Good riddance to the Tavistock Clinic
The gender identity service failed hundreds of vulnerable children
The announcement that the gender identity service at Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust (GIDS) has been ordered to close by next spring is a massive relief. Following a review that found that it failed vulnerable under-18s (as evidenced in the Cass Report, an update to which was published today), its imminent closure is yet another example of how children have been sacrificed at the altar of transgender ideology.
Growing up in the 1970s on a council estate, I, like most females, struggled with my feelings about girlhood. Conformity was everything, and I hated dresses, tights and wearing my unruly hair in bunches. On occasion I would lock myself in the bathroom and try my brother’s Brutus Jeans and t-shirt on, imagining what it would be like to be able to dress as I wanted. I had no interest in boys and a crush on my best friend. Had I been born 40 years later with liberal, middle-class parents, I would have been offered a trip to the gender clinic and I would have run all the way there. I was desperate to be a boy — not because I was trapped in the wrong body, but because I was trapped in a patriarchal society that punishes girls for not adhering to sex stereotypes, otherwise known as “gender”.
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In recent years, more and more children have been directed towards a life of potentially harmful medical intervention as an answer to feelings of unhappiness and distress. Last year, more than 5,000 under-18s were referred to the Portman, compared to 250 a decade earlier. Whereas it used to be far more common for males to present as gender dysphoric, in recent years the number of girls and young women have skyrocketed. What is it, I wonder, about being female in a world full of misogyny, violent pornography, and sexual assault have to do with wishing to opt out of girlhood?
GIDS will be replaced by regional centres at existing children’s hospitals offering with strong links to mental health services. That makes sense, because, spin it as you will, feeling so distressed by your own body that you feel driven to live as the opposite sex is not a sign of sanity.
A recent poll highlighted widespread public scepticism about prescribing puberty blockers for children, which is absolutely right and proper. And yet is was framed as an “erosion in support for trans rights” rather than a correct scientific response. Charities that purport to represent the interests of gender dysphoric children, such as Stonewall and Mermaids, put their energy into framing talking therapies and support for kids to live happily in their own bodies as “conversion therapy”.
When I first wrote about the issue of transsexuality, published in 2003, I contacted GIDS and spoke to one of its senior clinicians. I asked whether children presenting as “gender dysphoric” might be victims of homophobic bullying, or child sexual abuse? It seemed to me that feeling alienated from a body that had been sexually violated was a common response to trauma. I was told “No”, and that some young people are transgender, and no amount of therapy to get them to accept their bodies will be effective.
GIDS has failed our most vulnerable children, and I, along with many, will be glad to see it go.
Wonderful news from a terrific writer.. the tide is turning.
And if you do want to make a difference, after the recent FOI victory on organisations sharing their comms about Stonewall, ‘Sex Matters’ has FOI templates that you can send to various organisations that are members of the Stonewall diversity champions project. I’ve done 5 tonight.
By the way, check out this little bit of police oppression censoring free speech:
“Fair Cop founder Harry Miller and a fellow free-speech campaigner have reportedly been arrested and taken to Basingstoke police station for questioning. A video was shared by actor and political activist Laurence Foxwhich appeared to show Miller being confronted by five officers. Reports suggest that Miller, a former police officer, had posted on social media to defend the use of an image of “Progress Pride” flags arranged to form a swastika, and said that this was intended as a comment about the authoritarian tendencies of transactivists. He was questioned about his actions on Sunday before officers returned to his house on Thursday.”
Is it living in a patriarchal society that is driving young girls to want to be boys? Or is it reading fear mongering misandrist rubbish that is causing this? There is less patriarchy today than back in our day but more women are fearful of men than ever. Feminist ranting on social media on issues such as “rape culture on campus” and fear of being sexualised, is driving this not men.
Yes, things were certainly more “patriarchal” in former times without driving women to wish to be men.
The misandrist fear mongering may have some effect, but why would any girl want to join a group that is enthusiastically discriminated against by many institutions now. Surely it would have made more sense to become a man when being a man did carry positive associations rather than a stigma. I just don’t get it at all.
Because they believe the lie of ‘male privilege’?
They don’t want to ‘be men’. That isn’t possible. They just don’t want to be women. The ‘trans’ contagion for young women is about de-sexualisation, just as the anorexia contagion was in the 80s. Over-eating, covering themselves in tattoos and piercings and dyeing their hair blue is another method. They are opting out of the pressure to look like a Thunderbirds puppet and behave as if they were in a porn film.
It’s fashionable. Like anorexia used to be fashionable.
I note that the BBC is rewriting its main story on this to imply that the Tavistock was not dangerous and run by ideologues masquerading as medics, but simply too inconveniently located to be practicable for the many many kids that need to be reassigned. It is almost like it wasn’t a terrible place run by awful people,but too successful for its own good.
Yes. It will be terrifying if the fanatics are moved out of their bunker and spread throughout the NHS, inflicting harm on a much wider front, like typhoid. In a good world they’ld be so preoccupied with litigation they’ld have little time for child abuse. I suppose there’s little chance they will be sacked and prosecuted?
At least public opinion has clearly twigged that forcing cognisance of sex and gender on children is basically paedophilia.
Not so fast……
“In a statement, NHS England said it intended to build a “more resilient service” by expanding provision, and would establish two services led by specialist children’s hospitals in London and north-west England”….
I suspect you are right. It may be more about rearranging the tables to avoid the odium of past practices that will in fact continue elsewhere in slightly modified form.
No the box has been opened. They will have to conduct properly broad assessments before proceeding with any transition, and the puberty blockers are to be researched for their effects as a priority. Cass said these may even affect brain development.
Is it really gone, or is it going to come back in some other form, like in a bad Zombie movie?
I largely agree, but one word should have been omitted:
“I was trapped in a *patriarchal* society that punishes girls for not adhering to sex stereotypes, otherwise known as “gender”.”
Because as we all know in those days boys that were not adhering to sex stereotypes were being celebrated…
Yes, Julie Bindel always tends to look at things exclusively through a rather narrow and distorted lens. I am happy to celebrate the closing of the Tavistock Clinic, although I suspect it may be less of a breakthrough than it appears, but I certainly could not agree to Theresa Guirato’s comment above.
Thanks, Arkadian. I’m gay. I grew up in a world (during the 1950s) that insisted on (through outright intimidation directed at me by girls no less than by boys) my obedience to masculine stereotypes. I found the latter not only inexplicable and alienating but also threatening (especially during the Vietnam War). It never occurred to me that I was a girl, but it did occur to me that being a boy conferred no advantage that I considered worth “celebrating” (which isn’t to say, at least in hindsight, that being a girl would have been). Even in those days, “patriarchy” was rapidly becoming not a memory but an illusion. Now, though, it’s an outright lie that many feminists reinforce for political purposes.
Poor Julie, haven’t you twigged yet? The only reason you’re living in a world full of misogyny is because you move in entirely left-wing circles.
“The gender identity service failed hundreds of vulnerable children”
It didn’t just fail them. It handed them over to sadistic paedophiles.
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