“Gender affirming treatments” like cross-sex hormones and reassignment surgeries are the lobotomies of our times.
Very well put, and future generations will marvel at the arrogant insouciance with which so-called ‘experts’ were willing to compound a form of mental illness by treating with hormones, and even by encouraging damaging surgery. That celebrated transwoman, Jan Morris, has said in her autobiographical account ‘Conundrum’, that no-one in the history of humankind has actually change sex. Robert Winston has pointed out (and been excoriated by some for doing so) that every cell in our bodies is marked XX or XY, and there is no way of changing that. Those encouraging vulnerable teenagers to think that ‘transitioning’ is the way to solve all their typical teenage angsts need to remember these things and think again about the advice they are giving.
Or simply sterilisation.
There are plenty of young people posting on YouTube who claim these treatments were a lifeline. Watching a few would help all of us gain a more nuanced and balanced understanding.
‘Young people’ – in a few years many of these will be asking why no adults stepped in to prevent their brain-sickly imaginings. It’s normal for children to have bizarre ideas about themselves, but adults should be protecting children from self-harm, not condoning it. Years from now we’ll be reading accounts by trans people who deeply regret the consequences of stunting their growth and sexuality.
Agreed – but we don’t have to wait till years from now, there are plenty of accounts out there already from detransitioners, and they make for heartbreaking reading. Wrecked young bodies with no sexual function and all kinds of other physical issues such osteoporosis and premature menopause.
“..young people posting on YouTube”. There’s your problem right away. A lifeline to what? Body mutilation, permanent sexual non-function, reproductive sterilisation & a physical state forever at odds with their biological & chromosomal reality.
It is grotesque to suggest that impressionable & suggestible adolescents are in any emotional or intellectual position to make decisions with such serious & longterm consequences.
I’m sure if we investigated these videos we’d find most children have mental health issues which are the presenting problem – depression, anxiety, autism – not the resultant thoughts/behaviours – cutting, anorexia, bulimia and now transgender. It reminds me of the series Botched. Every episode has someone coming in to get cosmetic “correction” where they want bigger implants, lips, butt, etc. Each time the doctors refuse because of medical (and psychological) reasons, pointing out the dangers of more surgeries/treatments. The “patients” ignore reality (skin so stretched its translucent, lips so big their face is distorted, dubious chemicals injected into their body), and say they are happy with their appearance – while seeking to increase the already bloated body part. They are deluded, and so ignore the advice and vow to find another doctor to “help” them. Perhaps “altering” their body is a quick fix, alleviating (temporarily) the pain they feel.
One of the key ways to interact with poeple with mental health issues has always been to challenge them with the truth, not affirm the fantasy.
No. It is generally seen as unhelpful to DIRECTLY challenge a delusional belief, because the patient pushes back against it in a way that reinforces the belief in the patients mind. To affirm and go along with a delusional belief is known to be harmful and is seen as unethical (in every case except gender dysphoria). So what we are left with is either essentially ignoring the belief and working around it, saying “I’m not here to talk to you about that, how are you sleeping? lets do some gardening,” (the usual tack taken with people with chronic schizophrenia, the “case management” approach) or to explore the meaning that the belief has for the persons life and how it serves and doesn’t serve them (the therapy approach, used more for people functioning in the borderline range, trauma, eating disorders etc). The case management/ignoring approach aims to not make it worse, and the therapy/exploration approach hopes to soften the belief over time (which may or may not happen).
Anyway, some of the stories presented seem to point towards dysphoria as social contagion – both for the kids and the institutions – but unfortunately it is not mentioned explicitly here.
Not explicitly, but it’s implied by the references to internet usage by the victims. No-one wants to point the finger at the internet and its pernicious influence, as it would raise all sorts of questions about access limitations for minors etc.. Difficult territory.
Go read PITT or Abigail Shrier on substack. She’s written a book about it, and PITT is a series of stories about the nightmare of transitioning teens.
So much easier to trans kids than treat their actual problems. And then if the worst happens, well, trans kids are known for suicidal ideation and having “unsupportive” parents wouldn’t help! Dreadful.
Mess up the body, rather than connect with the mind. So much easier to chop bits off and add bits on isn’t it? Engage with these minds and maybe you’d understand these people as individuals but that requires the courage of involvement as per somebody like RD Laing, psychiatrist extraordinaire or others of that ilk.
‘Gender’ dysphoria will not exist if ‘gender’ stereotypes do not exist. Stop telling boys and girls that they are ‘supposed’ to dress in a certain way, or play with certain toys, and the conflict between their physical body and their personality will no longer exist. It doesn’t matter whether Constance was ‘feminine’ or not; if her body is female, she is a girl and can be nothing else but a woman. She can, however, be a totally ‘unfeminine’ woman who has relationships with other women if that is what she prefers. She will still be female.
Autistic children do not pick up social cues about how they are ‘supposed’ to behave. They are honest and authentic. In teenage years, if they are in an environment where eccentricity and individuality is not valued, they become distressed and probably bullied by conforming teenagers. The way to deal with this is not to ‘help’ them conform, but to encourage them to value their individuality and treat conformity with the contempt it deserves.
America, probably because of its obsession with religion, has always been a much more conformist society than Britain. Despite laws against male homosexuality, particularly in the 1950s, we have always valued flamboyant, arty, homosexual men and high achieving, eccentric, lesbian women. It is sad that, instead of continuing to do so, we have adopted the American culture of conformity but the religion, rather than various oppressive, non-conformist Christian cults, has become ‘gender’ ideology itself. It needs to be stamped out, with no concessions, and we need to return to our British tolerance of people who don’t fit norms.
True. The problem is not to be found in bodies but minds and personally I am getting sick of the American infantile invasion of the UK (Simple Simon says… and everyone dances to this stupid tune). Why didn’t we stay in the European Union, with other adult nations, instead of opting for Plan B and a second childhood of irresponsiblity?).
I also suspect that much of the ‘gender’ conformity now expected of children has been driven by American culture and companies such as Disney. If little girls are told that they are supposed to be princesses in pink, they will pressurise their parents to buy plastic Disney rubbish and princess dresses. When children played outside wearing their older siblings cast offs there was none of that nonsense.
The first thing that I noticed about this trans phenomenon was that it affirmed all the gender stereotypes that were being questioned and abandoned. Another regressive step for the “progressives”.
I think it’s worse then just gender stereotypes causing the problem, though that is part of it (and contagion obviously). I think that the patriarchy has a lot to do with the distress at the heart of a lot of young girls gender/body dysphoria. A lot of this is a response, socially conditioned, to the letcherous/desiring male gaze that fixes upon girls at puberty. If you are autistic, or immature ie just not ready for it, have been sexually abused, or come from a family where the men behave like pigs, then this can feel overwhelming and impossible to cope with. It’s patriarchy and misogyny that allows and subjects girls to this situation, that priorities male desire over their needs and wellbeing.
Also, thanks to misogyny and patriarchy growing up to be a woman sucks and is genuinely second rate. You realize as a girl that you are going to grow up to be seen and treated as second rate. Your going to be paid less. Your going to be expected to do a whole lot of unpaid, unvalued “woman’s work” both in your work place, in your flat, in your marriage, when your socializing, for the rest of your life and if you don’t you’ll be judged and criticized. Your brothers get out of all of that. There is a heavy cost to growing up to be a woman in the patriarchy; it’s no wonder a lot of young girls aren’t thrilled about it.
That’s not the patriarchy. That’s huge numbers boys who have never been taught how to behave and a culture where advertisers sell products using sex. And instantly accessible pornography, from which young people gain a totally unrealistic and commodified view of sex. And the extraordinary dissonance between dramatised lives on the screen and real actual lives.
A proper patriarchy would contain noble, decent grown ups who set an example; there would be a cultural expectation that children should treat others and themselves with respect.
Instead we have grown men behaving like immature, spoilt children.
And unsurprisingly, utterly confused children, some of whom try to rationalise the malign dissonance in which they live by concluding that they are confused because they happen to have been parachuted into a body of the wrong sex.
The trans epidemic isn’t a disease: it’s a symptom of a deeper disease. That disease is 2 generations of Western adults using 50 years of peace and prosperity as an excuse to behave like Peter Pan.
So called ‘gender stereotypes’ are founded — as all stereotypes are founded — on real, commonly experienced human behaviors & preferences. That is not to say that ALL men or ALL women will ALWAYS do or say XYZ…rather it is to recognize that, in general, most individuals in a category will probably possess / display those commonly shared attributes for that category..
Men tend this direction….women tend that direction….with significant and regular overlap in many common qualities. The fact that men tend to be more assertive/aggressive does not mean that women are not assertive or aggressive…nor does it mean ALL men are. But yes, on average, in general, a population of men will display those qualities significantly more often…or more freely…or more significantly than women.
The truth is…Men & women are different. Our different anatomies, biologies, neurologies, biochemical soups, and genetics combined will tend to create differences in attitudes, aptitudes, and behaviors.
Children grow-up in households in which they most typically see a Father and Mother who behave differently, dress differently, speak differently, and like different things. Boys tend to imitate fathers and girls tend to imitate mothers. Again, this is normal, and well within the fat bell-curve of human history and behavior.
Autism does not make one more ‘authentic’…but it does tend to disallow the development of normal socialization/interaction capabilities. Conversely, as we develop those capabilities (by watching and learning from parents, family, and friends in a variety of evolving social situations) we do not become less ‘authentic’ (whatever that means). We simply become more adept at social interaction….which is a good thing.
As for what is and is not ‘conformity’ vs. ‘maturity’ vs. ‘expediency’ vs. ‘effectiveness’ vs. ‘silliness’ vs. ‘freedom’ vs. ‘eccentricity’ vs. whatever…how little those stereotypical categories actually matter. As adults we are perfectly free to do what we wanna, wanna do and go where we wanna, wanna go….and swimming with or against the current (recognizing that the current changes regularly) is entirely our business, and ours alone.
That this affliction is increasingly found among adolescent girls is historically unsurprising. Our past has seen many social manias among youngish women, of which the witch crazes and “possessed” French nuns were only two; the “recovered memories” craze of the 1980s and anorexia are more recent ones, although some “saints” of the distant past starved themselves to death as well. What is most disturbing about all this is the eagerness of the psycho-profession — which includes psychologists, psychiatrists and ‘therapists’ of various stripes — to make a living off this garbage — for which, hopefully soon, they will be presented with bills for having inflicted irremediable damages.
As a man, I cannot be ‘gender affirmed’ as a woman. To indicate, in any way at all, that I am a woman is to lie. I am not a woman; I can never be a woman. So-called ‘transition’ from male to female is not possible.
Affirmation Therapy, used to validate an understanding which is unreal, is wrong. The validation of something which does not and cannot exist is fundamentally cruel & deceptive. Affirmation leads those suffering from this gender-confusion to believe that it can be resolved if the whole world plays-pretend to ‘affirm’ what is impossible.
If I think myself the King of Siam (my preferred pronoun is ‘your Majesty’) and insist that everyone bow or curtsy when entering my presence….to affirm my delusional understanding is to build an equally unreal expectation that the world itself is now obligated to indulge my royal fantasy. It’s not.
If we begin with that fundamental truth — that people cannot change from male to female or female to male — then the door to ‘gender affirmation’ therapy is nailed shut. If I then show-up at the hospital, desperately confused about my royal lineage…if Harry walks in desperately thinking he might be a Hillary…the doctor (who takes his Hippocratic Oath seriously) will work first and foremost to disabuse us of that delusional thinking.
Conversely, if the hospital ignores reality and adopts, instead, the insane perspective that whatever an individual ‘feels’ to be true is indeed true, then the fool of a physician who treats us will always, mistakenly & tragically, be working to affirm what cannot, in the real world, exist.
Think you’re a zebra….you’re a zebra…and here’s your stall, your hay, and a whole team of zebra specialists to help you with the transition.
That so many of the Medical Profession have come to believe in this Unreality is both pathetic and frightening.
Gave a thunbs up to this excellent comment. But want to ask B Davis how it’s firm realism anchored in an objective truth external to the self squares with his earlier comment to Caroline Watson. I also gave that one a thumbs up. However, with distance, feel that the culture that obcesses with affirmation (and not only on issues of gender identity) may be rooted in the kind of self absorbed
libertarian/narcissistic impulse that ends the comment to Miss Watson.
Not ‘so many’. Actually very few. Most doctors I know will admit (if gently challenged out of earshot of others) that the world has gone mad; and that wearing a wig doesn’t magically change every Y chromosome in your body into an X; and 2 blobs of silicone and some artistic FGM doesn’t make half your X chromosomes turn Y.
But a lot of timid people fear for their jobs if they don’t follow the orthodoxy. And there is a genuine and completely laudable desire to be kind. The transgender lobby have succeeded in persuading people that ‘kindness’ means ‘pretending something terrible is OK’: a seismic victory for Trans, who are anything but kind themselves.
I’m 58. If I get sacked as an NHS consultant for refusing to endorse this group hysteria, it’s a price worth paying. Ideally of course after 5 or 6 years being suspended on full pay during investigations…
Perhaps I’d be a little more expedient if I were 25 with a mortgage and a young family.
“ they affirm everyone so they don’t get sued” – a throwaway line, but possibly the key to what’s going on.
Yes. The irony being that in years to come, sued to high heaven is exactly what these people are going to get. Apparently one of the main reasons GIDS at Tavistock is closing is not just the Cass Report, it’s because they have hundreds of lawsuits coming their way.
Could it simply be that depression is about loss of identity? It is definitely lack of interest in the outside world and that includes looking after your own welfare. Dysphoria seems to be another fashion label to hang things on and to follow avidly, even into self destruction (if I am not my body, who am I? Do I really exist? Should I continue to exist? Will this get me attention and is it the kind of attention I need as opposed to want?).
I warmly recommend: Heather Brunskell-Evans, Transgender. Body Politics (2020), the best book on this socio-medical disaster.
I’ll check it out. “Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality” by Helen Joyce is a very good read also.
For some light relief ‘What is a woman’, Matt Walsh’s documentary: in equal parts hilarious and shocking.
The knee-jerk prevalance of gender dysphoria diagnoses among mental health clinicians reminds me a bit of GP’s proscribing anti-depressants to anyone coming in feeling a bit mopey – give them the most extreme and lazy solution we have and let them sort out the rest. What a brilliant system.
It’s funny how everything these days gets compared to the Nazis. Questioning the trans movement is one such thing, but any point of view that contradicts contemporary opinion is prone to the accusation. Certainly, a right-wing stance may fit the comparison, but what we fail to understand is that the study of history is to inform ourselves on human nature rather than human dogma.
The main feature of the Nazis (and many other, less-glamorous, movements) was that normal, respectable, even highly-educated, people acquiesced to increasingly dubious social norms. They did so, not because they came from an unusually violent society, but simply because they experienced the familiar social pressures we all experience in everyday life. After all, in the early to mid thirties, the Nazis offered much potential and even gained prominent foreign admirers.
Today’s parallels, therefore, come not from the precise mapping of political viewpoints, but from observing those groups and individuals who jump easily onto fashionable bandwagons, and are intolerant of anyone questioning their viewpoint.
Excellent article. I may just add, the treatment of anorexia has its own dark history, though not at same level of barbarism as “gender affirming care.” Children and adolescents with anorexia were often drugged with powerful psychiatric medications, despite objections from parents, and keep in psychiatric wards for months on end. Desperate parents turned to unqualified quacks, who were sometimes celebrated by the mainstream press. The Montreux clinic is a notorious example – celebrated by Oprah, 20/20 and Princess Diana – finally shut down in the early 2000s for unethical and negligent care.
The future is going to be astonished at the lethal metastatic toxicity we’ve allowed into our culture by letting the Left weaponize every form of non-conformity, pathology, dysphoria, anomie, ordinary teen angst, and simple selfishness into their battle to drag down society and rebuild it to their specifications – which of course start with them being in charge. Will this naked assault on vulnerable children finally be what convinces us to put these people behind us?
I suspect that this is one subject where if you are not personally affected it’s impossible to fully understand the topic.
Yes & No.
Certainly to FULLY understand anything, one must be fully immersed in that thing….be it gender dysphoria….acne….Formula 1 racing….linear algebra….tomato gardening….or heart surgery.
But equally we can say that understanding at some reasonable level (far less than full immersion) is what all of us do with most of the things which fill our lives. That kind of ‘limited’ understanding is, indeed, what makes the world go round.
I don’t need to understand physics, fluid dynamics, or the design & function of an internal combustion engine in order to drive a car….to go to the store to buy tomatoes (nor do I need to know the biology of tomatoes).
So yes, to FULLY understand gender dysphoria, one must probably suffer from same. But suffering drives bias and discourages, in general, any kind of fully objective analysis….so even then, immersed in dysphoria, we might doubt the real depth or quality of our understanding.
We must also say, that we don’t need to fully understand mental illness to recognize the difference between what is and is not real. We don’t need to truly feel the ‘sense’ that one is mis-gendered to recognize that transitioning to that other gender…to become the opposite sex is impossible. And knowing it’s impossible we can — even from the outside — say: the gender dysphoric individual is disconnected from reality. In such a case, affirming what is not and cannot be true is not good medicine.
The difference in this case is that people are seeking to interfere in the lives of others and restrict their freedom of choice.
To follow your analogy, it’s not your car or tomatoes that are being discussed here it’s people’s lives.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but how do you justify forcing it upon someone else without fully understanding how it affects them?
You’re so confident that you are in the right that you have no problem taking away their right is self determination.
If there is any doubt whatsoever about what is the correct course of action perhaps it would be advisable to defer judgement.
Many adults can transition. That’s up to them, but surely you agree that sex-reassignment surgery shouldn’t be performed on children who have no real of concept sex and sexuality? I think that that is the general issue here.
Whilst I agree with your comment I feel I must comment that Most adults are someone’s child, Julian.
It is no less painful for a parent to see their 18year old go through this as to see their 16 year old go through it.
The fact that “it’s up to them” makes the parents even more powerless.. and heartbroken
Totally agree. I have a family member who is trans. The pain and devastation this has left on our entire family has been felt across three generations.
But William, some of us would argue that the trans ideologues are already doing just that – forcing their opinions on society and telling us how to behave and talk, like the whole pronouns issue, getting people (mainly women) banned from social media, threatened, harassed, losing their jobs (like Kathleen Stock) etc simply for stating biological facts… I have no children of my own, but three of best friends have ‘trans’ kids, I have a nephew who’s now my niece and a niece who’s now non-binary. It is becoming increasingly difficult NOT to be personally involved
Maybe. But if one’s personally affected it’s hard to retain the objectivity that this issue needs.
The onlooker often sees more of the game.