I have three rules for people in politics: Be civil, be reasonable, and be consistent.
Some folks are breakin’ rules.
I don’t understand the left-wing position on sex and identity: They say gender is a social construct and has nothing to do with whether someone’s a man or a woman. So a man can wear a dress and makeup and still be a man; a woman can wear men’s clothing and still be a woman.
Okay; I’m on board. I’d put it another way: Fashion is a social construct. We’re all just born nekkid.
At the same time, however, some say a man can become a woman, and a woman a man, and the central way to do so is…drum roll…engage in the social constructs created for the preferred sex. So if Ed wants to be Mabel, he need only don her dress and makeup. Voilà: Presto Change-O.
Which is it? Do clothes determine whether you’re a man or woman, or is the opposite true? I ask this sincerely.
If fashion is merely a construct, transition should be possible without changing it — a dude should still be able to have short hair, no makeup, Walmart jeans, and a pearl-snaps shirt. And be a chick.
After all, it’s just fashion.
But if fashion determines whether you’re an M or an F, what’s going on with the medical establishment?
Health is about one thing: You nekkid. No fashion. Not your clothes, not your presentation; just your body. So why would a female patient be registered as male, or vice versa, regardless of their choice of identity?
The issue came up recently, as revealed by the New England Journal of Medicine:
A 32-year-old woman walked into an emergency room with concerns about her pregnancy — a home test had come up positive, she was having severe abdominal pain, and she’d peed her pants.
But she told the medical staff she was a transgender man. Therefore, her electronic record listed her as male.
Why would you say you’re a guy, when health is about bein’ nekkid?
Yet, Dr. Daphne Stroumsa — one of the authors of the NEJM article — told The Associated Press “he was rightly classified as a man.”
“But” Daphne adds, “that classification threw us off from considering his actual medical needs.”
Then how was it a rightful classification?
As for not getting treatment to address her needs, Daphne’s spot-on: The woman told nurses she hadn’t had a period in years but had discontinued testosterone and blood pressure pills after losing her insurance. They registered her as an obese male with discontinued BP meds and a non-urgent situation.
Later, she gave birth — to a stillborn baby.
Had she been listed as female, things would’ve gone differently:
A woman showing up with similar symptoms “would almost surely have been triaged and evaluated more urgently for pregnancy-related problems,” the authors wrote.
Peeing oneself, according to the AP, is “a possible sign of ruptured membranes and labor.”
“It’s a very upsetting incident, it’s a tragic outcome,” said Dr. Tamara Wexler, a hormone specialist at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Wexler insists it’s all about proper training, but a transgender psychologist disagrees:
“Medical training should include exposure to transgender patients” so health workers are better able to meet their needs, Wexler said. “A lot of doctors who are practicing didn’t have that in their training” but can still learn from such patients now.
Nic Rider, a transgender health specialist and psychologist at the University of Minnesota, said training isn’t enough.
“There are implicit biases that need to be addressed,” Rider said.
Health records may use male/female templates for gender but “it doesn’t mean that we just throw out critical thinking or think about how humans are diverse,” Rider said.
Personally, I’m a firm believer in individual expression. Everyone should present themself they way they prefer.
But when your health — which is to say, your life, or the life of your baby — is at stake, it seems to me that everyone should put identity aside and focus on the actual body potentially in peril.
Anything less breaks the the most important rule of all: Don’t die.
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