2009年8月26日 星期三

[prettytgirls] Hello to all you girls

Allison,

I lost my wife through divorce. My kids had grown up and when my wife moved out, I was left staring at these walls (which I immediately painted). I spent a couple of months making connections on the internet, then met some friends in Chicago. It was Halloween, and I went to parties, Hunter's, then the premier Gay club, and had a makeover and had made my clothes for the trip. It was magical. I was ready and had a wonderful time, but played it very safe. I didn't drink - I no longer drink anymore, and I was very careful to avoid any controversy. If anyone looked at me in a strange way I turned and walked the other way. My friends were knowledgeable

and, as Trans people, had been out often. I live in Minnesota, so if any trouble had happened, I was pretty sure that it would not get back to my home territory.

I had told my wife (separated and moved out) about me the week before and my kids just before I left. They all accepted it and wished me well, but they have had many questions since then. This was over 4 years ago.

I live full time as a female, have gotten court orders to change my name and gender on all ID documents. I am still involved in the GLBT community and help others like you on a regular basis. A brand new one called me on Saturday. She has a long way to go.

The reason I write, is to tell you that it all takes time, but is do-able. My daughter still has problems dealing with me, but my son accepts and loves me. Through him I have a grandson. My daughter still thinks of me as "Dad", which is a problem because I'm still her parent, but it is inappropriate to call me "dad" any more. My son has agreed to use the label "Nana" for me, because calling me grandpa is just wrong!! But, in suggesting this to him to solve the problem, I scored a coop, because it also allows him to think of me and address me as "she" and "her" when the grandson is around, and forms the habit in his psychology of thinking of me as a woman. My daughter loves me, but still is struggling with pronouns and uses my name instead of dad. My point in all this - is that it all takes time. You don't get an aircraft carrier to reverse direction on a dime. Its a long slow arc.

Take your time, be patient and find a mentor who you can talk to. As you get electrolysis and grow your hair out, don't think of those who do it for you as "friends". That attachment has led many a trans person to trust people who are providing a service too much. Be nice, but don't get too close. When you finally get to the point of being comfortable as a woman, you will change out many friends who know too much about you because you will want some "normalcy". I was at the hair salon getting some hair work, recently, and the hairdresser, who knows about me, was talking about how I don't have the years of experience working with my hair because I was a man. It was embarrassing, because every other woman in the shop now knows that I am trans. I'd rather choose who I come out to. It should be my decision. I am living as a woman, and should be allowed to do just that. I should be treated as a woman. It is tremendously important to be treated as
you appear to be, and not get all these questioning looks and potential problems with other people. And don't ever treat anyone else as any different than they appear. Use the correct pronouns when addressing them. They deserve the same right to be treated as who they appear to be. There is a lot to learn, and you will screw up, we all do, but apologize when you do and try to correct it.

Another part of the journey is being a woman. You are a woman when you say you are, not when others think you are. I am primarily referring to the surgery issue, but it holds true for rest room use, too. It is not appropriate to ask if anyone has had surgery. If they are presenting well enough that you have to ask, it doesn't matter. It is a fact that when you are ready for surgery, you already are a woman, or you should not proceed. The surgery does not "make" you a woman. It is a personal fulfillment that is terribly important to most, but many of us cannot afford it and may not be healthy enough to survive it. Are they not women because of that? An emphatic - NO! And it is a fact that you can get all your documentation changed, live and work as a woman, and never have to lift your skirt to show anyone, one way or the other. (Although we are not certain of these new TSA regulations, yet.)

I hope you have a wonderful experience, but if something is not good, don't give up. It just means you have to be a little more careful next time. Don't worry about it, but remember it cause this is a time you will remember all the rest of your life. It is amazing. Take pictures. You're gonna want them some day, to look back upon and smile at how you were. Pat yourself on the back for your courage. You did this!!

I still have all my pictures in a album and look at them from time to time. I show others. I was a looker! I remember the first time I got wolf whistles walking on the street - on my first night out!

I hope you have a magic time!!!!!

sincere-leigh,
Leigh Smythe

________________________________
From: "allisonsagirl
To: prettytgirls@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 9:33:49 AM
Subject: [prettytgirls] Hello to all you girls

Hello, girls, here is my short introduction: My name is Allison Ryder and I am a "new girl". My wife recently died and as she didn't really like my dressing, I didn't dress when she was home. Now, when I get off work, I get to be who I am...Allison. I have not gone out en femme as yet but will soon. Still learning how to apply makeup as all I have worn before was lipstick and tarty looking eye makeup since I used to have a beard and mustache. A wonderful friend who sells makeup and skin care products is helping me be a better looking girl. K. is the first to meet me as Allison. I am setting up what I'm referring to as my Virgin Debutante Dinner in September where I will finally go out dressed up. 3 good friends will be there but do not know yet just why...my big introduction to them as the female that I am inside.

I live in Ukiah, CA and I hope to hear back from any of my new "sisters" who live close by. Maybe we can have lunch sometime?

I have told my 3 children (actually, step-children but I don't refer to them as such) and so far, a bit of a dilemma. My daughter and youngest dtr-in-law have been wonderful! Kimmi (dtr-in-law) sent me two beautiful shawls to go with my red dress (I sent them pictures of me as Allison since my daughter asked me "so, are you hot?" ha ha) to show that she loves me and supports me. Her husband, youngest son, says he probably won't ever be able to call me Allison, though, and I haven't been able to speak to him. I'll give it a bit. Oldest son & wife also have problems with this. Oh, they all say they won't cut me off from the family, they love me, etc. but I haven't heard back from them, either. I don't want to lose them from my life, nor lose my grandchildren from my life, nor me from theirs so I'll have to give it a while to see how they are adjusting to this news.

A wonderful friend from Virginia, D., is also very supportive. She, daughter and dtr-in-law all call me Allison when emailing or talking on the phone but I must learn a more female voice ha ha!

Anyway, ladies, I hope to read more in this website and learn more, maybe even be able to attend any gatherings that our group sets up.

Love & Hugs,
Allison
"I may never be the girl of my dreams...but never-the-less, I'm a Girl!"

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

.

2009年8月25日 星期二

Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex (Paperback)

Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex (Paperback)

by Alice Domurat Dreger  (Author) "THE HISTORY OF HERMAPHRODITISM is largely the history of struggles over the "realities" of sex-the nature of "true" sex, the proper roles of the sexes,..." (more)
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Editorial Reviews

From The New England Journal of Medicine
The condition of hermaphroditism has been recognized since antiquity. The term derives from the Greek legend of the joining of Hermaphroditos and the nymph Salmacis into a single form that was neither male nor female, but both. Culturally, men and women are distinct, yet their sexual structures arise from common bipotential precursors. This fact explains how intersexuality can result from aberrations in the sexual-differentiation pathway.

In Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex, Alice Domurat Dreger chronicles the medical diagnosis and treatment of hermaphroditism from the perspective of both the subject and the medical community during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She traces the advancement of medical technology and its effects on the classification of persons with intersexual disorders. The book covers the period during which sexual identity was being questioned in both scientific and medical theory and the ideas of sex, sexuality, and gender had not yet become distinct from one another.

During this time, one's "true sex" was felt to be based solely on the presence of a testis or an ovary. The number of people recognized with hermaphroditism was increasing, in part because of improved access to gynecologic care and more reporting of medical findings in the literature. This increase led to the need for criteria to define maleness and femaleness in order to keep the two sexes distinct. Also during this time, physicians emerged as the authorities in determining sex and anatomical identity. To show the effect of cultural differences in the management of intersexual disorders, Dreger has chosen to study hermaphrodites in Britain and France.

Dreger uses case histories of people with intersexual conditions and describes the responses of their physicians to illustrate why definitions of true sex were thought to be necessary. She explores the social, economic, and political ramifications of having a "mistaken" sex. In her book, the term "hermaphrodite" is used loosely to describe someone with ambiguous genitalia or someone whose external genitalia do not correspond with the internal gonads; she does not necessarily use it to imply true hermaphroditism (the presence of both testicular and ovarian tissue).

An epilogue has been added to the book to cover the treatment of intersexual conditions today and to show how history influences present-day management. Unfortunately, Dreger's description of present-day management is not up to date. Over the past few years, the voice of people with intersexual conditions has grown louder through autobiographies and the formation of support groups. Dreger has included in the epilogue the histories of people with intersexual conditions who were dissatisfied with their care.

Dreger believes that the current management of intersexual disorders remains very paternalistic. She states:||Doctors typically make decisions about sex assignment with little genuine discussion with the parents. Parents who will not consent to recommendations are subject to pressure, and even those parents who do agree to the surgeries performed do not realize that they are, by implication, consenting to the doctor's right to choose the sex of their child on the basis of a particular anatomically demanding psychosocial theory of gender identity.

She concludes with a plea for "an honest conversation" between physicians and parents. Currently, though, physicians do openly discuss with parents everything that is known about intersexual conditions. However, there is still much that is unknown about the cause of such conditions, and thus it sometimes becomes difficult to predict the future of an affected child. Decisions regarding sex assignment are made by parents with the consultation and support of their child's physicians and are individualized to each situation.

Overall, this engaging, well-written book will benefit scholars and lay readers interested in the history of sex, sexuality, gender, and medicine. The book traces the evolution of what makes a person male or female and shows how the answer has changed depending on when the question was asked and where it was asked. Dreger has succeeded in compelling the reader to ask the same question.

Reviewed by Patricia Y. Fechner, M.D. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review
In her study of the medical response to human hermaphrodites, Alice Dreger draws on over 300 scientific and medical commentaries in France and Britain, of which over half the cases reported occurred between 1860 and 1915...As Dreger observes, there was no single opinion among doctors or the public at large about which traits were essentially male or female, or even what they might signify. In Britain, female facial hair was likely to be associated with insanity, while in France it was more likely to be seen as a mark of remarkable strength. Other interesting differences emerge...Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex is richly researched, detailed and fascinating.
--Angelique Richardson (Times Literary Supplement )

This is a well-researched, sober history of a problem that Alice Dreger shows has directly affected more people than we might think and which shapes the sense of sexual identity of us all...Avoiding preachy judgementalism, Dreger shows how deeply ingrained are our assumptions about gender normality (sexual anatomy is destiny) and on how flimsy a basis they have been grounded. The book offers us all a lesson in self-awareness.
--Roy Porter (Nature )

Alice Dreger ascribes the growing visibility of the hermaphrodite to Victorian anxieties about gender-blurring social phenomena, including homosexuality and feminism, as well as to improvements in medical science. During the Victorian era, Dreger argues, a greater number of women gained access to gynecological care, and as a result, infant anatomy came under more professional scrutiny; medical journals of the period, widely accessible for the first time, publicized anomalous cases. Scientific knowledge of embryological development began turning the one-time monster or marvel into, in the words of the turn-of-the-century French doctor Xavier Delore, 'a scientific matter and a degraded organism.'
--Emily Nussbaum (Lingua Franca )

Dreger...has found a rich mine in the clinical case histories of hermaphroditism, which outline the physicians' complex struggle to find a foolproof way of fitting individuals into a binary sexual scheme.
--Laurence A. Marschall (The Sciences )

This engaging, well-written book will benefit scholars and lay readers interested in the history of sex, sexuality, gender, and medicine. The book traces the evolution of what makes a person male or female and shows how the answer has changed depending on when the question was asked and where it was asked. Dreger has succeeded in compelling the reader to ask the same question.
--Patricia Y. Fechner (New England Journal of Medicine )

The historic records of [hermaphrodites]...are carefully documented by this meticulous author and merit study...To read this book is to become aware of the tremendous complexity of human sexuality and gender identity--beyond genitals, hormones, enzymes, and even chromosomes and genes. Behavior, feelings, and values blend with intellect and how each individual is sexually drawn to each other.
--Domeena C. Renshaw, MD (Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) )

Most people have heard the term 'hermaphrodite,' but aren't quite sure what it means. [This book serves] as an introduction to that topic, bringing the voices of intersex people...into dialogue with...experts. Dreger also includes many fascinating historical photographs. Her stories of detective doctors presiding over 'doubtful-sex gatherings' show how 'again and again, consultations with fellow medical men almost invariably, rather than clearing up confusion, resulted instead in deeper and broader doubt...Medical men often discovered that too many diagnosers spoiled the certainty'...What makes [this book] important and provocative also makes [it] a little dangerous because [it] is so ahead of [its] time.
--Leonore Tiefer (Women's Review of Books )

This is a very strange and a very good book, tackling an important topic with humanity, and in a readable style. This is a subject where biology, psychology and medical authority conflict, and where prudery, ignorance and dogmatism drive people to suicide. Dreger deals with the history of definitions of man or woman by myth and by medicine, and provides case histories, together with photographs of the problematic genitalia...As biologists, we should treasure variation--if you doubt that for human sexuality, read this book.
--Jack Cohen (Biologist )

Through a collection of dramatic and moving medical case histories from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Dreger argues that the medical profession increasingly claimed the knowledge and authority to determine 'true' gender and to effectuate such determination by surgical means...[This] is a wonderful example that historical writing is not merely about revisiting the past, but reshaping the future. This book will prove fascinating and moving reading for those concerned with the ways in which biomedical knowledge is deployed in the service of the cultural regulation of gender and sexuality.
--Vernon Rosario (Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review )

[A] perceptive, erudite and superbly-written book...Concentrating on late-nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain and France, Dreger analyses how defining and 'managing' hermaphroditism were crucial to the destabilization as well as a simultaneous--and only seemingly paradoxical--reinforcement of the sexual division of humanity into male and female. In a surprisingly well-integrated epilogue of the book, she establishes that present-day treatment of hermaphrodites in America, in spite of phenomenal advancements in surgical technologies and theoretical understanding of sexual physiology, continues to be guided by ideas about the nature and meaning of sex that would not have seemed unfamiliar to fin-de-siècle doctors.
--Chandak Sengoopta (Medical History )

In her compelling, highly engaging and carefully researched book, Dreger charts the individual stories of many hermaphrodites--often with accompanying photographs...[It is] vital reading for feminists in that [it] offers detailed illustrations of scientific and medical complicity with social norms of 'sex' and 'gender', and raises important questions about how cultures enforce ideas about 'normal' bodily conditions and behaviours.
--Celia Kitzinger (Feminism & Psychology )

Dregerhas produced a well-written, lucid and sensitive account of the medical treatment of hermaphrodites from the latter half of the nineteenth century through to the present day...Dreger's description of the way modern doctors persist in assuming that they, and not the individual concerned or society, have the right to define an individual's sex are particularly illuminating. This book will be immensely interesting to historians working in this area and anyone concerned with intersexuality.
--Helen Blackman (Social History of Medicine )

In her book, Alice Dreger sets out to convince the reader that the history of hermaphrodites, or people of ambiguous sex, is an important and interesting topic, and she more than accomplishes her goal. Not only does she deliver, but she does so with grace, ease, and compassion. This is a marvelous book, an unexpected surprise which is as readable and engaging as it is informative...Within pages of opening the book, I was enthralled.
--H. Hughes Evans (Journal of the History of Medicine )

Traces the history of the biomedical treatment of hermaphrodites during what Dreger calls the "Age of Gonads."...She offers the reader a complex and lucid account of the process by which hermaphrodites moved from a public space (some as performers in traveling circuses and shows) to a private space where all hermaphrodite identities became increasingly shaped and defined by physicians who gained in power and prestige by intervening in the lives of these individuals...Dreger makes a convincing argument for a new approach to individuals born with ambiguous genitalia.
--Heather Harris (Journal of the History of Biology )

Dreger has identified an important and suggestive topic, not only in the history of medicine, but for cultural history more generally. Hermaphrodites were, after all, only among the most striking members of the parade of anomalies that engaged the attention of both specialists and the general public at the turn of the century. Any liminal creature was apt to trigger anxieties about the defense of social as well as natural boundaries, and any breach of the barriers that divided the sexes was particularly unnerving.
--Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The casual browser who picks up this book and thinks that hermaphrodism has nothing to do with her or him is mistaken. Dreger illuminates the process by which medicine appropriated to itself the authority first to interpret and then to 'fix' sex difference. This is a specific example of a widespread but largely invisible phenomenon, in which cultural agendas are disguised as scientific authority. The medical abuse of individuals born with atypical sex anatomy in fact serves everyone who holds the unscientific belief that the world is divided neatly into two clearly distinguished sexes. Dregerhas written a book that should interest not only medical historians, professionals concerned with intersexuality, and intersexuals themselves, but everyone who thinks she knows her sex.
--Cheryl Chase, Director Intersex Society of North America

In Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex, Alice Dreger illuminates life stories that had been recast, subsumed, and ultimately 'disappeared' by the medical profession...Dreger's book is clearly written and easy to read. Fascinating, entertaining, disturbing, and thought-provoking all at once, it makes one ask, 'what is the difference between a male and a female?' and even more unsettling, 'why does it matter so much in our society.' (Synapse: University of California San Francisco Weekly )

This fascinating book consists of numerous case studies on hermaphrodites (intersexes) and their abusive treatment by the medical and scientific community during the late 19th century and early 20th centuries in Britain and France... Dreger believes that by studying the cultural history and climate that prevailed relating to intersexuality at the turn of the last century, we may be better able to understand the concept of gender, sex, and sexuality. There are interesting sections on famous hermaphrodites and hermaphrodites in love.
--H.S. Pitkow (Choice )

This history is important to our understanding of how the categories of "male" and "female" have come to be understood in the medical community. This history is also relevant to the current questioning of modern intersex medicine…Overall, this book is well written and considers important influences of history on the treatment of hermaphrodites that have been previously ignored.
--Amy B Wisniewski, Ph.D. (The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease )

In Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex, Alice Domurat Dreger looks at the debates concerning intersexed peole which circulated in the medical communities of France and Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In so doing, Dreger has also offered insight into our own fin-de-siècle quandaries about the limits of usefulness of the concepts of sex and gender as categorizations of human beings...Overall, Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex is an excellent book.
--Holly Devor (Journal of Sex Research )

See all Editorial Reviews


Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674001893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674001893
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
 

Where’s the Rulebook for Sex Verification?

Essay

Where's the Rulebook for Sex Verification?

Olivier Morin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The fact is, sex is messy. This is demonstrated in the I.A.A.F.'s process for determining whether Caster Semenya is in fact a woman.

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Published: August 21, 2009

The only thing we know for sure about Caster Semenya, the world-champion runner from South Africa, is that she will live the rest of her life under a cloud of suspicion after track and field's governing body announced it was investigating her sex.

Family/Reuters

The I.A.A.F.'s process for determining whether Caster Semenya, second from left, is a woman will involve at least a geneticist, an endocrinologist, a gynecologist and a psychologist.

Readers' Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

Why? Because the track organization, the I.A.A.F., has not sorted out the rules for sex typing and is relying on unstated, shifting standards.

To be fair, the biology of sex is a lot more complicated than the average fan believes. Many think you can simply look at a person's "sex chromosomes." If the person has XY chromosomes, you declare him a man. If XX, she's a woman. Right?

Wrong. A little biology: On the Y chromosome, a gene called SRY usually makes a fetus grow as a male. It turns out, though, that SRY can show up on an X, turning an XX fetus essentially male. And if the SRY gene does not work on the Y, the fetus develops essentially female.

Even an XY fetus with a functioning SRY can essentially develop female. In the case of Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, the ability of cells to "hear" the masculinizing hormones known as androgens is lacking. That means the genitals and the rest of the external body look female-typical, except that these women lack body hair (which depends on androgen-sensitivity).

Women with complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome are less "masculinized" in their muscles and brains than the average woman, because the average woman makes and "hears" some androgens. Want to tell women with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome they have to compete as men, just because they have a Y chromosome? That makes no sense.

So, some say, just look at genitals. Forget the genes — pull down the jeans! The I.A.A.F. asks drug testers to do this. But because male and female genitals start from the same stuff, a person can have something between a penis and a clitoris, and still legitimately be thought of as a man or a woman.

Moreover, a person can look male-typical on the outside but be female-typical on the inside, or vice versa. A few years ago, I got a call from Matthew, a 19-year-old who was born looking obviously male, was raised a boy, and had a girlfriend and a male-typical life. Then he found out, by way of some medical problems, that he had ovaries and a uterus.

Matthew had an extreme form of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. His adrenal glands made so many androgens, even though he had XX chromosomes and ovaries, that his body developed to look male-typical. In fact, his body is mostly male-typical, including his muscle development and his self identity.

O.K., you say, if chromosomes and genitals do not work, how about hormones? We might assume that it is hormones that really matter in terms of whether someone has an athletic advantage.

Well, women and men make the same hormones, just in different quantities, on average. The average man has more androgens than the average woman. But to state the obvious, the average female athlete is not the average woman. In some sports, she is likely to have naturally high levels of androgens. That is probably part of why she has succeeded athletically.

By the way, that is also why she is often flat-chested, boyish looking and may have a bigger-than-average clitoris. High levels of androgens can do all that.

Sure, in certain sports, a woman with naturally high levels of androgens has an advantage. But is it an unfair advantage? I don't think so. Some men naturally have higher levels of androgens than other men. Is that unfair?

Consider an analogy: Men on average are taller than women. But do we stop women from competing if a male-typical height gives them an advantage over shorter women? Can we imagine a Michele Phelps or a Patricia Ewing being told, "You're too tall to compete as a woman?" So why would we want to tell some women, "You naturally have too high a level of androgens to compete as a woman?" There seems to be nothing wrong with this kind of natural advantage.

So where do we draw the line between men and women in athletics? I don't know. The fact is, sex is messy. This is demonstrated in the I.A.A.F.'s process for determining whether Semenya is in fact a woman. The organization has called upon a geneticist, an endocrinologist, a gynecologist, a psychologist and so forth.

Sex is so messy that in the end, these doctors are not going to be able to run a test that will answer the question. Science can and will inform their decision, but they are going to have to decide which of the dozens of characteristics of sex matter to them.

Their decision will be like the consensus regarding how many points are awarded for a touchdown and a field goal — it will be a sporting decision, not a natural one, about how we choose to play the game of sex.

These officials should — finally — come up with a clear set of rules for sex typing, one open to scientific review, one that will allow athletes like Semenya, in the privacy of their doctors' offices, to find out, before publicly competing, whether they will be allowed to win in the crazy sport of sex. I bet that's a sport no one ever told Semenya she would have to play.

Alice Dreger is professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, and the author of "Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex" (Harvard University Press, 1998).