TAVISTOCK PART THREE (B)

Tavistock: 1989-2018

This is based on this youtube presentation by a member of staff at Tavistock in March 2018.  You can watch this: here. 

Here’s a transcript of the talk TAvistock part 3

I have covered the physical interventions we are visiting on children/youth, who present with Gender Dysphoria, here TAVISTOCK PART THREE (A)

I now want to examine what this talk tells us about how we diagnose these children and include a few quotes that didn’t make into part A. .

662F82EF-94C0-49B6-8C6A-1563ACD6C958We are basing this diagnosis on the belief that, somehow, Gender Identity exists independently of biology and is sometimes in conflict with our biological sex.

This slide shows that Dr Kelly recognises biological sex, sexual orientation and sexual identity exist.  He also identifies, separately, Gender Roles, Gender Expression and Gender Identity.

Biological Sex is the easy one.  Despite efforts to destabilise the definition of sex we are a sexually dimorphic species.  Differences/Disorders of Sexual development (also referred to as intersex) don’t disrupt the “binary” of sex. Here are two people qualified to comment on the issue of sexual dimorphism.  Claire’s comment, below,  is a good one to keep handy as her article, published in the journal Nature, is often wheeled out to claim the opposite of what she meant. It is actually a fascinating  Article

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Dr Kelly defines our Biological sex as our anatomy and says it is an important part of  our sexuality and sexual identity.  I am not sure how sexual attraction is only partially reliant on biology, except that this matters in Transgender Ideology.  Additionally,  what does “sexual identity” mean here?  It maybe to accommodate people who identify as the opposite sex (not just gender). Alternatively it is, perhaps, to include people who identify as a particular sexual orientation regardless of their sexed body. That is to be inclusive of self-described “male lesbians”, or female’s who identify as “gay men”. 

Gender Identity is here described as a “personal and individual thing” which is not necessarily fixed.  Yet another reason why it is not a good idea to base legal concepts on something undefinable and shifting. If Gender Identity relies on a personal, subjective feeling how is it sensible to codify it into Law?

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Gender Expression.  This seems to mean how you “perform” your gender and how you signal  which gender you identify with/as.

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Here Dr Kelly, an obvious biological male, talks about his identity as a man.  We learn how this might be signalled by the way he dresses, manners, his hands and even the way he crosses his legs.  This is all complicated by the notion of metrosexual males who may even cross their legs in a feminine way but still identify as male.  Confused?  Don’t worry. It is, apparently, complicated and kind of hard to think about.  God help those of us with #LadyBrains.

Then there are Gender Roles.  DEE8D583-FE70-493A-9A96-B96D45D2BC57

Here he recognises these rely on gender stereotypes.  Am I a woman because I pick up the dustpan and brush? Don’t be silly. That’s just a gender stereotype. We want to deconstruct those don’t we?  And here we come to a startling admission.  “The last thing we want to do is to have a young person changing their body to fit in with… societal rules”.  Dr Kelly would love to take Gender out of this issue altogether.  But, guess what, we have to deal with reality.  I assume he means  gender stereotypes are deeply entrenched and changing society is too hard.  So what does he propose?  We need to “carve out a space” for someone to express their gender, in ways that society will accept.  Are we really carving up the bodies of young people because that is easier than transgressing expected norms of behaviour for fe/males?   I am old enough to remember when Gender Non-Conforming behaviour was widespread.  What happened?  I give you Annie Lennox and Boy George.  I could supply loads more examples.

Next we are introduced to the Gender Unicorn. (See Header).  A slide that Dr Kelly uses to introduce concepts central to his work.  Sex is, unsurprisingly, described as “assigned at birth”.  People with DSDs are othered as a third sex.  Sexual orientation is undermined by the inclusion of romantic/emotional attraction.  We are using this tool in primary schools!  So, is it entirely unsurprising we are seeing rising rates of Gender Dysphoria in girls, and boys? Who amongst us performs our sex stereotypical expectations 100% accurately?

It gets even more confusing when we examine how young children think about gender.  We are provided with this slide which shows how children are socialised into expectations of what makes a boy or girl. A8228010-BD32-4390-B218-A9153523789E

This kind of thinking, in a two year old, is quite cute.  It is less so when espoused by our political, media and medical elite.  I like my politicians to engage with issues as adults not toddlers.

There is not much to disagree with in the next slide except to wish the Dr would join the dots. Emerging sexuality and associated feelings of shame. (Surely worse for those who realise they are same sex attracted in a heteronormative culture).  Anyone paying attention would see that  the rigidity of the “gender binary” and the impact of parental or societal expectations has significantly worsened in the last twenty years.

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Is the new rigidity of Gender Stereotypes a new Backlash  against Women’s rights? As women encroach on male professions is this a new way to put women back in their box?  Is the  Public Femininity display a way to dispel the ball-breaking bitch trope?  Are we displaying hyper femininity to signal we are no threat to men?   This could be labelled compliance, or subversion,  either way omething seems to be going on.

Moving on to the understanding of gender in 8 year olds.  Dr Kelly makes an astute observation about the meaning of gender for young children compared to 38 year olds.  Note that we are following one set of diagnostic criteria for both groups.  Children pick up social cues which reflect the society in which they live. Adults, mainly males, also  absorb expectations from adult depictions of female roles. Some of this in contexts (porn) that, you would hope, your eight year old  has not encountered.  See this interview with Andrea Chu who is remarkably honest about their pathway. You can read up on Chu’s thoughts on the  role of sissy porn and the concept of the female as passive: here

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Our kids are navigating such difficult territory.  I was one of 8 children. Six of us girls. All the horrific statistics about sexual violence against women and children were played out on our bodies.  I was a dungaree wearing, tree- climbing, jumper off buildings.  We ran free and I was not unusual.  Sure we had pretty dresses, for specific occasions, but overwhelmingly we lived in “playing out clothes”. These were the norm and we would nowadays, describe them as gender neutral.  I was brought up in a pretty traditional household. Working class father. Manual occupation.  Definitely seen as the breadwinner. Even in that context it was absolutely the norm for we girls to do this. Nowadays this would put us at risk of referral to the Gender Identity Industrial Complex!

Fast forward to puberty.  As Dr Kelly recognises this is a hugely challenging time for young people. It’s a turbulent time for even the most well adjusted teen.

 

What happens if you throw in some complicated family dynamics?   Below  Dr Kelly outlines some scenarios.  There are multiple everyday reasons why girls struggle during puberty.  Growing up in a society with record violence against women, endemic woman hating porn, hyper-sexualised expectations for young women. No wonder girls are identifying out of their sex.  For young boys, who don’t want to be associated with toxic masculine socialisation, who are gay and on the “femme” side the flip side of this equation comes into play.  Throw in some domestic turbulence and you get some extreme rejections of what it means to be female /male in this society.

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And lets not forget homophobia.  Some parents would prefer a faux-straight child to a male child who they might think the behaviour, described below,  signals their son may be a proto-gay male.

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Dr Kelly goes on to talk about how people can hold toxic views about gender.  People can also have quite toxic views rooted in homophobia.👇

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I find myself bewildered that the Gender Identity Specialists didn’t anticipate this.  The law of unintended consequences.  Spend all your time banging on about undermining heteronormative culture and guess what?  You did a great job of establishing a new, pernicious, way of establishing it.  All your campaigning around “disrupting binary thinking about gender” and what did it achieve? We have actually  established a way to make sex stereotypes “flesh”  ; by carving up the bodies of boys and girls who don’t conform.

I wonder how many people, who have dedicated their lives to the furthering of this social revolution, have  dark nights of the soul?   They should.

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