During a conversation the other evening with a close friend, who knows about my life choice here in France, she asked a question. I felt I should try to explain. It relates to something that has surfaced over the past five years and causes concern. I wish to share my observations and beliefs about what is happening in the world of gender.
She hesitated a few times, concerned that she may have upset me by asking sensitive or probing questions. I reassured them that when showing my trust by sharing the details of my personal life with another, as with her, there were no boundaries in the discussion. I am happy to talk about any aspect of my life and to convey information with honesty and truth to the best of my ability. It is important for me to speak the truth, as I know it can help others understand what it is to be transgender and what it is really about. Not some hyped version as portrayed in the media. Anything that I can do to break down the false perceptions and beliefs created in our world, I will gladly do.
She described a topic that had caused her some confusion based on what she had seen with increasing frequency in her daily life, business, and on external media. She referenced an article in the Daily Mail newspaper about the UK National Health Service and the removal of the word “Woman” on pages about ovarian cancer on their website. Basically, dehumanising women. This is an example of how they have changed the text: it was previously read as “Ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women” to “Anyone with ovaries can get cancer.” Is this the tip of the iceberg? I feel as if this may be linked to the idea that men can have babies now, no doubt a result of today’s modern science! Midwives are also being taught how to talk about birthing to men; I assume in preparation to allow for those genetically modified or implanted with a womb in the not-so-distant future.
My friend and I had previously talked about the feminisation of men, and trans men participating in women’s sporting events, with the expectation of being treated exactly the same as a natural born woman. I refuse to use the word that appeared in 1994 that links the Latin word Cis with sexual or gender. The word Cis means ‘on the side of. For some reason, this newly formed word is preferred over Natural born woman or man. Using Natural should offend no one in its use or application, as we are all Natural. While applying a word that isn’t really required opens the potential to divide people and to create factions that may be victimized, monetized, and much more within our world.
I understand most may not agree with me, but we should bring it out into the open. While I live and represent myself to the world as a woman, I understand I will never be a Natural woman. I will always be the father of my children. No surgery or medical procedure can alter that – Fact! In my understanding of life in general, I cannot fathom how someone who has transitioned sincerely expects to be considered, and treated, 100% as a gender they identify as. Even after hormone treatment and/ or surgery, it does not change the basic biology of that person.
Of course, medication can create chemical changes in the body that affect the brain and physical body, but we have the same DNA and blueprint of life with which we were born. I don’t see how that can be challenged reasonably. How we present ourselves in the world is a choice we all have, and many do this in ways that are not about gender and unchallenged by an internal battle of gender identity. However, when we choose to identify in a gender-orientated way, we are challenging social tolerance and acceptance, governmental structures, and order. In our recent history, that was enough to be imprisoned, victimized, or even murdered. Moving outside of a defined mindset in society is often suppressed and dogmatised, to a point where people have lost their careers and lives because of it.
This is not my main point here, but it is an integral part that shows some of what has been going on within this particular and vulnerable section of humanity.
This is about how society is influencing and affecting the perception, beliefs, and understanding of the gender-confused community, and how it is thereby perceived by the rest of the population. I am trying hard to use terms that are inclusive. Where is this gender-confused world going and what is the limit of sensibility, if there is one? Should I be able to identify as another race or colour, or an animal? Yes, I know that sounds absurd, but where will it stop? Further division doesn’t serve the people who are isolated by words of segregation and separation. Those people simply become a target for marketing, or singled out for any chosen purpose, including attacked!
Getting back to my main point. Referring to an interview that brought some worry information to light, relating to young women in particular, who are being influenced and encouraged to transition, especially in America. The interview centered on a book titled Irreversible Damage by Abigal Shrier.* If I have understood correctly, a change to the laws in the US allows underage females to request medication and surgical processes to change gender without parental consent. A law that rules a psychotherapist or doctor isn’t allowed to refuse any such treatment if requested, facing the loss of their license to practice should they do so. As a result, many young women have fallen victim to the malpractice, leading them to transition, only to regret the decision after surgery and later in life.
Social and peer influence has created a rapid increase in the number of teenage girls identifying as transgender, involving irreversible surgical interventions that can have a huge potential psychological impact besides the physical aspects.
There are numerous interviews, on various platforms, with young women who have suffered this malpractice, who discuss how life-changing procedures were approved at an age when they had not fully developed into their birth gender, or with a full understanding of themselves. Resulting in heartbreaking accounts of troubled awareness at realising what they had done to themselves and thus being remorseful in hindsight.
When bringing to focus on what is happening within the gender questioning community, we must look at both natural genders. How men and women are being affected through the media and how the narrative of today is to change the view of themselves in a way that feels somewhat like a fashion, trend, or fad. It is laced with dire consequences for individuals and society. Almost as if it is being driven by a kind of social agenda that is not yet clear.
There are already too many acronyms or names for groups of people in the world, we do not need more. What began as Gay transmuted to LBGT and has now become an ever-growing acronym for those who need to identify in ways that differ from the majority. Ultimately, we are all either male or female. Any variation of gender identity is fine and is completely a personal aspect of the self. We do not need an acronym that uses the whole alphabet to be fully inclusive and doesn’t offend anyone. Being a human being should be inclusive enough for everyone.
Looking at the feminisation of men in the world. There is an increased use of beauty products and manicures, images in magazines, and the media. Add in the male issue of erectile problems for those under 30, masculinity is being challenged, made fun of, and mocked. This is apparent in advertising, which has been a powerful tool in changing people’s perceptions and awareness for decades. These things silently filter into society and into the minds of men, women, and children, altering perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs about themselves and others.
Anything that destabilizes a person can lead them to seek different ways of identifying and wanting to remain part of ‘the crowd’ and to be socially acceptable. Being considered as an outsider or odd can damage one in this materialistic world. Where celebrities and pop stars are portrayed as icons to be followed and copied. A way where trends are created and instigated, often with an agenda of garnering influence, money, or manipulation.
Overall, I feel that this appears as an attempt to damage the self-identity of both men and women. Creating confusion and division, in contrast to the belief that we are the only ones who can determine our identity.
I sincerely hope to have provided a view of what is being introduced into our reality across the world, into the already confused and vulnerable world of gender. There are many other areas of society that are being affected in similar ways, which includes the education of children.
Below is a reference to the tagged interview mentioned above.
* An interview by Jordan Peterson with Abigal Shrier – https://youtu.be/fSKQfATa-1I
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Thank you for this article. I completely understand what you were trying to explain. I do feel that the younger generation seems to be more confused or influenced and encouraged to do so by outside social sources. I understand individuality and being yourself, but it just seems some are influenced by others or manipulated and not by how they truly are. I had the feelings since I was young, but did not even start the transition until I was 51 years old. Most of the younger generation don’t seem to want to wait it out, or feel impatient about transitioning.… Read more »
Thank you for leaving such a positive message here. I am very grateful that you read my text and were moved enough to write your supportive comment. It means a great deal to learn that my ideas, views and beliefs have a greater meaning. My principles are based on love, truth, sincerity and compassion. All of which are somewhat lacking in our world of today, and that drives me to share such a text here.
Love and hugs
Sophie, Thanks for your article and interesting perspective. It is definitely some quality food for thought. I am a staunch humanist and believe in an ideal of “one planet = one community,” but have to acknowledge that we as a society are far (any maybe recently getting further) from that ideal. Here are some thoughts that come in from reading your article and comments. I don’t feel humanism should be against labels that certain humans prefer to apply to themselves. I grew up in white rural California (it exists, we don’t all surf and start tech startups). My life since… Read more »
Hi Sierra, thanks for reading and leaving a comment here. I am open to all viewpoint and am not trying to force my view on anyone else. I put this out there this aspect of life and well being is being put under greater pressure as are so many other areas of humanity. Your reply enters into so many other aspects impossible to discuss here. I knew from the moment I wrote this article that it would be contentious with many. I believe there are many forces at play in this world that are not beneficial or truly supportive of… Read more »
Sophie, You are so true… I did take this to a place very difficult to discuss. Thanks for your reply and thanks for starting this discussion. It means a lot to see all examples of bravery in this community, and sharing your feelings in the original piece is another great example of bravery. There will be those of us less receptive to it, and I greatly respect you for that. 4 decades of being told what a man is and 2 decades of building a scientific / engineering analytical knife has made my tone a lot more direct and masculine… Read more »
The fact that we are discussing this warms my heart!
I look at all the evolving and growing gender-identity terms as growing pains. This is a good thing! Sure, some are silly, as you pointed out, but many aren’t.
The real threat to some is when we start to accept them. That just overthrows their “traditional values”. But after much harm, debate and reflection, acceptable terms become a part of our new lives and that to me equals growth and equality!
Nice article, Sophie!
Thank you for reading and commenting on my article, I am grateful of you time and interest. Discussion in productive ways, by raising questions is how things develop and hopefully get improved as a result. I like to think that by writing in the style I do, I may at least provoke new thinking and help in general terms. I don’t profess to know the answers to anything, and base my articles on my life lessons and experiences.
Love and hugs
Well put. There needs to be a distinction between trans people and people coerced into getting surgery and hormones.
Dear Keith91, Thank you for reading and leaving a comment about my article. I am encouraged by it, and as a result of reading your profile to understand a little about you and why you are here. In particular, that you have understood my point in writing the article and being who you truly are now in your own life. As always I share my experience of this ever changing world, being a ‘trans’ woman (a term I use only when needed), with almost 70 years of life learning. I write with a degree of knowing, living and breathing this… Read more »
I was deeply disappointed and troubled to see this self-hating, misinformed article on a site which should be supporting transgender people in a world that offers us precious little. Gender-critical feminists, sometimes called TERFs, are allying with religious conservatives and the far right in many countries, especially here in the UK, to roll back the few rights we have gained, in a campaign which is deeply connected to that which has ended the right to abortion in the USA. If we accede to their demands, we will be the losers for the rest of our lives. The referenced book by… Read more »
Hi Brie, thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment, it means a lot to know my words and thoughts touched you enough to provoke action by you. I feel than you are not a part of the teenage sector of society that I refer to, and like myself, that part of life was quite some time ago. My view here is one that has formed by the things I came across that have been put out into the world from many source points across the world. I know not to fully accept everything we see or read,… Read more »
Hi Sophie, I hapen to agree with the article’s new wording. Transmen may still have ovaries and would remain at risk of ovarian cancer. One shouldn’t refer to transmen as women in this case. Same for transwomen who still have testicles. One shouldn’t refer to them as men who remain at risk of testicular cancer either. How exactly would this be dehumanizing to anyone, as opposed to ignoring and thereby dehumanizing trans people? As for regrets, the latest reliable figure I heard is less than 2% of trans people ever regret any gender-altering procedure. Now even one is a tragedy,… Read more »
Dear Brie, What a great reply! I love that you keep an open mind and question what is presented, and offering your own thoughts on the matter. If only more people in the world could be as objective without being accusing, this would be a much nicer world to live in. Especially with the state of affairs everywhere. So much today feels like a created distraction to keep our eyes and minds from what is really going on under our noses.
Love and hugs
Aww, thanks Sophie. I just wrote what I feel. You are right – people need to be open to consider both sides of an issue instead of latching onto a dogma and defending it even when proved to be wrong. Sadly, most people don’t want to admit they are wrong because they risk all their preconceived ideas and beliefs. But it doesn’t mean they were totally wrong – just off track a little.
Well said Brie !!