Sunday, 10 June 2007

Getting Snarky

Over at, a Psychiatrist who really should have known better published an article called Focus on gender politics: Is changing gender as simple as changing clothes? by Dr Theron Bowers MD, a psychiatrist from Texas. The subtext was
"Newsweek recently painted a sympathetic portrait of women imprisoned in men's bodies. Such people need a psychiatrist, not a surgeon."
A sympathetic portrait of transsexuals? We can't have that.
Newsweek also avoided the other key debate about this difficult issue: whether or not transgenders have a mental illness or merely an inconsequential desire.
One may as well ponder this other difficult issue: is this psychiatrist just drumming up business exploiting others misery, or just a pig-ignorant bigot?

Sorry, I shouldn't let emotion cloud the issue. The intellectual dishonesty shown by his framing the question this way is breathtaking though, as is the (deliberate?) concealment of the author's religious agenda. What is not concealed is either an astounding ignorance about Intersexuality, or a mind so closed by dogma that it amounts to delusion.

I'm sure he means well, and is as fed up of some of the post-modernist nonsense that passes for intellectual discourse in gender-related psychiatry as I am. I'm sure that his religious convictions on morality are quite similar to my own agnostic ones in most respects, and he sees immorality and perversion masquerading as tolerance of diversity. I see my homophobia as a character flaw to be overcome, he sees his as a positive virtue to be exalted. He's not transphobic : he doesn't know enough to be, scary since he is supposed to be a competent mental health professional. I'm sure he is, in most areas.

That doesn't excuse his mendacity by omission. I got rather fed up with his bovine excrement, and commented in a most snarky fashion. Sometimes you have to let out your inner Bitch.

I'm not alone. The comments from both colleagues and patients were universally damning, only a handful of Religious Nuts commenters supporting him. Even the discredited J. Michael Bailey objected to Dr Bowers' misrepresentation of AGP theory and the conclusions therefrom.

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