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Gender reassignment surgery has 'real downsides' says Guardian article

(36 Posts)
christinarossetti19 Sun 12-Jul-20 09:47:01

This article was published in the Guardian today, same day as the huge, important piece on detransitioners in the Times.

www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jul/11/uks-only-trans-philosophy-professor-to-jk-rowling-harry-potter-helped-me-become-a-woman

This paragraph really jumped out at me, "She describes herself as “surgically curious”, but says she’s not had any interventions to change her body. “If it was possible to wave a wand and become a female in my body, I would. But the reality is, it’s major surgery, and there are real downsides to it.”"

So it's okay for men with AGP who haven't had surgery to voice concerns about it but not for women who have actually experienced surgery and the devastating effects on their life?

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R0wantrees Sun 12-Jul-20 09:55:43

So it's okay for men with AGP who haven't had surgery to voice concerns about it but not for women who have actually experienced surgery and the devastating effects on their life?

Magdalen Berns highlighted this May 2016

'What Kind Of Fools Do Transgender UK and Stonewall Take Us For?'

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkK7zisjoDk

christinarossetti19 Sun 12-Jul-20 09:56:59

Yes! "They chop your cock off, Alex." went through my mind when I read it.

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NotTerfNorCis Sun 12-Jul-20 10:09:24

mum’s understanding about that and her horror about what it could mean; and her anger at the little boy for naming it

I bet she didn't for a second think 'trans'.

Also, I know we shouldn't be focusing on appearances but... what is Sophie wearing in the photo? It like more like dress up for a little girl than what you'd expect from a mature woman.

NotBadConsidering Sun 12-Jul-20 10:20:53

I criticised this article on another thread. It says JK Rowling has

“publish[ed] a broadside in June on transgender issues.”

Broadside means “vicious verbal attack” based on the historical origin of firing all the guns from one side of a warship.

A woman writes about women’s rights and this is the slur it gets. It’s outrageous really.

And despite this person talking about their own concerns regarding surgery, they don’t have the good grace to acknowledge that that is something they’re in agreement with Rowling, something she expressing in her statement.

This is why there’s “cancel culture”. People manipulate and lie, use emotive slurs and can’t even acknowledge agreement even when it’s staring them in the face.

HandsOffMyRights Sun 12-Jul-20 10:22:17

Whenever I see pieces like this, I always think of the Transwidows thread.

"The problem is that there’s something about ourselves that even we don’t understand.”

Women are always being asked to "understand" men. This is underpinned by phrases such as "the little child/boy inside the man" etc. Like men are an enigma to unravel. The tortured artist. Nobody is ever asked to dig deep into the woman's psyche. She just gets on with it.

These pieces usually rush over the part about the wives and children and chalk it off to being a bit "difficult."

And that male ego, that selfishness, that being raised as a male in a man's world is never disguised.

BigGee Sun 12-Jul-20 10:27:50

Re the magic wand comment. I too would love to wave a magic wand and allow men the joy of feeling an ovarian cyst "pop" inside their abdomen. Pop. Such a little, inoffensive word, for an act of violence on my body by a teeny part of my body, that laid me flat out in the staff toilets for an hour till somebody came looking for me. Yep, I'd wave that wand and share that experience happily. Forget feeling your tits, Myrrhanda, here's the real shit.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sun 12-Jul-20 10:41:25

I started a thread yesterday about another phrase in that article about adoptive parents, which is still going on.

Having skimmed a couple of other articles/interviews with this Professor, it looks like a classic case of growing up in a very gendered home where the little girl of the family was dressed in frilly pink clothes and the little boy was expected to be tough and boyish, and really struggled with the repression involved. I'm sympathetic to that, but I'd be interested to know if Sophie's sister was happy with her gender role and what she's like now. There's nothing very pink and frilly about coping with periods, worrying about pregnancy, finding yourself talked over at work and paid less because you're a woman, putting your career on hold because your husband has a new job at the other end of the country, and so on.

christinarossetti19 Sun 12-Jul-20 10:46:14

Yes, the article actually supports most of JKR's views and concerns.

Namely that surgery IS a major intervention, with major downsides, and people should be supported to think and seek other views about it, and that it's perfectly possible, with support and in time, to find peace with a body that causes you all sorts of angst during puberty and early adulthood.

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HandsOffMyRights Sun 12-Jul-20 10:49:48

Gasp that quote about adoptive parents was quite something to behold. I'll look out for your thread.

PermanentTemporary Sun 12-Jul-20 10:52:56

I hope for a world where nobody feels so dissociated from their own body that they want to surgically remove or significantly reshape their genitals for psychological, cultural or even neurobiological reasons (the latter being a really deeply weird idea tbh - you want a neovagina becauseerm your anterior cingulate is a bit small? Run that by me again?) I dislike any legal incentives to have the surgery as imo it will only increase the pressure for medical intervention on younger people. I am glad whenever I hear that someone has kept their own body intact. This person certainly sounds like a twat, even without surgery.

gardenbird48 Sun 12-Jul-20 10:58:01

So this person is aware that ‘there are downsides to surgery’ (no sh*t!) and it sounds like he has decided the benefits don’t outweigh the risk. Where are the older trans community members (like this person - who haven’t had their voices silenced as truscum) voicing this concern and advising the young trans people to exercise extreme caution because of the risks of surgery. Or does Sophie just care about their own experience and has no interest in helping the younger trans community?

HandsOffMyRights Sun 12-Jul-20 11:01:34

I've seen several of these interviews now. Has anybody ever seen one about an older trans man in the same position (married, 4 kids)?

HandsOffMyRights Sun 12-Jul-20 11:01:57

Sorry, I mean transman.

testing987654321 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:16:17

Chappell made the decision to begin living as a woman in 2014; her biggest happiness is that “my lovely family have all accepted it and are completely supportive”. Living with a transgender husband/father wasn’t always easy for them, she says. “We can be difficult people to live with; we’re often angry and frustrated. The problem is that there’s something about ourselves that even we don’t understand.”

So, this man has had a wife, 4 daughters, a successful career which few women with 4 children could manage (because of wifework) and he now calls himself a woman AND it's still his family's job to play the supporting role.

Fuck me, I hope his wife gets something out of this, because I imagine she is significantly more angry and frustrated than he is.

christinarossetti19 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:20:39

gardenbird48 I also wondered where the voices are of older trans people advising younger people in turmoil that they can be themselves without surgery etc were.

I think they're actually two very different social groups. Firstly, men with AGP who sort of get their life sorted - career, family, home etc - before coming out. May not have spoken about their desire to be seen as a woman for decades, and retain male privilege.

Other group, young women with low self-esteem, mental health problems, interpersonal difficulties or autism struggling with their sexed body in a sexist society, who are so, so vulnerable to falling down the rabbit hole of the internet.

It's really important that these distinctions and differences within the trans community are identified and thought about separately, I think.

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Packingsoapandwater Sun 12-Jul-20 11:21:04

The thing is that if it were possible to wave a wand and magically change sex, dysphoric individuals would realise that the nature of their plight is not located where they think it is.

Your body is your interface with the world. Your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin, muscles, nerves: all of it provides you with the stimuli that builds your experience of existence.

If you change your body, you change your experience of the world. We are not souls locked in a husk or a shell; the body and personality/character are in a symbiotic relationship. You change the body, you alter

the "soul".

You see this very clearly when people start a sport or get fit, or alternatively when people suffer ill health or become elderly. Their "souls" (characters/personality) change because their interface (their body) is giving them different information about the external world.

Elderly people come to feel vulnerable, not because they've spent eighty plus years on the earth, but because their bodies no longer allow them to sprint away from the metaphorical tiger in the grass, so they feel vulnerable crossing a busy road etc.

Likewise, people gain confidence and strength when they start, say, a couch25k because their muscle tone changes and, suddenly, actions that were tiring before don't seem so difficult.

I say all this because if that magic wand existed, and someone could change sex, you would be talking about a wholesale change in stimuli fed to the "soul".

I find it so weird that postmodernism is blamed for all this identity plight, when it is postmodernism that recognises this precise phenomenon. Postmodernism argues that you can never know the truth of something or someone because every individual experiences the world through a unique set of parameters, so unique that we essentially exist within our own individual universes.

You change those parameters, you change everything.

testing987654321 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:23:52

Chappell made the decision to begin living as a woman in 2014; her biggest happiness is that “my lovely family have all accepted it and are completely supportive”. Living with a transgender husband/father wasn’t always easy for them, she says. “We can be difficult people to live with; we’re often angry and frustrated. The problem is that there’s something about ourselves that even we don’t understand.”

So, Chappell has had a wife, 4 daughters, a successful career which few women with 4 children could manage (because of wifework) and Chappell now calls themselves a woman AND it's still Chappell's family's job to play the supporting role.

Fuck me, I hope Chappell's wife gets something out of this, because I imagine she is significantly more angry and frustrated than Chappell is.

Rewritten to avoid male pronouns, sorry forgot.

ScrimpshawTheSecond Sun 12-Jul-20 11:29:30

So have a load of people read JKR's articles, subconsciously agreed with it all, and are now going to present it as 'what they always thought all along' while still getting to vilify her as a nasty witch?

christinarossetti19 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:44:18

testing987654321 oh bloody hell. I wrote 'men with AGP' - is that not allowed?

Do I report my posts and ask MN to delete the thread?

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TheProdigalKittensReturn Sun 12-Jul-20 11:54:48

"Downsides"? Yeah, no shit. Which is why we should stop encouraging people to go down that path.

There is literally nothing about that article that isn't teeth gratingly irritating. Apart from the photo of a lovely smiling Rowling which provides an amusing and illustrative point of contrast. She's a better writer too!

testing987654321 Sun 12-Jul-20 12:07:26

I think what you put is okay by the rules Christina, you used preferred pronouns when talking about a specific person. I called Chappell "he". I think that gets a deletion if reported.

christinarossetti19 Sun 12-Jul-20 12:17:10

Ah, thanks.

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OldCrone Sun 12-Jul-20 13:33:08

This twitter thread is good.
twitter.com/yatakalam/status/1281912778228412419

2014: 50-year-old father of four proclaims himself a woman, though he's keeping his penis to be on the safe side. He says his anger-management issues are typical for trans women. (@transwidows can confirm)

NoHaudinMaWheest Sun 12-Jul-20 13:59:57

I note that the article says that Professor Chappell states that an 'epiphany' came when reading in Harry Potter about the Mirror of Erised which shows one one's deepest desires. For Professor Chappell this was themselves as a woman.
It seems that Professor Chappell did not notice the words of Professor Dumbledore later in the same chapter:

"This mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible."

Is JKR a prophet?

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