and other ramblings

On Germany’s new intersex law and the dangers of our gender-obsessed culture

Just a few good snippets from the article On Germany’s new intersex law and the dangers of our gender-obsessed culture:

Germany has become the first European country to pass a law that lets a birth certificate to be left blank in cases where the child is neither obviously male nor female, but it will take far more than a bureaucratic fix to remove the stigma of “abnormality”.

…legal acknowledgement of the existence of intersex conditions, which have been known about for all recorded history, comes surprisingly late.

the main issue remains the practice of surgical intervention to definitively assign gender and thus “correct” the apparent mistakes of nature. Intersex activists accuse doctors of interfering with nature, of making arbitrary judgements based on aesthetics or to fit cultural norms, […] and of indulging in practices equivalent to the genital mutilation widely condemned when performed for religious or tribal reasons.

The problem with surgical intervention isn’t just the theoretical one that it violates the integrity of the body but the practical one that the doctors might well make a mistake. The answer, say campaigners, is to hold off both legal gender assignment and surgery until the child is old enough to make up its own mind as to whether it’s a boy or a girl – or something in-between. Yet such a child, in our gender-obsessed culture, is likely to feel confusion and face prejudice.

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