this article infuriated me on a number of levels.
the most glaring of these was the cis minded supposing to know what gender might be! of course, the ‘gender’ to which the article refers, is the XX vs XY natal sex.
the second most disturbing thing about the article is that a not-to-subtle trend toward eugenics, albeit ever-so scientific and progressive! facts remain that in many cultures infanticide for a first born XX newborn is understandable. in our own culture certain disorders, like down’s syndrome (or even autism) among many for which a screening might be available, might mean that beautiful children like my own gender-variant, “high-functioning person with autism” daughter might be scarser since one could simply terminate the pregnancy.
in many respects the ability to ‘select’ for the absence of certain disorders seems appropriate, even compassionate in the event the disorder would mean undo hardships financially and otherwise. or perhaps a parent ‘knows’ they couldn’t rise to the occasion of raising a ‘special’ child.
but where does it end? where’s the line in the sand? who gets to decide the parameters? do we begin to create a future like the one envisioned by mr. hitler of pale skinned, blonde, blue eyed offsprings with NO abmormalities? and what outcomes might we alter for our shared futures just because we can? who is wise to play god?
the point was made in the article for knowing the XX or XY-ness of the fetus in order to prevent things like turner’s syndrome or ducheyne disease. but one of my lovers had turner’s syndrome, she was beautiful, creative, intelligent and my life was fuller for having known her. this article seems to allow for her not to have been born. and altho there are indeed other diseases that are either XX or XY expressed, there are many examples of folk born with some of these disorders who lead productive and socially full lives, members of the same society as those whose ‘genes’ would not have given pause to consider termination.
but the real outrage is that it purports that the XX or XY-ness of a baby is indication of gender. because the natal gender of my beautiful daughter is XY, the article was flawed from the outset.
how could gender binary mindsets be so strong today? when there are so many people living their gender variant lives? how can gender be seen as black or white? when clearly that isn’t true, there are intersex children born as a testimony that gender is beyond the binary even in terms of the strict physical sense. and with functional mri scans exhibiting an actual variance in the way transgender folk think, in this the 21st century, how can such a black and white system continue to be used.
and then there’s this problem: who among humankind can claim the wisdom to know which ‘traits’ should be encouraged and which disposed of? in the event that a gay or transgender gene should be definitely identifiable, would our society suddenly find itself without great poets, writers, scientists, philosophers, philanthropist? how many buddha or jesuses would make the cut?
my daughter has autism, is an XY natal transgender girl, she has neurological deficits, and many anomalies as regards her genetic profile, including a transfer of genetic material between the third and fourth chromosomes. she has intermittent seizures and an often pre-cancerous condition of the bowel called juvenile polyposis coli. all this, and yet my life is only blessed by her!
so how can i feel good about a scientific discovery that might lead to fewer of people like her?