Thousands of Canadians protested against trans ideology this week
Yesterday, Canadians turned out by the thousands in cities and towns across the country for the 1 Million March 4 Children — the most visible pushback to date against what many Canadians see as indoctrination into a radical set of new beliefs about sex and gender being pushed on their children in schools and healthcare settings.
Now, it seems as though Canada’s long and uncomfortable silence on gender is breaking down quickly.
Just a few days ago, the National Post put Canada’s long-simmering gender wars on the front cover. As far as awareness-raising goes, the Post’s contribution is riddled with gender-friendly (read: misleading) jargon like “trans teens” and “assigned female at birth” that prejudge open questions and obscure the stakes, with the paper offering numerous undue concessions. The front page story about mastectomies was accompanied by an anxious editorial providing the “National Post View”:
Still, the National Post’s reporting on the surge of teenage girls seeking mastectomies is a meaningful contribution to a long overdue public dialogue. When it comes to gender, Canada is special — which is to say, the country’s situation is particularly sticky. For one thing, media capture in Canada is almost total, with government-subsidised outlets pumping out “gender propaganda”. And — much like its neighbour to the south — Canadian politics is increasingly polarised on the trans issue, with criticism largely owned by the Right-leaning Conservative Party.
Just last week, at the Conservative Party’s policy convention, delegates voted in favour of placing age restrictions on transition — a move sure to stoke tensions. In such a divisive political climate, there’s little space for dissent in progressive circles, with the result that partisans tend to double down when they really ought to back away from poorly thought-out positions like violent males in women’s prisons and triple-Z prosthetic breasts in high-school shop classes.
Then there’s the healthcare side. Even as other countries in which the government foots the bill for healthcare services reevaluate the safety and effectiveness of “gender-affirming” interventions, Canadian health authorities have yet to reckon with the burden that publicly-funded gender self-actualisation places on already strained healthcare resources.
Canadians in provinces like Quebec wait years to be assigned a family doctor. In the province of Ontario, over 200,000 people are on the waiting list for surgeries — and that includes patients waiting on life-saving procedures. The last few years have also heralded the dystopian rise of Maid, Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying programme, which has seen a surge of applications from patients with unmet needs for healthcare and social services.
But even as basic needs go unmet, provincial healthcare systems have expanded access to bespoke cosmetic interventions for those seeking to transition. All provinces and territories now cover mastectomies and genital surgeries. Provinces and territories that cover genital surgery but lack clinics to perform these surgeries may cover travel expenses for patients who wish to seek care elsewhere. The Yukon covers the widest range of “gender-affirming” interventions, including laser-hair removal, facial-feminisation surgery, vocal surgery, and chest contouring.
“If gender identity is fluid, what are the risks of minors rushing into irreversible surgery before their gender identity is more firmly established?” the National Post asks. “Do gender-dysphoric teens have the emotional and cognitive maturity to think through the implications of what might happen if their feelings around gender change?”
This isn’t just a problem facing patients and their parents. Thinking through the implications of any of the issues tangled up with gender has been almost impossible. The Post interviewed Gordon Guyatt, an expert in evidence-based medicine, who spoke of the need to clarify values and preferences when the evidence is uncertain: “ideally, the adolescent and parent would say, ‘We understand what you told us, we understand the evidence, we are confident that this is the right thing.’”
The public needs the same opportunity to weigh the evidence for and against these extraordinary medical, social, and legal interventions in Canadian society. Then, they can decide where they stand.