Sunday, October 25, 2015
That'll set the cat among the pigeons . . .
I note with interest that feminist Germaine Greer has stirred outrage among lesbian, gay and transgender activists by stating bluntly her opinion that transgender 'women' (i.e. those who've 'transitioned' from male to female) are not, in fact, women.
Frankly, I'm surprised that the outrage is so strong. Ms. Greer has never made any secret of her opinions - and medical science is largely on her side. Let's face it, one's gender is not a product of feeling, opinion or psychological euphemisms. It's determined by one's chromosomes. If you have two X chromosomes, you're female. If you have one X and one Y chromosome, you're male. For the vast majority of the human race, that's it, medically and factually speaking. (There are a few - relatively speaking, very few - cases where chromosomal abnormalities make it not quite so simple - so-called 'intersex' cases - but they're uncommon.)
I have great sympathy for those who struggle with their gender identity. I know several such individuals, and I do my best to support them in what must be an enormously complex and sometimes very difficult approach to existence. Nevertheless, on purely medical and scientific grounds alone, one must surely admit that the chromosomes have it. Irrespective of psychological or psychiatric factors, if one's XX or XY, then one's gender is not a matter of opinion, but of fact. I must respectfully ask whether in many - perhaps most - cases, surely the best way to treat the problem is to deal with those psychological or psychiatric issues, rather than try to 'fake' through surgery an external resemblance to an internal reality that medical science cannot change - namely, one's chromosomes?
I'd be interested to hear reader comments about this. It's an issue worth debating, because it's firmly out in the public arena now. Please don't get crude or rude about it, no matter what your personal opinions may be. Remember, these are human lives we're discussing. Those suffering in this situation are worthy of the same respect we want others to give to us and our lives.