As fate would have it, this morning’s Apple News included a piece from Vox on the 7-year-old transgendered girl we have been discussing. It was such a long piece that I have to confess I only read about half of it and the last few paragraphs. I barely skimmed the rest.
The link is just below. For those of you who don’t have the interest to read even as much as I did, my synopsis is below the link. Before you dive into either, I want to share with you how the people who put together the Media Bias Chart regards Vox. The vertical axis of the graph runs from “Contains Inaccuracies/Fabricated Into” to “Original Fact Reporting.” That is, from Fox News, Occupy Democrats, Infowars, et. al. to AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, et. al. The horizontal axis goes from “Most Extreme Liberal” (patribotics) to “Most Extreme Conservative” (Infowars). The infographic also lumps the sources into categories of “Nonsense Damaging to Public Discourse,” “Unfair Interpretation of the News” (Fox News, Daily Mail, and Forward Progressives all sit on the line between those 2 categories) to “Fair Interpretation of the News” and finally “News.” Vox is categorized as giving “Fair Interpretations of the News” and shown as straddling the line between “Skews Liberal” and “Hyper Partisan Liberal.” My copy of the graph is dated 2018 so you can be confident it’s up to date. I share all this so you have an outside basis for judging the piece’s accuracy.
The link is https://apple.news/ABYiweJOMRPCH4twsF0EFog
The Vox articles provides a lot of useful background for understanding the issues involved and answers a number of issues that have been raised in our thread. One of our members noted that a person can transition as an adult so what’s the rush?
Vox provides some great information and perspective that I hadn’t thought of. It basically comes down to the fact that at a young age, there isn’t that much physical difference between pre-pubescent boys and girls. Consequently, if there is any uncertainty in the child’s mind it’s a great time to explore and investigate without making any physical changes. Not even puberty blockers are prescribed until puberty; there’s no need until then.
It doesn’t often work this way, but I heard on NPR about a child who insisted he was a girl! To the point that his mother divorced the father because Dad insisted the kid was his little man and they moved several times because despite California state law requiring it of public schools, it took several tries to find a school that supported the child’s gender identity. After a couple years of living and going to school as a girl, the child realized that they’re gender fluid. As this child said on NPR, “When I’m asked if I’m a boy or a girl, some days I say, ‘I’m a girl!’ Other days, I say, ‘I’m a boy!’ And sometimes I ask, ‘Does it really matter?’” The other kids and the teachers just roll with whatever identity the child brings to school that day.
Until the mother found such a supportive school, her child was suicidal. Now he’s thriving! Did any of you at 8-10 years old have the personal insight and self-confidence to say such a thing to adults (assuming it was true)?
Most importantly, Vox pointed out that a child who is allowed to transition socially at an early age, has a childhood that fits who they are. To get an idea of what that is all about, can any of you imagine what your life would be like if you had been raised as a girl until you reached the age of majority and only then were allowed to live as a male?
The purpose of puberty blockers is to delay the permanent changes that come with puberty. In males: broader shoulders, narrower hips, flatter buttocks and facial and body hair. For females: all around slighter builds, but with broader hips, fuller buttocks and breasts, little to no facial hair and less and finer body hair. Not to mention the differences in their voice. While some of this can be modified later in life, it’s expensive, painful and does nothing to alter one’s basic body structure. Consequently, such people may never be fully accepted as who they are.
As to the subject case of the 7-year-old in Texas, Vox provided some critical, clarifying details. In the first place, the jury in this case found in favor of the mother and it was the judge who reversed that and gave both parents joint conservatorship.
Clearly one parent or the other is just seeing what they want to see and is misapprehending the truth. Consider these details that Vox reported:
• The parents weren’t just divorced, their marriage had been annulled. The husband had so completely misrepresented his employment history, income and a host of other personal background items, including his military service, that the court found that she had been married under false pretenses so the marriage was null and void.
• The mother already had 2 older daughters from previous marriage so it’s unlikely she’d need a 3rd.
• The backlash from this case has been so vicious and violent she had to close down her pediatric practice. The husband, on the other hand has raised $139,000, and counting, on this case. If anyone’s got an ulterior motive, it looks more likely that it is the father.
• Luna started asking to wear dresses at 3 and insisting she was a girl by 5.
• Her twin brother confirmed in court that Luna was a girl.
• The father insisted on shaving Luna’s head and her wearing boy’s clothes, even though her twin’s hair is long, when they were with their father.
• The father’s proposed treatment, “watchful waiting” I a discredited approach to these situations based on a debunked study.
• As I said, the jury found for the mother. Having sat on a number of juries, I can tell you that judgement by a jury of one’s own peers works incredibly well! After the last one I sat on the judge came back to the Jury Room to thank us all again, because she didn’t feel that with all of her training and experience, she could have come up with as good of a decision as the 12 of us did together.
• As part of the judge’s ruling, the father was granted custody for one school day each week.
• Consequently, on that day Luna was sent to school with short hair and in boy’s clothes. The teacher had spare clothing for Luna and told her, if she wanted to, she could change clothes. Luna changed into a dress.
Finally, I want to respond to an earlier post directly. I was accused of insisting that all of you “read from the right Bible.” I’m not sure exactly what is meant by that so let me explain why I cite that source.
It seems to me that the National Geographic magazine is a well-regarded publication noted for not only the high quality of its photography, but also for the quality of its reporting, in particular its objectivity, thoroughness and good writing. It is readily available in most public libraries and is written for the general public rather than for specialist in a field.
Recently, I attended a lecture on gender and when I talked to the speaker afterwards, he confirmed that the January 2017 issue of National Geographic was indeed an excellent source on the topic for its accuracy, completeness and accessibility.
Considering all that, I ask my critic to either recommend a credible source that is equally up-to-date or take back his slur.