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To wonder where intersex people fit in the transgender argument?

(34 Posts)
RestlessTraveller Sun 23-Apr-17 09:36:08

I've just read an article about model Hanne Gary Odiele who is intersex. She has XY chromosomes in keeping with men and internal testes that produce testosterone that her body then converts to oestrogen. There are numerous forms of intersex which can lead to all sorts of confusion when assigning gender to a baby.

If anyone wants to read it the article is here

I've seen many an argument on here about not being able to change sex, and "if you have a penis then you should be using men's toilets/changing rooms" and just wonder where somebody like Hanne would fit?

reallyanotherone Sun 23-Apr-17 09:55:56

In typical journalist style hanne's condition is described in a very confusing way, which i never think helps.

Everybody, male or female, converts testosterone into oestrogen via an enzyme. So misleadingly the article seems to think this is why Hanne is intersex- she is male, but her body converts the testosterone to oestrogen.

It is more likely she has AIS, where the body cannot recognise testosterone. So it is unlikely she has or had a penis, she will be externally female, although lacking a uterus and ovaries, and only having a rudimentary vagina.

If we didn't have modern dna testing we wouldn't know Hanne is XY.

If this is the case (obviously speculating a bit due to the confusing medical info in the article) Hanne is entitled to use female spaces.

So again, it comes down to the presence or absence of a penis.

InfinityPlusOne Sun 23-Apr-17 09:58:23

This has been covered extensively in the various debates on transgender issues. Intersex people are not transgender, it is a separate, biological condition. The vast vast majority of transgender people are not intersex and the co-opting of intersex conditions by transgender activists is not looked on kindly by many of those with intersex conditions.

TinfoilHattie Sun 23-Apr-17 10:07:09

They don't fit into the debate at all - intersex is incredibly rare and it's not the same thing at all. Intersex people are BOTH make and female biologically, they might have both a vagina and a set of internal testicles, for example. I don't think people who are intersex are happy in the main about being dragged into the debate by trasactivists.

Trifleorbust Sun 23-Apr-17 10:07:24

What do you mean, where does she 'fit'? Does she have to 'fit'?

RestlessTraveller Sun 23-Apr-17 10:09:19

I wasn't suggesting for a minute that intersex people were transgender, I also realise that Hanne never had a penis, but some intersex people do. I just think that this can show it's never a clear as penis=man.

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Sun 23-Apr-17 10:09:45

What Hattie said. Intersex people have been very clear on not wanting to get involved.

RestlessTraveller Sun 23-Apr-17 10:09:50

*as clear as.

RestlessTraveller Sun 23-Apr-17 10:12:02

No she doesn't have to fit anywhere. Of course she doesn't. Bad choice of words, clearly. hmm

BeyondUser24601 Sun 23-Apr-17 10:14:35

Why oh why can't I find that statement from the intersex soc...?!

I think really sums your question up in the first reply btw. And yabu to wangle a aibu question out of this just to post here grin

SuburbanRhonda Sun 23-Apr-17 10:16:56

So has this thread been started because you're genuinely concerned for intersex people, OP, or because you want to debunk penis = man?

RufusTheRenegadeReindeer Sun 23-Apr-17 10:19:58

I am going for the penis =man suburban

BeyondUser24601 Sun 23-Apr-17 10:21:46


"all sorts of confusion when assigning gender to noting the sex of a baby"
Fixed it for you smile

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Sun 23-Apr-17 10:26:52

Is this what you're looking for, Beyond?

RestlessTraveller Sun 23-Apr-17 10:27:41

Ok, do you know what? I woke up, I read an article and after reading a lot of trans stuff on here it made me question a few things and I posted on here to see what other people thought.

Clearly this makes me a goady fucker. Nice to see the usual MN spirit is alive and well.

FlyingElbows Sun 23-Apr-17 10:36:19

Yes rather than listening to what people are saying you should definitely have a flouncy strop, that'll really help.

This has been done to death. The simple fact is that intersex conditions and transgemderism are as relevant to each other as pig farming and interior design!

BeyondUser24601 Sun 23-Apr-17 10:36:23

Brilliant empress, thank you smile

CaoNiMartacus Sun 23-Apr-17 10:38:07

We don't necessarily think you're a goady fucker, Restless. It's just that this issue is such a bone of contention around these here parts (and rightly so - the TRA agenda is fucking frightening), so people are naturally a little wary of potential gfs.

But stick around! More debate and discussion is better than less, IMHO.

RufusTheRenegadeReindeer Sun 23-Apr-17 10:52:45

I agree with carol

restless nothing you have said has been goady, dont leave smile

What was the article you read

That would be helpful then people who are a lot more knowledgeable then me would be able to debate it

BahHumbygge Sun 23-Apr-17 10:58:44

Intersex is science/biology
Gender is sociology

Intersex is an empirically verifiable thing
Gender is a made up concept, but bolted onto an empirical phenomenon (biological sex) in order to subjugate and control members of the sex that are perceived to be inferior and merely vessels for the reproductive, sexual and caring labours for the male members of the species.

Questioning intersex is anti-science; but scepticism of gender, and the possibility that one may "trans" one's gender is essential in order to liberate women from an oppressive social structure that keeps them under male domination and hierarchy.

At a general level, transwomen can absolutely be valued friends, family members, employees, public servants etc. But they can never do the essential work pertaining to carrying and birthing the next generation of society... which are the crux issues in feminism... bodily autonomy, contraception, termination, breast feeding issues, maternity rights in employment - issues with an immutable materialist biological basis... not the fluffy sparkly stuff like shoes, make up, skirts etc - which are volitional cultural based choices.

toconclude Sun 23-Apr-17 11:03:39

Beyond, on the other hand, has been goady as all get out. Do you not care about trans people's humanity with all your snide "fixed that for you"s and smiley faces?

Apparently not because in your world they are not allowed to exist. And you seem very happy and indeed pretty smug about that.

Guess what? They do exist and I know some personally: they have enough sh*t to put up without on more ignorant and unnecessary comment.

Apply that to any other minority group and think about it. Wouldn't be tolerated.

BeyondUser24601 Sun 23-Apr-17 11:14:05

You sure extrapolated a lot from my two sentence post, toconclude!

NotCarylChurchill Sun 23-Apr-17 11:34:49

Please stop talking for intersex people in your attempt to push the anti-trans agenda, its offensive and rude.

I know a few intersex people through my own activism background and they are highly concerned by the rise of anti trans bigotry and the insistence of strict gendered norms.

Some intersex women do have a penis but it is generally very small and non functionining. Some intersex women don't find out they are intersex until puberty.

BahHumbygge Sun 23-Apr-17 11:43:31

NCC - it is the transgenderist lobby who are pushing strict gender norms on society... it is radical feminists who want to abolish the whole concept of gender, and let people choose their own presentation/hobbies/career/lifestyle with zero connection to what they have in their pants.

Feminists - oooh you like sparkly nail polish, well you could either be a man or a woman.

Genderists - ooh you like sparkly nail polish, therefore you're a woman, even if you also happen to have a penis & XY chromosomes.

BeyondUser24601 Sun 23-Apr-17 11:50:18

From the link that empress shared, notcaryl

I'm not talking for anybody, I'm sharing their own words.

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