    No Miley Cyrus and co., gender is not “over.” Not for the women and girls sold into sex slavery, forced into marriage as children, or tortured with FGM. Not for women and girls ANYWHERE in the world. Gender is not “over” just because a male puts on lipstick or a female gets a buzz cut. Gender is not “over” because people loathe themselves so much under patriarchy that they opt to cosmetically carve up their bodies in an attempt to achieve the impossible. Trying to control what pronouns people use to refer to us will not dismantle patriarchy. Radical feminism will.

  • Liz

    you aren’t kidding, “awesome” is the word! Great article here, and great blog! LOVE the (currently) top article about backlash and beauty standards. Thank you, Thain Parnell.

  • Maria

    Her own explanation:

    “I get embarrassed to take pictures,” she told Walters, according to E! News. “That’s actually the truth. I’m so embarrassed, because people are taking pictures of me, and I just don’t know how to — I don’t know how to smile, and just be awkward, so I stick my tongue out, because I don’t know what else to do.”

    I read a more recent interview where she said she was overwhelmed by photographers all telling her to make sexy faces, so it was sort of a small act of defiance towards the idea that she has to look sexy.

  • Sarah James

    I am a radical feminist that believes we should do everything we can to break down toxic misogyny and sexism as well as toxic gender norms. I see no misalignment with trans people transitioning and this work, even when trans people begin by living the gender stereotypes. You see, the media and articles like this fail to follow the lives of trans people long down the road from original point of transition. The vast majority of trans people find what we all find that there are tons of ways of being men and women, and that, indeed, there are many ways to be in between.
    The vast majority of people who transition (not some as the author states) are very happy with their transition. Some remain unhappy due to lack of funds to complete medical interventions, some have medical complications of these medical interventions – and only *some of those regret the choice. Yes, there are some minor few, like the author, who regret transition itself, but that is the minority (“some”), not “many”. This part of the article is misleading, as is the part that indicates higher incidence of mental health issues. What younger LGB people seem to forget is that the same could have been said for generations of LGB people who lived under the threat of discovery, violence, imprisonment, and institutionalizations. Of course there were higher rates of suicide, significant depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. That kind of constant threat will impact brain function and bodies. The gay rights movements began to change this for LGB folks. We’ve got a long way to go, but again, I think it’s misleading to put the mental illness before the knowledge of one’s gender, when it’s pretty strongly indicated that it’s the other way around.
    Last, I’m really not sure where you’re getting your facts about transition by minors. Maybe it’s different in Canada, but medical and psychological standards do not allow actual surgical or hormonal transition for minors. At most they can receive hormone blockers to delay onset of secondary sex characteristics until they have reached physical maturity in other ways. Surgical gender surgery is definitely held for growth to be largely completed, at least in states I’m aware of. Therapy and living as the felt gender is not the same as transition.
    Honestly, I expect this to fall on deaf ears, and I’m sad about that. I know so many wonderful people who are better able to fight for the feminist ideals we talk about – including body positivity for all women – because they are living their innate, internal gender expression (passing or not). I’m sorry that the author did not find the path to healing her pain about gender, but that does not make transition wrong for others, and it does not make trans experience a trend. Go read some history, eh. Notice there were always people who lived as a different gender than their initial identification, with far more barriers to doing that safely.
    And to corvid commenter: maybe actually talk to a transitioned person sometime in real life and ask them if transition helped them love themselves or not.

    • antrenteau

      Go read some history… if only.
      Transing dead historical people is usually a completely anachronistic activity, mostly because modern people typically don’t know much about how gender worked before the late 19th century. If you’re trying to read people’s personality without taking great care to understand what the theories of the physical and spiritual bodies, and of emotions were at that time, you’re pretty much doom to fail. People of the ancient times were very different from us, they lived in a different sort of world, a different sort of psychological arrangement, they didn’t thought like us, didn’t project themselves like we do, close but far enough at the same time. “The past is a foreign country” it’s said, and most people can’t even look at a person from the other side of the world without failing to imagine how different this person can think and live.

      And no, Joan of Arc wasn’t trans btw.

      • Danielle Matheson

        Hell no she wasn’t! I watched a documentary about Joan of Arc and she had to undergo months of church clerics inspecting her vagina before she ever got to talk to the dauphin. These people who are transing dead people are disgusting and clearly show their lack of knowledge and respect for women, history, sociology, linguistics, feminism, etc. Quite frankly, I’m fracking over it.

        • Hekate Jayne

          That’s the thing about ladymen.

          They will not allow us to have anything. Even when we are dead, they colonize us.

    • Thain Parnell

      Well it’s a point of view, I suppose. However, the fact the you believe transition is better than abolishing gender means you’re not a radical feminist though. Also, I believe mental health issues do have a strong impact on people, yes, whether they are trans or otherwise. Also, I never actually said I regretted my transition. What I said is I have major questions about it and the decisions that led me to transition. Certainly though, there are many people I have personally spoken to who DO indeed utterly regret transition. Hence the title of the piece. We do need to talk about those people, as currently the mainstream media, doesn’t. Thanks for reading though;)

    • Hekate Jayne

      Radical feminists know the difference between sex and gender.

      You obviously do not.

    • Cassandra

      “Gender” (masculinity and femininity) varies wildly depending on time and place. This is how we know it is socially created and not part of our brains. Sex, on the other hand, does not and cannot change. Use your head.

      Also, you’re not a radical feminist.

    • meh

      Whatever else you are, you are decidedly not a radical feminist.

    • Melanie

      I recently read The Gender Creative Child by a leading ‘gender expert’ Diane Ehrensaft, who treats children for gender dysphoria. It was deeply disturbing to find that this was the basis for diagnosing and treating children for this condition. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I’m pretty certain that this condition and its treatment is going to go down in history as one of the great medical scandals, particularly in regards to the treatment of children and young people. Its shocking to me that this is going on and is considered progressive and ethical. It’s based in nothing more than sex stereotypes. I think that there are some medial professionals out there who see a new and lucrative career trajectory and are pushing this ideology for their own reasons. As well as the obvious backlash against feminism. My sister looked like a boy when she was a child. People thought she was my brother. She was just an innocent child enjoying her life. It was everyone else harassing and judging her for the way she dressed and behaved. She still dresses in jeans and t-shirts and has short hair. She gets so much crap for it from grown adults who should know better. I do think that gender dysphoria is real, but like anorexia its caused by social factors, not medical ones.

    • Danielle Matheson

      It’s not fallen on deaf ears, you’re just flat out wrong. Putting mental illness above gender is exactly what people need to do! If you understand and believe that gender-the social construct of how females and males should act in a given society at a particular time-then you understand that gender is not innate, but imposed on all people. It benefits some—males, and oppresses some–females! But trans ideology puts individuals above all. Treatment of mental illness is more important than gender. Gender is used to oppress and control and to create and unequal balance in society. So, treatment of the mental illness should always take precedence. It disgusting to suggest otherwise.

  • Sarah James

    In my experience of the many people who I love who have transitioned, and have no regrets, by the way, except possibly that it took them so long to do it, the transition journey is not about asking people to accept them, it’s about finally, finally accepting who they really are and putting that out in the world. Most trans people fully expect that other people will not accept them, and the ones who work the process well pretty much decide that they can’t really give a crap about what other people think of them, they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do. Exactly what you’re talking about here.

    • meh

      You can’t transition. It doesn’t exist. A man will die a man, whether he slices off his penis and has a wound put into mimic a vagina, or not. A woman will always be a woman even if she mutilates her breasts to try to pretend otherwise. Transitioning does not exist.

      What we can do however is get rid of the outdated, debunked stereotypes which have changed radically over the years anyway. Pink wasn’t “female” till the 50s. Men wore corsets, make up and high heels. Millions of women hate the idea of being mothers. Millions of men have low sex drives.

      There is literally no such thing as a man does a and a woman does b except biologically. Women birth children, men provide the sperm. Behaviours are all on a vast spectrum across both sexes and as we are now seeing it is exceptionally harmful to try to crush and beat the two distinct sexes into gender role conformity.

      Whatever a man feels is, ipso facto, what a man feels. And of course the same with a woman. When men stop trying to bash and batter those peopole whom they don’t feel fit in to the man or woman box they have decided for them, this entire insane nonsense will grind to a screeching halt.

      Men can wear high heels and make up and cook and like babies. And they’re still men.

      And that’s that.

      • will

        ^^I love this comment.^^

        Clear simple language making an irrefutable point. Thank you.

  • Cat Dancing

    Thank you, Thain Parnell, for your story.

  • kfwkfw

    Arrogant and privileged points of view are the only ones we hear & we even celebrate them. It’s backwards. It’s 24/7 hubris!

    • cinderchild

      yes we’re supposed to take arrogant and privileged peoples’ word that oppression is over because they can buy what they want -_-

  • Thain Parnell

    Yes Lupron was actually a drug formally used by eugenicists. Rather worrying, I should say. Definitely shouldn’t be given to children.

    • Wren

      Do you have a source for Lupron being used by eugenicists? I’m interested in this and trying to find that info, but can’t.
      And thank you for a great article!

  • Thain Parnell

    Thank you so much for reading cinder. It means a lot to me.

  • Thain Parnell

    I completely agree. The thing is, trans people are defying gender stereotypes anyway, because gender stereotypes mandate roles on people because of their biology. Gender stereotypes are what say, if you are a biological female you should be feminine, like pink etc…. they say if you are biologically male you should be certain things. Trans people defy this, yet try and perform the gender roles meted out to the opposite sex. They are already defying gender yet they cling to it, so why more aren’t behind abolishing gender I have no idea. Total headscratcher. It would be way better for them, they could express however they wanted from the off.

    • Hekate Jayne

      Trans cling to gender roles because they want to preserve the hierarchy of males on top.

      This way, women that attempt to become male think that they are moving out of the oppressed sex class. And males that think that they can become women get to retain their male privilege while mimicking being in the oppressed sex class.

  • Bev Jo

    Yes, what if the women in the media who are worshipped actually did try to get rid of gender instead of selling it? Miley Cyrus could do a lot to help, but she gets fame and fortune from pornifying herself grotesquely. That is standard now. Most women stars wear ridiculous high heels that hobble them because they will not give up wanting to be “attractive” by male standards even though it’s demeaning. (Alicia Keyes gave up makeup but can barely walk in her high heels.)

    The actor playing Wonder Woman defends her character’s high heels by saying she can be “both strong and sexy.” Why is looking ridiculous considered sexy, other than to men who want women unable to run or even walk away?

    Take down the whole mess, seriously, because it is killing girls and women.

    If girls and women truly were treated as equal and not objectified, etc. there would be no need to “transition.” It doesn’t work any way since no woman can ever become a man and no man can become a woman. And in the meantime, men claiming to be women have destroyed our last women’s spaces and have gotten into power positions in women’s organizations. It’s right wing politics, which is why fundamentalist Iran pays for “transitioning,” but kills Lesbians and gay men.

  • corvid

    Agreed. Also, despite having been born into wealth and privilege, Cyrus can’t see that she too is subject to the harms of gender. She’s had to market herself in an absurdly sexualized way, to self-objectify, in order to sustain her career. Look at that tongue. There’s probably a clause in her contract that says it must be out at all times (half-joking.) I hope she eventually has enough and turns to the dark side.

    • cinderchild

      i read an article recently about her that seemed like she was def starting to mature about her persona. i actually think it’s *because* she was born into wealth and privilege that she can’t see herself subject to the harms. whatever she wanted, if it would be denied on basis of sex, could be bought with money/star power. or, you know, riding her dad’s laurels until she became hannah montana.

      naturally i didn’t bookmark the article but, it gave me SOME hope 🙂

  • Thain Parnell

    Yes I am sure of it Omzig. I can answer that with confidence because since I am on male hormones, I may still pass someday and therefore “fit into a gender stereotype”. If I ever do I know I will feel more comfortable for this reason ” society will react to me more kindly.”. Much more kindly. Because I will be seen to be conforming. So yes, I know now what is driving me to want this- intolerance and rigid gender stereotypes. You see, it is the feeling that I cannot express myself, nor be tolerated by society if I am perceived as female and the “masculine” person I am. It is my genuine feeling, that the rising numbers of people transitioning is due to a reaction to the oppressive gender stereotypes our current culture forces on people. That clearly tells me that there is a major problem with our society, as I am sure you can see why, because everybody should feel free to be themselves however they want to express from day one. This is why I have come to the conclusion that abolishing gender and gender stereotypes will greatly benefit people who currently fall under the trans umbrella.

  • Alienigena

    “…your diminishing of the significance of pharmaceutical intervention into a major phase of biological development is quite revealing”

    This is what puzzles me. I have been asthmatic most of my life most of my life and when I was a child I was prescribed liquid, oral steroids when I got very sick. But my doctors were loathe to give me anything except when absolutely necessary because I was being treated with steroids, which can impact growth and bone development in children.

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/steroids/art-20045692

    So why is it suddenly OK to prescribe hormone blockers in children because they feel a certain way or are unhappy with their biological sex and associated stereotypical gendered behaviours at a particular point in their lives.

  • cinderchild

    no. no it is not. imagine going out every day after your breasts started growing early at age 12 and being leered at by men old enough to be your grandpa. imagine them patting your bum and joking about when you “turn 18 hue hue hue”. imagine having your breasts the constant focus of boys at school to joke about and even fondle. how do you love yourself when what society sees is nothing but a set of breasts? you’d have to stay inside for the rest of your life lest you be reminded that you’re not a person – not even a woman – but a pair of breasts open to be touched by every man ever.

  • will

    What exactly is Gender and how exactly is it expressed?

  • will

    If the point behind your unimaginative snark is that Aliengena has not read about, discussed and considered this issue thoroughly in order to reach her position, you are projecting. Read more.

    https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/u/unknown109276.html

  • Zuzanna Smith

    Stop pretending you care about children, sir. We all know you support sterilizing children so that your adult male paraphilia is validated as a medical condition, we know that it is not. A child’s psychosocial disorder should be treated with therapy and reassurance that they can be their “real selves” in their healthy biologically sexed bodies.

    • Marita

      Care to provide peer reviewed medical research showing “therapy and reassurance that they can be their “real selves” in their healthy biologically sexed bodies” is effective at alleviating Gender Dysphoria? I’d be really interested in reading it.

      • Hekate Jayne

        If you are unable to understand basic material reality, then you won’t be able to understand medical research.

        I actually feel a little sorry for you.

        • Marita

          Um… I can quote medical research. Can you?

          http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/09/02/peds.2013-2958

          “After gender reassignment, in young adulthood, the GD was alleviated and psychological functioning had steadily improved. Well-being was similar to or better than same-age young adults from the general population. Improvements in psychological functioning were positively correlated with postsurgical subjective well-being.”

  • Hanakai

    Gender Dysphoria is basically a faux disorder that has been given a formal designation, even though there is no physiological correlate. A clearer picture is that at root, the disorder is one of self-hatred and lack of self-acceptance, often that has roots in the twistedness, superficiality and patriarchal bent of the culture that produces such unhappiness.

    Yes, most people who are diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria also have co-morbidities such as Depression, Anxiety, Social Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, or various psychotic delusional disorders. Some have an underlying endocrine imbalance. When the medical condition and other disorder(s) is given appropriate treatment, the unhappiness with the body often disappears, as does the desire fro surgical mutilation.

    Many of the so-called transgenders are actually homosexual males who have some problem with accepting their homosexuality. Those who are treated with good psychotherapy and learn to accept themselves as male homosexuals become healthier and happier and lose the desire to mutilate themselves.

    Many of the women who are unhappy with their sex and body are women who are not what is considered pretty or beautiful by the standards of the culture and their unhappiness stems from how Western culture treats women who are considered ugly or plain, and some of the desire in these women to become male has to do with males being less judged on appearance. Psychotherapy and appropriate medication helps these women with self-love and self-acceptance.

    • Marita

      “Those who are treated with good psychotherapy and learn to accept themselves as male homosexuals become healthier and happier and lose the desire to mutilate themselves.”

      Care to provide peer reviewed medical research to back up this assertion?

      • Omzig Online

        I cannot believe that you think learning to accept and love yourself without mutilating your body is an assertion that needs to be defended with “peer reviewed medical research.”

        You display a profound lack of humanity, my dear.

  • Marita

    I’m not arguing there are no de-transitioners; but the rare cases of regret are not enough to merit medical access be denied to those who need it when the overwhelming medical evidence consistently shows it to be effective in 98%+ of those treated under modern SOC guidelines. This is exactly the same playbook Conservatives use to argue against abortion access. “People later in life regret their abortions, so we should restrict access”.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I am sick of people like you comparing abortion access to trans surgery.

      Women are forced to have children that they don’t want due to lack of abortion access. We die in childbirth. Rapists that impregnate their victims can sue for parental rights. We go to prison for self aborting. And these are just a few things.

      Trans go to prison when they can’t have surgery? Really? They die when they can’t have surgery? Really?

      BTW, Iran executes people for being homosexual. But the state will pay for transition.

      THAT’S conservative. THAT’S homophobia.

      Why do you hate gay people? Why are you so homophobic? And misogynist?

      You don’t have to answer. Critical thinking is obviously a challenge for you. Don’t want you to hurt yourself trying.

      • Omzig Online

        This comment cuts right to the core of trans ideology: misogyny and homophobia.

      • Marita

        “Really? They die when they can’t have surgery? Really?”

        Do you agree that over 40% of Trans people have attempted suicide?

        If you agree with this then you can’t deny that lack of treatment is LITERALLY killing people.

        Can’t have it both ways sunshine.

        • cinderchild

          “Do you agree that over 40% of Trans people have attempted suicide?”

          No. No I do not.

          First, the study was a convenience sample based in the US, so, applying the findings outside that demographic is academically dishonest (at best).

          Second, the **study itself** acknowledges its own serious limitations and tells us to interpret the data with caution:

          “While the NTDS provides a wealth of information
          about the experiences of transgender and gender
          non-conforming people, the survey instrument and
          methodology posed some limitations for this study.
          First, the NTDS questionnaire included only a single
          item about suicidal behavior that asked, “Have you ever
          attempted suicide?” with dichotomized responses of
          Yes/No. Researchers have found that using this question
          alone in surveys can inflate the percentage of affirmative
          responses, since some respondents may use it to
          communicate self-harm behavior that is not a “suicide
          attempt,” such as seriously considering suicide, planning
          for suicide, or engaging in self-harm behavior without
          the intent to die (Bongiovi-Garcia et al., 2009). The
          National Comorbity Survey, a nationally representative
          survey, found that probing for intent to die through
          in-person interviews reduced the prevalence of lifetime
          suicide attempts from 4.6 percent to 2.7 percent of the
          adult sample (Kessler et al., 1999; Nock & Kessler, 2006).
          Without such probes, we were unable to determine the
          extent to which the 41 percent of NTDS participants
          who reported ever attempting suicide may overestimate
          the actual prevalence of attempts in the sample. In
          addition, the analysis was limited due to a lack of
          follow-up questions asked of respondents who reported
          having attempted suicide about such things as age and
          transgender/gender non-conforming status at the time
          of the attempt.
          Second, the survey did not directly explore mental
          health status and history, which have been identified
          as important risk factors for both attempted and
          completed suicide in the general population (Lasage,
          Boyer, Grunberg, Vanier, Morissett et al., 1994; Suominen,
          Henrikssen, Suokas, Isometsa, Ostamo, et al., 1996;
          Harris & Barraclough, 1997; Bertolote & Fleischmann,
          2002; Nock, Hwang, Sampson, & Kessler, 2010). Further,
          research has shown that the impact of adverse life
          events, such as being attacked or raped, is most severe
          among people with co-existing mood, anxiety and other
          mental disorders (Breslau, Davis, Andreski, & Peterson, 1991; Kendler, Kardowski, & Presco, 1999). The lack of
          systematic mental health information in the NTDS data
          significantly limited our ability to identify the pathways
          to suicidal behavior among the respondents.”

          Third, it found that those who sought or had transition care to have a ***higher rate of attempts*** than those who did/do not:

          “Table 5, respondents who said they had received transition related
          health care or wanted to have it someday were
          more likely to report having attempted suicide than those
          who said they did not want it. This pattern was observed
          across all transition-related services and procedures
          that were explored in the NTDS. The survey did not
          provide information about the timing of reported suicide
          attempts in relation to receiving transition-related health
          care, which precluded investigation of transition-related
          explanations for these patterns.”

          So, yeah. Your argument is bunk because it’s based on sloppy and hasty interpretations of a survey that ***declares its own serious limitations*** and doesn’t even support the assertion that “denying” or “delaying” transition is literally killing trans people.

          Unlike denying women access to appropriate medical care.

          Feel free to read it yourself:
          http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf

          As an aside: using suicide as a threat to acquiesce to a person’s demand is emotionally abusive and in most other contexts we’d recognise that threatened/suicide attempts are indicative of a ***serious mental health crisis*** and the person is in desperate need of psychiatric care. In the other cases, we rightfully recognise it as an abusive tactic – for an example, an abusive husband threatening suicide if his wife leaves him. The appeal to emotion tactic being used here is due to lack of a logical or fact-based argument.

      • Alienigena

        “I am sick of people like you comparing abortion access to trans surgery.”

        It seems to be full on misogyny to do so. I don’t think there is another response to the delusional and willfully ignorant at times other than to ignore them.

    • Omzig Online

      The only “SOC guidlines” I could find were literally written by transgender persons – hardly a non biased publication. I’m afraid this does not qualify as imperical research. Therefore, the stats that you cited about a 98%+ success rate are unverifiable.

      Hmmm…it’s almost as though the transgender lobby is attempting to create there own alternative facts in an attempt to sway medical protocol and manipulate public policy.

      Listen, if you don’t understand why it’s unethical to give a child with a normal endocrine system a hormon to treat a psych issue, that’s totally okay. That’s why you’re a social justice warrior and not a doctor. But it’s definitely NOT okay for a doctor to make that same mistake. Physicians are bound by very strict medical, ethical, and legal guidelines. Treating pediatric patients outside those guidelines will land them, their patients, and the the parents in some serious trouble.

      And regarding your last point about conservatives and abortion: this is a false analogy. Pregnancy is at least a physical condition that actually requires medical intervention to terminate. But you *did* remind me to point out a striking similarity between trans activists like yourself and the GOP: you’re both repeating falsehoods and lies over and over again in the hopes that it will normalize the lie and become true.

    • radwonka

      False equivalence.

  • Stroke_Your_Own_Ego

    Ugh. That’s so creepy, trying to shoehorn your daughter into queer culture. I see a lot of queer people adding “autistic” to their mile long list of identities. I have no idea how many of them are actually on the autistic spectrum. It seems there is no under privaleged group that can’t be appropriated, commodified, and capitalized upon by the queer cult.

  • Marita

    You do realize that New Atlantis paper was written by the same people who argue using the same type of “scientific methodology” that abortion causes breast cancer, right?

    https://www.acpeds.org/know-your-abcs-the-abortion-breast-cancer-link

  • Tobysgirl

    Ditto, Leo. There has certainly been plenty of emphasis on feminine appearance in my lifetime, though I will say it is much less in rural Maine where I live now than it was in Boston or New York when I lived there. I liked being a typesetter — it had been a male occupation — because I made good money and could dress however I pleased. And I rarely got harassed on the streets because I exuded such an intimidating presence. I hate that young women feel so much pressure to conform to a nauseating capitalist vision of femininity, so much pressure that they’re willing to permanently harm their bodies one way or another.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It’s not erasure, it’s ideological disagreement. Trans ideology says gender is innate or a personal choice, feminist ideology says gender is imposed and oppressive.

  • Hekate Jayne

    My husband says the same. He is over 6 feet, about 170, he’s not all that big.

    But he has a very peaceful, unassuming, quiet and kind energy. Which is apparently considered “unmasculine” enough that he does get physically challenged by other males on occasion.

    Because males are so limited emotionally and intellectually that they read him as feminine. They can’t understand that a man can be kind and unthreatening. Males see that as weak behavior that needs violent correction. They are unable to understand the difference between kindness and weakness.

    My husband avoids other males, too. He lacks the ignorance and violent sense of entitlement so common in males. Like your husband does, it would seem.

  • Hekate Jayne

    This might be the funniest thing that you have said here.

    The clitoris, which only female bodies have, has almost 8000 nerve endings. The entire penis has about half that.

    You really think that a surgeon can build a functional clitoris from the head of a dick?? Lol. That they can create an additional 4000 nerve endings? And spread them out all over the reproductive system?

    And you think that a penis constructed from random bodily tissue functions like a penis on a male born person?

    I’m laughing so hard, I almost can’t type, lol.

    Oh, but I just remembered. You can’t tell female people from male people. So factual reality makes no sense to you. Lol.

    Do you know that 100% of people were born from uteruses? That only women possess?

    Or do you really think that males can have babies from their dicks?

    Your confusion must be so isolating. Generally, people aren’t as confused as you. I mean, there’s 7 billion people on the planet, all born from women. Thankfully, most people can tell male from female, lol.

    • Marita

      The fact that you laugh and shrug off a peer reviewed medical study without at least providing examples from the study of why you disagree with its methodology is essentially proof Radical Feminism isn’t an ideology. It’s a cult.

    • Alienigena

      “And you think that a penis constructed from random bodily tissue functions like a penis on a male born person?”

      It is amazing what people with no scientific background (or people who slept through biology in high school) come up with. Anyone who has taken introductory biology in post-secondary or more advanced courses (e.g. cell biology, zoology, botany) will understand the concept of cell differentiation. Human anatomy courses review the different types of cells found in the human body. Different types of cells have different types of functions. This is also the case in plants as becomes evident if you have done any tissue culture experiments. I can’t even get up the emotional energy to deal with the nonsense trans ideologues spout.

      https://opentextbc.ca/anatomyandphysiology/chapter/3-6-cellular-differentiation/

      http://sciencenetlinks.com/student-teacher-sheets/cells-your-body/

  • cinderchild

    i’m glad you can see it because me looking at it says that it’s still waiting to be moderated.

    sorry about your abuser situation 🙁 that’s no fun. i’ve been there.

  • Omzig Online

    1) I have already said that there are very firm and well-documented treatment protocols for pediatric depression and suicidal ideation. Do your homework, please.

    2)Mutilation: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mutilate

  • Omzig Online

    This comment reveals how easy it is to manipulate grown women into supporting male-centered ideology.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It was trapped in the spam folder for some unknown reason… Sometimes this happens and I have no idea why. I believe it should be posted now. Sorry for the trouble!

    • cinderchild

      oh no problem 🙂 things happen haha

      thank you! <3

  • Hekate Jayne

    I finally gave up.

    I found an old message board for trannies. It was mostly old white males that referred to themselves as “girls” and were talking about how their surgical wound fuckholes were actually morphing into real vaginas, that they stank but guys totes loved it, so it was ok! And they referred to women as “fish”.

    I didn’t realize until this trannie influx exactly how profound these males’ stupidity is about female bodies. I saw some of them talking about how excited jazz Jennings would be when he had his first period.

    They really have no clue. And they are oddly proud of their ignorance. That level of misogyny combined with their own self loathing and entitled arrogant lack of knowledge can’t be reasoned with. It’s futile to try. As we have seen here again.

    • Marita

      It’s telling that instead of actually citing medical data and peer reviewed research to make your argument, you cling to anecdotes from random online forums. Just another reason RadFems have no chance of creating any real dialogue with medical associations like the AMA,APA,WHO,WPATH and instead in their hate for Trans people resort to partnering with Conservative organizations like The Heritage Foundation, who seek to end access to abortions and other reproductive rights.

      • corvid

        Please explain why your movement considers a surgically-created wound in the male body to be a “vagina.”

  • cinderchild

    thank you. i was with a man who threatened suicide if i kicked him out because he was an addict and stealing from me and wouldn’t get a job or go to rehab (which i volunteered to pay for!), then he actually attempted it. i see right through that bs. people thinking of suicide – dysphoria or not – need psychiatric care.

    i like that marita went from “40% of trans people have attempted suicide (ergo) lack of treatment is killing them” (i.e., appeal to emotion) but when called on it backpedals to “no trans person threatens to commit suicide if they don’t ‘get their way'”.

    what is being done when the (wildly inaccurate) claim is being made that 40% of trans people attempt suicide so denying them treatment is killing them? it’s literally saying that if trans people can’t have transition care they will die so transition care must be given. it’s the same thing. just bringing up the statistic is an appeal to emotion designed to halt debate because no one wants to “seem heartless” about “denying” a person transition-related care since doing so “will kill them” – especially children (a total ‘won’t someone PLEASE think of the children!’ argument). if it weren’t an implied threat, then, why bring it up at all?

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Constantly”?

  • Marita

    Hysteria? You do realize that was used to control Cis Women’s sexual desires only a hundred years ago. Now you seek to control the sexual health of Trans Women in the same way? The parallels are astounding. The oppressed want so desperately to become the oppressor.

  • Meghan Murphy

    These are a few American individuals. This is absolutely not constant or consistent among feminists and feminist organizations. The arguments radical feminists make against gender are in opposition to what conservatives believe about gender. Indeed, they, like you, believe gender is innate. I guess that makes you a bigot?

    • Marita

      Aren’t you arguing that Gender is innate?

      “Trans Women are Men because they have XY and were born Men”

      “Trans Men are Women because they have XX and were born Women”

      How are Rad Fems NOT arguing that gender is innate?

      • Meghan Murphy

        Do you actually not understand the difference between sex and gender?

      • Danielle Matheson

        Gender is a social construct that differs between cultures and time periods. Gender is imposed on people. It prescribes how females and males should act in that given culture in that given time period. It’s why it changes. Not that long ago my mother wasn’t allowed to wear pants to school because she was a girl. Society deemed it uncouth for girls to wear pants. That has since changed and she wears pants on reg.

        Sex is an observable phenomenon. People are born female or male. Humans are a dimorphic species. Intersex people are the exception that proves the rule. They have a combination of male and female genitalia. They are not a third sex. Plus, Turner syndrome is only present in females, Kleinfelter in males.

        This may not be in depth but it’s a good foundation of understanding sex and gender. Two very different things.

        So to respond to your criticism of radical feminism, no, we do not believe in “innate gender”. Gender is imposed on you by the society in which you live. People are not assigned sex at birth, unless they are intersex (and their fight is a very different one from trans people and they have asked continually to not be used as an example to further that agenda). Women are oppressed because they are female and they have the biological function of being able to have children. Men want to exploit that. Women were not allowed to go to college because they were women (female), not because they were gender non conforming.

  • Danielle Matheson

    Not wanting males in the spaces that allow us to live public life is nothing more than reasonable. Conservatives may agree with us, but for wholly different reasons. Women faught and have a right not to share our spaces, grants, scholarships, sports teams, etc. to be taken over by males. The whole point of the fight was so we had access to space away from males.

    Conservatives do not give a shit about women. If it were up to them, we’d all still be in the kitchen, getting married off and being raped by our husbands and having children we couldn’t abort if wanted or fucking need to! How is that in any way what radfems want? How is being treated as a fuckhole/slave because “that’s women’s role in life” to wanting our own space away from males to stay female only anywhere near that? It isn’t. And if you think it is, you clearly haven’t done enough research.

  • Marita

    “nonsensical unscientific word salad” a.k.a Peer Reviewed Medical Studies.

    Something Rad Fems can’t seem to produce to back up any of their assertions.

    I wonder why…

    • meh

      You have already been given all the peer reviewed studies you need. You choose to ignore them in favour of garbage misogynistic word salad.

      You’ve already been responded to repeatedly. We get it, you’re a man who hates women.

      Now fuck off.

  • Marita

    Again, for the millionth time. Please re-read and re-read until you truly understand this part. It’s important since you keep thinking GNC kids are being pushed or forced to be Trans.

    Gender Non-Conforming Behavior and Gender Dysphoria are diagnostically differentiated in the WPATH Standards Of Care, the diagnostic document approved by the AMA, APA, WHO, and every other major medical organization on the planet,

    Go ahead and read page 4: https://s3.amazonaws.com/amo_hub_content/Association140/files/Standards%20of%20Care%20V7%20-%202011%20WPATH%20(2)(1).pdf

    What does this mean?

    Pretty simple. Gender Non-Conforming Behavior by itself does not qualify those not of medical age of consent to be prescribed medical treatment. Only those who diagnostically fall under Gender Dysphoria as monitored closely for long periods of time by physicians qualify to receive medical treatment.

    So please, cut the talking points because the only people buying it are those within your echo chamber. There’s a reason the medical community dismisses these assertions.

  • Hanakai

    So, interestingly, I have been reading a text on clinical psychiatry with sections on gender dysphoria and other psychosexual disorders. And it turns out we have all been going on false assumptions and lies promulgated by the Cult of Trans.

    The Cult of Trans has promulgated the idea that .03 of the population, or 3 in 10,000 people are allegedly transgender. It turns out that number is incorrect and greatly exaggerated. There is not enough data in the USA to come up with a number, the researchers instead look to Europe where transsexuality has been indulged for a longer time.

    “The best estimate of gender identity disorder or transsexualism in adults comes from Europe with a prevalence of 1 in 30,000 men and 1 in 100,000 women. Most clinical centers report a sex ratio of three to five male patients for each woman patient.”

    So, the transsexual delusion is far rarer than the Cult of Trans would have it. I am going to start using the more reliable data: So-called transgender males (MtT) being .000033 of the population, and so-called transgender females (FtT) being .000001 of the population. Very rare, but because they are mostly men, the trannies get a lot more attention and ink and sympathy than real women.

  • Hanakai

    Actually, the one study you cited is terribly flawed. The results are far different than the results in the Swedish study which followed thousands of patients over several decades. The study you cite included only 55 self-selected patients who had their surgeries at the hospital owned by the researchers. The hospital wants to make more money cutting on people, so the researchers have an interest in creating results that say, Yay, mutilating surgery improves the sex lives of transsexuals. Notably, the study you cite included only subjects who were happy about their surgeries and left out those who were not. Further, their criteria of judging unhappiness by requests for reversal of the sex reassignment surgery is not a good measure of post-surgical unhappiness. A better measure would be the suicide rate, which is similar post-surgery to pre-surgery in claimed transsexuals.

  • Hekate Jayne

    The single most conservative, right wing thought is that biological sex must align with gender role.

    Trans push this non stop. It is the entire trans movement. Pink is girl, blue is boy.