intersex genital mutilation

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Image description: A series of three posters

The first poster is white with gradient pink, purple, blue, and teal type and reads:

I’m in! Are you Intersex Awareness Day Twitterstorm, Monday 10/26 8PM DCT, #IntersexStories


The second poster has grey and blue type against a pale green gradient background. Large type reads, “Almost everyone knows someone who is intersex”.

Below that, smaller type reads: Intersex is an umbrella term describing people born with one of over 30 variations of sex anatomy resulting in neither purely male or female bodies (internal/and or external). We’re usually taught that sex is merely black and white, “male” or “female”, but that’s simply not true. There are a lot of awesome gray areas in the middle that could make someone intersex!”

[a repeating clip art graphic of a baby stroller, with one stroller being darker and standing out from the rest]

Further type reads: One in ever 2,00 births is intersex


The third poster has purple type against a pink, purple, and blue gradient background. The type reads:

What is intersex? The term intersex is used to describe an individual whose chromosomes, hormones, or sexual organs are not in line with the perceived male/female sex binary. SEX is not binary [two squares, one pink and one blue] SEX is a spectrum [a small rectangle filled with a gradient pink to blue].

Sex is determined by a doctor upon birth by the following guidelines (according to the infant’s genitals):

[A ruler separated into three distinct colour sections, which are pink, purple, ad blue. The pink section ends at 3/8 of an inch and is marked with a venus/girl symbol. Type beside the pink section reads “It’s a girl! (under 3/8″).

The purple section begins at 3/8 of an inch and ends at one inch and is marked with an X. Type beside the purple section reads “Unacceptable! Babies with “ambiguous genitals” often undergo inhumane, dangerous, and unnecessary surgeries to “normalize” their genitals, many times without parental consent!

The blue section begin at 1 inch and extends past 3 inches and is marked with a mars/boy symbol. Type beside this section reads, “It’s a boy! (over 1″)]

Further type reads: Intersex people…

  • are about as common as redheads
  • can have any sexual orientation or gender identity
  • should never be called “hermaphrodites”
  • should have their privacy respected
  • should not have to be ashamed of their bodies
  • deserve to be treated like anybody else
All Genital Mutilation is Wrong and Barbaric

Whether it be FGM, MGM, or the genital “normalising” surgeries performed on intersex infants, all genital mutilation should be made illegal.

This isnt the oppression olympics - if we all work together to fight these things we might just start making some progress.

anonymous asked:

I have a question. I am currently expecting and would be very willing to do the right thing and let an intersex child, should it come to that, grow into the identity they choose without surgical intervention and such. However, I am a bit worried. Do they do these surgeries without parental consent and cover up records? Do they harass or call CPS on parents that choose to not do "corrective surgery?" And if so, what can I do to prevent such an outcome?

I am neither a medical nor legal professional. This information is given on an interpersonal, nonprofessional manner. Please continue to perform your own research and use your best judgement in medical and legal situations.

Sometimes, yes, these surgeries are performed without informing the parent(s). It is rarer now than it used to be, but there are still plenty of cases where doctors unilaterally performed normalizing, aesthetic surgeries (as opposed to medically necessary surgeries) without waiting for parents to wake up from giving birth, or otherwise consulting them- in many regions this is considered standard practice and I urge you to familiarize yourself with the guidelines in place where you live.

In other cases, parents are coerced into performing surgical procedures because they are lied to, and told that without surgical correction their child’s reproductive system will become cancerous or that they will be developmentally stunted. Especially when children are newborn, people can be manipulated very easily by scare tactics such as this- and once medical intervention begins, it often has to be maintained for the rest of the child’s life. 

Gonadectomy and vaginal construction are very common surgical procedures parents are pressured into, and they both require constant upkeep from that point forward. I want to emphasize that unless surgical intervention is absolutely necessary for your child’s safety, you should avoid it until they are old enough to consent on their own.

This problem is magnified by the fact that a very small number of intersex variations actually do come with severe medical ramifications. Some children, for example, cannot urinate without surgical intervention, and will eventually suffer catastrophic damage from that. In other cases, unremoved tissue can become cancerous, but it will not do so immediately, and if your doctor insists this, they are likely coercing you.

Unfortunately, in most cases, traditionally educated doctors are not trustworthy sources of information. Unless you are speaking to an intersex specialist with a strong reputation of nonabusive practice, I would be very cautious. If they will tell you the nature of your child’s body at all (and many doctors won’t, purposefully using euphemisms to mislead parents into doing what they want), they will probably give you misleading information about what that condition means, having been misinformed themselves.

For medical (rather than social) purposes, I strongly recommend ISNA as a reference and resource.

If you find yourself in this position, push back strongly. Make your doctor tell you, in specific, diagnostic terms, what condition your child has, and whether it puts your baby’s life at risk in the next hour. If there isn’t immediate risk, bang out a cell phone or a laptop or call a friend with internet, and find out what that means for yourself

In the event that your baby’s condition is one of the few that requires absolute and immediate intervention, be very clear to your doctors that you want the absolute minimum surgical intervention necessary to provide for your child’s safety, and nothing else

While the doctors are dealing with that, go ahead and do the info gathering I described for nonemergency conditions as well. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to give yourself enough working familiarity with the specific pitfalls of your child’s intersex variation to be able to tell what questions to ask your doctor and what kinds of answers you should expect from nonabusive doctors.

To my knowledge, child protective services are not called in simply because parents deny unnecessary medical treatment, but if you are in an otherwise marginalized position, especially if you or your child are of color, then that risk remains very real: some people will no doubt use your refusal to mutilate your child as evidence that you are not fit to care for them. 

If CPS is called for any other reason, even fraudulent ones, it may be used as a strike against your fitness as a parent.

I cannot advise you of what to do if this happens. I don’t know. I am sorry. 

Perhaps you could try contacting local or national intersex rights groups for your region (OII has many branches around the world; ISNA is active in the US).  

the i

Do you know what I hate the most about when conservative LGBT people say, “there’s no I in [my version of] the acronym because intersex people have said they don’t want to be in it”?

It’s not just that they’re speaking over the many intersex people who DO want to be in it. Or that they’re erasing a very complicated and important conversation for the intersex community, with “someone else perisex told me that intersex people don’t want to be in it, so there!”

It’s that not one of them gives a shit about what intersex people go through. I’ve never seen anybody talk about this who even sounded like they know one thing about intersex people, or intersexism.

It’s NEVER, “we’ll fight for intersex people of course, but I thought they didn’t want to be in the community.”

I’m just pissed off because I read a long, detailed article about the extremely targeted and physical discrimination that intersex athletes are subjected to… that didn’t use the I word even once. [TW for adult intersex genital mutilation.]

I am not intersex, I can’t personally say that they should have used it or that they could have used it in a way that didn’t damage and stigmatize the athletes further.

But from a perisex perspective, it reminds me of all the people who will read this stuff, and get indignant and oppose it, and not know enough to make the connection that this is specifically an intersex issue. Who will call it “transphobia” or “misogyny” or “homophobia”.

Because they’re not interested in educating themselves or trying to support the intersex community.

And it makes me mad.

I seriously just don’t care about your gatekeeping agenda anymore. I don’t give a shit. I usually hate this line of reasoning, but there’s just so many other way more important problems we need to deal with. Mississippi just repealed all legal protections for us in the state. Aces are still pathologized in the DSM, just in a more subtle and almost mockingly insidious way. Intersex kids are still mutilated at birth to conform to cissexist gender and sex binaries. We literally have a day every year where we remember all the trans people who get murdered for being trans. Forgive me if I don’t actually give a fuck about some asexual at your local SGA meeting eating the last brownie before you can.

Friendly reminder that intersex infants are subjected to unnecessary and psychologically harmful surgeries and later, hormone replacement therapy (without consent on the part of the child and often without informed consent from the parents). Many who are born with ambiguous genitalia are mutilated by a frankly barbaric practice called a clitorectomy. It is far past time for the rest of the LGBTQIA community to stand up for our intersex siblings and demand an end to this heinous violation of human rights.

NEED HELP!

Hey all! I’m writing an essay for my philosophy of science course and I need some help with articles or just ANY source. We had to pick a “scientific controversy” that tied in to public policy and I chose the medical policy in the case of intersex or percieved intersex infants. The problem is I can’t find any legal articles or information about the rights of the parents/infant/etc.

If anyone could help, the final essay is due in a couple weeks, the rough draft is due tonight. Any information would be good at this point.