"Is There a Doctor in the House?"
From Reality's Last Stand - Don't scroll past!
July 18, 2023
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When I came across a piece in Reality’s Last Stand called “Is There a Doctor in the House” yesterday, I initially scrolled past it. I don’t usually scroll past posts from Reality’s Last Stand because I always enjoy them when I read them and they provide an invaluable contribution to today’s discourse on matters pertaining to sex and gender. I have been working hard on a court brief and just didn’t think I had time to read it.
But when I saw some chatter about the piece on Twitter this morning about how some people are now arguing that women who use testosterone to make them appear to look like men should be encouraged to continue ingesting it while pregnant even knowing that it causes risks to fetuses, I decided to revisit it. That’s when I read the article’s subtitle:
Queering the medical ethics of pregnancy to problematize a desire for ‘normal fetal outcomes’ is an abandonment of evidence-based medicine and the principle of ‘do no harm.’
To be clear, I know the authors of this piece and I know them to be accurate and fair in their writing, so I didn’t question the truth of what they were saying. It’s just that I have been TERFing for a long time and I didn’t think that anything could surprise me. But now we’re trying to problematize a desire for normal fetal outcomes???
Yes, as it turns out. That is exactly what we’re doing. The authors of the piece are referring to a recent article in the journal Qualitative Research in Health, a “a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes international and interdisciplinary qualitative research, methodological, and theoretical contributions related to medical care, illness, disease, health, and wellbeing from across the globe.” The article is titled, “Medical uncertainty and reproduction of the ‘normal’: Decision-making around testosterone therapy in transgender pregnancy.”1
People have been talking for a while now about how worrying it is that some women who want to look like men continue to take testosterone while pregnant and/or breastfeeding, but this was new to me. Not only do this study’s authors support the practice of taking testosterone while pregnant, but they argue that anyone who worries about this is driven largely by “concerns about producing normative offspring.”
As Colin Wright (who founded Reality’s Last Stand) tweeted:
According to a new paper, some "transmen" don't want to stop taking testosterone during pregnancy, despite the known health risks to the fetus, because it would make "public recognition as a man more challenging."
I would encourage readers to read the entire piece in Reality’s Last Stand (rather than scrolling past it as I foolishly did yesterday), but for now, there’s perhaps just one more thing to say about its prescriptions, as the authors did in their piece (and as Jennifer Bilek reiterated on Twitter):
“This is, quite frankly, insane.”
“Transgender” is defined in the article to mean “imperfect shorthand for a much more diverse cross-section of research participants who self-identified as men, trans men, transmasculine, and nonbinary.”