The Age of Advanced Incoherence 4: Escape from Body & Into Image

Gender Reversal

While schools and other social programs are pushing for the need to encourage gender fluidity and direct it down pre-existing corporate and medical channels of hormones and surgery, the fact that many individuals desist in different-sex-identification with time—and the growing number of people who are choosing to reverse-transition back to their original gender—is receiving comparatively little coverage in the mainstream discussion.

A whole tattoo industry bloomed in the 1960s. Guess what’s (arguably) an equally massive industry today? Laser surgery tattoo removal.  It might be countered that no one would opt for a sex change on a whim; but if that was once the case, it seems unlikely to stay that way with current media saturation and social programs offering support for children deemed too young to vote, drink, smoke, drive a car, have sex, live alone, or get tattoos, to choose “sexual re-assignation.”

There’s a wide spectrum between whim, compulsion, and necessity. Would you try to tell someone who falls in love with their school teacher that they are indulging a whim? You could try, but it probably wouldn’t make much difference. The whole point of tattooing is to prove it’s not a whimsical decision but a lifetime’s commitment (remember Johnny and Winona?). But how many of our adolescent convictions still hold true today? People—especially children and adolescents—often feel like an issue is a matter of life and death and then forget all about it after a week, a month, or a year. This is not so easy when you have undertaken a massive, costly, and probably quite painful medical process that includes sterilization and involves everyone you care about, and everyone who cares about you.

So if gender reversal is on the rise, why aren’t we talking about it? One obvious answer is that it’s bad for business. Another is that it would undermine an ideological agenda that’s already on extremely shaky ground, both ethically and ontologically. Desisters are even reviled as traitors by some trans advocates.

Admittedly, gender reversal surgery is far from being a common practice. A London-based specialist in genital reconstruction, Prof Djordjevic, “has performed just 14 surgeries to date” (in 2017). The procedure is extremely complex and can cost over $20,000 (£15,965), and Djordjevic’s “services aren’t easily-accessed. He only treats patients who have undergone a one-year psychiatric evaluation, and he stresses the importance of post-surgery aftercare. So far, he “has exclusively treated transgender females who have asked to recreate their male genitalia.” (ref.)

While it can be (and is being) argued that “discouraging social transition is itself an intervention with the potential to impact research findings,” such arguments have the peculiar tendency to ignore (or suppress) the obvious inverse fact: “encouraging social transition is itself an intervention with the potential to impact findings.” (ref.)

This kind of ideological blindness is similar to the now-orthodox interpretation of environmental factors in the shaping of sexual orientation. While it is allowed that there may be environmental causes for homosexual behavior, for example, this is only when they are seen as unequivocally positive. Negative factors such as abuse or trauma are inadmissible as causes for any kind of sexual orientation that has been de-pathologized because, since behaviors caused by trauma are understood to be neurotic and self-destructive, to do so would amount to re-pathologizing the orientation.

Yet even disregarding all the evidence that childhood sexual abuse can, and frequently does, lead to homosexuality (as well as an array of paraphilias), the separation of positive from negative environmental causes has no logical or scientific basis that I know of.

Since homosexuals were legally punished and socially condemned for their orientation, and at best seen as in need of psychological or medical intervention, the lifting of the stigma around homosexuality (understandably enough) had a compensatory side effect of “redacting” data that indicated correlations between adverse childhood experiences and adult homosexuality. It became a case of the absolute polarization of perspectives: either homosexuality was merely a disorder to be treated when possible and suppressed or penalized when not, or it was a normal, healthy orientation (or lifestyle choice) to be encouraged as in every way equal to a heterosexual orientation. Either you were 100% in favor of homosexuality or you were a backwards-thinking homophobe, and the problem was entirely yours.

The consensus on homosexuality—which is a sexual orientation, not a gender identification—is that, since it is “genetic,” viewing it as a psychological disorder to be treated is not only inaccurate but unethical. The problem with this is that it banishes ambiguity by creating the impression that every kind of homosexual orientation and behavior is genetic-based, and that none are sourced in psychosocial conditioning. This is patently false.

The imposition of the “correct” ideology has had the unfortunate side effect of encouraging stigmatization, contempt, and persecution of people who may be genuinely in need of help. The idea that some homosexuals—however small a minority, even if it is only 1%—might benefit from a re-pathologizing of their orientation as the precursor to healing traumatic wounds and becoming whole, is about as admissible in 2018 as suggesting that slavery be reintroduced.

Any ideology that is predicated on the “ethical” suppression of some facts—and the forced distortion of others—will eventually end up eating itself.

The Ultimate in Unmentionable Obscenity

“The two greatest obscenities in the society of Brave New World are birth and mother. Why?”

—Study question

Brave New World was written in 1931. The Sexual Orientation Gender Identification schooling program really isn’t brave or new. It’s what William Gibson said about the future: it’s already here, but not very evenly distributed. The soggy SOGI agenda has been active since the 1970s at least (in “Occult Yorkshire,” I traced it back as far as the 1860s, via the Uranian movement): it’s just that it’s taken this long to become evenly distributed.

In the 1960s, Johns Hopkins University was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery.” It “launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as ‘satisfied’ by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery.” Hopkins “stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.” (Ref. PDF)

Despite this, gender reassignment surgery has been available on the British National Health Service for more than 17 years. This means that the UK government will pay for your “sexual reassignment,”  provided it establishes that you are experiencing “gender dysphoria, whereby a person recognizes a discrepancy between their biological sex and their gender identity.” Since then, however, a new condition has arisen, “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria”:

a new kind of trans-identifying youth, primarily natal females, who during or after puberty, begin to feel intense unhappiness about their sexed bodies and what it means to feel/be/present as a woman. Let me emphasize: What is “rapid onset” in this population is the dysphoria, not the gender atypicality. What distinguishes these young people from the early-onset populations studied previously is that they may have been happily gender nonconforming throughout childhood (though some were more gender typical), but they were not unhappy (which is all “dysphoric” really means), nor did they claim or wish to be the opposite sex. The unhappiness set in suddenly, in nearly every case only after heavy peer influence, either on- or offline. (ref.)

Gender dysphoria, rapid onset or not, is generally seen as unrelated to body dysmorphic disorder, which is an often socially crippling condition by which the individual is consumed by a feeling of dislike for their physical appearance and/or their experience of being in a body. Yet both disorders occur in subjects who believe that “some of their psycho-social conflicts or problems will be resolved if they can change the way that they appear to others. Such ideas work like ruling passions in their subjects’ minds and tend to be accompanied by a solipsistic argument.” (Ref. PDF)

Why is gender dysphoria not seen as a variation of body dysmorphic disorder? Or as being related to body integrity identity disorder, characterized by the wish to have one or more healthy limbs amputated, and closely related to “transableism” (the desire to acquire a disability through choice rather than happenstance)?

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A person who feels they are hideously ugly when others can see they are not (or are even attractive) is not so different from a person who feels they are of the opposite sex to their obvious biology. So is a person who wishes a limb amputated—because he or she self-identifies as an amputee—entirely removed from someone who wants their genitals surgically altered to fit their body image? Yet people with body dysmorphic disorder aren’t encouraged to undergo plastic surgery to alter their appearance, and transablists are currently having a difficult time gaining the right to have body parts removed (so far at least[1]). It’s understood—so far—that their experience of their bodies does not correspond with any empirical reality, and that trying to address it as if it did can only compound the problem. (The same applies to anorexia and bulimia.) So how exactly does this compassionate understanding become so controversial when applied to transgender individuals?

The notion that suffering is something that needs to be alleviated by fixing the externals is central to the SOGI agenda and to the gender fluidity movement. It encourages turning away from internal states of suffering to external pseudo-solutions (which are often really distractions), while appearing to empower individuals by giving them an endless array of free choices. Ironically, and tragically, this places the power more and more firmly in the hands of the State and the Medical Industry, being the institutions which have the power to bestow “freedom” through health care, pharmaceutical enhancements, and technology.

For an ominous parallel, here’s Cliff Notes description of Huxley’s novel Brave New World:

In Brave New World, the World State has created stability by genetically engineering its citizens to be happy with who they are and what they do. People are not born, they are decanted in hatcheries; and medically and psychologically manipulated so that they have just the right intelligence, strength, and attractiveness to fill the social and economic positions that will need to be filled. . . . Family and its language are obsolete concepts. . . . There is no stronger bond than family, and family is a major factor in self-identification. And what better way to eliminate family than to make it a dirty word? . . . People are raised to think of the language of sexual promiscuity as normal and expected and accepted, while the language of the family is obscene.

Everyone in Brave New World is essentially parentless. “The words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ have become the ultimate in unmentionable obscenity.” Such words are “a link to the past” and hence seen as undermining the power of the State over the individual.  In the absence of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins, or grandparents, everyone “melts into a giant generic mass, all in the name of stability and progress.” Sexual freedom is legalized to further stabilize the society, and “free” sexual relations are encouraged for all, especially the young, to discourage intimacy. By controlling birth and neutralizing the emotions, while experimenting with sex at young ages, the inhabitants of Brave New World are subjected to “a method of programming [that] produces a society that, “adore[s] the technologies that undo their capacities to think.”[2]

The idea that people know what they need and ought to be allowed to have it is fundamental to the progressive mindset. But, as in Huxley’s novel, the state apparatus that meets all our desires is the same apparatus that manufactures them for us: it’s only in a world in which the benevolence of Science is unquestionably accepted that blind faith in government-provided orientation, direction, and interventions is possible, or desirable. We have been bred to adore the technologies that have undermined our capacity to think—or to feel, respond, or maintain a healthy relationship to our bodies.

Exactly how far have we “progressed”? Is it to the point that the disease is now being sold to us as the cure? Brave New World used to be part of every school curriculum (I had to read it, as well as 1984, as a teenager). In 2011, it was listed as “among top 10 books Americans most want banned.”[3] When life imitates art, destroy the evidence.

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[1] Academic Clive Baldwin, “uses the logic of transgenderism to try to normalize people who wish to poke their eyes out or chop their hands off. Baldwin says society has to ‘stop pathologizing’ these people, and ‘to appreciate that however strange it sounds, it isn’t beyond the pale to allow people to align their body with how they feel they ought to.’” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/caitlyn-jenner-transabled/

[2] “Brave New World: The Cost of Stability,” by Ricky Gehlhaus, Jr., also quoting Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death.

[3]Brave New World—ironically, set in a world in which books are banned—made it into the top 10 in third place. Huxley’s novel is no stranger to complaints: in 1980 it was removed from classrooms for making promiscuous sex ‘look like fun,’ and it has been the subject of frequent challenges in the US over the years. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/apr/12/brave-new-world-challenged-books In 2010 it was successfully banned from the curriculum at Nathan Hale High School. Seattle, when a Native girl complained about the treatment of Native people in the book.  http://archive.seattleweekly.com/home/930387-129/booksauthors More incidents of the book’s banning in schools can be found here: https://thecensorshipfiles.wordpress.com/volume-1/issue-2/brave-new-world/

1 thought on “The Age of Advanced Incoherence 4: Escape from Body & Into Image

  1. Jasun
    Have recently come across an essay (some say book, it’s long) by Vaclav Havel: “The power of the Powerless”. Written from inside Soviet Bloc in the 1979s – he describes ideology as providing a false sense of identity, dignity and morality while making it easier for people to give them up. This was the immersive condition with which the Soviet state – he calls it post-totalitarianism in the essay – maintains control without constant need for brute force policing (it’s there when needed, though.)
    He also suggests that the post-totalitarian state provides/gifts what you want to placate yourself – prevent growth?
    It’s interesting that this movement is couched in terms of identity, of being provided your true self (body you prefer). By supporting transition, you can feel that you are helping the oppressed in the same way that Havel describes a bureaucrat feeling good for “serving the workers.”
    Thank you for your work on this and the other topics you explore.

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