“Hey lesbian, have you ever thought you might actually want to be a man?” – that’s what I might as well have read when I checked my email inbox and found an email from the lesbian and bisexual women’s dating app HER.
What was once widely considered a homophobic cliché is now (supposedly) apropos to say to homosexual women: that they are secretly aspiring men.
There is nothing wrong with female body hair, however, women are constantly told our natural follicles are signs of masculinity and these companies are just continuing this myth that hair equals maleness or at least being less female. I feel for women with naturally high testosterone who are still caught between the mannequin smoothness in glossy magazines and the faux acceptance of the “queer community” who also tell them they are a bit, well, manly.
“Health risks: The biggest concerns associated with testosterone are increased risk for heart attacks and strokes. Testosterone might also:
Increase your red blood cell count which can lead to higher risk of clots
Increase the amount of fat and/or cholesterol in the blood
Increase the chance of diabetes
Harm the liver (although there is recent research that disputes this)
There isn’t a lot of research on the risks of testosterone for HRT so there may be other consequences that we don’t know about yet.
The casual advocacy for non-conforming people and homosexuals to risk death just to disappear or be sexually attractive to people in their subculture really rankles. Are gay people this narcissistically nihilistic or do some clever people out there have a PR savvy way of selling anti-gay eugenics to the victims? Either way, the results are the same, the lesbians disappear and become “heterosexual men”, or they potentially die of avoidable illnesses brought on by taking cross-sex hormones for vanity or as self-medicated solutions to complex forms of depression brought on by trauma.
Doctors treating children and teens with gender dysphoria have opened up about feeling pressured to prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones before non-medical interventions, such as psychotherapy, have been explored.In the first Australian study of its kind, clinicians at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney say the emergence of a “conveyor belt” mentality to treating the condition has forced them to compromise their own ethical standards.The treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents remains contentious. A group of Sydney clinicians is concerned that families are pinning hopes on pills rather than broader psychosocial therapies.
The Sydney doctors, including paediatric endocrinologist Professor Geoffrey Ambler and psychiatrist Dr Kasia Kozlowska, said many children equated gender affirmation with medical intervention and believed their distress “would be completely alleviated if they pursued the pathway of medical treatment”.
Both the patients and their families arrived at the clinic with strongly entrenched beliefs, and the doctors’ efforts to discuss psychological, social or family issues “fell on deaf ears”.
Another challenging aspect of their work was the increased pressure to prescribe cross-sex hormones to children aged 16 and over following a 2017 ruling by the Family Court of Australia.
The ruling essentially removed the requirement for court approval to access stage 2 treatment — cross-sex hormones — and put this responsibility into the hands of doctors.
“In the wake of [this] … some families presented to the clinic with the expectation that a child nearing the age of 16 could attend the gender service, see the mental health team for a one-off consultation, collect a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and move to another service to obtain stage 2 treatment … with no engagement in a therapeutic process.”
Criminalising coercive control – controlling and intimidating behaviour in a relationship – is on the agenda across Australia, including in NSW where a parliamentary committee is looking at the proposal.
But Aboriginal women’s legal service Wirringa Baiya says a new crime could have unintended consequences, and other changes need to happen first.
Indigenous women going to police face “judgmental and stereotypical attitudes”, says Wirringa Baiya’s co-ordinator, Bundjalung woman Christine Robinson.
According to South West Sydney Legal Centre CEO Yvette Vignando: “In situations of coercive control, usually the male has the ability to manipulate people.
“There’s a much higher chance of the police being hoodwinked, for want of a better word, into believing the primary perpetrator is the woman. And when you add onto that the racial bias, there’s an even higher chance of that with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.”
In some cases, women who seek help are wrongly identified as the primary perpetrator and are then themselves subject to an AVO or even criminal charges.
Research by ANROWS CEO Heather Nancarrow shows this is more likely to happen to Indigenous women.
Frontline workers are worried a coercive control crime could lead to more misidentification, ironically harming those the law is designed to help.
“Sometimes (police will) turn up and by then she’s overwhelmed,” Ms Turner says.
“She might come across as angry but she’s not, she’s frustrated because she’s not being heard. A lot of my defendants are (actually) victims.”
Neither Wirringa Baiya and South West Sydney Legal Centre opposes criminalisation of coercive control but both say other reforms have to happen first.
The history of protesting mums is rich and influential. It’s time we recognised this group as significantly active.
During the 1970s, second-wave feminists thoroughly critiqued the relegation of women to childrearing. This left some with a lingering sense that becoming a mother was an old-fashioned or politically regressive choice.
But in fact there is a long tradition of maternal radicalism in Australia. Mothers have been out on the streets, fighting for change, as frequently as they have kept the home fires burning.
The effectiveness of these maternal activists was proven in 1894 when South Australia became the first electorate in the world to give women the vote.
Further evidence of the political power of first-wave feminists came in 1912, when the Commonwealth government approved the Maternity Allowance. This was radical in using government funds to provide state support to mothers as citizens, undercutting the authority of their husbands.
Up till now, the government has failed to deliver meaningful reform for women. If the government is truly “listening to women” as the Prime Minister recently promised, we’ll see some big reforms coming out of our federal budget handed down next week.
German police have uncovered one of the world’s largest underground websites for child pornography with more than 400,000 users.
German police said on Monday they had shut down “one of the biggest darknet child pornography platforms in the world” and arrested four of its members in a series of raids in mid-April.
The platform, named as “Boystown”, had existed since 2019, counted over 400,000 members and was “set up for the worldwide exchange of child pornography, in particular images of the abuse of boys”, federal police said in a statement.
Mental health professionals say that under new laws they could lose their licence or even face prison terms for exploring the reasons behind a child’s belief that they were born in the wrong body.
A group of therapists are now calling on ministers to exclude professional treatments of gender dysphoria from the ban, which could be announced as early as next week.
“It is our duty as therapists to explore feelings of gender dysphoria, including any underlying causes, especially when medical transitioning may be irreversible,” said Mr Esses, a children’s counsellor and trainee psychotherapist.
He warned that other countries such as Australia and Canada have already introduced draconian legislation and if the Government follows suit “there is a real risk that those with gender dysphoria, in particular children who need the time and space to think things through, will not get the support they need”.
A 3-part documentary series that explores one of the most complex and urgent issues of our time – domestic abuse. Presented by investigative journalist Jess Hill, this series examines the fine lines between love, abuse and power. Available from Wednesday 5 May 8:30 PM AEST.
The Karolinska Hospital in Sweden recently issued a new policy statement regarding treatment of gender dysphoric minors at its pediatric gender services division. This policy, which took effect in April 2021, ended the practice of prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors under age 16. Hormonal intervention for youth ages 16-18 is still allowed, but can only occur in research settings approved by Sweden’s ethics review board, following a thorough informed consent that discloses the significant risks and uncertainties of hormonal interventions, and considers the minor’s maturity level and ability to provide true informed consent. This is a watershed moment. Sweden is the first country to explicitly stop following the Dutch protocol, which allows for administration of puberty blockers at age 12 (and increasingly, as young as 8-9, at the early stage of puberty known as Tanner 2), and cross-sex hormones at the age of 16. It also is the first country to officially deviate from WPATH guidance. WPATH has long positioned itself as the world authority in transgender health. However, in recent months, several countries’ health authorities have conducted their own reviews of the evidence and found the evidence insufficient to justify early medical interventions promoted by WPATH’s guidelines. Sweden’s new policy is consistent with Finland’s recently revised guidelines, which were changed to prioritize psychological interventions and support rather than medical interventions, particularly for youth with no childhood history of gender dysphoria (presently the most common presentation). Significant changes are also underway in the UK, following the High Court ruling that deemed hormonal interventions for minors experimental, and cautioned that minors are rarely able to provide truly informed consent for interventions with such profound life-long consequences. The NHS (National Health Service) has recently suspended the initiation of hormonal interventions to minors under 16. The ruling is currently under appeal, with a hearing scheduled for June 2021. In the US, the debate about the treatment for gender dysphoric minors has become politicized, with some states introducing laws banning the use of various hormonal interventions in minors, while other states perusing legislation to ban psychological treatment modalities for gender dysphoria. As international awareness of the low quality of evidence of the benefits and the potential harm of medical interventions in gender-dysphoric minors grows, the focus is expected to shift to the non-invasive options for ameliorating distress, such as the provision of ethical psychological treatments and support.The original announcement of the new policy obtained by SEGM, as well as the unofficial translation, are below:
In 2018, the federal government promised to improve the visibility of superannuation assets during family court proceedings by setting up a new “electronic” system. But more than two years later, advocates are concerned the “urgent” changes have not been implemented. A spokesperson for the Superannuation Minister Jane Hume said the government would begin consulting on the legislation soon