Saturday, March 05, 2005

Gender, Restroom, & Pronoun Confusion

Now, in Methuen, Massachusetts, we read about parents who are so "sensitized" to transgender acceptance that their little 9-year old girl is getting HER wish to "be" a boy. And the school authorities are going along with it. The Boston Globe reports (3/5/05):

"Dozens of parents flooded the Methuen school system with phone calls yesterday after a local newspaper reported that a fourth-grade girl had returned from the February school break requesting to be treated as a boy.... The child's parents told the Eagle Tribune on the condition of anonymity that their child, who was born with the body of a girl, has never identified as a girl. After consulting with medical professionals, they have decided to let him [sic] grow up as a boy and wanted teachers and other students to treat him as a boy.

"Dr. Norman Spack, clinical director of the endocrine division at Children's Hospital in Boston, said gender identity is formed at birth and is not a product of the environment. Much more research still needs to be done around how male and female brains differ and how transgenderism occurs, he said. Of the more than 100 transgendered people he has treated, many secretly cross-dressed as children and suppressed their gender identity because their parents were punitive.

'' 'In many cases they went on to live a life that was a sham, getting married and having children,' said Spack, one of the few pediatric endocrinologists in the country who specializes in gender identity and intersex issues. 'They go through a difficult time of depression coming to grips with the fact that their body doesn't match their brain.' "

Pseudoscience, anyone?!! Here again, as with AIDS, we seem to be witnessing the politicization of science.

There's no end to the strange demands of the "transgendered". In the last several years, restrooms have become a focus. The New York Times ran a story on March 4, "A Quest for a Restroom That's Neither Men's Room Nor Women's Room." Excerpts:

"[This is] a new political frontier: the campaign to establish gender-neutral bathrooms in public places. The idea is to make sure that transgender people (an umbrella term that can include transsexuals, cross-dressers and those with a fluid, androgynous identity who do not consider themselves completely male or female) can use bathrooms without fear of harassment.

"One reason the issue has significance on these campuses is that in contrast to previous generations, in which many sought to transform their birth sex through hormones or surgery, today's young transgender people are content with a more fluid identity.

" 'I use the male bathroom, because I live my life as a male,' said Rolan Gregg, a 29-year-old student at the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco, who was born female and, though he [sic] is taking hormones, does not 'pass yet,' as he [sic] put it. 'The problem with not passing is that my risk of violence is really high. So going to the bathroom becomes really scary.' "

Clearly, the media are happy to play along with the pronoun confusion.