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Sex and Gender

New medical guidelines for trans patients are too political

It is a sad situation when women are redefined as people who are not transwomen by the professional association devoted to their health.

The latest RCOG advice bears all the hallmarks of transgender activism

If anyone should know the difference between men and women, it is surely the people who work in Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. According to the NHS, “Doctors in obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) care for pregnant women and unborn children, and look after women’s sexual and reproductive health.”

Perhaps someone needs to remind the Royal College because RCOG proposals on the “Care of Trans and Gender Diverse People within Obstetrics and Gynaecology” go way beyond being sensitive towards women who do not like to be reminded of their sex. A challenge, perhaps, during childbirth? But it’s not rocket science to avoid certain language if that’s what the patient prefers. For example, while only women give birth and become mothers, both sexes can be parents.

However, these draft guidelines go beyond care and compassion; they bear the hallmarks of transgender activism, heralded yet again by pronouns. Without irony, the RCOG recommended “using their preferred pronouns when addressing someone”. But wouldn’t that be the pronoun “you”? We have never had different second-person pronouns for men and women because when someone is standing in from of us, let alone giving birth, we do not need words to tell the difference.

Deeper within the documentation the RCOG uses the term “chest feeding” repeatedly. Why? Elsewhere, the NHS is clear that both sexes have breasts. But a political lobby group has become so powerful that it has been able to insert its preferred words into the language used in medicine. Perhaps rather predictably, the term “cis-women” also appears, and no fewer than 16 times. It is a sad situation when women are redefined as people who are not transwomen by the professional association devoted to their health.

The document is not all bad. Clinicians are reminded that transwomen like me may still experience “prostate problems” even after gender reassignment surgery. We don’t really change sex, despite what some might claim.

But the RCOG should stick to its remit — women. Yes, clinicians should be sensitive to the needs and desires of all their patients — including those who call themselves transmen or non-binary. But however female people might think of themselves, they all have female bodies. That is the reason why they might need the services of an obstetrician or gynaecologist. Some people might try and deny their biology but none of us can escape our bodies.

The document is open for consultation until 7 September, and anyone can comment. Potential service users comprise 51% of the population. Perhaps the RCOG needs a first-hand reminder of their views?


Debbie Hayton

* This article was first published by Unherd on 27 July 2022: New medical guidelines for trans patients are too political.

By Debbie Hayton

Physics teacher and trade unionist.

One reply on “New medical guidelines for trans patients are too political”

I am beginning to embrace my identity as a grumpy old fart (GOF). That’s someone who might use the sentence, “I don’t know what the world is coming to,” or “Kids today are spoilt rotten and just need to get a grip on reality.”

It came as a surprise to me. At birth I was assigned the personality type, “easy-going” and the social descriptor, “progressive liberal,” but apparently in error. Yes, I’m coming out as “gender critical”. I claim this as my fundamental human right. I’m a GOF and proud!

From the consultation document:- “Clinicians should remember that the choice of descriptor may be a highly sensitive issue for their patients, and that misuse of language, and particularly deliberate misuse of language associated with the sex assigned at birth (misgendering), may cause profound offence.”

Let ’em be offended. It’s perhaps the first step on the road to realising you have a mental health problem you need to fix. But the writers of this have it too. They’ve all been radicalized. It’s not “misuse of language” to call a male a male and a female a female. What, actually, IS “misuse of language”? Incorrect grammar?

Well, this is an example, when the RCOG uses the phrase, “the sex assigned at birth”, as though the midwife (sorry, “birth worker”) tossed a coin. How is it “misgendering” if we have no idea which of the increasingly complex array of made-up genders a person will decide they want to adopt later in life in contradiction of their actual sex? It’s not like they’ve been mis-careered. “Congratulations, it’s an architect!”

Why are so many of us bending over backwards to avoid causing “profound offence” (self-reported)? Offence, or offendedness, we should remind people, is a personal choice (at least of anyone who has adequate control of their emotions). It’s as simple as that. If you take offence at words people use, you’re not mature enough.

We can even choose how to respond emotionally to someone who is deliberately offending us, but these days too many people are looking for it, desperate to feel offended by something someone said or did.

Hence, because of these offence-seekers with an inflated sense of entitlement and undeveloped emotional self-control, we can inadvertently “offend” people by anything we say or do, from holding a door open for them to using a particular word, a vibration we made in the air with our vocal cords.

And then they get together in their angry mobs and whip each other up into a frenzy of pseudo-social-justice, in the name of which they threaten people and wreck their livelihoods. Actual offences, criminal offences. Deliberate harm to others on the grounds that they disagree with them. It’s a fucking disgrace.

But to see that swathes of the professional world are being brainwashed with gender idiocy is really quite alarming. It’s actually hard to believe what’s happening – it’s like an alternative reality. As we GOFs say, “The world’s gone mad.”

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