I speak as a woman, an educator, a mother, sister, aunt, friend, child in the seventies and teen in the eighties. Real women have never been so invisible, undervalued, misrepresented, corralled and shape shifted. We had an eclectic mix of varied roles models to identify with and real pride in the female over the feminine. No one confused page 3 with anything other than male titallation. Girls today have pornogrphy for music videos, wags for celebrities and product sponsored bloggers for best friends. Mr Murdock et al take note, your days are numbered. When our misguided teens grew out of transtopiathey will blame you and your ilk for sending them there. Their parents, counsellors and teachers, already do.
Listened this morning to an analyst discuss radicalisation of young people. He was commenting on the trial of a British female jailed for Isis activities. His observation that young people growing up in a society which fails to give them a sense of belonging to something meaningful are at risk of radicalisation. While he was talking specifically about religious radicalisation I saw a parallel in the transgender phenomenon. Understanding what is missing in young people’s lives and addressing it is complex. But at least a recognition that something is, might halt the momentum driving forward treatment options. Maybe just wait for growing up to end.
A friend sent me images of article in the Times ‘The Trans lobby peddles a pink and blue world’by Janice Turner. Doesn’t give solutions but certainly provides reasons. Hope the right people are listening and think twice before wielding a scalpel or writing a prescription. End statement is clear, our children are struggling in this internet age, to understand what it is to be human. I remember when being unmarried and of a certain age had people assume you were gay. That seems ridiculous now, soon, so too will the suggestion that being more female than feminine or more male than macho,mean you you trans.
Radio 4 had a short interview this morning with Tavistock clinic and two clients. What struck me was the little boy , sounding about six stating one of his reasons being, he would be liked more as a girl. An older child, claimed the identity in a way that made me think Gender identity confusion is as much about the difficulty of being one sex rather than seeking out another. Again, it seems gender is polarised and ways of being boys or girls so socially prescribed as to make it uncomfortable for many. I wonder did the sexual revolution, the militant feminist, the long haired in tune with nature male, did it really happen or did I just dream it. Since when did preferences for dressing in boys clothes need a diagnosis and become pathologised by a label. Bernadette Wren did make the point that only a smal percent who prefer to be seen as the other sex medically transition. Maybe what is really happening is a cultural revolution against modern gender stereotypes, we just hasn’t developed the language or presented the arguments well enough to stop young people being ensnared in the medical and cosmetic industry. Perhaps all transgender means for many is’ I want a break from the social expectation of being a boy/girl, something I don ‘t think I am very good at’. An extension of the magical thinking, ‘if only….’ Society is ill and the symptoms are in the children around us. But I do not think the medical or cosmetic industry is the solution.
The last lines sum up the dilemma for all parents. Sometimes our fear of losing our children makes us acquiesce against our better judgement. Tough love can make you unpopular in the short term but being an unpopular patent is better than being an indulgent one. The Internet is radicalising our children in many different ways.
An anonymous letter has been published in The Guardian newspaper dealing with the terror parents face of social media sites such as reddit and tumblr ‘telling your little girl she’s really a boy’. You can read this letter here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/23/a-letter-to-my-little-girl-who-identifies-as-a-boy?CMP=share_btn_tw
Here is another letter, inspired by the anonymous Guardian writer, from a professional thinking critically about the youth transgender narrative who is the parent of a trans identifying teen.
There was no sign of your transgender identity until you were fifteen when your ‘I want to transition’ announcement came right out of the blue.
When you were little you spent a two-week Christmas holiday in your Disney Princess dress. We had to peel it off you to wash while you were asleep and wriggle you back into it before you were awake. The following Christmas you loved your pink pop-up princess castle so much you took all your presents inside…
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