I started writing a response on Sophia’s blog and it grew into something I wanted to post here. I think it’s very important that people with transsexual and intersex backgrounds develop a relationship that respects our differences and supports each other. Mostly it’s the “transsexual” (transgender) side that needs to learn respect. And even more precisely, it’s about putting a stop to the transgender politicians who reach through us transsexual people to colonize intersex lives. Someone could probably write about politically constructed and medically constructed identities here, but I think they are one and the same.
In any case, we need to put a stop to this colonization right now. I am sick of hearing the bleating of transgender types who think they do no harm by speaking for all of us. They are playing right into the hands of their enemies, who are now our enemies. Their blind refusal to admit this and the continued insistence they they be allowed to speak for us is all the evidence anyone should need for why there should be no “I” added to the end of GLBT.
Life is about living.
It is our lived experience that make us who we are. The origins of our gross anatomy or our brain structure are of no importance by themselves. It is how they affect the course of our lives that matters.
The plain fact is that those who were attacked by brutal social institutions while still in infancy have a different life course than those who weren’t. Intersex has been defined by the white-coated types who want to cut the world into neat little pieces. That is to say, the category of intersex as it is today would not exist if not for people who want to deny the humanity of others.
Those who think intersex is some kind of free pass on their behavior are not only participating in the victimization of their fellow human beings, but they are missing the point. Intersex has become a way to institutionalize brutality. The Chicago “consensus statement” on just who is and isn’t intersex (read normal/human) proves that. (edit to add- Why does all this stuff seem to come out of Chicago???)
The category has changed from an item of passing scientific interest to a social crusade designed to wipe out everyone who is different in some way. The 5 alpha nonsense from McGinley’s ridiculous study is part and parcel of this attack. It is also a sign of the times that we focus on process over fact, something that sustains these crusades in the face of all reason and evidence to the contrary.
It is not commonality of birth that unites all the people into a “group” (a term I am learning to hate). Who defines the group in the first place? Is it we in the world, or they in the labcoat? In this case, the group that is forming in reaction to continued attacks on the existence of its members forms out of necessity. It is the common struggle. That is why, I think, people with completely different lives that are lumped together as intersex in the first place are turning to one another and beginning to say “No!” to the parasitic medical industry that demands they be brutalized physically and emotionally. The only thing that “intersex” people have in common in many cases is the fight for human dignity in the face of the proverbial implacable enemy. There is a quote from C.S. Lewis that comes to mind here:
“It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
But in the case of intersex , the whitecoated ones torture for *society’s* good, and in a few of the more egregious cases, for that person’s cynical personal career aspirations. Those who do harm to others to advance their own status deserve special vilification, because they are the ones lighting the torches for the mob.
Does it matter if I discover magically I have an “intersex” condition in addition to, or as the cause of, the course my life took? Only to me. I want an explanation for why I am the way I am. But that is academic, and of use only for personal comfort… and in some cases a matter of leverage to gain recognition from our backward government entities when they are finally forced to accept that being born different is an immutable condition. (I am not holding my breath over on this side of the pond) We all seem to live under governments that demand we prove we are human beings before they will allow us to exist in their paperwork.
Our problem is a failure in government and in society’s institutions. It is not a lack of science per se. I do think science can be used as a tool, as part of a larger political strategy to defeat our common adversary that seems to think it can use science to torture us. That probably deserves a closer look at some point.
But if tomorrow some lab report my doctor ordered said I had what they consider an intersex, so what? THEY think so, but what do *I* think? And that is the cental problem of having institutions define us as human beings. It is a step on the road to dehumanizing a population. Where have we seen this sort of thing before?
I don’t put weight on lingo and technobabble simply because it comes from some pseudo-medical field. I am not impressed with unearned authority, or indeed authority of any kind. I see the problem of intersex the same way as Sophie does, I think. It is they who think babies are socio-medical emergencies. They, the professional medical types, whip parents into a frenzy. Their job is to do no harm, and they should be calming worried parents, not exploiting them. They violate every principle of human decency and dignity when they attack infants. I have no respect for people like that: They should know better, why don’t they? I am convinced that some of them do, but still persist.
My life with a transsexual background is a completely different experience than someone who has lived through an “intersex” experience with whitecoated adversaries. The problem is spreading now as the villains have moved into government. They are banding together, the faux religious bigots, the fading culture warriors, and the profiteers. So must we.
We intersex and transsexual people must stand together in opposition to the vile people who demand our extinction. The scoundrels that hide their villainy with the veneer of medicine, psychiatry, and academia must be confronted and their agendas exposed. I include transgender politicians in this category, because they want us to stop existing as who we are and become what they want instead.
What unites us in struggle is the fight against the violence done to us. Physical violence inflicted on infants and children by surgery, and by parents acting in ignorance. Social violence committed by those who torture us into extinction. And political violence that seeks to consume us. Every one of us has experienced some of these things. Some of us have experienced all of them, and continue to do so every day. It is time for this evil that men do to end.