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The Important Difference Between Sex and Gender

By Silence*

Second trigger warning: Zack Ford

Earlier this week, we talked about how Zack Ford at ThinkProgress, an editor at one of the most respected publications in left-wing politics, has begun advocating forcible genital amputation for children.

Let’s get back to wondering how anyone can be as cheerfully self-satisfied as Zack Ford about promoting the sterilization of minors as an uncontrolled exercise in off-label intervention for body dysphoria, social alienation, or depression. Because there is almost no data available on the long-term effects of these treatments, since hardly anyone has been systematically tracking patients.

Medicare won’t even cover transsexual medical treatments because there isn’t enough evidence about patient outcomes.

The drugs used weren’t developed for this purpose. Patients receiving them haven’t been consistently studied for side effects over the roughly two decades that this type of treatment has been more commonly taking place. Calling these interventions “experimental” is praise they don’t deserve, given the way they have been haphazardly administered and monitored in these off-label uses.

Parents are diagnosing their kids off of YouTube. Kids are self-diagnosing off of Reddit forums where they’re told by complete strangers that if they’re questioning, they’re definitely transgender based on ridiculous stereotypes. Children are being diagnosed by their peers, who tell them that they’re doing gender wrong and seem more like the opposite sex. So when did schoolyard bullying become a clinical diagnostic tool?

One clinician tried to enact the “watchful waiting” protocol recommended by every major medical body that’s studied the issue, in light of the fact that well over 70 percent of children with gender or sex dysphoria eventually grow out of it. Trans activists threatened him, spread lies about him, got him fired, and got his entire clinic shut down.

Maybe dysphoric young people could be allowed to be a little different than their peers and no one would have to read much into it?

If conservatives were proposing that sex stereotype-nonconforming, mentally ill, or developmentally disabled kids be sterilized, liberals would be organizing capitol building shutdowns in protest of this alarming eugenics revivalbordering on genocide. But liberals are proposing it using words that make everyone feel like they need an advanced degree to just repeat them. So no protests.

The transgender activist lobby has done everything in their power to mainstream the radical feminist idea that sex and gender are different, which is true, as the American College of Pediatricians says. Your biology doesn’t have anything to do with wearing pants, putting on makeup, or playing with certain children’s toys. Your sex doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re shy or like math. Sex doesn’t determine personality or ability.

Then these activists said that you couldn’t use the term transsexual because not everyone who isn’t a sex stereotype wants to get medical treatment to change their bodies. That’s also true. But then they started using sex and gender interchangeably, and confusingly, while normalizing medical treatment at ever-younger ages.

This chain of reasoning is hiding the fact that they’re trying to sell the world on the idea that there are transsexual children. Every time you read about transgender children, replace that term with transsexual, and see how you feel about it.

Ultimately, this all means that the gender identity activist lobby believes there are children who need sterilization and genital amputation as minors in order to not kill themselves. If this sounds terrible, that’s because it is. That’s probably why they don’t just come out and say what they want.

Where were these children before surgery was available? Where were all the boys who insisted that they would die if not castrated? Where were all the girls who insisted that they would die if they couldn’t cut their breasts off? Since when has it been conclusively proved that genital amputation is a good treatment for depression?

These medical procedures have been called everything from essential health care, to gender confirmation, to sex reassignment. One thing is certain about them though: they can’t make someone the other sex. They can chemically castrate you or amputate your gonads, but they can’t give you functional, opposite-sex reproductive organs.

Here are other things you should know about sex and gender.

2015 study of teenagers being treated at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles gender clinic showed that their hormone levels before treatment were normal for their actual sex. A 2013 study found no genetic anomalies in the sex-determining chromosomes for adult male transsexuals. The true intersex conditions that transgender activists cite as proving that biological sex is a “construct” only affect 0.018 percent of the population, and everyone else has an obviously male or female reproductive system. Intersex conditions are separate from, and rarely have anything to do with, gender identity claims.

A very robust 2015 study of brain differences by sex found that there is almost no brain difference by sex. Even differences in spatial rotation ability appear to be influenced by socialization and aren’t “hardwired.” In the words of one neuroscientist: “There is not one aspect of the brain even which if a scientist looked at it they could tell whether it came from a man or a woman.” If you can’t say that a man has a male brain, how can you say he has a female brain?

Yet Zack Ford holds up a thin review of several small studies as conclusive evidence that gender identity conditions are biological, in much the same way as eye color or height. This is from the introduction of that review:

“Gender identity is a fundamental human attribute that has a profound impact on personal well-being. Transgender individuals are those whose lived and identified gender identity differs from their natal sex. Various etiologies for transgender identity have been proposed, but misconceptions that gender identity can be altered persist. However, clinical experience with treatment of transgender persons has clearly demonstrated that the best outcomes for these individuals are achieved with their requested hormone therapy and surgical sexual transition as opposed to psychiatric intervention alone.[1] In this review, we will discuss the data in support of a fixed, biologic basis for gender identity.”

Do you believe that there are really transsexual toddlers and preteens? Do you believe that men who’ve married and fathered children, then transition to live as women, are the right people to treat as expert authorities on the need for the sterilization of children based on their own mid-life worries about appearance?

I’ve read a girl’s interest in toys like dinosaurs and Legos being taken as proof she was really a boy. This should be terrifying to any other grown woman who enjoyed Legos or reading about dinosaurs as a child. Would we now be tracked into testosterone treatment and a mastectomy? This isn’t progress. It’s a warning to children that they need to play with the “right” toys, and wear the “right” clothes, and not do anything to stand out from the crowd at school, or they may be socially transitioned and sterilized before they’re old enough to know what that means.

This August, a young woman who transitioned and had a mastectomy at the age of 17, at a clinic that now claims a 0% desistance rate in pediatric transition, asked other detransitioning women to answer a survey. She heard back from 203 of them, but transgender health professionals are already dismissing these experiences. It’s worth clicking over and reading through, because people like Zack Ford would like to pretend that these women don’t exist, and they should know better, because this isn’t new.

It’s just inconvenient for people who want to convince the public that there are children who were born needing to be neutered.

So if you have kids, you don’t have to be guilted by anyone into letting a doctor cut your daughter’s breasts off, or hollow out your son’s testes, because they might look wrong when they get older. You don’t have to let anyone tell your child that their entire body is “wrong” and a tragic birth defect, or be made to feel like a monster because you think they’re perfect as they are. You don’t have to believe, because it isn’t true, that a minor is ready to decide whether or not they might ever want children as an adult.

It’s not a hate crime to tell a child, as their parent, that you’re going to do your best to get them to 18 in one piece, in as healthy a body as they could have. It’s not a hate crime to refuse to treat teenage depression or anxiety, especially if it’s caused by bullying at school, with hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones, breast binders, or genital surgery.

Zack Ford thinks he’s protecting vulnerable people from bullies. What he’s doing is helping pressure vulnerable kids into thinking that hormones and surgery will fix the (common as dirt) feeling that they don’t fit in, and unethically holding the threat of suicide over the heads of worried parents. You don’t have to take his warped perspective seriously.


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”

Gender Warriors Advocating Forced Genital Amputation of Children

by Silence*

Trigger warning: Zack Ford

Zack Ford’s recent post at Think Progress, where he comes out strongly in favor of sterilizing and/or amputating the genitals of minor children in response to the American College of Pediatricians, is so reflexively contrarian, I worry about what would happen if the ACP released a statement opposing jumping off cliffs.

Ford is the LGBT Editor at ThinkProgress.org, affiliated with the highly influential Center for American Progress. Think Progress is shared widely on Capitol Hill, and is a commonly-read news source for anyone working on the political left. Whether you’ve heard of the site or not, when an editor at Think Progress feels comfortable promoting chemical castration for misfit children, you can be sure that they’re speaking from within the political comfort zone of the highest ranks of the Democrat Party and its allies.

Putting aside the uncommon phrases and words you may see in stories about so-called ‘transgender children’, a large number of gender warriors ignore the fact that a common side effect of putting a young child on “reversible” puberty blockers, and then giving them high doses of cross-sex hormones throughout their adolescent development window, is lifetime sterility. That’s before anyone goes under the knife, though cosmetic genital surgery is being pushed at ever-earlier ages as well.

Transitioning teens are even being chemically sterilized in front of an adoring nation on YouTube and on reality TV. It’s a spectacle of depravity for entertainment unparalleled since the castrati sang to packed opera houses in Europe. In cruelty, it matches the British government’s chemical castration of gay WWII codebreaker, Alan Turing.

When you watch these “heartwarming” transgender child stories — the ones where the kids look like they’re 11 at the age of 14 because they’ve been on hormone blockers for years — of parents giving their children cross-sex hormones, you’re watching the likely chemical sterilization of a child as an entertainment. If you like to think of yourself as a nice liberal, you probably watch these videos to feel good about your own broadmindedness.

It’s as if Toddlers and Tiaras was co-ed and gave the pageant winner a free tubal ligation or vasectomy. Pass the popcorn!

Meanwhile, Zack Ford and the transgender activist movement seem to be suggesting that all the weird little kids need to be encouraged to have their gonads destroyed before they’re old enough to even try them out.

Here’s a seven-year-old who seems to be transitioning because he wanted a Hello Kitty backpack and had a history of liking the colors pink and purple. This sounds like punishing children’s fashion tastes with castration.

Here’s a six-year-old boy who likes Barbie and wearing dresses. Because no one wants to hurt his self-esteem by telling him that what he’s wearing is wrong, they’re prepping him for body modification as if his entire body is wrong. Why are clothing choices a medical problem?

Here’s a teenager who seems to be transitioning because she wanted to get out of shaving her legs. Why does she have to shave her legs? Why is the better option a possible lifetime of hormone therapy that makes the doctors for the former East Germany’s Olympics team look like hobbyists?

There’s a four-year-old being socially transitioned and prepared for medicalized sex alteration in Australia because … why? They are four years old. Who is standing up for this child to say that their guardians and doctors need to respect their bodily integrity?

Ford acknowledges the issue of permanent sterility but seems unworried by it because these children might otherwise look “wrong” when they grow up. This is a reason both sinister and shallow. Ford says that no families are consenting to irreversible procedures. This is wrong, but it isn’t as though he seems to care. He dismisses the question this way:

“ACP wants to force trans kids to go through the wrong puberty, which would guarantee changes that could intensify their gender dysphoria, to avoid the risk of one possible side effect if they don’t. It’s actually proof of the double standard that Serano outlined — that it’s okay for a transgender kid to go through the wrong puberty, but not a cisgender kid.”

The “wrong puberty,” in this case, means not attaining reproductive maturity at all. This is serious, where Ford and his compatriots seem utterly dismissive. It should be frightening to parents, educators, and medical professionals, who might have thought that surely no one would be cavalier about minors being denied the possibility of ever having their own children. To Ford, this is just “one possible side effect.”

So it’s worth thinking about what Ford means when he refers to transgender kids. Many people react to this term as though we’re talking about a newly discovered sex of person, or as though the word transgender meant a different species. If there were such a physical classification, there would be a lab test for it. There isn’t one, unless children’s self-reported dissatisfaction with the prospect of growing up now counts as a modern scientific revelation.

Instead, the majority of children who go through what has been classed as gender dysphoria, somewhere between 60 to 90 percent of them, once stopped identifying as the opposite sex. But according to the study Zack Ford quotes, the “best outcomes” for children with gender dysphoria, or extreme unhappiness with their expected social roles, come from hormone treatments and surgical sexual transition. In other words, he mainly means to class these children as transsexuals.

Yes, Zack Ford is pushing the idea that there are transsexual children who urgently require what are known as sex changes because they are otherwise doomed to unhappiness. Instead of suggesting treatment for what sounds like depression, transgender ideologues want kids on hormones. Though cross-sex hormones won’t give a person an alternate reproductive system, and “sex change” or “gender confirmation” surgeries can’t change sex. These treatments can damage or remove your gonads, but not give you new ones. Surgeons can remove your genitals, but replacing them is a work in progress.

I was a weird little kid once. So was Rupert Everett, and here’s what he said about that, “I really wanted to be a girl. Thank God the world of now wasn’t then, because I’d be on hormones and I’d be a woman. After I was 15 I never wanted to be a woman again.”

Statistically, Rupert Everett represents the most likely outcome for children with gender dysphoria: they grow out of it. The majority of them used to grow up to be as satisfied with their bodies as anyone else, before they began to be socially transitioned and put on treatments that block the adolescent hormone surges that act to mature the brain as well as the body.

Or too frequently, transitioning children have a condition on the autism spectrum, and they are often girls whose social delays and sensory integration problems make them feel like they’re failures at performing feminine social roles. Sometimes these young people are told lies in their so-called support groups, like that taking testosterone can grow male genitalia for biological females. When you fit in as badly at school as many autistic young people do, I can see wanting to believe that someone can give you a treatment that will fix it.

Now the misfit kids are too often being recruited and groomed at school and over social media to seek genital amputation and sterilization. Some of them are being recruited and groomed by therapists and other medical professionals. A child may end up surrounded by adults who are now forbidden by law to try to help them overcome discomfort with social expectations or their bodies, forbidden to oppose anyone encouraging them down a path of transsexual medicalization.

After an amputation or extraction of the gonads, someone who’s had a full course of transsexual medical treatment is likely to need a lifetime of urgent medical intervention.

Zack Ford writes of avoiding extreme medical intervention as “privileging” one type of person over another, as if it were discriminatory to allow puberty to take its normal, healthy course.

These children aren’t a new sex, they are girls and boys who are often being neutered, if not, groomed from a young age to seek medical de-sexing. How long will the manufacture of new labels for these children hide that from view?


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”