Professors are apologizing for saying ‘male’ and ‘female.’ Students are policing teachers. This is what it looks like when activism takes over medicine.
I cannot adequately communicate the anger I feel when I see this garbage. Women fought for generations not to be second-class humans behind the ones with penises, and now we're even second-class WOMEN behind the ones with penises, too. CHESTFEED?! FRONT HOLE?! Our lifegiving body parts are obscene even to talk about now, after decades of struggle on the part of women to get doctors to take us seriously!
And does it strike anyone as weird that most of the freakouts are over the words "woman" and "mother?" I haven't seen a single shitstorm over Gillette selling itself as "the best a man can get" but Always gets raked over the coals until it removes the female symbol from its packaging. "Woman" is a triggering word, but humans are called "mankind."
I just have no more time for this transgender garbage anymore. None. It's misogynist (and homophobic) garbage, 100%. It's a woke way to hate women openly again. I have ZERO time for this.
I have posted this here before, but I want Katie and Bari to know that, as a formerly dysphoric female, I am very grateful for this kind of journalism. I wouldn't wish dysphoria on my worst enemy, and I am sincere in my desire to see good, science-based, effective and appropriate treatment for those who suffer from it. The current ideology prescribes a reckless one-size-fits-all approach, and is hijacking the safety and well-being of people suffering from dysphoria (and those who are not). It benefits no one. I am grateful for the help I received when I needed it, and that I was not pushed in a direction that may have permanently altered my body for the worse and/or fail to cure the psychological distress of dysphoria. Part of the reason I can stay grateful is because there are honest professionals out there who are committed to science-based medicine and care for the whole individual; doctors who see patients as people and not ideological battlegrounds. And again, part of the reason I am hopeful for those who may be suffering from dysphoria as they come of age now is because we've got equally brave journalists like you, Katie, who aren't going to cave in to the cultural milieu around them. As a fellow Seattelite, I admire your courage and tenacity, and am rooting for you and Bari, both. Your work may prove to be life-saving for somebody, if it hasn't already. Keep it up! Thank you!
I just had a round with Duke University Clinics. Their orthopedic pre-check-in process is done via a Web-based application that requires answering two questionnaires - one about one's mental health (none of your business, thankyouverymuch) and a second on demographics. One of the demographics questions was, "Gender assigned at birth." I informed the clerk, the doctor, and the physical therapist that "Gender is a language construct;" medicine has to do with sex. And sex is not "assigned at birth." It is DETERMINED nine months earlier - at conception - when two single-stranded DNA moieties from egg and sperm fuse. From that point on, unless you are a very unfortunate - but very rare - individual, your sex is either male or female - XX or XY - and no amount of mutilating surgery or sex-confused mental illness can change that."
They deleted that entire woke questionnaire from my check-in sheet; I'm sure it's still there on others'.
In my ICU, we make life and death decisions around our patient's care based upon their biology - *not* a social construct.
These developments are as alarming as they are insane and they must be pushed back against.
Lives are at stake here!
The majority ought to be considered. Not the loud vocal minority. I am in the hospital right now. I have a right to have my health as a woman considered. That does not make me transphobic. It is time to stand up to this hysteria.
I've always been a "live and let live" person who respects everyone's right to fair treatment. However, it's starting to feel like the needs of the few eclipse everyone else's rights to not be subjected to these new "rules". As a biological female, I want my healthcare professionals to be addressing my medical needs based on science, not ideology.
I'm also concerned that the oh-so-hard-fought-for rights of women are being trounced in the name of transgender activism (see women's sports for example), which is really pissing me off if I'm honest. Why are women always expendable?!!!!!
The adults (professors) need to stand up to these students and shut this crap down. Male has male parts. Female has female parts. Enough already.
How is it that an infinitesimal group of mentally ill people get to drive the conversation and no one says stop or you can be as nuts as you want but we won’t follow your delusion? If this is what we can expect of future doctors, we might as well revert to shamanism or witch doctors because those “credentialed” “doctors” won’t actually be practicing medicine.
I guess that pregnant woman who thought she was a man didn’t have the full addadicktome procedure and have the lady parts yanked out eh? So she must have had sex with a real man through her vagina. It’s just nuts even thinking about it. Those people are literally insane.
I was always the person standing up to my ultra conservative Catholic family defending the rights of gay and lesbians to live as they please. However, it is my skepticism of orthodoxy that led me to question trans activism following the public cancelations of Dawkins and Rowling. The idea of labeling all honest inquiry regarding the nature of sex/gender as tantamount to violence did not sit well with me. This hyper focus on language and its power reminded me of what I had read and learned about Scientology. I always wondered, how could otherwise intelligent people be manipulated in such a way by an ideology? Well, now we see this at large mostly with individuals who have graduated college within the last 5 to 10 years.
With this gender nonsense, the left is proving to be as anti-science and anti-truth as the right wing they so deride. Binary sex is a defining feature of human biology, and that of many of our fellow animals.
Pretending it suddenly doesn't exist is simply denying scientific truth. Affirming people's delusions is denying reality — same as those who don't believe in evolution.
Pretending a transgender woman was never a man is lying; it's rewriting history! I remember how outraged I was when I read Caitlyn Jenner's Wikipedia entry, which said that "she" won the Olympics and "she" won all these Athletic events. No, "she" didn't. She was a man at the time, and he won men's events with a male body. That's simply reality. It is not hateful and not violent to point that out.
When people ask me which sex my daughter was assigned at birth, I tell them nobody assigned her anything. The nurse called to inform me of her sex as detected in a prenatal blood test at four months' gestation. And lo and behold, she came out female.
We need to call this evil what it is, not tiptoe around it.
This otherwise excellent piece is marred by this absurd paragraph:
"In 2019, the New England Journal of Medicine reported the case of a 32-year-old transgender man who went to an ER complaining of abdominal pain. While the patient disclosed he was transgender, his medical records did not. He was simply a man. The triage nurse determined that the patient, who was obese, was in pain because he’d stopped taking a medication meant to relieve hypertension. This was no emergency, she decided. She was wrong: The patient was, in fact, pregnant and in labor. By the time hospital staff realized that, it was too late. The baby was dead. And the patient, despite his own shock at being pregnant, was shattered."
Was this absurdity intentional? We are in this situation precisely because people refuse to call a spade a spade, and it is not helping when the people who are purporting to report the truth on the matter, such as Katie, play along with "preferred pronouns". "He" was not pregnant. She was. Her baby died and she was shattered because reality, as it is wont to do, reasserted itself over her delusions. The activists react so violently to people speaking the truth because maintaining their delusion relies upon everybody playing along.
When people with apotemnophilia insist that they do not need or want one of their limbs, we do not affirm their delusion by amputating the healthy limb. We try to get them treatment to bring their mental outlook in line with objective reality. Why do we treat genitalia or sex differently?
If you look at the historical demise of cultures like the Romans and the Greeks there are many parallels to our society here in the US. These cultures rose due to ingenuity, scientific discovery, the ability to protect their citizens, and a common sense of purpose. They fell when those things became "common" and these societies devolved into fragmented ideologies. When their leadership and cultural decisions became influenced by fringe groups espousing values that were not fundamental to the forming and establishment of these societies they no longer retained the glue that held them together and they fell apart. If we dod not as a society get a grasp on the things Bari writes about, we will follow suit.
As medical school faculty in a school not yet quite overwhelmed by this, I really feel for my colleagues who are in places where this is in full flower. (Visit the Pacific Northwest sometime.) As is intimated, but not quite brought out in the article, much of this is closely related to the current LCME (the licensing body for medical schools) mandate that student evaluations, for practical purposes, drive virtually all accreditation decisions. They also have applied race-based admissions and faculty criteria unrelated to ability to be a doctor to which schools must adhere. I have been teaching for decades and can say with assurance that medical students have no idea about how to become a doctor, whether biologic sex is important or not, etc. But they have been empowered and the "inmates running the asylum" analogy is so completely apt it is scary. They are generally "woke" so they drive these non-biologic assertions because LCME says they can. And schools have almost no choice...they are terrified of losing their accreditation because of this. That is why faculty sound so scared. We all KNOW how ridiculous this is. But we are threatened within inches of our lives because of the accreditation issues.
In the early 1900s, medical schools could pop up anywhere and teach anything. Abraham Flexner did an expose that pointed out that many of these schools were teaching garbage and most of those teaching things not based on science shut down. We have been blessed for 100 years with a decent medical school accreditation base because of this. One of the predicates of this entire "good century of medical education" was that the science and art of teaching bright and capable students to become the best doctors they could be would not be contaminated by politics. It would also not be subject to deprecation of qualification so that less qualified folks could go mangle other human bodies, or a departure from the then best known science supported facts. That is all now being assailed, and the result will be scary care for the next generations of patients.
I will digress from education and gender issues for a paragraph to give an unrelated example of how this approach is also evident outside medical education. Imaginary science is now being invoked everywhere and has become conflated with real science by the general populace. My favorite current example is the credence many imbue with wearing masks as a counter for Covid19. Masks have been studied for decades; as Fauci's note to a friend said, the virions are infinitely tinier than the holes in your ridiculous piece of cloth, unless you are wearing a freshly fitted N95 mask. But "experts" invent vague associations ( the actual facts just do not agree -- check out a scattergram of all 50 states' mask requirements vs. COVID -- Correlation coefficient is 0.023 -- there is no correlation) and "important scientists" (often Warhol 15 minute of fame seekers; sometimes just misguided folks) tell everyone this is important and many, without any scientific grounding, blindly follow. (Full disclosure: as with most science, not everything is crystal clear. There may be up to a 0.5% positive impact of masks -- this is the same as decreasing the speed limit from 70MPH to 69.5MPH. Do we see an obsession with doing that?) Mask shaming is also great for the holier-than-thou virtue signalers among us. [Incidentally, no tinfoil hat here. I believe that the vaccines ARE of enormous value and was among the first vaccinated. Unfortunately, telling untruths and truths together leads many to assume everything they are told is an untruth.] A great case: Japan, where virtually 100% of the population is mask compliant is having a COVID19 crisis; they matter virtually immaterially if at all. The facts are clear, but the dialog is to ignore the facts and make up tangential stories that transmit effective untruths. Anyone who tries to have a science-based conversation about this is cancelled...for non-scientific reasons. Some great epidemiologist cannot say a word. Scary.
Back to medical education and ignoring biology. Every doctor of my acquaintance (I do not know every one so I am sure there are five exceptions somewhere) knows how ridiculous this entire "sex is just a social construct" idea is. But admission requirements to medical school have been greatly diminished ("We need holistic evaluation, not competence evaluation") and virtually all schools have gone to pass/fail so that the less-good doctors-to-be can be hidden. The students then admitted have primacy as to how things should be done and how they should be taught. Not only is this crazy, but it leads to this kind of nonsense dialog. Unfortunately, the students coming out now will be afraid to ask the right questions (for many conditions, it DOES make a BIG difference as to actual biologic sex). The sad result is that being taught to pretend otherwise will deprecate health care for all.
Most physicians over 40 I know have a pact with others of our ilk to care for each other until the oldest of us passes. This is completely new -- we used to preferentially go to younger physicians because their hands are steadier and their brains are more youthful. But they are now coming out as less competent doctors. This gender discussion is just an example of a much larger, and scarier problem. Where is Abraham Flexner when we need him?
How can so few people bring about this level of insanity?
I stated my thoughts in the comments section of Bari's previous piece, so I won't go over the same terrain--suffice it to say that this state of affairs can only be described as catastrophic, with the potential for a generations-long impairment of the U.S. healthcare delivery system itself.
One aspect that has had only the scantest attention in these discussions is the radical restructuring of the med school admission process. Right or wrong, for the last 100 years or so, med school admission could be described as jumping through a prescribed set of hoops that are designed solely to filter out for admission only those who are most devoted and motivated to become doctors. Even when the era of Affirmative Action began, this did not materially change in any significant way. Yes, disadvantaged groups were often given a little extra help across the finish line (because they needed and deserved the extra consideration), but overall standards and expectations of trainees remained unchanged, turning out competent, (mostly) caring, practitioners, year after year.
However, in the last 5-10 years, this workable system was almost entirely dismantled, in a nihilistic race to the bottom to appease the Woke minority. As someone who follows these trends, it has been shocking, even traumatic, to watch highly-qualified, utterly dedicated premed students struggle to gain access to their dream, and forced to watch marginally qualified, but expertly intersectional candidates being given preference, especially those with the most "interesting" combinations of sex, gender, sexual identity, etc., human traits that have absolutely no bearing on how well-suited one is for a career in medicine, or even the ability to master the med school subject matter.
I see no sign of this abating, because current medical leaders have almost entirely abdicated their responsibility for preserving a high-quality, SAFE, system of health services delivery. It is not too strong to say they deserve severe sanctions, not just civil but criminal, for their grotesque failures. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen until it is addressed forcefully in legislation and the courts.