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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

July 16, 2003
Oh dear

A very disturbing concept. I'd never heard of this before and don't know how I feel about it.

Instinctively, I feel that there's a significant differences between someone with a gender-identity problem and someone who wants to have both of their arms or legs amputated, but I could be wrong.

There's a sort of instinctive revulsion to the idea of amputating healthy flesh, especially when such an amputation produces a disabled person who will, in the future, require significant health care dollars. (You can't just whack off a limb or two without consequences, okay? It creates significant physical health problems. How is the woman with no arms going to make a living and pay for her health care problems? Or does she expect the public system to pay for them?)

I'm not sure about the concept of either of the procedures under discussion, to tell the truth. They compare this BIID to gender-reassignment surgery, but I've always had doubts about that, too.

Reports say that it's successful, that the people who undergo the treatment are, by and large, happier with their lives afterwards, and they're paying for the surgery themselves, so I never really considered it any of my business, but now it's being used as the rationale for this new thing and it bothers me.

Are people who undergo gender-reassignment therapy and/or surgery really conforming to an idealized view of themselves, or are they simply psychologically unable to deal with their role in society as their original gender? And is this a "problem" of theirs, or is it a too-restrictive society that forces people into absolute molds that don't fit?

Is there really such a thing as being "born with" a view of oneself that one can't live a full and productive life without having realized? Can this go beyond gender and is it possible that a mentally healthy person nonetheless has an idealized view of themselves with stumps instead of legs and feet?

If I say, "no, these are just people whose bodies we're altering because we can't help their minds," will such words be used to attack homosexuality?

I'm just not qualified to consider this subject intelligently. (I should have spent my lunch break working.)

Posted by AnneZook at 02:02 PM