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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
[hrw.org]

Naomi 8 Mar 23
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Thank you very much for sharing your piece - very interesting!
I always interact with people as individuals and never identify them with the categories they belong to, so, I have no problems with LGBTQs. I was intrigued by the article I originally posted about the Japanese government's approach to gender transition. Having found more about it and trying to read between the lines, I'm beginning to think that the Japanese GID Act was set up to send out a message that gender transition mustn't be taken too lightly. But then, this obviously does not help solve the problems the trans people face in Japan.
This is such a huge matter. Even the definition of gender is debatable; some define it simply by the biological concept and others by the societal concept. Some regard gender transition as a mental disorder and others do not. Then, there are human right issues, social issues like interactions with others from marriage to child adoption and even bathroom sharing, a whole bunch of stuff! At least one thing that is clear in my head is that I also disagree that gender is fluid. I have to say that it is an ideological trend. I also agree when you talk about reproduction in evolutionary terms. I think it was Bret Weinstein who made a similar comment in one of those debates/ discussions he was in, maybe on YouTube.
Thanks again for your contribution. I shall carry on hurting my brain. lol

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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.

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I think there are many angles to this matter. I ask myself questions like:

  • Does the human right to live extend to include the right to change the gender?
  • If some trans people do not wish to undergo irreversible treatment, does that mean they are reserving the option of returning to their original gender just in case they might change their mind?
  • Sterilisation like vasectomy and tubal occlusion are generally accepted as birth control, why not for trans people?
  • In Japan's case, if one is not bothered by whether or not one's gender is legally recognised, could it be just left to one's personal choice?
  • In the UK, the Gender Recognition Act doesn't seem to specify regarding undergoing surgical operations and other types of irreversible treatment to be recognised as transgender. Is it justifiable that for example, a woman who considers herself as a man can still have a baby if she wishes to?

It's super confusing! My tiny brain can't handle this! LOL

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"Compelled" implies force. Force restricts liberty. Government is force. Less government force = increased individual liberty. The end of all government action should be to secure individual liberty.

Yes, I find "compel" is the troublesome word in all this.

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I could be wrong but I think the hormone blockers already act as a sterilization

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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".

[reuters.com]

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".

In the article I posted, some trans people do not wish to have "irreversible" treatment. Does it sound to you that they want to change their gender but they want to keep the option of going back to their original gender just in case they might change their mind?

@Naomi

Could be that they wish to keep the option open. Or could be they may wish to reproduce at some point. But, those would be assumptions as we can't know their mind.

Why does the government care at all if they want to switch from male to female and back again? Recognize them as a separate gender, or simply as a mental disorder. But, what it SOUNDS like to me is that the Japanese government is using this opportunity to sterilize an "undesirable" portion of its population.

Hmmm...it makes me think...

Not sure if gender transition is all down to individual choice and freedom if that includes switching over between sexes as one wishes. Choice always comes with responsibilities and consequences, right? So whether gender is defined by the biological concept or by the societal concept, it affects social integration like relationships and the roles of those in the relationships.

1

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.

As young as 9 - gasp!

In the UK, the NHS (National Health Service) provides treatment for gender dysphoria. For children under 18, it is normally psychological treatment by counselling. Puberty is also taken into consideration.

Meanwhile, the Gender Recognition Act 2004 gives certain legal rights to trans men and women.

In a nutshell, under the Gender Recognition Act of 2004, trans men and women can:

  • apply for and obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate to acknowledge their gender identity
  • get a new birth certificate, driving licence and passport
  • marry in their new gender

To apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, you must be over 18.

The application process requires you to prove that:

  • you have or have had gender dysphoria
  • you have lived as your preferred gender for the last two years
  • you intend to live permanently in your preferred gender

In the video, "the violation of human rights" is mentioned. I'm not sure how to define the scope of the human rights any more, as the social structure, particularly in the West, has become very complicated. Of course, everybody has the right to live, but does this right extend to include the right to change the gender, I wonder...

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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.

I guess it's like saying "if you're a woman and want to become a man, you must get rid of all the female parts inside your body as well as the outside ".

@Naomi Forced medical precedures aren’t justified by the concept of making people really commit to their decisions regarding their own bodies. I simply don’t give people that much credit.

It is the black and white notion of "to sterilise or not to sterilise" that startles me a little.

@Naomi Is there a circumstance when you would consider sterilization okay?

If there is a good medical reason, yes, I think so, especially when there is a life-threatening risk that can be avoided by sterilisation.

@Naomi Well if they have cancer in some part that the removal of which will inadvertently sterilize the person sure, but I’m more talking about if there is ever a reason to see to it that a person will never have kids. That’s inexcusable to me.

While vasectomy, for example, is not uncommon as a means of birth control, you would probably agree that it has to be a personal choice and not something that is imposed on anyone by any authority.

@Naomi Ah yes, I would exclude any prodecure undergone voluntarily from my definition of sterilization, and file it more under birth control. Still weirds me out that people will ever do that to themselves though.

Me, too.

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Heard about this one a few days ago from a friend. While something like that should never be forced on someone, obviously the Japanese care about the down sides to transgenderism.

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