June 26, 2014

"With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby's life is instantly and brutally reduced from such infinite potentials..."

"... down to one concrete set of expectations and stereotypes, and any behavioral deviation from that will be severely punished—both intentionally through bigotry, and unintentionally through ignorance. That doctor (and the power structure behind him) plays a pivotal role in imposing those limits on helpless infants, without their consent, and without your informed consent as a parent. This issue deserves serious consideration by every parent, because no matter what gender identity your child ultimately adopts, infant gender assignment has effects that will last through their whole life."

This Slate article — "Don’t Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn" by Christin Scarlett Milloy — is... pick the option closest to what you think:

This Slate article is…
  
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54 comments:

Drago said...

I expect nothing less from the left.

Michael K said...

Idiots come in all genders but there does seem to be an excess at Slate.

Sorun said...

What new mothers want to hear: "Congratulations, it's a TBD!

Mr. Colby said...

...an obvious next step from the movement that is giving us "gay marriage",

madAsHell said...

In the future, Ms. Milloy will be interviewed by the local newstation:

"My _____ was just turning ____ life around. ____ was always a good ___. I don't understand how ____ is accused of being an axe murderer."

PB Reader said...

When an article like this offers NO DATA AT ALL, it's clearly intended to distort and misinform but get your agreement that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! This is the sort of clap trap that people say when they knock on the door and want you to sign a petition or give money. That Slate publishes something like this it means they have no journalistic standards at all.

Moose said...

I'd like to see the long term suicide rates of people that have gender reassignment surgery in general.
Gays already have much higher than normal rates of mental illness and drug use...

Real American said...

what a fucking retarded article. Doctors don't decide that you are a boy or girl. They just use common fucking sense and make a simple observation - the same common fucking sense that says if you believe chopping your cock off is the solution to your problems, you're fucking insane and need psychiatric treatment, not an operation.

Sebastian said...

"Down with binary, long live fuzzy gender determination."

Just another angle in the progressive attack on traditional morality.

Of course, the author doesn't explain why alternative assignments or non-assignments reduce "infinite potentials" less than conventional ones.

For mere mortals, all choices reduce future "potentials." Roads not taken and all that.

Jack Wayne said...

I would have voted for complete bat-shit crazy if that had been available. OTW, I've got to go a liar. Most parents know the sex before birth. And I've never heard anyone say their doctor acted like her scenario.

Diamondhead said...

Yeah, it seems ridiculous, but one shouldn't underestimate the intense need to not be called a bigot. You don't really have to change the mind of the people, you just have to convince a critical mass of pop culture opinion makers that they would be bigoted not to agree with a given point of view. And, voila, all the sudden it becomes socially uncomfortable to call an infant with a penis attached a boy.

Tank said...

It's X or Y.

Call it whatever you want.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

How exactly does this crime get laid at the doctor's door? When he holds the infant up, looks at its genitals and declares it a boy or a girl, I'm fairly certain the baby isn't listening. Parents who are stupid enough to discount what the doctor has observed have made their own bed.

SGT Ted said...

Biology decides whether you are a boy or a girl. The doc is just observing and reporting the results.

WTF did I just read? I got halfway through and I thought it was a parody.

Mark said...

"The elephant in the room" has morphed into "what I dasn't look at between my legs."

T Rellis said...

We just had a baby Tuesday night. At home, so no doctor, I asked my wife, she said "she's a girl" heteronormative, cis something or other, patriarchy etc.

I gave her three chances to be sure, "honey, will you check again, to be sure?" Every time, "she's a girl."

I would have chosen something different just so (my baby) could feel special. (except, I don't know any other genders besides, boy and girl)

khesanh0802 said...

@Jack Wayne
I don't understand why Ann did not make bat-shit crazy an option. It is the only logical choice. That someone can write this garbage is a little surprising, but that someone would actually publish it is simply amazin'.

eric said...

Pretty soon the Doctor will have to say, "They've got an extra chromosome!" or "This one is missing the extra chromosome".

And the left will have to become anti science to deny it.

What a cute little XY you have there!

Oh, we had a little XX baby!

Bob R said...

This is, of course, nonsense. And I say that having raised a son with several birth defects, so I know that not every kid comes off the factory floor with all the standard options.

The idea that we are going to make the life of kids who don't fall into category A or category B easier by pretending that these aren't the most common categories, and that society isn't built around them is just a big, fat lie.

If you are born into some small minority category, it's damned tough, and we should be understanding, helpful, and sympathetic. But we can't make the difficulties go away by pretending they don't exist.

MaxedOutMama said...

Doing surgery to make a kid of indeterminate gender into something more normal looking (even if that involves making the kid into the "other" gender) is one thing.

But this article seems to be conflating that practice with admitting that the baby is a boy or a girl.

But imagine the world in which this idea wins out. Won't sex education classes be fun? Imagine trying to explain pregnancy and birth control on a practical basis if the teacher isn't allowed to explain the significance of your personal anatomy!!

jr565 said...

Who knew that chromosomes were equated to sexual stereotypes.
And really, if babies don't know what their natural sex is, how are they going to know,what they need to change their body from when they are suffering from gender dysphiria?

jr565 said...

In the interest of catering to the self interest group of choice must we know forgo actual science and common sense?
Why did we even study biology if chromosomes and sexual organs are actually not determinative of sex?

Seriously, LGB's ditch the T's.
And at any rate, isn't the T portion at odds with the rest anyway? Gays are supposedly born that way. What are gays? men who like other men. But wait a second, if sex is not based on biology then how would a gay man define being gay? Could they for example define themselves as gay if they were having sex with someone born with a vagina who claimed that she determined she was in fact a male?
Would lesbians be ok with having sex with lesbians if they had a penis? And claimed they were lesbians trapped in a mans body?

Mark said...

It's like these people think messing your kids up for life is a good thing.

Fernandinande said...

… so stupid I wonder whether it's on Slate.

"It's an it!"

Phil 3:14 said...

I hear Pew has a quiz that can help parents make the right choice.

mamawolf said...

At the beginning of the article, I thought it was about circumcision. There have been many articles regarding that subject and whether there is a real need or benefit to surgically altering a child. This article is just ridiculous crap. This is beyond "first world problems: to we have to make shit up to have people pay attention to us.

elkh1 said...

To identify a baby as a boy or a girl is to describe a physical attribute that the baby has, not a gender assignment. To point out a dog as a dog, a cat as a cat is to identify the animal's specific attribute. A fool can point to a dog and call it a cat, but the dog will not change into a cat but the fool is a fool. A fool can call a baby with penis a girl does not make the boy a girl, but proves the fool a fool.

If parents refuse to let their child who has a penis wear a dress, it's the parents' decision, not the doctor's fault for calling the child a boy. He can say "Congratulations, you've got a baby boy." Or "Congratulations, you've got a baby with penis."

The author is a confused male-female.

pduggie said...

Let's just stop using the term "girl"

we can use G.I.R.L.

Gestational Ingress Reasonably Likely

(or something more neutral; basically: "this is a person who is a potential baby-bearer"

and then that person can go through life with the typical social expectations of a person who is normatively a bearer of children.

Oh wait...

rightguy2 said...

A totally true, but apocryphal, med school anecdote. The caring medical student asks the happy young, indigent mother in the public hospital OB ward where she got her baby's unusual & pretty name : "Phemolly".

She said "the doctor gave it to her and it was written in the book : 'Female' " (rimshot)

Harold said...

One of my facebook friends from HS (grad 1973), Ph. D. and professor of Sociaology wrote on my facebook page when I referenced this idiocy "Brilliant article!" I don't think she was being sarcastic. Don't remember her ever practicing it.

jeff said...

"It's a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring's genitals." Nothing more? Nothing more? Cause its coincidental that boy/girls seem to come with boy or girl equipment? I wonder if the dr also just assumes the baby is human? Maybe they should hold off on that one also.

Richard said...

Next weeks article in Slate: With infant species assignment, in a single moment your baby’s life is instantly and brutally reduced from such infinite potentials…

Carnifex said...

I saw the article listed on another site. Read the head line. Didn't go any further. No need to fill my time reading garbage.

To all you who read the article...please consider imitating me. Life will be a lot better for everyone then.

Smilin' Jack said...

"With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby's life is instantly and brutally reduced from such infinite potentials...That doctor (and the power structure behind him) plays a pivotal role in imposing those limits on helpless infants, without their consent...."

That is so true. If it weren't for that fucking doctor, I could have been weak and stupid and short and making half what I am now and needing a boob job to get laid. Who can I sue?

n.n said...

Everything is negotiable, but not progressive confusion. That will lead to a dysfunctional convergence.

tim maguire said...

The young folk are supposed to be crazy, stupid, passionate about silly ideas. Nothing wrong with that. But since the 60's, there's been this wierd institutional support for the naive passions of youth.

I'd like to think that with cis-normative gender (and, no, I don't really know what that means), we are perhaps pushing against the limits of support for silly ideas. Otherwise we leave the kids with nothing to rebel against--and that would be most unkind. Discriminatory, even.

tim maguire said...

Best comment at Slate: Thomas Zell 1 hour ago... All my life, people have labeled [me] as a person from a poor family, who would never be able to pay for tuition at a good college. But, I've always identified as a multimillionaire playboy who never has to work a day in his life.

Lyssa said...

I implore everyone to read the comments over there (at least, as of yesterday afternoon). Keeping in mind that the majority of commenters are quite liberal, they are almost universally of the opinion that the writer is batshit. It will reaffirm your faith in humanity. And many are pure comedy gold.

Clyde said...

#FFS

bobby said...

This is just the start! So many arbitrary and ignorant assignments are made for us in the first few weeks after birth - assignments that lock us into roles which we are not able to fulfill, and which do us tremendous damage throughout the rest of our misery-filled lives.

I, for instance, am stuck forever in my current role as a white male human - a role decided for me, without my input, in fact without knowledgeable input at all.

Only recently, after a lifetime of confusion, have I realized that I am actually a giraffe . . .

Anglelyne said...

This is what happens when stupid people waste their formative years getting an incoherent "higher education".

In a better world, they'd have useful, dignified training and employment. Now, we just inhumanely abandon them to the navel-gazing mental bedlam of the Slate columnist, wherein the normal, transitory emotional imbalances of adolescence are allowed to fester in the darkness into full-blown batshit crazy.

gerry said...

Johns Hopkins - where sexual reassignment surgery was first done - stopped doing reassignment surgery for adults in 1989. It did so because followup studies done by the psychiatric department revealed that patients with reassignment had no real benefits from the change. They had not improved psychosexually, were not happier as a new gender, and had suicide rates frighteningly higher than the general population.

More recently, Hopkins recommended against gender reassignment for newborns, because again, followup research done years later showed that those receiving it suffered more harm than benefit.

Individuals born as boys largely retained masculine traits, for example, engaging in rough play. As adults, reassigned individuals often identified as lesbians because of their attraction to women, and suffered other psychiatric issues that others, whose parents had refused reassignment surgery, did not suffer.

Peter said...

The doctor is describing, not prescribing.

The doctor is describing the baby's sex. Not the baby's gender, the baby's sex!

WHY is there this continuing confusion between sex and gender?

WHY do forms keep asking me what my "gender" is, when they really want to know if I'm male or female (and not whether I'm masculine or feminine)?


Sex is an important biological characteristic; why would any sane person try to deny its very existence?

And how is this denial different from denying that water flows downhill (even though it's possible to reverse its flow with a pump), or that heat flows from the hotter to the cooler (even though there are machines that can make it go the other way)?

Levi Starks said...

It was not a joke, that being said, it gave me a good laugh.
To understand the point trying to be made you have to see that it's about the 1% being harmed (offended) by the 99%.
Now let's turn to the field of economics/wealth, then it's all about the 99% being harmed by the 1%.
Be very careful about which team you choose to join.

gerry said...

And how is this denial different from denying that water flows downhill

Post-modernism demands lives free from restrictive facts, which is why we've forgotten what sexual organs are for and where they go when one uses them.

n.n said...

Lyssa:

It's inevitable that today's liberal will be tomorrow's conservative. It happened to classical liberals. It will happen to ever generational liberal. Perhaps removing the frog from the pan is just what this confused world needs. Progressivism/incrementalism is an immoral doctrine since people often fail to observe the change.

Mimi Black said...

Oh my gosh, seriously, no one here got the point of the article? Holy Cow. Just went right past ya. Why do I feel like I've suddenly been transported to the left side of the aisle... things are getting scary out here. Wow. When it's obvious that "conservatives" are starting to "think" through their limbic system instead of their cerebral cortex, the way the far left and far right usually does, it's time to turn all the lights on and hide under the blanket. So all that's left now is emotional reactivity on BOTH sides...and no one in the middle.. wonderful.
(Oh I'm a chick, and I'm not part of the main gang, that means it's okay to bash me instead of respecting anything I say, speaking of gender assignment. And don't forget to use those words that specify which sex you're name-calling, that's always important. No name-calling allowed that implies neutral gender, that's not cool enough.)

DanTheMan said...

I agree completely with Slate. In fact, starting today, I am going to cal the sun the moon, and the moon, the sun.
Who orbits who is a social construct, and no one has the right to tell me whether or not nuclear fusion is determenative of whether something is a "star" or a "satellite".
Such fusion-normative labels are regressive and harmful to those who internally identify their heavenly bodies differently than the majority.

Freeman Hunt said...

The doctor twirling his mustache was left out.

Clayton Cramer said...

"Gays already have much higher than normal rates of mental illness and drug use..."

There's a reason for that. A number of recently published peer-reviewed studies find that non-heterosexuals were disproportionately victims of childhood sexual abuse. A few studies, such as this from Archives of Sexual Behavior last year http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535560/, even have the courage to suggest that perhaps the sexual abuse plays some part in adult sexual orientation. This would explain the high rates of suicide, depression, and substance abuse in the gay population; these are also characteristics of sexual abuse survivors.

Nichevo said...

Ok Mimi here's your big chance. You tell us what you think it means. Please, feel free, your own words.

paul a'barge said...

Look who wrote this article.

Look closely. Now look again.

See the 5:00 pm shadow on the chin?

Don't these trannys have the decency to change their razor blades from time to time?

Sam L. said...

d. So crazy. That's SLATE. Full stop.

Fifties Fatale said...

Yes, it sounds crazy, batshit insane but there is a movement about to mainstream these ideas. Hence, this article is on Slate and not in the nether reaches of tumblr & LiveJournal. I have changed my political affiliation from liberal Democrat to Independent due the postmodern insanity & inanity I've encountered over the past few years. Conservatives, I am counting on you to take this seriously & nip it in the bud.