A Tale of Two Transitions

Vulva-Owners of the World, Unite!

Stephanie Davies-Arai (Transgender Trend), Heather Brunskell-Evans & Keira Bell, opposite the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday. Photo credit: Belstaffie

Earlier this year, a UK survey of 2,000 drivers across the country revealed that Volvo owners are some of the safest drivers on British roads. Imagine if a satisfaction survey were to have been conducted among vulva owners. Saaaay what!? Am I on drugs? Well, let’s just say that I wish I were. 

In recent weeks, women have been referred to has “vulva owners”, “pregnant people”, and “cervix-havers” or even “anyone with a cervix.” Really, anyone? I mean, couldn’t these writers and policymakers at least be slightly more creative and write “pregnant vulva-owner-cervix-havers”? Welcome to the Pleasure Dome where my sarcasm has no bounds when it comes to the current social trend which reduces women and girls to their body parts. And our body parts are not only getting more play in neoliberal media than the more serious events of human rights and covert war in Somalia, but we are cheered for reducing ourselves to our parts.

Tuesday, Keira Bell, a 23-year-old woman, and Mrs A, the mother of a 16-year-old girl with autism who was waiting for treatment for gender dysphoria, won their legal case against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the UK’s only Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) for children. Bell was given puberty blockers by the Tavistock at the age of 16 and her legal team argued that Bell could not fully consent. Heather Brunskell-Evans transmits Bell’s testimony from October:

She relays the emotional and psychological problems she suffered as a child, including a traumatic childhood, and says she should have been challenged more by medical staff over her decision to transition to a male as a teenager. She was given puberty blockers without adequate assessment or psychological work and, even though she fiercely fought for medical intervention, in reality, she claims she was too immature to give consent to medical intervention. 

Puberty blockers lead to cross-sex hormones: Sterility, lack of sexual function, and potential future ill-health given the many studies that demonstrate how cross-sex hormones can substantially increase the risks of acute cardiovascular events like heart attacks, strokes, and deep vein thrombosis. Bell’s case became one of whether children are not able to properly understand the “lifelong medical, psychological and emotional implications” of taking puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. 

As a result of three one-hour treatments at GIDS that began with puberty blockers at 16 and cross-sex hormones at 17, today Bell has a deep voice, facial hair and the loss of her breasts to a double mastectomy. This landmark ruling has established that anyone under 16 who wishes to undergo gender reassignment must now convince a judge they understand the “immediate and long-term consequences” of the process before taking puberty blockers. 

It should be noted that once a child is put on the path of puberty blockers, a treatment whose longterm use has not been studied on humans, it is extremely rare that they get off them. According to Dr Annelou de Vries, a founding board member of EPATH (European Professional Association for Transgender Health) and a chief witness in this case, told the judge that “of the adolescents who started puberty suppression, only 1.9 per cent stopped the treatment and did not proceed to CSH [cross-sex hormones]. ” What we do know from studies of hormone-blockers in sheep is that it “is associated with permanent changes in brain development.” For the study’s authors, this “raises particular concerns about the cognitive changes associated with the prolonged use of [hormone] treatment in children and adolescents.” 

In the run-up to the hearing of this case in early October, the NHS not so inconspicuously removed several claims regarding “transgender children” on its website, one of which stated that puberty-blockers like Lupron are “reversible” since there are few studies on their long-term physical or psychological effects. The NHS is not alone and is joined by many other British institutions which have long made false pronouncements on their websites about transgender medicine over the past decade and which have, in recent months, also been wiping their servers clean of previous cheerleading for what amounts to the effective sterilisation of children. Indeed, it would seem the central concern of the NHS and the BBC was not specifically for the cervix-havers or vulva-owners, but rather for their own liability in playing a role in propagating utter hogwash as science.

That is if you believe in such a thing as science.

Here’s some more science that Tuesday’s decision lays bare: In 2011 the referrals to GIDS was roughly 50/50 between girls and boys, “However, in 2019 the split had changed so that 76 per cent of referrals were natal females. That change in the proportion of natal girls to boys is reflected in the statistics from the Netherlands” (Brik et al “Trajectories of Adolescents Treated with Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Analogues for Gender Dysphoria” 2018). Aside from female adolescents today being the largest demographic for those identifying as transgender, a huge chunk of the GIDS referrals are autistic with the Tavistock’s own staff documenting that “around 35% of referred young people present with moderate to severe autistic traits.” 

Add to this, the fact that a large number of the girls referred for treatment are young lesbians, confused in a world which tells them that girls are to be sugar and spice and everything—well, everything they are told to be. It’s a no-brainer that when young butch lesbians have no community as the queering of gay spaces has eviscerated lesbian social venues and social media has adopted draconian tactics by kicking off its platform any woman who says she is not attracted to males, that lesbians are now the top candidates for this niche identity market. The ethical optics of this are equally as horrific: It certainly looks like “transitioning” is the 21st-century form of “pray the gay away” while the eugenics ensuring the sterilisation of a generation of females who are largely autistic and/or lesbian is heralded as progressive. 

The court’s decision lays everything out plainly stating that it is improbable that a child aged 13 or younger would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers. It was also deemed dubious that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and fairly evaluate the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty-blocking drugs. Bell’s court action has led to a ruling which will make it far more difficult for children to receive puberty-blocking drugs, but it has done nothing to mitigate the causes for the wave of adolescent girls and young women seeking to escape the underpinnings of misogyny and homophobia. But this ruling serves as a plaster for a far deeper social issue: Our cultural embrace of misogyny and homophobia where vulva owners are reduced to our parts.

Nowhere can this be more evident than the leftist media where Ellen Page, a relatively unknown lesbian Canadian actor, whose transgender announcement on Tuesday obscured the media coverage of Bell’s case dominating the Guardian’s homepage yesterday. This is how the female body parts business functions, folks: If two cervix-havers win a case in the High Court against a powerful institution backed by a potent and well-funded lobby, this news will be promptly obscured by the very media clickbait that has paradoxically driven the raison d’être for Bell’s court case in the first place.

So of course, a woman claiming to be a man dominates the news that the leftist media encourages while the two women who have won a major legal battle against medicalised forms of homophobia and misogyny are exiled to the back pages. Tuesday’s judgment was not only a victory for the safeguarding of children, it is a beacon for the rights of women—especially lesbians.

Women are the Mr Potato Head of the 21st century where one generation’s sterility and medical experimentation is inconsequential to the neoliberal musings of a minor actor. Page’s action glamorises and obfuscates the medicalisation of women’s bodies by pretending that her identity is harmless, a mere headline and jazz hands whose reward is a series of virtue signalling back pats from swarms of people ready to call Page “dude.” Where Page trades in her sexuality for gender with this gesture being lauded as “strength, courage and honesty,” Bell has had to fight through the polarising forces of wokeism while enduring the Catherine Wheel of misogyny, lesbophobia and medical malpractice, only to come out quite scathed in the process. 

Page reaps the plaudits for her gender reveal Tuesday while Bell bears the somatic and psychological marks of this pronouncement fast-forwarded to its irreversible ends. It is clear that adolescent lesbians are being transitioned out of existence as scientific hokum and political lobbying is undoing all ethical and safety standards. Even for adult lesbians, there is never any “out of the woods” from misogyny and homophobia. There is simply no societal embrace of women’s bodies beyond sectioning them off into vulvas, cervixes, and breasts while pushing the desire of lesbians and the reality of female bodies into the recesses of history. 

It is no coincidence that Page couches her“privilege” amidst her fright: “I'm scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the ‘jokes’ and of violence.” No media would give Page the time of day to make the very same pronouncement about these very same experiences lived by her as a woman. It is also no coincidence that Page, who made her living conforming to and displaying the tightest of stereotypical femininity is now pushing back on this, even if through the fiction of “he” (wink). If the only language available to lesbians is either extreme conformity to sexual and gender stereotypes or transition to the fictional manhood of moustaches and plaid shirts, it’s a no brainer that lesbians have few choices, only last-ditch measures for survival.

What Page’s “coming out” reveals is the absurdity behind this extremely dangerous and regressive social trend which pretends that the only risks posed are to children. We must understand that transgender identity attempts to medicalise gender and sexuality by treading a thin line between adults to children, between fantasy of the subject and self-acceptance, whereby the pathology of personality is parsed through the human-constructed machinery of stereotypes since that’s all gender really is. At the end of this assembly line of parts—amputated breasts, vulvas and cervixes—comes the constructed self replete with all the baggage of the past: Old skool homophobia plus a deep-seated hatred of women and girls. That Page does not lighten the burden for the rest of us is not inconsequential as she uses the metaphorical master’s tools to make “woman” into a dirty word. 

We must stand in alliance with lesbians and speak out against what is a sinister gay conversion therapy whose intent—make no mistake—is to erase lesbians from existence. We must resist the whitewashing of history by pretending that Ellen Page is a man, that Bruce Jenner didn’t win his gold medal in the 1976 Olympics or that the Wachowski brothers are sisters. We must stand firmly and say “No” to this madness that attempts to turn the rest of us into mirrors for the woke within their vast theatre of cruelty. These identitarians serve up one delusion after another all the while insisting that we participate in their fantasy, parroting their terms, pronouns and even no-platforming ourselves.

Stop tripping over pronouns worried you may lose your employment or that your friends will unfriend you, all because you recognise reality! The truth matters as much as our collective sanity and we must stand up to what is a mass cultural delusion wrapped up in a medical and spiritual lie.

Vulva-owners of the world, unite!