I'm opening a can of worms here! I'm posting this article because this is too big for my brain to deal with; I can't draw my own conclusion. Or, maybe there is no answer, I don't know. There are many angles to this matter. I'm interested to know what you, cool-headed folks, think. No emotional reactions, please.
Japan: Compelled Sterilization of Transgender People
I found some information (mostly from Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal) about the Gender Identity Disorder (GID) Act which the Japanese government passed in 2003. It is interesting that the Act basically recognises gender transition as a mental disorder and does not seem to recognise the social construction of gender. The Act provides five legal conditions that need to be satisfied in order for an individual to legally change their gender. An applicant must be (1) over twenty years old, (2) unmarried at the time he or she wishes to legally change his or her gender, (3) have no minors, (4) be deprived of their reproductive organs or reproductive ability, and (5) have external genital organs similar to other members of the sex to which the applicant wishes to be assigned. Condition (4) is the most concerning one, as the Act essentially requires that an individual must have sex reassignment surgery. Having said that, the reality is that should an individual choose to undergo sex reassignment surgery or reform their genital organs, it is very difficult to actually do so. There are only a few medical institutions that provide sex reassignment surgery in Japan and, treatment of GID, including sex reassignment surgery, is not covered by public health insurance, i.e., very costly. With regard to condition (2), the no marriage requirement is consistent with the Japanese family law that limits marriage to heterosexual couples. In the event that an individual is married when he or she legally changes his or her sex to that of his or her spouse, the marriage that would emerge would be a same-sex marriage, which would be in violation of Japanese family law. By keeping such high thresholds and making it very difficult to comply with, although the GID Act appears to be progressive, it is perhaps a tactic that ultimately preserves societal gender norms. A different country, a different social context. Interesting. Many questions still remain in my head, though.
I think there are many angles to this matter. I ask myself questions like:
It's super confusing! My tiny brain can't handle this! LOL
Japan has a history of this sort of thing, and not just with trans people. Up until 1996 they would legally sterilize people with mental disorders and certain diseases in order to "ensure the health of future generations".
This new trend of trans sterilization seems to be an extention of the old law. Instead of forced, it is now compelled. Give us what we want and we will recognize you as you want.
Assuming you believe trans gender people suffer from a mental disorder or a type of body dysphoria, does that mean they should have their ability to reproduce stripped from them? What about anorexic people, it's a form of body dysphoria? Autism? Mentally disabled? Physically disabled? Where do you draw the line? History would show that the problem with this type of thinking is that the line tends to move. Everytime you redraw the line it becomes easier to redraw it again to encompass more "undesirables".
It's an option to be retitled, but if they want to play the part, there's been a price added by Japan's government of not being able to reproduce.
If they don't like it, they could always try to change the laws. That's what's happening in the US. Legislative matters to defend someone's right to undergo gender reassignment as young as 9.
Personally, I stand with the head doctor of John's Hopkins who believes it's simply not sane. Not saying people aren't entitled to the rights to live their lives one way or another, but real needs to be called real and make believe needs to be called make believe. Not validated with creative science that forgets everything we've learned about the development of human beings and society.
This has been going on for a few months now to my recollection. I’m almost more in line with their views on transgender people than ours, but they lose me completely at compelled sterilization. How that isn’t a violation of international law is beyond me. You treat sick people, you try to cure them and eliminate their illness, you don’t sterilize them.