transgender
He, her, ze, zer, gender queer, androgynous, person of transgender experience, two-spirited. It seems that, while gender was once such a simple non-issue, in our crumbling world it's become ridiculously complicated. Phrases like "boys and girls" no longer accepted in classrooms, "men" getting pregnant, $250000 fines for calling someone the wrong gender pronoun and toddlers transitioning to the opposite sex - it's never been more confusing to use a bathroom than in the 21st century. On the other hand, violence, bullying, suicides and even murder of transgendered people is at an all time high. Has political correctness gone too far? Are transgendered people being unfairly discriminated against? Is there a physiological component to gender dysphoria or is it a result of childhood trauma?

Join us as we explore the social, psychological and medical issues surrounding gender fluidity.

And, as always, stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where the topic will be animal reproduction.

Running Time: 01:10:12

Download: OGG, MP3


Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!


Here's the transcript of the show:

Doug: Hello everybody and welcome to the Health and Wellness Show on the SOTT Radio Network. I'm your host Doug. With me today from all across the planet in our virtual studio are Tiffany, Gaby and Erica.

All: Hellos.

Doug: Jonathan and Elliot are not with us today so hopefully they'll be back soon. So today we are talking about the whole transgender issue. Just to read the show description here, He, her, ze, zer, gender queer, androgynous, persons of transgender experience, two-spirited. It seems that, while gender was once such a simple non-issue, in our crumbling world it is become ridiculously complicated. Phrases like "boys and girls" no longer accepted in classrooms, "men" getting pregnant, $250,000 fines for calling someone by the wrong gender pronoun and toddlers transitioning to the opposite sex - it's never been more confusing to use a bathroom than in the 21st century. On the other hand, violence, bullying, suicides and even murder of transgendered people is at an all time high. Has political correctness gone too far? Are transgendered people being unfairly discriminated against? Is there a physiological component to gender dysphoria or is it a result of childhood trauma? We're going to be exploring all these things on today's show. This is a very contentious and inflammatory topic so we urge you to call in.

Tiffany: We can't promise that we'll always be politically correct, probably a lot of the time we won't be.

Doug: It's getting more and more difficult to be, since political correctness seems to be getting to such an extreme.

Gaby: It got taken over by pathologicals and now political correctness is used to normalize all kinds of pathological behaviour.

Doug: Maybe we should start off with the whole pronoun issue because that seems to be one of the ones where you really see this kind of political correctness thing going way too far; just the idea that the pronouns that have always been used in the English language are not sufficient in describing the living experience of everyone and that they need to be added to or subtracted from and how just using what has always been normal language has suddenly become offensive to part of the population.

Tiffany: I didn't really notice all of this until the last year or so. Before it might have been around but it just wasn't on my radar and then all of a sudden you're being bombarded with all these extra pronouns and you're hearing about these college campuses where they have to be extra specially sensitive to all these unique snowflakes and not offend anybody and you have to ask someone what their preferred gender pronoun is. I mean, it seems like all of a sudden it just blew up into the mainstream media and people are just going nuts with it.

Doug: Yeah. It seems like the media has taken the ball and they're just running with it and it's gone to such an extreme. One article that we read where at a university they made these pins that said "Hello, my name is this and my preferred gender pronoun is this". Do we really need to go there?

Erica: And then social media jumped on the bandwagon as well with Facebook adding over 50 gender options to people's personal profiles.

Gaby: That's crazy!

Erica: For me, kind of like Tiffany was saying, I could think of maybe 10.

Doug: I can think of three.

Erica: But 50?

Tiffany: And then there's these different classrooms or school districts like a school in Australia where they weren't allowed to use the words mom and dad. They have to use parents. Or you can't say husband and wife you have to say spouse or partner.

Gaby: Okay, that is simply hysterical.

Tiffany: Yeah. It's kind of like they're trying to thought control us - control the words that people use. I don't know who "they" are, but just whomever, "they" in generic. But if you control the words that people use you change the way that people think about things. It seems like the intention is not to enlighten, it's more like to obscure reality and call things by things that they are not instead of calling things by their proper names.

Doug: Well just to go a bit further with that, that same Australian school has also banned clapping at school assemblies because there are some students who might be sensitive to sound. And they've also banned hugging because some people might not be comfortable with body contact. It's taking the idea of "I don't have a problem with hugging so why should I not be able to hug? Well no, because you might offend somebody who does have a problem with hugging and they feel like they're missing out on something by not hugging." How far can we possibly go with this?!? Being offended is subjective. Somebody could be offended by anything. You could wear the wrong colour socks and you could offend somebody. So this idea that we can pre-empt this idea of offence, that we can live our lives in such a way that we could not possibly offend anybody is like walking around with padding on all the time. You're going to wear football equipment in your day-to-day life because you don't want to possibly get damaged in some way. It's so over the top and so insane.

Gaby: I'm a fragile snowflake.

Erica: I wonder if it's not meant to just distract from other things going on and get people obsessed. As one of our commenters said, agitate people into one camp or another - either you're open and liberal and support this whole idea or you're not.

Tiffany: And there are probably some people where this kind of thing would set them off to be even more outwardly phobic or transgenderist or whatever you want to call it, than they would be normally.

Doug: Yeah.

Tiffany: But it's like they're - whoever "they" are again - they're mandating that you have to not offend somebody. Everybody's feelings must be protected in all cases and all situations and if you make a mistake in addressing someone, then you can be fined.

Doug: Yeah! This was in New York.

Gaby: In New York.

Doug: Apparently misgendering - that's what they're calling it - which amounts to calling somebody not by their preferred pronoun, so if they have their little pin on and it says "I prefer to be called him" and you call them her, then you could get a $125,000 fine. And if it's the result of wilful, wanton or malicious conduct you can get a $250,000 fine.

Gaby: So obviously they're pushing this agenda for some reason. I found it interesting that Pope Francis, when he visited Poland, he made a few remarks about it. He said that it was like an ideological colonization and he highlighted the idea was supported and funded by very influential countries.

So far we have seen stories about school programs pushing this exploration of transgender issues in very young children in the United Kingdom, in Australia and possibly the United States.

Tiffany: When I was coming up through elementary school we had sex education in the fifth grade and it was basically how babies get here and how babies are born. It wasn't exploring our childhood sexuality and learning how to masturbate and trying out all these different gender pronouns.

Doug: That's one of the most disturbing aspects of this I think, that there seems to be some kind of push to socially indoctrinate young children. You're not exaggerating when you're saying that children as young as four. That's when they're starting to do this education, so to speak. There was one incident in the UK where a school with children as young as four were being encouraged to learn about transgender issues in a transgender day they were holding at the school where children were being taught to "explore their sexuality". Like come on!! A four-year-old?!?! Seriously?!?! How twisted is that?!? What sexuality can a four-year-old be exploring?!?

Tiffany: And when I hear something like that immediately I think who designed this program and why did they think that children have sexuality that can be explored in the first place.

Gaby: Yes! That was my first reaction. I looked at a photograph of the head teacher who was pushing this agenda. She looked like a male.

Doug: She did. She looked like she was probably - well maybe that's...

Tiffany: Don't hurt anybody's feelings.

Doug: Sorry. Sorry. Don't mean to offend. This is a safe space.

Tiffany: There was some school district - I forget what country it was in - but they had the owner of a sex shop come in and give a demonstration.

Doug: That was Canada.

Tiffany: Yeah. It's just crazy.

Gaby: So normally the parents were threatening to remove their children from primary school. I would have been one probably.

Tiffany: Yeah, in Germany they had this sex education and they were using all these, I guess you could say quasi-pornographic cartoons and books. I guess you could say it was all the way pornographic because there were some pictures posted in this particular article that talked about it and it was overtly sexual. There was really no other way to get around it and these parents said "Hey, we don't want our children to have this class" so they pulled their children out of class and I think they were prosecuted or some kind of legal ramifications came of that.

Doug: Didn't they go to jail?

Tiffany: Yeah.

Erica: Yeah, I think they went to jail.

Doug: Unbelievable!

Tiffany: I mean, what is the legal mandate that says you have to expose your children to something like this in a classroom?

Erica: That's when they actually even told the parents that they were doing it. It sounds like with some of these programs they don't even tell the parents that they're doing it.

Tiffany: And with some of these programs they won't tell the parents if the child chooses a gender pronoun that is outside of what they would normally use like he or she. So if a kid wants to be called zer or her or whatever, they won't let the parents know.

Gaby: That is crazy because they're indoctrinating children and trying to brainwash them, convince them of something that it is not. We know from biology that the prefrontal cortex, when people really start maturing and making the correct decisions, for some people it comes as late as in their 40's.

Tiffany: The thing about not telling the parents, why would you not tell the parents? If your son or daughter was having some kind of psychological issue and they went to the mental health counsellor in the school and was talking about that with the person, they would tell the parents "your child is being bullied" or "your child just started menstruating. I think you need to take care of this". Or "your child is having depressive thoughts". Why would they not do the same thing if their child is expressing wanting to use a different gender pronoun?

Doug: Yeah.

Tiffany: Why is that a secret and nothing else is?

Doug: It seems like it's an insidious rise of gender theory.

Gaby: What worries me a lot is that gender psychologists don't seem to know a lot about psychology. When a person expresses the desire to change sex and goes to a psychologist they basically discard it, you don't have a psychotic breakdown, schizophrenia or something like that. But they are not curious to find out about your childhood or sexual abuse, nothing at all. So they encourage it. "Yes, you're fine. You can do it."

Doug: Well they encourage surgery. There's a number of cases of people talking about how when they were going through this kind of identity crisis, for lack of a better term, that the only solution that was offered to them was surgery, which is really...

Gaby: Disturbing.

Doug: ...disturbing. That should be the absolute last thing offered; some kind of counselling, some kind of exploration of what sort of issues are actually going on there.

Gaby: They don't even care about past experience because there is enough experience in the literature to review it and to come to some sort of a conclusion. Is it a good idea or a bad idea to change your sex?

Tiffany: Well it seems like at this point it's like if you can afford it, then go ahead and do it. But certain sites that I looked at, when they were talking about male to female transition or transition from a female to male, there is a flow that you have to go through. You have to start off on the hormones first and then you have to live as your preferred gender for six months to a year and you have to have two mental health professionals say that you are fit and not suffering from any kind of mental illness to go through the surgery. But I wonder how they can verify that. What do they do? What kind of testing do they do?

Gaby: It reminds me of when I was in a big city in Spain I made my rotations in endocrinology and they had a specific section for transgenders. This was in the public healthcare system. I was very surprised and had all sorts of questions. They explained to me that in some medical cases they do consider it because there is what is called pseudohermaphrodatism which is not uncommon. What happens is while a person is born with the sex characteristics of one or the other but develops secondary characteristics that are different and the secondary characteristics is pubic hair, large breasts, facial hair and that sort of thing. It's usually a congenital problem having to do with the pathways in the adrenal glands where all the hormones are produced.

So in some cases even babies are born with a little bit of tissue which is female tissue and a little bit of tissue which is male tissue so they will evaluate to see with which gender the person will identify and then set medical treatment to set that up.

Tiffany: But that's a particular...

Gaby: It's rare, yes. It's not uncommon. What is very rare is true hermaphroditism. It's so rare that there has only been 40 cases in the literature ever. They're rare.

Tiffany: Erica, did you have some kind of history because it's not like transgenderism or cross-dressing or transsexual is a new thing in the history of the world. It seems like there has always been that kind of thing going on?

Erica: Yeah, I was reading about in Native American culture, the idea of being two spirited and having two spirits, identifying with a feminine part of the spirit and a masculine part of the spirit and that this was viewed in certain tribes as identifying with both of them and occupying one body. So they dress a mixture of traditional male and female and they may dress as a man one day and a woman another day. But it had nothing to do with sexual preferences. It's not a sexual thing in that sense.

For example, in the Lakota and Oglala tradition, sometimes these two-spirited people were tellers of the future or they were conferrers of lucky names for children and adults. They also played roles in the Sun Dance ceremonies. So it seems in the research, that the two-spirited people were accepted. But again it wasn't a sexual preference thing. It was more like they knew they had these two elements about them and they were seen in the community as somebody who had something to offer, if that makes sense.

Gaby: Yeah, it seems like a higher awareness in the sense that it reminds me of possibilities of reincarnation or spirit attachments. While preparing for the show I read this story that was very characteristic of a very young child - four years old...

Tiffany: Three or four I think they were?

Gaby: Three or four, and he identified as a little boy and playing games with boys and one day he just flipped and he identified as a girl. He became obsessed. This kid has a spirit attachment.

Tiffany: I think in the article they were talking about how the boy, when he was younger was obsessed with boys' stuff, like Thomas the Tank Engine and all of a sudden it happened in one day! He started being obsessed with Dorothy the Explorer and wanted to be a girl. That made me think of spirit attachment too.

Gaby: And they basically recruited him or her to a transgender change. If they would be aware of spirit attachments, they would consider doing that first before doing something so drastic as changing the sex.

Tiffany: But so many people are unaware that the spirit attachments is something that's even possible but it's quite common from my reading.

Gaby: Everybody has them.

Tiffany: So it makes me wonder, what glommed onto this little boy? Was it a female spirit that made him think that he was a female, that he was destined to be a female?

Gaby: Maybe it was a trip to the hospital.

Tiffany: Yeah, you don't know what goes on in these situations, but it seems like somebody would explore it a little bit before they just say "Okay, let's set you up for surgery".

Doug: What's really disgusting about this is the parents. What parent would want to put their child through something like this at four years old?! A four-year-old is not capable of making these kinds of decisions. They have no understanding whatsoever of the consequences. They have no self-awareness. There's nothing there. You can't just give in to the whims of a child. The fact that they are willing to do this, how brainwashed can they possibly be? Are they aware of what the procedure actually is? What one actually has to go through? It's mutilation essentially. It's probably going off the politically correct spectrum there, but the surgery is extremely invasive.

Gaby: Maybe we should give the listeners a little bit of an idea?

Tiffany: Yeah! Well, okay. We can do that. But first I wanted to say something about the four-year-old. There is an Australian case of this four-year-old and they said that the four-year-old - I don't know if it was a girl or boy - they were beginning the transgender transition and the first thing I thought when I read that - like you said Doug - how does a four-year-old even make that decision, but even more so, how does a four-year-old even know that that is an option to have surgery and become another sex? Who told that child...

Gaby: The school!

Tiffany: Yeah! The school, the parents. It's remarkable that the kid even knows about such a thing. There's the feminized little boy and you kind of get the picture. Sometimes you see little boys - I just have experience with boys - they play with girl's things and they act a little effeminate and you kind of figure "okay, when they grow up they're going to be homosexual." You don't say "Hey, this little boy wants to be a girl. Let's set him up for hormone therapy and transgender surgery."

Erica: I agree.

Tiffany: So about the surgery, it is really radical surgery. It is one thing to be a "drag queen" and to caricature a woman, dress up like a woman and have shows and everything, but the actual surgeries is like they're taking their play acting or playing dress-up to...

Gaby: Extreme levels.

Tiffany: An extreme level. They're actually paying to have the parts put on or taken away from their body so they can better imitate a man or a woman and in a way it seems like they're wanting us all to accept their belief and really it's just not real. I don't know of any other way to put it. I guess they're trying to make it more convincing and they get upset when people aren't convinced that it's the real thing.

But anyway, as far as these procedures - and they can be quite costly. Just for the basics, I read on one site where they do the surgery, it's like $21,000 if you want to go from male to female, if the hormones don't make you grow breasts as a male you can always get breast implants. Or if you're a woman you have your breasts removed, again another radical surgery. And then for female to male transitions, in order to make a penis - they call it a neophallis kind of surgery - they take flaps of skin from forearms, your abdomen, your legs, and they tube them together and they try to create a penis. In one instance they'll have a micro penis by elongating the clitoris and some people who have the surgery are satisfied with this. I think one of the things that a transitioning woman would want in order to feel more like a man is to be able to stand up and pee, which to me seems like a little small detail.

But there's that. It's called a metoidioplasty. Then they have the actual phalloplasty where they make the penis from the flaps of skin but they cannot pee standing up and in a lot of cases, having this man-made penis does not give full sexual function and there are some I guess implants or other manoeuvres that they have to take in order to actually be able to have sexual intercourse.

And then there's buttock reductions, like if you're transitioning from a female to a male or if you're male to female, they have I guess, a Brazilian butt lift is something that is preferred.

Another radical thing that can be done in these surgeries is a vaginectomy, where they remove part of the vagina which I'm not sure exactly how that works. I guess they remove all the outer genitalia. And another radical thing in male-to-female, they do a vaginoplasty where they try to create a vagina in the space where a vagina really would be on a woman, but the body treats that open space in a man's body like it's a wound and so it has this tendency to want to close up and it's prone to infection. So they have to go through all of these steps to keep the area open.

And then other things they can do is for example if they have very prominent male features and they want to feminize it, they'll shave down the Adam's apple and get rid of some of the prominent bones in the brow area. So pretty radical an extreme to go to just to create this outer costume to convince people...

Gaby: That sounds like some severe trauma just to go through the surgery itself.

Erica: Yeah.

Gaby: There's a very good point on the chat. "Do you think there is a connection with vaccines or hormone disruption in the environment?"

Tiffany: Well there's been a lot of SOTT articles about hormone-disrupting chemicals like BPA found in breast milk and it's feminizing little boys. I suppose it could be an explanation in some cases.

Gaby: That's true. Very little boys get all these complexes because they develop breasts. They don't feel like a woman but they actually feel really bad because they have breasts. I guess in some cases yes it could disrupt sexual orientation, especially if you're ponerized and indoctrinated.

Erica: There's also the endocrine-disrupting chemicals in all kinds of stuff, the BPA in plastics and even in pesticides and whatnot. There was a research done by Tyrone Hayes about the fog of war about how these chemicals like atrazine are changing the sex of frogs in his research and when he tried to publish it he received a lot of negative backlash. I think there's a role to play in that, but as we were talking about before the show, is it the only thing? These things are happening but it seems like there's more going on than just the environmental.

Gaby: These things are happening on a background of ponerization. I don't know the statistics but I would think that more men are converting to women than the other way around.

Tiffany: Yeah, I don't know the exact statistics either but yeah, it seems like it is.

Doug: Should we go to our audio clip?

Gaby: Oh yeah, it's a good one.

Tiffany: Yeah, we do have a clip. This is Camille Paglia talking about the transgender mania that's happening in society right now?

Gaby: And who's this woman for those who don't know?

Tiffany: She is a feminist lesbian who writes about cultural issues. So the name of this article that she was featured in is Feminist Camille Paglia: 'Transgender mania is a symptom of the West's cultural collapse'. But in this clip she doesn't get too much into the cultural collapse part, but we'll go ahead and have a listen to it.
Camille: I think that the transgender propagandists, okay, make wildly inflated claims about the multiplicity of gender. In the sex reassignment surgery, even today, with all of its advances, cannot in fact change anyone's sex, okay? You can then define yourself as a transman or a transwoman or one of these new gradations along the scale. But ultimately every single cell in the human body, the DNA in that cell, remains coded for your biological birth. So there are a lot of lies being propagated at the present moment which I think is not in anyone's best interests.

What I'm concerned about is the popularity and the availability of sex reassignment surgery. So someone who is feeling - doesn't feel that he or she belongs to the biological birth gender, people are being encouraged to intervene in the process. Parents are now encouraged to subject the child to procedures that I think are a form of child abuse, either the hormones to slow puberty, okay, actual surgical manipulations, etc. I think this is wrong, that people should wait until they are of an informed age of consent. Parents should not be doing this to their children and I think that even in the teenage years is too soon to be making this leap. People change. People grow and people adapt.

Now I am concerned, again, about this. In fact my study of history in sexual personae, I'm always talking about the late phases of culture and was always drawn to the late or decadent phase of culture. Oscar Wilde is one of the great exponents of that in the late 19th century. He is one of my strongest influences from my earliest years.

And I found in my study that history is cyclic and everywhere in the world you find this pattern in ancient times, that as a culture begins to decline you have an efflorescence of transgender phenomenon. That is a symptom of cultural collapse. So rather than people singing the praises of humanitarian liberalism that allows all of these transgender possibilities to appear and to be encouraged, I would be concerned about how Western culture is defining itself to the world because in fact these phenomena are inflaming the irrational and indeed borderline psychotic components of Western culture in the form of ISIS and other jihadists, etc.

Nothing better defines the decadence of the west to the jihadists than our toleration of open homosexuality and this transgender mania now, okay? So I think that any vision of the future - the futurists from the science fiction of the late 19th century into the 20th century, usually they have projected that men and women in distant space will start to conform to each other in gender. And you see it in Star Wars. The gender seems to start to be erased. Men and women are working side-by-side, almost as units in a machine. There's something almost mechanical about it. It's shaving away of gender differences, okay?

Yes, more and more the masculine is seen as somehow retrograde. It's something paleolithic, something belonging to the past.
Tiffany: So that was Camille Paglia. I think it's important not to confuse sexual orientation with sex. Sexual orientation, whether you're heterosexual, homosexual, lies on a spectrum from strictly hetero to strictly homosexual, but sex itself is biology and nature and so there is no getting around it. Either you're a man or a woman or like Gaby said, there are some rare cases of being a hermaphrodite where there's medical issues that kind of screw up the hormones and leave a person in a confused state.

But outside of the strict two sexes, I can't come up with anything that's different except in some cases in the animal kingdom where they can transition back and forth. But humans are humans and they have two sexes, for the most part.

Gaby: Does somebody remember the clinical experience? There was this clinic which did 500 cases of transgender sex change a while ago when this was not as popular as it is now. What was their experience?

Doug: It was the Dr. Harry Benjamin's Gender Clinic. There was doctor named Ihlenfeld who had experience treating more than 500 transgender patients with hormones over a six year period and his conclusion at the end of all this was that it was actually a bad idea and that 80% of the patients who want to change their physical appearance this way should not to it.

Tiffany: He actually said that there's "too much unhappiness among people who have had the surgery and too many end as suicides". That article was called Feelings change but the body doesn't: A sobering look into transgenderism and medical malpractice. The author of this article is a journalist and I guess at some point he had gone through the transition and had transgender surgery but he realized that it was a mistake and he says he's gotten a lot of emails from people who said that they're not happy at all with the surgery. They thought that what they were feeling at the time, that they were wanting the surgery, was just fleeting feelings, as so many feelings are but they had the surgery and they're stuck with all these permanent body changes. They have this radical surgery and they're still not happy.

So it just reminds me like, wherever you go, there you are. You can make all these changes to your cosmetic appearance and have all this surgery and stuff, but you still have to be psychologically healthy and live with yourself throughout your whole life.

Doug: He actually makes a really good point in that article, and that is that surgery doesn't treat transgenderism. He likens it to doing things like lobotomies or pulling teeth or removing parts of colons to try and get rid of infections that were done in turn of the century, that you're actually going a surgical option as a means of treating essentially a psychological condition. He also made a very good point talking about how trauma, like childhood trauma, is never explored in these situations and that a lot of the people who have been writing to him have said that once they went through the transition surgery and everything it didn't solve those problems and that they've since worked through those in therapy and that after the therapy is done they regret their decision.

So it's very clear to me that surgery should be the absolute last option and that you really need to dig into the psychological issues first. Deal with trauma. Everybody goes through some level of trauma when they're a child so you really need to see where that actual decision is coming from because if you don't and you're just trying to cosmetically treat what is actually a very deep issue I think you're bound to be very disappointed.

Tiffany: There's no doubt about it, that it is a very deep issue. I can't imagine. You have to sympathize with these people. Can you imagine what it would be like to be tormented by feeling that you were born the wrong sex? That must be very, very difficult for people. I want to make it clear, these people should not be discriminated against. They shouldn't be bullied. They shouldn't be harassed. They have very difficult lives and a lot of it leads them into prostitution or drug use and suicides and all that. They should be treated with compassion just like everyone else should be treated with compassion.

But I was reading some more through Dr. Charles Ihlenfeld's experience with treating these transgendered people and he said that up to 80% of the people who want to have the sex change probably should not do it and he says this is the only population where the patient diagnoses him or herself and then prescribes their own treatment, like the sex change is the only thing that's going to help them get out of this. He said there's a lot of younger people - and he absolutely stressed this should not be done on younger people, especially not toddlers, not even teenagers. You should be over the age of 20-21 before you're even taken seriously that you should be going through the surgery.

Gaby: A lot of people who did it in their 20s regretted it. They got over it in their 30s or 40s.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Doug: Well you're taking people who are in a very changeable and turbulent time in their lives. I think about how much I changed personally between my teenage years and my 30s and it's huge! I can't imagine making a major life-changing decision in my 20s that would affect me today.

Tiffany: For the whole rest of your life.

Doug: I can guarantee I would regret it.

Tiffany: Yeah, it was like you were a different person and thank god for that!

Doug: Yeah.

Erica: I found the testimonials interesting in that article too Tiffany, that you were talking about. One man talks about how the changing of his gender was an empty promise and a reprieve that didn't really fix anything. After a lot of psychological counselling he began to see his dream of becoming a girl had been an escape to cope with real pain from childhood trauma.

Tiffany: There have been stories of people who actually went through the transition and they've come to regret it and they want to switch back and meantime they've had all this upheaval in their life, they lost jobs, they lost their family members. They just don't want to talk to them anymore. And they did all of this over a fleeting feeling where a lot of them say "Surgery wasn't the answer. I just needed some therapy or counselling." But a lot of them have these unrealistic expectations that if they go through this then everything will be solved and their lives will be better.

In that particular article there was an interesting quote that the author used. He was talking about this woman that had a very tumultuous upbringing. Her father was a paedophile and he abused her and her brother and neglected her. She grew up and she was gorging herself to make herself unattractive to the opposite sex and she lived for a while as a lesbian and she decided she wanted to transition to a male. The author said that as a transgender she can fall in love with herself and avoid rejection.

So I wonder if a lot of that is going on with these people. Ultimately, it's like they're seeking acceptance and maybe if our society wasn't as screwed as it is and people were more compassionate and more tolerant, maybe they would not go to such extremes in order to come to love themselves. Maybe if other people loved them enough they wouldn't have to be so radical.

Gaby: What I find disturbing is that now teenagers have temper tantrums, threatening everybody with suicide unless they get their transgender sex change. That's crazy. That's basically a person that needs cognitive therapy or psychological therapy, but not the surgery.

Erica: I wonder how much of that is the social influence. "Oh now I have an explanation for what I'm going through. I'm really a woman stuck in a man's body and I'm going to go to no ends of the earth to get the change so I can be happy" and as that article clearly states, that actually coming to bring happiness is not the case.

Tiffany: I wonder how they would cope if that option wasn't even available. If this was 50 years ago and they didn't have the possibilities that they have now with the surgery, what would they do?

Doug: I think we can all relate on a certain level because I think it's not uncommon for people to get obsessed with some sort of idea. They think that if they just do this one thing then all of their problems will be solved or it's the one thing standing in their way and it becomes almost like an obsession.

Tiffany: Like a magic bullet.

Doug: Yeah, exactly. "If I just solve this one problem then suddenly my life is going to be better". So I can identify with them in that sense. In a lot of cases it's the only option that's really given to them so they don't see other options so they become obsessed with this one idea. I think that the current media landscape is not helping things in any way, shape or form. This whole gender fluidity thing has become the new cool thing. You're seeing models looking more and more androgynous all the time. There's the whole thing about Caitlin Jenner and she was so brave for going through this transition. There was the whole bathroom issue and if you don't offer a third bathroom then you're an evil corporate jerk instead of being a nice liberal like the rest of us.

So it's just blown up so much in the media that I can identify to a certain extent, to these people latching onto this as the only possible solution and become obsessed with it.

Tiffany: Some of the surgeries aren't quite as convincing. Like if you look at Caitlin Jenner, something seems off. It doesn't seem quite feminine like an actual person who was born a woman but the crazy thing is, these gender-neutral advocates always try to use that term like these people do not agree with the gender that they are assigned at birth. Biology doesn't assign anything. You're either a boy or a girl. That's why it just incenses me because they're wanting us to not pay attention to nature and reality and just cater to people's feelings no matter how skewed they are.

Gaby: That reminds me that they want to remove the label of mental illness from those who want to change their sex and call it just gender dysphoria.

Erica: Yeah, or gender identity disorder. Formerly gender identity disorder.

Gaby: Formerly. And remove the label of craziness to it, so normalize it.

Doug: It's more political correctness.

Tiffany: Well speaking of political correctness, there's 31 - some people might say more - 31 different words that you can use in your gender expression.

Doug: These are ones that were put forth by New York City, the ones that they will accept.

Gaby: Yeah. Okay so 31? Man/woman-two. What else?

Doug: Give us a selection Tiff.

Tiffany: Okay so I'll just go through them. Some of them are quite funny. Bi-gendered, cross-dresser, drag king, drag queen, fem queen, female to male (FTM), gender-bender, gender queer, male to female (MTF), non-op and hijra. What did we find out about that word?

Gaby: It's an Indian name for...

Tiffany: For a eunuch.

Doug: No, for a lady boy basically.

Tiffany: Oh, a lady boy, okay. Pan-gender, trans-sexual and transsexual (with two s's), trans-person-woman/man (I'm surprised those made the list), butch, two-spirit (and that's t-w-o spirit, trans, agender, third sex, gender fluid, non-binary transgender, androgen, gender gifted, gender blender fem, (this is my favourite) person of transgender experience and androgynous. I'll add another one - gender-enhanced.

Erica: There was also other and non-binary on the list.

Doug: Non-binary.

Tiffany: So you have to remember all of this stuff and you have to ask people when you first meet them, what would they prefer to be called, otherwise you're offending their delicate sensibilities.

Doug: And you might get a $250,000 fine.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Doug: It's interesting to see what extremes this whole gender theory is taken to because what is blowing my mind about it, about the way that society is moving right now, is that more emphasis is actually placed on this identity than on biology. Biology is like, "Who cares? I don't care what I biologically am, I'm going to identify as this." It has come to an extreme. I've seen a couple of headlines where they talk about "Man gets pregnant! Shocks scientists!" which, when you read the article it's actually just a person who is biologically a woman but they identify as a man and they got pregnant. There's nothing shocking about that. No scientist would be shocked by that. That person is biologically a female and they are having a child. There is nothing shocking in the least about that.

But it's that they would identify so strongly with this male identity that it would somehow be seen as shocking which just kind of blows my mind.

Tiffany: Let me jump in here because there was this article on SOTT called Transgender couple has a baby and they were talking about that. A biological man and a woman had a baby together, so there's really nothing earth shattering about that.

Doug: Why is that news?

Tiffany: But then the woman in the particular couple - I guess they'd become so enamoured of their special societal status as a transgendered person they take it to the extreme because she said something like "Since I'm a transgender" - neither of them had gone through any kind of surgery or anything - she just thought she couldn't get pregnant but I don't understand that! You're a woman! Why would you think that you can't get pregnant?! Women are able to get pregnant. But go ahead Doug.

Gaby: There was another example of a couple. The biological woman had severe endometriosis so she was actually infertile. So the man was biologically a woman as well. He actually had the baby for them.

Doug: Yeah, and it was shocking. "Woman has baby! News at 11:00!" Think Progress was the name of the website which is basically an LGBT website and the editor's name is Zack Ford and apparently he decided to argue that the science isn't actually settled on whether men can menstruate and have babies. I forget what it was about the women.

Tiffany: It was some kind of campaign where they were putting tampons and things into bathrooms so they decided that they wanted to put those in the men's bathroom too.

Gaby: And for those who don't know LGBT is lesbian/gay/bisexual and transsexual.

Doug: Thank you. I should have said that. He went on Twitter because I think there was an article - I can't remember where the article was - but it was basically a guy saying the science is settled. Men don't menstruate and he decided to argue this fact and he was like "I know lots of men who menstruate, blah, blah, blah". What it comes down to is he's not actually talking about biological men. He again is talking about somebody who identifies as a man but is biologically a woman.

So it's the idea that this person would argue about this and he got into huge flame wars on Twitter about this and most people were like "I don't know why you're arguing this! This is ridiculous." But it just goes to show how people can get so identified with this idea that all that matters is the identity and biology has no play whatsoever.

Tiffany: Like that "transgender couple gives birth" article or the one about the "man" who gives birth to a baby when she/he was biologically a woman in the first place. It seems like for both of those people, having a baby for them was a political statement. In the one article the woman said that she had a baby because it's her right to do so. Like you have to flex your rights to have a baby. Of all the bad ideas and the bad reasons to have a baby, that's probably right up there near the top. Your baby is a political statement.

Doug: That kid is going to be so damaged.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Gaby: Yeah. The rights of the children should be prioritized.

Tiffany: It's not like heterosexual couples don't have babies for all the wrong reasons too.

Doug: But it's basically just narcissism when it comes right down to it.

Tiffany: So where do you all think this is going? This is such a big push, what direction are they pushing us into, do you think?

Gaby: More suffering for everybody.

Erica: More confusion.

Doug: Yeah, confusion. More division. You're already seeing it. We didn't really go into it much here but there's been so many incidents lately of transgendered people having violence against them.

Gaby: Beaten up to death.

Doug: Yeah. There was one in Harlem recently, a man who dressed as a woman and when a "friend" of hers found out, just beat them to death. So I think in the grand scheme of things it's just yet another issue to divide us all over.

Tiffany: Yeah, and more food for the moon with all the negative energies to feed on. Say if your family is more traditional and you came out as a transgender person, there are a lot of families that break up over this and there are a lot of these teenagers and young people who end up out on the streets and they might turn to drugs and prostitution in order to get by and that opens them up to all kinds of disease and abuse and murders and rapes.

Gaby: A lot of people commit suicide. A lot of people who actually were happy initially ended up very miserable, regretting it and by then they'd lost all their friends and family.

Tiffany: And there's a fair number of transgender people who due to the crime they had to resort to, end up in prison and then that's another problem where they get abused in prison because if they're biologically a male but they identify as a female, they're going to be sent to a male prison.

Gaby: And all the hormones they have to take, they have a high risk of cancer. It doesn't make sense.

Tiffany: And there's actually no studies according to this author, not very many studies, on the long-term outcomes of this transgender surgeries. A lot of the people who are dissatisfied drop out of studies because they've just had it and they can't deal with it anymore and they might try to return to their former way of being. But there's not much science saying that there are good outcomes for people going through this surgery. I'd be interested in seeing it, but I think that maybe part of the endgame, like with the LGBT movement that initially started out requesting equal rights and non-discrimination against gays and lesbians and then you have this group of deviant people who glom on to their legitimate social protest and turn it into some kind of call for freedom of sexual expression. But really, if you start investigating these people who are calling for all this sexual freedom, you find out that they are actually advocates or participants in paedophilia.

Gaby: That's what's behind all of this, pathological people.

Doug: And it's really sad too because I understand a gay person would want to be involved with the gay community and advocating for gay rights and that sort of thing but the fact that the whole movement gets twisted, it's almost like they don't really recognize what they're fighting for anymore. So I can feel for it.

Tiffany: Yeah, it gets twisted and co-opted and they use people's acceptance of homosexuality as a way to get people to accept other types of sexuality.

Gaby: Deviancies.

Tiffany: Deviant as something that's normal. I think that one of the ultimate endgames is to get people to accept just outright, in the open, paedophilia - adults having sex with children.

Gaby: Nearly there.

Doug: It's disturbing. So on that note...

Tiffany: Have we exhausted this topic? Have we let you all know how we really feel about it?

Doug: Have we offended anybody? The chat is quiet. Maybe it would be a good time to go to Zoya's pet health segment.

Tiffany: Yeah, we can go to the pet health segment on reproduction.

Zoya: Hello and welcome to the pet health segment of the Health and Wellness Show. My name is Zoya and today I would like to share with you various interesting and strange facts regarding animal reproduction and pregnancy.

The first fact is about elephants. You probably already know that they are pregnant for nearly two years. They have the longest pregnancies of any mammal. An African elephant stays pregnant for 22 months and when they give birth, the entire pack huddles around them to protect the mother and baby from predators like lions. Elephant babies are able to walk moments after being born, also likely as a defence against predators who go after baby elephants. And apparently baby elephants suck the trunks just like human babies suck their thumbs.

Another fact is dogs can experience false pregnancies. After a female dog goes into heat and experiences a fertile period, even if she has not actually mated she may experience pregnancy symptoms like vomiting, fluid retention, enlargement of the mammaries and even milk production. She may also begin engaging in typical pregnancy behaviours like nesting and feeling restless. On occasion dogs experiencing a false pregnancy will even go through a false labour and fixate on a small toy or other item afterwards, protecting and caring for it as if it were a young puppy.
So why do dogs become convinced that they are with pup even if they haven't been anywhere near a male dog who could impregnate them? It turns out that the female dog's ovaries produce hormones designed to ready the uterus for pregnancy as soon as a dog is finished going into heat. In the pregnant dog these hormones continue to flow through almost the rest of her pregnancy. For a dog who isn't pregnant, these pregnancy hormones continue to flow through her body for over a month and the fluctuations lead to pregnancy-like bodily changes.

Now about primates. Orangutans nurse for six years. Orangutans in general spend almost their entire lives in trees. They are the only great ape to be considered primarily arboreal. They spend their days climbing, travelling and eating on the trees and building nests each night in the forest canopy to sleep and giving birth is no different. Female orangutans give birth to the young alone, like most apes, in nests built near the top of some very high rainforest trees. Female orangutans also devote seven years to raising each of the babies who nurse until they are six, which is why they typically only give birth once every eight years, meaning that most orangutans only have four or five children in their lifetime. That's the longest any animal beside the human animal, spend raising their young.

Now about giraffes. Giraffes can only give birth standing up. If a giraffe mother were to sit or lie down while giving birth the baby could be crushed. The standing birth also serves another function. A newborn baby giraffe drops out of the standing mother's vagina which is typically about six feet or almost two metres in the air, a drop which severs the umbilical cord. But while a seated giraffe birth can be risky, so can the drop. On occasion newborn baby giraffes become fatally injured during their fall to the ground but luckily most giraffe babies successfully make it to the ground.

What about spiders? Apparently spiders can choose which sperm to use. Certain species of female spiders are able to engage in a practice called sperm dumping. Basically when these spiders mate sperm doesn't flow directly into the reproductive organs. Rather it enters a sac which the female spider can decide about later. She'll either expel and dispose of the sperm or use the sperm to conceive. This system is thought to exist so that these species of female spiders can mate with multiple males during the period of fertility and then choose the mate most likely to yield successful offspring.

And spiders are far from the only creatures to engage in forms of sperm dumping. Mammals like zebras and ducks also have the means to keeping unwelcome sperm from their wombs.

Next up is about octopi. Sadly, octopus mothers die after their eggs hatch. Typically octopus mothers guard the eggs for several months, a period of time where they don't eat or really move and after the young hatch, the mothers die. Researchers have found one deep sea species of octopus who sat guarding the eggs and barely moving for four-and-a-half years, the longest documented gestation time for any animal and also an impressive span of time for an octopus whose lifespan is typically only a year or two. It seems like nature can be extremely nurturing and cruel at the same time.

And just in case you ever wondered, kangaroos have three vaginas. The outer two are for collecting sperm from sexual encounters while the central vagina is exclusively for giving birth. All the vaginas connect within the kangaroo's body funnelling whatever goes into them to one of the female kangaroo's two uteruses. This setup means that a female kangaroo can basically be constantly pregnant and some male kangaroos have a double-pronged penis too.

As for chipmunks in comparison, they are pregnant only for 31 days.

Now to the less amusing facts. Male dolphins are not as nice as you think. You may have heard that some dolphins commit sexual assault against each other and it's true. Male dolphins will sometimes in effect gang rape a female dolphin caught alone, preventing her attempts to escape until she has sex with all of them. But that's far from the only sex-related problem to plague the dolphin communities of the world. The heft of carrying a pregnancy slows dolphins down. A pregnant dolphin experiences a 50% increase in swim drag which can make them more vulnerable to predators and may play a role in the declining dolphin populations.

But there is kindness in the sea too, seahorses, for example. Everyone probably already knows that after some courtship the female seahorse lays eggs in the male seahorse's pouch. The male seahorse is then pregnant and he doesn't just carry the eggs around. He also provides nutrients and protection from viruses to his young while they're in utero, just like the typical pregnant female mammal does. Then he'll give birth to the couple's young after 10-25 days, depending on the species.

As for the stranger fact, apparently male ducks grow a new corkscrew shaped penis every year and female ducks have the ability to prevent the sperm of male ducks whose children they don't want to bear, from reaching their uteruses. They can shunt this unwanted sperm off into the dead end within their vagina where it won't be able to fertilize the eggs. This ability is really important for female ducks as male ducks are known to frequently force themselves sexually on female ducks.

The last fact is about gender confusion. Some animals get to be both sexes, but not at the same time. The clownfish is born male but when it matures it can turn into a female if necessary. Nemo and his kind live in groups where only one couple gets to have sex so when that female dies, one of the larger males transforms into a female and the cycle continues. Similarly, some frog species will have members of the population change sex either from male to female or female to male, in order to maintain the proper proportion of each gender to ensure the success of the group.

Well this is it for today. I hope you found the information interesting. Have a nice day and good-bye.

Gaby: Well that was interesting.

Doug: Very!

Tiffany: Those are some sexually well-adjusted goats. Yeah, that was interesting. A nice bit of trivia. Too bad female humans can't do that sperm blocking thing.

Doug: Seriously.

Gaby: Or have three vaginas.

Doug: Okay. Well I guess that about wraps up the show for today.

Tiffany: Any recipes for today?

Doug: I can't even begin to think of what an appropriate recipe would be for today's show.

Tiffany: Me neither.

Doug: Thanks everybody for joining us today. Thanks to all our chat participants and to my co-hosts. Be sure to tune in to the other SOTT Talk radio show on Sunday. That's at noon Eastern time but you can go to radio.sott.net and find out what time that is in your local time zone. We'll be back next week with another great show.

All: Good-byes.